IMG_1768

I miss Charleston. The Coast just does something to me. It’s one of my favorite places. Being able to workout or run with these kinds of views is even better. Check out this view:

And then here is where I got to work out:

IMG_1775.jpg

I lived the first 18 years of my life right smack on the coast. For about 95% of that time, I was able to either walk out my door and enjoy the marsh in my backyard, or walk about 400 meters down the road and enjoy THE Intercoastal Waterway (and the marsh). Marsh mud smell is one of my favorite scents. I took it for granted. If my now 28 year old self could have told my 16 year old self anything, it would have been to take advantage of those running views, because one day, all you’ll have is Lake Hartwell. It was a fun trip though. There was a lot of down time. We made the most of the colder temps and the wind. We always love spending good quality time with the Wilsons, too. So that was great. I love their boys like they’re my own, but I love time with just Kelly and Jason even more.

Oh, something else to be happy about. SO MANY PEOPLE at CFEC are really trying to clean up their eating. There’s a lot of talk about prepping food, zone, blocks, portion sizes, and good food. It really makes me happy. Forming those habits are going to make all of us way better in the gym, but also just feel better to do everyday life stuff. It’s great what eating clean can do for you. It will allow you to have way more energy, feel better, feel like a BA, and feel better about the way you look in that bathing suit that you’re about to start wearing more of. One of the reasons CrossFit works is because of the accountability that comes with it. We have coaches at our gym, including myself, that really want to help people form these great habits.

But speaking of good food, I made this chicken for Dan and I last night, and it’s amazing I was a little skeptical because of the method I used to cook the chicken. It was a total experiment. But it turned out great, so I thought I would share it with ya. Also, it’s hard to screw up a recipe that has bacon AND avocado in it.

Bacon Wrapped, Spinach-Mushoom-Avocado Stuffed Chicken (that’s a mouthful, but I wanted to make sure all the ingredients were included in the title)

IMG_1796.jpg

Makes 2 servings (For all you Zone Eaters out there, 1 serving of this is the perfect amt. of food for a 3 block meal. If you don’t care about Zone, then ignore that. Also, if you want more servings -for example, four servings- just double the recipe). 
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 
  • 2 small-medium chicken breasts – thawed out
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped into small pieces – you want them to fit in that chicken.
  • 3 cups spinach
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Coconut oil (or another favorable oil for cooking).
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (or garlic salt, to taste, if you’re like me and didn’t have any)
  • Optional Spices: pepper and cumin, to taste
  • Toothpicks (if you are more prepared than me and have them lying around)
Instructions: 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place a skillet on low to medium heat, and begin cooking bacon on both sides. HERE’S THE KICKER THOUGH – Only cook the bacon halfway. Pull the bacon off the skillet and set aside after it’s halfway cooked. You can get away with not cooking your bacon at all on the front end, since it will be baked on top of the chicken later on. However, I like cooking it halfway for three reasons: 1. It produces the perfect amount of bacon fat to cook your mushrooms and spinach in. 2. Everything tastes better when cooked in bacon fat – and don’t flip out, a little fat is good for you. And 3. I was still a little scared about only cooking it in the oven. This was a total experiment that ended up working well for me. 
  • Throw chopped mushrooms on the pan. If you need to, feel free to add a little bit of coconut or olive oil to the pan if you feel like the mushrooms are sticking too much. This is a last result though. The bacon fat should do the trick!
  • Once the shrooms are 3/4 of the way cooked, add your spinach.
  • Then, add your garlic, pepper, and cumin.
  • Butterfly chicken breasts. Pound ’em flat. Here is a great tutorial. Step 3 is optional though. I didn’t do it.
  • Cut open your avocado, and scoop out 2 tbsp per chicken. I used a knife to spread it on one side of the inside of chicken breast.
  • Add spinach and shroom concoction to chicken while it is still butterflied open.
  • Close chicken, and put toothpicks in chicken to keep it closed while cooking, if you have toothpicks, that is! (I didn’t. Wasn’t prepared. But it still worked).
  • Then, wrap your halfway cooked bacon strips around your chicken breasts. It doesn’t have to look pretty. I promise, they’ll get fully cooked in the oven. 
  • Place bacon wrapped, stuffed chicken breasts on a parchment lined baking sheet. If you don’t have parch paper, spray baking sheet down lightly with coconut or olive oil.
  • Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until there is no longer pink in the chicken. Keep and eye on that chicken. 30 minutes was perfect for me, but my chicken was barely thawed out. You may need less time depending on thickness of chicken and how thawed out it is. BUT DON’T OVERCOOK IT. WE DON’T WANT DRY CHICKEN. This recipe is too good for that, and so are you.
  • Take chicken out of oven, and remove toothpicks before consuming.
  • The zucchini side dish goes great with the chicken. It makes it even better! But that recipe will be on here at a later date. Just so you know though, all I did was cut up 2 zucchinis – enough for 2 servings – cook over medium heat, with a little oil, pepper, salt, and lemon pepper seasoning (from Trader Joe’s)
Notes for Zone Eaters: I got the “2 servings” based on what I would eat on the Zone Diet – 3 blocks. If it doesn’t look like enough food for you, maybe it’s not! I’m just going by what I would eat. Also, I know chicken sizes will differ. The prefect scenario in this is to find a chicken breast that is around 3 oz, but it still thick enough for you to butterfly and stuff with good things. The chicken will shrink a little when you cook it, which is why adding in a little bacon won’t hurt your protein block count. You’d have to eat about 3 pieces of bacon for it to total out to 1 oz (1 block). 
Breakdown for this meal:
3 blocks protein (chicken and bacon), 3 blocks carbs (mushroom, spinach, and zucchini), 3 blocks fat (2 tbsp avocado and the little bit of oil for the pan)
As always, let me know if you have questions!
General Notes: Like I said earlier, if you want to make 4 servings, instead of 2, just double the recipe.  was just making enough for Dan and myself to try. 

 

 

Enjoy!