Tag Archives: Chicken

BBQ Peach & Coconut Chicken

Good afternoon y’all! It has been a full week since my last post and it feels so wrong! My foot is still in da boot, and I have yet to get a confirmation on whether or not it is fractured.

I should be getting an MRI this week and will finally know what’s going on down there. Regardless, I definitely won’t be able to get back to my normal lifting and CrossFit workouts in the near future. I miss them so much I can’t even explain it. I don’t really look forward to working out like I used to because the workouts I am doing aren’t what I really want to do. I think it is important though to keep working out in order to prevent muscle wasting, strength loss, cardiovascular fitness decline, as well as increase blood flow for healing. Not to mention maintaining SANITY and giving an endorphin boost! I had been avoiding the rec center for the first two weeks of my injury, but I finally braved it. Every time I felt judged I just had to tell myself that a) no one really cares and b) I know I am only doing safe exercises, so if people are judging then eff them. It turns out there are a lot of machines one can do with an injured foot!

Injury-Safe Full Body Gym Workout #1

  • Pull ups until failure, 3 rounds
  • Quad extension machine, 3 sets of 8, 90 lbs
  • Hamstring flexion machine, 3 sets of 8, 80 lbs
  • Bench press, 3 sets of 8, 65 lbs (SO WEAK!)
  • Butt Kick-Back machine, 3 sets of 8 per leg, 190 lbs (ONLY do this if you are confident you can isolate the part of your foot that is not injured. I purely used my heel so no pressure on metatarsals.)
  • Back extensions, 3 sets of 12, holding 45 lb plate
  • Hanging tricep dips, 3 sets until failure

Occupying myself has been going very well. That goal list is officially annihilated. I have started up two research projects that will extend through August. The first is under Dr. Baar at UC Davis. He is trying to figure out the cellular pathway that leads to muscle growth. So, what I am doing is taking cells from rats that either have the leucine (an amino acid) transporter gene or don’t and culturing them in several different media. Then, we run a test to see which ones are growing the most proteins (AKA muscle).

The second research project is under Dr. Havel, also of UC Davis. He is investigating the effects of drinking sugary beverages on hunger, blood triglyceride levels, and insulin sensitivity. I don’t start this one until Friday, but a few times a week I will be driving out to the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento to partake. One some days I will be preparing the buffet food for the research participants (in order to see if the sugar drinkers eat more than the non-sugar drinkers) and on others I will be taking their blood and running tests on it to see the hormonal and triglyceride responses to drinking the sugar-laden drinks.

I can’t wait to learn more about the science behind these studies and get a better feel for what research is like! I will definitely blog about the cool nutrition and muscle building stuff I learn in the next month or so. :)

As far as volunteering, I found a position that I am the most excited about out of everything.

But I need your help!!!

What I am going to be doing is with LINC Housing. LINC stands for Low Income Housing and is a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing in big cities. I will be working at the housing (which are apartments) in Sacramento as a Youth Empowerment Educator. This means that once a week I will look after the kids and teens that live in the apartments for 3 hours in an after school/summer program. For 1 of those 3 hours, I get to teach the children whatever I want. Of course, I want to teach them about healthy food and exercise and inspire them partake in a healthy lifestyle. However, I have no experience with kids! Let alone teaching them! Besides my massive family reunions, I interact with children on the rare occasion. How do I get them stoked on veggies? How do I not bore them with facts and figures? I want to engage them and help them find their own fire for healthy foods and habits. If anyone has any experience or tips on how to keep kids engaged, teach them about healthy living, and make learning fun – please leave a comment or email me at lauren dot dedecker @ yahoo dot com!

And finally, a mouthwatering recipe for you. I usually don’t remake dishes – I may vary them a bit, but exact repetitions are rare. When I do replicate a meal, I know I must share it on the blog. This recipe is unique blending of the flavors of American BBQ, Indian spices, and summer produce. It may sound odd, but trust me, they go together seamlessly.

BBQ Peach & Coconut Chicken

Recipe: Serves 1. Paleo, dairy free, gluten free, low carb, high protein.

