Chicken Burrito Bowl

chickeburritobowl

Crockpot Meal Alert! Who else loves the meals you get to throw into a big ol’ pot and leave to simmer until it’s dinner time? The easier the assembly on a busy week day, the better. 

Burrito Bowls are pretty come and serve as you please. You can use other meats aside from chicken, add as many vegetables as you like and top with whatever else fits your pleasure. Because I’m watching what I eat more closely, I prepared this burrito bowl using ingredients that were healthy and that I could stand to eat consecutively for a few days. 

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl in a Crockpot
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 package taco seasoning
  3. 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  4. 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  5. 1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  6. 2 3/4 cups of instant whole grain brown rice
Toppings
  1. ½ cup shredded colby jack cheese
  2. 1 tablespoon lite sour cream
  3. 1 tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Prep a large crockpot and set on low heat. Add chicken breasts.
  2. Pour low-sodium chicken broth overtop chicken breasts, followed by taco seasoning. Mix well.
  3. Cook on low for about 4 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken breasts from crockpot with a pair of tongs and place in a covered container to preserve heat.
  5. Add instant rice and black beans to crockpot and turn heat to high. Cook for 30 minutes, or until rice appears cooked thoroughly.
  6. Add chicken breasts to crockpot again, cook for an additional 20 minutes on high.
Notes
  1. Serve with additional healthy toppings.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Teriyaki Meatballs

teriyakimeatballs

You’ve heard of a burrito bowl, chicken bowl, bowl of spaghetti. But who gets credit for thinking up a fantastic idea like a “teriyaki meatball bowl?” Maybe it’s more common than I think but this was my first time cooking one for dinner and boy, am I happy that I did. I love homemade meatballs! I’ve made them so many times that I could do it blindfolded. OK that’s a slight exaggeration, just know I know my way around the basic meatball mixture. 

Teriyaki meatballs are mildly different from the meatballs you may make for your spaghetti dinner though. I found that the soy sauce added to the meatball mixture helped to create a more juicy flavor as opposed to an italian meatball. I imagine these meatballs would taste just as good over a plate of linguini noodles but we’re going to use whole grain rice to create a more “light” meal. 

meatballsteriyaki

 

Teriyaki Meatball Bowl
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
55 min
Meatballs
  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 1 large egg
  3. ½ cup planko breadcrumbs
  4. ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  5. ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger
  6. ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  7. 2 green onions, finely chopped
  8. black pepper
Rice
  1. 2 packages of white, or whole grain rice
Teriyaki Glaze
  1. ½ cup soy sauce
  2. ½ cup warm water
  3. ½ cup light brown sugar
  4. ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  5. 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  6. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  7. ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger
  8. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly greasing with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, green onions and black pepper into a large mixing bowl, using clean hands to fold and mix over until well combined.
  3. Roll meatball mixture into small balls, placing each on foil-covered cookie sheet. When you've finished rolling all meatballs, bake them for 35 minutes or until light golden brown.
  4. Boil and cook rice according to package directions over medium-high heat. When finished, drain water and fluff rice with a fork. Set aside.
  5. While meatballs and rice are cooking, combine all teriyaki glaze ingredients (EXCEPT for cornstarch) together in a small-medium size bowl. Whisk together well. Transfer to a medium size pot over med-high heat for a few minutes. Add cornstarch, mixing well constantly to help thicken glaze. Once it appears thickened, add sesame seeds.
  6. If/When meatballs are done, add to teriyaki glaze. Stir so that each meatball is well covered with glaze.
  7. In individual bowls, divide rice. Add 5 meatballs and drizzle extra teriyaki glaze overtop.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

buffalochickennachos

There’s something about buffalo chicken and sports events. Most of the time when I do a search for a new and delicious snack or appetizer to enjoy during some sort of tournament game, buffalo chicken is the top pick. We’ve done Buffalo Chicken Dip for years and it’s never disappointed, but it was time to try an alternative way of using buffalo chicken. Coincidentally enough while going through my inbox this weekend, I came across Two Peas and Their Pod’s weekly meal plan that I subscribe to and they had a buffalo chicken recipe I’ve never tried nor seen before. The ingredients were mostly staple items I already had in the fridge and it was a quick bake; always a favorite on the weekend!

