Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocado Chicken Salad As I’ve said before, even the most delicious of meals can get boring day in, day out. But, any protein can be spun a different way (#leftoverremix). And given the good feedback that was received for the Avocado Egg Salad, as well as the leftover roasted chicken, Avocado Chicken Salad just seemed like the perfect thing to share.   Shredded Chicken First, every last morsole of chicken has been picked from the bones. I have spared the photo of the chicken carcass (very visceral and Game of Thronesy). Next, the shredded chicken has been seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Smashed avocado  chicken For the cream factor, about 3/4 of a very large haas avocado was used. Also, to give it a little bit of a twist, yellow mustard and a pinch of hot sauce has been added, as well as onion and about 2 teaspoons of chia seeds. While chia seeds don’t exactly add any flavor, they do give a bit of extra moisture. When diluted in liquid, the seeds omit a gel (don’t freak out, you won’t even notice it) that is beneficial for your digestive tract. Why not include that in your meal?Avocado  chicken salad

Also, if you’re looking to avoid carbs, the chicken salad can work well as a dip with carrots or zucchini.  chicken salad with carrots 

  

 

One Pan Meal: Roasted Chicken

 Roasted Chicken 
Sunday is meant to be a day of leisure so don’t let meal prep consume it! There are plenty of meals that cook all together and don’t demand too much time. Above is roasted chicken with red potatoes and veggies. 

One pan=one dish to wash=more couch time:)Veggies Preroast 
The veggies chosen are Brussels Sprouts and Eggplant with Mushrooms and Onions thrown in. We have selected these because they make great absorbers and there’s a lot of fat (and flavor) to catch! They have been lightly seasoned with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano.  Chicken preroast Make sure to throughly clean and then season your bird. We used the same flavor assortment (EVOO+lemon+oregano). Also, position is key to make sure your veggies get maximum drip.  

Roasted Chicken2 The rule of thumb is about 20 minutes per pound (this chick is about 6lbs). The end result is a delightful aroma, a quick cleanup, and meals for the week. 

Watermelon Feta Kale Salad

 Watermelon Feta Kale Salad Now, I will admit: I have not always been on board with inter-flavor pairings (call me old fashioned). I never got why people dipped their French fries in milk shakes or why salted caramel was so sought after. But, in discovering how real, natural food can compliment each other, I have grown to appreciate a little sweet with the tangy and that is exactly what this salad bring to the table. 

  
Ingredients: One Cucumber; One half of a Seedless Watermelon (or a quarter of a regular); pack of Feta Cheese; 2 tablespoons of Chopped Walnuts; Black, Seedless Grapes; Few Bunch of Kale; Bunch of Mint Leaves   

Watermelon Kale Directions: Finely chop mint leaves. Break apart kale and lightly sprinkle about half of the mint throughout. Ball melon and cut apart grapes. Add to salad. Add feta crumbles and walnuts throughout. Sprinkle the remaining mint on top. For the cucumber, we have “veggetti’d” (or spiralized) it and placed it on the bottom. This can also be chopped and added normally. 

You’ll find that between the watermelon and cucumber, dressing is unnecessary. This salad is a friendly battle of flavors, while also being cool and refreshing. Remember, especially with temperatures going up, it’s not just water that can hydrate you. 

Whole Wheat Lasagna

 Whole Wheat Lasagna

Lasagna is usually not a dish that comes to mind when thinking of healthy meal ideas. It’s normally heavy, filling, and generally speaking, you don’t want to move after a helping.

But there’s always a way to adjust a recipe to make it a bit more healthy, and lasagna is no exception. This whole wheat lasagne still has the delicious, full taste but doesn’t anchor you to the couch for the next several hours.

This recipe does take several moving parts and time, but it’s well worth the work and gives you plenty of leftovers. 

Meat Sauce: 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb ground sausage, 24 ounce jar of Organic Tomato Sauce, half of a diced onion,  cut up mushroom halfs, 

Grease pan with olive oil. After a few minutes of heating, add onions and mushrooms. Give time to brown. In a separate bowl, mash together sausage and ground beef, adding oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices desired. Add to pan and allow time to brown. Add tomato sauce. Mash meat with spatula to decrease lumps. 

 Meat Sauce
Noodles: Boil water in a large pot. Add whole wheat lasagna noodles. Periodically move noodles around so they are throughly cooked.  Your workstation should be a bit crowded like below:

Lasagna Stove Top 
Cheese: tub of ricotta cheese from skim milk, bag of shredded mozzarella, two eggs.

Crack both eggs in large bowl and mix. Mix in ricotta and then add mozzarella. Add oregano, salt and pepper. 

Layering: After noodles have strained and cooled, begin the layer process. Place some tomato sauce at the bottom of the  lasagna pan. Add layer of noodles, followed by meat sauce, then cheese, and repeat once again. The final top layer should be of noodles. Add desired amount of cheese on top (we’ve kept it light here). 

Lasagna, pre-oven 
Cover pan with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes 360. Once done, remove foil and broil for 10 minutes.

 Lasagna 
You’ll find that the final product is still filling, but the whole wheat pasta (along with portion control) gives it less of a heavy feeling and won’t leave you feeling like something is sitting in your stomach. 

Avocado Egg Salad

 Avocado Egg Salad

There’s a lot of talk about how some fats are good, and some not so much. Mayonnaise certainly falls into the category of “fat” but, 9 times out of 10, it lands in the bad category rather than the good. This is because it’s normally highly processed with partially hydrogenated oils, including Hellman’s, the brand that most associate with Mayo. This kind of oil is bad for both your waistline and your cholesterol. 

