Perfectly cooked Chicken Breasts – All Phases

I find baked chicken breasts to be too dry for my liking. So I found this method to be the best when you want you chicken breasts to be perfectly cooked and juicy. This can be used in pasta, salads, soups or anything else you like. You can even marinate the chicken breasts before doing this technique. If you are using this for Phase 1 or Phase 2, skip the olive oil. It doesn’t given you browned or grilled flavor (for that, try the grill or a grill pan), but it does give you plain and basic yet super juicy chicken breasts to slice for lunches and salads.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast (or 2 per pan)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional) – for Phase 3 only.

Method:

Pound the chicken for even thickness. I did not bother pounding these chicken breasts when I was in a hurry and it still turned out fine. Lightly salt and pepper them on both sides. Heat the saute pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Turn the heat down slightly to medium and add the chicken breasts. Cook them for about 1 minute to get them a little golden brown on one side. Then flip the breasts over. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat to low. Don’t lift the lid and don’t peek. Set a timer for 10 minutes and walk away. The chicken is getting poached from the inside out in it’s own juices. Then turn off the heat. Let it sit for another 10 minutes. It has to stay covered the whole time. After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off the pan and your chicken is done. Slice up the chicken to put in your salad, pasta or anything you like. No more leathery dry chicken breasts!

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Ingredients Review from each Phase

ingredients

I am going through all the ingredients allowed in the phases, and I’m choosing the stuff I like. There are lots of stuff I’ve never tried, and stuff I never even heard of before. So I may look them up and think of trying them out maybe. I may have missed a few ingredients because I’m pretty sure I’m not going there, oysters for example.

Haylie does ask me to make a meal map, which I’ve printed out. Now I need to identify the ingredients first before I fill out my meal map.

Phase 1

Veggies:

  • Arrowroot – I’ve tried the powder in the form of a porridge. Tidbit: My grandfather was a farmer, and he cultivated arrowroot, which was fed to me as a kid because of it’s many heath benefits. I’ve also eaten arrowroot biscuits but I think they contain wheat too.
  • Arugula – I’ve had this in salads and it’s good a good peppery taste
  • Bamboo shoots – had them in hot and sour soups. Not much of a fan but lets see if I can make a healthy hot and sour soup.
  • Beans: green, yellow(wax), french – french and green beans are a staple in my home (for a stir-fry called ‘thoran’ and Chinese noodle stir-fry mostly)
  • Beets – sure I like them roasted with potatoes 🙂
  • Broccoli florets – eww, maybe
  • Cabbage – yayy! I love!
  • Carrots – sure, I love!
  • Celery – not so much, sometimes in soups
  • Cucumbers – love it, especially the european cucumber
  • Eggplant – I don’t mind, but recently my husband got an allergy from it so its currently banned from the household
  • Green chillies – use this every single day in Indian food
  • Green onions – also known as spring onions/scallions – use them in anything Chinese
  • Jicama – never heard of this one. seems like a yam, so I think I’ll like it. will surely try it if I find it in the stores
  • Kale – ok, I’ve made kale chips before which was good
  • Leeks – love them in soups and broths
  • Lettuce (any except iceberg) – but I like iceberg! fine, i’ll take romaine or boston
  • Lima beans – never tried it but I like beans!
  • Mixed greens – in salads
  • Mushrooms – I like!
  • Onions – red & yellow – staple in my house
  • Parsnips – like them roasted
  • Peas – snap, snow – ok in Chinese stir-fries
  • Peppers – bell, pepperoncini – I’ll take bell thank you!
  • Pumpkin – i make a good ‘erissery’ with pumpkin and beans!
  • Rutabaga – ruta-bah-what? looks like a type of turnip, will look out for it in the stores
  • Spinach – a staple again, with my dal (lentil curry), I also make a spinach rice – can’t use oil this time though
  • Spirulina – some type of algae, never heard of this, don’t think I’ll find it or like it!
    A spirulina (read as spiralling) thought – seems like they’re sold as pills a lot. Reminds me of Garcinia Cambogia being sold as a miraculous weight loss pill.  I use that in its pure form in my fish curry, as we’ve been doing for ages in India! Shall i include that in the diet even if it’s not listed? Its important for my fish curry so i think i will!
  • Sprouts – sure, moon bean sprouts make a good thoran
  • Sweet potatoes/yams – ugh! only if i have to
  • Tomatoes – a staple again
  • Turnips – they make good pickles!
  • Zucchini and winter or yellow summer squash – not much of a fan, had them grilled which was ok, zucchini friti awesome but obviously deepfried. I’m thinking of giving the zucchini spaghetti a try or maybe a thoran again?

