07-07-2014

Mini Summertime Pot Pies

Ever get the craving for a certain food… in the wrong season? Chicken pot pies are a winter comfort food but here they are making a summertime appearance!

I added some summer vegetables & lightened up the traditional pot pie recipe to give you this creation below… Super easy & athlete approved!

Mini Summertime Pot Pies

Adapted from: Meal Makeover Moms

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 small can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and diced
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
12 pre made refrigerated biscuits (Immaculate Biscuits)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute more.
2. Stir in the chicken, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add in the squash and zucchini. Cook for a couple more minutes.

Mini Pot Pies-1

Mini Pot Pies-2

3. Add 3/4 of the can of cream of chicken soup to the skillet along with the peas and corn stir gently until the sauce is spread evenly, about 2 minutes.

Mini Pot Pies-3
4. To prepare the mini pies, use a muffin pan with 12 medium-size cups (do not coat with nonstick cooking spray). Gently place 1 biscuit into each cup, letting it extend over the sides by gently stretching it.

5. Place a generous 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into each wrap. Fold the corners up and over the top of the filling and press to seal the edges. They will rise & look like this:

Mini Pot Pies-4
6. Bake until golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly before eating.

Mini Pot Pies-6

Nutrition Facts (1 pot pie): 230 calories, 7g fat, 30g carbs, 2g fiber, 13g protein

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for lunch during the week!

Mini Pot Pies-7

 What’s your favorite “mini” recipe?

Mini Summertime Pot Pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6-12
Ingredients
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ small onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ½-inch dice
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 small can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
  • 1 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 12 pre made refrigerated biscuits (
  • Immaculate Biscuits
  • )
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Stir in the chicken, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add in the squash and zucchini. Cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. Add ¾ of the can of cream of chicken soup to the skillet along with the peas and corn stir gently until the sauce is spread evenly, about 2 minutes.
  4. To prepare the mini pies, use a muffin pan with 12 medium-size cups (do not coat with nonstick cooking spray). Gently place 1 biscuit into each cup, letting it extend over the sides by gently stretching it.
  5. Place a generous ¼ cup of the chicken mixture into each wrap. Fold the corners up and over the top of the filling and press to seal the edges.
  6. Bake until golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly before eating.
  7. Nutrition Facts (1 pot pie): 230 calories, 7g fat, 30g carbs, 2g fiber, 13g protein
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 230 calories Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 2g Protein: 13g
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07-03-2014

Inside the Life of a Personal Chef!

Personal chef services have really increased in the past few years. With many people lacking cooking skills or time yet still wanting to eat healthy (& homemade!) meals, the market for a Personal Chef is really taking off.

 

I recently came across a really delicious recipe for Basil Pesto Chicken, Farro & Nectarine Salad. I’m always looking for something new to make… and this recipe caught my eye when I saw that it won an original recipe contest. It must be good if it won, right? RIGHT. VERY RIGHT. It was not only easy to make but also became my new favorite lunch meal since it almost tastes better the next day. Almost.

 

The creator of this recipe is Whitney Reist, the owner of Dietitian in the Kitchen. She’s actually a colleague of mine and with both of us making moves in the past couple of years, I completely lost track of her Personal Chef journey. I thought it would be really neat for those of you interested in cooking healthy dishes to see how she got started on this path and how she has done so well running her own business based on healthy & REAL food! Read on for a short interview with Whitney…

 

Whitney Reist Headshot       dietitianinkitchen

 

1.     Did you always know the Personal Chef role was your end goal?

Absolutely not!   This was an opportunity that evolved for me as I was in culinary school and still working as an Oncology dietitian at Baylor University Medical Center.   To further practice what I was learning at Le Cordon Bleu and help pay my tuition, I moved in with a family and worked as their live-in personal chef.

Through  experience at school and working as a live-in personal chef, I began to see that working as a personal chef was something I wanted to pursue for a career.  By the time I had graduated culinary school, I had enough people interested in using me as a personal chef that I decided to do it on a part-time basis.  After about 6 months of doing this, I made the decision to resign my position at the cancer center and took on more personal chef clients so I could do it on a full-time basis.

