Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipe: Sesame Chicken

As if you didn't guess from the title today, the sesame chicken was friggen awesome last night. I served it with gluten free spaghetti. If your pasta free, or even fake pasta free, you could certainly use it as a meat portion on a salad or even cold with a lettuce wrap. I like fake pasta with it since the pasta sucks up the sauce well. It would be a great carbo/protein load dinner if you need it.

Cold Sesame Noodles with Chicken
(modified from Cook's Illustrated)

What you need:
1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
1/4 c almond butter
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (or jarred works too)
5 tbsp aminos or tamari (whatever soy free seasoning you use)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or coconut vinegar)
1 tbsp hot sauce (or a shake of crushed reds) *most hot sauce has sugar if your strict paleo be warned
2 tbsp raw honey (or whatever sweetener you use)

2 chicken breasts
salt & pepper

noodles or gluten free noodles of your choice (or serve with salad greens, lettuce wraps etc)
sesame oil

3 small scallions - thin sliced
1 medium carrot - grated

How to do it:
Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat until light golden brown. About 4-5 minutes, but keep your eye on them. Remove 3 tbsp for sauce and the use the rest for sprinkling at the end.

Mix 3 tbsp of the sesame seeds, almond butter, garlic, ginger, aminos, vinegar, hot sauce and honey in a blender until smooth. With machine running add about 3 tbsp of hot water without splashing it all over your face.

Salt & pepper and cook chicken any way you like it then once it's cool to the touch, shred it.

Cook pasta if your using it, drain and put it back in the pot and add a splash of sesame oil. If you don't like sesame oil or don't have it, it's no big deal, but add a little butter or even coconut oil so the pasta doesn't get sticky.

Then throw the sauce, chicken and some grated carrot in the pot with the pasta and mix. Plate and sprinkle green onions and remaining sesame seeds on top. Done!

If you're not serving it with pasta just mix the sauce, chicken, carrots and green onions. Plate it on top of salad and sprinkle with remaining seeds. (I would probably use a little EVOO, s&p on the lettuce before hand)

Now on to our regularly scheduled programming.

WOD was an arm killer today. Max effort kb swings, pull ups, push ups, t2b... ugh. I must say I love my new kettlebell. My previous ME for 2 minutes was 38 using a dumbbell. Today I was able to get 41. Yeah, not a crazy increase but overall they felt much smoother and easier. Unfortunately I pulled something during my t2b warmup on my left side, between my armpit and my shoulder blade. Obviously it didn't hurt enough to not do the wod, but annoying like... playing Scrabble with a 5 year old who can't spell or putting pants on over your shoes. You know you can do it, it's just challenging. Oh well, no worries.

Rest day tomorrow since we're going out with friends to the Christmas tree farm to pick out our tree and then heading over to a great little pub/restaurant afterwards. After that I'm sure it will be lots of Christmas decorating and another round of family Monopoly. My daughter loves to play but cries when she owes more money than she has. Yes, I made my daughter cry playing Monopoly. Mother of the Year right here!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


So I finally got around to doing the Crossfit Total today. Always a stress inducer. Not sure why really. Maybe because it's a benchmark for where I really stand and the thought of not making any gains would really piss me off. But alas, I did in fact hit 2 more PRs. PR's?? One on my deadlift which was 225 today, a 20lb increase since September and on the shoulder press which was a 5lb increase since, shit, the summer?? The shoulder press has always been a thorn in my side so when I got 90 up today I was so happy I slammed the bar down and did a little happy dance. Ha. Didn't even try 95. Didn't want to end on a sour note. The back squat felt good at 190. I probably would have tried 195 if we had a cage (hint hint) or if Bob was home to spot me. I'm not 100% on the backwards dump with that much weight. Luckily I've never had to do that yet. I got stuck in the hole once with 185 on my back but Bob was there to help. Didn't like that feeling. Last thing I need is another stupid injury. Anyway, my total ended up at 505 which is about a 35lb increase since last time I did it in June. Happy day.