Fruits (Fresh of Frozen):

  • Apples – i like
  • Apricots – alright
  • Asian pears – I like the softer european cousins better but oh well
  • Berries – blackberries, blueberries, mulberries, raspberries – i like blueberries and raspberries. I may give blackberries and mulberries a try
  • Cantaloupe – sure
  • Cherries – yum!
  • Figs – I like, but I only find dried which arent allowed 😦
  • Grapefruit – not much of a fan but I can for the sake of a diet
  • Guava – yum! one of my favorite fruits!
  • Honeydew melon – they’re ok
  • Kiwis – another one of my favorites!!
  • Kumquats – never tried those, sure I’ll try
  • Lemons & limes – I use often
  • Loganberries – interesting, look like raspberries not sure if I’ve seen them around here
  • Mangoes – I love! My favorite!!
  • Oranges – I like, great to take to work!
  • Papaya – ugh, I overdosed on it in Bangalore that I can’t stand these anymore. They’re like fillers in every fruit bowl and they’re stingy with the strawberries and stuff!
  • Peaches – I like a good peach!
  • Pears – aha, so the European cousins?? I LOVE!! was my fav fruit as a kid per my mom
  • Pineapples – again great to take to work
  • Pomegranates – I like
  • Strawberries – like again
  • Tangerines – I can’t differentiate these from oranges. how are these different from mandarins? and clementines? oh god can I get a flight of different oranges (like a flight of beers) so I can settle this once and for all?
  • Watermelon – yum! I can take these to work too

Animal Protein:

  • Beef filet – lean, ground – yum! I love ground beef!
  • Chicken – skinless, boneless white meat (that means breast people!)
  • Corned beef – really? that’s healthy?
  • Deli meats, nitrate free – turkey, chicken, roast beef – seriously? ok as you say..
  • Eggs – whites only.. hmmm throw out the yolks? or serve them to my husband?
  • Game: partridge – is that quail? I know I like quail but where do I find this in NJ?
  • Haddock fillet – never tried but willing
  • Halibut: fillet, steak – our house favorite! makes a good fish curry!
  • Pollock fillet – what’s that?
  • Pork tenderloin – hmm, I think I’ll stay away from pork, I can’t cook it at home unless its bacon
  • Sardines – yuck! my mom’s favorite but I can’t stand the smell!
  • Sausages, nitrate-free: turkey, chicken – sure!
  • Sole filet – good when pan-fried, but I think I can bake it without oil
  • Tuna, solid white; packed in water – I like! I can think of a stir-fry with tomatoes that I used to make, now without oil. It’s my favorite ingredient in a cutlet, maybe I can make it with sweet potatoes or a new yam instead of potatoes, without breading – just egg white coating and lightly pan-fried without oil!
  • Turkey and nitrate-free turkey bacon – not a fan of turkey really, but maybe bacon

Vegetable protein

  • Black-eyed peas – good
  • Chana dal/lentils – hellooooo, indian staple!
  • Chickpeas – makes a good chole or homemade hummus but that’s for Phase 3
  • Adzuki, black, butter, great northern, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, white fava beans
    Now I haven’t tried all these beans. Kidney beans makes a good rajma chawal, fava beans make a good falafel (maybe baked?) or Egyptian foul.
    Also, what’s wrong with red beans?? That’s what I need for my erissery, cowpeas to be exact. Oh well I’ll choose something else and give it a try.

