Grilled Balsamic Chicken and Veggies Skillet

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. 

Grilled Balsamic Chicken and Veggies Skillet
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ pounds chicken breasts
  2. ¼ cup Italian salad dressing
  3. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  4. 1½ tablespoons honey
  5. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  7. salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and ends chopped
  9. 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  10. 1½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. In a medium size mixing bowl add together Italian dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, honey and red pepper flakes. Combine well and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Adapted from Cooking Classy
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Blackened Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

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!

Blackened Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
Yields 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ lbs chicken breast, sliced thin
  2. 8 corn tortillas
Marinade
  1. ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  2. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  3. 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
  4. ½ teaspoon onion powder
  5. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  6. ¾ teaspoon salt
  7. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  8. ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  9. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  10. 1 teaspoon honey
  11. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  12. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pineapple Salsa
  1. 1 cup pineapple, diced
  2. 1 cup tomato, diced
  3. ¼ cup red onion, diced
  4. 2 teaspoons jalapeno, diced
  5. ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons lime juice
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Meantime, assemble together salsa ingredients in another medium size bowl. Combine and cover. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Salad


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
Serves 4
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.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  2. ¼ cup crumbled cooked bacon, about 4 pieces
  3. 4 cups spring salad mix
  4. 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  5. ¼ cup sweet corn
  6. ¼ cup red onion, sliced
Marinade/Dressing
  1. 3 tablespoons mustard
  2. 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  3. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1/3 cup honey
  6. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  7. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Pork Carnitas with Street Corn



Pork Carnitas with Street Corn
Yields 4
Change up your typical taco night with a more healthier alternative.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 hr
For Pork Carnitas
  1. 1lb pork loin
  2. 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. ¼ cup green chiles
  5. 1 tablespoon orange juice
  6. 3 teaspoons cumin
  7. 2 teaspoons paprika
  8. salt and pepper, for taste
For Street Corn
  1. 15-ounce can yellow sweet corn, drained and rinsed
  2. 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  3. 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  6. ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  7. ½ teaspoon paprika
  8. salt and pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Well-grease a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over med-high heat. Add pork and sear on all sides.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Meanwhile, put together street corn ingredients in a medium size bowl. Top over plated shredded pork.
Additional toppings you can use
  1. black beans
  2. cauliflower rice
  3. loose lettuce
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Almond Crusted Chicken Superfood Salad

It’s chicken for dinner for the majority of the week, however I’m trying to cook it various ways to make it more enjoyable. Tonight I threw together what I refer to as a “Superfood Salad.” It consists of carrots, broccoli, red onion, tomatoes and strawberries over a bed of spring mix lettuce. For my dressing, an organic lite italian basil dressing. The best part though is this almond crusted chicken. It is so delicious that I wish I had another pound of chicken in the fridge so I can make some more for dinner tomorrow night!

Almond Crusted Chicken
Serves 5
These chicken tenders taste great in a salad, topped with marinara sauce on a plate of spaghetti or just by themselves dipped in honey mustard
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb chicken tenders
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1 large egg white
  4. 3/4 cup almond meal
  5. 1 tsp chili powder
  6. ¼ tsp garlic powder
  7. ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  8. ½ himlayan salt
  9. black pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Well grease a cookie sheet or large pan and set aside.
  2. Add egg and egg white into a medium size bowl. Use another medium size bowl and bring together almond meal, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. First dip each chicken tender in the egg mixture, covering well. Second dip each chicken tender in almond mix, coating both sides well until completely covered. Add each strip to cookie sheet or large pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is a golden brown and cooked all the way through.
  5. Enjoy with salad, spaghetti or on it's own.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Quick and Simple Sloppy Joes

Ground turkey and I are quickly becoming friends. No longer in sight are the days when I longed for ground beef on my tacos and hamburger buns. Instead I openly embrace any recipe that calls for ground turkey and if it doesn’t, I make the switch anyway. Afterall, it is so much more healthy for you.

It’s the 3rd and final week of the 21DayFix and I’m starting it off with this simple recipe for Sloppy Joes for dinner. This doesn’t call for many ingredients, in-fact you probably already have most of them on hand. Those are the best kind of recipes! After meal-prepping all Sunday, I want something quick and easy to make for dinner the following day. 


This recipe serves 8 and is 21DayFix approved, obviously. You’ll only use 1 red and .5 purple, without the bun. Pairs great with some homemade sweet potato chips or grilled corn on the cobb. And last but not least, it tastes a little on the ‘sweet side,” so it’s kid-friendly; even for the pickiest of eaters! Enjoy.

