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15 minute Healthy Bun less Big Mac Bowl

Healthy and Big Mac in the same sentence is hard to imagine right? Well let me tell you, it is possible! This will kick any Big Mac craving you’re having in the butt, keep your carbs low and help you stay on track with your goals.

There is a fun optional ingredient that some of you might think, “What the heck is that?” For that reason, I’m going to drop this awesome link so you can read all about one of my favorite healthy ingredient swaps… nutritional yeast aka nooch!

This recipe can be put on top of any of your favorite vegetables. I’ve tried it with spinach, spaghetti squash, and zoodles, but feel free to use anything you feel would compliment the beef or taste great in a Big Mac.

Ingredients

  • 1lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. avocado (or olive) oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup low-fat low-calorie Thousand Island dressing
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup (or I liked to replace it with 3 tbsp. tomato sauce +2 tsp. coconut sugar)
  • 2-3 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 2-4 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)*
  • Tomatoes, diced (fresh, not canned)
  • Pickles, sliced and halved

Directions

Heat oil in a large frying pan, add diced onions. Sautee onions until their translucent, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add ground beef, cook through and strain. Combine Thousand Island dressing, ketchup (or tomato sauce & coconut sugar) and yellow mustard. Add sauce and nutritional yeast to beef. If it’s not saucy enough for you, add extra dressing, tomato sauce/Ketchup, and mustard, 1tbsp at a time. Add diced tomato and pickles and stir. Serve with your favorite vegetable. Top with ketchup and mustard, also optional. If you’re on the 21day fix then follow the directions below for assembly.

For my fellow fixers: 1 red 1-2 green (customizable), .5-1 orange (depending on how many extra tablespoons you add to the recipe).

When you’re assembling the bowl, measure out your vegetable of choice, then the meat mixture, then the diced tomato & pickles.

*4 tbsp. of nutritional yeast = 1 protein. I personally use it to get that boost of B12 and feel that 4 tbsp. throughout the whole recipe doesn’t affect the protein count much in one portion, so I chose not to change my count.

 

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Corn Flake Crusted Chicken Strips

My idea of cooking for myself as a teenager was always microwaved KD or chicken strips from a box. I can defiantly say that my cooking & eating habits have changed, but one thing that hasn’t is my love for those classics. It takes me a bit longer to make them since nothing in my house comes from a box anymore, which just makes everything taste that much better!

I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s always a hit to whoever I get the opportunity to feed it to. These are good without dip but can be served with honey, honey mustard or really anything you would dip chicken strips in!

Here’s a spin on healthy crispy chicken strips made with corn flakes.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 4-6 cups of corn flakes

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Working in batches. Slice chicken breasts into strips and dip into whole wheat flour, set aside on a plate. I had quite a bit of remaining flour at the end, but having more helped make sure I was getting a complete coat easily. In another bowl lightly beat 1 egg and crush 2 cups of corn flakes in another bowl. I only use one egg and 2 cups of corn flakes because I don’t want to use more than I have to, so I’ll add to the bowls as I need more. Make sure to crush the corn flakes well because they will stick better to the chicken. Once your bowls are ready, dip flour coated chicken into the egg and then into the cornflakes to coat them. You may have to wash your hands in between, so make sure you’re not too far from the sink! Place on baking sheet and repeat until you’ve filled the sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

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Burrito Bowl

Every time my boyfriend and I go to the states we always seek out Chipotle on our route. We put in our US sim card and start the search for the nearest one. It’s seriously my favorite restaurant, if only they had one in Montreal. It’s fast, healthy, filling… and did I mention? Delicious! They have opened other “similar” restaurants in our area like Quesada and Mucho Burrito, but so far nothing quite lives up to my love for Chipotle.

Obviously, I think to myself I could totally make this myself! While Tyler was in Poland in October I played around with the recipe and found what I felt was pretty close to our favorite pit stop. I recently experimented and made it with quinoa, which is normally a favorite, but not in this recipe! The rice really adds a better less mushy texture to the bowl.

Ingredients

  • 4 large chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes (or 8 small)
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. coriander
  • ¼ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. chipotle powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup black beans, soaked and cooked
  • 2 cans corn niblets
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 recipe easy guacamole

Directions

Two-Three hours before you cook this recipe soak black beans, you can also use canned if that’s easier for you. Cube chicken breasts, evenly seasoning them with spices. Cook on stove top until cooked through, place aside. While you’re cooking the chicken you can start the rice and cook beans. Once all your components are ready you can assemble your burrito bowl!

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Quinoa Crusted Chicken Parmesan

This week I decided to turn a classic healthy, made some quinoa crusted chicken Parmesan! Since the chicken is crusted in carbs I also thought it would be a good idea to double up on the vegetables with a side of steamed broccoli & Brussels sprouts.

Confession. I still haven’t tasted the dish yet cause I only prepared exactly what I needed, but there is no way this isn’t amazing. It looks amazing and smells amazing!