  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 5 oz chicken breast, raw
  • 1 ripe peach or nectarine
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls kale, shredded
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • spices (from greatest amount to least): cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, smoked paprika, chili pepper, TJ’s African Smoke Pepper, pinch red pepper flakes, tiny pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • shredded coconut, to top

Directions – Dice the sweet onion and cube the raw chicken breast. Place a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the onion and chicken and top with spices. [Note: If you don’t have all the spices, that is okay, it will still turn out great.] Once one side of the chicken is cooked through, flip and add the diced peach or nectarine to the pan. Add additional spices to the peach or nectarine (I used mainly the sweeter ones for the peach). Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the coconut milk and BBQ sauce. Stir.
Sprinkle salt over the entire pan. Let cook for about a minute, then add the kale. Once the kale has wilted and the sauce is thick, scrape everything onto a plate. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!!

Up next… Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins ;)

and life begins

Grr. WordPress and I aren’t getting along. I just noticed that my last post got converted to an earlier draft that basically didn’t have any content. So if you were one of the people that saw that version and thought I was exceptionally lame, feel free to go back and check it out.

Anyway, recipe time!

In my week of strict paleo, I came up with a few simple recipes that I have been itching to share. As I looked down at my plate meal after meal, I realized how differently I eat now compared to just 3 years ago. Once I got it through my head that saturated fats are not the devil, I began eating more protein, but the big changes didn’t really happen until a year ago. Reading more studies and opinions widened the range of meat that I would try. Now, I love roasted chicken with the skin, fattier cuts of beef, bacon, duck, pate, egg yolks, and sausage. But it wasn’t until I started flirting with paleo that things like liver and bone marrow began to cross my lips ;). Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t for liver. Baby steps.

Also. I am toying with the idea of getting my personal training license. I think it would be something I would enjoy doing on the side as I try to figure things out.  Does anyone have any thoughts, opinions, or experiences they would like to share?

roasted lemon rosemary chicken with chard & paleo pesto


Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken
1 pasture raised chicken breast, with skin & bone
1 tsp butter or olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed
4+ cloves of garlic
salt, to taste
Directions – Preheat the oven to 425. Place the chicken on a baking sheet. Rub the butter or olive oil over the chicken. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and let pool on the bottom of the pan. De-stem the rosemary and sprinkle over the chicken. Peel as many garlic cloves as desired and place on the chicken. Keep some whole and dice the others. Sprinkle on salt. Roast for 1 hour. Serve with sauteed chard massaged with basil pecan pesto (recipe below). Enjoyy.

Basil Pecan Pesto (paleo)

Recipe: Makes 3-5 servings

1 cup basil, packed
1/2 cup mostly roasted pecans, some cashews (for creaminess)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (secret ingredient)
a few shakes of salt
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in a tight container in the fridge. Can also be frozen! (It will brown but it tastes the same.)


Basil * Has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids protect your cells from damage (and thus, in the long run, cancer).

Nutritional Yeast * is one the very few non-meat sources of B vitamins! It also contains folic acid, biotin, and some protein and fiber.

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.

one of the unexpected benefits of lifting + a recipe

Hello from the Texas hill country! It is blue bonnet season, and they are absolutely stunning. I think one of the coolest things that a First Lady has done is how Lady Bird Johnson planted millions wild flowers all along the highways in Texas. Now, every Spring, the sides of the roads are blanketed in wild flowers. There are blue bonnets, Indian paint brushes, and daisies.

Being home has been soothing. I can actually sleep here and I’m not quite the cracked out stress ball that I am at school.  My cousin, Kelly, is visiting my mom and Steve at the same time as I, so we have all been hanging out together constantly. Home cooked meals, laying out in the sun, working out, kind of studying MCAT… and watching movies. Kelly also does CrossFit, so today we did her gym’s WOD and it was awesome! And for a WOD, it was long – 37 minutes.


