Lemon Chicken with Wild Rice

Lemon Chicken with Wild Rice
Phase 1 or 3
Makes 4 servings protein and grain

 

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup uncooked wild rice

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

3 T lemon juice

2 T minced fresh basil

Lemon wedges, optional

Arrowroot slurry (1 T arrowroot mixed in 2 T cold water)

 

Bring 3 cups of the chicken broth to a boil and cook the wild rice according to package directions. Keep warm.


Cut chicken into 1” pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook chicken; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add garlic and cook while stirring for 1 min. Add 1 cup chicken broth, pinch of s&p, and tomatoes. Bring broth to a boil and add arrowroot slurry. Stir until thick. Add spinach and stir until wilted, then add chicken, basil, lemon juice to the pan. Stir, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately over the cooked wild rice.

Excuses

 

Excuses

Noun

/ikˈskyo͞os/  a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

 

Justify a fault- but hold on- I KNOW this will cause a lot of you to jump up in defense. Just have a seat and hear me out.

What is preventing you from starting a diet? I think I have heard every excuse under the sun- and I have a rebuttal for almost every single one. Caution- I do not mince words here. I do not sugar coat.

Here are the ones I see most frequently:

Eating healthy is too expensive. Bullshit. Eating healthy CAN be expensive but it does not have to be. You can certainly shop sales. You can eat seasonally when produce is cheaper. You can use frozen fruits and veggies which are generally cheaper than fresh. Now- I am only talking the US pricing here- of course there are places on the planet where fresh food costs more due to shipping, importing, etc. I get that. But for the lower 48 states of the US, it is not more expensive unless you want it to be.
You do not need to eat organic to lose weight. You do not need fancy foods like turkey bacon or deli meat to lose weight. I have a blog post with my tips and tricks on how to save money while doing FMD.

I don’t like to cook. Get over it. You can learn to cook. You do not need to make fancy gourmet meals every single day. Sometimes the simplest meals are the most delicious. Check out YouTube or the Cooking Channel or Food Network and learn how to do basic cooking.

I don’t have time. Nope. It is another thing that CAN take up a lot of time, if you want it to. Remember my post about Motivation? And how many of us are willing to take on part time jobs to save for a house or a car that we want. Prepping and cooking does not come anywhere close to equaling a part time job- if you don’t want it to. But why are you willing to take on a second job but not take a couple hours a week to prep to eat healthy to become healthy? Delegate… older kids can help prep and cook. Younger kids can help portion. Very young children can bang on pots and pans while you prep. Hire a trusted neighbor kid to play with your kids for a couple hours while you prep for the week. Offer a trade of some sort if money is a concern. You can spend 3-4 hours and prep a lot of things that could last a whole month. I have a blog post on how to save time and still eat healthy.

I do not like vegetables This one gets me every time. So- the master food list has dozens of veggies to choose from for every phase. Also, every known spice and herb is allowed, in any amount, fresh or dried, at any meal or snack. Every cooking method known to man is also available to you to use. Roasted carrots taste different than raw carrots, or boiled carrots. Throw in an herb or two, and BAM- a whole new flavor! I honestly do not believe that you have tried every veggie cooked with every method, using every herb and/spice or combinations thereof and you dislike them ALL. Not possible.

I don’t want to give up my wine (or Cookies or Cakes or Fast Foods) There are a million and one reasons why we consume these things. We like the taste, the social aspect of them, the ease, the comfort. There are many delicious foods on FMD, so taste is an excuse. You can still be social with your friends and not drink alcohol. Your true friends will get it and support you for going to a healthy lifestyle. If they don’t, are they really your friends? Sure, fast food is easy- someone else cooking, no dirty dishes, the kids love it. But what are you putting into your body every time you eat it? Is it ALL bad? Nah- not all of it. But a lot of it is. If fast food helped people be healthy, why are so many of us fat? The comfort… this one I totally get. Feel sad? Get the cheesecake. Depression knocking on the door? Get the Oreos. Heartbreak, stress, heck- even celebrations call for foods. This is a simple swap to something healthier. Yes, it can take a while to find healthy versions that you love- but once you do?

I will start on Monday/after XYZ social even/after the holiday(s). Why? What day is it? How many opportunities between now and then do you have to make poor choices with food? The very next meal or snack can be good for you and your health. Why wait?