Broths, Herbs, Spices, and Condiments

  • Broths – beef, chicken, vegetable – free of additives, preservatives and sugar
  • Dried and fresh herbs
  • Ginger, garlic – Indian must-haves
  • Ketchup – I dont think I need it
  • Mustard – prepared, dry – Dry meaning mustard seeds? I need mustard seeds!
  • Bragg liquid aminos, coconut amino acids, tamari – all sound like good alternatives to soy sauce so I’ll take it
  • Non caffeinated herbal tea – my Organic Tulsi tea in non-caffeinated so yayy!
  • pickles, no sugar added – I guess I have to make my own or skip these
  • Salsa – naaa
  • Seasonings: sea salt, black and white pepper, chilli powder, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, cumin, curry powder,.. wait, stop. curry powder? wtf! every Indian household has a different spice mix to call their curry powder. I guess that means any spice is allowed. period.
    She mentions Simply Organic? as in the brand? Sorry that’s expensive. I’ll stick to my spices from the local Indian grocery store.
  • Sweeteners: stevia, xylitol – yuck!
  • tomato paste – careful reading ingredients, shouldn’t contain additives or sugar!!
  • vanilla extract – thank you
  • vinegar – any type. ok

Grains and Starches

  • Arrowroot – as I mentioned, I am familiar with the powder for porridge
  • Amaranth – what is this? I am familiar with Amaranth leaves which in Kerala, India is known as red spinach – which I love. Can I find this in NJ?
  • Barley – ok I guess I can make a porridge like oatmeal
  • Brown rice: rice, cereal, crackers, flour, pasta, tortillas – hmm this maybe my staple diet in Phase 1. Maybe Matta rice is allowed? not sure…
  • Kamut bagels – sounds good for breakfast, where can I find some?
  • Millet – also known as Bajra in Hindi, make good bajra rotis
  • Nut flours – meh!
  • Oats: steel-cut – my go-to breakfast!
  • Quinoa – been wanting to try this for a while. I’ve seen an upma recipe somewhere
  • Spelt pasta, pretzels, tortillas – will keep an eye out for these
  • Sprouted gran bread: On the lookout for Ezekiel
  • Tapioca – haha! a Kerala staple comes to mind – kappa-beef! hihi!
  • Teff – what is this Jeff?
  • Triticale – titticala mitticala huwa hoowahoo!
  • Wild rice – another entry into my diet I suppose

No healthy fats in this phase

Overall I think Phase 1 is a breeze for an Indian like me. Rice with dal-palak and a few fruits and oatmeal for breakfast will set me up just fine. The rest are just added bonus!

I’m just a little sad that potatoes and coconut (so thorans are out of Phase 1) aren’t allowed but I think I’ll live.

Also I think if I make a fish curry in this phase, I can carry it into phase 2 because its ingredients are spices, onions, ginger, garlic and fish really.

Grapes and bananas are not allowed because they are high in Glycemic Index – rate of sugar delivery is too fast, which makes the body store it as fat.

Phase 2

Gosh this is the most difficult phase for me because I don’t have my carbs!!

Vegetables and Salad Greens (fresh, canned or frozen)

  • Arrowroot
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus – hmm new entry
  • Beans: green, yellow (wax), french (string)
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cabbage – all types
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumbers any type – I’ll take European
  • Endive – another interesting ingredient
  • Fennel – only had the seeds
  • Green chilies, jalapenos – yay!
  • Green onions
  • Jicama again
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce except iceberg
  • Mixed Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens – also known as Sarson in Hindi (i’m thinking sarson ka saag without oil and arrowroot flour instead of maize flour. Its risky but I’ll think about it)
  • Onions: red and yellow – thank goodness!
  • Peppers – I’ll take bell again
  • Rhubarb
  • Shallots – how about pearl onions?
  • Spinach
  • Spirulina – I’m getting the same spirulina thought again, especially since this is phase 3
  • Swiss chard
  • Watercress – grr, this is salad crap! I don’t like salads! Or uncooked vegetables for that matter, except for cucumbers lol!

