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/

Clean Eating Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are a easy and colorful way to get a variety into your lunch. They’re also great for lunches on the go, especially during the summer! I tried to make mine as clean-eating and fun as possible by adding in a mixture of protein, fruit and veggies. For this particular ‘box,’ I added in some homemade peanut butter hummus to dip in. It tastes great with both the veggies and apple slices

Clean-Eating Bento Box with Peanut Butter Hummus
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 large hard-boiled eggs
  2. 4 celery stalks, cut into thin strips
  3. 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  4. 4-ounces cheddar cheese, cubed
  5. 2 cups grapes
  6. 1 apple, cut into wedges
Peanut Butter Hummus
  1. 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  2. 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  3. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon paprika
  5. 3 tablespoons water
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Divide all ingredients evenly into 4 containers.
Peanut Butter Hummus
  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth; about 1 minute. Store in 4 small airtight containers.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

 

With this Bento Box, I went with Spinach Turkey Pinwheels with a side of grapes, carrots and cucumber slices. The wrap itself is spinach and tastes delicious paired with slices of low-sodium deli turkey, cheddar cheese and baby spinach. Another easy and clean-eating lunch that you can throw together in 5 minutes and take on-the-go!

Spinach Turkey Pinwheels Bento Box
Yields 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large spinach tortilla
  2. 2-ounces thinly sliced low-sodium deli turkey
  3. handful of baby spinach
  4. 1 slice cheddar cheese
  5. ¼ cup red grapes
  6. 8 baby carrots
  7. 6 cucumber slices
Instructions
  1. Lay out spinach tortilla and spread baby spinach in the middle as evenly as possible. Add turkey slices and cheese. Tightly roll tortilla until you reach edge and using a knife, cut into 6 slices.
  2. Add to a container withy grapes, carrots and cucumber slices.
Notes
  1. Adapted recipe from Damn Delicious.
Adapted from Damn Delicious
Adapted from Damn Delicious
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Egg Salad for 80 Day Obsession and 21DayFix

I don’t know anyone else who loves egg salad more than me. It can be made so healthy-ish, it’s simple to make and it tastes great in a variety of ways. Plus it’s loaded in protein! This particular recipe is 2 eggs per serving equaling up to 12g of protein! That’s great for a pre or post-workout meal.

Since I’m still getting the hang of this container counting, I’ve been getting quite a bit of help from some blogs that I’ve found on Pinterest, (thank goodness for Pinterest, by the way) – it can be a little overwhelming at first, so finding food ideas via others who have done it before is a tremendous stress-reliever and makes nutrition blocks seem much more do-able. I’m on week 2 and I’m starting to get the hang of it. You can eat “outside of the box.” You don’t have to eat strictly meat and a vegetable and a teaspoon for each meal. There are some great resources out there that are much more creative, like this egg salad recipe that I found via Carrie Elle.

Egg Salad
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
27 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
27 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into small pieces
  2. 1½ tsp lite mayo
  3. ½ tsp dijon mustard
  4. ¼ tsp paprika
  5. pinch of himalayan salt and pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a medium size bowl. Chill for approximately 1+ hour, if possible before serving.
Notes
  1. 1 red, 1.5 tsp for 21DayFix.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Strawberry Shakeology Recipes


PBJ

Strawberry Shakeology packet or scoop
1 small banana
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
8oz water
3-4 ice cubes


Strawberry Banana Oatmeal:
Strawberry Shakeology packet or scoop
8oz unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice
½ banana
½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved
3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

Strawberry Lemonade
Strawberry Shakeology packet or scoop
1 cup water
1 cup ice
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

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/

Banana Protein Power Bites

Ever get tired of the store bought protein bars? Some are good and some are really bad. I used to buy a few and store them in the glove department for when I was on the move; you know, just incase I got hungry mid-day and the only thing nearby was something that would probably take me an hour or more to work off later in the day. 

These days I prefer to see firsthand what is in the food I eat. I’ve noticed I am a lot less fatigued since I quit the fast meal, heavily processed stuff. These little protein bites are perfect to make if you need a quick recipe or just want something different than fruit/veggies for a snack. 

I’ve made some no bake protein balls before and they went pretty quick. This time I added banana to the mix to give a little more moisture for the oats. They weren’t as firm as the previous recipe without banana, but they held up just as well with taste. Banana, chocolate and peanut butter are a recipe match made in heaven if you ask me.

 

Banana Protein Power Bites
Yields 12
Pretty incredible little ball of protein for those who enjoy bananas, oats and peanut butter.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  2. ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  3. very ripe banana, mashed
  4. ½ teaspoon chia seeds
  5. ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mash your ripe banana in a small bowl using a whisk.
  2. Add all ingredients to a medium size bowl. Mix well, either with a wooden spatula or clean hands. Using a tablespoon to scoop, roll into individual ball shapes and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Add cookie sheet to fridge for at least an hour to firm. Replace protein balls into a plastic airtight container and store in fridge.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be doubled.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Ham and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Happy 2017! I decided to start up the new year with a more strict diet and exercise plan due to adding a few pounds on over the last year that I’m not too happy about, just like pretty much everyone else in the world. With bikini season a few months away, I know that winter time would be the best time to start focusing on tightening up my healthy lifestyle a bit, starting with what I eat.

