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Entrees Uncategorized

Simple Cajun-Style Chicken, Sausage and Rice

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This healthier version of a traditional New Orleans favorite does not lack in flavor and is a great comfort meal for a chilly evening. I used an Instant Pot to make it even quicker, but it can be made on the stovetop, if desired. You can also add shrimp for a more traditional Jambalaya dish. 

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Ingredients

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  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed or avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil)
  • 1 pound chicken breast 
  • 4-5 chicken sausage links (I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Jalepeño) 
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cups rice, cauliflower rice, or Right Rice (I used 2 cups Spanish Right Rice)
  • 2 Tbsp spicy seasoning blend* 
  • 2 cups organic bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 

Spicy Seasoning Blend (this will make enough for extra to store for next time)*

  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 Tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Himalayan sea salt

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Instructions

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Step 1

Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Place chicken breasts in the pot and lightly brown each side for about 5 minutes each. 

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Step 2

Place chicken sausages, onion, garlic, celery and bell peppers in pot and sauté for about 2-3 more minutes. 

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Step 3

Add all other ingredients (rice, spices and broth and Worcestershire sauce). Ensure broth completely covers the rice. 

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Step 4

Secure the lid and set the pressure release to “sealing”. Set the cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure.

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Step 5

Once done, let the pressure release by switching the valve to “venting” and serve! 

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Variations

You can add shrimp or serve with pasta instead of rice. This recipe can be made without an instant pot/pressure cooker by using a crock pot for extended time or on the stove top! 

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Categories
Entrees Uncategorized

Simple Chicken Salad

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  • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed (organic, free range recommended)
  • 1/2 small onion or 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small apple, cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries (unsweetened recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4-6 Tbsp organic mayonnaise (can also use 100% avocado mayonnaise or Veganaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley or 1/2 Tbsp dried
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

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  1. Cook chicken and cut into cubes
  2. Dice onion and apple
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine chicken, onion, apple, and remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.
  4. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve over a bed of mixed greens, in a bibb lettuce wrap, on a slice of gluten free whole grain toast, with crackers (such as Flackers, or Mary’s Gone crackers or enjoy all by itself!

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Categories
Uncategorized

10 Simple Tips for Successful & Sustainable Meal Prepping

  1. Set aside a day and time as part of your weekly schedule to plan and prepare meals/ingredients. weekly plan

    • For many people this is a Saturday or Sunday but can be any chunk of time that works best for YOU. Put it on your calendar and COMMIT!
    • Additionally, I think it’s important to note that you don’t have to make every single meal of the week at once. I will sit down on my designated day of the week and make a list of the recipes and ingredients needed and this helps me to make sure I have meats defrosted, ingredients washed and chopped so I can throw together meals during the busy work week. It does not have to be all in cute little containers that we see on Pinterest!
    • The important thing is to make sure that you actually schedule time for planning and preparing your meals. By making it a priority in your life, you will make the time. Remember, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” 
  2. Look at recipes, prepare a shopping list and have all ingredients for the week BEFORE you begin your meal prep.

    • I find it helpful to check in with the hubby to determine meals he would like for the week and compromise so that everyone is happy!  I suggest looking at recipes together and picking several to try. I usually make one or two options each week for breakfast and lunch and alternate them. Then I have a different recipe for dinner Monday-Thursday. The weekends are usually for leftovers, going out and having fun.
    • Once I’ve decided what I will be eating that week, I like to have it printed out or a list on paper versus leaving it on the computer. Of course, that’s a personal choice but I like having a hard, dirty copy in front of me at the grocery store and as I am cooking.
    • Take inventory of foods that need used and what you already have on hand before rushing to the store.
    • Stick to the shopping list!!!
  3. Buy staple ingredients in bulk.

    • Things like gluten free baking flours, canned coconut milk, nuts and seeds, spices, frozen fruits and veggies, quinoa, rice, coconut aminos, coconut oil, chia seeds, dates, etc. are staples I like to always have on hand since they show up in so many of my recipes. Find your staples and consider buying at a wholesaler such as Costco or Sam’s or purchasing online on Thrive Market or Amazon to make your life easier! Also stock up on items when they go on sale!
  4. Prepare your space and refrigerator.

