Monday, April 29, 2013

Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

Happy Monday!  Just kidding, there's no such thing.  HA!

Today wasn't a bad day, as far as Mondays go, but compared with the glory that was this weekend, today's gloomy skies did not have me pumped for the week.  At least I started my day with a kick ass workout--very minimal rest breaks as I ran around the gym trying to avoid the smelly guy working out in a full sweatsuit.  Seriously guy, if you're going to sweat that profusely and wreak that intensely in your current getup, change out of that unitard and in to some real gym clothes.  Gross.

Workout

So today's workout included one of my favorite moves: box jumps.  If you're in decent condition and have warmed up properly, these are a quick way to rev up your heart rate.  Sometimes I like to throw in 5 box jumps between sets of different exercises when I'm doing my own thing at the gym to increase the intensity a bit.  The real key is to start the movement in a squat position, and explode through your feet up to your destination, making sure to land softly in a squat again (butt back!), like so: some cute guy with excellent box jump form.  I usually just jump up to a bench because my gym doesn't have nice boxes and I'm too nervous to hop on to stacked aerobic steps for fear of toppling over and being that girl.  If you don't want to jump up to something that high, start with 1 aerobic step or even just jumping in place. 

***Disclaimer: I'm not a personal trainer, but I live with a former trainer to the rich and famous at the Ritz in Boston so I've learned a bit along the way :)

Eats

Since last night's meal was a total win, I was really looking forward to recreating another dish from Practical Paleo tonight (the Coach had leftovers for lunch today and is still raving).  And trust me, I was not disappointed.  I used the pineapple teriyaki sauce from the cookbook in a stir fry with chicken and veggies and it was DELICIOUS!  Here's how it came together:

Pineapple teriyaki chicken
Ingredients:
1.5lb chicken thighs, diced in to bite-sized pieces
1c pineapple, chopped
1/2c water (I used half water and half juice from the pineapple)
1T ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2t cayenne
2T low sodium tamari (soy, aminos, etc)
optional: 2T nut butter
 veggies of your choice

In a sauce pan, mix the pineapple, water, ginger, garlic, cayenne, and tamari in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Once you've gotten that going, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with some cooking fat and brown your chicken.
After 10 minutes of simmering, blend your sauce (I used an immersion blender, but you can put it in a blender).  You could leave it un-blended if you want, you'll just have a chunkier sauce!  At this point I thought the sauce looked a bit thin so I added some sunflower seed butter which I thought gave the sauce a really delicious texture (complete nut butter addict here).  If you choose to add nut butter, add it after you've blended your sauce.
When your chicken is cooked through, add the sauce and steamed veggies of your choice.

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You all know that I love a good stir fry, but this one was something else.  The pineapple added a subtle sweetness, though possibly overshadowed by my addition of nut butter, so if you want more pineapple flavor either skip the nut butter or, even better, add more pineapple!  The Coach asked if I could give him a side of pineapple, because he's sort of a pineapple fiend (similar to my nut butter addiction).  This was a really nice spin on the Thai stir fry I've been making weekly, since the fresh fruit offered a nice tang to the dish.  I would definitely recommend trying this sauce out, drizzled over any meat and veggie combination!

Hope you all have gotten over your Monday blues by now!

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