I’m infusing some energy and excitement into this dreary afternoon.
I’ve been feeling a little low energy all day – something I attribute to the long run of standardized testing we’re stuck in at this point in the school year. I try my best to stay upbeat during this time, but it wears on teachers just as much as students. My attitude during these strenuous months is central to student’s morale; they feed off of my energy and confidence. So, after a long day on the cheer squad, I’m drained.
As I pull out of the parking lot, wanting nothing more than a couch and a cheesy pizza and some ice cream, I shift my focus. I could have one of those lazy, binge-afternoons (we all do it!) but I know that tomorrow I won’t feel great – neither physically or about how I used my time. I can feel the affects of my nutrition acutely, can’t you? My decision today affects my mood and energy tomorrow. So, what do I really need to deal with this mental slump?
The answers vary day to day, but one constant is a workout. I keep a change of gym clothes in my car at all times in case I have time to stop by for a quick one. Goodness if I don’t trudge begrudgingly in and leave with a spring in my step. Sometimes I’ll come home, walk my dog for a couple miles, listening music to relax me – when do we ever take time to just listen to music anymore? Sometimes I hop in the bath with a good book. I have these wonderful sea salt soaks that really are rejuvenating. I just finished The Couple Next Door ( meh… it was fine) and am in the middle of My Life with the Saints (A great book if you’re into theology!). These things are so much more fulfilling and nourishing than TV and too much bad food!
Food of course can not be avoided, so my last means of relaxation is cooking myself and my family a delicious, healthy dinner. For this stressful day, I choose an easy, healthy staple that leaves me feeling nourished without the hassle, an invigorating feeling that carries over to tomorrow and empowers me to combat the next day of work.
Chicken and tomatoes sounds simple, and it really is a simple dinner. However, it’s a fantastic one, and a staple in our house. You’ll need a little time to blister then simmer down the tomatoes, but it is well worth the wait. We serve this with a crusty baguettes for mopping up the delicious sauce. May it bring you the great feels it always brings us on a busy weekday!
Chicken & TomatoesPrint Recipe
- 4 3-oz chicken thighs, fat trimmed
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 sprigs thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- ½ cup flour
- Baguette (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add a little oil to the pan. Place flour in small bowl, along with about ½ tsp salt and some fresh ground pepper. Mix. Dredge chicken in flour. Add to hot pan and cover. Allow chicken to cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Uncover and flip chicken. Recover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is crispy on the outside and cooked through. Remove from pan.
Add a little more oil and the tomatoes. Cover tomatoes and cook on medium high for about 5-7 minutes, shaking tomatoes every couple minutes. You want them to blister and then burst. As they start to burst, add the minced garlic and red pepper lakes and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and vinegar, bring to a boil, and add the fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes or until reduced to your satisfaction. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add chicken back into the pan. Cover with tomato mixture and cook for a minute. Flip chicken and repeat for an additional minute.
Serve with some bread from a baguette to mop up the delicious sauce.