This in from Liana, my “spa week” guest:
Well here it is, the end of my spa week and back to “reality”. Cliché alert: I can’t believe my 10 days of health and pampering is almost over. Of course, I pride myself in living as far away from reality as possible, but this week has been something so utterly blissful that I recommend everyone enjoy a little “spa treatment” themselves, even if it’s just a day of zoning out at home. My life is so on the go, it’s been nice to slam on the brakes and do some “downward dog”, as Rachel likes to call it.
And much to my surprise, I have managed to survive having been placed on a diet. Although I have not been nearly as strict as Rachel, I have enjoyed engaging in the process of planning and experimenting with skinny recipes and also finding healthy and tasty prepared foods [there are so few of them] that are easy to pop in the microwave in a pinch – like the yummy EVOL bowls we’ve been lunching on! I’m really excited to go home and make some of what we’ve been working on here in her kitchen. Stay tuned for more fantastic skinny recipes as the year [and Rachel's unshakable resolve] marches forward!
TRICKS, TOOLS + STRATEGIES which help keep me on track:
- My morning crack, er coffee! Crack-out with as many cups as your body will allow [but stop short of the shakes lest someone think you're an alcoholic]
- Reacquaint yourself with hot air popcorn! It’s a whole grain and you can eat volumes of it [ditch the microwave bags] when pimped-out with a mist of olive oil and sprinkle of truffle salt
- Smoothies! Not the kind with seaweed. Please. A blended mix of frozen fruit, fat-free milk, vanilla + truvia provides an antioxidant punch and is designed to satisfy a raging sweet tooth
- Frozen pods of [150 calorie] steel cut oatmeal from Trader Joe’s – then salted, sweetened + loaded with fresh blueberries… Mmm
- Salty goodness! Eggs baked in prosciutto “bowls” to grab on the way to the gym are a mere 100 calories!
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
4 oz fresh basil, divided [don't skimp here]
3 T olive oil
1 T water
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
3 oz Gorgonzola, broken into chunks
1 bag of mixed greens
Serves 4. Calories 375.
In advance [6 hours-overnight] of cooking, cut each breast piece in half for a total of 4 pieces of chicken. Place on a cutting board, cover with 2 layers of plastic wrap, and pound down to approximately 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a small container or ziplock baggie, add 1/4 balsamic vinegar making sure each piece is submerged, and refrigerate until use.
For the dressing: in a mini processor, combine a small handful of the basil [reserving the majority to combine with the mixed greens], 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, olive oil, water, garlic, Dijon and sugar. Blend until emulsified; set aside.
To serve: sprinkle each piece of chicken with salt + pepper, and grill on the barbie or in a grill-pan with olive oil cooking spray, or in a panini-press set on high. While the chicken cooks, add the remaining basil leaves into the mixed greens and toss with the dressing. Divide between 4 plates and top with the [sliced] grilled chicken, walnuts and Gorgonzola.