Mango Barbecue Chicken!

Hello, hello!

We just had a MAJOR rain storm blow through here.

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And, apparently, a cold snap is following right behind. Like, the temperature is supposed to drop so far so fast that it might even snow. SNOW! Mind you, it was 82 degrees on Sunday. It was about 70 this morning and it is presently 64 degrees (according to my weather app) so the temp is definitely dropping. Rumor has it that it could be in the 30s tomorrow morning! I’m not prepared for a freeze! Oh, those poor little flowers I just planted!!! 😦

Bright side – the pollen has been RIDICULOUS and the rain at least washes it away some. Seriously, the puddles are rimmed in YELLOW!

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Bless you!

And, insert witty segue here…… nope. Got nothing.

So, we grilled a lot this weekend.

Besides grilled cheese – really. cheese on the grill. it was AMAZING! – we threw down some pretty awesome barbecue chicken.

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Mango Barbecue Chicken, to be exact. 🙂

As in, make your own Mango Barbecue Sauce and slather it on some chicken.

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I found the recipe in my Clean Eating cookbook and the Harris Teeter had mangoes on sale so it was a total no-brainer!

(Side note – I heart Harris Teeter. Especially their produce section.)

Anyway, Mango Barbecue Sauce. It was pretty darned delicious. The only thing I am going to do differently next time is add some heat. And I don’t mean cook over a fire heat – I mean jalapeno pepper or red pepper heat. It definitely could be kicked up a notch.

But, that didn’t stop us from gobbling it all down. (no pun intended! ha!! I crack myself up.)

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Mango Barbecue Chicken
serves 6

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 mango, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Sucanat (I used raw honey)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used a whole, cut up fryer we got at the farmer’s market. YUM!)
1 lemon, halved
olive oil cooking spray
freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato, mango, apple cider vinegar, honey (or Sucanat if you actually have that), mustard and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to blender or small food processor and process until smooth. Please note that the sauce will be thick. Pour 1/2 cup barbecue sauce into a bowl to brush on the chicken while grilling and reserve remaining for passing at the table. (Or, put as much barbecue sauce on the chicken as you want which is what we did. We’re not big “pass the bbq sauce” kind of people.)

2. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium.

3. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towel and arrange in a single layer on a tray. Squeeze juice from half a lemon over the chicken and then lightly coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn chicken over and repeat.

4. Grill chicken according to what kind of pieces you are grilling (boneless breasts can take 10-15 minutes total depending on how thick they are. bone-in pieces require different cooking times (breasts about 8-10 minutes per side).) Brush with barbecue sauce during last 5 minutes of cooking. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. Good luck with that, by the way. 🙂 If you’re a “sauce on the side” group, while chicken is resting, reheat remaining sauce and serve with the chicken.

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5. Count the days until summer because this recipe will make you think you’re already there. 🙂

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Talk to me: What’s your favorite flavor barbecue sauce? Do you barbecue only when it’s warm or are you a year-round griller?

We are definitely year-round grillers. We do a turkey on the grill during the holidays and I’ve shoveled my way to the grill before. Nothing stands between a girl and her grilled food! 😉

We prefer a Kansas City style barbecue sauce but this Mango sauce, once I heat it up, will likely become a regular.

– jennifer

Too many emotions. Thank goodness for Chili-Mango Chicken!

Hi there! Happy Thursday!

Well, hopefully for you it’s a happy Thursday. For me, it’s more of a frustrated Thursday. :/ Between CrossFit on Tuesday night and then again on Wednesday morning and PT on Wednesday afternoon, I am pretty wiped out so I didn’t get up and ride the spin bike this morning. Additionally, I am dealing with the knowledge (and stress) that I have likely wasted 11 of 15 physical therapy visits because I’ve been misdiagnosed. I’m the type of person who wants to do the best for myself and my running so I’ve been doing more research on what could be causing my pain. You see, while I feel a whole lot better than I did, I still have pain and cannot run and cannot box jump, etc. And, some days, it just aches. You would think after 3 1/2 weeks of physical therapy, I’d be much closer to 100% if it was just a muscle strain.