45 seconds headstand, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds tricep dips, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds hollow rock, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds pistols, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds burpees, 45 seconds rest

repeat 5x

Me and Kelly! And Mom taking the photo because she wanted a “girl power photo” ;)

With my extra spare time here I have been thinking about a few things. One of them being reasons for why I lift. I realized that feeling physically strong makes me feel more emotionally strong. Its like, if I can lift this 150 pounds or whatever than I sure as hell am not going to let that comment or indiscretion knock me sideways. As I am writing this, I was going to go on about the empowerment of lifting and physical strength (which is true), but I began thinking about those who are not physically able. They are certainly emotionally strong – probably far more than your average person. So, I decided to do a little reading about how those with disabilities empower themselves, and I found this  article from Lillie Ammann. She suggests that people with disabilities empower themselves by getting out there and trying to not limit themselves from the activities that they enjoy. Also, to focus on the positives in life rather than what is lacking. Both of these recommendations easily apply to everyone. Like not letting fear keep us from going after our goals are doing what we want.

Ammann also wrote a few recommendations for those able bodies, like

  • Treat everyone you meet with respect and courtesy, and don’t ignore or exude pity to disabled people you meet.
  • Offer assistance without being condescending, but don’t be offended if it is declined.
  • Don’t occupy the facilities that are reserved for the handicapped.
That got rather off topic, but it is always good to get brought back to reality and count ze blessings! Another blessing of the week was the epic success that was this  lunch. We have fresh rosemary growing in our front yard and I wanted find a way to use it with chicken and black walnuts (my favee). 

rosemary walnut crusted chicken

Recipe: Serves 2

adapted from My Recipes

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, black if possible
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions – Preheat oven to 425°. Combine egg white and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from egg mixture; discard extra egg mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

So delicious!! And this would definitely work for dinner too, perhaps with some kale or pasta and olive oil!


Walnuts * a fabulous source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.

greek chicken and pasta

Happy St. Patty’s day! I don’t know if I will be celebrating or not tonight, but I hope y’all do! Perhaps with a Irish lager or something. Am I the only one that hates all the St. Patty’s day recipes that infest the internet and blog world around this time? I’d rather not have Guiness in my chocolate cake.  And I prefer my cupcakes to not ooze green-Jack Daniels infused frosting, thank you. My St. Patty’s day celebrating depends on if the day’s study quota is met. Although, yesterday should make that possible. This is absolutely appalling, but here was my Friday:

7am: Wake up and drink coffee, read blogs, and toast my waffle breakfast for class. (EPIC RECIPE TO COME SOON)

8-9am: Nutrition… I dont even know the title of this class. It is basically 100 different topics, mostly relating to nutrition therapy for disease. This lecture was about epigenetics and how only 5% of the population can benefit from reducing their red meat intake to under 5 servings a week.

9-10am: GI Physiology. I love this class. I love the GI tract. Freudian? Why yes, guilty as charged.

10:10-11:10am: Lift weights at the ARC!

11:30-12:30pm: Make lunch, eat it, chat on the phone a bit.

12:30-1:30pm: Start to study… but then proceed to pass out for an hour.

1:30-6:30pm: Study for finals.

6:30-8:30pm: Make this fabulous dinner below as well as some granola bars based on this recipe. My recipe later.

8:30-10:30pm: Study more. MCAT bullshit.

10:30-11pm: Realize that I HAVE BEEN IN THE SEMI-SUPINE POSITION FOR OVER 10 HOURS and am going CRAZY so go back to the gym. Run 1 mile and do some abs before the ARC closes. I am the only white person there. 11-

12:30am: Study more. FML. Shower and go to bed at 1am.

Being immobile for 10 hours is not good. Humans were simply not meant to not move for that extended period of time. I swear I have bed sores… like that of a coma patient. Also, one should never study in their bed. I only do because my room is the size of a small prison cell and is incapable of fitting anything other than my bed into itself.

