Bacon-Wrapped Maple Chicken with Cherry Plantain Balsamic Reduction

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday Alexa, Happy birthday to me!

Well guys, today is my birthday. I just turned the big 25. I know most people feel old on their birthdays, but I still feel young, honestly. 25? That’s not very old at all. I still have so much life to live!!

Here are some pics of me through the years:

I'm pretty cute, admit it.

I’m pretty cute, admit it.

And I've always loved stuffing my face.

And I’ve always loved stuffing my face.

I got less-cute for a little bit.

I got less-cute for a little bit.

So cool... I can hardly handle it.

So cool… I can hardly handle it.

Me in high school. Mercy!

Me in high school. Mercy!

Me at the beginning of this year. Happy about life!!!

Me at the beginning of this year. Happy about life!!!

Life is such a crazy thing. I have realized this past year that it is all about perspective. I have an awful life if I choose to have that attitude. I have an awesome life if I choose to be thankful and make the most out of it.

The last year, I have:

  • Fallen more in love with and dependent on Jesus
  • Fallen more in love with my husband
  • Had some of my best friends move away
  • Made new friends
  • Started teaching spin
  • Became a certified personal trainer
  • Started Kitchenspired!
  • Started eating paleo(isn)
  • Completed a Whole30 challenge and the 21-day sugar detox
  • Ran 3 half marathons and a 10K
  • Learned a lot about health & nutrition
  • Quit my safe, secure, steady job to pursue what I love
  • Got a dog…and became a dog person
  • COME MORE ALIVE
  • cut off a foot of my hair
  • started weightlifting for the first time
  • helped start a business
  • started my love for Torchy’s Tacos
  • risked more than ever before
  • learned so much about cooking
  • learned how to deal with anxiety

And many more…but these are all that come to mind this morning. Today Owen is throwing me an awesome birthday party where one of my co-workers will come to his parents’ house and lead me and some of my friends in a BodyFlow class, then have build-your-own smoothies. My parents are coming down to visit after. What a great day!

Tomorrow is also my husband’s birthday. He is an amazing, amazing man. Each year, he just gets better…somehow. I don’t know how he does it. He has amazed me this year with his support, selflessness, steadfastness, consistency, and joy no matter the circumstance. He believes in me and pursues me like no other. I am beyond thankful for him!!


This recipe is perfect for posting on my birthday. Wanna know why? It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. Seriously. I love it and could eat it every day. Also, doesn’t it sound nice and fancy? My husband told me that the word “reduction” sounds trendy. I think so, too. Really, reduction just means a thick sauce (reducing the liquid in a sauce to make it thicker). So there you go- you learned something new today! Now try out this recipe!20140731-082501-30301044.jpg20140731-082501-30301477.jpg

Bacon-Wrapped Maple Chicken with Cherry Plantain Balsamic Reduction

Makes 3 servings
Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 BROWN plantain, roughly chopped (don’t get one of the green ones!)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • About 6-8 pieces of bacon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pitted cherries
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat coconut oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
  2. Once coconut oil is heated and melted, add plantains to the pan and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the cinnamon. Mix in the pan and let cook for about 4 minutes, mixing occasionally.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover, let cook for 3 minutes, or until water is mostly gone.
  4. While plantains are cooking, cover a cooking sheet with foil. Grab each chicken breast and wrap with a piece of bacon (the amount of bacon you need will vary depending on how many chicken breasts you have).
  5. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the maple syrup and remaining tbsp of cinnamon. With a silicon brush,  brush the tops of the bacon-wrapped chicken with the maple syrup cinnamon mixture.
  6. Place cooking sheet in oven and cook for 20-22 minutes.
  7. Back to our pan of plantains- once water is soaked up, add chopped cherries and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cover. Let cook for about 5-7 minutes. Once balsamic vinegar is thickened, mix up the ingredients again and remove from heat.
  8. Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove from the oven & let cool. Plate it and top with a bunch of the balsamic reduction mixture. Eat up and enjoy!!!

Be inspired,

Alexa

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