Fruits (fresh or frozen)

  • Lemons and limes only!

Animal Protein

  • Beef, all lean cuts: filet, tenderloin, strip, sirloin, shell steak, London broil, round steak, rump roast, stew meat, lean ground
  • Chicken – boneless, skinless white meat – breast!
  • Cod fillet
  • Corned beef
  • Same deli meats as phase 1
  • Dory fish filet – not Dory! What’ll Nemo do?
  • Egg whites
  • Flounder filet – this is good pan seared or baked
  • Game – naa
  • Halibut – yum!
  • Jerky, nitrate-free – yuck!!
  • Lamb, lean cuts
  • Salmon: nitrate-free smoked – so not fresh? odd. Fresh or frozen is allowed in Phase 3 (maybe coz of healthy fats in it?)
  • Sole fillet – yum!
  • Tuna packed in water – but you’re not allowing tomatoes in this phase! Guess I can make something with pepper, ginger, garlic and onions.
  • Turkey again

Vegetable Protein – none! waaaa!

Broths, Herbs, Spices and Condiments

  • Broths – same as in Phase 1
  • Dried and fresh herbs
  • Ginger, Garlic
  • Mustard – prepared, dry
  • The soy-substitutes again
  • Non-caffeinated herbal tea
  • Pickles without sugar
  • All seasonings and spices as phase 1
  • Tabasco
  • Vanilla or peppermint extract
  • Vinegar, any

Grains – None again
So no sprouted grain bread either huh? That’s really tough man!

Healthy fats – no brainer! none in this phase

So… first impressions.. I can think of meat and cabbage as a good meal. A beans thoran to add without the oil or coconut maybe.
Boy the cabbage really looks like my best friend here as a carb substitute. I guess I can use swiss chard, spinach and probably collard greens the same way too. I can use some broth instead of oil for a stir fry type of dish. I can probably do something with mushrooms too. A keema (ground meat with spices) with spinach stuffed in portabella mushrooms seem like a good idea.

A plain chicken curry without oil sounds like a good option too.

A chicken shawarma can be good on its own and brought into phase 3 to use with some Toum! yum!

The tuna dish I thought of during phase 1 maybe possible too. As a snack probably like tuna or any other fish cakes coated in egg whites and some arrowroot flour – pan fried without oil. Or just baked. Spice marinated baked fish filets are another option.

I should do asparagus at least once with the meat. According to Haylie’s Pinterest board, asparagus has a carbohydrate called inulin that stimulates healthy bacteria inside the large intestine. I thought carbohydrates weren’t allowed on Phase 2 but maybe this type is ok. Who knows!

As for pure vegetarians, I really dont see much options for you guys! You will have to break the no-soy rule and get the tempeh, tofu whatever yucky stuff that is. Did I tell you I hate soy? Sorry, I do except for soy sauce.

The Jicama seems like the only root vegetable allowed in this phase. Now I’m really going to keep an eye out for this vegetable. Could prove useful. Arrowroot flour may also prove useful in thickening gravies or flour coating substitute.

Breakfast maybe hardest here. Apart from egg white omelettes is there anything else? Nothing that seems enticing to me, but I have some time to come up with stuff.

Phase 3

This phase is what I’d call a Party Phase!! Hello healthy fats!! I love you! And it’s 3 days of party man!

