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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

5 Easy Healthy Meals

Because I'm trying to get back into good shape before Jordan's first birthday, I've been sticking to a diet that's 40% protein, 35% carbs, and 25% fat.  It's the same thing I did during my 40-Day Challenge, except I upped my protein by 5% and lowered my fat 5%.  I got good results then, so I'm back at it!  I needed to after ALL the food and sweets I ate during the holidays! 

During the day, I still pretty much follow the bikini meal plan (because it works and is so easy to do, although that plan called for 5 oz protein at each meal, and I eat 4 oz now). I always have grilled chicken breast on hand, cooked rice and veggies and I'll usually make one meal a grilled fish. Breakfast is a protein waffle, protein pancake, or oatmeal.  But, to keep it interesting, I'm trying new things cooking different recipes for dinner.  




The first two meals I made, I took inspiration from my friend Natalie, although I took a couple shortcuts to make less work for myself. I love her food posts and she always seems to be making healthy, colorful food.  You will seriously want to bookmark that page- it has tons of recipes broken down by category.

You can also check out my Pinterest page - Food//Healthy & Food//Dinner for more meal ideas. 


It seemed appropriate to start the new year with a crunchy detox salad, full of vibrant veggies.  *See Natalie's post here.






Salad:

Assemble the following ingredients into a bowl, then toss together and drizzle with dressing.
- 1 head of romaine shredded
- 1 small bunch lacindo kale shredded
- 1/2 head purple cabbage chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped (about 3 carrots)
- 1 cup celery chopped (about 3 celery)
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 English cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup chopped silvered almonds
- 1 cup chickpeas

Dressing: 

(I used Maple Farms Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette, but you can make your own using the recipe below).

Shake all to combine or whisk with fork
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper



This recipe required a few steps to get all the components together, but it was worth it.  Instead of making the spicy mayo from scratch (just mayo and hot sauce), I used remoulade sauce I already had on hand.  See Natalie's post here.

I got the stainless steel taco holders at my niece's school fundraiser, but they sell them on Amazon. 

Ingredients: 
- 1.5 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp ( can also sub flounder, mahi or grouper)
- 1 lemon 
- shredded cabbage
- 1 lime
- 1 avocado
- 1.5 cups diced fresh pineapple
- 2 jalapeƱos diced
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 2-3 tablespoons hot sauce  (we use sriracha) 
- flour shells

SHRIMP:  I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp and just thawed it in a colander.  Once thawed, put into a large plastic bag and drizzle with olive oil, juice of a lemon, and several dashes of hot sauce and salt and pepper. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

SALSA:  Combine chopped pineapple, jalapenos, and red onion into a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper. 

AVOCADO:  Mash the avocado and season with salt, you can drizzle with lemon juice to prevent it from browning.

CABBAGE:  Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, squeeze the juice from half a lime over and let it sit. 

SPICY MAYO:  Mix mayo and hot sauce together, use more hot sauce if you like it spicy.



The pineapple jalapeno salsa from the shrimp recipe above is an awesome combo of fresh sweetness from the pineapple and hot kick from the jalapenos.  We had leftovers, so I topped my grilled mahi mahi with it the next day and ate it over rice. 


I buy frozen, individually-wrapped mahi mahi and either put it in the fridge to thaw, or if I want to eat it quickly, put it in a bowl of water for about 10-15 minutes until it's thawed through.

To cook it, just season with Old Bay, spray your pan with cooking spray and cook over medium heat for a few minutes on each side and let rest for a few minutes before eating.  

Cook your rice according to package directions. 


This is a dish that would make a great game-day appetizer or snack.  I ate 6 oz. of shrimp and made it a meal.  The recipe was found in one of my favorite cookbooks, Food52, 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks. It couldn't be easier to prepare.  I love food where you just assemble, marinate, then cook!

Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a pic when it was done, so this is how it looked after it was done marinating.  



- 1/3 cup Srircha
- 13 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- 2 pounds large shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined

MARINADE:
Combine first 7 ingredients into a one-gallon plastic bag and mix.  Add in shrimp and let marinate in fridge for 2-4 hours or longer.

