Well it appears as though winter is finally here and because so, I want to apologize. The day prior to us having snow I had put together a letter-board that said “I think winter skipped us.” We had sunny days and high 50s weather. And while I thought we had possibly gotten lucky and weren’t doomed for the cold, I may have in-fact jinx us all and now we have no sun, no high 50s weather; just cold air and white everything. Which I guess is OK if you’re looking out at it from inside the warmth comfort of your home.
Side-note: I dragged my feet on getting new tires for the Jeep and now I feel as though I have no choice. So thank you for that, snow.
I guess if it’s going to be cold though, soups are a perfect solution to a warm and filling dinner. One of my all-time favorites is Wedding Soup. When we were smaller, I remember my grandma cooking up a pot and I’ve been hooked every since. Unfortunately none of us ever thought to get the recipe from her and I’ve been searching for one similar ever since.
My instant pot seems to be a hit with me. I haven’t had a bad mishap yet, knock on wood. This however would be the first time that I’ve ever cooked a soup in it and being that one of the ingredients were noodles, I was a little nervous. The first time I ever made a homemade chicken noodle soup, I ruined the noodles and I’ve been nervous about noodles ever since. No one likes mush pasta.
This is foul-proof though! And your noodles won’t come out like mush. I do suggest playing around with ingredients if you’d like. This certain recipe is healthy and I used turkey meatballs rather than regular.
Add olive oil and diced onions to Instant Cooker and set to saute mode, allowing the onion to cook for about 2 minutes.
Add carrots and garlic powder and set to saute mode again for another 2 minutes. When finished, add your chicken stock, beef stock and pasta. Next add meatballs, making sure that they are submerged. Add Instant Pot lid, close to lock and make sure your pressure valve is on sealing. Then select the high pressure mode, adjusting the time to 10 minutes.
When done allow the pot to release on it's own for 5 minutes naturally. Turn the valve to quick release. Next add your handful of baby spinach. It will wilt on it's own within a couple minutes or less.
I love my Shakeology drinks. They’re my go-to breakfast every day and they’re versatile; you can add so much into them for a bonus added flavor. But the best part is that Shakeology isn’t just your everyday store-bought protein powder found in the healthy food aisle; it’s a nutrient-dense superfood protein shake. That means each serving contains important things that our bodies need like antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, mineral and probiotics just to name a few. Supporting digestive health should always be a priority and you’re doing just that when you have your daily dose of Shakeology.
I personally enjoy mine in the morning but I know a lot of others who have it as a snack, lunch or dinner. It’s a great boost for healthy energy, a factor in weight-loss and also a wonderful way to curb those junk-food cravings.
If you’ve read this far, that means I’ve sparked your interest… So find your flavor here! I personally suggest Strawberry.
While I love my Strawberry PBJ Shakeology, I will test the waters with other flavors every now and then. This weekend the sun was out and it wasn’t entirely cold so I thought I would give my Greenberry packet a shot. Now because I’m not familiar with this flavor, I turned to Pinterest for some ideas and found this Orange Banana recipe. That seems like a pretty harmless combo, right? Right! Delicious enough that I’m gonna list the ingredients below.
1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
1 medium banana
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
3-4 ice cubes
With each new year comes new goals, new dreams or if you’re me – a newly remodeled home gym! (Currently still in progress.) Working out at home has always been a preference for me because you really have no excuses as to why you aren’t able to get a quick sweat in. I know a lot of you like having a gym membership because other than the obvious, it’s also a great opportunity for quiet time if you have small children at home.
Alright! Aside from the veeeeery original “get in better shape” New Years resolution, one of my “2019 things that I’d like to do” is also to be more active here on my blog. We eat homemade meals nearly 6 out of 7 nights a week and most of the time I’m not documenting them because of the silly fact that I do not like to photograph anything unless I’m using natural light. Cue in another “2019 things I’d like to do” – learn how to photograph using unnatural light.
