BBQ Honey Ranch Chicken and Vegetable Bowl

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Monday, the first day that I actually am beginning to feel as normal as normal gets for me. After spending the majority of the past week either caring for someone sick or being sick myself, I was able to actually sleep soundly through the night with a cough here and there and wake up feeling refreshed enough. I had my entire weeks menu as well as my workout schedule all ready to go last week and so today I had the motivation to be productive. Happy to say I succeeded!

I started off my morning with a Egg McFitFun, a fun and healthy version of what you can find at most fast-food restaurants and discovered via my FitGirlsGuide 28 Day Jumpstart ebook. After that, I did my BBG 1.0 leg workout (FINALLY!) and proceeded to make this fantastic lunch that I stumbled across on Pinterest that this post is mostly about. Little did I know that this meal itself was big enough and as much work as an entrée is; something it would probably be more perfect for – but what the heck, I made it anyway and stashed the extra portions in the refrigerator for the next few days worth of lunch!

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If you haven’t gone outside the box and made rice with anything but what the directions tell you, let me tell you – you are MISSING OUT! Don’t get me wrong, rice in itself can be delicious, but it’s a whole other world when you’re cooking it with broth and spices. I know you’ve probably already looked at number of instructions in the directions and thought “Whoa! That’s a lot!” and I thought that myself too, but the end result is absolutely worth it.

I think my favorite part about this recipe is the fact that it’s based on the combination of Ranch and BBQ sauce. Anyone else use to order a side of ranch and a side of BBQ sauce to mix together and dip their fries and chicken nuggets in as a kid? I still do it at 34. So this Hidden Valley Ranch dressing is like a dream come true for me.

BBQ Honey Ranch Chicken and Vegetable Bowl
Serves 4
If you haven't tried a ranch and bbq sauce combo, it's about time you did! Why not try it over this salad mix?
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into tender size pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. ½ cup onion, diced
  4. 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
  5. 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  6. I can black beans, washed and drained
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 16-ounce bottle Hidden Valley Ranch Honey BBQ Dressing
  9. 1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
  10. 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced thin
  11. 2 cooked ears of corn, kernels cut off cobb
  12. 1 avocado, sliced
  13. cilantro, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large ziplock bag, add chicken pieces and 1 cup of Hidden Valley Ranch Honey BBQ Dressing. Allow marinating in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium size saucepan over med-high heat, add olive oil and allow to momentarily heat up. Next add onion and rice, stirring often; 3-5 minutes or until rice appears a light shade of brown. Add chicken broth, black beans and cumin. When rapid boiling occurs, lower heat to low setting, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes. After, remove from heat , sitting for 5 minutes before fluffing rice mixture with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Using a medium size skillet, add pepper and corn with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté vegetables for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Well grease a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, allowing to cook on each side for 5-7 minutes or until chicken has grill marks. Flip and cook other side. When chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from heat.
  5. In 4 bowls, add rice mixture followed by peppers, corn, cucumber and avocado. Add chicken, cilantro and drizzle additional Hidden Valley Ranch Honey BBQ Dressing on top.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Oven-Cooked Paleo Italian Meatballs with Sauce

We’ve been using ground turkey instead of ground beef for so long that I’ve forgotten what beef actually tastes like. I like ground turkey. The kids have grown to like it too, so I really see no point in switching back. It’s healthier and that makes spending a couple extra bucks worth it to me.

While trying to expand my “bowl recipes,” I stumbled across this particular one for with what seemed like extremely good-for-you meatballs. I liked that they were an oven-bake and the marinara was an easy homemade sauce you could put together in no time and patiently hang out in the kitchen with a cup of tea while it slowly cooked over the stove. 

And so I did just that.

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Not to mention, it tastes great over whole-grain rice. Which obviously makes it a keeper, a blog post and handwritten down on a recipe card to go in my book. But if you don’t like rice, you can eat just the meatballs with the sauce, overtop a plate of linguini noodles or on a sub. 

That makes it pretty hard not to want to give it a try, don’t you think?

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Oven-Cooked Paleo Italian Meatballs with Sauce
Serves 4
Healthy ground turkey meatballs baked in the oven and then simmered in a sauce-pan of delicious and hearty homemade marinara sauce. Recipe is both paleo and gluten-free.
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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
Meatballs
  1. 1lb ground turkey beef
  2. 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  3. 1 egg, beaten
  4. ½ tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  7. 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, divided (optional)
  8. whole grain rice, (optional)
Sauce
  1. 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  2. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1 garlic clove, chopped
  6. 1 tablespoon parsely, finely chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a large baking sheet, cover with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add beaten egg with ground turkey, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, parsley, salt and black pepper. Combine well with clean hands.
  3. Using hands, roll meatballs, about 2 tablespoons of mixture, evenly and spread on baking pan. Space out each meatball at least ½-1 inch apart from each other.
  4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
Marinara Sauce
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and allow to saute for 5 minutes. Next add garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Both onion and garlic should appear transparent. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaf and pepper. Combine well with a wooden spoon and lower heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Serve overtop meatballs and whole-grain rice.
Notes
  1. Recipe has been adjusted from original posted via adapt link.
Adapted from Noshtastic
Adapted from Noshtastic
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Chicken Fried Rice

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I love recipes that call for rotisserie chicken. Not because it makes cooking slightly easier, you can always cook your own rotisserie chicken instead of buying one from your local grocery store. But because of the taste of a rotisserie chicken. 

We don’t necessarily have a good local take-out, or I haven’t found one yet. So as someone who personally loves fried rice, I’m always excited when preparing this one. I’ve been meal-prepping meals for fitness programs that I have been doing and Chicken Fried Rice is an awesome, low-calorie lunch. You’re getting your protein, vegetables and a healthy grain all in one dish.

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Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 4
Tastes better than take-out!
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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. Rotisserie chicken, divided into shredded pieces
  2. 2 cups brown rice
  3. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  4. 1 cup onion, diced
  5. 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 2 eggs
  8. ¼ cup soy sauce
Instructions
  1. Cook brown rice according to package. While doing so, divide a rotisserie chicken into shredded pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic cloves, cook 3 minutes. Add frozen peas and carrots, cook 3-5 minutes. Push vegetables to the side of skillet. Crack eggs and scramble.
  3. Add skillet mixture and chicken to rice. Pour soy sauce gently overtop and mix well.
Notes
  1. Use whatever remaining leftover rotisserie chicken you have for another dish.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Teriyaki Meatballs

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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. 

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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/