Nothing new to report, leg is still bruised and sore and yellow so at least it's on the mend. Didn't bother me at all today. I'm sure if I have to get on the ground for burpees and it hits the floor it's gonna suck but hopefully they aren't on the menu for me tomorrow.

Dinner tonight is going to be a cleaned up version of a classic in our house. Cook's Illustrated's Cold Sesame Noodles with chicken. It is a fantastic recipe. Nom Nom Paleo has a version but lacks a few of the ingredients that Cook's uses. I'll sub the rice vinegar, soy, brown sugar and peanut butter with better alternatives. If it comes close taste wise to what I'm used to, I'll post it.

I also added a link on the side to a fellow crossfitter's ebay page. He is selling 21-15-9 car magnets.. what better way to confuse drivers behind you than with a 'only other crossfiters would know what it means' bumper sticker.

Oh and a congrats and best wishes to my friends' coach (who I know and came up with a terrible picnic wod for us) on opening his new box, South Mountain Crossfit. Wish I could make the grand opening this Saturday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

wow, 2 weeks? really?

I just noticed the last time I posted was Nov 14th. Eeek. What the hell have I been doing? Well, I was.... eh, I don't remember all the details. And really who cares. I'll just start with Thanksgiving. It was great. Low key this year with only 6 of us. The food came out fabulous as usual. I ended up going gluten free on everything which wasn't as tough as you may think. I made some bread for the stuffing, subbed almond flour in the gravy and used brown rice pasta in the lasagna. Now, gluten free is not to say the meal was paleo compliant because lord knows it wasn't. But, hey, it wasn't overloaded with wheat and sugar and processed products so I'm happy. It was however loaded with alcohol. Or I was anyway. I drank way too much over the long weekend. Not that I was falling down drunk, but over a 4 day period, it was enough. Wednesday was 'oh I'll just drink the white wine since I had to open it anyway', Thanksgiving morning was bloody marys and bacon for breakfast. Bloody Marys are a Chase household tradition on turkey day. Our guests bought us a lovely bottle of tequila which had to be tested out. Friday night we had our usual week ending drinks. Saturday was a spur of the moment 'the neighbors invited us over for a beer and pasta bar' day; which of course for me ended up being more tequila, hard ice tea and meatballs and sausage. Not a good combo. I drank enough to kill a small horse but because I can handle my alcohol... most of the time, I didn't feel too bad the next day. The only exception being all the sugar in the tea and the flour in the meatballs.... which I forgot about until my stomach reminded me that night. Eh, it was all fun but I'll be glad to clean up this week with no sugar and no alcohol.

My workouts have been crappy to say the least. My schedule was so screwed up, so between that and feeling crappy from food and drink and something else... which I'm still not sure about, I didn't start to feel good until Saturday morning. I got out in the garage feeling good, ready for a good beating and it all went downhill from there. I was unloading the bar in the rack, took all the weight off one side (I know, idiot) the bar tipped, obviously and landed on my little heater smashing it into a few pieces. Shit. Moving on. After my deadlifts which went pretty well actually, I was doing my first set of 24" burpee box jumps and I missed. Needless to say I have a 4" gash on my shin and after 3 days, it's still swollen and sore as a mother. But, the Crossfitter in me continued on with my wod. Not sure if it was stupidity, adrenaline or what at that point. I did NOT however do more box jumps. Didn't have the balls to try it again. I probably won't for a little while. They are a mental game for me as it is now I'll have a scar to make it that much more difficult. Oh well, I'll get over it eventually.

Not much else going on, celebrated my 41st birthday yesterday with some much needed retail therapy, sweet new boots, a 35lb kettlebell and Crossfit jewerly from Fashletics. Nothing says I love you more than a 35lb ball of metal. And yes, I requested it. I'm nothing if not practical.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

it's you and me double unders

Well, it's only been a week and Bud's finger splint is on it's last legs. I'm actually surprised it lasted this long. He says it still hurts a little but we're going without the splint today because that thing is just nasty. I have to see if I can find another one or it's two popsicle sticks and duct tape for the next 2 weeks.

