Hi there! How’s it going? I’ve really missed blogging in the last week. BUT! The good news is that CHEMISTRY IS OVER. Also? My final exam was yesterday afternoon, and though I didn’t study nearly as much as I probably should have (because I was distracted by the incredibly intense Mavs game the night before) (also: boo for cumulative tests!), I feel like I did ok. Final grades have already been posted up for chem lab, and somehow… somehow… I was one out of only three people who pulled off an A. I must have slipped the professor a couple hundred-dollar bills at the start of the class, because chemistry- no, science in general- has never been my thang. I’m just glad it’s over, and I’m even more glad that the feelings of self-doubt that have haunted me for much of my life- those skeptical, negative little voices that kept me from getting my degree earlier- are being squashed more and more with every class that I dominate. It’s a damn good feeling.
Anyway, summertime is coming fast, and I plan on spending a lot of my free time writing and giving this blog a bit of an overhaul. It’ll be glorious when my to-do list consists of: drink coffee, work out, blog. I need a nice little break.
I’m happy to have my desire to cook back, along with my appetite. No calls from the lab regarding the culture they did earlier in the week, but I’m feeling 100% normal today, thank goodness. No news is good news, I freaking guess, even though I think that doctors should call you no matter what they find out, good or bad. A brief, “Hi, this is Nancy from the lab. Just calling to let you know that your test results came back normal” goes a long way, I think. I hate waiting.
Back to food! Thursday night I hosted a girl’s dinner here. The menu was light, meat-free and simple, but really delicious.
Grilled veggie salad with balsamic (my friend C made this, and it was incredible!), plus garlic bread in the background that my girl R brought. (Shout out to R for bringing me some awesome wine as a hostess gift! I drank some yesterday and really liked it.)
Angel hair pasta topped with this spicy tomato-zucchini sauce, red pepper flakes and grated parmesan cheese. It was really easy to make and quite tasty, though next time I will quadruple the amount of red pepper flakes in the recipe, because it wasn’t very spicy at all. (I love spicy!)
C also brought some lemon squares, which she glammed up with fresh blueberries. (SO FLIPPIN’ GOOD.)
I love lemon anything.
Friday during the Mavs game, B and I drank wine and made Rachael Ray’s Chicken Tikka with Indian-style Sweet Potato Salad. Holy yum…
(GO MAKE IT NOW!)
- 2 1/4 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1/3 cup (half of a small bunch) chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 6 tbsp. fruit chutney, such as mango
- 3 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs.), each sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, cilantro and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Measure out 1 cup and transfer to a small serving bowl; refrigerate. Measure out 1/4 cup of the mixture, transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add to the large bowl with the remaining yogurt mixture and toss to coat. Let marinate for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir 2 tbsp. chutney, 1 tbsp. EVOO and the mustard into the medium bowl of yogurt mixture.
(Be sure to use a kiddie spoon.)
Preheat a large grill pan
over medium heat. Toss the sweet potatoes on a plate with the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO; season with salt and pepper.
Arrange on the grill pan and cook, turning once, until lightly charred, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer to a plate. Let cool before cutting into bite-size pieces; toss with the yogurt chutney.
Oil the grill pan and cook the chicken over medium to medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Serve with the remaining 4 tbsp. chutney, the refrigerated yogurt sauce and the sweet potato salad, topped with the cilantro leaves.
This chicken rocked my face off! It was so ridiculously tender from the yogurt marinade that it practically fell apart, and the contrast of slightly sweet and spicy from the chutney with the cool, onion-y richness of the yogurt sauce made for an incredible combination.
The sweet potato salad was really good, too. Tip: cut all your sweet potato strips to equal thickness to ensure even cooking (we had a few crunchy bits, but I didn’t mind!). The chutney glaze on the sweet potato chunks was surprisingly delicious. I had some leftovers today for lunch!
Aaaaaaaaaaaand, we are going to make paninis using the leftover chicken tikka tonight. A little yogurt sauce, a dollop of mango chutney, and a handful of spinach on some ciabatta bread along with the tender, yogurt-marinated chicken is going to be EPIC. I can feel it!
Last night B and I joined some good friends for an arena football game, where we enjoyed some severely over-priced wine and game food for dinner.
I opted for the grilled chicken sandwich basket, which I slathered with mayonnaise, mustard and jalapenos, and B went with the chicken tenders basket. Both came with (man I hate to say this) some of the best french fries I have ever had. (!)
Definitely could have been worse.
Have you heard the news? Cathe is filming an entire series of dvds as we speak that are all about delivering a high-intensity, ass-kicking workout but with very low impact. My joints are jumping for joy! There are 10 new workouts total, which you can preorder now. Check out the line-up:
Afterburn (low-impact HiiT cardio)
Athletic Training (a bootcamp-style low-impact circuit workout)
Slide and Glide (soooo stoked about this one! A low-impact cardio workout followed by total body strength training, using nothing but slide discs.)
Low-impact Challenge (step cardio)
Turbo Barre (stretch/strength workout inspired by pilates, yoga, and ballet- unlike anything I’ve ever done before, so I’m really excited to try this!)
Total Body Trisets (total body weight workout)
Yoga Max/Yoga Relax (two yoga workouts- one a more intense strength-focused routine, the other a more soothing, quiet workout that focuses on relaxation and flexibility)
Cycle Max (an indoor cycle cardio workout)
You can preorder the series with or without Cycle Max. You know I preordered right away! I’m addicted! I went with the 9-workout set, since I don’t own an indoor spin bike…. yet. Since each dvd will probably cost around $22 once they are released individually, the preorder price of $90 for 9 workouts is a freakin’ steal ($100 if you want the cycle workout). You also get a pair of Cathe’s slide & glide discs with your preorder. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited. It’s a sickness, really. I truly, really, whole-heartedly enjoy working out, and I can’t wait to incorporate these rad-sounding workouts into my routine.
I have a Mother’s Day celebration at my Gram’s to go to this afternoon, so I’ll leave you with this week’s menu.
Sunday: Leftover Chicken Tikka paninis!
Monday: Rachael Ray’s “Steak ‘Em Up Pitas” (man, these look so good… filet mignon and grilled sweet onion-stuffed pitas with a tangy horseradish sauce- OH MY GAWD YES. Page 129 of her latest mag issue!)
Tuesday: Citrus-marinated grilled chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, and Angela’s INCREDIBLE 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta (I made this last week and really want B to try it. He loves avocado!)
Wednesday: B cooks (He’s going to make Fish & Chips from RR’s newest mag issue, page 94. YUM!)
Thursday: Steak, Mushroom & Horseradish paninis using the leftover steak and horseradish sauce from Monday’s dinner
Friday: Graduation dinner with B’s fam- B and his brother both graduate this weekend!
Ok, I’m out. Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely ladies out there! I hope your day is a great one and that you’re treated like royalty. My day has been awesome so far: I slept in, sipped coffee, did some Power Yoga and blogged. Not too shabby!
See ya tomorrow!
Mindfulness tip ‘o the day: Before you eat your next meal or snack, take one minute to think about how that food got from the earth to your plate. Taking a minute to give thanks to the people/animals who were involved in growing/preparing your food is a simple yet powerful act. It can help you to be more mindful when you eat, and may even help you to eat a little less. Just a thought!