While putting together my meal plan for the week, I decided to include a breakfast casserole that would not only taste good reheated, but hold me over until my morning snack. This previous week I enjoyed an overnight oats breakfast and while that was delicious, I was craving something more “solid.” With a breakfast casserole, not only would I be getting a good source of protein from the eggs, but I’d also be getting a good source of calcium from the dairy; something we all could use. Plus I’d feel more full after eating my portion!

A breakfast casserole can vary in ingredients but usually consist of a basic build; eggs, milk and cheese. To add taste and a better base to mine, I decided to add southern hashbrowns and ham as well. The hashbrowns would give a nice golden crust feel to the casserole while the bacon and ham would just be a bonus addition for the tastebuds. It also helps that I already had all of these things on hand.

As for my dairy; I love to purchase products that are locally made whenever opportunity arises and Reiter Dairy has over 20 dairy farms here in the state of Ohio. Our nearby grocery carries Reiter’s milk product DairyPure and after doing a little research on the brand, I decided I wanted to give it a try. 

What I love most about DairyPure is their 5-Point Purity Promise. When you purchase DairyPure milk you’re giving your family not only a product that comes from cows that are fed a healthy-diet, but also has no artificial growth hormones, has been tested for antibiotics, is continuously quality tested to ensure purity and is cold-shipped from their dairy. Hearing that, I knew that this would be a product that I can feel confident feeding to my family. 

Be sure to check out Reiter Dairy to see which of your local groceries carries their products. 

 

Ham and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
Serves 8
In need of a quick and delicious breakfast for brunch, "Breakfast for Dinner," or something you can reheat in the morning throughout the week? This breakfast casserole is perfect for just that and can be thrown together in just 5-10 minutes.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 16 oz diced ham, package should state that it's already fully cooked
  2. 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  3. 8 cups frozen southern hashbrowns
  4. 4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  5. 12 large eggs
  6. 1 cup DairyPure milk
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. a pinch of ground pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Well grease two quiche pans or a 9x13 size casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Using a large mixing bowl, combine ham, cheese, hashbrowns and bacon well. Add to combination to casserole dish, spreading evenly.
  4. Wash out large mixing bowl and next add eggs, DairyPure milk, salt and pepper (optional) whisking well. Pour overtop ham and hashbrowns, making sure that it is evenly spread.
  5. Cook for one hour.
Notes
  1. If you'd prefer to just make a smaller serving - cut ingredients in half and use just one quiche pan.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, and opinions I have expressed here are that of my own.

Ranch-Style Cobb Salad

 

IMG_3509

If you’re like me, you’ve gone through your Pinterest feed for what feels like a gazillion times looking for some sort of “different” kind of lunch to prepare for the week. I often like to base my mid-day meals around salads or something close to, as lunch is when I like to get the majority of my greens and vegetables intake. 

With today being Labor Day, the kids being home from school and a local Arts Festival going on; I wanted to get my grocery shopping done early yesterday so that I could successfully complete all my Sunday chores today and not having some spill over into the first of the week and delay any fun or relaxation for today. I started my meal-plan planning extra early because so. (Remember… fail to plan, plan to fail!) – and while things didn’t go as planned (one child is sick), my food was still ready today so I didn’t have to worry about screwing up on my new dietary!

IMG_3513

I don’t feel like I get my share of enough egg-protein, or at least I don’t feel like I have lately. So when I opened my laptop this morning I made sure to search for a recipe that would require at least one egg or more. I can always make the staple recipe for egg salad; I could prepare it blind-folded, but I wanted something that had a little more taste to it. One where by Tuesday afternoon, I’m already sure that come Wednesday’s lunch time I will be wanting anything BUT what I’ve already got prepared. And so I ran across this recipe for a Cobb Egg Salad from Lemon Tree Dwelling that had one key ingredient that won me over – dry ranch dressing mix. I like to use my dry ranch with yogurt for a healthier take on ranch dressing for dipping some veggie sticks in. If you love ranch, you can’t really go wrong with this dressing mix.

Another great thing about egg salad is how quickly you can prep it. Sure, if you’re not much of an hard-boiled egg peeler it can take *some* time, but I promise with practice and correct technique you’ll get the knack of doing it. Afterall, it took me months but I finally got it and I can proudly say that today I peeled 6 eggs in under 10 minutes. That’s an accomplishment! The rest of the ingredients though – super easy to assemble and throw into a bowl. Almost too easy. 

