Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sundried Tomato Chicken Bake

Finally some Spring in the air today!  I was totally pumped to roll my windows down on the drive home from work.  This winter has felt endless, and as much as this might surprise anyone that knows me, I can't wait to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather.  I've previously mentioned my evil alter ego, "Summer Debs", and though I always fear her emergence as the days get longer, I am just dying for some vitamin D these days.  So yeah, those chirpin' birds totally put me in a good mood today.


Today was a continuation of my free form gym strategy.  Breaking free from a formatted program for a couple of weeks is actually kind of nice--it was even better at my mom's gym, where I could hop on the stepmill after my lift (no crazy tabatas on my to-do list).  Don't confuse the stepmill with the stepper: the former is that beast of a machine where you tower over everyone at the gym and, gasp, actually do a functional activity.  I love it, sweat dripping on the machine and all.  But my gym doesn't have one, womp womp.

Moving on from that sad song, here's what I did today at the gym: single-leg squats, lateral step push-ups, single-leg deadlifts, TRX inverted rows, and stability ball roll-outs.  I LOVE lateral step push-ups.  Well, I love all push-ups because it never ceases to amaze me that I can actually do a proper one.  But these babies will fire your core like no one's business.  Here's a good video for how to do this exercise correctly:  Anyone recognize that guy?  He's pretty cute if you ask me... ;)

I finished today's lift with some quick high intensity intervals: 60s on, 60s off bike sprints on a spin bike.  Bike sprints never get any easier.  I like to crank up the volume on my iPod while I do sprints and inevitably I'm breathing like an animal and look up to see a sweet old woman daintily strolling on the treadmill next to me, staring at me and my obscene sounds.  Sorry, I'm not sorry.

This delicious recipe came courtesy of my sister Marji.  She told me this Sundried tomato chicken bake from Everyday Paleo was an easy throw-together meal with yummy results.  She was not lying.  As usual, I changed things up a bit, adding in some chopped cauliflower to up the veg content and ensure that this was truly a one pan meal.  You know I love those.  Here's how this one came together:

Sundried tomato chicken bake
1.5lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
8.5oz jar of julienne cut sun dried tomatoes, in oil
8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
8-10 leaves fresh basil
1 head cauliflower

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Chop the cauliflower and scatter on the bottom of a baking dish.  Season lightly with s&p.  Place the chicken breasts on top of the cauliflower and sprinkle with more s&p, then the garlic and basil.  Next, spread the sundried tomatoes with the olive oil from the jar over the entire dish.  Seal tightly with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the tin foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

This meal was super good.  As in, the house smelled like I was cooking a delicious feast, mouth watering for the entire cooking time sort of goodness.  This really was so, so easy to put together--the most time consuming part was chopping the cauliflower, which I admit can actually be sort of a chore.  I find florets everywhere for days after I chop cauli--you'd think I was chopping it hibachi style, knives flying in the air.  Looking beyond that, this really is a great standby, foolproof dish that I definitely recommend!

Only one more day until the weekend, which for me can't come soon enough since I worked on Sunday.  I'll feel much better once I get the paycheck with some overtime :)  Hope you all have some fun weekend plans!

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