November Athlete of the Month || Steve Singleton!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our November Athlete of the Month is Steve Singleton! Steve has only been a part of the CFA family since July, but he came in HOT and has already made massive jumps in his training! Steve is a regular in the “4:30 Fire” crew, but you’ll occasionally find him popping into other classes, always making fitness a priority in his schedule. From day one, he has had some clear goals in mind and immediately began doing the extra work to achieve them. He takes the time to do the extra work, schedule individual sessions, focus on technique, and it shows in the PRs he’s hitting!! Steve exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and has shown some awesome progress in his time here. Steve, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our November Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:Steve Singleton

Words to live by?
Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

What is your fitness background?
I was an athlete growing up, but exchanged the weights for a whisk a couple of years ago which is one of the reason I turned to CrossFit.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I briefly tried Crossfit in New England, but it didn’t workout. I joined CFA last July.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I don’t think I was nervous because I knew it would take time and patience to learn things, but I also wasn’t confident in myself as an athlete. Today, I walk in with confidence in the skills I have learned.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
I truly enjoy seeing everyone push themselves and each other with every workout. We all have strengths and weaknesses, therefore can step up and help one another get through each day.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
My current goal isn’t a number, but a time. I took a picture of myself on June 19, 2018 at one of the lowest points of my life, one month before joining CFA; I look forward to taking another picture on June 19, 2019 to see how far I’ve come.

My short term goal was to get a single muscle-up… nailed it.. now, on to the rings

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Less really is more! With time and practice focusing on form, the PRs will come.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Breakfast tacos! Any kind any way.. I learned the hard way that New Englanders don’t know what they are or how to make ’em right. Worst two years ever! (Not really)😎

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I use my body everyday as a massage therapist so keeping up with fitness is key to my longevity

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
The day I broke my pr by 90lb on the power clean. All the 1-on-1 sessions with Dylan and pointers from the coaches really paid off!

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
The Triwizard Tournament: for time

  1. 50 squat snatches
  2. 50 burpee into jumping pull-ups
  3. 1600 meter run

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’m a massage therapist by trade, but a pastry chef by hobby. I went back to school when I turned 30 to get my degree in Pastry Arts, just for fun. Also, I’m a retired professional wrestler (just like on TV)

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
The workout was a hint to this… I’m a HUGE potthead aka Harry Potter nerd. I was 12 when the first book came out and I’ve been a fan ever since. The dragon tattoo on my shoulder is a custom piece I had drawn by taking 3 pieces of graphic art from the movies.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words
As someone who’s is naturally introverted I’d like to just thank everyone, coaches and workout crew, for making me feel welcome from day one. Coming to CFA was something that was definitely out of my comfort zone, but with great risk comes great reward because joining was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Kitchen Adventures || Sweet potato breakfast bowls

Happy Hump Day! I hope your week has been full of awesome things! It’s been a bit hectic around here, but that’s only because we are planning our 10 Year Anniversary Party! We’re so excited y’all 🙂

I’m going to keep this one brief because I have a ton of things to do for said party, so we’re going to get straight to the kitchen. I’m usually a savory breakfast person. Don’t get me wrong, I love pancakes and pastries, but if it isn’t paired with something savory, I’m usually not into it for breakfast. This recipe may be the exception to that.

It’s sweet without being overly sweet… if that makes sense… and like all my favorite things, you can customize this with your favorite toppings. I’ll share what I used, but also list a few other ideas for you. If you need a super quick breakfast option, this is the way to go. Enjoy!

The amounts I’m sharing made 3 bowls for us… adjust accordingly 🙂

Sweet Potato breakfast bowls

INGREDIENTS
2 Large sweet potatoes
1-2 Scoops protein powder (I used SFH churro, but I think a vanilla, coconut, or even chocolate would be good in this)
1 Large apple
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
2 TBSP Almond Butter

Topping options

Raisins
Sliced Almonds
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Rolled Oats
*Optional – a drizzle of date syrup, honey, or maple syrup on top

INSTRUCTIONS
You have 2 options with the sweet potatoes. If you prefer oven baked, wash and poke your potatoes with a fork several times. Wrap them in foil and baked them at 425 for 45-50 minutes…

**If you go the microwave route, start your apples first so they can bake while you prep the rest.

I do not have time or patience for that so I go the microwave route. Wash and poke with a fork 5-6 times. Wrap them in wax paper and microwave. Usually about 7 minutes, but if you do them together it may be a bit longer. Rotate them half way through and microwave until soft and fork tender. Cut open and let them cool for a few minutes before handling.

