“I’m intrigued by fanatics – people who are seduced by the promise, or the illusion of the absolute.”
Tons of Flavour – None of the Guilt – Sticky Lemon Chicken
There is a fine line between enthusiasm and fanaticism with regard to health and well-being. Humour me while I flesh this out a bit.
– Fanatics work out for 2+ hours 6 days a week and feel guilty much of “rest day”. Enthusiasts work out 30-45 minutes 5 days a week and enjoy leisurely yet active pursuits on the other two days.
– Fanatics survive on skinless white meat chicken and steamed broccoli 90% of the time and “enjoy” 1 cheat meal a week. Enthusiasts pay attention to what goes in every day but loosen their reins on the weekends or while at really great restaurants.
– Fanatics simply ignore the fact that they haven’t tasted anything with real flavour since their last cheat meal. Enthusiasts excuse the occasional foray into added fat and carbs for the sake of their taste buds.
I’m generalizing a little but I’m doing so from first-hand experience. I decided that being in pain constantly and rarely enjoying excellent food was not necessarily the best way to live. I dialed it back a bit, okay maybe a lot. I began enjoying real food again, started this blog, let my gym membership expire the moment I discovered fitnessblender.com (which I HIGHLY recommend!) and feel more happy and satisfied than ever before. Do I miss that all-consuming dedication to my fitness? Sometimes, but honestly, I think I miss my trainer and the laughs we had (mostly at my naturally uncoordinated expense!) more.
Part of this transition into a life of enthusiasm as opposed to fanaticism was the realization that I actually believe the meme that says “how to have a beach body… have a body… go to the beach”. It’s about living a full life which includes the joys of food, healthy when and where possible, reducing processed foods and refined sugars. And honestly not from any deep sense of moral ethics but rather the simple truth that a big bag of chips or overly salted take out food makes me feel gross.
Recipes like this Sticky Lemon Chicken allow me to enjoy healthy and delicious and what could be more balanced than that? It’s the sort of dish that makes you feel you must be cheating but know that you aren’t. Win/win!
I love sharing shots like this… it is entirely unstaged. It’s just what goes into the dish and if that doesn’t scream simple I just don’t know what does!
I pretty much always save the reamed out lemons to toss into the marinade, as with the stems on fresh herbs (yes please use those in marinades too!). More parts of the whole food = more flavour in your final dish! Another win.
I understand fanaticism. I get how addictive that mentality can become. It took me a very long time to sort out that there is a lifestyle in between eating like you’re training for a body competition and eating nachos and wings all the time. I choose enthusiasm which also happens to include healthy flavour!
Menu suggestion: This is a very flavourful dish so I wouldn’t suggest anything much more exciting than a lovely side of brown rice with some greens tossed in for colour and to add to the healthy carbs! Steamed or oven roasted broccoli is almost never a bad idea. I guess some of the habits from the fanatical days have stuck around.
Wine pairing: I gave GK a challenge this week it would seem! “The dish sounds fantastic but Asian seasonings are tough for me to pair, simply because I’m not really partial to Gewurtztraminer (ed. note – I wonder if he had to look up how to spell that!) or Riesling, which are the most often recommended. I would drink beer with this, but if you want wine, dry versions of the above should work. As far as beers I think Tiger, Asahi or maybe a nice Vietnamese beer. They’re all dry and crisp and refreshing so they would complement the tangy sweetness of the chicken.” I’m with him on the beer over wine on this dish completely!
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 4 chicken thighs, boneless skinless
- ½ cup grapeseed (or other mild
- 2 large cloves garlic, mashed (meaning just squished with the flat side of your knife as opposed to a proper mince)
- Zest & juice of two lemons (reserve reamed lemons for marinade)
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup soy sauce (I use the reduced salt one)
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- green onions, lemon rind and sesame seeds to garnish
- Combine ingredients for marinade including the reamed out husks of the lemons - that's just more
- Toss chicken in and allow to sit for at least an hour.
Bringchicken out of fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. *NOTE* you can choose to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces should that suit your serving style
- Heat a small amount of grapeseed (or other mild
flavouredoil) in a large pan
- Cook chicken over medium-high heat until nicely browned. Shifting pieces around as necessary to ensure browning on all sides.
- While the chicken is cooking you can be preparing your glaze
- About 10-15 minutes before serving drizzle to glaze over, tossing
chickenin it to cook. Allow to cookover medium to medium-low heat until glaze begins to thicken and adhere to the chicken
- Remove from heat and garnish with lemon rind, sesame
seedsand green onions