I finally got the PT to really listen to me yesterday (honestly, I’m not sure what took so long – maybe I just repeated myself enough?) and he did some different flexibility tests. Turns out my hip flexors are WICKED tight. Like, so tight they could audition for the Wicked Witch of the West and easily snag the part. I have really worked over the past few years to make sure that I stretch after a run and I’ve never had any problems with my hips before but, clearly, I’m not stretching enough. And, prior to my discussion with the PT, I was researching hip flexor strains/injuries and I came across information regarding femoral neck stress fractures vs. hip flexor strains. It is entirely possible that I have a stress fracture based on my symptoms and, while I’ve been healing because I’ve not been running, I have been using that leg and some of the exercises I’ve been doing may be slowing down the healing process. Femoral neck stress fractures are very not good. If only my doctor had sent me in for the MRI 4 1/2 weeks ago like I asked. But no, he just sent me straight to PT where I wasn’t fully evaluated. Great. Pardon me while I go cry in my Cheerios.

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So, the PT is going to reevaluate my program and I need to get back in with my doctor to ask AGAIN for an MRI. I don’t even know what I’m going to do if it IS a stress fracture. Obviously, a BQ is out of the question in Tupelo. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to even RUN Tupelo.

Okay, that’s enough “woe is me” stuff. Thanks for listening. 🙂 Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I need good vibes!

Now on to the happy part – FOOD!

I made the BEST stir-fry dish last night. Like, AMAZE-BALLS! If you like Asian food – especially the spicy sweet kind like General Tso’s chicken – you will LOVE this. And the best part is it’s not going to cost you 3 days worth of calories to enjoy it!! WIN! Plus, it takes less than 30 minutes! Double win! The hardest part about making this dish, besides waiting to eat it, is cutting the mango. Here’s a great video on how to cut a mango in different ways:

See? Super easy! Now go to the store and buy a mango so you can make this for dinner. Go on. Go. What are you waiting for? Seriously. GO! 🙂

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Chili-Mango Chicken
makes 4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (preferably sambal olek)
Black pepper to taste

1. Combine the chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the sugar snaps and stir-fry for 1 minute, using a metal spatula to keep the vegetables in near-constant motion. (Hence the term: stir-fry!) Add the chicken along with its marinade, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Add the mango, chili sauce, and black pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute longer, until the chicken is cooked through and the mango has softened into a near sauce-like consistency. (If your family hasn’t already come to the kitchen to check out what’s making all that noise on the stove, they will come RUNNING when the chili sauce hits the pan. O.M.G. Now THAT’S an amazing smell!) Serve over brown rice. Or, eat straight from the pan. Whichever. Just don’t burn yourself.

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Per serving:
Calories 240; Fat 8g (saturated 1g); Sodium 410mg

Has anyone ever had a femoral neck stress fracture before? How long was your recovery time? Advice? Have you ever tried acupuncture for a hip flexor injury?

– jennifer

Mango-Yogurt Sherbert

T-minus 3 days until marathon training starts! I’ve already run today so I’m counting this day as done as far as workouts go. We did a nice and easy 6 miles and stressed a little about the pace requirements for both next week’s track and tempo runs. When you’re tired, the thought of 7-minute miles can be pretty scary! Eek!

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But, we’re both goal oriented and, thankfully, in shape so I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to pull it off. We’ll revisit this on Tuesday and I’ll let you know how much tears and vomit were left on the track. Oh, too much? Sorry.

White squirrel sighting! But, alas, no picture because I didn’t run with my phone. *sigh* I’ll get one eventually! So, instead of a squirrel photo, here’s some random cuteness for your enjoyment.

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Okay, let’s get down to business and talk dessert!

A friend of mine (Thanks, Lori!) sent me a photo of a recipe she found. Mango-Yogurt Sherbert. Tastes like ice cream/sherbert but has way less calories, much more protein and only has 4 ingredients? Yes, please!!

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You’ll note that I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of 2%. That’s just what I have. You could definitely use vanilla Greek yogurt, too. Thing 2 wasn’t crazy about it and I think the plain yogurt may have been why. She said she could taste the honey – and she doesn’t really like honey – but Thing 1 and I could only taste mango. It was delicious! Light and refreshing and the perfect ending to the day.

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Mango-Yogurt Sherbert
Makes 4 servings

10 oz (1 3/4 cup) chopped frozen mango
1 cup 2% greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice or mango nectar
Sliced fresh mango for garnish, if desired

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour/scoop immediately into four serving bowls and garnish with fresh mango slices, if desired. Or freeze in a flat, microwave-safe dish. To thaw, microwave for 30 seconds.

Om nom nom!

Nutritional value for recipe as listed (if you use nonfat yogurt, obviously the limited amount of fat goes away):
Calories 131; Fat 1g (saturated 1g); Carbs 27g; Fiber 1g; Protein 5g

– jennifer