This delicious recipe is adapted from Gjelina ‘Cooking from Venice Beach’ and although I was initially put off by the brining of the chicken, it’s certainly worth the effort. The braised kale makes a great accompaniment to this dish but could easily be eaten on its own!
240ml warm water
240ml ice water
1 lemon cut into rounds
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 dried guajillo chilli – or chilli of preference
4 chicken breasts – skin on
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
480ml vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 bunches washed kale (I used spring greens), thick stems discarded or cut into thin strips, leaves cut into thick strips
Place a large, heavy-bottomed, high-sided sauté pan or casserole dish over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they soften and begin to turn translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add tomato paste and smoked paprika, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the paste begins to caramelize, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add stock and vinegar, and allow to come to a boil.
Add half the kale, cover, and cook for a minute or two, until it wilts. Repeat with remaining kale. Stir to incorporate the onion mixture into the soft kale and simmer until tender, 20 to 30 minutes, partly covered. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside in preparation for the chicken.
Pre heat the oven to 260c
Remove the chicken breasts from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper
Heat a large oven proof frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add enough olive oil to coat the chicken. Place the breasts skin side down into the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, basting the chicken with the oil, fat and juices until the skin is well seared, about 3 minutes.
Without flipping the chicken, move the pan to the hot oven and roast until crisp and golden, approx. 10 minutes
Remove the chicken from the pan and discard some of the cooking fat. Add the braised kale, with enough of its cooking sauce to keep it moist. Nestle the chicken breasts skin side up and return to the oven. Cook until the chickens are cooked, 2-5 minutes approx.
Remove the chicken and stir some more red wine vinegar into the pan. Spread the kale onto a serving plate and pour the juices over it and top with the chicken. Serve hot.
With the party season upon us and the prospects of consuming more, food, alcohol and endless sweet treats on offer, it’s easy to overindulge at Christmas. It is easy to write off the month and plan to do the January detox or diet, but what if you could have fun over Christmas without putting on half a stone?
Here are a few simple ideas for you to try that will help you keep the ‘Christmas’ weight off this December
1. Maintain a routine
Try as much as possible to keep some part of your normal routine going.
If you always get up and go to the gym, why can’t you continue that most days over Christmas? If you normally juice every morning, why can’t you keep doing that?
Try and start your day with a good breakfast which is full of protein, this will give your body a good start to the day, keep you fuller for longer and may help with cravings.
2. Start the day in credit!
Make the most of the fact that you will not be racing off to the office or on the school run. Get into credit early in the day by going for a brisk walk; make time in the middle of the day for family winter walk, it will boost your Vitamin D level and help take some of the ‘festive ‘stress.
3. Finish the day in credit!
It is easy to end up drinking every night throughout Christmas due to all the socialising and the bottles of Advocaat, Baileys Cream and Dubonnet that reappear on the sideboard at this time of year! Take one or two nights off a week and get an early night. This will stop your adrenal glands going into overdrive and producing lots of cortisol which, in turn makes you crave sugary and salty foods more.
4. Eat more vegetables
Have a lighter Christmas dinner by filling at least half your plate with vegetables before adding anything else. (Caution – does not include roast potatoes! )
Green vegetables are excellent as they are low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Prepare several vegetable side dishes and look for recipes to make them more interesting – (we have included 2 new recipes for you!)
5. Drink plenty of water
As well as your normal 1 1/2 litres of water every day, (yes you need to drink that much and no you won’t keep going to the toilet and if you do, think of all those extra steps!) try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. It will slow down your drinking and help keep you hydrated.
Just pause and consider this for one moment; you live in a box, go to work in a box, do most of your work sitting in front of a box, go back home to your box and then sit in front of another box to relax! Now consider this; your body was designed to move! We are all the direct descendants of hunter gatherers and it is in our genes to move. If our distant ancestors were unable to move would not be able to find food and would ultimately become food! In short without motion they wouldn’t survive. As intellectual industrialised beings we no longer have to worry about surviving, yet we have 639 individual muscles (approximately 400 skeletal muscles) and over 200 bones that need movement to thrive!
“Today, unlike our ancestors, we may choose not to move. In modern life, moving appears to be optional. Thus what we do to work and play no longer fully engages our musculoskeletal functions….The less we move, the less we are capable of moving”. Pete Egoscue
The human ‘body’ has not changed in hundreds and hundreds of years, yet how we use our bodies has changed dramatically, particularly so over the past fifty years. Although we may strive for comfortable lifestyles, with minimal time spent on manual chores, the hours invested in inactivity will ultimately provide us with an uncomfortable life. Pain, illness discomfort and disability will be the price we pay for a lack of activity. Movement and motion have now become our medicine; they are our daily prescription for healthy living.
