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Coconut Marinara Chicken Recipe

3/18/2015 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen me post a meal earlier this week where I added bits of coconut butter on top of a tomato sauce based dish. It looked like melted cheese and although the combo may sound weird, I couldn't believe how much I loved it. This spur of the moment decision got my wheels turning and this Coconut Marinara Chicken recipe was born.

This chicken recipe is really easy, as long as you have the right ingredients. You will want to find a clean marinara sauce (no added sugar or funky ingredients) or use your own recipe. I usually use this one from Wegmans or this one I found at Costco. 

And then of course, you will need coconut butter. This is not coconut milk, cream, or oil. Just pureed coconut flesh. My favorite brand is Artisana's which I can usually find at TJMAXX. I also like Nutiva's brand, which I'm also able to find at my local Wegmans. 

Trust me - the combination of the marinara and the coconut butter is decadently delicious. While I used the coconut marinara to top chicken in this recipe, it goes amazingly over spaghetti squash or mixed in with ground beef  or pork. Try it and let me know what you think! 

Coconut Marinara Chicken Recipe 

Recipe Ingredients: 

For the Coconut Marinara Sauce
2 cups marinara sauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup coconut butter 

For the Chicken 
1-1.5 pounds of boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 
Ghee, for frying 

More coconut butter (because, why not?)
Fresh cilantro 

Recipe Directions:

1. Warm a cast iron pan over medium heat.

2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Melt enough ghee to coat your pan and pan fry chicken thighs for about 5 minutes per side.

4. While your chicken thighs are frying up, in a small sauce pan warm up marinara sauce on medium low. Once warmed, add coconut butter and stir until melted and completely combined.

5. After the initial browning step of the chicken in step 3, lower heat to medium low, and cook an additional 10 mins or so, until chicken is fully cooked. (Juices run clear, internal temp of 165)

6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pan and let chicken rest for about 5 minutes on a plate. Spoon the creamy coconut marinara sauce over the chicken and top with more bits of coconut butter and fresh cilantro.

7. Enjoy!



Faith Without Action is Dead

3/01/2015 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Faith is powerful, but it requires us to take action.

God's word says that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we could tell that mountain to move and it would move. So even if we have "enough" faith as the scripture says, we still have to TELL the mountain to move, in order for it to move. We can't just think it and believe it, we have to ACT on our faith.

These words apply to every area of our lives. When I think about my health journey, I know that I must not only have faith that I will see a change in my life, but I have to act on it. I have to ask God for wisdom every day to help me make the right decisions and then I must go and actually make those choices. We can't pray for God to help us lose weight, battle our addiction to food, and heal us of our medical conditions, if we are still binge eating on ice-cream and cookies. It's just not going to work.

So I pray today, that through this scripture you find motivation to step out of your comfort zone. To take a leap of faith. To take one action that leads you closer to your goals - whatever they may be. God promises to give you the strength to continue in this race, but you have to keep walking.



Whole30 + Crossfit = A Year of Success!

3/01/2015 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

I shared this post on my Instagram account yesterday, but thought I would share here on my blog as well. The difference a year can make, my friends! This time last year, I was sitting on the sidelines, 4 months postpartum, watching my husband compete in the 2014 Crossfit Games Open. I actually felt great that day: I remember the baby taking a nice long nap that afternoon and finally having the ability to take a shower, blow dry my hair and put on some makeup. I wanted to look pretty as I cheered on my very in shape husband and socialized with all of his gym friends. When I saw someone post this picture the next day on Facebook, I remember being embarrassed. Did I really look that big? I didn't feel that big. I've always been a very confident person and think I carry weight pretty well, but I still did not like the way I looked in this photo.

I also remember talking to my husband that day and I thought he was crazy when he told me, "Next year, you will be doing it too!" YEAH OKAY HONEY. I had already started to dabble in some Crossfit workouts, but with a new baby, and my husband's crazy work schedule, it was very hard to commit to a consistent program. Around the end of June, with the help of the Kid Care program at a new Crossfit Box that opened up locally, I was able to commit to Crossfit and workout 3-4 times a week. It was such a game changer and, lo and behold, here I am. One year later, with my Rogue and Reebok gear, head band and thumbs taped ready to take on the first workout in the 2015 Crossfit Games Open.

I have God, my husband, family, friends, Whole30, and Crossfit to thank for my transformation. There's still a long way to go but I'm rejoicing in this milestone.  Wherever you are in your journey, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for every good choice you've made. For getting up early to workout. For trying a new vegetable this week. For resting when your body needed rest. All of these good choices add up and you may not see a difference today or tomorrow, but you will. I'm a different person today than I was in that first picture and I couldn't feel more blessed.