So since starting this eating healthy journey, I have struggled with one very particular type of protein the most. The chicken breast. I don’t know, it is probably my own fault, but I have had the most difficult time getting moist and flavorful chicken breast that I actually want to eat. I had some luck brining my chicken breast for burgers in pickle juice, but I am out of pickles. Also, that was more good for smothering the breasts in tons of burger toppings. I want to use chicken breast in a way where the chicken breast itself is what I want to eat.
And I finally got it. ONE chicken breast recipe that is easy, moist, savory, and made me wish I had more for leftovers the next day. I was really worried about how this chicken would end up because I combined like three recipes together that I liked. I just feel like chicken satay should have some key components: ginger, garlic, something coconutty, turmeric, and curry flavors. So here is what I came up with:
- 1 whole Chicken breast (I bought kind with the ribmeat)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 inch of ginger, peeled and rough chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (I used canned but I have used boxed)
- 1 TB fish sauce
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- Opt. bamboo sticks (like for shish kabobs)
- Throw everything except the chicken in a blender, magic bullet, food processor type instrument. I like to make my marinades this way because it minces everything up and mixes up the oil and other liquids together well. Alternatively, you can mince the garlic and ginger and add it to the rest of the marinade.
- Slice the chicken lengthwise into 1 inch thick strips. Add the chicken to the marinade and refrigerate (overnight is best).
- The next day, you can thread the chicken strips onto bamboo sticks that have been soaked in water (this helps them not to burn on the grill). Or you can be lazy like me and just throw the chicken strips on the grill without and eat it with your hands anyways.
I served it with a peanut sauce that is easy to throw together. I use the leftover coconut milk to make it. I am only sharing the recipe because I think it is “good enough” for Ryan and I. I would do a lot of illegal activities to get the peanut sauce recipe from Thai Tom’s on the UW Ave in Seattle. Like unspeakably illegal things. So my standards for peanut sauce are just a little too high to accurately judge my own. I do really like this one though and it is great for pouring over steamed green beans and dipping chicken satay into. This one gets really great texture when you use the canned milk, but boxed works just fine.
Thai Peanut Sauce
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use unsalted, natural from Trader Joes, best natural pb I have found)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (I used the leftover canned milk from making the satay)
- 2 TB apple cider vinegar
- 2 TB red curry paste
- 1 tsp honey
- Opt: couple TB of minced peanuts
On low heat in a saucepan, add all ingredients except peanuts and stir until warmed and a little bubbly. Best served warm.
I have been making double batches of this chicken since I made the recipe and I grill it all up at once. All leftovers went in a container in my healthy snack drawer of the fridge. Such a good protein snack! I didn’t need the peanut sauce either. I didn’t even nuke it, I just kept grabbing it straight out of the fridge and eating it. I am making it again tonight which makes 4 times in a month so I felt it was ready to share.
25 DAY CHALLENGE
ALSO. Today is the start of a 25 Day Challenge that my sisters and I came up with! We have 25 days until the bridal shower (where I will stuff everyone full of french pastries, cheese, wine, and crepes) and I haven’t lost a single pound in a month. I eat clean when I cook, but the last couple weeks of work have been incredibly stressful and I fell back into some negative eating patterns.
Scenario 1: I bring healthy lunch to work. Proctored state testing 2 weeks in a row. So bored. So annoyed. Stressed I can’t counsel students or check on seniors because I am stuck in a room with kids who want to be in there even less than me. Another counselor says “Hey, let’s go get burritos from the taco truck.” I say, “Anything to make me like life again.”
See how that works? I got another one.
Scenario 2: I bring healthy leftovers to work. Spend all day sitting in the hallway checking seniors out for graduation. Assistant principal offers to buy lunch at local Vietnamese restaurant. I eat the entire container of white rice my basil chicken comes with over the course of two days.
Scenario 3: Free donuts.
Scenario 4: I crave donuts after the crappy free donut I ate and so I go buy donuts at Legendary Donuts.