So, let’s start the first week of the new year with an easy, healthy meal that is a fairly well made recipe throughout the winter – Cabbage Rolls! But I’m going to make it even more easy on you. You won’t be rolling anything but your fork in your soup bowl.
Cabbage Rolls are one of my most favorite meals. Unfortunately, I may be the only one in this house who feels this way, which is OK; we’re not all going to like the same thing. I also think cabbage rolls can be a preferred meal and so when I do cook them, I usually cook them in bulk and have them as leftovers when my husband is out of town.
Besides not having to roll cabbage,Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls are a great quick on the skillet meal. No oven bake necessary. It’s just a few chops and you’re simmering on-top of the oven for the remainder of the time. Plus it’s suuuuper flavorful and being that we’re tip-toeing around winter and instead in this “rainy, gloomy and cold season without snow”, this recipe would fit great in your weekly menu.
Be sure to let me know if you try this recipe out via the comments, tag me on instagram or use the hashtag #fitgirlniccooks. Enjoy!
Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls
A super easy and healthy alternative to one of your favorite comfort recipes.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Next add ground beef and onion and allow to cook until meat is no longer pink. Throw in garlic clove and let saute for 1 minute.
Slowly add cabbage, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water to skillet. Combine by stirring until everything is blended well. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on how cooked-through cabbage is.
By Nicole Leslie
Adapted from http://www.fitgirlnic.com/deconstructedcabbagerolls
Adapted from http://www.fitgirlnic.com/deconstructedcabbagerolls
Add 1 cup of water to a slow-cooker, followed by pork loin. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. After pork is fully cooked through, remove from slow-cooker to a plate and shred into thin pieces using 2 forks. Drain slow cooker before adding pork back and covering with BBQ sauce. Mix well so that pork is covered evenly with sauce.
Prepare coleslaw in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
Add pork to tortillas followed by cole slaw, topped with red onion and cilantro.
Another “veggies most” recipe was just cooked this evening and it’s a flavorful one! I had it marked on the menu for later in the week but after coming home from an afternoon spent at the pool, some sautéed vegetables with a little bit of protein sounded good.
This is a one pan meal, which means you aren’t shuffling between pans and dishes back and forth. Everything goes onto one pan and stays there until it’s divided amongst plates. If you’re short on prep-time, I highly suggest cutting your vegetables either the night before or morning of. Although, if your knife skills are up there – this should be a piece of cake for you!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using parchment paper, cover a large sheet pan and set aside.
Chop vegetables accordingly and then add with sausage to sheet pan. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl add all seasoning ingredients. Mix until well combined and pour overtop vegetables and sausage. Use a large spoon or spatula to toss vegetables, sausage and seasoning to evenly coat as much as possible.
Add to oven for 15 minutes. Remove momentarily to toss again and add back. Bake an additional 15 minutes.
Can be served over cauliflower rice, long grain rice or just enjoyed as itself.
That may be look like any ordinary helping of white rice under this bed of vegetables, but it’s not. It’s steamed cauliflower rice. While the taste is similar the portions are most definitely not! You can have twice the large heaping helping you’d like because there’s really no size restrictions when it comes to vegetables.
Generally when you see a combination such as this recipe, the word “orange” is in front of the word “ginger.” However, the taste of ginger outweighs orange here and so I orderly corrected it. Ginger can be the star this time.
One Pan Ginger and Orange Chicken with Vegetables Stir-fry
1lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces
2 TB extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ medium red onion, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1½ cups sugar snap peas
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
½ cup carrots, sliced thin
green onions, sliced thin
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all Ginger and Orange sauce ingredients. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
Using a large skillet pan, add 1TB of oil over med-high heat. Add chicken pieces, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook throughly; about 5-7 minutes on each side. Plate chicken and set aside.
Add 1TB of oil and onion to same skillet pan. Allow onion to cook, stirring well until it appears almost translucent; about 3-5 minutes. Next add broccoli, snap peas, pepper and carrots. Stir frequently until vegetables appear to have softened.