Why you should never study in your bed:

  1. You are prone to falling asleep when you really want to be studying. Especially when the material makes you want to stab yourself.
  2. You will begin to associate very negative things, like the MCAT, tests, anxiety, and math equations with your bed. And then, when you actually want to fall asleep, you will feel too anxious sleeping on top the Arrhenius equation to actually do so.
  3. If you do manage to fall asleep, you will dream about doing homework, taking tests, showing up to lecture naked, and then you will wake up 4 times throughout the night in fear or panic.
Anyway, the highlight of yesterday was definitely my (first) workout and this bomb dinner!

 Greek Chicken and Pasta Salad 

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

Inspired by this recipe. It may look long, but it is just the same ingredients over and over again!
For the pasta-
  • 2 cups whole wheat penne, cooked
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatos, whole or sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 or 2 cooked Greek chicken breast (amount depends on preference, recipe below)

For the dressing-

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Greek chicken-

  • 1 chicken breast (if making 2, double all the ingredients below)
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic oil (or olive or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • few shakes oregano
  • few shakes thyme
  • a shake of garlic salt
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions –  Cook the pasta according the directions on the box. To prepare the chicken, slice a raw chicken breast into bite size pieces. Place a pan on the stove on medium low heat and add the oil. Add the minced garlic and rosemary. Lay the chicken over the garlic and rosemary in the pan. Add the lemon juice. Shake the oregano, thyme, and garlic salt over the chicken and let cook. (Note: you can also combine all of the Greek chicken ingredients in a baking dish and bake the chicken at 350 for about 12 minutes, it will be more moist but it just takes longer.) While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and press on the herbs with a fork to release the flavors. Turn the chicken and let the other side cook. Add more spices if desired. Once the chicken and pasta are done cooking, combine the drained pasta, chicken,  tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Add the feta and salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!


Ah, screw it.

an amazing lunch

So, I started a Pinterest account.

Not because I want followers, not because I want to follow, but because I needed to do something about the sick amount of recipes I have bookmarked on my browser and starred in my Google Reader. It was getting ridiculous – and they weren’t even useful because the mass quantity of unorganized information was daunting. Plus, there were no pictures with the titles, only boring text – which is not inspiring in the least. (I realize this is something I need to fix with my own blog.)

Since this Pinning has started, my recipe-following has skyrocketed! One thing I have learned though, is that just beacuse something is published in print or online does not mean that it is actually going to taste good. Some recipes have bombed, some have been decent, and a couple have blown my mind.

This one is my favorite thus far and will certainly become a staple ’round hurr…

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe: Makes 4 servings

slightly adapted from epicurious

  • 1 cup cooked farro (I used a quinoa mix!)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 4 cups green beans, cut and steamed
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp minced marjoram [Yes, you must go out and find this. I bought dried but the original calls for fresh.]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Directions – Mix farro, chicken, and green beans in a bowl. Add corn and green onions. To make the dressing, combine the oil, marjoram, and salt. Press with a spoon to release flavor. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour over salad and toss. Crumble in goat cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.


Corn * gets its yellow color from its antioxidant content, carotenoids! Also has a high fiber content, particularly insoluble, which aids in regularity!

Green beans * are full of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and beta carotene, all of which have antioxidant activity and thus reduce oxidative damage. One study showed green beans to have potent anti-inflammatory action.

Marjoram * is rich in vitamin C, A, and antioxidants. It is also one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K, which is very important for bone health!

Quinoa *  This super food has more protein, fiber, and nutrients than rice, oats, and almost every other grain.


Also, just so y’all know, I have added a workout tab to the blog! It made me realize I haven’t posted my most recent lifting routine. I am actually just about to get my 90% hangover-recovered self to the gym to do it…(First and last Thursday night outing of the quarter – don’t judge!)

Full Body Lifting Workout

This takes me about 50-55 minutes, starting with a half mile warm up jog on the treadmill. Follow with a delicious whey protein shake!

Back squats – 145 lbs – 5 sets of 6 reps (always take a break if your form begins to slip! Remember: Duck ass!)