**Apples – Preheat the oven to 350. Wash, core, and dice your apple into cubes. I like to leave the skin on, but it’s up to you. Toss the apples in a bowl with coconut oil (liquid form) along with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the apples out on the sheet. Bake the apples for 10-15 minutes or until softened and golden. Your kitchen is going to smell amazing!

Once your potatoes have cooled enough to handle them (don’t let them get cold if you plan to eat this immediately) remove the skin and put them in a large bowl. Mash them up with a fork. Add the protein powder and mix it in well. If you’re having trouble mixing it in, add a little bit of liquid of your choice. I used coconut milk. You can also had more cinnamon and nutmeg to this mixture if you prefer. 

Dish out a bowl of the potato/protein mixture. Top it with a tablespoon of almond butter, the apples you just baked, and whatever else you prefer! Mine had raisins, chia & flax seed, sliced almonds, raw rolled oats, and a little drizzle of date syrup.

You could also skip the apples and do chocolate chips instead. I haven’t tried it, but I bet this would be good with some blueberries, shaved coconut, any other kind of nuts… It’s up to you! It takes on almost an “oatmeal” feeling so top it up however you want.

Even though I’m a savory breakfast person, I’ll definitely be making this again.

Kitchen Adventures || Happy Halloween {Treats}!

 

What do you call a pumpkin that has had too many Halloween treats??? 

(read the post to find the punch line…)

Happy Halloween! Today is the date that it’s acceptable to eat massive amounts of candy that’s been given to you by strangers! Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween! I think growing up as a dancer elevated my love for costumes and dressing up. I still have a huge tub full of costumes… I think there is something really fun about getting to be someone or something else for a day and just live it up! In fact, a gal I knew when I lived in Kansas has the pleasure of doing it on a daily basis! If you want to be seriously amazed, check out her instagram.

Anyhoo… this post is about food, not expressing our other “selves” 😉 so let’s talk about sweets! Treats come in all forms! Halloween is a day for candy, cookies, baked goods, sweets of all kinds… I believe that there is nothing wrong with indulging from time to time, but I also believe that if you’re going to indulge it should be fully worth it. If you are trying to stay on track with your eating, days like today can be difficult, but I have a few recipes for some healthier alternatives to help satisfy that sweet tooth without binging on that overpriced store bought candy.

I have one recipe that I did and then I’m linking a few other choices so you have some variety. Check it out!

 

So this first one is the one I made. I love chocolate and peanut butter… who doesn’t? But, especially on the Whole Life Challenge, most of the good stuff that contains that combo is non-compliant. I actually made this recipe as a little energy bite that we could pop before or after a workout to give us a little boost, but it tasted so good that I have to share it as a treat.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Balls

INGREDIENTS

2 cups medjool dates pitted (roughly 20 dates)
1 TBSP Coconut Oil
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP Peanut (or Almond) butter
3 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 1/2 cup rolled oats divided
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, cover the dates with 2 cups of boiling water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. This softens them and allows for a smoother mixture
Drain and pat them dry and add them to in a food processor with a steel blade.  Add 2 tablespoons of the water, your coconut oil, cocoa powder, chia seeds, peanut butter, and 1 cup of rolled oats.

Blend until smooth, scraping down sides. If you are having trouble with consistency, add a little bit of water (1 TBSP at a time) until the mixture blends smoothly. Then, add the remaining ½ cup of rolled oats and about 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut and pulse until it’s mixed in. You want to leave these roughly chopped for texture, but you do want them well mixed in.

Taste your mixture and make adjustments to the flavor if you want to.

Put the food processor in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before rolling into 1 tablespoon sized balls.

Coat your hands in coconut oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to you. Roll into 1 tablespoon sized balls, and toss to coat in remaining ¼ cup of shredded coconut. I actually added a few more oats in for the coating as well.

Let them chill in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes before enjoying. Keep them (if you have any left over) stored in the refrigerator.

