Make Spicy Chicken Sandwiches to Grow Strong Like Wonder Woman

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Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, Sweet Potato “Fries,” and Pineapple Gazpacho on a blue plate.

Sporting Wonder Woman-themed underwear, red boots, a towel-cape, and an aluminum foil tiara, I ventured into the backyard to fight “villains” when I was eight-years old. I wanted to be strong and powerful like Wonder Woman, so I trained at gymnastics. Then, I just became super lazy in high school and college. After my junior year in college though, I took up running and I haven’t stopped ever since, but I’ve neglected my Wonder Woman “powerful” side. Running does not build sculpted arms. So, I’ve recently joined a gym and hired the services of a personal trainer, who totally kicks my butt with the lowest weight setting on every machine. As a result, I limp down the stairs and it hurts to lift my arms up over my head.

Nate tells me I need more protein in my diet, which mostly consists of carbs. Protein, he says will help me recover faster. However, I simply can’t run, lift weights, drive Alex around to swim practices, work online, fix meals, straighten the house, write short stories, do the laundry, and post cat videos to Facebook without the help of pizza and beer. Yet, I know that amino acids in protein could help my muscles recover. Just five ounces of a grilled chicken breast, according to Dr. Liz Applegate in a May 10, 2016 article in Runner’s World will supply my over-the-age-of-40 muscles with the required 35-40 grams of protein I need. Also, Ashley Chambers, M.S. and Len Kravitz, PhD. cite a 2004 study by J.S. Volek that states eating a protein and carbohydrate meal 1-3 hours after resistance training can be beneficial. Adding a little more protein to my diet then, couldn’t hurt.

So, after actually watching Wonder Woman on Saturday, I set to work creating a menu worthy of my childhood hero. These spicy chicken sandwiches and side dishes should pack a powerful and tasty punch:

For four chicken sandwiches, you will need:

A marinade:

–1 tsp. of chopped garlic

–1 tablespoon of brown sugar

–1 tablespoon of jalapeño pepper, chopped

–1/4 cup of rice vinegar

–1/4 cup of soy sauce

–1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

–1 tsp. sesame oil

Chicken: 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Crusty bread, such as one-two French bread baguettes or sour dough baguettes—or, I used my pizza dough recipe as a bread recipe.

Fresh Herb Topping:

–1/2 cup cilantro leaves

–1/4 cup Thai basil leaves

–1/4 cup long slices of green onion

Dressing:

–1 tsp. chopped garlic

–1 tablespoon of brown sugar

–1 tsp. of chopped jalapeño

–2 tablespoons of soy sauce

–2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

Sweet Potato “Fries:”

–2 large peeled and sliced sweet potatoes

–garlic powder

–sea salt

–black pepper

–dry Italian herb mix

Pineapple Gazpacho: (3 servings)

–1/2 cup of cubed pineapple

–1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

–1 tsp. of chopped jalapeño

— 1 tsp. of chopped garlic

–1/4 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes

For the Chicken Sandwiches:

–Whisk the marinade ingredients together and place the chicken into a bowl or dish that can be covered and placed into the refrigerator for several hours.

–If you are making the bread using the pizza dough recipe, you can get the dough started. Once you get the dough into the stage where you roll it out into ovals on a baking pan, you can make slits down the outer edges of the ovals like this:

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Photo by Nathan Kennedy

Then, you can fold the edges in towards the center to make a kind of “braid:

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Photo by Nathan Kennedy

Sprinkle the top with water and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes:

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–When the chicken is done marinating, discard the marinade and place the chicken onto a grill and cook until the breasts are opaque and they register 165 degrees on a cooking thermometer.

–Split the baguettes in half. Then, divide each half lengthwise, but keep one half closed so that you can tuck the chicken into it like a pocket.

–Top the chicken with the herbs and dressing.

For the potatoes:

Season them to taste with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs. Place them onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and cook at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

For the Gazpacho:

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high. The mixture can be as smooth or chunky as you wish.

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After dinner, I threw the lasso of truth around Nate and Alex to get their honest reactions:

Alex: “Mom, this is so good! I like how the layers of flavor just blend together. Definitely make this again!” (He’s such a kind kid, who might have a future as a food critic.)

Nate: “Yeah, it’s good.” (Nate doesn’t get that excited about food—just put it in front of him and he’ll eat it.)

Cecilia: “The meal pairs well with a Bud Light Lime, so yeah, I think I’m ready to take on the world again. Someone hand me my aluminum foil tiara!”

Your Turn: Feel free to share a favorite recipe here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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