buffalochickennachos1

You really can’t go wrong with Franks Hot Sauce and blue cheese dressing, so there’s really no way of messing this appetizer up. The original recipe suggested using Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, but my husband isn’t too keen on those and if I bought both a bag of those and a bag of regular corn tortilla chips, I may get myself in trouble later with the blue chips. That tends to happen if there’s shredded cheese, chips, and me in a room) 

And because the NCAA National Championship game happens shortly after tonight’s games, I definitely get to make these again. No complaints about that here.

You can get the recipe here

Meaty Lasagna Casserole

lasagna

I had been sick the duration of this past weekend. During what was the nicest weather weekend that we’ve had in months, at that. So while I sat in my dark, dreary bedroom; lonesome with my magazines and my HGTV, I also didn’t cook. Understandably, no one wanted my germs. I didn’t want my germs either but I didn’t get to vote on that one. So when I started to actually feel like I could leave my room without chancing the possibility of spreading my cold plague, I planned out the food menu for the week and happily headed to the grocery store.

Most people find peace on the ocean, in the library, or in the bathtub. I find peace in the grocery store. I’m a little strange like that. I was also a little cheery that I had planned to bake a Lasagna for dinner this evening. We haven’t had Lasagna in quite some time. The sin!

lasagna1

There’s a reason why Lasagna is a family favorite. Be it that it’s because anyone can make it or that it’s a quick recipe; Lasagnas are the kind of meal that you can prepare mid-day and foil up in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. That’s perfect for 99% of parents whose schedule revolves around their children’s’ schedules or work.

And while there are a lot of ways you can prepare and dress your Lasagna, the good ole Meaty Lasagna way never actually gets old.

 

Meaty Lasagna Casserole
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb ground turkey
  2. package of Lasagna noodles
  3. 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  4. 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  5. 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  6. 1 egg
  7. ½ cup parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, boil water. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package.
  3. Spray a large skillet with no-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey until brown, draining excess juices. Return to stove and add marinara jar, allowing to simmer.
  4. In a medium size bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg and parmesan cheese. Mix well and set aside.
  5. Add ½ cup meat sauce to the bottom of a 9x9 casserole pan. Layer lasagna noodles length-wise, letting them slightly overlap. Next add cheese mix followed by lasagna noodles. Top with meat-sauce. Repeat layers once more.
  6. Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese onto, if desired. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

spagcarb (1)

When we think of pasta, we imagine a tomato sauce deliciously overlapping noodles. Spaghetti Carbonara is a little different, but the good kind of different.

The dish that originated out of Rome simply consists of egg, bacon, black pepper and cheese tangled between thin pasta noodles. Add in additional meat, vegetables to even greater the flavor.

Perfect for those with the intention of having a light dinner, or needing a quick meal to put together.

 

Spaghetti Carbonara
Serves 4
The healthier version of pasta!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  5. Whole grain spaghetti
  6. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  7. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  8. pinch of red pepper flakes
  9. 4oz deli-fresh ham, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  10. 8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
Instructions
  1. Fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with water for spaghetti noodles. After water is brought to a boil, cook noodles according to package.
  2. While noodles are cooking, whisk together eggs with 2 tablespoons cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium skillet, add oil and cook garlic for 1 minute over medium heat. Next, add red pepper flakes and ham and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. After draining noodles, add to egg mixture, stirring well with a large spoon to combine well. Add garlic and ham mixture and stir again, combining well.
  5. Divide among 4 plates. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese on top, along with another pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans

chilisweetpotato

Day 1 of my clean-eating week began yesterday (Monday) and ended with this delicious crockpot meal. Because I started preparing the meal mid-afternoon, dinner wasn’t ready until 7:30pm-ish and by then the sunlight had come and gone. I don’t care much for photographing using artificial lights, I’m a natural light kind of gal; so I wasn’t able to assemble the chili for it’s closeup until today. It is, however, my dinner for the next two nights so I guess it counts just as well!