If these don’t spark your interest, here is a list of recipes that look pretty dang enticing as well! I’m sticking with my energy balls for now because they are Whole Life Challenge compliant, but as far as cleaner alternatives go, these are some great options.

Ba dum tss!

And remember…. if you allow yourself to indulge in treats (store bought OR home made!) … do it in moderation 🙂 Don’t let yourself turn into a PLUMPKIN! 

The Four Sisters || Which one are you?

4 sisters getting coffee.png

Thrivestry “Story Time” – The Four Sisters

There once were four sisters who all trained together at the gym. They had been there a while, and all of them had hit a point in their training at which they started to have some opinions on how they wanted to train.

The oldest sister decided she would always do the hardest option. She was always looking for the hard path. She relentlessly attacked her weaknesses every day. She always did the hardest programs and went to the toughest coaches. Her diet was perfect, she worked out for hours every single day, and she never took a day off.

The second oldest sister decided that she would always do the safest option. She was always looking for the easy path. She avoided the things she was bad at, seemed dangerous, or didn’t enjoy. She stayed with the easy programs and scaled down most movements. She liked going to the coaches that didn’t push her too hard but cheered her on no matter what. She said her diet was ‘pretty good’, never tracked her food, but she did say “no” to her favorite desert or wine every once in a while. She came to the gym when she ‘had time’ and when she ‘wasn’t too tired’.

The third oldest sister could not make a decision. She was always starting one path or another. She went to a hard class and did the hardest options one day, then didn’t come to the gym for a week. She spent an hour working on a weakness, then did not touch it again for 6 months. She was constantly looking at other routines online, starting and quitting a new one every week or two. Her diet changed week to week, and sometimes it even changed in the same day. One day she started to train for a marathon, and the next day she started a program that would help her with her play better for her softball team. She would come to the gym 6 days in a row, then not come at all for over a week.

The fourth sister was the youngest. She decided to ‘pick her battles’. She spent some time focusing on just being consistent coming to the gym, but didn’t try to crush herself every day. She worked on one weakness at a time but didn’t overdo it. When she started a new program or diet, she stuck with it for at least 6 months, and only worried about small changes that would provide the biggest benefit. When she was feeling overwhelmed, she took it easy. When she was feeling bored, she found a new challenge. When she wasn’t sure what to do, what path to take, she asked a coach. When her progress got interrupted, she didn’t beat herself up or try to make up for it. She just got back to basics and worked on being consistent.

The Sisters Go on a Trip

The four sisters were traveling together in the far east for a vacation.

One of the days, they had some time in the morning before going to visit an ancient monastery.

The sisters were not getting along because the morning hadn’t gone well.

The oldest sister was frustrated because she couldn’t do her full program at the hotel gym that morning and they didn’t have all the foods she needed to eat according to her strict diet.

The second sister wasn’t feeling well because she hadn’t worked out since the trip began, and she kept eating everything that looked tasty.

The third sister was feeling rushed and frantic because spent the morning looking up workouts to do, ran out of time, and was only able to run on a treadmill for 10 minutes. She had to skip breakfast because she was running late and couldn’t decide what to eat.

The youngest sister was having a great day because she slept in a bit. Instead of an aggressive workout, she did some shoulder pre-hab to help her shoulder that has nagged her in the past, then did a short little circuit that left her breathless but not wrecked. She ate some healthy stuff but didn’t feel too bad about indulging in some new treats as well.

The Sisters Were Not Getting Along

When the sisters got to the monastery, they were arguing with one another about their day.

The oldest sister thought her sisters were lazy, making them late all the time, and too laid back. The second sister thought they had woken her up too early, made her guilty about not working out, and judged for eating the yummier foods. The third sister thought they were rushing her too much, ignoring her (not helping her decide what to do), and she was feeling hungry because all of them ate but her.

The youngest sister was just trying to enjoy herself and wasn’t too worried about her sisters.

They had just finished watching a demonstration of the physical feats of the monastery residents, learning about the long history of teaching and training, and getting some instruction themselves, when one of the teachers asked if they had any questions.

The Sisters Learn Valuable Lessons

One of the sisters asked: “We all have similar goals of feeling good about how we look, being able to do fun things, and staying active a long time… which one of us is using the best approach?”

The teacher looked at each sister in turn and gave them advice.