 

2.    What helped you the most when trying to combine good nutrition with tasty food? 

Remembering that simple preparation methods with highest quality ingredients are what makes healthy food look and taste most delicious.  Buying ingredients seasonally, using fresh herbs and bold spices, and using citrus juices to brighten flavors are key tips for making this happen as well!

 

3.    What’s your advice to those just starting to cook healthy for themselves?

Make a small goal that you can easily attain to start out with.  That may be cooking a healthy meal 3 times per week and making enough to have leftovers the next day.  Planning your menu of what you will cook a week to a month ahead of time is also key to making your goal happen.  The last thing you want to do is get to the day that you are supposed to cook and not know what you want to make and on top of that have to shop for the ingredients.

 

4.     What’s one (or more) good resource you recommend when looking for recipes?

My favorite healthy recipe sites with simple preparation techniques and minimal ingredients are www.cookinglight.com and www.myrecipes.com.  You can search for recipes to fit in specific diets, calorie ranges, and save them to menus as well as create shopping lists for the recipes you choose.  Both sites are a “one stop shop” for planning, organizing, and making healthy cooking happen!

 

5.    Do you remember your first “aha” moment when you made a really delicious yet healthy recipe? What was it?

This would definitely be when I made Basil Pesto at home for the first time and started adding a bunch of spinach or arugula to it.  It was a nutrition powerhouse condiment that tasted amazing and looked beautiful.  I learned that I could take salads, grains, pasta dishes, fish and chicken dishes to the next level with a spoonful or two of this delicious stuff in minutes!  It also makes a good pizza topping, sandwich spread, and egg mix-in.  The possibilities are truly endless!

 

6.    Any suggestions for time management when the average person is trying to meal prep for a few hours on the weekend?

Yes – I will even provide tips with bullet points for extra organization!

  • Make a prep list – before you start your cook day, jot down a list of the recipes you will make in order that you are going to make them.  This will keep you focused and organized while ensuring that you won’t forget anything in the hustle and bustle of cooking.
  • Follow the rule of “Mis en Place” – Have all of your ingredients and cooking tools that you need for the day organized and within easy reach on your countertops before you start cooking.  Making multiple trips to your fridge, pantry, and cabinets add lots of time to your cooking day, so try to minimize this as much as possible.
  • Streamline putting a recipe together by having all your veggies and/or fruit washed and cut into the size you will use before you start cooking.  Also measure spices, dry ingredients, and liquids before you put the recipe together.

 

7.    How did you learn to pair certain flavors with foods?

I read LOTS of recipes and cookbooks – this is something that’s somewhat of a hobby for me.  I find it so intriguing to note the differences in how different authors and magazines write recipes and the flavors that they tend to pair together.  After a while, I notice trends in food pairings that I try in my own kitchen and then from there figure out what my personal pairing preferences are.

 

8.   Do you have any go-to recipes for a quick weeknight dinner that is fail-proof?

I find that if you always have a whole-grain bread/flatbread/wrap available with low fat cheese, a lean protein, and 2-3 vegetable options with a marinara sauce, hot sauce, or salsa that a healthy well-balanced pizza or Panini sandwich is only a few minutes away from satisfying a hungry belly!  This never fails to be our go-to on busy nights when we are tired and time is limited.  I also try to keep 1-2 dishes in the freezer for backup dinners – enchiladas, chilis, and soups tend to work well for this strategy.

 

9.    Do you have advice for those interested in pursuing a personal chef career & targeting clients that want healthy options?

Before you get started, it’s important to know what your state’s health codes are in the event that you ever need to cook out of your own kitchen or to know if that is even an option.  I prefer to cook food in my client’s kitchen so that I can store it for them as it is prepared and limit liability issues.  Applying for an LLC is also worth the time and effort.

For obtaining clients, word of mouth has been my most valuable avenue of advertisement.  Talk to people everywhere you go about your business – wear your chefs coat to the grocery store when shopping for yourself to drum up conversation with potential clients and visit gyms and health clubs to talk about your services.  Chef In Demand has a great blog and LinkedIn community that offers wonderful advice for personal chefs looking to build their business and find clients quickly.

 

…Head on over to Whitney’s site where you can get the recipe for this amazing dish:

Salad Smackdown Banner

 

Questions for Whitney? Have you ever considered using a Personal Chef or becoming one? Leave a comment below!