 

Quick and Easy Sloppy Joes
Serves 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb 93% lean ground turkey
  2. Medium red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  3. Medium green pepper, deseeded and diced
  4. 15-ounce can tomato sauce (low sugar)
  5. ½ cup ketchup
  6. 1tsp garlic powder
  7. 1tsp onion powder
  8. 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, optional
Instructions
  1. Add 1/2tsp olive oil to a large skillet, set on medium heat and add ground turkey. Cook throughly or until turkey is a light brown.
  2. Add peppers, tomato sauce, ketchup, garlic powder and onion powder. Lower heat to simmer and cover. Stir occasionally, allowing mixture to thicken. Remove from heat and serve on fresh buns or without.
Notes
  1. 21DayFix: Each serving is 1 red and .5 purple without bun.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

21DayFix – Week 1, Plan-A Menu

With summer only 50 something days away, I thought no perfect time than now to clean up my diet and tone my body. I am pretty good at finding clean-eating meals to cook throughout the week but I wasn’t very experienced in portion control. Luckily for me, my husband had purchased the 80 Day Obsession Challenge Pack! So in preparation for the next 80DO challenge to start at the end of this month, I thought I’d use those cute little color containers and start the 21DayFix since I had 21 (well, 23 to be exact) days to practice my diet.

My BB coach directed me to Fixate Cooking, a program on BeachBody On Demand which offers up a large variety of recipes that center around portion control. This was a tremendous help in understanding what I can and cannot eat throughout the day for my specific meal plan. Plus, new recipes are always exciting to try out! Planning out to get the right amount of containers can be a little time consuming, but what meal-planning isn’t? 

The meals below are what I had for my first week. I’m on Plan A, and each recipe was delicious! I would highly recommend them if you’re a Plan A as well and are looking to try something new. Each recipe aside from PBJ Shakelogy can be found on Fixate Cooking, written out in the “Program Materials” link. If you try any, let me know how you liked them!

M1 – Breakfast: PBJ Shakeology
When I first started 21DayFix, I was most excited about Shakeology. I have done a few beachbody programs in the past and have tried a couple of the shakeology flavors and strawberry was hands down my favorite. I had originally mostly made it as a Strawberry Banana shake but I wanted to experiment a little and see what else I could throw together that tasted delicious as well as was healthy for me. Of course I turned to Pinterest for this, like most of us do for anything. That’s where I found a recipe for this PBJ shake. Now if you love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it’s highly likely you’ll like this shake. Throw in some banana and the flavor is even more delicious.

Ingredients:
1 Strawberry Shakelogy Packet
1 banana
1T peanut butter or almond butter
8oz water
3-4 ice cubes
(1 red, 1 purple, 1 blue)


M2 – Snack 1: Carrots and Celery.
(1 green)


M3 – Lunch: Overstuffed Turkey Sandwich 
(1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow)


M4 – Snack 2: 1 clementine
(.5 purple)



M5 –  Dinner: Meat Taco Meat (Day 1 and 2)
(.5 green, 1 red, 1 oil)

M5 – Dinner: (Day 3) Low-Carb Japanese Noodle Bowl
(1 green, 1 red, .5 yellow, 2 oil)


M5 – Dinner: (Day 4) Pineapple Fried Rice
(.5 green, .5 purple, .5 red, 1 yellow, .5 orange, 2 oil)


M5 – Dinner: (Day 5 and 6) Steak Fajitas
(1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 oil)



M5
– Dinner (Day 7) Oven Fried Chicken with Mixed Vegetables – Not Pictured
This is one of those meals where I scarfed it down before I could take a picture. Hey, it happens. 
(1 red, 1 yellow, 1 oil, 1 green)


Interested in joining a Beachbody Program? Send me an email or visit my coaching website to see what challenges and products are the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle!

FitGirlsGuide 28DayJumpstart Program: Week 1

I’m sure you’ve noticed a slow-down as far as posts go. I have a good reason! You see I’m currently doing the 28 Day Jumpstart program by FitGirlsGuide. That means for the next few weeks, I will not be posting recipes unless they are ones I’ve cooked up for my family. And if I do post something that centers around me individually, it will mostly consist of notes regarding my health journey and the food experiences I’ve encountered while participating in this challenge.

If you like anything you see, by all means go check FitGirlsGuide out for yourself! Not only do they put together a wonderful meal-plan for you with daily exercises, but there’s a community of supportive individuals who are doing the same challenges as your with similar goals – and best of all, they’re SUPER encouraging. Sometimes that’s what we need most.

I’m only mid-week but since I’ve already experienced each meal that is scheduled for the entire week, I’m going to do a little recap on each entree today. Usually it helps to hear others experiences with food before you know for sure if you want to try something out for yourself. 

Cherry Pie Fridge Oats:
I always look forward to breakfast during week 1 of this challenge because I love Cherry Pie Fridge Oats. They’re delicious, extremely healthy and easy-as-pie to assemble the night before; perfect for those who are on the go super early! I eat mine cold and with a hot cup of coffee after finishing a session on the elliptical. 

                                             Roasted Veggie Power Bowl:
For lunch, you’re given the freedom to pick and choose your vegetables. I like to sample a variety of ways of preparing the Roasted Veggie Power Bowl and in the past have came up with dishes similar to a burrito bowl at Chipotle or chicken fried rice (above)…or I will green it out and pack on the vegetables (also above). However, if you like to just follow the ingredients and instructions to ensure you’re doing the challenge just as it’s been laid out for you; the main recipe is still fantastic! 

