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 😉.

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 

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.

#Leftoverremix Quinoa Meatless Balls

There’s nothing more satisfying than using every last bit of produce in your refrigerator. Interestingly, the mini sweet peppers were originally purchased for the portobello pizzas, which lead to the stuffed mini peppers, and left the refrigerator with excess bean mixture and quinoa. The circle of meals. While the bean mixture isn’t bad over quinoa, but we have something more creative in mind. 

Beans and Quinoa
Ingredients: Leftover bean mixture (Lima beans, kidney beans, red onion, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar), quinoa (about 1/2 of a cup was leftover), flax seed

Directions: Soak 1 tablespoon of flax seed in about 2 tablespoons of water and let sit for 10 mins. Combine quinoa, bean mixture and flax once soaked. A little bit of whole wheat flour was thrown in to absorb some moisture. 

Quinoa Balls Preoven
Make into small balls on cooking sheet. Cheese was added to these, but it’s not required for structure. The flax seed acts well as a binding agent. Bake for only about 10 mins or so. Afterall, there’s no meat that you need to worry about cooking thoroughly.

Cooked Quinoa Balls
These came out great and required very little time to prepare. And their taste will convince even the heartiest of meat eaters. 

Vegetarian Mini Stuffed Peppers

You gotta love a finger food. Quick, easy, and gone in a second. Problem is, most of them are starchy, fat laden and have spent way too much time in someone’s freezer. But these mini stuffed peppers are nutrient rich and pack the protein, even with being veggie based.

Mini Sweet Peppers
Ingredients: Bag of mini sweet peppers, 1 can of kidney beans, half can of Lima beans (combination of any beans will work), 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, quarter of diced red onion, balsamic vinegar, shredded mozzarella cheese (if desired).

Directions: Slice tops off of mini peppers. Bake at 350 for only about 10 mins. Let cool afterward.

Vegan Bean Mixture
In a bowl, mix together all beans, onion, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and any seasonings desired (onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper, and salt were used here). Taste the mixture and make sure to balance the amount of vinegar to tomato paste neutralize the sweetness of the tomato paste. Now, this recipe is vegan (it’s good to give your body a break from digesting animal proteins every now and again), but ground beef or chicken will work also.

Stuffed Peppers
Pack a bit of the bean mixture into each pepper. Top off with the mozzarella cheese if not keeping vegan.

These are excellent as an appetizer if entertaining healthy guests or can be a meal with rice or quinoa. 

Portobello Pizza

Pizza is the end all cheat meal. It’s carbs, dairy, grease, and fat all rolled into a delicious, handheld treat. While many feel like it’s the hardest thing to give up while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s variations that deliver the taste without the trash. 
portobello caps
Ingredients: Portobello mushrooms, tomato paste (preferably organic), chicken tenderloins, low fat shredded mozzarella cheese, peppers, onion, kale to garnish

Directions: Scoop out inside of portobello caps (a melon baller was used here), saving the extracted mushroom. Make sure to be CAREFUL while still insuring that a large amount of the inside has been removed. No one wants a holey pizza! Lightly sprinkle with salt to absorb moisture. Bake on 350 for about 15 mins. 

saute chicken and veggies
Slice peppers and onions. Slice chicken to fit size of portobello cap and lightly season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Sauté the removed mushrooms and sliced veggies first. Once browned, add chicken. Cook for about 10-15 mins. 

Once portobello caps have cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, spread a layer of the tomato paste on for your sauce. Then add chicken and cooked veggies. Finish with mozzarella. 

cheese portobellos

Bake for about 10 mins and broil for 2-5 minutes. Watch carefully!

Portobello Pizzas
It’s important to remember that all bad food is based off of good, nutritional ingredients (like a bad movie derived from a good book)😜. Don’t think about what you’re giving up, but what you can spin into making healthy! 

Glowing Green Ice Pops

Glowing Green Ice Pops
It’s getting hotter and hotter out there. It’s important to stay hydrated and refreshed…two things these ice pops satisfy.

Additionally, it’s always good to have solutions to excess fruits and veggies that are on the brink of spoiling. It feels like an accomplishment when you finish off ALL the spinach in that bag or blow throw ALL the apples in that sack. Coming up with the right combination for a delicious ice pop will certainly help to fulfill your produce’s destiny!

Ice Pops in Food Processor

The recipe requires an ice pop mold and food processor. If there is one kitchen gadget to invest in, it’s a good food processor. There are countless healthy things one can produce with it so it’s best not to settle for a cheap, small one. 

Ingredients: 2 Granny Smith apples, 2 small Haas avocados, half of a honeydew melon, half the juice of a lime, bunch of spinach and kale, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut water. 

Directions: place all fruits and veggies in food processor. Add coconut water and chia seeds. Blend until the desired consistency. Some prefer a bit of texture but these are pretty smooth. Pour into mold. Freeze for about 5 hours (overnight is ideal). 

frozen ice pops
The two key ingredients are the avocado and coconut water. Avocado gives the pops a creamy consistency which a banana will also do. The coconut water provides a sugary component as opposed to a bland, watery taste (it will give the same effect for a protein shake). 

frozen ice pops
These will make the perfect treat for a pool day or as a dessert without any guilt attached. Happy summer!

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.