babble, food, phase one, recipes, south beach

operation south beach: day 7

Ew, today has not really been a good day. Well, food-wise it has. Not a single slip-up.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I can’t wait until next Sunday, when I move into Phase 2. I don’t really have physical cravings anymore, but I can’t get pasta and rice off my mind!

Hahaha.

No, today’s “ew” comes from my gurgly stomach and… other things. Some things are TMI, even for a diet blog.

ANYWAY, suffice it to say that I feel icky and gross and wrong and I can’t wait to get to sleep, which I’m going to do once I’m finished with this entry.

Which is gonna be a bit special, ’cause I’m going to make this a recipe post!

Tracy’s Lemon & Herb Chicken with Vegetables
Adapted from a recipe originally found in Cook Yourself Thin

Ingredients:
4 medium chicken breasts
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice & zest of 1/2 lemon (or zest of 1 whole lemon, if you’d like more, or leave out the zest altogether; your choice)
1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
3 cloves garlic (1 minced; 2 very finely chopped)
1/2 medium punnet mushrooms (about 12 mushrooms, chopped in quarters)
1 large white onion
optional asparagus – two or three spears each, or more as preferred.

Method:
With a very sharp, non-serrated knife, remove all visible fat & tendons from chicken breasts, and then gently score, on the diagonal, the chicken breasts. Don’t cut too far into them, though; be careful. This’ll help the flavour penetrate the meat better.

In a plastic ziploc/sealable sandwich baggy, combine the extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, the rosemary, thyme and the lemon juice. Close baggy, mix well by shaking or squishing, or however. Just get it mixed well! Then, when properly mixed, put the chicken breasts into the bag, seal airtight, and, if you have the time, let marinade for 2 or 3 hours. It’s fine if you don’t have the time; the flavour’s still there if done on short notice. It’s just not as good.

Note: Normally, when I’m cooking my chicken, I always, without fail, use my big George Foreman grill. It’s a godsend. Please alter the recipe appropriately for your own cooking method. Just make sure the chicken and the vegetables are cooked thoroughly before serving; you don’t want to get sick!

Prepare the vegetables: make sure the onion is chopped to your liking (normally, I would cut mine into rings or strips; for the above picture, I used pre-chopped onions for quickness, which are in tiny little cubes, and cook very fast); wash, dry and chop the mushrooms into quarters; make sure the garlic is very, very fine. (If two cloves of garlic’s too much for your tastes, feel free to just use the one. As always, it’s about personal tastes! Hell, leave the garlic out if you wanna! I just think it’s sacrilege to have mushrooms without garlic!) Wash, dry and trim the green ends (not the spears!) of the asparagus on the diagonal.

Pre-heat the George Foreman on medium heat for 3 minutes. When ready to cook, take the chicken breasts from the baggy, placing them on the grill. Pour over the remaining lemon juice marinade from the bag, and, if cooking the asparagus, place it at the lowest edge of the George so that any of the juices that come off the chicken have to pass under/through the asparagus. It gives it a lovely flavour.

Cook on medium or slightly higher than medium for 8 minutes.

While the chicken’s on the George, heat a frying pan and spray with 1-Calorie Spray oil – I like Fry Spray or something to that effect, Extra Virgin Olive Oil flavour. Coat the pan very well, and throw on your garlic to brown. About two minutes later, add the onions. Brown them – if you’re using bigger onion pieces than I used, it may take longer, but add your mushrooms a minute later anyway. Stir together, spraying with more oil if required.

Cook the vegetables until ready to your tastes.

Before serving, check that the chicken’s cooked thoroughly, and serve chicken alongside the garlic mushroom-onion side, with the asparagus.

 
 
 

Maybe it’s just me, but it’s really nice – the 8 minutes on medium really does the chicken beautifully instead of my normal 5-minutes-on-high-until-dry-as-hell chicken. I got it right today. The asparagus was soft, but still retained some bite right at the core. There wasn’t enough garlic in the mushrooms(!) but I’ll never complain about any amount of garlic, hahaha!

It’s not my signature dish, which involves butternut squash and red onion, but oh man. It’s a very acceptable Phase One substitute for my beloved signature dish.

And I’m completely and utterly sure that lemon, garlic, rosemary and thyme is the perfect flavour combination. So. Neener!

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