We did Christmas (belated, obv.) with the inlaws today and got home tired and a little cranky. I wasn't sure what to do as far as working out. My husband runs almost every single day of his life, and I can't do that without turning my knees into coleslaw. I was trying to figure out if I should go lift weights or do yoga at home when he suggested I go for a walk and I thought, "duh, yeah, why didn't I think of that?" The weather was reasonably nice for January and I needed to get out and do something to blow the cobwebs out of my head. I took along Jillian Michaels on the iPod for company. I even got to meet a cute dog named Max.
When I got back I made a quick bread with some leftover cooked sweet potato and improvised a chicken chili for dinner. I started with a recipe but changed the flavors in an attempt to mimic the Chicken Tortilla Soup from Le Dog, a great carryout place in Ann Arbor . It was so good that I thought I'd post the recipe so I wouldn't lose it. Sorry for the imprecision -- I just made it up as I went along so I didn't measure everything.
1 package chicken tenders (the uncooked breast strips, probably a little more than 1 pound), cut into chunks
1 16-oz. box of chicken broth (I like Pacific brand)
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
14 0z. can of diced Italian-style tomatoes (with onions and herbs)
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. chili powder
1 T. garlic powder
1 c. uncooked mixed lentil, brown rice, and wild rice pilaf (from my health food store)
pinch of red pepper flake
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. cornmeal (to thicken the chili)
2 green onions, chopped
1 roasted red pepper (from a jar), chopped
1/2 c. shredded extra sharp cheddar
Tortilla strips (I like Garden Fresh Gourmet)
First I headed the olive oil in a large Dutch oven on medium heat and then add the onions and garlic and a heavy pinch of the salt to sweat the onions. At this point I added the chicken and turned up the heat, stirring frequently until the chicken not showing any pink on the outside. Then I added all the rest of the chili ingredients and waited for it to boil. Once it boiled, I put on the lid and simmered it for 1 1/2 hours (now you see why the chicken only being mostly cooked was OK, it had plenty of time to finish).
I had one bowl with a handful of cheese (probably about an ounce of cheese), and a nice helping of each of the rest of the toppings. Even though the cheese and tortilla strips are high-calorie items, they're on top so you really taste them and a little goes a long way. My husband said, "I could eat this soup all day!" I was completely satisfied after one bowl, though.
This is the kind of stuff I'm trying to do now: Eat real, really good food that is satisfying. Exercise enough to keep my mind and body healthy. Not be crazy about any of it.