Thursday, March 1, 2012

Something about that light...

The winter months of January and February have proven to be particularly challenging and less illuminating, shall we say, than expected...but sometimes that just happens during the long, darker days of winter. Though the days are short and the nights long, winter can also become a valuable season I'm finding to move through wrapped in a warm blanket so your piggies don't freeze, while seeking clarity. One of my wisest and best-est friends emailed me this link last week pertaining to "winter" and what this season could really mean to many of us if we dare to shift our focus a bit, to broaden our views, and move out beyond our own preoccupations and worries. I found the words and intention spoken by Tony Robbins incredibly profound and helpful. I've never really been a fan of his, but after watching and listening to this snippet I chose to shift my judgmental view a bit and instead, see through his words into his heart. And isn't that just truly such a part of being so human? Passing judgement...bad girl.

I was stretching my legs last week on the trail around the Lafayette Reservoir, one of my truly favorite places to run and take in the beauty of nature. As I came around a particular bend in the trail I was literally stopped by what my eyes had naturally been drawn towards and were feasting upon...this photo (above) of a gorgeous Oak tree with the most amazing winter sunlight shining through. I'm pretty sure that my iPhone wasn't able to capture its perfect beauty but it did a pretty good job, considering. In that moment, I was reminded again of nature's beauty and truth. A tree can only stand in its place and be a tree. The sun is also just shining and doing what it knows to do for the past gazillion or so years...and when the two collide they are simply sharing the stage, never outdoing the other, but being who they were created to be. I love, no wait, admire the simplicity of that truth. There are no false pretenses in nature. A Range Rover won't help that Oak look any cooler, if ya get my drift. And just to sum that thought up, today's Yogi tea bag affirmation says so much, "Live in your strength." Wise little tea bag.

I was so inspired by the simplicity of such glorious light I decided to cook a new recipe that night with simple ingredients and minimal prep/cook time. In the mood for chicken and grilled romaine (which is really a treat), I came up with this little number (aided by my new Bon Appetit app, I have to admit) that's easy on the budget and sure to please everyone at your table, assuming they aren't offended by their salad being baked in the oven and a little charred!

Parmesan Chicken with Ceasar Roasted Romaine ~
4 Servings - The heat chars the edges of the edges of the romaine leaves and softens the inner layers.

- 7 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts

- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

- 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan, Pecorino, or Asiago cheese (about 1.5 oz.)

- 1/2 Cup gluten-free bread crumbs (Glutino makes a good product)

- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

- 2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

- 2 Garlic cloves, chopped, divided

- 2 Large hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise

Preheat over to 450 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place on prepared sheet. Combine cheese, bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat bread crumb mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about ten minutes.

Drizzle romaine with 1 tbsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 chopped garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet from oven; place romaine around chicken. Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is browned at edges, about 5 minutes. Divide among plates. Garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

The finished product after thorough taste-testing - It passed with big "Yumms" all around the table.

I seem to be learning more and more...that simple really is more, and more, really is less.

A tastier way to live, as it turns out!

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