There is no getting away from the fact that inactivity is a major health burden. The good news is, it’s never too late to start exercising and benefitting from all the health benefits that physical activity brings. Even if you have had, or you feel like you have had a lifetime of inactivity, we know that it can be hard to get started, but one of the easiest things to do is to try and reduce the amount of time spent sitting every day. Don’t worry about which exercise you need to do, or which class to attend, just think about moving more and moving well!
– Chinese proverb
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.
1 In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, chorizo and a pinch of salt and fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything caramelises and turns brown.
2 Now add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and cook for 1 more minute, followed by the tomatoes and, after about 2 minutes, the chestnuts.
3 Give everything a good stir, then add the saffron-infused liquid, and the water, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4 Remove from the heat and mash until almost smooth but still with a bit of texture. Season with salt and pepper.
Moro The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark (Ebury Press)
Miracle Works coaching combines the science of Positive Psychology with Virtual Reality to enable you to develop new neural pathways in your brain that help you connect how you perceive the world with how you feel in your body. Try think of it as developing a new muscle to support your wellbeing!
This is an extremely unique ‘coaching’ session that can help improve your wellbeing and achieve your personal goals. Particularly useful if you want to:
Shireen will be running introductory ‘wellness DROP in sessions’, each month, focusing on specific areas of the psychological and psychical wellbeing. https://www.miracleworkscoaching.com
Personal Best are delighted to be supporting the Stroud book fair.
On Sunday 10th November Personal trainer and author Annie Deadman will be in a lively conversation with Stroud Book Festival Artistic Director Caroline Sanderson about her fitness philosophy. As the festive season approaches – she’ll be giving advice on how we can all resist letting ourselves go entirely in the coming weeks.
Annie – now in her late 50s – has done the whole full-time working mother thing, and been through the mid-life crisis of no confidence, no energy and no waistline.
Designed with people like her in mind, Annie’s book and online programme “The 21 Day Blast Plan” is full of mercifully short but super-effective workouts. “Blast” has helped thousands of people to lose inches, gain strength and get into shape, cheered on by the voice of Annie herself who brings a healthy dose of humour to the process of getting fit.
Join Annie Deadman and finish the session with a motivating half-hour HIIT workout. It’ll be fun – we promise!
Annie’s event is here: https://stroudbookfestival.org.uk/event/annie-deadman/
On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November, (10am - 3pm both days), we will be holding a pre-loved designer and quality clothing and accessory sale to help raise money for Stroud Women’s refuge. Follow this link to view the products!
This promises to be a fantastic event for a tremendous cause. With lots of wonderful clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories already donated, we just need lots of customers, so please spread the word!
Stroud Women’s refuge is the ONLY remaining refuge in Gloucestershire, as all the others were closed when the government withdrew funding in 2015. The refuge helps over 300 women and children every year and has 9 women and 14 children resident at any time. The average stay is 12 weeks. The refuge needs £ 250,000 a year just to survive. They are therefore completely dependent on the goodwill and generosity of the community.
UK National Statistics:
With research suggesting that a vast majority of adults spend more than 7 hours a day sitting down, at work or on transport, the future for our spine and our health is not too bright. Compound this with the fact that machines wash our clothes, our entertainment is based around a TV or computer screen and fewer of us perform manual work our prospects aren’t great! And, it gets worse with old age, with people aged over 65 spending 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group. It is little wonder therefore that research commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association has revealed that over 1 in 3 people in the UK are currently suffering from back pain.
This extensive research into the growing epidemic has revealed just how debilitating back pain can be. A staggering 36% of sufferers have been in pain for more than 10 years and a further 12% for ‘as long as they can remember’. The pain can prevent individuals carrying out day-to-day activities that most of us take for granted: simple things like sleep, exercise or even lifting children becomes impossible. Alongside this, the charity Back Care estimates the healthcare costs of back pain total 1.6 billion. It’s also estimated that musculoskeletal problems, including back pain, cost businesses between £590 and £624 million a year.
It appears that modern lifestyles have led to a lack of movement and perceived lack of time for regular exercise. If your 2020 plans involve ‘exercise’, it might be wise to start the ball rolling now with more movement and less sitting, think of it as oiling the joints before embarking on something more vigorous!
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