She told the oldest sister that her training would lead to burn out and injury. The guilt when she missed a workout or ate ‘bad’ was going to make her not fun to be around and make her upset with herself no matter how much she achieved.

She told the second sister that her training was going make her bored and not produce any change. The years would fly by and she will be disappointed with her lack of results. She would feel judged by everyone and wish she had committed to something sooner.

She told the third sister that her training was going take a lot of energy and time, but not produce meaningful results. She will always be frantic to find the ‘better’ program, a ‘better’ technique, or a ‘better’ coach. She will always feel like the ‘next’ program will be the ultimate one, only be disappointed when it doesn’t work any better than all of the others. She will feel that everyone thinks she is a quitter and that the reason that she isn’t progressing is because something is wrong with her.

Then the teacher turned to the youngest sister and said:

“Your way is not the easy way, but it is the best way. And you still have lessons to learn.

You must learn when to push hard, when to let things go, and when to stop and wait.

Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed, so you must learn to accept it, work through it, and plan for downtime in the future.

Sometimes you will feel bored or in a rut, so you must learn to pick a new challenge that is difficult or fun.

Sometimes you will feel confused, so you must learn where you can find clarity or who you can go to for advice.

The most difficult part will be not getting stuck on one path, stuck trying to decide, and to not get swept up in other people’s journeys.

If you continually work on these things, you will get results the fastest and you be most likely to succeed in all the things you desire.”

The Sisters Return

The rest of the vacation went by and the sisters came back with a new appreciation for the different approaches to training and life.

The oldest sister planned periods of time where she would just have fun with her second sister, and she let herself ‘indulge’ in her favorite foods occasionally.

The second sister picked at least one day a week to really push herself and decided to master one of the movements she liked doing. She also challenged herself to pay more attention to what she ate.

The third sister talked to a coach and settled in on a routine that she can stick to for 6 months. She is going to workout more with her oldest sister to keep her consistent. She is also going to stick with some simple nutrition rules that aren’t too extreme.

The youngest sister was making excellent progress, surpassing her sisters even, making them proud (and maybe a bit jealous).

Then she got pregnant…

But that is story for another time…

I hoped you enjoyed our little ‘parable’ about the 4 sisters!

Which sister do you find yourself relating to most?

Do you understand how to balance your life so that you can have what the youngest sister was working toward and what the teacher was trying to convey?

In life we shouldn’t try to live in extremes. We need to focus on small changes that create balance. We need to look at our schedule and routines and make deliberate changes that will keep us moving in the right direction.

We need to understand that nothing stays the same forever. We must remember that having some clear goals, stopping to ‘take stock’ of how we are doing regularly, and having a plan for when things change, is a recipe for success.

Thrive on.

-jj

Kitchen Adventures || Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Hey guys! It’s still raining! And… Austin is under a boil water notice which can make meal prepping somewhat difficult. I’m not on Austin water at home so luckily I didn’t have to worry about that, but we are having to use bottles at the gym instead of our fountain… womp… Anyway, this too shall pass!

Meal prep looked a bit different for me this week since we were driving on Sunday so I tried to keep my recipes simple and quick since I was actually having to do it Monday after work. There was a lot of football in our weekend which is what inspired this recipe. We drove up to Fort Worth for the OU/TCU game (BOOMER!) and then watched the Texans play before we hopped in the car to head home. Cram a Halloween party between those two games and you can imagine I was ready to get back to a normal routine. Don’t get me wrong, we had an AWESOME weekend, but I felt like I was craving some greens like crazy which is why I loaded this up with kale.

We’ve already established that wings and football are a match made in heaven, but this is a little different take on the subject. This week, we’ve got a sweet potato stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken and some simple sauteed kale on the side. Sounds easy (and it is) but the results were awesome! If you made the buffalo wings from my earlier recipe,  you can go through the same process with the sauce for this one to tone it down a bit and give it a silkier texture. If you didn’t, you can check that out here.

Also, one last shameless plug for our Barbells for Boobs event this weekend! 

I’m a little over half way to my personal goal – If you’d like to make a donation, you can hit up my page here: 

https://www.barbellsforboobs.org/fundraisers/genevieverounkles/barbells-for-boobs

Or the team page: 

https://www.barbellsforboobs.org/fundraisers/teamcrossfitaustin

OR you can choose any of the members on our team and donate to their pages. 

 

BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFF SWEET POTATOES & SAUTEED KALE

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potatoes & chicken
2 Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 cup hot sauce (I use Louisiana)
3-4 TBSP butter (Optional – used to tone down the spice of the sauce)
*Optional toppings – green onions, cilantro, avocado

Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the chicken breasts in olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and bake for appx. 35 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Once cooked, let them cool for a few minutes and then shred the meat with 2 forks.

If you prefer to bake your sweet potatoes in the oven, go for it. I usually take the faster route and do them in the microwave. Wash the potatoes well. Pierce the skin 5-6 times and wrap in wax paper. Place on a microwaveable plate and microwave 7-10 minutes (if doing both together) or until they are soft, rotating halfway through.  Once they are finished, remove, slice them in half and put them on plates or in meal prep containers. Lightly mash the potato inside the skin to prepare for filling.

While the chicken and sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the sauce. If using butter, melt it first in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the hot sauce and stir. Adjust the spice by adding more butter or more hot sauce. Once you’ve found your desired flavor, mix well with your shredded chicken breast.

Top the potato with your buffalo chicken and serve with green onions, cilantro, avocado, or ranch dressing!

For the Kale
6 cups Kale – torn and stems removed
2-3 TBSP coconut oil
2 large cloves of garlic- minced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Himalayan pink sea salt – to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the kale and coat in the oil – saute for 1-2 minutes before adding the garlic. Add the garlic and almonds. Saute until kale is tender and rich green. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Season to taste with salt.

For the ranch – This is a little easier than the one I shared in my other post.
Seasoning 
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion granules
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
Combine well in a jar until ready for use.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of water and add seasoning until you are satisfied with the flavor. I usually use 2-3 TBSP. You can adjust consistency with water and flavor by adding more seasoning or yogurt.

Kitchen Adventures || Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is upon us! I think I’d have liked it to creep on a little more slowly, but hey, I guess a 40 degree drop in less than 12 hours is appropriate for “Fall” right? I know, cheesy…

Anyway, as we all know, my recipe choices tend to be influenced by the weather and I LOVE Fall flavors. I actually made this as a weeknight dinner last week because I wanted something “Fall” and I wanted to just make something that was easy to throw together. Tim and I liked it so much that when I asked what he wanted for meal prep this week, his first choice was this stuffed acorn squash. The blend of spicy, savory, and sweet is so satisfying. Not only does it taste amazing, but acorn squash is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can read about all the benefits here and enjoy the fact that something that tastes so good is also doing great things for your body.

On to the recipe! I tried to give accurate measurements on everything here, but I usually just toss it in the pan and adjust by taste so if you want more or less of something, go for it! That’s what’s great about one-pan meals.

INGREDIENTS
2 Large Acorn Squash – Halved
Olive Oil
1 LB Hot Italian Sausage
1/2 cup uncooked tri-colored quinoa
1 small onion – finely diced
2 large stalks of celery – finely diced
1 large apple – diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries (no added sugar)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
3 cups packed kale – torn and stems removed
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Start your squash first. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush a little olive oil on the inside and flat edges, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place face down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until fork tender.

Follow the cooking instructions on your quinoa. Usually 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa to 1 cup water, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until fluffy.

While the squash is baking, heat a large pan over med-high heat and brown your Italian sausage. If using links, remove casings. Once meat is browned, remove from pan, pat dry, and set aside. In the same pan, add a little olive oil and saute the onions and celery until they start to soften (appx 3 min). Add the garlic and stir continuously for about 1 minute (don’t let it burn!) Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in your apples and kale next. You may have to pack the kale in a bit. Reduce the heat to med and put a lid on the pan. Allow the kale to steam for 3-4 minutes stirring as needed. Once the kale has softened and turned bright green, add the sausage back in. Add your almonds, cranberries, and quinoa and stir all the ingredients until well combined. Remove from the heat.

If your squash has finished backing, remove it from the oven and flip them over so the cut side is face up. Depending on how large the hole is, you may want to scoop a little squash out so you can fill it with a good amount of the filling. I usually scoop a bit out of each of them and place it in another dish to go with any of the leftover filling I may have.

Fill each squash with a heaping amount of filling (carefully!) Return them back into the over and bake for a another couple of minutes to heat throughout and gently brown the cut side of the squash.

