spatchcocked chicken with mushrooms

This week, we made it through a 25-hour fast with no food and no water. It was tough! However, I think it was one of the better ones for me. Every year, we get to Yom Kippur and I have to brace myself for the difficulty of the day. I remember one year having to skip some services and go to bed because I felt so horrible – headache and aches and pains, among other things. I remember another year where my mouth was like parchment, waiting through those final hours, all I could think of was water.

This time, I did ok! I got to the end of the fast and I didn’t feel like I was dying! The food and water tasted amazing, that’s for sure. I made my signature cheesy waffles for the break-fast party, but once again, that’s not the recipe I’m giving you. 😉

Instead, I give you the delicious and magnificent chicken dish I served my husband the night before the fast, which carried us through the next 25 hours with aplomb. I am marking it to make next year – Joshua had the leftovers the following day for lunch and couldn’t believe how effectively it stuck to his ribs. I served the chicken with a simple pasta with olive oil and dried herbs. Do as you will.

arnold palmer chicken

I probably should mention that I’m going dairy free.

It’s just for two months (for now), and only for health reasons (recommended by my doctor). It totally stinks. I don’t eat that much dairy, but cheese is my weekend treat and a huge weakness in general…so I’m going to miss that. Also going to miss a splash of half-and-half in my coffee! But other than that, no big.

So in case you start wondering why all the recipes for the next two months are sans dairy – that’s why.

Anyway, so last night I made a recipe I’ve had on my list for a while: Arnold Palmer Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs. If you’re not into dark meat, you can stop reading now. Totally fine.

But if, like me, you know that the chicken thigh is the underrated, under-appreciated jewel of the chicken, read on.

So an Arnold Palmer is a non-alcoholic beverage of iced tea mixed with lemonade. Made famous by or named after, I suppose, the eponymous golfer.

The beauty of this recipe is the sweetened tea brine the chicken sits in for hours. It’s been a while since I brined chicken, and I love it! The meat is so tender, so flavorful. And that added sugar in the brine caramelizes when you cook the meat and just takes it to the next level. The skin crisps up and glazes – it’s a great dish. Definitely one I’m going to be keeping in my repertoire.

Do try it!

the joy of cleansing

Hello! It’s me!

I’m back.

I was recently reminded that this blog of mine existed when my brother-in-law was laughing about the title (so literal, he said!). And then I’ve been keeping up with my sister’s new blog she launched a few weeks ago, and I thought, wait a second! Don’t I like to blog? And I thought, yes. I do.

So here I am! Another reason I am jumping back on the blogging bandwagon now is because my husband and I are actually starting a liver cleanse today.

Oh joy.

I know, you’re so excited about all the amazing and tasty cleanse recipes I’m going to post.

I know how you feel.

No, it won’t be exciting. But I thought I would post throughout the cleanse (it’s only 10 days), not every day, but enough to tell how it’s going. And then next year, maybe we’ll cleanse again and I will know exactly what I did and how it went and we can just replicate the process. #soeasy And then maybe you would also like to cleanse! And you would have my plan at your disposal. 😀

So, for starters, we are using the Metagenics brand UltraClear protein powder and method for our liver cleanse. It comes with a little booklet of instructions and lists of food you can eat and a handful of recipes in the back. If you like to cook healthy food, the cleanse doesn’t sound too hard. I do, and I also like to plan things out very carefully, so I spent what turned into a couple of hours planning out the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks we would be eating for these 10 days. It took me a while, probably because it was nighttime and also because I didn’t have any caffeine in my system, and then also because I wasn’t hungry. My mom says to always plan your menu when you’re a little bit hungry. She is so right.

Anyway. We are starting today! Yay! This first day is one of the easiest. We are having oatmeal for breakfast (homemade, unsweetened), with berries and bananas. Joshua is having brown rice pasta and a homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms for lunch. And then we are having a spicy black bean recipe over rice for dinner. We are allowed to eat some starches and grains at this point, so it’s relatively easy to fill up and enjoy the meal. We’re having sugar snaps and clementines for snacks; life is still very good.

The liver cleanse booklet says that being hungry the first few days is normal, but that it will subside. Also, they say if we feel muscle aches, that’s normal, and it means the cleanse is working. (!) They also say to lay off strenuous or prolonged exercise while cleansing, as your body needs the calories you’re consuming, and it can’t really spare any for rebuilding muscle and such. So we’re cutting our workout routine in half for the days of the cleanse. (It’s actually kind of exciting.)

If the spicy black beans are tasty, I will post the recipe. If they are not, I will save you from them.

In the meantime, cheers! And here are a few of my favorite recipes I’ve made the in recent past – enjoy:

  1. Spicy Vegan Pad Thai
  2. Baked Corn & Tomato Risotto
  3. Grilled Chicken, Burst Tomato, and Artichoke Skewers w/ Goat Cheese Dip
  4. Nigel Slater’s Banana Bread
  5. Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka