My First Race + Spicy Cilantro Lime Chicken Tenders

Silly me signed up for a four-mile race and thought I didn't need to train at all to win it. With my race day coming up, Mr G told me that I had better get to running. I told him I wasn't worried about it, to which he gave me one of those eye rolls that make you feel like maybe you DON'T know everything… So, I went for my normal after work run (usually a solid 3 or so miles).

My Runkeeper was talking to me per usual, and I noticed that she announced my first mile rather quickly. But I thought – man, Cari! You are seriously awesome at running, so I kept going. Four miles later (and in only 25 minutes), I was back at my apartment, marveling at the five-minute mile I ran in the first section of my run. Yes, I said a FIVE MINUTE MILE. Apparently this is Olympic-sized running I completed last week. So, after realizing that I was basically an Olympian and had no idea until now, I stopped training for my race. I even went out the night before my race and drank a few craft beers that I probably shouldn't have (and also had my palms read by a "psychic" who literally got everything wrong about me, yet I still felt the need to tip her $5…). Yes, that happened. I mean, I was an Olympian! I didn't need to train for a silly four-mile race! Right????

Wrong. Mr Grumpy pointed out that there was literally no way I could have run a five-minute mile. To which, I explained he need not be jealous. Not everyone could be an Olympian. That's why we're special and get cool jerseys and get to wear necklaces plated in GOLD.

Then, he looked at my Runkeeper app and noticed that its GPS was disconnected for a good half of my first mile, meaning my five-minute mile was actually closer to a 10-minute mile. Awesome. 

So, I held my head high, and went to the race anyway. I came in 24th place (out of 31), which FOR THE RECORD you do not receive a medal for 24th place (in case you were wondering). But, at least I finished and got a super sweet t-shirt. And at least I didn't finish behind a guy in a banana suit, so I think things could have been much worse. 

Can you see the banana suit? Again, things could have been much worse for me (this is from an episode of Veep, in case you're lost)… 

This is my actual race:

Can you see me?? Photo (14)And this is me before I was tortured for four miles (Mr G was not allowed to take an "after" pic for obvious reasons.):
Photo (13)

So, of course I was starving, and needed some sustanence. One of my favorite things on the planet is chicken tenders. And you all know how much I love me some jalapeno. So, I decided to cook up some spicy cilantro lime chicken tenders with cheesy queso corn dip (ok, I ran four miles. I deserved some cheese at the end of that tunnel. Don't you think??). 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder, plus 1/8 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing mix (from the packet)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 lb boneless chicken tenders
  • 2 tbsp spreadable butter substitute (again, we use Earth Balance with canola & olive oil)
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup salsa
  • 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 can of non-fat, non-sodium sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup of low-fat colby jack cheese, shredded
  • Salt & pepper to taste

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, in a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, jalapeno, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper, and ranch dressing mix. In a separate bowl, place your lime juice. Take your chicken and dip it into the lime juice, then place into the bread crumb mixture, press lightly to coat each piece. Place the coated chicken on a baking dish. Bake your chicken for 20-25 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Preheat your broiler, and broil the chicken for an additional 5 minutes, until the bread crumbs have browned lightly.

For the cheesy corn queso mix – I just really wanted mac 'n' cheese, but this was the better alternative, if we're being honest. So, melt your butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Add the milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Add the greek yogurt, and stir for about 2 more minutes. Add the salsa, corn, cheese, chili powder, salt and pepper and let that cook for about 8 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. You want it to be thick like a queso dip. Mr. Grumpy ate his like soup…. which I'm not sure how I felt about. But, I dipped tortilla chips in mine, and ate it like a cheese dip. Either way, it really hit the spot. 


(Note: It doesn't really photograph that well, but I promise you. It was tasty.)


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