So we got Caleb back in swim lessons after a way too long hiatus following Nolan’s birth. Caleb slowly progressed from
the child on the side screaming a timid little fish to completely doggie paddling independently with a noodle wrapped around him. I awarded him most improved. Well, I had a moment. I have these moments in my life that I do something and decide I will never do them again.
One of those moments happened one chilly October morning when the instructor decided to have a friendly competition among the swimmers. I swam competitively my whole life, though I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly overtly competitive person. I have more of an inward sense of personal competition with myself (if that makes any type of sense).
“Form two lines facing each other and we’ll throw a ball in the center,” he said. “Your kids will kick and whichever team creates enough waves to get the ball to the other side gets a point. We’ll go to three.” OMG. Omg. THIS IS HIS MOMENT. This is the moment he goes from the sidelined screamer to the swim class hero. My kid is clearly the biggest and oldest kid in this class. We’ve got this. We’ve been practicing kicks.
We each line up, the parents pretending not to eyeball each other too hard. The instructor drops the ball.
One of our “swimmers” decides to start crying and her dad removes her from the game. Other side scores. Ugh.
I move my kid to a better position for the drop. A strategic move on my part. “Kick kick kick those feet. Feet feet feet kick themmmm.” He’s nailing it. We score. We’re tied. Next point wins. Omg omg omg. I have laser focus.
The ball drops. White water white water kick. those. feet. I am legit saying, no yelling, all this outloud. The other side gives it all they got but they can’t match our waves. We score. The instructor seems to have an air of regret about him, but nonetheless announces we won. I get this huge smile sprawled on my face. We won. WE WON.
And then I look up and around at all the other parents with that goofy winning smile. And had the moment like wow. They all seem to be judging me. Maybe that was way too intense for a 1 – 3 year old swim lesson. Um, #sorrynotsorry we won fair and square. But yeah, I will try to pretend to be a wee bit more indifferent about my son’s competitive sports.
So what does that have to do with this tasty meal? Um, chickens… swim. Or no, chickens kick with their thighs. Or something.
Ever since I made this tastiness, I can’t get over dem chicken thighs. They’re just so tender and moist and really my fav fav. So I made another one that is oh so yummy and oh so easy. You know I love those one pan meals. The almond topping is so sweet and nutty, I could eat this straight from the spatula. Oh wait, I already did that. It’s ahhmazing.
So here goes. Let’s make Sweet Almond Chicken and Green Beans:
In a blender or food processor, place the almonds, melted coconut oil, sea salt and agave nectar. Process until chunky and set aside. My kids were swarming around this spatula like aggressive seagulls.
Generously pat the chicken thighs with the paprika, salt, and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place the chicken thighs into the pan for 2 minutes then flip. Sear the other side for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
Nuzzle the green beans in the skillet around the chicken. Scoop a dollop of the almond topping on each piece of chicken. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, broil on high for 2 minutes until the almond topping is golden brown.
When you serve, be sure to pour some of the juices from the bottom of the skillet on top of the chicken and green beans (omg it’s sooo good).
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened or melted and divided
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprike
- salt and pepper
- 12 oz. green beans, washed and trimmed
- 5 leaves fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a blender or food processor, place the almonds, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, agave nectar, and sea salt.
- Process until chunky but combined. Set aside.
- Generously pat the chicken thighs with the paprika, salt, and pepper on both sides.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- Place the chicken thighs into the pan for 2 minutes then flip.
- Sear the other side for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
- Nuzzle the green beans in the skillet around the chicken.
- Scoop a dollop of the almond topping on each piece of chicken.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Then, broil on high for 2 minutes until the almond topping is golden brown.
- When you serve, be sure to pour some of the juices from the bottom of the skillet on top of the chicken and green beans (omg it’s sooo good).
- Garnish with basil and enjoy!!
- Serving Size: 6