 

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06-11-2014

Spotlight on: Lemon

Summer is really here! I don’t know about you, but summer makes me think of snow cones, BBQs and lemonade.

The classic lemonade is always tasty in the summer heat or while lounging by the pool, but what about something with more health benefits and less sugar??

I come across lots of lemon “detox” drinks that have way too many funky ingredients in them… so I decided to try a simple mix of some fruit & mint for a refreshing Citrus Mint Lemonade.

Some benefits of consuming lemon/lemon juice on a regular basis include…

Vitamin C: antioxidant that works against free radicals

Beneficial for the liver: dissolvent of uric acid & other poisons

Powerful antibacterial properties

Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and constipation

For those of you wanting to try it – here’s the recipe!

Ingredients

1 cup cubed pineapple
1/2 orange, peeled
3/4-1 lemon, peeled
16 oz brewed green tea
8-10 mint leaves

Directions

Bring 16oz water to a boil. Add in 2-3 green tea bags of your choice and let steep for 3-4 minutes (do this while you peel the fruit & get it ready).

Peel orange & lemon. Cut pineapple if needed. Add the fruit & mint leaves to the blender.

Summer Lemonade-2
When tea is ready, add 16oz green tea to the blender.

Summer Lemonade-1
Blend it up!

It tastes best when chilled, so leave it in the fridge for a while before serving or pour over ice.

Summer Lemonade-4

Nutrition Facts {8oz lemonade}: 63 calories, 0g fat, 16g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1g protein

 

 

Spotlight on: Lemon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Perfect summer drink!
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • ½ orange, peeled
  • ¾-1 lemon, peeled
  • 16 oz brewed green tea
  • 8-10 mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Bring 16oz water to a boil. Add in 2-3 green tea bags of your choice and let steep for 3-4 minutes (do this while you peel the fruit & get it ready).
  2. Peel orange & lemon. Cut pineapple if needed. Add the fruit & mint leaves to the blender.
  3. When tea is ready, add 16oz green tea to the blender.
  4. Blend it up!
  5. It tastes best when chilled, so leave it in the fridge for a while before serving or pour over ice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 oz Calories: 63 Fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 2.5g Protein: 1g

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05-28-2014

Summer Caprese Burger

I’m so excited to share a new recipe with all of you! I’ve been waiting patiently to post this so that it could happen on the same day it launches on the Stone Soup blog, which is associated with the Food & Nutrition Magazine. This is a great resource since it’s only written by members of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics! For healthy & balanced recipes, check it out.

 

Back to the recipe… I needed an original, summer-friendly, AND athlete-friendly recipe for them. I considered stir fry, a cold pasta salad and other cold recipes. Then the idea of the grill came to mind. Yes… definitely the grill. What was I thinking before?!

 

This caprese burger finally hit the spot on the third try. It took quite a bit of tweaking and testing to get this chicken burger to have lots of flavor. It can be pretty hard to achieve a good flavor when using ground chicken… just FYI.

Instead of posting the whole recipe here, I want to direct you to my post on Stone Soup.

Since they could only accept one photo, let me get your taste buds ready with the photo story…

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

I started by roasting my own red bell pepper, but you can definitely {cheat!} buy the jarred version

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the ground chicken – this is where we get the flavor {spinach, pesto, panko, coriander, salt, pepper}

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

Peel the skin off your roasted peppers and chop. Add in with the other ingredients.

After mixing all ingredients well, add that ground chicken into the mix.

Chicken Burger- the fueled athlete

Chicken Burger- the fueled athlete

Mold into 5 {3-4 oz} burgers

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

Put on the grill

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

After 4-5 minutes each side, these caprese burgers are ready to eat!

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

Chicken Burger-the fueled athlete

Serve with whole grain bun, mozzarella cheese, tomato, onion, avocado and a drizzle of balsamic!

Nutrition Facts (3-oz chicken burger, sans bun): 190 cal, 7.5g fat, 530mg sodium, 9g carb, 1.2 g fiber, 19.6g protein

It won’t hurt to add some sweet potato fries either!

For exact quantities of ingredients, visit the Stone Soup blog & read my recipe there.

