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!
Happy #tacotuesday! Tacos are not the most unhealthy indulgence, but it’s the shell and certain fatty add ins like sour cream that break the meal and your diet. The good news is the dish is welcoming towards different veggies, so load ’em up!
Ingredients: 16 oz lean ground beef (makes about 5 burritos), 1-2 bell peppers (any color), 1 white onion, 2 avocados, ), 1/2 of tomato, cheddar cheese (if desired), 2-3 stalks of romaine lettuce
Directions: Slice peppers and about a 1/4 of the onion. Place meat in a large bowl and season with cumin, garlic powder, various peppers (chipotle, cayenne and black were used here), cilantro, lime juice and salt. A dash of balsamic vinegar was also thrown in. In a greased pan, sautée peppers and onions until browned. Add meat and dice with spatula. Cook for about 15 mins.
Pick de gallo: Dice about half of the tomato and half of the onion like shown above. Season with cilantro, chipotle and salt. Mix thoroughly.
For lettuce wraps, we have found that it’s best to double up the romaine leaves for support. Plus, it adds to your veggie intake. We have layered the wet ingredients first, followed by the meat and some leftover quinoa, a bit of shredded cheese and finally the diced avocado.
Try to secure an additional romaine leaf on top of the wrap to give it a burrito feel. The final product is hearty and requires two hands. It will make you forget all about Chipotle or Moe’s!
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.
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.
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.
Bake for about 10 mins and broil for 2-5 minutes. Watch carefully!
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!
You either love sushi or you hate it. Some people can’t handle raw fish. Some can’t take the helping of rice, veggies, and fish all at one. Well, these are cooked, light and palatable so that even the pickiest of eaters will be lunging for the chop sticks.
Ingredients: .67 ounces of salmon (makes about 10 rolls), 1 cucumber, quarter chopped onion, bunch of grated carrots, whole avocado, grated ginger, soy sauce
Rolls: Cut edges off cucumber. Peel layers of cucumber. Each roll should be about 2-3 “sheets”. For a thicker product, make sure to apply pressure on peeler.
Salmon: Season with garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, pepper, and salt. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.
To form rolls, layer veggies and salmon. Roll forward. If cucumbers unravel, use avocado as adhesive.
We have paired it with leftover caulirice, but it will also go well over greens. For moisture, add a dash of soy sauce. The rolls are refreshing and filling. And they will keep you from throwing a dish at the wall out of frustration from keeping a stagnant diet. And who wouldn’t want to prevent that? 😛
Cauliflower is another vegetable that can be the answer to your carb cravings. If you can get passed its rather, uh, flatulent odor while it’s being prepared, cauliflower is able to be manipulated into a variety of forms that can serve as a base for any dish.
Ingredients: Medium size cauliflower head, 2 garlic cloves, one quarter white onion, bunch of carrot sticks, salt & pepper, Food processor
Ground chicken, orangic sweet and sour sauce, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Caulirice: cut the cauliflower head into florets. Chop onion, garlic cloves, and carrots and add to cauliflower. The cauliflower is a bit bland without anything added to it, so the garlic and onion offer great flavor. Season with salt and pepper. A medium size head should be processed in two loads. Do NOT add any liquid. Mashed cauliflower is another conversation for another time 😜. Place in microwave safe dish. Cook for 8-10 mins.
Meatballs: combine all ingredients (using about 3 tablespoons of S&S sauce) in large bowl and mix. For the breadcrumbs, we used an end piece of Ezekiel bread to keep it safe. Shape into medium size balls. Bake for 30 mins at 350. Broil for 2 mins if desired. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
This dish is yet another example of a balanced meal that does not slack in the taste department. One you master it, Caulirice will be your go to fake starch.
Missing pasta? Absolutely. All the time. Even in between bites when I’m actually eating it. Truth is, pasta is just one big carb bomb. More than bread and rice, pasta is filling, heavy, and only ends up sitting around your waist. But there are options that can itch that scratch without putting your diet in the danger zone.
Zucchini is very versatile. It can be manipulated in a variety of ways other than just cut up and fried. Here we have created zucchini pillows, a kind of “blanket” (see what I did there) term for either a ravioli or a dumpling.
Ingredients: 2 large zucchinis, 1 large cooked chicken breast, vegetable peeler
Directions: With the vegetable peeler, cut 2-3 strips to form the vertical strip as seen above. Repeat the same process to form the horizontal piece. The strips are frail and may need more than 3 to support the chicken.
Cut chicken into small pieces (what I have used is premade. Sue me:). Place in center. You can add any seasoning (garlic, pepper, etc) or even cheese to act as more of a binder.
The rolling process is best done by first selecting an end that is underneath the other zucchini strip. Then pick an end that is on top, followed by the remaining underneath end, and finally finished with the last strip. BE SURE TO BE DELICATE. They can fall apart at a moments notice!
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Then broil for an additional 10.
We have prepared these with a sort of Asian inspiration (more so dumpling than ravioli than) consisting of broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, and rice with a drizzle of soy sauce/sesame oil.
These can also be done with cheese or any other protein in a red sauce as a ravioli substitute. Try them out, you won’t regret it!
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. 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. 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?
Also, if you’re looking to avoid carbs, the chicken salad can work well as a dip with carrots or zucchini.
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!
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.
Chicken 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?
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.
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.
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.
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!