As I write this post, I’m sitting outside on a sunny lanai enjoying the pleasant white noise of a nearby fountain. I’m treasuring this moment. We will be back to the arctic chill soon. As we all know, you can run but you can’t hide.
My parents live in Florida and it is one of the best decisions they ever made. Everyone is so much more naturally active in the warm weather. I also find it easier to focus on your health out here.
While working from home this winter in New York, it’s been difficult to motivate, get outside and exercise. I have a natural desire for the comforts of rich, braised meats and stews or other heavier foods. I often pace around the house and find myself going into the kitchen and grabbing food to eat. I think it’s mostly out of boredom or maybe even an animal instinct to bulk up in order to have another layer of protection against the bitter cold. Either way, it feels like a very big effort to eat a low calorie diet.
Here in Florida is totally different. I’m motivated to exercise the minute I get out of bed and eating well feels so natural and easy. The dinners have been quick, because who wants to hang out in the kitchen all day when it’s nice out, and light because well, quite frankly, who wants to feel bloated in a bathing suit?
This was one of our meals. A sauté, not really a stir-fry, though it may look like one. On my renewed weight watchers plan, I find myself breaking out the non-stick pan a lot. It makes it easier to use less oil and therefore keep the fat and calorie counts down.
Sautéing the meat in batches ensures you get that nice, flavorful browned crust on the chicken. Don’t skip that step or dump all of the chicken into the pan at once. It will overcrowd and simmer in it’s own juices. Trust me. Fold in the kale at the very end, just until it wilts and then add that bright burst of acid and citrus with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end. Enjoy and if you are in the Northeast, stay warm. I’ll be back to share your pain very soon.
- 1 lb thinly sliced skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2" pieces
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp tamari or other gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp kosher salt (I use coarse ground) plus more, if needed
- 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly
- 8 oz package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 5 oz package baby kale or spinach
- ½ lemon, sliced
- In a small bowl, whisk garlic, ginger, tamari, white vinegar and ½ tsp salt together. Place chicken pieces in a ziploc bag and pour marinade on top. Seal and chill for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Heat a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Using kitchen tongs, carefully place half of the chicken in the pan, leaving a little space between each piece, sauté until well-caramelized (about 1-2 minutes) and turn to brown on the other side (an additional 1-2 minutes or more if chicken chunks are thick or larger than 2"). Remove sautéed chicken to a side dish, add 1 tbsp of oil and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
- Add remaining tsp oil to pan and sauté onions and mushrooms until well-caramelized, about 5-7 minutes, before adding chicken back into pan. Toss and continue cooking until chicken reaches 165 degrees and is cooked through. Fold in baby kale and toss until just wilted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Squeeze lemon pieces over and add into pan. Toss and serve immediately.