Vegetables and Salad Greens (fresh, canned or frozen)

  • Arrowroot
  • Artichokes – hmm, no cheese so artichoke dip is out of the question
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beans: green, yellow (wax), french (string)
  • Beets: greens, roots
  • Bok Choy
  • Brussels sprouts – never had this at home, could be interesting, probably not
  • Cabbage, all types
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower florets – gobhi!!
  • Celery
  • Chicory – chicory root is part of the Indian Filter Coffee blend which I love to sip on occasionally, unfortunately not during this diet so I’ll pass on this ingredient
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumbers – with hummus!!!
  • Eggplant – not going to happen (explained in phase 1)
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Green chilies
  • Green onions
  • Heart of palm – thai food?
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi – once again an unfamiliar but interesting ingredient
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce except iceberg
  • Mixed greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra – aha! I only like this cooked in oil, so not sure if I will include this
  • Olives any type – ooh! good snack?
  • Onions – red and yellow not mentioned, so anything goes I suppose?
  • Peppers
  • Radishes – goes in sambar
  • Rhubarb
  • Seaweed – nope!
  • Spinach
  • Spirulina – eh!
  • Sprouts
  • Sweet potatoes/yam
  • Tomatoes, fresh and canned: round, plum, cherry
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini and winter or yellow summer squash

Fruits (fresh or frozen)

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Coconut, coconut milk, cream, water – oh my saviour!! Now I realize how crucial an ingredient it is in my diet, maybe its a lot? Nope, I use it moderately but its there. I am from South India so this goes without saying – coconut is part of our life! I had a whole chapter dedicated to the coconut palm in 5th grade or so.
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons & limes
  • Peaches
  • Plums – ooh, I like these if they’re sweet
  • Prickly pears – never tried it
  • Raspberries

Animal Protein

  • Beef filet, steaks, lean ground
  • Calamari – aha! with oil!
  • Chicken: boneless, skinless dark or white meat, ground – hurray whole roasted chicken or chicken curry with coconut milk!
  • Corned beef – who needs this when you have all this other stuff!
  • Crab, lump meat – I’ve started to dislike crab lately
  • Same deli meats as phase 1
  • Eggs, whole – so yolks are in baby!
  • Game: Pheasant – again, quail?
  • Halibut filet – do I really need it if I’ve had enough of it in Phase 1 and 2?
  • Lamb
  • Liver – my mom’s chicken liver fry!!
  • Lobster meat – tired of this too
  • Salmon, fresh, frozen, or nitrate-free smoked
  • Sausage, nitrate-free: chicken, turkey
  • Scallops
  • Sea bass fillet
  • Shrimp – ah shrimp curry, chemmeen peera
  • Skate – no idea, never tried it
  • Trout
  • Tuna, packed in water or oil – I’ll still go for water I think
  • Turkey and turkey bacon

Vegetable Protein

  • Almond milk – tried it, was horrible. Almond cheese and almond flour? pass
  • Cashew milk – thinking its gonna taste as bad as almond milk
  • Chickpeas/garbanzo beans – chole
  • Same dried beans as in phase 1
  • Hemp milk – mmm no
  • Lentils – sure! I’m also thinking Pappads will be ok in this phase as oils are allowed, but make sure it doesn’t contain rice flour

Grains

  • Barley, black or white
  • Oats: old-fashioned steel-cut
  • Quinoa
  • Sprouted-grain: bread, bagels, tortillas
  • Wild rice

Broths, Herbs, Spices, Condiments and Supplements

  • Broths: beef, chicken, vegetable
  • Carob chips : interesting chocolate chip substitute from the Mediterranean that I’ve never heard of before
  • Dried and fresh herbs
  • Ginger and garlic
  • Ketchup: no sugar or corn syrup
  • Mustard, prepared, dry
  • Same soy sauce substitutes
  • Non caffeinated herbal tea or Pero – this Pero thing is slowly starting to sound like Indian filter coffee minus caffeine and coffee? wondering if I should give this a try?
  • Pickles, no sugar added
  • Salsa
  • Seasonings – same as above but I also notice turmeric has made an explicit appearance here! But curry powder has turmeric so what the heck girl!
  • Same damn sweeteners
  • Tomato paste – careful again
  • Tomato sauce, no sugar added
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vinegar, any type (except rice)

