I was out to lunch with friends on Saturday when one of them was sharing her excitment about a kick-boxing class she was taking. Sounded fun! Different. Challenging. “I want to try that too, I sat there thinking”! And then my thoughts jumped to a quote that crossed my path recently that read; When is the last time you did something for the first time? (there was no author attached to the quote) . . . . I love that! Especially with the new season upon us. Spring always seems to inspire thoughts of how I might shake things up a bit with my wellness routine.
It doesn’t have to be something BIG . . . . just different. Something that keeps me engaged and revs up the fun factor! My friend Kerri’s friend once told her that we need to have an adventure . . . . everyday! You know things like, coffee with a friend, a walk with your kids, a new recipe, maybe packing a lunch instead of eating out, or sharing jokes around the kitchen table (not about the chef’s cooking of course)!
Hmmm . . . . Ok – So here’s my list of possibilities for weaving fun into my routine:
- Explore new ways to work with greens
- Add more seafood into my menu’s (Mick’s been saying, “I want to learn to like seafood more, mom”!) He loves to fish with his dad – see’s himself like Survivorman and wants to catch it, filet it, saute it and eat it! Ok . . . I can do that!
- Kickboxing Class
- Local 5 or 10 K
- Going meatless for a week
- A month of daily meditation
- Hot Yoga class
- Plant Kale
- Make Cheese
I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of yet. A couple of these things have been on my list for some time. My sister and her husband have their bucket list taped to the kitchen cabinet. It’s right there in black and white . . . and they just checked off a trip they’ve been wanting to take. My sister’s a teacher so they went over Spring Break . . . and now they’re on to something else on the list.
So cool! I want to do that too . . . .
I’m always encouraging my clients to write their goals down. Keep it visible! And when you stop seeing it, move it, so you see it again and keep yourself plugged in! I’m going to do that. I’m making a Spring/Summer Wellness List of Activities for keeping it fun and I’m going to choose things I’ve never done before!
On the food front . . . . I’ve been craving Italian . . . . tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil. Yum! So I found my Everyday Italian cookbook and landed on Chicken Cacciatore. My mom taught me to make this dish years ago! I love to let it simmer slowly as I ready the pasta and anticipate a wonderful meal, so when I saw this recipe with tons of garlic, white wine and fresh basil I couldn’t wait to give it a try! So glad I did! Mom, we’re going to have to make this together sometime soon! You’ll love it with white wine and fresh basil!
And here it is ready to serve. In my excitment though I forgot to add the basil before taking the picture . . . .
So here it is just before digging in, with fresh basil and over whole wheat penne pasta! Enjoy!!
4 Chicken Thighs
2 Chicken Breasts (with skin & bone, halved crosswise)
1 teaspoons salt (more to flavor)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
3 Tablespoons drained capers (see prep notes below)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt & pepper and dredge through the flour to coat lightly.
2. In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high flame. Working in 2 batches, add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute until brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
3. Add the red bell pepper, onion, garlic and oregano to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth (and capers if using). Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
6. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through – about 20 minutes for the breasts and 30 for the thighs.
7. Transfer chicken to a platter and if necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens, about 3 more minutes. Spoon sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the fresh basil!
Recipe Taken From:
Everyday Italian, Giada DeLaurentiis
Clarkson Potter Publishers, Copyright 2005
Prep Notes: The original recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of capers. You’ll notice in my pictures I left these out as I didn’t have any capers on hand. If you decide to use them, add them to the pan at the same time you add the tomatoes and broth. I’m guessing these would only enhance the flavor of this already awesome recipe! Also, the original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt. This was a bit much for our family, so I pulled back to 1 teaspoon – and we certainly didn’t miss it. The white wine adds so much flavor to the sauce!!