Add chicken to pan of vegetables, followed by Ginger and Orange sauce. Stir until well combined and then allow to come to a boil. Once boiling, simmer down to allow sauce to thicken.
I was in need of a quick throw together meal that was 75% vegetables and 25% protein; something that this recipe has plenty of. If you aren’t a fan of this specific vegetables, feel free to switch them out for something you enjoy more! There’s no such thing as a bad veggie.
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and ends chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
In a medium size mixing bowl add together Italian dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, honey and red pepper flakes. Combine well and set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Then using a large skillet, add olive oil to pan over med-high heat. Bring seasoned chicken to pan, allowing to cook approximately 6 minutes on each side. Rotate sides until all sides of chicken are a golden brown and thoroughly cooked through.
Next add half of the Italian dressing mix to pan, making sure that all sides of chicken have been coated. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes before removing from pan to a plate and setting aside.
Bring green beans and carrots to pan, stirring frequently and allowing to cook for about 5 minute. (While veggies are cooking – use this time to cut your chicken to whatever size preferred)
Remove cooked veggies from pan and add to plate with chicken. Add the other half of Italian dressing mix back to the large pan, stirring consistently to allow it to thicken up; 1-2 minutes. Re-add the chicken, green beans, carrots and tomatoes to pan and stir well before serving.
A new week. A new taco recipe. But instead of having tacos as a bowl again, I decided to go with these small corn street tortillas for tonight. They’re cute and so little that you can easily enjoy 2 or 3 of them to get the serving size of what a regular tortilla typically is. They also come in regular flour tortillas if corn isn’t your thang.
And get this – the pineapple salsa is so flavorful that you won’t need any additional toppings or add-ons!
In a medium size shallow bowl, add all marinade ingredients and stir until well combined. Add chicken, making sure to cover all sides with marinade and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meantime, assemble together salsa ingredients in another medium size bowl. Combine and cover. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
When chicken has marinated enough, add a well-greased large skillet to med-high heat. Add chicken and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Flip to other side and allow to cook again for another 5 minutes. When chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from heat to a plate.
Using a well-greased small sized skillet, heat up corn tortillas over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from stove and assemble tacos, chicken first followed by salsa.
When the weather has turned hot, I just can’t seem to get enough of salads. Often I try to mix it up a little so it’s not the same ol’ and I’m trying a different combination of veggies or protein. I’ve been especially trying to get my vegetables in this week since starting this new nutrition program where dinner should be 75% veggies and 25% protein. This meal is right on target for that!
Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Salad
Marinated honey mustard chicken served over a bed of spring greens, veggies and bacon crumbles. A drizzle of homemade honey mustard dressing tops it off.
In a medium size bowl, add ingredients for the marinade/dressing. Divide half into a separate shallow dish and add chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Refridgerate the other half for your dressing.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large size skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken; searing each side for about 3-5 minues. Repeat until chicken is a golden brown and is cooked through. Remove from pan and allow to cool momentarily. When chicken is cool enough to handle, slice into pieces and set aside.
Divide 4 cups of salad into 4 bowls or plates. Add bacon, tomatoes, corn and onion. Next add your chicken and drizzle the honey mustard dressing you had set aside earlier.
15-ounce can yellow sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, for taste
Well-grease a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over med-high heat. Add pork and sear on all sides.
Set a slow-cooker to a low temperature and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Next remove pork from skillet and add to slow-cooker, topping with minced garlic. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
About 10-15 minutes before pork is finished cooking, use a medium size mixing bowl and add green chiles, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well and set aside.
Remove pork from slow-cooker to a large plate. Shred using two forks and add back to slow-cooker. Pour juice mixture overtop, and stir well; combining it as best as you can. Allow to sit in slow cooker for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put together street corn ingredients in a medium size bowl. Top over plated shredded pork.