Sometimes worlds must collide for new paths to be paved. I used to write a blog called Karmalized Life in addition to Food Flirt. It started as a collection of stories about “good karma moments” I noticed while walking around this earth we all call home and gradually became a place where I shared my non-food focused thoughts on life. At 34, life is busier than it was at 24 and I’m trying to be more realistic about what’s possible. As I aim to reinvigorate Food Flirt, I know posting regularly on two blogs isn’t going to happen right now. But I also know, the content on Karmalized life is something I miss writing. So like so many “lifestyle” bloggers who have come before me, I’ve decided to incorporate other parts of my life into this little blog, including travel, artsy photography, and Karmalized Life stories … I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.
I had just finished a great workout at Equinox and was showering in the locker room to rush off to work. I snagged one of the three vanity stations, which is a major score during the morning rush crowd when everyone’s vying for mirror space. I walked away for a few minutes to steam my dress and came back to find a 70-something year old lady has encroached upon the vanity where I’d place my brush and makeup bag. Annoyed was my first emotion, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I just stood next to her and shared the small space.
I applied my mascara, lips pursed into a tight line, while she blew her hair dry five inches away from me. Then I caught a glimpse in the mirror of an even older woman behind me, sitting on the couch. She had to be in her late eighties or early nineties but I saw her workout with a trainer almost everyday. That trainer walked into the locker room and began talking with the woman sharing the vanity, who it became clear, was the daughter of the elderly woman sitting behind us, hands folded in her lap, looking peaceful and confused all at once.
“How was she today?” the daughter asked the trainer. “She was ok, there was about 5 minutes when she didn’t respond to me at all, but she wasn’t mean to me, it was like she couldn’t hear me though,” the trainer explained. “Oh yes,” the daughter sighed. “That happens—when the light goes out of her eyes. Just ask her something she’d know about and she usually comes back into the present.”
The trainer said good-bye and I realized the daughter must bring her elderly mother to the gym every day for a training session, even though the trainer just stands next to her mom, who sits on a bike that you pedal with your arms. The daughter is doing all she can to help her aging mother stay mobile and have strength.
When she was done drying her hair, she packed up her things and went to help her mother stand up. “Where are we going?” her mom asked. “It’s time to go mom, we’re done here now.” As she took her arm and as they walked out of the locker room side by side, I heard the daughter say, “Thank you mom for waiting while I got ready and being so patient. I really appreciate it.”
I was so struck by those words. I can imagine that the daughter has to be patient with her dear mother everyday as she gets older and more childlike, but here she was thanking her mom for being patient as well. I was so touched and thankful the universe slapped me across the face with this reminder … there are SO MANY, tiny insignificant things that happen to us daily that we allow to let us lose our patience, our grace, our kind character—like someone sharing the gym vanity without asking. I felt so ashamed and bratty that I’d been annoyed by something so harmless. And I knew right away, that I needed to go back to writing my Karmalized Life stories.
Because my friends and fellow humans … we are living in a world that’s becoming more and more chaotic each day and there’s an excess of caustic, angry, negative energy living in the universal consciousness that affects us all. By writing about the beautiful, kind, caring moments I witness, that humanity is capable of, I consciously connect with my higher self more often and it reminds me to live a life that is karmically kind—a Karmalized Life … it’s not always easy, but it’s critical to yes, be the change we all want to see in the world.
And now enjoy this recipe for chicken piccata from my Mom’s kitchen, a woman who has been more than patient with me, every single day of her life and taught me how to cook while being the “hostess with the mostess!” LOVE YOU MOM!
KJ’s Easy Gluten-Free Chicken Piccata
- 4 medium chicken breasts, skinless boneless
- 1/2 cup Gluten Free Cup4Cup Flour or King Arthur Flour or your favorite All Purpose Gluten Fee Flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tblsp. butter
- 5 Tblsp. capers
- 1 large lemon or 2 small
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley, chopped to garnish (optional)
Mom’s Notes on Preparation
- Butterfly each chicken breast, but cut all the way through to get 2 pieces. Once you do, take each piece, wrap in plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until it is 1/4 inch thick. (No meat mallet? A large can of tomatoes works well too!)
- Roll the lemon on the counter to get the juices flowing then cut into thirds so it is easier to squeeze when needed (Bought a large bag of lemons? You can freeze whole lemons then defrost them for recipes like this.)
- Serve on a bed of Quinoa or Rice.
- Place the flour in a large bowl. Start heating your pan over medium-high heat then add the olive oil.
- Take the pounded chicken pieces and place them the bowl and lightly coat each side with gluten-free flour.
- Place the chicken in the heated pan and remember to lay it away from you so you don’t get splashed by the oil. Cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side. Add a pinch of pepper and salt, but keep in mind the capers will add saltiness as well.
- Remove breasts from pan and set aside on plate lined with paper towel.
- Using a spatula, scrap the crispy flour bits loose and add 2 Tblsp. butter.
- Next carefully add the capers to the pan. Then, give a major squeeze of lemon juice and stir sauce to mix. Return the chicken to the pan and continue cooking until poultry temp reaches 160 degrees.
- Place one breast on a bed of Quinoa or Wild Rice and drizzle with crispy flour bits/capers/butter sauce and add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.