Pull ups – 3 sets of as many as possible

Dead lifts – 120 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Kickback machine – 190 lbs – 3 sets of 6 for each leg cheek

Lat pull down – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Leg curl machine (hamstrings) – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Tricep dips – bodyweight – 3 sets of 8 (or failure)

One legged lunges (with other leg on bench) with barbell over upper back – 50 lbs – 3 sets of 8 per leg

Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 15+

Other ab work/pushups if you’ve got the energy!

sauteed chicken and sweet potatoes with creamy dijon sauce


So far, my new years resolutions have been going pretty well. I have been working on being more patient, open-minded, giving and flexible. There have definitely been a few difficulties along the way, but in the end, they have only increased my determination to reach those goals. I have particularly been excelling in my blog resolutions – I have over 10 recipe posts ready and waiting for y’all! I have been scouring blogs for recipes to make and planning them out during the week. Because I lack creativity in the dinner department (typically because I am so tired I want to keel over by 7pm), I have focused on dinner recipes. Due to the fact that I like to get in lots of protein and I like chicken – y’all have about 6 different chicken dinner recipes coming. I will try to space them out though so as not to get repetitive… This one incorporates one of my favorite, most versatile ingredients – mustard!

Sauteed Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Dijon Sauce

Recipe: Makes 2-3 servings

adapted from Very Culinary

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused grapeseed oil (divided)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (or half & half)
  • 4 tsp brown or dijon mustard

Directions –

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Dredge in floud and shake off excess. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add half of the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute for about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the other 1/2 tbsp oil to the pan and then the chopped shallots. Saute for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and rosemary sprig. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in mustard and whipping cream and let bubble a little, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and discard rosemary. Spoon over chicken and roasted sweet potatoes!


Mustard * Improves digestion (by stimulating increased saliva production) and contains the same antioxidants as turmeric (which gives it its yellow color)!

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Chicken * a great source of lean protein as well as B vitamins.


I am sorry if my posts have been dull lately! Life consists greatly of studying, classes, working out, studying, and going out when possible. I haven’t felt as blog-creative as in the past and also have been lacking in time. Any input on what y’all would like me to write more about would be helpful :)

my current culinary obsession

I rarely ever make recipes twice. Even if a meal is quite good, I yearn for variety and newness. I have heard this referred to as a “flavor slut.” Crude, but true. Basically, I’m the girl that walks into the froyo shop and samples all 9 flavors and then loses interest once its time to get a cup. (This does NOT apply to ice cream.) I think that’s why I loved the idea of cake pops and suffered through hours of labor to make Luxirare’s mini-pie pops.

A week ago, I had my friend Hope over for dinner. I had been eyeing a recipe on Eats Well With Other‘s and decided to go for it, despite the fact that I had no idea what chiles in adobo sauce were.  Within 45 minutes, we had a delicious meal of honey-chipotle spiced chicken, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes.

And Hope loved it too! Proof…

Spiced Honey-Chipotle Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

from Eats Well With Others

Recipe: serves 3

  • 1 large butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400. Dice the potatoes and squash into cubes. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread over baking sheet and bake for 15 mins.

In a small bowl, mix together the honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, and chiles with some of the adobo sauce until they form a mixture. Rub the mixture all over the chicken breasts. Use any extra to drizzle over the vegetables. Place the chicken breasts over the potatoes and squash and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

The second time I made this recipe, I was in more of a time crunch. I made the exact same sauce and cooked the chicken in it on the stove top. I heated up half of a roasted acorn squash, drizzled maple syrup over it, and then topped it with the adobo chicken. An amazing combo of sweet and spicy!

Evidence of recipe repeatage:


Chile peppers * a source of vitamin A and many potent antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties due to their capsaicin content. Capsaicin also has a metabolism elevating effect.

Vinegar * helps increase calcium absorption, controls blood sugar levels, and temporarily increases the body’s tendency to burn fat instead of glycogen for energy

Chicken * a lean source of protein and B vitamins!

Butternut squash * a great source of Vitamin C, A, potassium, manganese, and folate. It is also very high in fiber and water content!