The bold flavors of a spicy guacamole chicken burger can provide the palette with much needed flavor and zest to keep things interesting and fresh; and so it is with our heart, which reminds us of the deeper desires within us, and urges to keep moving, and to keep looking for that greater, richer experience.
Lately, my heart has been craving more.
It’s been aching with a desire for a long time now, truth be told, to experience levels beyond what it’s been experiencing, and to taste flavors beyond what it’s familiar with and used to.
And if food was what I was talking about, then I’d be craving some spicy guacamole to be spooned atop a simple grilled chicken breast, along with some sweet grilled red onions and some cheese with a kick to create a taste that I haven’t quite experienced before.
But this is more than about an appetite for food.
Every fiber of my being has quietly been resisting the notion of stagnation, of non-movement, of staying put in the same position, of playing it safe, and of going to the old standbys to find a bit of excitement, though it seems like somehow, for some reason, I continue to have apprehension about venturing too far out beyond the invisible boundaries that I’ve created somewhere along the way.
Ah…those little self-prescribed borders…
Those pesky little confines that slowly get built in life, under the cover of darkness when one isn’t looking, as little forms of “protection” from future pain and difficulties; those little fences that, in the beginning, are put up to keep things out only to also begin to keep things in and wrangled, in order for them to not become too unruly and blissfully boisterous.
Here’s me examining my life once again out in the open for everyone to see.
By nature I am quite an optimistic person, someone who tends to find a lot of joy in the little things in life. I always have been this way, and always will be.
But it doesn’t mean that a certain sort of heartache doesn’t creep in from time to time, one that is associated with realizing the largest of my desires for living the life of my dreams, and of living out my purpose fully and richly, especially when I feel that there’s a bigger chasm than I’d like there to be between where I exist and where I would like to exist.
At least it feels like a chasm.
There’s no question for me that I am on the right path for my life, no question at all.
And I have never felt more fulfilled and enthusiastic about what I do and what I get to participate in, what I get to experience on every level to the very core of my being, than I do right now; and that although the steps seem painfully slow at times, I know that I am making them in the right direction.
There are those times when I feel “contained” by life rather than like I have the freedom to experience it, though deep within me I know that it is only I that am containing myself, keeping my “butterfly” self up on a shelf in a little glass bell jar in an attempt to stay safe.
Everything within me convicts me of this, and the knowingness of it is what begins to scrape against me like a thorn in my side.
And that’s when my heart begins to fire back, reminding me to stay strong in the fight and use the discomfort as a means of thrusting myself forward into a new day.
It’s a unique little ache that is created when one realizes that one’s heart, in fact, desires to experience something even greater than what it presently is; that it desires fresh oxygen to be pumped into it, and for new eyes in the one who carries it to see the possibilities that exist everywhere, even if those possibilities seem impossible.
It’s a longing for what’s on the other side of where one currently resides, and that’s a beautiful thing; it’s how movement takes place in life.
My heart is urging my own hand to lift that glass lid off of that jar on the shelf and release the butterfly—me—into freedom.
What a thing this appetite to thrive in life is, indeed; it’s the hunger that keeps us moving forward, that keeps us craving to be better tomorrow than we were today.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Spicy Guacamole Chicken Burger with Grilled Red Onions
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes 4 burgers
• 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise to create 4 thinner cutlets
• Canola oil
• Black pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teapsoon chili powder
• Zest and juice of 1 lime
• 2 red onions, sliced into semi-circles
• 4 slices pepper-jack cheese
• Toasted buns
• Spicy Guacamole (recipe below)
-Place the 4 chicken cutlets into a small bowl, and add in about 2 tablespoons of the canola oil, about 1 teaspoon of the salt, about ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper, the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and lime zest and juice, and toss together; marinate the chicken for 20-30 minutes, or even overnight if making ahead.
-Meanwhile, place a cast-iron or large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3 tablespoons of the oil; once hot, add in the sliced red onion, plus a pinch or two of the salt and pepper (even a tiny pinch or sugar, if you’d like) and caramelize/grill the onions for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown and sweet; set aside to hold.
-To grill the chicken, place a grill pan over medium to medium-high heat, and add add the chicken breasts (work in batches if necessary); grill for about 3-4 minutes on that first side, then flip and grill another 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through; hold warm and on a plate, and repeat until all chicken is grilled.
-Preheat broiler; add a slice of cheese to each chicken breast and place them on a baking sheet and under the broiler just for a minute of two to melt the cheese.
-To assemble, add some of the Spicy Guacamole to the bottom bun, top with a cheesy chicken breast, and then top with some of the grilled red onions, some greens, and tomato slices; dollop more spicy guac on the top with bun, cover, and serve.
Spicy Guacamole Ingredients:
• 3 medium-large, ripe avocados, skin and pit removed
• Zest and juice of 1 lime
• ¼ cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
• 3 green onions, roughly chopped
• ½ teaspoon salt (plus an extra pinch, if needed)
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more of less depending on desired heat level!)
-Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and process until completely smooth and creamy; spoon into a bowl and use immediately, or, cover and keep in fridge until ready to use (or any unused portion, as well).