The chicken breasts I had were quite large so I cut them into 3-4oz pieces before I “battered” them with quinoa. As important as it is to eat good food it’s equally as important to portion your food correctly. Portioning them off before you cook them is a good way to control how much food you end up packing in your lunch or put on your plate at dinnertime.

This recipe is quite large. I was able to make 10 portions, and I had a bit extra quinoa left over.

Ingredients

Quinoa Crust

  • 1-cup quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ tsp. parsley
  • ¼ tsp. basil
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Chicken

  • 5 large chicken breasts (10 small)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups mushroom meat sauce (or any tomato sauce)
  • ½ cup shredded cheese

Directions

Cook quinoa as directed on package. * Mix all spices together in a small mixing bowl. Once quinoa is slightly cooled add the spices and mix.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Set out lightly greased baking sheet. Add eggs, flour, and a bit of the quinoa mixture into 3 small mixing bowls. (One in each bowl. Don’t add all the quinoa in at once cause you wouldn’t want to keep left over if it’s touched the egg.) Working in batches dip all the chicken breasts in the flour, egg and then quinoa mixture. I kept a clean plate next to me, dipped my chicken breasts into the flour washed my hands and then continued onto the egg step, once covered with quinoa place on baking sheet. Don’t be surprised if you have leftover ingredients in this step. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from oven, top with Parmesan cheese, mushroom meat sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes. Serve immediately or let cool & refrigerate for lunches!

*General rule I use when cooking quinoa is 1 part quinoa to two parts water.

Quinoa chicken Paresan

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Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas

One of my goals this year is to include more meatless meals into our diets. We eat A LOT of chicken & shrimp! I feel it’s important not to eat the same things at every meal as I tend to get bored of food I eat too often.

I also love the simplicity of my slow cooker. It gives me the ability to put something on and leave it for a few hours while I’m making other meals for our week. I usually make about 3-4 meals a week. 2 meals on Sunday (one double recipe for our weekday lunches and one regular 4-6 serving recipe for Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evening), one on Tuesday & Thursday after work. Since I finish work earlier on those days it’s actually possible to come home and have a meal ready by 6:30. If I don’t pre-make our Monday and Wednesday night meal we end up eating at 8:30-9 and that just feels way too late to eat.

Tyler took me for my first Indian food experience for our 4 year anniversary back in May. He kept talking about his favorite Indian restaurant; Maison India. I was finally brave enough to ask him to go try it out. I absolutely loved the food, the service was amazing and the restaurant had a beautiful ambiance. My favorite was their butter chicken, so sweet and delicious, and their saag paneer. A friend of mine posted a similar recipe recently and it sparked my curiosity. I did some digging around Pinterest and found what I was looking for – the slow cooker version. It’s practical all the same ingredients just cooked over a longer period of time to let the sauce seep into the chickpeas.

As you all know I always tend to modify my recipes. I felt there was a lot of sauce for the only one can of chickpeas so I used 1 x 28 oz. can and 2 x 19 oz. can. I also normally always soak my chickpeas and make them fresh cause canned has so much sodium, but this week I forgot to soak them the night before so I had to use canned this time around. The original recipe also called for tofu but we’re not really tofu eaters so I excluded that from my recipe.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 28 oz. can garbanzo beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used light but you could use regularly)
  • 1 cup tomato puree (I used diced tomatoes and put it through the magic bullet to puree it)
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • ⅛ cup cilantro, finely chopped for garnish
  • 1/8 cup Greek yogurt, for garnish

Directions

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté until onion is translucent about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir. Whisk in the coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger and a pinch salt/pepper. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. You can cook the sauce longer if needed. Place chickpeas in the base of slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until thickened. Before serving, garnish with cilantro & a touch of Greek yogurt. Can be served with rice and naan.

Note: If you’re cooking soaking your own chickpeas you will need to precook them in a pot for about 45 minutes or increase the cook time in the slow cooker by an hour or until chickpeas are tender.

Please see original link for tofu instructions!

Original Link: http://delishknowledge.com/slow-cooker-butter-chickpeas/

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Chipotle Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Two nights a week I finish work late so making a meal when I’m only getting home at 7:30 seems like such a horrible chore. As much as I love to cook sometimes I just don’t want to and after work is one of those times. Using this meal-planning app I’ve been able to be strategic about what meals I’m making which nights. So I know that on the nights I finish later I need a 15-20 minute recipe that I can make as soon as I walk through the door. On the nights I don’t have a plan I feel it’s a lot easier to cave into my boyfriend’s Subway request.

I’m happy to say that tonight was my first REALLY fast & really well planned out weeknight meal! I look forward to many more of these 15-minute recipes!

Ingredients

Chipotle Shrimp

  • 1 lb. Shrimp, deveined & tails removed
  • ½ tsp. chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • Pepper to taste

Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

  • ½ cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • Cilantro

Directions

In a small bowl combine all spices from “chipotle shrimp” portion of the recipe. Devein and remove the tails from shrimp and add to a pan with avocado oil. Sprinkle spices over shrimp and cook through. Mix all the ingredients from the cilantro lime sauce. I place all the ingredients on the table and we serve ourselves! Enjoy! ☺️

 

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Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

Who loves Thai food? ME!!!! I can’t get enough Thai food. Our whole week this week was planned with Thai inspired meals. I’m really excited about my Christmas gift to myself, a vegetable spiralizer, so we replaced noodles with zucchini.

