Pulled Chicken Chili

Hello 2017! It’s been a while but we are back with some delicious and nutritious recipes to help you stay on track with your healthy New Years resolutions! 

What else is there to make when it’s freezing everywhere other than chili? Yes, usually the meat is on the fatty side and it’s normally paired with some sort of fat-inducing carb. But this recipe packs the protein and subs out the starch for a carotenoid rich squash. And, it’s topped with some cruncy kale because tortilla chips are certainly on no ones diet right now πŸ˜‰.

Tomato Coating
Ingredients

Chicken: One red onion, One garlic clove, One (any color, yellow used here) bell pepper, One can tomato paste, 2 tablespoons apple side vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 3-4 boneless chicken breasts

Coated Chicken
Chili: 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can black beans, 1 can kidney beans (any combo of beans will work) 

2 Spaghetti Squashes (serves about 5) 

1 bag of chopped kale. Juice of 1/2 lime. 

Directions: Dice veggies. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Brown veggies and then reduce heat. Stir in tomato paste, vinegar and agave. Add any hot spices you desire (cayenne, chipotle, cumin and black pepper used here). Mix until a cohesive paste. Lightly coat each chicken breast. 

In a slow cooker, add 1/2 the can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 can of sauce. Add chili pepper and any other hot spices desired. Add both cans of beans. Place coated chicken on top. Add the remaining diced tomatoes and sauce. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. After about 2 hours, use a fork to break apart chicken. 

Chicken in chili
Refer here for instructions on cooking spaghetti squash. 

For the crunchy kale topping, spread the greens out on a cooking sheet. Drizzle lime juice over and sprinkle with cilantro if desired. 

Crunchy Kale
This is just the thing to warm you up without costing you your diet. The squash serves as a great base that will make you forget all about that pasta. 

Pulled Chicken Chili over Spaghetti Squash 

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Ideas

While we know the turkey is the star of the show, the sides are what make Thanksgiving the great culinary production that it is! Yes, the carby dishes like mashed potatoes and stuffing are what everyone goes for, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your veggies so they get the proper attention they deserve. 

Below are a few sides that will actually get people coming back for seconds:

Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil

Butternut Squash Fries

Pumpkin Spiced Fall Medley

Sweet Potato Wedges

 Happy Thanksgiving! We are certainly thankful for this community of healthy foodies! 

Shepherd’s Pie with Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

Normally, comfort food does not involve kale or carrots but carbs, cream, sugar, and all things that leave us bloated and slightly disappointed with ourselves. But, one of the best ways to keep your diet on track is to put a healthy spin on that comfort food you crave. 

For this shepherd’s pie, we’ve upped the veggies and replaced the white potato for its orange cousin. It certainly is a great, warm recipe for the cool weather and will fill you up without the enhanced belly. 


Ingredients: Bunch of diced carrots, sliced mushrooms, kale, Brussel sprouts, half of white onion, half of bag of frozen peas, 1 1/2 lbs lean beef, 2 large sweet potatoes


Meat and Veggies: Heat a large skillet with olive oil on low. Add onions, mushrooms and carrots first and cover for about 15 minutes. Add kale, diced carrots, and peas.

Season beef as you like (we added garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar). Gradually add meat to the skillet. Raise heat. 


Sweet Potatoes: Peel sweet potatoes and slice. Bring a medium size pot of water to boil and add potatoes. Once soft, strain and let cool. In a large bowl, add butter or coconut oil and salt. Smash with a masher until smooth.

 

Pie: In a casserole dish, spread out veggie meat mixture. Top with mashed sweet potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes. Broil for 5.  


Brussel Sprouts: Cut Brussel Spouts vertically. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip in olive oil. Spread out on an a cooking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Broil for 5. 

It’s best if served with a spatula. The smooth sweet potatoes and savory beef compliment each other amazingly that you forget all about those regular, old white potatoes.

