Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fat Cat

Spring is here.

Summer is coming soon.

My mind is turning to healthy (read: not too fattening, not too much trouble to cook in the heat) recipes. The exercise ball, yoga class and long walks to the lake beckon.

I miss my sun salutations, warrior positions, triangles and trees. One of these days, I'm going to make it to Anniston Yoga Center and meet Mariya Bullock. I want to do yoga in the historic Kilby House and on Cheaha Mountain.

At the risk of PETA protests, I like a fairly obese cat. It's not a personal image choice. but cats look better with some weight on them. This guy may have gone a bit too far, though.

Okay, a lot too far.

Remember B. Kliban cats, anyone?

I adore salads. A good one (to me) is a treasure hunt for chicken breast, pecans, tasty cheese and some fruit in a good balsamic on fresh romaine. I am very happy that we are growing romaine lettuce in the garden this year. Jay is set up to simply snip leaves. It's amazing!

Occasionally, though, one has to branch out from leafy greens or one becomes bored and eats things that can make one look like these cats.

Here are two easy recipes:

Cool Couscous Salad
  • 1 (10-ounce) box instant couscous
  • 6 ounces marinated artichoke heart quarters - drain and reserve liquid
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (if you like onions)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, roughly torn (if you like mint)
  • 1 package of roasted chicken breast (I suggest Oscar Mayer)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
Cook the couscous. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add the artichoke quarters, cherry tomatoes, scallions, chickpeas, cucumber and mint. Toss the chicken into the couscous. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and the reserved artichoke liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over the couscous mixture and toss lightly to combine. 

Beth's Honey-Dijon Glaze for Chicken Breasts or Pork Chops

about 1 cup of lemon juice
about 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
about 1 cup of honey
a tiny bit of garlic salt

Put these ingredients into a large skillet, cooking on low heat and stirring constantly until a nice consistency is reached and it's well mixed. Taste and add more of whichever ingredient you'd like. Place four chicken breast halves or four boneless pork chops into the mixture and simmer for at least one hour (covered). Turn chicken or pork as necessary to coat each side. Uncover for the final ten minutes or so. The honey caramelizes nicely this way, but you can transfer the meat to a broiler pan or grill to brown it up a bit if you like. Save the excess glaze and dribble it on rice.

Let me know if you try either of these and find them tasty.

 Love from Delta.