Healthy Fats

  • Avocados – I think I get headaches from avocados but I’m willing to try a homemade guacamole to be sure its not anything else.
  • Hummus – did I tell you I lived in the Middle East? yum!
  • Mayonnaise – only safflower mayo is ok. You know what’s even better? Toum! Check this video out to make some at home!
  • Nuts, raw: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts – what?? I’m spoilt for choice here!
  • Raw nut/seed butters or paste – I don’t think I’ll need these unless I’m making my own nut paste for a rich Indian curry
  • Oils: coconut, grapeseed, olive, sesame (my staple at home), toasted sesame (Asian)
  • Seeds, raw: Flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower – I think I’ll use just sesame from this bunch
  • Tahini – Again a Middle Eastern staple in my home too

Now there are a lot of Indian vegetables like ash gourd (padavalanga), bitter gourd, drumsticks (moringa oliefera), ivy gourd (kovakkai), etc. that Haley hasn’t mentioned in the book. I’m thinking she probably never even heard of these just like I haven’t heard a lot of the ingredients she listed. But since they’re vegetables I am contemplating adding them to the phases if I really want to. But I’ll try to stay true to the ingredients listed as far as possible. I wish Haylie would revisit and update her list when she finds foods that fall into these phases. I think that would be helpful if someone wants to continue living on this diet for longer than 28 days.

Mustard seeds – will they pop without oil?

fingers-holding-mustard-seed-faith-25568777

(excuse the watermark in the stock photo, I’m not paying for it but I wanted it for the post :))

On the Fast Metabolism diet – there are two phases that do not allow fats of any kind – Phase 1 & 2. However most Indian cooking calls for a tiny bit of oil for the process called tempering or tadka. It involves heating about a tablespoon of oil, and when just about to smoke adding spices such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and fenugreek seeds. The mustard seeds in particular has to pop (splutter in oil). From what I hear from most Indians, including my mom, they have to pop. If not, it’s considered uncooked and you won’t have a good digestion. I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence to this.

Anyway, I wanted to give toasting the mustard seeds without oil a try. I heated a small pan. Then added a small amount of mustard seeds. I waited to see what happens. There was no audible popping. But after a few minutes, on close inspection, I saw that the seeds have a small crack in them. Like the outer skin had a tear. (you maybe able to see it in the picture above) I tasted it, and it was just fine. So I think I maybe able to toast these spices for all my curries.

Also, I found this discussion interesting. An excerpt:

Indian recipes seem to always call for oil.

Non Indian recipes seem to always call for dry (or don’t toast at all- yuk).

In my personal experience (mostly mustard, cumin, fenugreek, coriander)- dry toasting calls for more of my attention. I have to have an appropriate temperature, agitate the seeds, and watch for the telltale aroma to know when they are done. If I don’t pay enough attention to any of those then they will scorch and be horrible.

With oil I have more leeway. The seeds don’t need to be agitated as much after they are coated with oil and they pop audibly when they are done. It may be my imagination but the oil itself seems to distribute the flavor of the seeds better as well.

I have scorched dry toasted seeds on occasion when I was distracted. I have never had oil toasted spices not turn out perfectly.

answered Sep 27 ’12 at 19:29

Sobachatina

i don’t think it’s your imagine. since the essential oils of the plant are fat soluble it makes since that the normal convection of the heating oil would help to circulate the flavor more evenly. plus you get the added bonus of some of that flavor being imparted so you can use your oil as a base for a sauce. hm…i think i might make a fenugreek voloute which i get home tonight. – wootscootinboogie Sep 27 ’12 at 20:03

Oil also makes it a lot faster. The heat transfer is more efficient than it is with hot air, and it’s more uniform, so you can quickly, evenly cook the spices. – Jefromi♦ Dec 29 ’13 at 1:35