    • There is nothing more frustrating then starting in a space thats already cluttered. Before starting, make sure you start clean (clear up any dishes lingering in the sink, empty the dishwasher, look in the fridge and throw away anything that is no longer good or re-organize to ensure you have space for the meals you are going to prepare for the week).
    • Make sure you wipe down your space so that it is clean and sanitized.
    • If you are in a household with others who are not eating the same way, consider designating a shelf in the fridge and/or pantry where you have your meals and ingredients.
      • *Note: I do not recommend separate meals for the family. That’s why it is so important to get input on recipes beforehand. However, if you are following specific dietary restrictions or for allergies, this may be an appropriate accommodation! 
  5. Once you are ready to begin prepping, lay out all your ingredients (and storage containers) and make a game plan.

    • Having quality storage containers (glass is best!) is key to making your meal prep easier. Consider buying some Pyrex glass containers in various sizes to store your meals and leftovers. You also don’t want to have things prepared, and have to run around trying to find containers that fit!
    • Before beginning to cook, lay out all ingredients. If you are using the same ingredients for multiple recipes, go ahead and prep ingredients at the same time (for example, if you are using sweet potatoes for a breakfast hash and in a Buddha Bowl for lunch, go ahead and chop them all at the same time!)
    • Try your best to time out recipes that will go in the oven at the same time so you don’t have to keep turning on/off the oven (ex. roasted vegetables with an egg bake)
    • If you aren’t planning on making every meal ahead of time, consider washing and chopping all of your veggies in advance so you don’t have to do it on busy days. This also prevents those peppers or greens from sitting in the bottom of the fridge to be forgotten! This is also why glass containers are great (you are more likely to snack on your sliced peppers if you can see them 😉 )
  6. Keep it simple!

  7. Plan your day from start to finish.

    • What I mean by this is plan out your breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks during the day. This leaves less room to stray from your plan or fall into “food emergencies”. This will help you to stay on track and be prepared when you are out and about or traveling as well.
    • Go-to snacks – It’s great to keep some snacks on hand (in the car, desk drawer at work, purse, gym bag, etc.)
      • Mixed nuts or homemade trail mix
      • Almond/cashew butter and an apple or sliced veggies
      • Healthy bars (such as Rx bars, EPIC, Thunderbird, Larabars) or homemade energy bites
      • Dark chocolate
  8. Allow room in the schedule for leftovers.

    • Having to throw away food is never a good feeling. That’s why I typically plan by meals for 4 out of 7 days of the week and just make generous portions. I like to keep leftovers for the weekends for ease or for a week night when I don’t feel like cooking an extra meal. Additionally, freezing remaining food is always an option so you can pull it out and reheat during a week when you might be less prepared (before or after a long vacation, for example). Doubling recipes and freezing half is also a great idea!!
  9. Wash dishes and clean up as you go.

    • Let’s face it, nobody loves doing dishes. It helps prevent an overflowing sink of dishes if you try to tidy as you cook. While meals are cooking, clean up some of the dishes and put away ingredients as you go to prevent the overwhelming clean up. Additionally, if your husband, kids, or friends are helping, it’s nice to split up the work! One cooks while one cleans/puts away dishes.
  10. Have fun!

    • This is HANDS DOWN the most important! If it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable. Put on some tunes, turn on a show or a good podcast, grab a glass of wine (or refreshing beverage of choice) and get down to business! Cooking can be very therapeutic if you let it! Pay attention to the colors, textures and smells of the foods you are preparing and think about how it’s going to nourish your body. A few hours of planning will save time and stress during the week to give you more time to spend with those you love or on activities that bring you joy.

IMG_3624

Everything you put into your body is either feeding or fueling disease. It’s your decision!

 

 

Categories
Breakfast Uncategorized

Super Simple Make-Ahead Breakfast Bake

Makes approximately 6 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 redskin potatoes (washed, scrubbed and sliced thin)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (washed)
  • 1 package (12 oz.) all-natural chicken sausage (sliced)
  • 8 eggs
  • Dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder (or to taste)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF

  1. Add about 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil to an 8×8-in baking pan and spread sliced potatoes in a single layer along the bottom.
  2. Spread spinach evenly over the first layer of potatoes and top with a second layer of potatoes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and spices, to taste. Pour over layered potatoes and spinach.
  4. Top with sliced chicken sausage.
  5. Place in oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, uncovered. After 30 minutes, cover with aluminum foil or oven safe lid and bake for additional  5-10 minutes until cooked through and potatoes are tender.
  6. Cool slightly and enjoy! This also heats up well for a make-ahead breakfast.
Categories
Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

Very Berry Chia Seed Pudding

Looking for something to eat for breakfast that doesn’t include eggs or grains? This is the perfect, healthy indulgence filled with omega-3 fats, protein and antioxidants from the berries.
Makes approximately 4 large servings (1 cup to 1.5 cups) or 8 small 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • cup of Chia Seeds
  • 1 – 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk (I like the Trader Joe’s brand because it has NO fillers or preservatives which is very hard to find!)  