Tyler told me this could be the best meal I’ve made so far!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 4 medium or two large zucchini
  • 3 stalks green onion
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 4-5 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3 tsp. garlic child sauce

Directions

In a small bowl combine ingredients for the sauce (vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, chili garlic sauce), then set aside. Cut the zucchini into noodles by using a vegetable spiralizer tool. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add avocado oil (save the other half for later). Then add zucchini noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Don’t overcook the noodles; you want them to be a little bit crunchyLet the noodles rest for about 3 minutes allowing as much moisture as possible to release. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain any excess water.

Carefully wipe the same pan to remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp is tender and cooked through, approx. 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetable until the egg is completely cooked. Add the zucchini noodles back into the pan, and then add the sauce. Cook for about a few more minutes or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Stir in the bean sprouts. Serve the warm zucchini pad Thai noodles cilantro, and lime wedges.

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Turkey Meatballs (Freezable!)

I can’t even tell you how incredibly tasty these are! I’ve only made them once so far but I think these will be a new freezer staple for my place. They’re fast, easy and if you get ground turkey on sale they can be pretty cheap to make! I doubled the original recipe, changed it a little bit, and also changed the cooking method! They are absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2lbs of ground Turkey
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 6 tbsp. of ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 6 cloves minced garlic

 

Directions

Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix together. Using a scoop or a spoon measure out approximately same size meatballs and shape. Place it on wax paper or parchment paper & place in freezer for at least an hour or until frozen. Once completely frozen place in a large zip lock or air tight container.

When you’re ready to cook them put the stove on low and pan sear all sides on low heat until cooked through!

Your possibilities with these meatballs are endless! You could use them in spaghetti, soup, or meatball subs or wraps!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Big thank you to the original source: http://www.amandathevirtuouswife.com/2012/02/turkey-meatballs-freezer-meal.html#.VGaRX_TF8dI

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Wonton Noodles

I have to give all the credit to this recipe to my wonderful aunt. I was extremely lucky to have the chance to live with my Aunt Lynda and her two beautiful kids, Jamie and Josh, for four years while I was going to school and working in Ottawa. Throughout those years, I learned that my aunt’s won ton were a freezer staple. Jamie and I always knew we hit gold when Lynda would tell us she was having the girls over to roll wontons.

I’ve been waiting for my aunt to have one of her friend gatherings so I could learn how to make these, but finally just asked her for the recipe. I’m so glad I did! She explained to me that it was equal parts, ground beef, ground pork and ground turkey with soy sauce and green onion. Simple enough, right? Yes! It was actually just that simple!

It was a bit of an adventure for me the first time I tried to find the wonton wrappers. First, I tried trying the grocery store I was unsuccessful. I thought I had seen an oriental grocery store near my place so I decided to check there. It was way closer than I thought it was, everything was reasonably priced (some stuff even cheaper).

There was so much food in that store that inspired me to want to know more. I started searching recipes and reading about different oils and sauces that are cooked with and these sweet and spicy flavors. It made me excited to want to try these things I was reading about. I’ve always wanted to learn how to roll sushi, but I never really thought of trying to make my own oriental style meals. Stay tuned for more on that! Hopefully, I’ll have more oriental recipes to share soon!

I did change up my aunts’ recipe a little bit. I used turkey instead of beef, to make it a little bit leaner.  My aunt would always make a whole bunch of these and then package them in the freezer as meals. Due to lack of space in my freezer, I wasn’t able to freeze mine before bagging them so they got a little bit swished together, but they separate again when they are being cooked.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • Soy sauce (Added to taste. I personally used about a 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp.)
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 packs of Wonton wrappers

Directions

Make sure wonton wrappers are thawed. I had to microwave my first batch for 10 seconds at a time and slowly peeled top and bottom layers back. I had just picked mine up and I wanted to get started right away but I would recommend letting them thaw overnight if you have them. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

I made myself a little workstation on my kitchen table. I had a piece of wax paper, water, the bowl of meat, the wonton wrappers and a try to place the finished product. I would set up 3 rows of 4 wrappers, place 1/2 tbsp. of meat (depending on the size of the wrappers you bought) wet two of the sides of the wonton with water and fold the wonton into a triangle, then wet the longer sides and fold them up. There are different ways of wrapping the wontons, but make sure they are well sealed so the meat doesn’t come out when you cook them. I repeated this till I got through all the meat I had.

Once your wontons are all together you can freeze them in batches or bag them right away if you don’t have the freezer space. For individual meals or appetizer for two people, I bagged them in packages of 8 and for two people meal, I bagged them in packages of 16. My wonton yield was 175 wontons. I spent $22.00 coming out to .13 cents a wonton, and 21 individual meals.