 

 

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05-13-2014

Quinoa Baked Ziti

There are so many tasty pasta dishes out there… yet many are loaded with cream, carbs and have little protein.

Think fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti, and lasagna.

A few weeks ago I got the urge to make a traditional baked ziti dish into a healthier version, including more fiber and more protein.

By using low-fat (2%) dairy, there is less saturated fat added while still using a good protein source. I made one version of this without the turkey, but really liked it with the turkey since it added more texture… so it’s included in this recipe.

This recipe is perfect for an athlete post-workout since it has low to moderate fat, moderate carbohydrates and provides an excellent source of protein.


Ingredients

Olive oil spray
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 oz. quinoa penne pasta
1 large jar marinara sauce (I used Newman’s Own)
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg
1-15 oz. container of low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup 2% mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Parsley, chopped

Directions
Chop up your garlic, onion & vegetables for a smooth cooking process! PS- this is how I keep track of my recipe as I go. I write down what I am starting with and make changes as I go and add/remove ingredients, cooking time, etc.

Baked Ziti-2

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 3-4 minutes allowing to soften. Add lean turkey and cook until browned. Drain off any extra water/grease/fat.

Add marinara sauce, salt & pepper to taste, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.

Baked Ziti-4

Add in the zucchini and red bell pepper after 10 minutes. After an additional 5-7 minutes, Remove half of the sauce to a separate bowl to cool off.

Baked Ziti-5

While the sauce is simmering, boil water for the quinoa pasta. Once boiling, cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes (it should be less than al dente since it will continue to cook in the oven). Immediately drain pasta and run cool water over it to stop the cooking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup of mozzarella, all of parmesan, egg and salt & pepper to taste. Softly mix together. Add the cooled pasta into the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine.

Baked Ziti-6

Add the cooled meat sauce to the cheesy pasta and stir to combine. It should still be chunky!

Now assemble the dish! Add one layer of the cheesy pasta mixture to a large casserole dish.

Baked Ziti-7

Next layer is the meat sauce.

Baked Ziti-8

Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella.

Baked Ziti-9

Repeat with another layer of cheese pasta mixture, meat sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley & let cool for 5 minutes.

Baked Ziti-10 Baked Ziti-11
Decide how big you want the portions:

Nutrition Facts (Serves 6): 450 calories, 16g fat, 47g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 33g protein

Nutrition Facts (Serves 9): 300 calories, 11g fat, 32g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 22g protein

For a vegetarian version, remove the lean turkey.

Enjoy!

 

Quinoa Baked Ziti
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Easy baked ziti made with quinoa pasta
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 oz. quinoa penne pasta
  • 1 large jar marinara sauce (I used Newman's Own)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1-15 oz. container of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup 2% mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 3-4 minutes allowing to soften. Add lean turkey and cook until browned. Drain off any extra water/grease/fat.
  2. Add marinara sauce, salt & pepper to taste, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Add in the zucchini and red bell pepper after 10 minutes. After an additional 5-7 minutes, Remove half of the sauce to a separate bowl to cool off.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, boil water for the quinoa pasta. Once boiling, cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes (it should be less than al dente since it will continue to cook in the oven). Immediately drain pasta and run cool water over it to stop the cooking.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, ¾ cup of mozzarella, all of parmesan, egg and salt & pepper to taste. Softly mix together. Add the cooled pasta into the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine. Add the cooled meat sauce and stir to combine. It should still be chunky!
  6. Now assemble to the dish! Add one layer of the cheese mixture to a large casserole dish. Next layer is the meat sauce. Top with ¼ cup mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of cheese pasta mixture, meat sauce, then ½ cup mozzarella.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley & let cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

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05-06-2014

Homemade Tart Cherry Sports Drink

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list for a sports drink at the store?

Don’t get me wrong, sports drinks absolutely have their time and place in exercise. However, there seem to be quite a few ingredients in those drinks that some people are trying to avoid… food coloring, fructose, etc. While some athletes can tolerate fructose just fine, others have a terrible time with it causing GI issues.

I did a really in-depth post on during-workout sports nutrition regarding the exact amounts of nutrients needed to stay hydrated and fueled during a workout or competition. If you want to see why I aimed for certain amounts in this drink, read that here first!