But, if you are a fan of the creamy, flavorful taste that mayo brings to the table, try out a more healthy alternative in Avocado. Avocados contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are linked to lowering bad cholesterol and are a good substitute for saturated fat in your diet. And, because they’re a plant of course, they contain other phytonutrients and minerals that your body requires. 

Not only is it a good substitute on a nutritional level, but on a culinary one as well. Pictured above are two hard boiled eggs, mashed with half of a small haas avocado (which I personally find are the best for mashing). Seasoned with salt and pepper, the taste is nearly indistinguishable from regular egg salad and provides the creamy fix with a helping of good fat. Can also fill in well with shrimp, chicken, tuna, or as a regular spread on a sandwich. 

Clean Baking: Carrot Cake Muffins

carrotcake

Happy Easter! Easter has to be one of the top, if not the most, sugar saturated holidays. Peeps, Cadbury Eggs, Reese’s…the list of the artificially sweetened treats goes on and on. It seems like it’s unavoidable. But, there are ways to indulge in a healthy way. That’s where these little delights come in. 

Yields: 12 muffins

Tools Needed: 6 cup muffin tin, Food Processor or mixer

Ingredients: 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, 1/2 cup Coconut Oil, 2 cups Organic Sugar, 1 Egg, 2 Large Carrots, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, 3 teaspoons of Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Nutmeg, 1 teaspoon Ginger, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 cup of Almond Milk

Batter: Mix together dry ingredients. Cut carrots in 1 inch segments. Boil until soft (about 20 minutes). After giving the carrots a few minutes to cool, place them in processor with oil and almond milk until smooth. Add carrot/oil with dry ingredient mixture and mix in egg until no lumps remain.

Bake: Spoon mixture into tins. Do NOT exceed the levels of each tin. The muffins will, of course, rise. Bake for about 30 minutes at 360°. Let cool for 10 minutes.

These muffins are flavorful, filling, and anything but dry. Not only do they make a great desert, but also a quick go-to for breakfast during a busy week.

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

chickmush

After a while, even the most flavorful dish begins to warrant an audible sigh when the Tupperware lid is peeled off. But, to avoid ending up in the fast food window line around 12:15pm, its important to get creative with what you have. Pictured above are stuffed mushrooms, featuring the leftover Middle Eastern Chicken with some bell peppers, onions, and cheese. Any veggies that you are eager to use before they spoil can essentially be used as a “throw in”.

Stuffing- sautee leftover chicken with bell peppers, onion, and the extracted inside of the mushrooms. The chicken is already cooked, so only about 5 minutes or so is all it will take.

Mushrooms– after removing the stem and inside of the button mushrooms, lightly season with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil. Fill inside with cheese and chicken/veggie mix from above. Cook for about 15-20 minutes at 350°.

The mushrooms go very well over rice or quinoa, or just by themselves as an appetizer. Enjoy!

Middle Eastern Chicken and Chickpea Salad

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Let’s face it: chicken can be boring af. It’s the blandest of all the proteins, but also the most benign when it comes to your waistline. That’s why we will be coming up with some chicken options that provide flavor without any guilt attached (tap the chicken option tag to see all).

Trust me, this one will get your taste buds going and make you forget you’re eating healthy.

image1Chicken Breast-Chopped Parsley, Juice of Half a Lemon/2 Tbsp Olive Oil, Through Rub of Cumin, Salt and Pepper to Taste. Baked with Bell Peppers and Mushrooms at 360° for 45 minutes.

Chickpea Parsley Salad-One Can of Chickpeas, Half Chopped Red Onion, Half Chopped Green Pepper, Half Chopped Tomato, One Chopped Cucumber, Bunch of Chopped Parsley, Juice of Half a Lemon, 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Tbsp of Stevia, Salt and Pepper to Taste

The dish doesn’t exactly fall into any one country’s culinary profile, but the lemon/olive oil marinade and use of cumin, parsley, and chickpeas slides right into the Mediterranean/Middle East area. Isn’t it funny how the food from other countries is so much healthier than America’s?

 

Kale Chips

Of course, we couldn’t call the blog The Kale Box without a staple like kale chips. Many have complained that kale can never be as satisfying as a nice, crisp potato. And yes, there are few replacements for a good starchy carb. But the recipes below will expel the belief that kale chips are just bitter and brittle.

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First thing to know, not all kale is created equally when it comes to kale chips. While the traditional curly is always good for salads, the above photographed lacinto kale is best for chipping. Lacinto tends to be a bit sturdier and is more similar to a potato when it comes to texture.

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We’ve gone with a more Italian style with our seasonings. The top and far left chips have been flavored with olive oil and minced garlic while the remaining three are enhanced with balsamic vinegar, a bit of agave nectar to balance out the acidity, and chopped, red onion.  image2

Make sure to keep a close eye on your chips once they are in the oven! The chips will only need about 10-12 minutes at about 360°. You can broil for a few seconds to give an extra crisp, but make sure to be mindful! Happy snacking!

Roasted Kale Salad

One of the many things that makes kale different from all the other greens is that it can actually survive the oven. While iceberg, romaine, and spinach will wilt when heated, kale becomes a nice crispy product, opening the door for a variety of new dishes. Below is what I like to call a “roasted salad”. There’s only so many cold mixed salads one can eat day in and day out (fear not raw fans, their day in the box will come). Change it up with the right seasonings and get to toasting.

Roasted Kale Salad
Roasted Kale Salad- Kale, Grape Tomatoes, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers with Oregano, Balsamic Vinegar, and Nutritional Yeast