 

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • mixed berries (fresh or frozen) 
  • protein powder of choice (optional). I used Paleo Protein Egg White powder 
  • Toppings of choice – I used mixed nuts and seeds, more berries and a drizzle of almond butter.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add chia seeds, coconut/almond milk, protein powder (if using) and vanilla and mix together until all ingredients are fully incorporated and there are no clumps of chia seeds.
  2. Divide into mason jars or other containers with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
  3. Leave in your fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour until set. (I usually leave it overnight).
  4. Serve with the toppings of your choice. You can enjoy it cold or heated up 🙂
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Whole30: “The Finale”: Recipes, Meal Prep, and Tips on What Happens Next

Weeks 3 & 4 started to feel pretty normal as I got into the groove. Sure, meal prep got old, I REALLY, REALLY wanted ice cream and a glass of wine, etc., etc, but just when I wanted to quit, I knew if I held out a little bit longer I would feel accomplished and on the road to a healthier relationship with my food cravings.

Not to mention, my willpower has gotten SO much stronger!

Also, if you are concerned with “what comes next” or “life after Whole30”, read to the bottom. Many of you may feel a little nervous about wrapping up your challenge and maintaining the healthy principles that were introduced during the month. I will give you several “take aways” to ease your anxiety.

Without further ado, here are recipes for Weeks 3 & 4.

Breakfast

Lunch & Dinners 

Snacks

Meal Prep Sunday:

Oven:

  1. Roast broccoli and sweet potatoes

Other:

  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
  2. Hard-boil your eggs
  3. Prepare Grain Free “Cereal”
  4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
  5. Defrost meats, if necessary
  6. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

So now that you are approaching the finish line, what next? 

Congrats, you did it! But what now?

Remember that Whole30 was just a starting point. I really liked the way it was phrased on the Whole30 website, so I’m not going to recreate this point, “You cannot erase decades of unhealthy food choices and damaging behaviors in just a month. Our program gives you an amazing jump-start, but you’re not “done” yet. Second, you will slip back into old habits. At some point, no matter how good you feel now, no matter how much you swear you’ve left those less bad foods behind… they’ll creep back in, maybe a little, maybe a lot. And finally, this is okay. Expected, even.  And it does not mean that you have failed. Hear us clearly on that one.”

Here are a few tips to remember as you venture off the plan;

Continue to take the important principles of Whole30 with you.

  • Continue to moderate your added sugar and alcohol intake

Remember, just because you can now enjoy some of the foods that were eliminate on the Whole30, doesn’t mean that you need to eat them all on Day 30! They will still be there on Day 31 and Day 365 🙂

Always eat mindfully- Sit down, turn off the tv, remove your cell phone from sight and enjoy your meal that you have taken the time to prepare.

Nourish your body with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, quality sources of protein, and healthy fats . Don’t forget water!

When you’re done, move the heck on. No guilt, no shame, no remorse. You made a conscious decision to eat something you deemed worth it. Good for you. Now let’s move on back to our normally scheduled healthy meals.

Remember to always evaluate whether you think something is “worth it”. How will you feel after you eat it? Is it something you truly enjoy, or just because it is within eye sight? Are you really hungry or are you bored/stressed/nervous? 

Continue to follow my blog for consistent healthy recipes, most of which are gluten-free, paleo-ish, and yummy (I know, I’m biased)! 

If you are interested in more personalized programs, email me at luvwhatyoueat@gmail.com.

final-finish

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Whole30 Week Two Recipes, Meal Prep, and Tips for Eating Out

Alright…2nd week of Whole30 in the books!

When you feel like giving up, remember why you started

Week 2 was no doubt a challenging week for me. I felt a little irritable, energy waxed and waned, and I was starting to feel bored. I think this is common when you are making any type of change in your life. At first it’s exciting and new and then, just like any challenge, you start to wonder, “can I really do this for a few more weeks?” Keep in mind that while Whole30 is only 30 days, it is meant to reset your mindset around food, give you the opportunity to try new things and see how your body feels when it eats REAL, WHOLE FOODS. Yes, it is extreme for some, but it gives us the tools to live healthier even after the 30 days is complete.