I am scared. It is food. Just food. I will assume that if you have a medical condition that prevents you from eating certain foods, you would avoid them. Right? Ok, good. If not- what is there to be scared about food? Are you scared it is not going to work? Are you scared of messing up? I can assure you that if you follow Haylie’s plan, it will work. It may take you longer than most- it may not. You may lose more inches than pounds, and that is ok. It works. And messing up or making a mistake? Let me ask you this: When you were in kindergarten and learning to write, did you make mistakes? Or did you pick up a pencil and immediately wrote in perfect calligraphy every letter and number? Nope- you did not. You had to trace the letters, then write them a million times each. It took a long time to get used to holding the pencil, the form the letters and remember how they were drawn. You had to learn lower case and upper case and how they differ. You had to learn spacing of letters and spacing of words, when to capitalize, and which way the letters faced. What happened when you made a mistake? Did you stop writing altogether? Throw away the pencil to never pick it up again? No. You kept going, practicing. Over and over. Then you did it all with cursive a few years later. A mistake on a diet is not the end of the world. Your internal organs do not know what diet plan you are on- your stomach is not a gatekeeper and tells your fat cells to grow larger because you ate zucchini on phase 2. Your body does not know what time it is in the day, so if you eat after 7pm, you will get fat. The diet is not so precise that one bite too much will ruin everything you have done for weeks or months. A mistake will not kill you. So, let go of that fear.

I have kids/husband/wife/family. They won’t eat diet food. We all need to eat. You can make delicious, family friendly meals with just some simple swaps of ingredients that no one will even know about. Or you can make meals that you can eat, and they can add the non FMD condiments they like. For example- einkorn pasta looks and tastes just like regular semolina pasta-no one will know. You can make tacos and you skip the dairy and corn and let them have it. Use spices instead of a sugar laden spice packet. No one will know. Get the kids involved in this healthy journey. Have them look for and print out recipes for veggies they have never had. Make it a challenge for them- one new veggie a week. Have them help you prep and cook. Kids of all ages can be involved and you are teaching them good eating habits.

 

Bottom line is this: whatever line you are telling yourself to keep your next meal from being healthy is likely an excuse. Stop and analyze it for a moment. What is this perceived obstacle I have put in front of me and how can I break through it? I bet you will find the answer.

Tangy White Bean Dressing - Phases 1 and 3

 This tangy dressing will zip up your salads and it counts as protein! Now while you may not need a full protein portion for a salad, having a little extra in your day is just fine. 


Tangy White Bean Dressing
Phases 1 and 3
Makes 6 standard servings of protein

15 ounce can white beans drained & rinsed or 1.5 cups cooked beans
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 T tamari
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp grated fresh garlic
1 tsp dried dill weed
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup water - or more if you want it thinner

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings. 

Cherry Paletas- Phases 1 and 3





Paletas are super easy to make and super refreshing on a hot day. This is a perfect p1 snack, or can be your fruit and healthy fat for p3 lunch. You can make them sweet or sour, creamy or not. 




Cherry Paletas
Phases 1 and 3
Makes 2 servings

2 cups pitted fresh or frozen cherries
1/2 water for p1 or coconut cream for p3
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp (or more if you want) vanilla extract
Xylitol or stevia to taste

Throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth. If you would like to have chunks of cherries in your paletas, then blend 1 1/2 cups of the cherries with the other ingredients until smooth. Add remaining half cup and pulse to chop the cherries.

If you want to add sweetener, add a little, taste then add more if you want. You want the blended mixture to taste sweeter than what you want the end product to taste. 

Place your popsicle mold or paper or plastic cups onto a baking sheet. Pour the mixture into the molds, or paper or plastic cups. The molds I use are listed here in this post, Foods and Tools I Use Frequently. If you are using cups, simply cover them with foil or plastic wrap and poke the wooden or silicone sticks into the cup. Place the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until firm. 








French Onion Dip - Phase 3

 



This is the easiest, most delightful dip you can make! Dip your favorite veggies in this, or use it as a sandwich spread! This could become your go to party dip! Your dairy free friends will love you! 

If you want to make it super fancy, caramelize a couple onions to mix in, to add an incredible depth of flavor. 

Dried onions are needed in this recipe- don't swap this out. They absorb some of the moisture in the coconut cream and make the dip thicker. If the dip is still too thin for your liking, add a tiny pinch of xanthan gum and stir it in well. 

If you prefer a smoother dip, once the dried onions reconstitute, whiz the mixture up in a blender or use an immersion blender to smooth it out. 




French Onion Dip
Phase 3
Makes 4 servings healthy fat

1 cup full fat canned coconut cream (not milk- just the thick stuff on top of the can when you open) You may need 2 cans of coconut milk
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T dried chopped onions
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 T dried parsley
1 T dried chives
1 T very finely minced spring onion- mostly the green part
Tiny pinch of black pepper (optional)
Tiny pinch xanthan gum (optional)

Whisk everything together in a bowl. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Taste and adjust any seasoning you want.