Okay, so I have a strength training work-out that I usually do three times a week. It involves a yoga mat, leg weights, arm weights, and an exercise ball, and it takes about an hour and 15 – 20 minutes to complete. I also swim laps at the pool about two to three times a week. Recently, I’ve been doing my work-out and biking to the pool to swim laps on Friday mornings. It adds up to about 4 hours of straight exercise, which although I’m sure is really good for me, it wears me out!
While I’m exercising I’m good. I can keep going for 4+ hours, no problem. It’s when I finally stop moving and sit down that it all catches up to me. Once I sit down, I remain there, unmoving, with a comatose look on my face, mouth slightly agape, and face the hard truth that I can no longer stand up, nor have any wish to do so. I usually contemplate this fact for several minutes before I realize it’s well after noon and I’m starving. Then I somehow manage to drag myself up and scuffle off to the kitchen in search of nourishment. It’s an amazing phenomenon.
I just thought I’d share that with you.
* * *
One pasta dish I really love is Lemon caper chicken pasta. The lemon gives it such a light, refreshing taste, and I love capers. It’s a great dish for when the weather’s hot and you want something light to eat.
Even though it’s not hot here yet, it’s still been warm, sunny, and generally awesome weather this past week, so I made this dish for dinner last night. It never fails to satisfy, and it’s really easy to make. This is my own recipe I’ve developed after experimenting
and messing up several times.
Add two minced garlic cloves to the skillet and continue cooking for another one to two minutes. Remove onion and garlic into a separate bowl and add a little more oil to the skillet. Also, you should probably put on a large pot of water to boil now. Don’t forget to add salt to the water. It will flavor your pasta so it’ll taste better.
Place chicken pieces in the skillet, trying to space them so they’re not touching. Let them cook on one side without stirring for about 3 – 4 minutes. If this looks familiar, this is the same technique I use for cooking the chicken in my Sweet & Sour Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry recipe. It’s a handy way to cook chicken.
Put your pasta on to boil. I used spaghetti, but you can use whatever pasta you want. Boil enough for two people. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much pasta that is. I think with different shaped pasta, one serving is usually about 1 cup dried pasta, but I’m not sure for spaghetti. Just keep in mind that the pasta will expand, and use your good judgment.
In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch with 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold water until the corn starch is completely dissolved. Gradually pour it into the skillet while stirring. There’s no simultaneous stirring in this picture, because I was holding the camera, but you should be simultaneously stirring as your pour the dissolved corn starch into the skillet.
Continue stirring the sauce until it thickens up to a sauce-like consistency. If you want it thicker you can add more corn starch dissolved in water. Now, this is an important step, taste your sauce. If you want it more lemony, add more lemon juice. If you want it more caper-y tasting, add more capers.
Drain your pasta when it’s al dente and divide it between two serving plates. Divide the sauce between to the two plates of pasta and serve.
Lemon Caper Chicken Pasta (serves 2)
- pasta for two people
- 1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. corn starch
- dash of salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 small onion, diced (or 1/2 of one large onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 – 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 2/3 c. chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. diced capers
- 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cold water
- In a small bowl, combine egg white, salt, and corn starch. Add chicken breast pieces and stir until chicken is well coated. Set aside.
- Heat one to two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for another one to two minutes. Remove mixture to a small bowl, and add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
- Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, spacing pieces so they’re not touching. Cook chicken, without stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes. Flip chicken pieces over and continue cooking, while stirring, until chicken is completely cooked through, another 4 – 5 minutes.
- When water in pot is at a rolling boil, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- Add the onion garlic mixture back to the skillet with the chicken. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers to the skillet. Stir until everything is mixed well.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 1/2 Tbsp. corn starch and cold water until corn starch is completely dissolved. Gradually pour dissolved corn starch into the skillet while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens to a sauce-like consistency. Adjust the flavor of the sauce to taste (add more lemon juice or capers if desired), and serve with the cooked pasta.