Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pineapple Jerk Chicken Bowl

Hump day finally!  I'm obviously pretty pumped that we've rounded the bend of this week but I'm dreading this Nor'easter that's coming our way Friday.  When I lived in Boston, winter was no big deal because the T was 1 block from our apartment and never shut down in the snow (except for the above-ground tracks, then 6+ inches = snowshoe time).  Now that I live outside Albany and drive everywhere, I have to leave for work extra early when it snows to deal with scraping off my car and then sitting through an endlessly slow drive to work.  You would think they would be amazing at keeping the roads clear up here but they are not.  Sorry New York, you are not winning in the winter game.

Moving on.


Last night's dinner was something new for me: pineapple jerk chicken, adapted from Health-Bent.  The Coach loves any dinner with pineapple thrown in the mix so I was excited to try this.  Here's how it went down:

1 onion
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 20oz can crushed pineapple (tackle the real deal if you want, 1/2 a pineapple would be equivalent)
1/4c pineapple juice
1lb chicken thighs, cut in to bite-size pieces

For the jerk seasoning:
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lime

In a bowl or zip-lock bag, combine the chicken with about most of the jerk seasoning and mix to combine.  Save about 1 teaspoon of the jerk seasoning.  Set aside to let the chicken marinate and come to room temperature.
In a large saute pan, heat a few tablespoons of fat over medium heat.   Add in the onion, pineapple, and pineapple juice plus the teaspoon of jerk seasoning you spared from the chicken.  Occasionally stir things around until the onions look soft and pineapple has started to develop a caramelized color.  Add in the bell pepper and let that cook for a bit; not too long, as they’ll get mushy.  Once all the roughage is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add a few more tablespoons of fat to the pan, and crank up the heat to medium-high.  Plop in the chicken.  Don’t touch it or move it around, you want to develop a nice brown crust on the outside of the chicken.  Once that’s happened, then, you’re allowed to flip it over to cook on the other side.
Throw the veggies back in once the chicken is cooked and mix it all together.

End result:

So good.  And definitely something different than what I usually make.  The Coach initially said it was solid but not a favorite, but by the end he was licking his plate.  Literally.  We live in a classy place.

In case you can't tell, I love 1-pot meals.  As does the Coach, because he's the one who does the dishes.  I cook, he cleans.  How lucky am I?  I used to make a big batch of marinated chicken thighs at the beginning of every week and then made a different vegetable each night, but that got boring after, say, a year.  I do, however, have a very delicious baked chicken recipe which has come in handy many times for me.  It goes like this: 2lb chicken thighs, 1/2c Dijon, 4 cloves minced garlic, 3/4t salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper all mixed together and marinated for minimally 1 hour but up to 24 hours, baked at 350 for 40 min.  Done.  Super moist and flavorful, plus most likely ingredients you already have at home.  Enjoy!


Today was another early day at work, and despite another round of proactive prep work last night, I ran low on time at the gym today.  Possibly because I had to stop for gas on my way there due to the blinking light that showed up on my dash at 5:45 this morning.  It was just as well because my muscles were screaming from my workout Tuesday--the rear deadlifts just about killed my hamstrings.  I decided on a quick treadmill workout from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Because I was in a rush I did this for 20 minutes today but when we were in Texas last weekend I did this twice through at the hotel gym.  One round today had me red-faced and breathing hard but doubling up last week had me basically in a pool of sweat.  Just one disclaimer:  do not hold on to the treadmill while you're walking!  If you can't handle the speed/incline without holding on then it's too much for you and dial it down; if your hands are glued to the machine, you're ruining the tush-burning benefit of the incline.

The Coach just got home so it's dinner time.  Thanks to every who's given me feedback and commented on the blog--keep it coming!


  1. Are the meals you make only 2 servings or are there leftovers? Do you have certain criteria you look for in recipes to make sure you are able to perform/improve in your workouts and still maintain energy for the day? Thanks :)

  2. Everything I cook makes leftovers. Typically I have a small-ish portion, and Dan has a jumbo portion for that night and a jumbo portion of leftovers for lunch the next day. I think that the benefit of eating this way is that everything I eat is great fuel for workouts and overall energy level. Without grains or any added sugar, all you're left with is protein, fats, and veggies, and there's not many losers in those groups (for more details on specific items that are kosher, check out and look for the free PDF "Shopping List"). So I guess what I'm saying is, I don't search for recipes with those ideas in mind--I basically just look for something easy with condiments/seasonings I already have so usually all I need at the supermarket each week is protein and veggies/fruits. Hope that's helpful!