Side note.. Andre Leon Talley what is with the Darth Vader outfit on The Today Show this morning. Really? You are a leading fashion expert? Ok then.

Moving on. No dizzy spells since yesterday afternoon. Still not sure what the deal was. I did eat a lot of good calories (no junk or sugar) yesterday. Although I do have a headache today which is odd for me. I used to get them everyday before I cleaned up my diet so this is either the beginnings of a head cold or I'm carrying extra tension in my neck.

WOD was good today. I made up the conditioning part of yesterdays workout. It was 2 min ME double unders which I was able to get 63 and 3 rounds power cleans and double unders. The double unders were a bit sloppy on the last round and ate up a lot of time. And I'm happy to report I only whipped myself once today in the hand. That has got to count for something. Power cleans felt ok. I did have to break every 4-5 though. They weren't long breaks, but breaks none the less.

Going with pan seared coffee marinated skirt steak and roasted squash for dinner tonight.

Nothing else to report and nothing witty to say so I'm out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Feeling crappy

How does a week go by that fast? I can't even remember what I was doing. Oh right, playing Halo 4. Now I remember. Lost a lot of hours to that game this past weekend.

Workouts have been ok. Outlaw has been slow to post with the exception of The Way's wods, which I do do, but the scaled version. And they haven't been total ass kickers as of late but I'm sure that will change. I did end up doing about 100+ kettlebell swings the other day which wasn't fun, but not the most terrible thing I've ever done. Today on the menu is back squats, power cleans and double unders. My nemesis.

For the past two days now I've been having dizzy spells. Not quite sure what's going on with that, possibly an inner ear infection... don't know yet but it's really annoying. I took a rest day yesterday because of it, well, I had other stuff to get done, but the main reason was I wasn't feeling great. I just hope it's not the beginnings of a killer virus I sometimes get called Otitis Media. It's basically an ear infection but comes along with a hacking keep you up all night despite 4 cups of Nyquil cough that lasts for weeks. I did manage to do my back squats today but that was it. Not only did I get a little dizzy, I also felt a little nauseous. It's one thing to do a wod that makes you feel like puking it's quite another when you already feel like puking before you start.

I never got a chance to make my lasagna roll ups this past weekend. I did however make some good lamb burgers with a tzatiki sauce. Real easy. I stole the recipe from Primal Palate but altered it a bit. Just adding the mint, onion and garlic didn't seem to give the meat that binding glue it needed. It was a little too crumbly so I threw in an egg and some almond flour as well. More like making a meatball. They were pretty darn tasty with the cucumber yogurt on top but if you're dairy free, I think I would make a little greek salad type garnish with tomatoes, cucs, olives and red wine vinegar.

We've decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner here this year. 99% of the time everyone comes here and I usually cook for about 15-20 people. This year we had an option of going to my inlaws inlaws, which would be great, the kids would get to hang out with their cousins and it would be a nice time but I was stressing over the lack of gluten free, sugar free choices I would have. Not that I couldn't or wouldn't make due and enjoy the cooking/cleaning/stress free 3 day adventure that comes along with hosting a major holiday dinner, but we like to cook and we also have some friends and other family that don't cook and we don't get a chance to see that often. So today I start researching and planning and shopping and planning and shopping again. Mr Turkey is already in the fridge, Bob found a good squash recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl who I like, Primal Palate has a great gravy recipe... I'm sure everything will be great. It always is. And honestly, everything I make is pretty clean to begin with, just takes some tweaking here and there to reduce the flour and sugar count. If I see anything outstanding in my research I'll link it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bud vs playground equipment vol 1