I also noticed this week that even thought I had planned it all out, there were days where I wanted something else or didn’t have the time or energy to make what I had thought I would. That’s ok… this week I will give you several tips and tricks to help when you feel like giving up.

Breakfast

Lunch & Dinners 

Meal Prep Sunday:

Oven:

  1. Roast all vegetables (red/purple potatoes)
  2. Bake spaghetti squash, cool, and pull out strands with a fork

Other:

  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
  2. Brown ground turkey
  3. Spiralize zucchini noodles
  4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
    1. Prepare breakfast casserole and place in containers for easy heat-and-go breakfasts
    2. Defrost meats, if necessary
    3. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

Here was the meal schedule I followed for week 2:

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with citrus fruit
  • Lunch: Simple Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
  • Dinner: Chipotle (yes, I said it) – Bowl with Carnitas, Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, and Guac *these are basically the only Whole30 options at Chipotle 
  • Snacks: Celery with Almond Butter and Golden Raisins, Rx Bar

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with citrus fruit
  • Lunch: Work Lunch – greens with pulled chicken, avocado, pico de gallo, no dressing
  • Dinner: Seared grass-fed beef wrapped in Prosciutto with leftover avocado zoodles and potatoes
  • Snacks: Celery with Almond Butter and Golden Raisins, Rx Bar

Saturday/Sunday: The weekends are usually for simple meals and leftovers 🙂

  • This week we had a special Whole30 Friendsgiving- watch for the post tomorrow!! 

Tips for eating out on Whole30

  • Pick something simple: The more complicated the order, the more likely they are to mess it up!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they prepare menu items- watch the type of fat/oil they are cooking their meats and other items in, as well as added sugar & dairy in sauces, dressings, etc.
    • It’s best to choose oil/vinegar for salad dressings and hold the sauces and condiments
  • Places like Chipotle make it easier since you can choose exactly what you get
  • Ask for seltzer or sparkling water to jazz up your beverage
  • Try to avoid eating out as much as possible on Whole30. Even though I made good choices when eating out, there were still hiccups, such as the restaurant accidentally put cheese on my salad the first time.
  • It IS possible to be “Whole30 compliant” by eating Rx Bars and Chipotle everyday, but is it teaching you to make good choices, cook, and eat mindfully? NO. So, my advice is to cook and eat at home as much as possible. Remember, preparation is KEY.
  • For more visit realfoodwithdana. She has some great tips!
challenges
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Whole30 Week One Recipe and Meal Prep Tips

Here are the recipes that I tried during the first week of Whole30. I think it’s important to get creative and make dishes full of flavor that you are looking forward to (especially since week one away from grains, sugars, etc. can be challenging)! Meal planning is key to setting yourself up for success.

Breakfast (I ate the same thing each day during week one)

Lunch & Dinners 

Meal Prep Sunday:

Oven:

  1. Roast all vegetables (sweet potatoes, brussels, cauliflower)
  2. Bake salmon for salad
  3. Roast butternut squash
  4. Make meatballs for Thai meatball recipe

Other:

  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
  2. Cut pineapple
  3. Spiralize zucchini noodles
  4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
    1. You can go ahead and portion out the roasted vegetables for the hash. In the morning all you need to do is cook your egg and go.
    2. Make your salmon salads
    3. You can make the butternut squash soup and store it (its easier to get the squash out of it’s flesh while it’s warm)
    4. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

Here was the meal schedule I followed for the first week (Monday was a holiday so here we begin on Tuesday since meals weren’t very structured on Mon-oops!) ;

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
  • Lunch: Salmon Salad Power Bowl
  • Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup with Thai Meatballs
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
  • Lunch: Salmon Salad Power Bowl
  • Dinner: Turkey Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Spinach
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
  • Lunch: Leftover Butternut Squash Soup and Thai Meatballs
  • Dinner: Garlic Shrimp Noodle Bowl
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter, Sliced Pear & Cashews (pre-workout)

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 SCRAMBLED eggs
  • Lunch: Leftover Garlic Shrimp & Noodle Bowl
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter, Dried Mangoes

The weekends are usually for simple meals and leftovers 🙂

Enjoy!