With all of the awesome research out right now regarding tart cherry juice, I found myself trying to think up a creative sports drink including it. Naturally, like other anthocyanin-rich foods, tart cherries deliver substantial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Many sport teams and athletes drink it right after a practice or competition for recovery. Now, even more benefits are being found including better sleep!

I came up with something really simple! It’s easy to make and tastes similar to the light taste of an electrolyte tablet added to a water bottle.

The nutrition facts fit {almost perfectly} what an athlete needs every 15-20 minutes during an intense workout. Since the recipe makes ~1 liter, this is ideal for 60-90 minutes of high intensity exercise. The carbohydrates are perfect {14 grams per 8ounces} for keeping the GI system happy and there’s just enough protein to fuel an endurance type workout.

Homemade Tart Cherry Sports Drink

Servings: 4

6 Tbsp Concentrated Cherry Juice (2 tbsp = 15g carbohydrates; find this amount when looking at different brands)
8 oz coconut water
24 oz water
1/8 tsp sea salt

Mix well!

Sports Drink-2

Nutrition Facts (8oz serving): 65 calories, 0g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 1.4g protein, 100mg sodium, 90mg potassium

If you like chia seeds, I would highly recommend adding these in too! They will add omega-3, calcium, magnesium and I just like the taste.

If you can’t find the concentrate, just use 100% tart cherry juice (24 oz) to replace the 24oz water in the recipe.

Have you tried a homemade sports drink before? Do you have a favorite?

 

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04-25-2014

Chicken Burrito Bowl Makeover

This recipe is a makeover of one of my favorite easy meals – the chicken burrito bowl. Many of us have experienced this satisfying bowl at Chipotle or Freebirds, but now you can make it at home too.

 

This version is veggie dense, replaces the rice with quinoa and still has the traditional toppings we crave.

It’s seriously worth making and perfect for reheating on your lunch break the next day.

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl {Makeover}


Ingredients

1.5 cup dry quinoa/rice blend
1/2 purple onion, cut into long pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into long pieces
2 zucchinis, spiralized
2 handfuls kale, torn in small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, rinsed
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
Favorite salsa
2 avocados
Cheese, shredded {optional}

Instructions

1. Put 1.5 cup dry quinoa or quinoa blend into a sauce pan with 3 cups water (or broth). Bring to boiling, then let simmer for 15 minutes or until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid. Start this first because it takes the longest amount of time in this recipe.
2. Cut and prep the onion, pepper, zucchini & kale. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Add in the onion and bell pepper first & sauté for 4-5 minutes. Next, add in the kale and zucchini. Continue to sauté for 4-5 more minutes.

Chicken Bowl-2-the-fueled-athlete

Chicken Bowl-3-the-fueled-athlete

Chicken Bowl-4-the-fueled-athlete
3. Add the rinsed corn and black beans to another pan. Heat for 5-6 minutes then turn to low.
4. While everything is cooking on the stove, shred the chicken and put into a bowl.
5. Mash the avocado & add in some salsa or diced tomatoes for a good guacamole.

Chicken Bowl-1-the-fueled-athlete
6. Set out the salsa and optional cheese.
7. When quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork.
8. To assemble the bowl: quinoa on bottom, layer black beans & corn mixture next, followed by veggie mixture, now add shredded chicken, avocado/guacamole and top with salsa.

Chicken Bowl-6-the-fueled-athlete

Nutrition Facts (3/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup bean & corn mixture, 3/4 cup veggie mix, 2 oz chicken, 1/4 cup guacamole, 2 tbsp salsa): 465 calories, 18g ft, 60g carb, 11g fiber, 23g protein

Final thoughts: This would also be really good with shredded carnitas. A little spice and some cilantro would also be a great addition.

PERFECT for a post-workout meal. Enjoy!

