Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ok, so it's been weeks

since I last posted. I'm sure I've mentioned before, I have no time anymore and I'm not quite sure what happened there. I also haven't been in the kitchen testing and making anything post worthy lately. Not that we haven't been eating well, but nothing has come up that I thought I needed to share. With that being said, I'm going to have to just post recipes when I can. Not sure what I was thinking when I said I would post one every week cause clearly, that ain't happenin.

Hmm, so what have I done. Well, I've added two more ladies to my list, Elizabeth and Helen. Both great wods. I could not do Liz as rx'd but came in close with 85# and 10 minutes. Helen was rx'd at 13 minutes. Most of my wods have been pretty good lately and I almost got a cool 95# on my shoulder press. I tried just for the hell of it and almost got it. Last year I struggled with 85. I will be starting The Way wods in a few weeks, probably when my little guy is finished school so I'll actually have time to get thru them. Overall been feeling good. My body has taken a beating with close to 200 kettlebell swings in 24 hours but it's all good. I feel stronger than ever, my shoulder pain is almost non existant and I'm still making good gains.

The girls are still with me in the garage gym and actually coming along quite nicely. I've decided to just have them do scaled versions of my Outlaw wods. Snicker snicker. There has been a lot of whining and complaining but overall, I think they like it. They keep coming back so I'll keep beating them up. We haven't been working on snatches or front squats yet and only briefly touched on cleans, deadlifts and overhead squats (with the stick). But as far as everything else, the girls are making some great improvements. Once school is over and things settle down we'll all have more time to devote to actual lifting which I'm looking forward too. Just last week Ali was able to back squat 2x3 @85 and do 30/ 45# thrusters. This is someone who has never done anything like this before so I think she is starting to see that this 'weightlifting thing' is no joke.

We haven't tried any new recipes lately, at least nothing to brag about. Now that it is warming up it's salad season for us. Nothing like a good hearty salad. My favs lately have been marinated artichoke hearts, radishes, olive medleys and arugula. I've been adding them to everything. Left over chicken, shrimp, tuna fish... it's all good. Recipe tip for you right there! See, I'm not a complete slacker.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The future coach K?

In my quest to do all the girls this year, I'm 5 down with 25 more to go? I don't know. A lot. Elizabeth was on the menu today. Love cleans, don't love dips but I am making progress on them. I came in at 10 minutes using 85# and doing the dips on the handles of our ghd. I can do ring dips but not 45 of them with any consistency. Last weekend I screwed my right wrist up, not sure how but it's still bothering me. Now that we have The Book in the house, I've tried the dreaded and painful floss band technique a few times hoping that would give me some relief. Unsure if it is or it's just a matter of rest and time. Neither of which I can afford.

Since the last time I've posted my training partner has made some great progress. And since then, we now have another victim, err... puppy (I'm stealing the 'puppy' term from BrandX because it is fitting) in training and possibly a third tomorrow. Not that I don't love that there is interest in all things Crossfit, but hell, I'm stretched to my max right now. Programming for 3 is challenging. Ali has been thru all the basic lifts and movements so the past week now she has been doing modified versions of either my Outlaw wod or mainsite which has been great for both of us. Everyone always needs a little competition/motivation. I don't get it that often. But Krista doesn't know most of the lifts and movements yet. Unfortunately for her I think that she's going to learn on the fly for most of it. She's pretty strong and athletic already. She has good flexibility and can actually do one unassisted pull up so honestly I think she'll be able to handle most of what I throw at her if she sticks with it. I'm hoping once summer rolls around we'll all be less pressed for time with kid stuff and I'll be able to really get them moving some decent weight and push them harder. Now if I only had more equipment.

I wil say this, even though this has been time consuming and throwing my schedule out of whack, I'm learning a little more each day. When you're explaining how to do a back squat or throw a wall ball, something that I take for granted after 3 years, you realize that A, you know more than you think you do and B, it's really hard to describe something that seems to come natural like squatting. I'm amazed at how many people physically cannot get down in that position. For me, as someone who can express more with her face than words, it's hard to watch sometimes lets be honest. But you gotta start somewhere.

Anyway, so my goal is to get these ladies in shape this summer and hopefully turn this into something worth while. Maybe if we're lucky Bob and I can get certified and really do this for real one day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recipe: Kale, bacon and shallot stuffed chicken breast

This was a spur of the moment 'I have all those ingredients' meal and it came out fantastic. Chicken is boring so I'm always trying to think of new ways to serve it. Stuffing it isn't fun and it's messy, but it is worth it in the end. For you people who do a bit of dairy every so often, add some blue cheese. You'll thank me later. Not the best photo but by the time it was time to eat, I forgot. Happens sometimes.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts
serves 2 

What you need:
2 skinless breasts
2 good handfuls of chopped kale
1/2 medium shallot, sliced thin
3-4 pieces uncured bacon
kosher salt & pepper
couple nuggets blue cheese *optional

toothpicks or string to secure chicken

What to do:
Chop bacon into pieces, (not too small) and cook it in a cast iron or chefs pan til it's crispy but not burned. Meanwhile chop kale into bite size pieces and slice shallot. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and put aside. Cook kale and shallot in bacon fat for about 7-8 minutes on medium high heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

While that stuff is cooking place chicken on cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound the crap out of it until it's relatively thin. Salt and pepper both sides.

Preheat oven 350. 

When kale is wilted and the onion is translucent remove from the pan with the slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl with the bacon. We want any bacon fat to sear the chicken. Let kale mixture cool a bit. Once cooled place half of the mixture in the center of the chicken, almost like you're making a taco. (If you can remember how to do that) Add your blue cheese if using. Start rolling at one end, then secure closed with a few toothpicks or string. Toothpicks are way easier. Don't overstuff.

Heat cast iron on high, add a little more fat, 1-2 tbsp if needed. Your reserved bacon fat that you diligently keep in the fridge in a mason jar would be awesome at this point, but you can use whatever oil/fat you like. Add the chicken seam side down first and sear about 3 minutes. Sear all sides 2-3 min each. When browned, throw whole cast iron skillet into oven and finish cooking about 10-12 minutes. Poke test it around 10 minutes. If it springs back, it's done.

Remove skillet from oven, remove chicken from skillet and let it rest about 5 min. Done!

I served mine with roasted brussels sprouts and a sliced tomato with basil, evoo and red wine vinegar.

You can basically stuff chicken with anything. If you have spinach or collard greens they work just as well. Only rule with stuffing chicken is have at least one item with a lot of flavor or punch. IE - blue cheese, feta cheese, olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes etc since chicken is mild.