I have been amazing myself lately. This is a loaded sentence. It can mean one of two things, I either did something so stupid that I was amazed at how stupid I can be, or that I did something really awesome. For instance, one time I where I was amazed in a negative way, happened a couple years back. I was living with my friend D, and our culinary skills consisted of boxed dinners (like KD) or calling Tante and begging her to feed us. One day I noticed that our oven was on. I couldn't remember the last time I had used the oven, so I asked D when was the last time we had used the oven and she couldn't remember either. No joke, our oven had been on for days, possibly well over a week. We also never remembered to lock the balcony door, or to bring house keys with us wherever we went, so there was a few times that getting inside the apartment involved climbing up the balcony. Amazing right?
Lately though, I have been amazed in a good way. I have been hitting the gym like a fiend, and I have noticed that my endurance is getting better. I am nowhere close to being in shape, and before it wouldn't take much to completely wind me, but now I have noticed that I can give it my all for a much longer period of time. And that feels pretty awesome.
Why am I telling you all this, even though most of you (all of you?) couldn't care? It's a way to keep myself motivated. Also, I am pretty proud of myself for sticking with it, but also seeing improvement in my endurance, and as a result my overall health. SO DEAL WITH IT!
The other night I made Everyday Food's Chipotle Chicken and Rice. As per usual I changed a few things. EF's ingredients are: vegetable oil, chicken thighs, red onion, garlic, cumin, chipotles in adobo, large tomatoes, and long grain white rice.
The vegetable oil is for browning the chicken thighs, and I swapped it for a more heart healthy olive oil. I do not like reheating red onions in leftovers so I used a Spanish onion. I added an extra chipotle because I like things spicy. I also used a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes (drained) instead of fresh tomatoes, not only to make things easier, but I find the canned tomatoes still have better taste than fresh ones this time of year. I also swapped the white rice for brown rice.
Because brown rice takes longer to cook, I added it right away instead of halfway through the cooking time.
I really love this recipe. The chicken and rice are spicy, filling, and the chipotles add a great smoky flavor. The next day for supper I made a sort of quesidilla with the leftovers. I took the chicken out and shredded it, then added it back to the rice. I cut a whole wheat pita pocket in half (the grocery store was out of whole wheat tortillas) so I had two circles, not two half moons. I brushed olive oil on one side of each (the bottom), topped one with the chicken and rice mix, added a bit of partly skimmed mozza cheese (it was in the fridge, I would have preferred a cheese like Monterrey jack), and then topped it with the other half of the pita. I place it in a skillet for about 45 seconds on each side until the tortilla was slightly crisp and the filling was warm.
I do not have a picture of this, because none of them looked appetizing. They tasted good though.
I served each meal with a spinach salad. I love fresh spinach in its raw form. I have never been big on frozen spinach, but baby spinach leaves are my favorite for a salad. I top it with chopped carrot, celery, bell pepper, and green onion.
The dressing was made by mixing a pinch of salt and pepper, a tsp of dry mustard, a tsp of honey, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and about half of a 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar. Delicious, if I do say so myself.