You know the drill. Coffee. 20 minute workout and on with the day.
BREAKFAST: Chia pudding for days! Honestly, I think the possibilities of chia pudding are endless, this simple Kiwi Chia Pudding Parfait is pretty and delish and fuelled me for another mid-morning run –– slowly but surely.
Preparation: Reserve 4 slices of kiwi for topping your parfaits (2 slices for each parfait) and chop the rest. For serving, use two glass ramekins and begin layering your parfaits with the coconut chia pudding (1/4 cup in each ramekin), top with chopped kiwi and then another layer of chia pudding (1/4 cup in each ramekin). Top each parfait with blueberries, 2 slices of kiwi and flaked coconut. Eat.
LUNCH: Since we had leftover chicken and shredded cabbage and carrots from yesterday’s dinner and salad, I took advantage of an easy lunch. Bang Bang Chicken (Bang Bang Ji Si) … gets its name from the Chinese technique of “banging” the cooked chicken breasts with a wooden mallet to ensure their tenderness. This isn’t a TRUE Bang Bang chicken as no beating with wooden mallets was to be had, but it is a quick and packable lunch, just keep the dressing on the side until you’re ready to eat.
BANG BANG CHICKEN SALAD
2 organic chicken breasts, shredded
fresh cilantro, chopped
finely sliced cucumber, to taste
1 1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage and carrots
1 tablespoon minced scallion greens
2 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons hot chili peppers, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken broth (or water)
salt to taste
heaping pinch of ground Sichuan peppercorns
Note: the chicken should be VERY moist, typically poaching or steaming the chicken will achieve the best results. The true Bang Bang Chicken version drizzles oil and a squeeze of ginger juice over the chicken after it’s done cooking.
Preparation: Remove the skin from the chicken breasts and shred. Divide the shredded cabbage and carrots between two small plates. Pile the shredded chicken on top of the shredded cabbage mixture and garnish it with the cilantro and cucumber. Combine the sauce ingredients until creamy (add more chicken broth or water if necessary) Spoon the sauce over the chicken before serving. Serve cold.
DINNER: Inspired by a can of Sicilian caponata residing in my cupboard, I came up with these caponata stuffed eggplants… Caponata is like Sicily’s answer to sweet and sour. If you want something super substantial you could add ground veal or beef and if you aren’t following the Whole30 lentils or white beans would be a delicious addition. We enjoyed them vegetarian-style with a mixed arugula and radicchio salad topped with raisins.
CAPONATA STUFFED EGGPLANT
Caponata gets better overnight, so if you want to make this ahead of time and bake later, by all means.
extra virgin olive oil
3 Asian eggplants (this is what I had in my fridge, if I were making it again, I would use the small Italian ones, or 2 regular sized eggplants)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic: 2 chopped for the caponata, and 2 smashed for the tomato sauce
14 ounce can Italian San Marzano DOP tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
handful of pine nuts (extra for garnishing)
fresh parsley, to taste
For the Tomato Sauce: Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat add a drizzle of olive oil and bring to temperature. Add the smashed cloves of garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Next add the can of tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Fill the empty can of tomatoes, half way with water and add to the sauce. Stir to combine, and simmer for at least minutes. Season with salt. Set aside.
For the Eggplant: Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh to make a shell about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and chop into cubes. Put the cubed eggplant into a colander and toss well with a teaspoon of salt. Set a plate on top of the eggplant to exert a bit of pressure and let set for 1 hour. Squeeze dry the eggplant either by gently twisting the eggplant in paper towel or by simply squeezing with your hands. As for the “shells” keep them in a bowl of cold salted water until ready to use.
In a large skillet over high heat, fry the eggplant in a few tablespoons of olive oil until it begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In the same skillet, saute the celery and red bell pepper. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until tender (but with a bite still). Remove and set aside.
Add the onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves to the skillet and saute until soft. Add the eggplant, celery, peppers, tomato sauce, capers, olives and pine nuts. Simmer for a few minutes then set aside. At this point you can store the caponata in a covered container for later or stuff the eggplants.
To Stuff The Eggplants: Drain the reserved eggplant shells in a colander. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350F. Fill the eggplant shells with a generous helping of caponata and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant shells and caponata. Sprinkle with excess pine nuts and bake for 30-45 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
SNACK: Hot tea, nuts and Netflix. We are so predictable 🙂