All chili is good in my book. However, my first initial thought was, “sweet potatoes, I’m not sure how that goes with chili but OK.” I’ve experimented with recipes where the potato has over-cooked in the crockpot and tasted like mush. And I’ve experimented with recipes where the potato has under-cooked and tasted like a bland hard piece of potato. So when the 8 hours were up, I was thrilled (it’s the small things) when I went for that first piece of sweet potato and it tasted great!

chilicloseup

 

Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans
Serves 6
A clean-eating, crockpot favorite.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 small onion, finely diced
  2. 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  3. 14.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
  4. 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  5. 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  6. 1lb lean ground turkey
  7. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  10. 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  11. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  12. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  13. 1 1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. 1. Cook ground turkey over medium-high, drain. Set aside.
  2. 2. Assemble onion, garlic, tomatoes, black beans and potatoes at the bottom of a crockpot.
  3. 3. Add ground turkey, seasonings and water in that particular order.
  4. 4. Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

 

 

BBQ Chicken Hawaiian Sliders

bbqchickensliders

Growing up, I remember having sloppy joes all the time. I think it was half because they were so good and half because they were so easy to make since they came prepackaged; all you had to do was heat ’em up and slop it on a bun. 
  
This is a more chicken-esque take on the sloppy joe. You may have to do a little more work with preparing the sauce and patiently waiting for it to cook in the crock-pot for a few hours. It’s worth it. And honestly, I think this version is a lot better than the store-bought sloppy joes.  

 bbchickensliders1

BBQ Chicken Hawaiian Sliders
Serves 6
A different take on sloppy joes using a crockpot and chicken.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 cup barbecue sauce
  3. ½ cup zesty italian dressing
  4. 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  5. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  6. hawaiian bread sliders
Instructions
  1. 1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, italian dressing, worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. 2. Trim chicken breasts of any fat. Place on the bottom of a slow-cooker.
  3. 3. Add barbecue mixture into slow-cooker, making sure to cover each chicken breasts top and bottom. Cook on low for 4 ½ hours.
  4. 4. Remove chicken breasts and shred using two forks into small pieces. Return to slow-cooker, making sure to mix it well with the barbecue sauce. Cook for an additional 45 minutes.
  5. 5. Fill each hawaiian slider generously with barbecue chicken and enjoy.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Yummy Dinner Alert! Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps:

Break out the blue cheese dressing. Or ranch, if that’s your thing. These buffalo chicken lettuce wraps are so good, you’re going to cross your fingers that there’s leftovers when you’re finished. 

buffalochicken1
For every Ohio State football game, we used to make a buffalo chicken dip. You’re probably familiar with it. That’s where the love for buffalo branched off from and inspired more recipes that consisted of it. Buffalo wraps are a common lunch (and dinner) selection, but I wanted something a little more healthy. Less wrap, more vegetable, even more buffalo. 

 
I had done the lunch lettuce wraps with the turkey. Those were pretty good. So why wouldn’t bite size buffalo chicken work just as good, if not better? Pair it with some vegetable toppings; carrots, celery. and suddenly that buffalo chicken is looking more healthy.   

  buffalochicken

 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4
Perfect for a quick dinner, or appetizing lunch on the go.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch bite-size pieces
  2. ½ cup buffalo sauce for cooking, ½ cup buffalo sauce for drizzling overtop
  3. 2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
  4. 4-6 large boston bibb lettuce
  5. ½ cup diced tomatoes
  6. ½ cup shredded carrots
  7. ½ cup celery, diced into small pieces
  8. blue cheese (or ranch) dressing
  9. optional: scallions, blue cheese crumbles for garnish if desired
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Note: I line mine with foil and lightly grease it as if to avoid staining the cookie sheet from potentially burn marks.
  3. 2. Using a large ziplock bag. toss your chicken bites in ½ cup of buffalo sauce. Allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. 3. Prepare breadcrumbs by using a large plate or shallow dish. Roll each bite in bread crumbs so that all sides are covered. Place on cookie sheet.
  5. 4. Bake chicken for 30 minutes. In the meantime, chop your vegetables if you haven't already.
  6. When chicken is ready, allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes to cool off slightly.
  7. 5. Line your lettuce wraps onto a flat surface. Add chicken, tomatoes, carrots and celery. Lightly drizzle sauce of your choice overtop. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and scallions if desired.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