I'm fairly certain anyone with young male children has made at least one trip to the ER. Bud is only 5 and we have been there twice already. Monday at school my little guy ran full on into the metal pole of the slide ladder. He had, or still has a bump on his forehead the size of another small head and apparently he jammed his finger at the same time. Once I saw the finger turning purple and he wasn't able to bend it we made our way to the ER. They did an x-ray and saw that he did in fact fracture his knuckle. Shit. Not much you can do for a finger so they put a splint on it and sent us on our way with a follow up visit to the ortho today. The ortho said the same thing, not much else to do so he re-taped it with a stronger splint and we have another follow up in 3 weeks. He thought about a small cast because Bud is a crazy, err.... an active little boy and that it would help to protect it, but said the splint should work just as well as long as he doesn't play any contact sports. Ha! Every parent of a boy will tell you EVERYTHING is a contact sport. Ok. He feels fine though, says it hurts when he bends it but now he can't so we should be good to go. I have a feeling the splint will not make it 3 weeks but we'll see.

Taking a recovery day today. My legs are fried from the front squats the other day so I'll probably just do some arm stuff, maybe pull ups, push ups, kbs and roll out. I did practice some of those skin the cats the other day. Wow. Dizzying. Almost face planted a few times but at least I'm learning to drop off the rings and not ride them until I'm almost touching the floor. Shoulder has been feeling a little achy the past few days, unsure what I did to make it flair up since overhead stuff usually doesn't aggravate it much. May have been the pathetic ring dips a few days ago.

No new items on the menu lately. I'm thinking of revamping an old lasagna roll recipe we used to eat years ago. This time I'll stuff them with some shredded chicken, red bell pepper and spinach... maybe top with a little marinara and fontina or some other yummy bad for you cheese. Other than that, been a little uninspired as of late.

Tonight is supposed to be make up Halloween for our neighborhood and it's supposed to snow/sleet/rain. Mother Fucker. Snow. Really? Ugh. Have to suck it up and pull out the snow gear I guess.

Happy that the election is finally over. Honestly I thought Twit Romney was going to win for a while there. I like Obama and hope he can improve our current situation. Only time will tell.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Where do I begin

It's been a crazy week here in the Chase household. Hurricane Sandy blew thru Monday night knocking our pine tree down, bringing branches down in the back and shredding parts of the swingset canopy. What a mess. I've never seen a tree actually fall down before. Luckily it fell onto the street and not anywhere near our house or the neighbor's car. It took about 3 days to get the yard cleaned up and all the wood burned. We have a fire pit and it came in handy. We actually spent the better part of this weekend making a fire to get rid of it all.

Can't remember much of what else happened. Halloween was postponed to this Wednesday when we are supposed to get a Noreaster. Talk about timing. Nothing spells fun like trick or treating in wind and rain and 40 degree temps. I do feel bad so I told the kids we'll go to a few houses and call it a night.

Wods were put on hold for the week while I did the yard work. And once that was done, I needed a true rest day. My body was beat, I was cranky as hell being stuck home with the kids all week with no sun and doing way too much snacking. I'm sure had I just sucked it up and put time aside to do a wod I would have felt better but I think I needed a break from that too. My diet has taken a nasty turn with all the Halloween candy and boredom. Boredom leads to snacking and although I don't buy a lot of sugary junk, we do still have kid snacks like chips and Cookie Crisp cereal. I did make gluten/sugar free friendly chocolate chip cookies and ate way too many of them. Need to fast today and get myself back on track, hopefully I can stick to it.

Bob and I did get to go out to dinner on Friday night to celebrate our 12 year anniversary. I had a gruyere, red pepper and spinach stuffed pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes and apples. Bob went with the steak, mashed potatoes and brussle sprouts. It was pretty good. Honestly, we've had better pork and steak at home, but it was great to get out to a nice restaurant with no kids and not have to cook and clean.

Todays wod was a good one. I actually went with mainsite since it looked interesting. Front squat ladder, 1 heavy, 10-20-30 at decreasing weights. Challenging for sure since I haven't done that many front squats in quite a while, let alone heavy. I can already feel my it in my thighs as I came down the stairs... they were a little wobbly. Ut oh.