This past Sunday, I logged a whole bunch of hours doing 3 things: Packing boxes, cleaning my soon-to-be-emptied condo, and making decisions. Decisions meaning holding up various belongings and categorizing each one as a “pack”, “donate” or “toss” item. You may remember from this post that I’m going to be moving in 2 weeks, and I finally know where that destination will be!
On Saturday, my bestie Jess and I signed leases and got our keys for a spiffy brand new condo that we’re both BEYOND excited about. You guys, this place is gorgeous! Not only do I get to park my car in a cozy underground space, but I’ve got a walk-in closet, a gorgeous bathroom with tons of storage, and kitchen that I’m totally dying to start cooking in. Having lived in a lower-level condo for two years, I’m vibrating with giddiness at the prospect of all the natural light our east-facing windows are going to let in!
Even better than natural light and underground parking is the fact that I get to live with a pretty darn awesome roommate who doesn’t question my crazy food blogger ways, is an early riser just like me, and likes to chat about boys, triathlon, and hot triathlete boys just as much as I do. To say I’m pumped would be an understatement. Jess very rightly pointed out that we’re going to be the girls that these guys are impersonating.
I’ve been tackling the packing project by doing a little bit each night, in hopes that this method will make things fairly painless on the day my furniture needs to be moved out. On Sunday, I:
- scrubbed down the entire bath and shower (and I mean I really scrubbed it – even the drain is sparkling and my muscles still feel a little assaulted)
- cleaned the rest of the bathroom
- did 3 loads of laundry (and folded it all too!)
- cleaned the inside of the dishwasher (but didn’t quite make it to the fridge)
- cleaned the kitchen
- packed 1 box of blog props
- loaded 2 boxes of kitchen ware, plus 4 bins of clothing into my car which were taken to our new digs on Monday (yay for gradual move-ins and flexible landlords!)
- bought groceries
- made 2 recipes for the blog and edited a bunch of photos
- wrote a blog post
- took out 2 bags of garbage
- prepped lunches for the week
And last but not least, I finally emptied an enormous all-weather planter full of soil that had become frozen and lightly covered in snow on my patio. Guys, this thing was A BEAST and I procrastinated doing it for the month of October. Big mistake on my part. I had to heave it inside to let the soil thaw out a bit, then heave it back out and around the corner. All my gym strength training – especially those squats – has been paying off because I managed one nice, swift flip of the planter and all the soil plopped out.
After hauling this beastly box back into the house, carrying it to the tub for a bath, and drying it off, I was more than ready for lunch – and maybe even a nap too. Recently some friends and I discovered the new Pure Juice Bar + Kitchen in downtown Kitchener and we’re totally hooked. They’ve got all sorts of cold-pressed juices, acai smoothie bowls, salads, sandwiches, soups, breakfast items, baked goods, kombucha, and grain bowls (in which you can swap grains for greens) – pretty much everything my dreams are made of.
Their prices are reasonable, there’s plenty of seating, and everything I’ve had so far is delicious. So delicious in fact, that I’ve recreated what’s known on their menu as The Lean Chicken Bowl.
Because I couldn’t just straight-up copy it (just like I can’t seem to stick exactly to recipes in cookbooks), I made a few tweaks here and there, swapped purple grapes for green ones because I’m not a purple grape kinda gal, and tried to get my curried Greek yogurt dressing to taste as close as possible to theirs. The final recipe looked like this:
Autumn Chicken Salad with Curried Yogurt Dressing
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
- olive oil, in a mister
- 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 100g raw weight
- 1 cup peeled sweet potato, diced into 3/4″ cubes
- 2 tbsp salt-free seasoning
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery
- ¾ cup halved grapes
- 2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
For the dressing:
- ½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp yellow curry powder
- 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- stevia to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Scatter the sweet potatoes on one half, and lay the chicken on the other. Spritz both with olive oil and sprinkle with salt-free seasoning and black pepper.
- Bake the chicken and sweet potato for 25 minutes, flipping the sweet potato cubes at the half way point.
- Meanwhile, distribute the greens between 2 bowls and arrange the grapes and celery.
- Stir together the dressing in a small container.
- When the chicken and sweet potato has finished cooking, distribute them evenly between the two bowls.
- Top with almonds and minced parsley. Serve with the dressing on the side.
I promise if you come and pack boxes for me, I’ll make you this salad. Mmmkay?
So tell me…
- Have you done any restaurant re-creations lately? How did they turn out?
- For KW-locals: Have you been to Pure yet? What did you think?
- Green grapes or purple grapes: Which team are you on?