It was my birthday on Monday and I turned 26 years old! My boyfriend and I decided to spend a nice day at home relaxing, mostly because typhoon Chanthu landed right over us the day of my birthday haha. I really wanted to go for a swim in the sea, but that’ll have to wait another week or so because it’ll be raining for a few more days. As time passes, we grow older and wiser, hopefully, so I decided to spend the next year focusing more on my health and eating better food. You can call it my New Year’s resolution if you’d like because I didn’t actually have one 8 months ago. I really need to start planning my meals and making lists of everything I cook because I usually end up going to the grocery store not knowing what I want to eat. I end up buying random stuff and make recipes with those ingredients, but I would like to be better organised. So, on Tuesday, I sat at my desk and thought about what I wanted to eat this week. I decided on chicken and decided to make this lemon garlic chicken with a fresh tomato salsa last night. I was actually planning on making a salad as a side, but in the spur of the moment I decided to go with grilled zucchini slices.
I’ve been taking food pictures for the past 6 months now, and yes I am a total beginner. I don’t know the first thing about food photography, but have been learning every day. I really like writing this food blog, sharing my recipes and taking pictures of my food, but I admit that I do have to get better at photography. I don’t have the best camera or lenses compared to other food bloggers, but I make it work. My boyfriend actually gifted me a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens for my birthday! I couldn’t be more excited as its one of the most commonly used lens for food photography. I only owned a telephoto lens and always had to take my pictures standing on a chair 2-3 meters away from the food so it was a really nice gift! I can actually take my pictures right in front or above now! I really like that it has an incredibly low f-stop number so that I can take pictures with a blurred background.
I actually really enjoyed this meal. It was surprisingly really filling, probably because of the protein, and absolutely delicious. The combination of the lemon garlic marinade and tomato salsa was delightful! This is the perfect dish for a hot summer day and I think you could eat this hot or cold. I decided to leave the skin of the chicken thighs on to get some healthy fat into my diet and grilled it in my cast iron skillet. I really love cooking with skillets because it gives the meat and vegetables beautiful grilled colours and cooks the meat evenly.
I marinated the meat in a bag filled with extra virgin olive oil, lemon slices, garlic and salt and black pepper. I let it marinate for a good 15-20 minutes while I made the grilled zucchinis and tomato salsa.
When I added the chicken thighs to my cast iron skillet I made sure the lemon slices were always over the thighs so that their juice could slowly melt over the chicken.
Even when flipping the thighs over, I left the lemon slices over. If you decide to cook the chicken with the skin on, just make sure you have a very sharp knife that can cut through the skin and not ruin that beautiful crispy skin when its done cooking!
I decided to only make 2 portions, one for that same night and one for my lunch the next day, and that was a huge mistake!! I think I’ll be making this dish again this weekend! One portion is 673 calories 7.68g net carbs. If you try making this healthy lemon garlic chicken with a fresh tomato salsa, let me know in the comments below or on Facebook/Instagram!
P.S. I will be uploading a recipe for my birthday cake some time next week!
Lemon Garlic Chicken with Fresh Tomato Salsa
Lemon Garlic Chicken
Lemon Garlic Chicken
Mince the garlic and slice the lemon into 4-6 slices. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides of the chicken thighs. Place the chicken, along with the lemon and garlic in a ziploc bag or Tupperware. Pour 1 tbsp of the olive oil and close the bag. Massage the ingredients together and let marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat the extra 1 tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken thighs skin side down with the minced garlic and lemon slices and grill for 5-7 minutes. Turn the thighs around and grill another 5-7 minutes until cooked through. A thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken should register at 65C/150F or over.
Transfer the thighs to a cutting board and cut into thick slices.
While the chicken is marinating/cooking, make the grilled zucchini. Slice the zucchini into 6-8 thick slices. Brush the slices with the olive oil, and sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary. Place the zucchini slices either on a grill, grill pan or over a roasting rack for the oven/toaster oven. If using a grill or grill pan, place over the grill and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, and flip halfway through. If using an oven, place the zucchinis on a roasting rack and cook about 20-30 minutes at 200C/400F or until tender, flipping them halfway through.
Dice the tomatoes and red onion, and mince the garlic. Thinly slice the basil leaves.
In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Toss to combine.
Place the chicken on a plate and cover with the tomato salsa. Add the grilled zucchinis on the side.