I restarted the BBG (Bikini Body Guide) program by Kayla Itsines a couple weeks ago and have been trying to watch what I eat so it doesn’t cancel out all my effort that I put into the daily workouts. I always seem to feel more satisfied with my meal-plan when it consists of lots of greens and vegetables. This week I have two similar salads scheduled, this BLT Pasta Salad and a BLT Caesar Pasta Salad. Yes, someone likes bacon in their salads. I will eat the BLT Pasta Salad Monday thru Wednesday and the BLT Caesar Pasta Salad Thursday and Friday. This weekend is much too eventful with the kids getting out of school, graduations and birthday parties so I will be trying to behave to the best of my advantage during such. Keyword, “trying.”
Now before you think “this recipe calls for ranch dressing AND barbecue sauce, it can’t be that healthy”; hear me out. This is 6 servings. I cut my servings in half since I’m only having this from Monday thru Wednesday. While you can choose to find a more healthier alternative to the ranch dressing (ie lite ranch, fat-free ranch, yogurt ranch) just know that you’re going to be mixing the portion of it with 6 cups of tossed romaine lettuce. Feel better?
There’s something about mixing ranch with barbecue sauce. When I didn’t watch what I ate, I used to ask for a side of ranch and a side of barbecue to dip my french fries and chicken nuggets in. It still sounds good. But not having to run for an hour and a half to work it off doesn’t, so I think I will just stick to having that ranch and barbeque in this salad.
BLT Pasta Salad
Your favorite go-to-sandwich just became a salad with pasta.
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2½ cups uncooked bow-tie pasta
- 2 medium size tomatoes, diced
- 4 turkey bacon strips, fully cooked and crumbled into small pieces
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
- In a medium size saucepan over med-high heat, cook pasta according to package directions. When finished cooking, drain in a strainer over cold water to cool down completely.
- In a large bowl, add pasta, tomatoes, bacon and romaine lettuce.
- Using a small bowl, add ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. Stir to combine first, before pouring overtop pasta salad mix. Toss gently and serve immediately.
- This can be stored for 3 days in an air-tight container. Just don't add the romaine lettuce until right before serving.
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.
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.
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Perfect for a quick dinner, or appetizing lunch on the go.
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch bite-size pieces
- ½ cup buffalo sauce for cooking, ½ cup buffalo sauce for drizzling overtop
- 2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
- 4-6 large boston bibb lettuce
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup celery, diced into small pieces
- blue cheese (or ranch) dressing
- optional: scallions, blue cheese crumbles for garnish if desired
- 1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
- Note: I line mine with foil and lightly grease it as if to avoid staining the cookie sheet from potentially burn marks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 4. Bake chicken for 30 minutes. In the meantime, chop your vegetables if you haven't already.
- When chicken is ready, allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes to cool off slightly.
- 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.