Thursday, January 24, 2013

Healthy in NO TIME!

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers from
I just LOVE a nice, warm, healthy meal.  But I don't always (or ever lately) have time to start from scratch when I FINALLY have time to start from scratch!  Today I wanted to share a few of our favorite, healthy go-to meals and a link to some yummy-looking freezer meals you can prepare once a month and have when you NEED them!

As a general rule of thumb, we avoid ALL processed and white-flour carbohydrates.  We also try to avoid gluten/limit it to one meal a day/five days a week (including lunches).

Also - when looking at the ingredient list, you want to recognize all of the ingredients, and avoid anything that has sugar - in any form (including corn syrups of any kind) - in the first five ingredients. 

We also follow the MyPlate.Gov guidelines for portion sizes and prepare our food - even freezer meals - in correct portions.

If you have a favorite/go-to meal that is healthy and delicious, please message me!

Here's the link to some good options -- tweak a few of the ingredients for the above guidelines; but otherwise really healthy options!

Avocado Hummus:
Directions: Simply add the following to your food processor:
- 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, cubed
- Juice from 1/2 of a lime
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt -1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or powered chipolte

Blend until smooth....Serve with veggies - peppers, carrots, celery, etc.!!!

Coconut Chicken and Lemon-Broccoli:
I made this last night, and it was SOOOO good!

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Pan grill 2-4 chicken breasts until the crust outside is golden brown but not fully cooked through. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, 1 TBSP coconut oil or REAL butter (not margarine), and 2 minced garlic cloves, and microwave until oil/butter is melted. After Chicken is done on the stove top, pile your coconut mixture on top and then put in oven for 10-15 minutes or until coconut mixture has browned, but careful not to burn.

Steam broccoli and then add some lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and S&P.

This dish goes so great together and is really tasty!

Homemade Peanut Butter:
So here's how I make homemade peanut butter if you love having 1-2 Tbsp as a snack with celery like I do! You can buy "natural" peanut butter at the store like Adam's, but I prefer making it myself because I use coconut oil! So dang delish and healthy. You will need a high powered blender (we have a Blendtec).

dry roasted/non-salted peanuts
unrefined/cold pressed coconut oil

How to:
Melt about 1/2 cup of coconut oil in the microwave and pour a tiny bit into the blender. Add about 1 cup of peanuts and gradually go back and forth with small amounts of coconut oil/1 cup peanuts until a smooth consistency. Don't pour tons of peanuts in there at once because it won't blend! You can add salt in the end, but we like it without since it has such a nice flavor. I use about 4-5 cups peanuts to 1/2 cup coconut oil--it just depends so go with the flow:)

Black Bean Salad:
Cook some ground turkey with a can of black beans (including the juice). Season it with Lemon Pepper Salt, Minced Onions, and a handful of flax meal. Serve over a bed of lettuce/spinach, no salad dressing needed because of the juice from the beans.
Melinda Added: A Black Bean salad like this also makes an amazing Southwest Salad when made with some taco seasoning cooked in with the turkey and some tomatoes, finely-diced cilantro, and cucumbers mixed in with the lettuce/spinach.

Curry Seasoned Chicken Breast:
Place the chicken breasts into a glass dish and sprinkle Curry and Seasoning Salt on them (make sure it's organic/doesn't have sugar in the first five ingredients or MSG's added). Cook in cooking spray, olive oil, coconut oil or just broil in the oven. Cut them up into strips for future easy-access protein. Serve with steamed brown rice, baked sweet potatoes, or quinoa. YUM! 

Make with spaghetti squash and a low-sugar marinara sauce, serve with extra lean hamburger, grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon.

Turkey Burgers:
2 ½ lbs of ground turkey made with 2 finely-diced onions, ¼ red and ¼ green peppers, add in 2 packages of taco seasoning, a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, and two eggs. Mix all ingredients together, weigh out into individual portion sizes, grill and freeze extras. It makes 10 servings and is SO GOOD! You could also make this into a meatloaf and cut it into 10 servings.

Tuna, turkey, or chicken wraps, no cheese:
You can use mayonnaise for your fat and do melts/sandwiches for your family.

Marinated Chicken:
We eat this a lot! You can buy the McCormick marinades, tenderize the chicken a bit, poke it full of holes with a fork, and marinade it. 4 days in a Ziploc in your fridge. Cook on the grill and you have the BEST, most tender chicken you have EVER had! ;-D

Beef Stir-Fry:
WinCo actually has a frozen bean mixture – white, yellow, and green beans with carrots. I buy sirloin steak at Costco in bulk and slice, season, and cook it. Then I measure out individual servings of meat in containers and set it aside. Next, I sauté some onions and the frozen bean mixture in a few servings of olive oil, add in some eggplant or zucchini or squash, season it, measure out ½ cup servings, and then add it to the cooked beef. This is great to freeze for later! Actually makes a TON and goes a LONG WAY!

White Chili:
We use lentils, celery, onions, carrots, and green chilis and cook them in a crockpot until they are tender. You can use any beans, or add chicken/turkey, but the chilis really add a lot of flavor. And we use the mild ones for our kids. Then we do just a small amount of plain yogurt/Greek yogurt to give it the creaminess you are expecting. It’s awesome!!!

Black Bean Soup:
Again, just black beans, onions, carrots, celery, seasonings – it’s awesome! Sometimes I add salsa, sometimes I don’t. Always serve with a salad.

Steam or sauté your veggies (squash, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, etc.) and layer with cottage cheese and low-sugar marinara sauce. Top with cheese and melt the cheese.  Even my kids love it!  Or you can serve it over Spaghetti Squash! Or layer sliced zucchini in place of the noodles!

No-crust Quiche/Frittata:
I don’t know the difference between the quiche and frittata, so I don’t know what you would call it. ;-D
I just made this last week. I used eggs and egg beaters together, a little water for the fluffy egg/omelet effect, and then filled it with veggies – sautéed peppers, broccoli, onions, and fresh tomatoes. We serve it with salsa.

Taco Salad:
Make a normal taco salad, just leave out the chips and the dressing and add in one serving of your low-sugar dressing when you eat it.  Or use salsa and a little ranch together - awesome!

Make a breakfast omelet with veggies and one serving of protein; or do eggs and turkey or canadian bacon with sauteed green and red peppers.

Chicken Fajitas:
Lots of onions with one red and one green pepper and a low-sugar Fajita Seasoning mix. Serve over a bed of shredded lettuce (any kind) and a serving of ranch.  Or - serve in whole wheat tortillas with a small dollop of sour cream. YUMMY!

Cauliflower Pizza:
 I haven't tried this, but I have seen it pinned all over Pinterest - add some meat/veggies for your topping, and you're set! Makes one 9-12in pizza – 6 slices

2 cups shredded cauliflower
1 egg
1 cup finely shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup piza sauce or marinara sauce
1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
topping of choice


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