Heat grill to medium-high and skewer the shrimp (4-6) per skewer and grill until pink, 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove shrimp from grill, de-skewer, and pile on a serving platter.  Sprinkle with minced cilantro.

*I used frozen, precooked shrimp and let thaw before marinating.  Also, I cooked on the stove top in a skillet and didn't skewer on the grill. 




As good as the above Spicy Shrimp was, I think the Honey Garlic is my favorite.  It's tangy and sweet and I added Sriracha to give it a little bit of kick.  This would be good with broccoli, but we didn't have any on hand, so we ate it with rice and green beans.  This recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction.


- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tblsp minced garlic
- optional: 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 pound medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (*I used frozen, precooked shrimp and let thaw before marinating.)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- optional: chopped green onion for garnish (*I garnished with sesame seeds and added Sriracha to the marinate)

MARINADE:
Whisk the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger (if using) together in a medium bowl.

Place shrimp in large zip-lock plastic bag and marinate in fridge for 15 minutes up to 8-12 hours.

I shook off excess sauce and broiled the shrimp under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with rice and veggies. 



I ordered Oprah's cookbook, and tabbed several recipes I can't wait to make, but this Vietnamese Chicken Salad was the first one.  The Miso Glazed Cod was another one and I'll share that tasty dinner soon. It was my husband's favorite!

With the Vietnamese Chicken Salad, I took a shortcut and used store bought peanut sauce- it's my favorite with lots of peanut flavor, but it's on the spicy side, so you can add lime juice and the tiniest amount of water or more peanut butter to dilute the spiciness. 



Salad:

- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
- 2 cups thinly sliced sugar snap peas (I left this out)
- 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced diagonally and cut into matchsticks (I bought precut)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
- 1 tblsp black sesame seeds

Toss together. 

Dressing:  

- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice or to taste
- 1 serranto chile, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, grated on Microplane
- 1-inch pieced ginter, grated on Microplane
- 1 tblsp agave nectar
- 3 tblsp fish sauce
- 1 tblsp toasted sesame oil

I just grilled the chicken in a saute pan with cooking spray, a few minutes on each side until cooked through, but this recipe calls for you to poach the chicken.  After the chicken is cooked, shred by pulling apart with two forks, or use a food processor and pulse a few times.


Oprah Cookbook


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21 comments:

  1. These look great! I'm not much of a shrimp person, but they seem like recipes that I could easily sub chicken for instead, for the most part.

    http://aneducationindomestication.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I go for shrimp pretty often now that I've found these two recipes- it's also a great source of protein, which I need to build back my muscle.

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  2. They look delicious. Natalie's dishes are always so colorful.

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  3. Your recipes look amazing; I have to ask though, does James eat the same thing you cook for yourself for dinner? I struggle finding kid-friendly healthy meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's such a good question and the truthful answer is no. He always eats a PB sandwich, fruit and yogurt for dinner. Almost Every.single.day!

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  4. My mouth is watering. These all look so delicious, M! Now if they would magically appear over here. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! How did you like the tacos when you tried them?

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  5. These look so delicious, especially the spicy shrimp!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love all your healthy meals !!! The spicy shrimp looks delish !!!I just ordered the Oprah's new cookbook too ! Love to seeing more healthy food/fitness post on your blog !!!! :) Happy Healthy Eats !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just getting started on that cookbook, will share more as I test out the recipes!

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  7. Would you mind posting your recipe for protein pancakes please and thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! Here ya go! http://honeywerehealthy.blogspot.com/2012/09/protein-pancakes.html

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  8. Everything looks delicious Megan! I would love to try that Vietnamense Chicken Salad. The Honey Garlic Shrimp looks yummy, too. My hubby loves mahi mahi so need to make that. Thanks for sharing all of these!

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    Replies
    1. I never thought I'd like fish so much, but it's such a good alternative to chicken all the time!

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  9. These looking really good! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. OMG I can't wait to try the shrimp tacos. Thank you for this inspo!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please disregard my previous post. I re-read the post and figured it out and printed the recipes. Cannot wait to try them!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I read every one! I try to answer questions in the comment section since many readers are "no reply" and so everyone can benefit from the response- so please check back. :)

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