Little suggestion – make your own homemade hummus. While store bought hummus is the quick way to go, there’s nothing like the taste of freshly grounded chickpeas and tahini sauce. 

Sweet Potato Street Tacos:

I remember the first time I scanned the Week 1 Menu, I was hesitant at first on if I was going to like the Sweet Potato Street Tacos. Before FitGirlsGuide, I didn’t really eat sweet potatoes. I guess you could say I was a regular stuck up Russet potato kinda-gal. There is truth that you don’t know what you’re missing out on if you don’t actually “get out there” – and the same goes for food tasting. These tacos are delicious! 

So I guess that means sweet potatoes are pretty special; you can’t throw just any ingredient in a corn tortilla and pass it off as a “taco.” 

Pita Pizza:

Truth be told, I’ve never met a person who doesn’t like pizza. So I have a hard time believing that someone is going to read “Pita Pizza” and think “Ew, there is no way I am going to like that.” Think of them as individual pizzas on a flat piece of round pita bread that you get to add healthy ingredients to and then cook in the oven for a few minutes. Sound good? No. It sounds GREAT.

Rigatoni with Kale Meatballs

I hope the word kale being in the post title hasn’t already scared you away. I don’t care much for it myself, especially on it’s own. However, there are a few exceptions and this meatball dish just so happens to be one of them. Luckily, I didn’t skip this meal in our weekly recipes selection and gave it the benefit of the doubt. I guess there are times when kale CAN be delicious.

We get HelloFresh twice a week when we are home. I’ve learned how to cook some healthy, delicious dishes with food combinations that I would have never imagined went well together. And a lot of those containing ingredients that I have stuck my nose up at my entire life. I’ve found that I actually REALLY do like roasted zucchini and green beans. Dejavu back to being a kid and trying stuff for the first time, only you’re a little more mature and less likely to throw a tantrum when it’s presented on a plate in front of you.

So if the word “kale” still has you feeling unsure, I’ll be completely honest with you: You can’t even taste the kale, so come back, read on and try this recipe for yourself.

 

Rigatoni with Kale Meatballs
Serves 4
A delicious and easy homemade marinara sauce topped over rigatoni pasta. The traditional meatball recipe comes packed with an extra special green guest: kale! Did meatballs just get a little more healthy?
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 yellow onion, diced
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1½ cups kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  4. handful of fresh basil leaves
  5. 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  6. 1lb ground beef
  7. ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  8. 12oz rigatoni pasta
  9. ½ cup parmesan cheese
Meatball Seasoning
  1. 8 teaspoons dried oregano
  2. 8 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  3. 4 teaspoons dried basil
  4. 4 teaspoons dried marjoram
  5. 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  6. 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Instructions
  1. Using a small bowl, combine all meatball seasoning ingredients and momentarily set aside after whisking well.
  2. Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, kale, a pinch of salt and pepper and meatball seasoning mixture to a medium size bowl. Combine ingredients well using clean hands. Shape into 1½-inch balls and place on a plate. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, stirring occasionally until fully al dente at around 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
  4. While pasta is cooking, heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large deep skillet over med-high heat. Add onion, cooking until fragrant and transparent; about 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, cook for an additional 2 minutes and then crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until sauce appears to have thickened, around 5 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, carefully add meatballs to sauce mixture. Increase the heat to medium and cover; cooking about 5 minutes on each side or until meatballs are fully cooked through.
  6. Divide rigatoni pasta between 4 plates, adding marinara and meatballs on top. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves for extra taste.
Notes
  1. If sauce appears thick, add the ½ cup of pasta water.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

I spent the middle of my March Madness-on-a-Saturday afternoon online looking for some new healthy recipes for the week that I could give a try. Pinterest never fails, I found this easy (and super delicious) recipe from Gimme Some Oven that I just had to prepare for my lunches. Not only does it include just a few simple ingredients – the dressing is extremely tasty and blends well with the pasta and vegetables.

Meal prep keeps me on my toes. I’ve always believed that if you don’t plan accordingly, you’re setting yourself up to potentially slide off the path. 

Luckily – this pasta salad holds well for several days. Prep away.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Serves 4
Quick take on a Mediterranean style pasta dish that's best served cold.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 12-ounce box of farfalle pasta
  2. 1 English cucumber, diced
  3. 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  4. 4-ounces crumbled fat-free feta cheese
  5. half of a medium size red onion, sliced thin
Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
  1. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  4. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  5. 1 teaspoon organic honey
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta accordingly. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta can be handled.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare lemon-herb vinaigrette dressing by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a large bowl, add your pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion slices. Mix well. Carefully fold feta cheese into mixture, followed by drizzling the lemon-herb vinaigrette dressing overtop. Toss salad well so that dressing is evenly spread.
  4. Divide between 4 bowls and serve with additional feta cheese if desired.
Notes
  1. The original recipe calls for olives. I don't care much for them, but if you do, feel free to add a handful to the ingredients.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/