IMG_3496

Ranch-Style Cobb Salad
Serves 3
If egg salad and cobb salad were to meet in an alley, and egg happened to have brought ranch with him and cobb, arugula lettuce - this would be the outcome. Enjoy this recipe with rye crackers, as a salad or on a sandwich. Perfect for both parties and for meal-prepped lunches for the week.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  2. 4 pieces cooked turkey bacon, crumbled into small pieces
  3. 4 tablespoons lite mayonnaise
  4. ½ dry ranch dressing mix
  5. ¼ cup grape tomatoes, diced
  6. ¼ cup celery, diced small
  7. ¼ teaspoon green onions, sliced thin
  8. ¼ cup chopped arugula lettuce
  9. ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Hard-boil your eggs; bringing your pot of water and eggs to a raging boil over medium-high heat. When this has happened, turn off heat and cover pot with a lid allowing to sit for 12 minutes. Run cold water over eggs before attempting to peel. After eggs have been peeled, chop into small pieces.
  2. Using a large mixing bowl add eggs, bacon, tomatoes, arugula and cheese. Next add mayonnaise and dry ranch dressing mix, stirring gently but combining well. Serve or store in a tight-closed container for later.
Notes
  1. Original recipe can be found at Lemon Tree Dwelling (www.lemontreedwelling.com) - I added a few extra vegetables, etc of my own to their own delicious recipe.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Cobb Salad

IMG_3285
A lot of meal plans that I have seen in the past have included a hard boiled egg at some point, be it with an entree or as a mid-day snack. I’ll be the first to admit that while I do tend to eat a lot of eggs for breakfast or as a quick and easy snack, I do not necessarily like them. I never have and I’m way past the “you just may grow to like them” stage. However, there are some circumstances where they taste a little more enjoyable to me, and in a cobb salad is one. I’m not sure if it’s because of the dressing or the ingredients that they’re paired up with; they’re just much more tolerable.

But if you’re an egg lover, then chances are you’ll love this salad as well. It’s simple to make, and really doesn’t take much preparation effort aside from cooking the bacon and hard-boiling the eggs. And the dressing is light and delicious.

IMG_3286

Funny thing about these pictures – if you’ve already scrolled down and looked at the recipe ingredients, you know that it calls for blue cheese. Yes, that’s shredded mozzarella cheese in the picture. I had full intentions of eating this Cobb salad with blue cheese and didn’t pick up any at the grocery this week because I made my list knowing that I had a container in the refrigerator whose expiration date wasn’t even close to today’s date.

Don’t trust those expiration dates. 

After preparing everything and assembling, I got to the part where I add the cheese and went to open the container. The FOULEST smell, hit me so hard it almost knocked me out! Not to mention that the entire amount was covered with more blue than you typically see. Again, expiration date? The end of August. There was no way I was using that, so I tossed it in a plastic grocery bag and walked it to the garage dumpster verses even taking the chance of smelling that in the trash container in the house. So gross. So THAT’S why I used mozzarella cheese. Tastes good with this version, and you know – if you don’t like blue cheese, you can always substitute it with other cheese choices such as goat cheese, mozzarella, or feta. Whatever is on your plate is always your pick of the crop! Enjoy.

IMG_3288

Cobb Salad
Serves 4
Good ol' fashion cobb salad recipe with a homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups romaine lettuce
  2. 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  3. 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  4. 6 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
  5. ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  6. ¼ cup avocado, optional
Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
  1. ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  2. ¼ cup olive oil
  3. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  6. 1 teaspoon pure honey
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. Using a small bowl, mix together all ingredients for dressing with a whisk until well combined.
  2. Align a plate with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, turkey bacon, egg slices and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle dressing overtop.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Chicken Caesar Salad (Homemade Dressing Included)

While we’re on this chicken and salad combo mix, I figured I may as well go ahead and add Chicken Caesar to the lineup. You can get as fancy as you want with salads, (or any meal for that matter) but you almost always go back to the basics when the plate is clean. See what I did there?

caesarpastasalad

When we go out to eat, 8/10 times I order the Chicken Caesar Salad no matter where we are. There are some places that I have had the salad quite a few times and I already know how good it is. There are other places where I am just going to assume the salad will be good enough because it’s a safe choice on the menu. Can you really mess up a caesar salad? Absolutely. Serve it with anchovies for someone who is deathly afraid of the look of anchovies. Sure, a lot of the times the dressing is made with it. I don’t need the proof right in front of my face though. 

I can totally avoid the anchovies at home because caesar dressing I’ve been using on my salads is actually really simple to make. It just consists of 6 ingredients: mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan cheese, worcestershire sauce and black pepper.

Nothing fishy going on here. 

caesarsalad

And remember, if you want to add a little extra to your salad; pasta is always a good choice. (Thanks for the introduction to it, Skinnymom) – Just be cautious with those croutons! While croutons in a salad are ohsodelicious, they’re also bread and you know what they say about bread: “All aboard the carb train.” 

Enjoy!

Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 4
A simple recipe for chicken caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
For the Salad
  1. 8 cups romaine lettuce, divided
  2. 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  3. 1 tomato, deseeded and diced
  4. 20 fat-free caesar croutons
  5. 2 tablespoons reduced-fat parmesan cheese
For the Dressing
  1. 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  2. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 teaspoon reduced-fat parmesan cheese
  4. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  5. ¼ tablespoon minced garlic
  6. ¼ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  7. 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Using a fork, remove pieces from rotisserie chicken, shredding and then placing in a large bowl. Add romaine lettuce, diced tomato. Toss well.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Pour over salad evenly. Toss well.
  3. Add croutons (5 per plate) and sprinkle ½ tablespoon parmesan cheese on top.
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