Easy Diet Food: Poached Chicken Breasts

Think chicken breasts are boring? For many years I shared your view. Chicken breasts are tough, tasteless and usually a pain to cook in a pan because of their thickness. They’re also amazing diet food with virtually no fat and lots of protein. I’ve been using chicken breasts as part of my diet for the past three months in salads, light meals and just for snacking.

One reason I used to hate chicken breasts is that they’re a total pain to cook. If you bake them in the oven, they always come out tough and dry. I don’t even have an oven at my current condo, so I’ve been forced to improvise, which resulted in me learning how to poach chicken breasts. Wow!Talk about a big difference in taste. Poaching chicken breasts results in them being much softer, having less of a burned, dry feeling and just tasting much better in general. It’s also much better from a diet perspective than pan frying or grilling them with cooking oil.

Today, I’m going to share my simple poached chicken breast method. This is designed for two chicken breasts, each cut in half and poached in a small or medium sized pan.

You’ll need:

  • Two chicken breasts, both with the skin removed
  • Some table salt and black pepper
  • One bay leaf
  • Chicken stock

Start by cutting the chicken breasts in half down the middle. The goal is to make them thinner, which lets you poach them without using as much water. If you have a small frying pan like me, poaching the whole breast just isn’t possible because it comes over the rim of the pan.

After I cut the chicken breasts, I tenderize them (probably not necessary, but why not?) and make sure they’re all mostly the same thickness. Now, place them in your pan and cover them with water so that there’s about a quarter of an inch of water above them. Add a little bit of table salt (1-2 pinches) and grind a little bit of pepper into the water.

Bring the water to a slow boil and add the bay leaf and chicken stock. At this point, you’re basically lightly boiling the chicken breasts in a sort of chicken soup. This gives them amazing taste and avoids the rubbery feeling you get when you just boil chicken breasts in water at a heavy boil. I poach the chicken breasts for about 6 to 8 minutes and then remove them and check that they’re cooked by cutting into them since I don’t have a meat thermometer, but if you have a meat thermometer you can just wait until they reach 165°F in the center.

Slice them into pieces and add them to your salad, or smother in BBQ sauce and pretend you’re no longer on a diet! You can also shred them and use them for tacos or as a simple, high-protein snack. These chicken breasts are easy to cook, versatile and ideal for storing in a plastic container for a healthy lunch on the go. I bring them to my coworking space with me and store them in the fridge to eat for lunch, so I’m not tempted by oily street food. Bon apetit!

Exploring Beautiful Singapore

Singapore doesn’t really have a reputation as a “beautiful” city. When I tell people that I live here, they mostly think of business and trading, which is something the city does have a reputation for. But there’s a lot more to Singapore than most people realize, and the city is beautiful, if you know where to go and what to look for.

Today, I want to showcase some of my favorite places in Singapore to relax, enjoy natural (and sometimes artificial) beauty, and experience what this dynamic city that is, for now, my adopted home has to offer.

Gardens By The Bay

Gardens By The Bay is a 101 acre park development close to the center of Singapore. It’s the most amazing park I’ve ever seen. The whole experience of visiting is hard to describe. Think of your typical city park, then multiply it by 100, then pretend you’re on LSD when you visit. There are three different gardens, and they all range from being quite traditional to being super modern and impressive. I spent over two hours walking around and exploring this space, getting a great feel for the garden and really improving my mood. If you want to escape the business feel of Singapore, which is something I know bugs a lot of people, go here!

Singapore Zoo

I know it might sound silly to list a zoo as a “beautiful” place, but Singapore Zoo is frankly very impressive and a great place to escape from the busy city to. It’s easy to get there on the MRT and the amount of animals and exhibits is amazing, especially when you consider that Singapore really isn’t that big of a city.

I always hesitate to visit zoos in other countries, because sometimes the treatment of animals is really terrible and cruel. However, Singapore Zoo is totally cruelty-free and the people that maintain the zoo seem to really care for the animals there. I was even more impressed than by many zoos and safari parks I’ve been to in the USA and some other countries. If you have kids, bring them here! They will love it!

Orchard Road

Ok, people can excuse me for listing the zoo as a beautiful place, but many people will consider listing Orchard Road as beautiful as an unforgivable sin. For those of you that don’t live here or haven’t visited, Orchard Road is Singapore’s shopping area. It’s a popular street near the city center with super huge shopping malls and more designer stores than you can find anywhere else in Asia.

Is it beautiful? To me it is. I love to shop and can easily spend all day exploring the huge malls on Orchard Road. Since there are lots of great food courts around here, Orchard is also a great place to eat local Singaporean food and international cuisine. Even if you don’t like shopping, strolling up and down the pedestrian-friendly street is a fun way to get a feel for the commercial side of Singapore, which in a way is part of the city’s character and personality.

Where is your favorite place to explore, relax or escape in Singapore?

Ikea Names & Their Real Translations

Anyone who has bought products from IKEA before knows that the names of their furniture and home accessories are… hmm… kind of weird. I know the company is from Sweden but it always seemed as if many of the names were just made up to sound interesting on a price tag.

Well, it turns out they all have unique meanings, and that these meaning are often totally literal. Check out this list of crazy Ikea names and their real meanings and you’ll be shocked, like me, to learn that there is some method to the madness of Ikea product names.

Decorating My New Condo

Yay! I’m finally back. It’s been a very busy two weeks for me, moving into my new condo in Singapore and getting established. I have chosen here as a base for my work because it’s a central “hub” type of city in Asia and it gives me so many new opportunities to travel and discover other places.

The only downside to Singapore is that it’s super expensive. Think New York City or San Francisco kind of expenses, but in a place that’s much smaller and more dense than both. Luckily, my job is going well now and I can afford to live a good lifestyle, even in a city like this. “Good” here is very different from the United States. It means not having a car, but being very close to everything and having access to SO MUCH delicious food that just can’t be found anywhere else.

I spent the last two weeks moving into my new condo. It’s about 10 minutes away from the center of Singapore on the MRT and is super convenient. The only major problem, and it’s a common one for everyone in Singapore, is that it’s very small and cramped. 40sqm – about 430 square feet. Ouch! But this is the normal size for a one-bedroom condo here and I’m sure I will get used to it.

I spent the last few days at Ikea buying furniture and accessories, most of which I still need to unpack and set up. Here’s a picture of the condo with my new furniture, including plenty of wrapping and boxes:

It’s going to take a while to get used to living in such a small space after living in a big house for so long, but I’m looking forward to the challenge! I have a dining table that will double as my work desk for now, a big sofa and (soon) a TV and some other accessories to make living here more fun.

Looking forward to sharing some updates on my decorating, as I make more progress.