Chicken Feta Fajita Salad

Hot summer days call for light summer salads! We were totally craving Mexican food yesterday to go along with all the heat, but figured we’d replace the carbs from the fajita tortilla shells with a couple of Coronas 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts (450 g)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 10 drops tabasco sauce
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 60 g light feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

DIRECTIONS

  • Slice chicken into long strips.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large frying pan.
  • Add chicken strips and stir until all sides are cooked, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add in chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, pepper and tabasco.
  • Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Stir and cook until vegetables soften. Remove from heat.
  • Divide baby spinach among serving plates and top with chicken and veggies, followed by avocado, feta and cilantro.
  • Serve with lime wedge on the side and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 386 calories, 18 g carbs (4 g sugar), 14 g fat, 43 g protein, 8 g fibre , 334 mg sodium

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Pork Tenderloin Gumbo

Gumbo is pretty healthy as it is, with all those onions, tomatos and other stewed veggies, but I figured why not make it even healthier?! So I cut the sausage and substituted it for some lean pork tenderloin! Though one serving is only 337 calories, I couldn’t even finish my plate with all the spice, super filling veggies and lean protein. Super comforting and super healthy – this is my kind of meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in large pot. Add pork and stir until cooked on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic. Stir until veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, oregano, chilis, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sweet potatoes and zucchini and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once sweet potatoes are soft, remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 337 calories, 39 g carbs, 6 g fat, 32 g protein, 8 g fibre

THE BEST BREAKFAST: Steel Cut Oats and a Side of Egg Whites

I can’t tell you how excited I am to make this post! This recipe is held very dear to me as it’s what Dave and I eat without fail every morning for breakfast.

I often hear people say they just don’t have time to do a hot breakfast in the morning, but the trick is to make everything the night before so that breakfast makes itself while you get ready for the day with literally a flick of a switch and a couple of stirs.

With such little hassle there’s no reason not to take advantage of a hot and healthy breakfast. A big bowl of oats is such a comforting way to start off your day (we all deserve a little spoiling) and with all that water, fibre and protein pumping through you, you’re sure to stay full well into late morning. Oatmeal (plain instant or large flake) itself is a super healthy breakfast option as a whole grain packed with heart-helping fibre, but I find the steel cut variety, being the least processed of them all, also offers a thick, hearty, chewy texture that’s truly hard to beat.

And what’s a bowl of oats without a super sidekick of protein!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (I keep a bag of frozen on-hand at all times)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 plain low fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (366 g) egg whites

DIRECTIONS

  • Assemble all ingredients but yogurt and egg whites, in a medium pot, mix well, cover and let soak over night. The soaking isn’t necessary, but it sure beats chopping and measuring in the early morning!)
  • Pour egg whites into a microwave-safe dish. Store in fridge over night.
  • First thing when you wake up in the morning, take egg whites from fridge and place into microwave.
  • Stir oats and cook at temperature 3 (low-medium). Go hop in the shower and get ready for the day!
  • Stir once after 30 minutes and let cook for 1o more minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
  • Microwave eggs on high for 4-5 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  • Use a fork to release egg from edges of dish. Turn dish upside down onto plate and divide into servings.
  • Crack a whole lot of pepper on the eggs for flavour, or explore your spice cupboard.
  • Place oats in serving dishes and top with yogurt.
  • Serve and enjoy the best way to start the day!

 

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings (of which Dave eats 3!).

Oats & Yogurt

Per serving: 249 calories, 47 g carbs (11 g sugars), 3 g fat, 7 g protein, 8 g fibre

Egg Whites

Per serving:  43 calories, 10 g protein and that’s it!

Crispy Garlic Mint Pressed Tofu

This was my first time pressing tofu, and wow, am I glad I did! It’s a keeper and has a solid place in my repertoire for when vegetarian friends come for dinner. I know some people aren’t a big fan of tofu’s spongy wet texture, so this is a great way to get away from that while still being able to enjoy the benefits of this inexpensive and lean source of protein. I’d almost describe the pressed tofu as having a chicken texture, in fact it quite looks like a thin strip of chicken when you cut into it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh mint

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut tofu crosswise into 4 slabs. Firmly blot each slab between paper towel to remove excess water.
  • To make marinade, combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover tofu on all sides with marinade and place on a plate. Cover with plastic and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  • Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat.
  • Remove tofu from marinade and press off excess liquid with paper towels. Reserve marinade.
  • Arrange tofu flat in frying pan. Cover tofu with another frying pan, weighing upper pan down with a full kettle or large can of tomato sauce or beans.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5 until well browned.
  • Flip tofu, press and cook until browned, about 7 minutes.
  • Place tofu on serving dish. Pour remaining marinade into pan, heat briefly and use it to garnish tofu.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa or another grain and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 330 calories, 6 g carbs (1 g sugar), 26 g fat (4 g saturated), 22 g protein, 1 g fibre

Yogurt Protein Snack

This is the super power snack that Dave and I use as a midmorning pick-me-up, though it’s substantial enough to eat as a breakfast too. This snack is packed with nutrients:

  • cinnamon – lowers cholesterol; regulates blood sugars; natural food preservative; great source of magnesium, fibre, iron and calcium; and is known to boost cognitive function and memory
  • protein powder – contains essential amino acids for a healthy body (muscles, ligaments, hair, nails, teeth, body fluids, organs, glands); weight-loss friendly (high protein, low sugar, low fat = lots of calories burned in digestion); stress relieving (slows production of cortisol)
  • figs – high in fibre (control blood sugars), calcium (strong bones), potassium (lower blood pressure) and iron
  • yogurt – source of probiotics (healthy intestine); low lactose (easier to digest than milk); good source of calcium and vitamin B; and high in protein
  • cottage cheese – high in protein, calcium and vitamin B
  • olive oil – monounsaturated fat (controls LDL cholesterol)
  • blueberries – extremely high in antioxidants (highest of all fresh fruits), and high in fibre

The cinnamon and blueberries give it just enough flavour and sweetness to avoid using sweetened yogurts and protein powders, and the figs are little tasty treasures floating in a sea of sweet calcium. I love that the protein helps keep me full all the way until 1 PM – so I can make it through lunchtime yoga without passing out.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop 100% natural whey protein powder
  • 3 dried figs
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh)

DIRECTIONS

  • Add cinnamon, protein powder, figs, yogurt, cottage cheese and olive oil to a liquid-tight container.
  • Stir well.
  • Mix in blueberries.
  • Pop the top on and take it to work! Or, if you want to enjoy it right then, defrost the blueberries in the microwave before mixing them in.
          
  
Thanks, Dave, for being my hand model

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

The above recipe is for what Dave eats. Since Dave has about 50 lbs on me (and I’d like to keep it that way!), I like to cut all ingredients, but the protein powder, by half. I’ll also skip the olive oil and figs on days I’m not working out.

Per serving (full recipe): 548 calories, 50 g carbs, 18 g fat, 51 g protein, 11 g fibre