First posts are hard, but I guess I will start with the basics…
1. I am not skinny…
I never really have been. When I was a kid my parents called me “skinny-mini legs”. I think that lasted for a year, maybe three, but it was brief. Now they just call me Jess.
After nearly 20 years of dieting as a hobby (I have tried them all), I recently decided that I am done counting calories. I am done starving myself. I am done with working out for weight loss. Instead, I will focus on nourishing myself with real, quality food and working out to be fit and strong. This might help make me skinny (I am not going to pretend that I don’t still want this), but more importantly, it will help to make and keep me healthy. I started my real food focus about 7 months ago and have never felt healthier.
I know “real food” is probably not a specific enough label for many, but I don’t subscribe to a particular genre of eating. If you insist upon calling me something, call me Paleo-ish (or skinny-mini legs works too).
2. I am not rich….
and perhaps am getting poorer by the minute. I am preparing to move to San Francisco later this year. So, saving money has become not just a desire, but a necessity. My current abode in Los Angeles is no bargain basement deal, but I am preparing myself for a rent increase of nearly 40% when it comes time to move. That, my friends, is no joke.
Since I began my Paleo-ish approach to eating, I have seen my bank account shrink along with my waist line. Eating real, quality food is not as cheap, or at least not compared to the processed crap and fast food I once ate, but I am determined that this does not have to be expensive. With focused planning and a bit of creativity, I believe I can create delicious, healthy and simple recipes and meal plans that will leave enough money in my wallet to pay for rent in San Francisco.
Now that you know the basics, onto the food! Today’s recipe is a pretty versatile summer salad that can be adjusted to fit whatever produce is in season. Tonight’s edition uses peaches, but I have made it with other stone fruits, mangos and berries in the past so substitute freely! The other great thing about this recipe is that it is great as leftovers too – it won’t be a mushy mess the next day like most salads.
|1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs – o||$7.14|
|3 green onions – o||$0.48|
|3 stalks celery – o||$0.29|
|2 tbs cilantro – o||$0.90|
|1 clove garlic – o||$0.09|
|Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbs) – o||$0.40|
|2 tbs extra virgin olive oil – o||$0.53|
|1/2 tsp cumin – o||$0.16|
|4 cups arugula – o||$1.90|
|Salt and pepper||neg|
|Cost per serving (4 servings)||$4.03|
o = organic
1. Boil 1.5 quarts of water, seasoned generously with salt. Add chicken thighs and poach for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
2. While chicken is poaching, chop onions, cilantro and garlic, dice celery and slice peaches thinly. Put all produce in a medium sized bowl.
3. For the dressing, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
4. When chicken has cooled, shred with two forks and add to the bowl. Pour dressing over chicken and toss salad thoroughly.
5. Place 1 cup of arugula on each plate, top with chicken salad and garnish with avocado.