It’s been too long…

>…since I posted a main dish meal! So I figured that I would post one of my new favorite recipes! It mainly involves a slow cooker, barley, and chicken. It yields a main dish so creamy and delectable that you’ll just want to sit and bask in its excellence.

Indian-Spiced Chicken and Barley
Ingredients
– 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tsp (roughly) turmeric

-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 large red onion, finely chopped
– 4 stalks celery, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp minced gingerroot
– 1 tbsp ground cumin
– 2 tsp ground coreander
– sprinkling of indian spice blend (garam masala/curry will do)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 cup rinsed barley
– 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
– 1 cup broth/stock (I made this with the sodium-free broth powder and water)
– sprinkling of cayenne pepper
– 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions
1. Chop chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and spread out on bottom of slow cooker. Squeeze lemon on top and sprinkle with turmeric. Toss to combine and spread back out in a single layer.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, spice blend, and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add barley and toss until well coated. Add tomatoes with juice and stock/broth and bring to a rapid boil. 
before the tomatoes/broth

3. Pour over the chicken. Cook in slow cooker on Low for 5 hours or High for 2 1/2 hours. Stir in the cayenne pepper and yogurt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

I forgot to snap a photo from the slow cooker or my plate, so this is the dish in a lunch container. 
It may look like mush, but it is sooo good. You will not be sorry that you tried it! I served it alongside steamed broccoli and carrots to round out the meal.
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Lazy Monday

Monday monday monday… what a beautiful day coming off of a work-weekend.

Today’s Workout: Kick-It Interval Class –> A great workout that mixes kick boxing cardio with strength training intervals for an intensive one hour kick-butt-sweat-session

Afterwards, I had a nice cup of my cocoa-yogurt-cereal concoction and handled some tax preparation stuff. I am fortunate to have a mother who volunteered to do my taxes with her Turbo Tax… otherwise I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do. I can’t believe it’s tax time already!

I was busy doing things on the internet… can’t really remember what. I think it was a combination of reading blogs and buying groupons… (note to self: try managing time better) Anyways, I ended up being very hungry by the time I got around to eating lunch, so I enjoyed a pink lady apple while doing my prep-work.

Luckily, I didn’t have to hold off on a good lunch for too long because I was eating everything cold. I ate some leftover Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Barley Risotto (cooked with added chicken breast) overtop of some romaine lettuce with carrot chips and sugar snap peas on the side. I ate it cold because I dislike microwave-reheating foods and was too lazy to pull out a saucepan to heat it on the stove.
Funny story: the first time I ate this “risotto”, it was not nearly done cooking because I was running late to class. It was more like a chicken, half-cooked barley, half-raw sweet potato soup. Luckily I was able to finish cooking it on low while I was at school so that I could still enjoy the leftovers.
A little while later I had some nuts because I was still feeling a bit hungry. I’ve been eating a lot of nuts lately, and I’m so glad that I started! In the past I would describe myself as being almost scared of nuts. I avoided them due to their high calorie content, but honestly, since I’ve been eating them more regularly, I’ve actually maintained my weight very well and even lost a pound. (Not the I needed or wanted to) And they have such a good nutritional profile! Click here for just one site’s overview on nuts.
Coming soon: How to make Homemade Yogurt