So even preparation didn’t help me for the past few weeks. A pretty fast decline as you can see…I was eating healthy and then adding unhealthy foods when I wasn’t hungry. I made Ryan order pizza one night just because I got home late from senior awards night. So clearly I lost sight of my goals and what was motivating me to stay committed for a little while.
Also, this past weekend, Ryan and I went to Whidbey Island to get away for a little bit. Obviously we didn’t try to eat healthy although we could have.
We love it in Whidbey Island and have some serious ideas about retiring in the Freeland/Langley area one day. Hot tub overlooking the water and room for Teddy Bear to run around is usually all I need, but Whidbey Island has awesome Farmers’ Markets and wine too! We like to rent the front part of a house in Freeland because it is comfy with a great view, hot tub, tons of room for Teddy and near all the things we like to do in Whidbey Island (wine tasting, Farmer’s market, farm/nursery, antique stores). This is where we have stayed the last couple times. We will go back next year for sure. Fab View Getaway
I got some great heirloom tomato starts 3/$10 at the Farmer’s Market and we bought way too many bottles of wine. Any wine tasting place that welcomes our dog inside is going to get my money. We each got 6 tastings and I actually loved all of them. That doesn’t usually happen, but Blooms Winery is very small and local and they are really picky about the wine they make. We got a Malbec and two white blends that were incredible.
PS. I am a a complete lightweight and was very nearly drunk after 6 tastings.
The only bummer about the trip was that I had a stomachache the ENTIRE time. It could have been cramps but it was exacerbated by eating dairy or anything grain-based. So this 25 day challenge came at a perfect time. My body was telling me it is time to get back on it.
Rules of the Challenge
- Clean Eating (we are going to take pictures of what we eat and send it to each other in a group text)- this means nothing processed.
- Limit grains/starchy carbs (like popcorn, brown rice)
- No added sugars
- Be active (Christine is working out at the gym, I started hot yoga and adult ballet, Julie will be doing summer quarter and has registered for a yoga and pilates class!)
- Add protein and fiber intentionally daily
In addition, for myself, I am making sure that I take my probiotic daily and drink more water. The water is also because of the hot yoga I will be doing 3x a week. I found an AMAZING yoga studio in Federal Way through Groupon. It is called Elev8 and not only does everyone seem very nice there, but the class was really great. I have only done the Vinyasa class, but it felt like a solid workout and my skin feels so soft today. I am only a tiny bit sore which makes me feel pretty good about where my body is at after taking two months off working out. I know I said I wasn’t going to work out religiously for weight loss anymore but I chose this because it does not feel like a workout. It is more like stress management and a sauna. And I will be doing it with a friend after this week so I am looking forward to that. I was afraid that without some structured activities this summer, I will be binge watching 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Ally McBeal and Parenthood ALL summer.
Best part: After the class, they pass out iced minty towels that you can put on your melting face while you lay in a puddle of your own sweat. Heaven.
The adult ballet thing was a Groupon decision too. Weird, weird, weird experience trying to learn ballet as an adult, but the hour went by so fast! Trying to keep up and learn a new skill makes it exciting and I can’t wait for the next class in July. The ballet studio itself is a strange place. Um, they “prayed” for me. I am not a religious person at all, so coming in brand new to a place that has you sit in a circle while the ballet instructor hears everyone’s life problems, writes it down in a little book, then prays for everyone before starting class was an out of body experience. I was a bit shocked at all that but then the shock of sucking hard at ballet erased my musings about how I felt about the very religious nature of the ballet studio. It did not feel like working out at all. It was hard to do, but not like the way weightlifting is hard or the way Zumba gets your heart pumping.
With 2 1/2 more days of work before my 2 1/2 month summer vacation, I am getting SUPER antsy. So ready to work on my garden, spend time with my dog, and focus on Christine’s wedding. SO EXCITED. Hopefully, I will have more time to blog too as it really does help me stay accountable, track my progress, and document my baking feats!