Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 3 (of the school year) and Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! :) Eddie talked me into using 45 minutes of my 5 hours to spend some time with him watching Morgan Spurlock's new show, "50 Documentaries to See Before You Die". It was great! And it's inspired me to start my own list of "Best Movies Ever That I Could Recommend To Another Human". Look for that list, coming soon to a blog near you!

Now that I’m not watching so much tv, I’ve really been able to spend more time cooking and planning meals. There’s so much that goes into really living well. And living well is awesome -- I’m thoroughly enjoying myself! It makes me wonder why we ever spend so much time zoning out in front of the television.

We’ve tried a few new recipes lately, with some hits and some misses. The first new dish I made came from the book, Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. I purchased this book recently when I decided to really clean up my diet and get my weight under control. Since Borders is going out of business they’ve had incredible sales on all their stock, so of course that was the place to go! I was looking for a particular cookbook on clean eating, but couldn’t find what I wanted. Instead, I found Dr. Junger’s book and I figured that it might be dry and boring, but would probably give me the information I needed.

Boy, was I wrong! This book was great!! I’ve already read through the entire thing once entirely and I’m itching to start reading it again (but I’ve got to give Eddie a chance to read it first!). There’s no mistaking my copy of the book now – the pages are dog eared, it’s been attacked by my multicolored pen, there’s lots of things underlined, notes written in the sides, lists on the back cover -- this book is the real deal. It was tremendously helpful; it’s written in a way that makes it easy to understand and apply to your life. I love his “do what you can” attitude toward reducing toxins and making dietary changes within your budget. It makes you feel like even though there are so many big scary toxins out there in the world that we could never completely avoid, any little thing you can do to reduce your exposure is a good thing -- and no change is too small.

I loved this book so much that I went back to Borders and bought a second copy to give my friend Dennis, who’s moved home and opened an osteopathic practice nearby! I’m telling you -- MIND BLOWING!!

So as I was saying earlier, thanks to my tv diet and our new friend Dr. Junger, we have eaten well these past few days. Very well!

I roasted chicken for the first time ever and found it was super easy to do and SO delicious. The recipe for the chicken is accompanied by a relish. His relish recipe calls for one ingredient I don’t really enjoy, so I left it out and now call this dish: “Roasted Cilantro Chicken Breast with Avocado, Mango and Ginger Relish”. To be honest, the chicken was incredible (I ate it for 3 more days eagerly), but the relish was a little out of my comfort zone with regard to texture and taste combos.
After my success with this recipe, I decided to try my hand at homemade almond milk and exploring the world of kale. But this post is long enough -- I’ll save those stories for tomorrow!

Just a quick tally on my 5 hours/week tv allowance:
After using 2 hours for the cocaine documentary with Harold, Eddie and I enjoyed Food Inc. on Friday night (enjoyed might not entirely be the right word, but it was incredible and life changing), and on Saturday night we watched an hour of Bridesmaids (HIL-AR-IOUS!!!) with Jenny, Joe, and Melissa after Kevin's graduation party.
2 + 2 + 1 = 5 hours. And boy, they went by fast!

Roasted Cilantro Chicken Breast with Avocado, Mango and Ginger Relish

Salsa Ingredients
½ mango diced into small cubes
½ avocado cut into ½ inch chunks
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (Juice from ½ fresh lime)
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne
Chicken Ingredients
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (Juice from ½ fresh lime)
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
2 chicken breast halves with bone and skin

1. In a bowl combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and cayenne. Coat chicken, being sure to lift the skin and get some marinade under there too) and marinate it for one hour.
2. Mix all salsa ingredients and let sit for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
3. Turn oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken with marinade on shelf towards the top and bake uncovered for approximately 45-50 minutes. Turn occasionally until ready.
4. Serve chicken and place salsa on the side. (Remove the skin before eating.)
5. The chicken is really good as leftovers over a salad.

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