Butternut Squash Fries

French Fries are EVERYONE’s Achilles heel. Seriously, who turns down that savory, greasy, delicious side that every restaurant buys in massive bulk? Unfortunately, the fries are usually the tipping point from making your meal borderline healthy to the reason those jeans don’t fit anymore. Even the healthier sweet potato fries still contain a decent amount of carbs (albeit good ones). But we have a solution that cuts the carb count in half while still giving you a nice finger food side. 


Ingredients: 1 medium size butternut squash (makes about 3 servings), olive oil, salt & pepper (other spices if desired).


Directions: Cut the top stem, half squash vertically, and seed. Slice the top half away from the bulb of the squash. Cut fri-like strips out of the top portion. The bulb will produce a more “C” like shape but the final product will all taste the same.


Toss with olive oil and spices. Bake on 350 for about 40 mins. They live up to their name with a great buttery taste that you will definitely make room for on your Thanksgiving table. 

Junkless Peanut Butter Cups

Happy Halloween! For the kids, it’s all about the candy and for the adults, it’s either about boozing while wearing a ridiculous outfit or waiting for the kids to pass out so you can have your crack at their loot. Either way, your health doesn’t take first priority. 

While this may seem like the perfect opportunity to cheat a bit, keep in mind, the next two months are perhaps the most tempting, so play it safe with a more healthy alternative to processed sugar, artificial colors, and a host of other  horribly addicting bad stuff.


Ingredients: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoons (or to liking) almond milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup, 1 jar of peanut butter, small size cupcake liners

Directions: Mix together oil, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and agave or syrup. Without the almond milk, the mixture will lean towards more of a dark chocolate taste. If to your liking, add less milk. If not, add more. 


Fill each mini cupcake liner (recipe makes about 13-how appropriate 😱) a little less than halfway. Glob an appropriate amount of peanut butter into each as shown above. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. 


After confirming that each cup is solid, top each one off with the remaining mixture. Make sure peanut butter is covered. Refrigerate again for 10-15 minutes. 


These are great if you’re having a party or just for something fun to do with your kids for the holiday. We don’t recommend handing these out to trick-or-treaters because Halloween is the one holiday where homemade treats are not appreciated 😱. Snack wisely and have a happy and safe Halloween πŸ‘»πŸŽƒ!

Pumpkin Spiced Fall Medley

There’s certainly a lot of debates going on these days. Yeah, there’s that whole whose going to run the US come November, but the only one this blog feels comfortable taking a stance on is whether you love or hate Pumpkin Spice! 

It’s always great to integrate what vegetation is in season into your diet. It allows you to try new things while possibly introducing some new nutrients into your body. So, we are more than on board with adding some pumpkin into our meals this Fall! That is, if it’s the actual squash and not some chemical that a certain huge chain coffeehouse concoctes.😜

Pumpkin itself is not the greatest on it’s own. It doesn’t contain much natural sugar like sweet potatoes do so you get a very Earthy taste. That’s why it’s frequently paired with signature Fall spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. 

Ingredients: 3 medium size sweet potatoes, 1 smaller size butternut squash, 2 Granny Smith apples, 1 can of pumpkin,  1 can coconut cream, nutmeg, ground cinnamon, clove, allspice, 2 tablespoons of raw sugar, pinch of flour

Directions: Peel and cut butternut squash  in half. Seed and cube. Wash and cut apples and sweet potatoes. Spray a baking sheet and add your fruits/veggies. Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes. You may want to bake apples separately for a shorter time as they can get a bit mushy. 

Open can of pumpkin and coconut cream (I’ve only seen this at Trader Joe’s). Mixture together in food processor (use about 3/4 of can of cream). Add spices, sugar and flour. If too thin, add more flour (same with sweetness). 

Once completed, drizzle pumpkin sauce over fruit/veggies. We made this with unseasoned chicken and added the pumpkin mixture to it as well. 


This combination will definitely get you into the Fall spirit. It’s a nice break from broccoli and Brussel sprouts while still getting your veggie intake. 

Stuffed Chicken Pockets

Happy Labor Day Weekend to our American readers and apologizes for the lapse in posts! Summer is ending but it doesn’t mean your healthy eating plan needs to go into hibernation! Tonight’s post is an all-in-one flavor bomb that goes great over anything. 