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl Makeover
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthy makeover of the traditional burrito bowl!
Author:
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cup dry quinoa/rice blend
  • ½ purple onion, cut into long pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into long pieces
  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2 handfuls kale, torn in small pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can corn, rinsed
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • Favorite salsa
  • 2 avocados
  • Cheese, shredded {optional}
Instructions
  1. Put 1.5 cup dry quinoa or quinoa blend into a sauce pan with 3 cups water (or broth). Bring to boiling, then let simmer for 15 minutes or until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid. Start this first because it takes the longest amount of time in this recipe.
  2. Cut and prep the onion, pepper, zucchini & kale. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Add in the prepped vegetables and sauté for ~10 minutes.
  3. Add the rinsed corn and black beans to another pan. Heat for 5-6 minutes then turn to low.
  4. While everything is cooking on the stove, shred the chicken and put into a bowl.
  5. Mash the avocado & add in some salsa or diced tomatoes for a good guacamole.
  6. Set out the salsa and optional cheese.
  7. When quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork.
  8. To assemble the bowl: quinoa on bottom, layer black beans & corn mixture next, followed by veggie mixture, now add shredded chicken, avocado/guacamole and top with salsa.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl Calories: 465 Cal Fat: 18g Carbohydrates: 60g Fiber: 11g Protein: 23g

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04-23-2014

Easy Meal Planning Solved… with Cooksmarts!

Have you ever wished you could get organized enough to have healthy, delicious dinners during the week… without it being the exact same meal each night?

 

I know it’s a struggle for many and especially for athletes that are spending 1-2 hours per day training, driving to practice or games, and coming home tired & sore with no motivation to cook.

 

There are a few different solutions for this problem. One that I have found to be especially helpful is Cooksmarts. It’s perfect for the beginner cook, the busy athlete or parent of an athlete, or even the busy professional. That’s what really hooked me about it – it fits every lifestyle.

Each week, Cooksmarts sends you 4 dinners for the week with a grocery list.

You can choose from the original recipe or adjust it to vegetarian, paleo, or gluten-free. How amazing is that?!

There are also little videos for explaining cooking techniques such as “how to crush garlic”. Jess Dang, the creator of Cooksmarts, really does a great job of giving you ALL of the information for making healthy and delicious meals.

Sooo…”How expensive is this going to be??” – I know that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t know how she does it, but Jess makes this extremely affordable. If you sign up for a year, it’s $6/month. If you prefer to do month-to-month, it’s $8/month.

One of my absolute favorite meals I’ve come across is the Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Salmon. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s complicated. This recipe has become part of my usual meal rotation because of how easy and fast it is to make. Jess writes about it here, but I wanted to include my own version & photos too!

Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Salmon from Cooksmarts

Ingredients

  • Salmon – 1½ lbs.
  • Parsley – 3 sprigs, chopped
  • Butter – 4 tbs.
  • Dijon mustard – 2½ tbs.
  • Maple syrup – 1½ tbs.
  • Soy sauce – 1 tsp.
  • Panko – ½ cup
  • Cooking oil – 1 tbs.

Instructions

Prep
  1. Salmon – Divide fish up into 4 servings. Rinse and dry fish. Lightly salt and pepper.
  2. Crust – Chop parsley. Melt butter in the microwave (~1 minute should do). Mix butter with Dijon, maple syrup, soy sauce, panko, and parsley.
Make
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line sheet pan with foil and brush with some cooking oil. Add salmon and then divide and spoon crust onto fish. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes.

Cooksmarts Salmon-1-the-fueled-athlete

 

Cooksmarts Salmon-2-the-fueled-athlete

 

Cooksmarts Salmon-4-the-fueled-athlete

 

Cooksmarts Salmon-5-the-fueled-athlete

Normally, the salmon is served with a salad & homemade dressing that is also on the recipe. This particular night I was using leftover rice/quinoa and roasted vegetables. However, the salad is addicting! I actually use that dressing for many of my salads, whether it’s the Cooksmarts version or my own creation.

Below is the Cooksmarts image containing my affiliate link. Remember, an affiliate link means if you purchase through my link, I will get a small percentage of the sale. This doesn’t change the price for you, but just gives me a little credit for promoting. I have actually never been an affiliate for a company before so this speaks volumes for how I feel about Cooksmarts! I truly believe in this company and love what Jess has done.

Visit the website here & “Take a Tour” to learn more & see exactly how Cooksmarts works! Jess is currently offering $5 off for anyone referred.

Let me know if you already use Cooksmarts (?) & how it’s going below! Fuel on!

 

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