that is what I am.
Hiroki and I signed up for a Bradley Method course, one of the many natural birth classes that are available around here. My boss’s wife did it and they thought that it was the most amazing, bonding experience ever. or something like that. and I am deathly afraid of needles to close to my spinal cord (old trauma from having a spinal tap done at age 2), so it seemed, you know, like a reasonable approach to the act of human hatching.
what I wasn’t prepared for was the nutritional requirements that came with my class starter pack. everyday i am supposed to consume: 1 quart of milk, 2 eggs, 2 3-oz servings of protein (fish, land animal, beans), two servings of leafy greens, four or more slices of whole wheat carbs (bread, tortillas, rice, naan), one citrus fruit or a glass of oj/tomato/grapefuit juice, three pats of butter, and supplemental fruits and vegetables (about five times a week). I am somehow suppose to take in 100 grams of protein a day, and manage it under 2000 calories.
this all seems doable until you take into account that a small pork chop holds about 21 grams of protein, and chicken, maybe 25 grams per 3 oz serving (about half a breast). I was never much of a meat eater to begin with… so I am stuffing myself with chicken boobs and tuna cans just to meet my daily quota. it’s difficult because my stomach space is much smaller due to a baby sitting right next to it. and not to mention the heartburn! I always feel heavy, bloated, and nauseous.
rather miserable of a predicament, but baby gets what baby needs…
click for the recipe!
yesterday, I made a Zuni Cafe style chicken salad for dinner. it’s an all-in-one dish: veggies, carbs, meat… without looking like a sad fast-food bowl. PLUS it gave me the protein I needed without too much fat… This is important because I had a ginormous brioche from 85 Degrees for, um, a snack. I’ve been eating an ungodly amount of baked goods since last month, and I think it’s because the baby’s brain is developing. or something. brains need glucose, right?
I use the term “style” loosely because I didn’t roast the chicken like in the original Zuni Cafe recipe – instead I pan-fried some skin-on breasts over low heat until the skin became super crispy and gribene-like. there’s not much a recipe to it because the secret to this famous salad lies in the technique, but here is the procedure:
1. make croutons with stale bread. cut bread into cubes, toss with olive oil, lightly salt, toast/bake at 400F until crunchy.
2. cook seasoned skin-on chicken in a saute pan that is thinly sheeted with olive oil, preferably over low heat, skin side down, so that you can render the fat out of the skin till crispy.
3. remove chicken and let rest. skim off the about 80% of the fat in the pan, and deglaze with some chicken stock. reduce to half. set aside.
4. make a vinaigrette. chop some shallots, soak it in 1 tbsp wine/sherry/white balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes, then add 3 tbsp of olive oil. add salt and pepper to taste.
5. soak cranberries or other dried fruit in hot water for 10 minutes, drain. toast some pine nuts/almonds/walnuts if you want an extra crunch to your salad.
6. toss bitter salad leaves (arugula, spring mix, baby kale, whatever you feel like that day and other vegetables you may want to throw in), reconstituted dried fruit, and nuts with reduced chicken juice and vinaigrette.
7. sprinkle on croutons and lay out the chicken. marvel at your creation and then toss to combine everything. eat.