Ingredients: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 white onion, sliced mushrooms, bell pepper (any color desired), bunch of spinach leaves, fresh mozarella, one garlic clove. 

Directions: Chop all veggies. Fry over a medium heated skillet. Save some of the chopped garlic to season your chicken. Add spinach leaves once onions have browned. Let sit and cool.


Wash chicken breasts (about half of one is enough for one person). Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, minced garlic, and oregano. Evenly cut the breasts laterally. You need to have enough room for your stuffing without completely cutting in half. Season inside as well. 


Once veggies have cooled, begin spooning into the inside of your chicken breasts. Cut the mozarella to size and evenly disperse throughout pocket. 

Once all chickens have been stuffed, cook on 350 for about 45 minutes. 


The key to making this dish taste original and not just regular old chicken, veggies and a little bit of cheese is to make sure the breasts are thoroughly seasoned, inside and out. Spices are what make or break a healthy recipe. Get creative! 

Roasted Chickpea Coleslaw

Coleslaw can easily tow the line between healthy and unhealthy. It all depends on how you dress it. We all know mayo gives it the full flavor, but also the full fat content. But this blog’s purpose is to find ways around the bad ingredients without sacrificing flavor. Plus, this recipe adds something unique in the form of roasted chickpeas for added protein and crunch. 


Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas, 1 12 oz pack of broccoli (or cabbage) slaw, 1/4 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustards, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of agave nectar 

Directions: Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Toss with any desired spices (black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and nutritional yeast were used here). Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Broil for 5. They should have a nice crunchy yet moist consistency. 

Toss slaw mix with onion and chia seeds. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can add the chickpeas before the dressing or on top of you prefer. 


You’ll find that the mustard and vinegar provide a great tangy flavor, balanced with the sweetness of the agave. Plus the chia seeds give additional moisture once they gel. Makes a great BBQ side or a vegan meal all on its own. 

Chocolate Protein Ice Pops

Looking for a late night snack that you won’t feel rumbling around in your stomach when you finally lay down? Look no further! With added protein and no dairy, this chocolate version of the ice pop makes a great, guilt free desert at the end of a long day.

Avocado Chocolate Coconut Water

Ingredients: 1 full avocado, 16 oz of chocolate coconut water, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1-2 scoop(s) of protein powder 

Directions: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. A blender will work better than a food processor in this situation. The avocado will provide the cream factor. If not a fan of avocados, banana can be used instead. Pour into ice pop mold. 

Chocolate Ice Pop
Freeze for at least 4 hours. These are great for a late night snack attack and also if trying to work additional protein into your diet. They also provide hydration and are great for your skin. Stay cool!

Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Sliders

So, the title kinda sells itself. Pulled pork? Amazing. Sliders? Give it here. This dish takes the bad stuff out with eliminating the sugary, processed BBQ sauce and the white bread. Plus, it’s a dump and go meal, so it requires little prep time. 


Ingredients: Pork shoulder/Boston butt (3.5 lb used here), 3 Sweet Potatos (1 makes about 3 sliders), 1/4 onion (red used here, any will work), 1 clove of garlic, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar 

Directions: Dice onion and garlic. Cook over a medium skillet until browned. Reduce heat. Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, soy sauce, the vinegars, and the agave. Mix thoroughly in pan. Once done, pat the pork down with the mixture. Try to cover as much as possible. 

Place the pork in the slow cooker. Add about a cup of water (depending on size of cooker) and any additional spices (garlic powder, cayenne, etc). Place on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5. Once done, use fork to shred. 


Sliders: Cut potatoes about 1″ thick. This will give them enough size to house the pork while not giving an overwhelming potato taste. Lightly season with olive oil and s&p. Bake on a baking sheet for 30 minutes on 350. 

While higher in fat than most proteins, the substitution of a good complex carbohydrate like sweet potato for a plain, old white bun will be the real difference maker when it comes to your diet. Just stick with some broccoli on the side and not French fries😜.