Let me tell you about the morning I had. I woke, dragged myself to the shower–can we call a spade a spade and say I limped–to get ready for a spin class I couldn’t cancel, lest I be charged $20. The reason for the geriatric hobble can be attributed to a brutal Core Fusion Extreme class, during which I questioned whether I’d make it out of the class alive. After what felt like a million squats, lunges, TRX planks, box jumps, and tears–oh, the tears, so many of them–I came home, collapsed face-down on the couch and slept the sleep of children.
Then I woke to soreness.
I should say that I lasted one full song during my spin class before I realized I was toast. I called it a day and limped to the market to pick up a pile of veg for my first week off Sakara and into the real world. Some people get bewitched by clothes; I become obsessed with herbs, leaves I’ve never heard of, and in-season vegetables. You should know that my fridge is 80% composed of vegetables in labeled bags (Exhibit A, below). Because this is my life. 80% of a plate covered in veg. Veg at every meal, so I’ve got to make these recipes desirable, sustaining and GOOD.
I should also confess that I shamefully succumed to the horror that is VEGENAISE. This is a weakness, friends, because in real life I LOATHE MAYONNAISE. Not as much as the WRETCHED MUSHROOM, but my hate is vociferous and real. But yet, I had a hard time recreating the DELICIOUS creamy dressings Sakara sent with my meals, and since getting their recipes is akin to breaking into Fort Knox, I’m left to my own devices.
GWYNETH PALTROW. Listen, people, a woman needs to survive. My beloved pasta, bread, bananas, cheese, turkey, sweet potatoes and a fucking laundry list of food have been stolen from me. I need to adapt. I need to succumb, and I succumbed to the damn cookbook that delivers seriously good recipes. I thought I would hate this creamy parsley dressing when in fact I do not.
I LOVE IT.
This is a HUGE salad, but it will keep you full until dinner, and it’s SO SO healthy and SO SO good.
For the salad
1/2 cup lacinato kale, de-veined roughly chopped
1 cup spinach
1 cup Amaranth leaves
2 radishes, finely sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 sweet peppers, sliced into thin strips
1/3 can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and sauteed in a small pan with 1 tsp of olive oil, salt and pepper for 2-3 minutes
For the chicken
3 pieces of chicken breast tenders (total weight shouldn’t exceed 4oz)
1 large egg
1 cup gluten-free cornmeal
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp of olive oil
For the creamy parsley dressing: Recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup organic Vegenaise
3 tbsp water
½ tsp coarse sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
First, make the chicken. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. I had the luxury of having a whole tub of pre-made chicken tenders I cooked from the previous evening (it pays to prepare!), which I chopped into chunks. However, if you’re just making the chicken now, set up an assembly station: 1 bowl of the beaten egg, 1 bowl of the cornmeal, almond and seasoning, and one oven-ready bowl for cooking the tenders in the oven. Dip each tender into the egg to coat and then toss in the cornmeal mixture. In a medium skillet set to medium, add the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add your tenders, spacing them evenly apart and cook for three minutes a side. Once the tenders have a nice, crunchy coating, transfer them to the oven-safe bowl and cook them in the oven for 5 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, combine all ingredients for the creamy dressing in a blender until completely pureed. Keeps well in a jar with a fitted lid for up to one week, as you’ll only need a tbsp or so for this recipe.
Assemble the items for the salad. Note, this is what I love. Add the veggies that you love–there are endless combinations. I used what I had on hand and what was lovely at the market.
Once the chicken is done, let cool for 5 minutes, chop into chunks, and add the lot to one huge bowl and toss with the dressing.