There’s a handful of dinner recipes that are my “go to” recipes. The kind of recipes that aren’t time-consuming, are able to be cooked with a two-year old tugging at my pant leg, include a small list of ingredients, are affordable and can be easily doubled. Those are my requirements for a “go to” recipe. Oh yeah, and they gotta taste really good! That’s a requirement. Here are my dinner “go to’s” in no particular order:
Since entering this weight loss challenge I have tried to increase my protein intake. So I try to get in as much as I can throughout the day and chicken is about the easiest source of protein to prepare for dinner. But I’m getting bored with my recipes so I found this one that I could easily tweek with the ingredients I had on hand. Originally honey lime chicken, I substituted lemons because that’s what I had. Instead of an outdoor grill I used my George Forman which comes in handy during the winter months and makes cooking low-fat meals possible. I served the chicken, sliced over a quinoa salad that I kinda threw together using whatever was in the fridge. The chicken was very moist and I used the leftovers for a wrap the next day. I think this marinade could also be nice on a white fish like tilapia and grilled the same way or sautéed in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Here’s the original pin and here’s the recipe:
PS: this is a great weeknight meal for the family.
Recipe courtesy of unsophisticook.com
Yield: 4 chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped or pressed
- 4 large chicken breasts, whole or sliced
- Add soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and garlic to a small bowl in that order (the olive oil will help the honey slide right out of the spoon). Whisk together thoroughly.
- Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade in. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I prefer to do it for about four hours.
- After marinating, grill chicken over high heat for about five minutes per side for slices or seven minutes per side for whole breasts, until cooked through.
Note: If you are cooking on a George Forman grill, preheat to 425 and cook for about the same time, until cooked through.
Quinoa Salad (serves 4 sides)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 red, orange or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup cooked edamame beans
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in saute pan. Add onion, peppers and garlic and cook on medium heat till soft, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile using a whisk, mix together soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Add cooked quinoa to onion/pepper mix and heat till warm. Add edamame and soy sauce/lemon mix. Cook till heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
This is like the easiest summertime salad you could make. I think it may be even easier to make than a green salad. If you like corn on the cob and you don’t like it in your teeth, than make this salad. Riley had the brilliant idea of adding grape tomatoes from our garden. Just cut them in half and toss them in. Thank you again Ina for another “How easy is that?” recipe. Seriously, she says this on just about every one of her shows. Enough already.
It’s egg salad, it’s so good, and my version is not the worst thing for ya. So make it, eat it, enjoy it.
Yup, only three days left and hitting my goal is getting tougher and tougher. Especially after my trainer weighed me today to find I maintained my weight and gained 1% body fat. You friggen carbs! You’re killin’ me here. So for the final three days I’m off carbs and focusing on proteins and greens. No sugar, ouch, and lots of leg lifts each night. Grrrrr. I’m hoping to lose at least another 1% body fat and 3 pounds by Thursday morning. That’s gonna be rough. I’m getting in some cardio each day and going for a spray tan the day before pics are taken. I just hope I don’t look like someone from Jersey Shore after Wednesday. Go easy, spray tan lady.
In the meantime, here’s a very light salad, and I mean light. You may need a serious snack after it or add some protein on the side.
A satifyingly sweet and savory salad for a magazine that doesn’t exist anymore. Easy to put together, just lacking some protein. Not really sure chicken would fit with this one.
Serves 4 to 6 (Recipe courtesy of Domino magazine)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for dressing
2 pears, each cored, stemmed and cut into 16 slices
6 to 8 cups mixed greens
vinegar (I used tarragon vinegar cause that’s what I had in the pantry)
salt and pepper
In a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, saute pears in batches with olive oil. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Spoon warm pears onto greens. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Add parmesan crisps
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. flour
Combine Parmesan with flour. Using a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, sprinkle a thin layer of the mixture into 2″ to 3″ circles in the pan. Cook as many as will fit, leaving some space in between. When they begin to sizzle and underside is golden, flip and cook until other side is golden. Remove from pan and let cool on plate, then add to salad.
I’ve found that the best way to get in your veggies for the day is to roast them in the oven. Add just a little olive oil, salt and pepper; you can control the quantities and that’s really all you need. At least once or twice I cook my veggies this way during the week and the flavor is so intense. The crunchy bits don’t hurt either. You’ll be picking those off the baking sheet through the night. The veggies I roast the most include sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots, red onions, parsnips, beets, asparagus, brussel sprouts,and potatoes. My only hint is to try to cut the veggies roughly the same size, 1 to 1-1/2 inches, so that they cook evenly. I usually just roast them and eat them but I found this delicious recipe with a nice dressing and feta cheese topping. I may have to make this every time I roast my veggies now. It was so good. You gotta try it. Ps: Food and Wine magazine notes this recipe is healthy, make ahead, and vegetarian.
I really love this side dish. I’m always trying to find interesting ways to cook up quinoa and this one is really delish. And of course, its very simple to make. The only time consuming part is roasting the garlic but I promise you its worth it. I roast a couple heads at a time and refrigerate them for a later use. Or use it for this dish several times throughout the week. I also didn’t realize quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. And their tasty too. You can find quinoa in the rice section of your grocer or at a natural food store.
I hate salads. I may have said this in a previous post but I really do hate salads. What’s fun about iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Gross. Here’s a really good salad. Chock full of veggies, a deliciously light dressing and a yummy globber of goat cheese. Even if you’re not that into goat cheese I suggest you try it in this salad. Mixed with the grilled veggies and dressing, it is so creamy and good. I also grilled up a 4 oz. chicken breast, cut it into cubes and threw it in. I eliminated the ciabatta bread and snack mix to cut down on the calories and sodium. Love it. I may regret canceling my Cooking Light subscription. Yikes.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 (1-pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 6 wedges
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 4 (1-ounce) slices ciabatta bread
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
- 4 ounces goat cheese, cut into 4 slices
- 1/4 cup Sweet Chipotle Snack Mix
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
2. Place eggplant and bell pepper on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Place bell pepper wedges in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel bell pepper wedges. Reserve 2 bell pepper wedges and 2 eggplant slices for Sunday’s brunch. Coarsely chop remaining bell pepper and remaining eggplant. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
3. Place bread slices on grill rack; grill 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
4. Place remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, vinegar, oil, mustard, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add eggplant, bell pepper, arugula, tomatoes, and spinach; toss gently to combine. Arrange about 2 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 goat cheese slice and 1 tablespoon Sweet Chipotle Snack Mix. Serve each salad with 1 toast slice.
- Fat:14.2g (sat 5.3g,mono 6.2g,poly 1.2g)
This is one of my favorite recipes for chicken salad. Its so yummy and if you like mayo, this is the recipe for you. I actually reduced the amount of mayo in the recipe but I promise its not dry at all. Spoon it up in a bowl and dig in. Ps: Its even better the next day after the flavors really set in.
Ingredients (adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network)
- 2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (I used 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken in large bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, add the broccoli florets to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 1 minute, until crisp tender, drain, and place into a bowl of ice water until cool. This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color.
For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, wine, mustards, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add enough sauce to the warm chicken to moisten well. Add the tarragon, broccoli, and tomatoes and mix gently to combine. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.