Remove and serve immediately or pack in meal prep containers and enjoy later in the week!

Happy cooking!

-G

Kitchen Adventures || Sweet Chili Chicken Bowl

Howdy! How was everyone’s weekend? We watched some football and some baseball on Saturday. Happy with one game and a little bummed about the other, but life goes on!

Sunday was a full day! We took my niece and nephew to the river for their first time. That was also a situation where some things went well and others not so much. Let’s just say that when the rock got slippery, I was the one that went under and Madelyn lived. You could call me a hero… 😉 All in all, it was a good time.


After the river it was home for meal prep. You’ll see the fruits of that labor below. As you all know, we’re on Whole Life Challenge right now and this recipe was actually a little more difficult to make compliant, but that’s what I love about the challenge. It pushes you to get creative and find alternative options! I’m feeling better overall and less than two weeks in I’m already seeing some visual progress. Just sayin…. you should join us next time.

Post-prep, we set out to do some yard work and I made a new friend, whom I now realize was a black widow spider… Maybe it’s the lack of sugar in my diet right now, but I was like “Hey Tim! Come look at this spider! She looks like a little sixlet!” Y’all remember that candy? She seemed the least aggressive of the “friends” I made on Sunday (SCORPIONS!!) but I guess I should just stick to the raking and the friends I already have.

 

 

 

Anyhoo, on to the recipe.  I LOVE Asian flavors. Sweet Chili sauce is one of my favorite things on the planet, but most recipes for it include sugar or at best, honey which are both no-nos on WLC. The recipe below is a WLC compliant version, but if you aren’t on WLC and you want to use honey, I personally think the flavors would blend better than with the dates, but it’s up to you! We’ve knocked out all 4 bowls of this already (that’s how good it is!) and it’s definitely one that will stay in the rotation. There are a few “parts” to this recipe, but I promise it’s easier than it looks and the whole thing can be done in about 30 minutes! Let me know how you guys like it!

Sweet Chili Chicken Bowls

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup water

Begin the coconut rice first. Add the jasmine rice, garlic, salt, coconut milk, and water to a sauce pot, and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice, and set it aside until ready to serve. If using for meal prep, divide it into 4 containers and set aside for the other ingredients to be added.

For the Sauce:


Ingredients: I DOUBLED THIS** I used half to cook with, but I love sauces so I doubled and use the rest to drizzle when I reheat 🙂

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Date Syrup (you can also buy this in the store) or Honey (more/less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp sambal oelek (found in the international food aisle near the sriracha)
  • 1/2 Tbsp tapioca starch + 1 Tbsp water

Instructions

Add the rice vinegar, honey, water, and sambal oelek to a small sauce pot. Heat and stir the mixture over medium heat until the ingredients are well combined

Stir the tapioca starch into 1 Tbsp water until dissolved, then pour it into the sauce pot with the sweet chili sauce. Continue stirring and heating until the mixture comes up to a simmer, at which time the tapioca starch will thicken the sauce and go from appearing cloudy to clear.

Use the sauce immediately, or refrigerate and use within one week.

 

For the Rest:

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce (more to drizzle later!) 
  • 8-10 oz of fresh pineapple, cut into “tidbits”
  • 1 lb. broccoli florets (I buy crowns from the produce section and portion into florets)
  • 1 package snow peas

While the rice is cooking, prepare the steamed broccoli and snow peas. Cut the broccoli crown into florets. Add one inch of water to a large pot, place a steaming basket (or colander) in the pot, then place the broccoli crowns and snow peas in the basket. Place a lid on the pot, then place it over medium-high heat. Allow the water to come up to a boil, and steam the broccoli and snow peas until it is bright green and tender (about 5 minutes). Remove the veggies from the heat and set aside until ready to serve or portion into your four meal prep bowls

While the rice and veggies are cooking, prepare the chicken stir fry. Dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season with a pinch of salt. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and stir and cook until the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.

If not pre-cut, chop your pineapple into small pieces and add the pineapple to the skillet along with the sweet chili sauce. Stir and heat the sauce and pineapple through (about 2 minutes).

Once the chicken is finished, portion it with your rice and veggies and drizzle sauce from the pan on each bowl.

Hands down, one of my favorite recipes now. We’ve devoured it! Enjoy!

-G

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