The Importance of Meal-Planning and Meal-Prep.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” I often wonder if the individual who thought it up was trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy is not easy. There’s several components that go into the equation when it comes to trying to reroute your daily diet into something that your body will appreciate more than those greasy drive-through french fries. The most important components? Meal-Planning and Meal-Prep. Lets face it though. Not everyone loves meal-planning and not everyone loves cooking. I think you have to enjoy both in order to have a deep and committed relationship with planning a menu and looking forward to prepping food. And while meal planning can be time-consuming and meal-prep, a process (think 2-4 hours spent in your kitchen on a Sunday morning) they’re also the key to a successful healthy lifestyle.
foodprep

When I started out on my journey towards becoming more fit and healthy one year ago, I actually looked forward to the process of meal-prep. I was following an e-guide program that lasted 28 days and came with an already scheduled meal-plan for the week, grocery list to check off, which foods I was prepping on what day and what my workout was. Everything is easier when simply laid out for you. But doing so, this taught me how to continue making healthy choices when the program was over. I just had to follow two rules

1. Allow yourself 5 meals a day. That’s right. FIVE!:

Now before you get all bug-eyed, hear me out. I understand you’re either looking to lose weight or maintain. Eating 5 meals a day isn’t going to contribute to weight gain if you’re eating correctly and not just anything and everything in the fridge or pantry – in fact, 5 meals allows your body to use energy stores and burn more fat.

The easiest and most foul-proof way to do it is to fit one small snack in after breakfast and another after lunch. This leaves less need to over-indulge at dinner and less chance of finding your hand in the chip bag. That’s right – no more Doritos fingers!

2. Prep twice a week.

Yes, my friends. When I say twice a week, I mean you will be eating left-overs. I’m sure when you were younger the thought of eating last night’s dinner again for dinner tonight gave you the hebeegeebees. Not anymore! Left-overs are now your body’s best friend. Please don’t imagine microwaving frozen pizza. That’s not the kind of left-overs I meant.

It’s a lot more easier for you to schedule repetitive meals for a few days. This calls for less overall prepping and saves you some cash at the grocery store. It also rids you of that “what should I cook for dinner tonight?” headache. I, personally, meal-prep on Sunday and Wednesday. That means Monday-Wednesday I eat the same breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Thursday-Saturday, same thing. Sunday is my exception day. I try to maintain healthy choices, but don’t have a set plan.

Seems easy enough, right? Everything is as enjoyable as you allow it to be. Prep and dice your vegetables while listening to music or use Pinterest to find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods. And don’t forget the tupperware! Not only are you going to need plenty of it, but you get to pick some out in all shapes and sizes. The cute little dressing ones are my favorite!

 

(Pictured above is ingredients for Chorizo Breakfast Burrito)

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup

What’s the first thing you think of when the cold, winter weather finally shows up outside your doorstep? Is it hot soup? If so, I think you’re going to really enjoy this recipe. Not only does it call for just a few ingredients, most of which you may already have. But it’s a quick cooker! We’re talking hot, homemade soup in 30 minutes. And it’s really, really good.

Loaded Potato Soup
Serves 4
Perfect warm soup for the winter season.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 tablespoon flour
  3. 3 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  4. 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (think 1.4 inch)
  5. 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  6. 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  7. bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional, but adds taste if you add it prior to serving)
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted.
  2. 2. Add flour, whisking until brown.
  3. 3. Next, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil.
  4. 4. Add potatoes, reduce heat. Stir often, letting sit 15-20 minutes before adding cheese and sour cream.
  5. 5. Let sit another 5 minutes to thicken.
  6. 6. Serve with cheese and bacon ontop, if desired.
Notes
  1. I like to add some bacon prior and stirring it in. It gives it a more salty taste doing so.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/