Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apologies and Smothered Chicken...

While I really want to dive into discussing my favorite fall treat or tell you how I have had Halloween decor up way too long already (it's one of my favorite holidays) I first should apologize for what has been a lack-luster ability (on my part) to keep a regular schedule for posting on my blog.  I feel like I go through these phases where I post like crazy and read everyone else's fabulous blogs and comment and then I end up on the other end of the pendulum and post infrequently (at best) and get really behind on reading about other people's exploits. Life makes things tough but it's not even really my schedule that has cause my absence of late, it's more been a problem of writers block. 

As I mentioned earlier this summer, I have gotten involved with a local CrossFit gym, well that's an understatement, I love the place!  I love the challenge of each day's WOD, I love the people, I love the way I feel when I walk away knowing just how strong I am and how much stronger I've become since starting CrossFit in May.   I adore every aspect of CrossFit and have learned so much about myself being involved in this sport, the other thing that has been a natural evolution from my involvement is an overhaul of my diet.  Through our gym's six week challenge this summer I became very closely acquainted with Paleo-Zone eating, after the challenge I told myself there was no going back and for the most part I haven't.  I have cheated occasionally (had a bite of traditional b-day cake on my was really really sweet tasting), made some gluten-free (not grain free) mac 'n cheese but really on the whole I have been good.  Why does this matter, because it means I haven't really been sure what to post.  This blog started out being my sounding board for ideas and more often than not feats of deliciousness but delicious things that are outside the realm of my new eating, with a different perspective on things I struggle with what recipes to post, what is interesting enough to share.

I'm learning that interesting enough isn't the right phrase anymore, I will share things that might not be as 'interesting' as what I used to think blog-worthy recipes were.  I'm sorry if my recently rekindled health-nut side isn't appealing, I'll apologize now but it's where I've been lately and where I see myself in the future.

Lately I've been looking for recipes that are quick enough to make on my only non-CrossFit weeknight (read as the only night I have time to cook a slightly more time-consuming meal) but also suited to my grain-free, dairy-free (mostly), legume-free diet...I've been making a lot of spaghetti squash, a lot of chicken and a lot of stir-fry lately.

What I wanted to share today is pretty basic (technique-wise) but was a delicious weeknight dinner and is something I've repeated at least three times with different proteins (yea for seafood and chicken!). 
Heirloom Tomato Smothered Chicken
4 Large Heirloom Tomaotes, cut into cubes
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil, corn
4 Slices Bacon
1 Small Onion, chopped
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Olive Oil
3 Chicken Breasts
Salt & Pepper to taste
*1/2 Cup Dry White Wine or Chicken Stock
1. Cook bacon in a medium/large cast iron skillet until crisp.  Once crisp remove from pan and keep 2 Tsp of rendered bacon fat.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper then brown in skillet.  Remove chicken from skillet and saute onions and garlic until onions are tender and starting to brown, add olive oil if extra oil is needed.
3. Add chicken back into skillet and add tomatoes and wine/stock.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer until chicken is cooked through.
This recipe produces plenty of extra veggie/sauce, it's great re-used the second day as a sauce for spaghetti squash or over another protien like snapper, scallops, shrimp or pork chops.
Bell Pepper Slaw 
2 Ribs Celery, sliced into thin, match-stick like pieces
1 Each, Orange, Red and Yellow Bell Pepper, thinly sliced to match celery
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil (or other herbs), chopped
1/2 Cup Champagne Vinegar
4 Tbsp Truffle Mustard (or Dijon Mustard)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Whisk vinegar and mustard together to combine.
2. Toss sliced celery, bell peppers and basil with vinegarette, season to taste.

*This salad would also be super tasty with sliced, fresh fennel in it.


Kerstin said...

Writer's block is the worst! I think everyone needs a break now than then too. Looks like the perfect weeknight chicken dish :)

Angie's Recipes said...

The chicken looks really flavourful and tasty. Love the bell pepper slaw too.
I am glad that you have been enjoying the gym activities.

grace said...

bring on the heirloom tomatoes! not only are they just stunning to see, but i think they taste way better than regular ol' beefsteak maters and the like. i think fennel in the slaw is a great idea, too. terrific recipes!