Tag Archives: protein

Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad

This is a great spring inspired salad that has delicious sweet and savory flavor profile from the fruit and chicken. This recipe is a knockoff of the popular Panera Salad, for that “I want to go out to Panera” taste, without the “I just spent 14 bucks for a salad and a drink at Panera” feel…

You can adjust your protein/veg/fruit levels to your liking.

Ingredients:(for one salad)

  • 1 chicken breast per salad (or half a chicken breast depending on hunger levels)
  • sweet onion chopped finely
  • fresh strawberries
  • fresh blueberries
  • almond slices
  • Panera Poppyseed Salad Dressing (use sparingly, as the cals from this can add up)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 mixed salad bag or salad green of your choice (I prefer fresh spinach)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Season chicken breast(s) with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sear in a skillet over medium high heat for 3 minutes per side and then turn heat to medium low, cover the skillet with a lid or foil, and cook for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, and then chop into bite sized pieces.

Chop cucumbers. Chop strawberries. Chop onion. Add all of your greens to a plate, top with your chicken and fruit. Remember, a little fruit and dressing go a long way, so use it sparingly!

Eat salad.

Selfishly count all the money you saved from eating at home instead of going out!

Mango Peach Cinnamon Green Smoothie

I love fruit and I love veggies. Blended together in an ice cold smoothie is about my perfect healthy breakfast choice. So here we have a tasty green smoothie with a bit of a cinnamon kick. Don’t like cinnamon? Thats okay! It’s still a perfectly edible green drink without the spicy after shot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mango/peaches (loosely measured into a cup, not packed)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (this smoothie is great with water as well, which is how I drink it, the almond milk gives you an extra flavor boost for about 30 cals…)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
  • two big handfuls of spinach (can also substitute kale, but its a MUCH stronger flavor)
  • 4-8 baby carrots

Directions:

The easiest directions ever… toss all the ingredients into your blender. Blend until… blended. Pour into drinking vessel (shaker bottle, old shoe, mason jar, etc, etc, etc)… drink and be healthy!!!

*note – if this is your first green smoothie, start with more fruit and less veggies. At first ANY veggies are better than none, so start small and work your way up!

Chicken Nugget w/ Spicy Dipping Sauce

Chicken and veggies. The bastion of everyone when they start eating healthy, and for many of us, a regular menu item as our healthy eating journey continues.

Variety is the spice of life, and this chicken nugget recipe is a great compromise between healthy and naughty food and one that your entire family will love.

If you are counting calories, keep an eye on how much sauce you are using as it can get you into trouble!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of chicken
  • whole wheat italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425. Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken with olive oil and dredge in the bread crumbs to thinly coat. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Put some foil down on your cookie sheets (you’ll need 2) and spray them with cooking spray to save you some clean up time.

Bake nuggets for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Spicy dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp scallions, chopped fine plus more for topping
  • 3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and use for dipping your nugge…ys.

Top salad greens with your chicken nuggets and a little bit of the sauce. Serve with cut up veggies for your kiddos!

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

I always have SOME kind of green smoothie for my breakfast. The ability to get a shot of veggies and protein first thing, in an easy to drink shaker bottle, that is ready (including clean up) in less than five minutes is too hard to beat.

This green smoothie looks NOTHING like it tastes – so give it a try and trust your nose and tastebuds, not your eyes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
  • 2 large fist sized clumps fresh raw spinach
  • 5-10 baby carrots
  • One half of a frozen medium banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • A splash of water

Directions:

In your blender add all of your ingredients EXCEPT the water. At first, especially if you aren’t used to green smoothies, you’ll want to go lighter on your veggies. As you get more and more comfortable with the taste, you can fill that sucker up with veg.

For your water, you’ll want to only add a little bit of water at first, then try blending to get your ratio right. I normally add about 1/2 a cup of water or more, but I’m also using A LOT of veggies, so your mileage may vary.

This recipe will work with a fresh banana, but the frozen ‘nana and extra cold water will definitely make it better.

Banana Oatmeal Protein Muffins

Want a delicious snack that even your kids and spouse will eat?
These amazing, protein packed, MOIST muffins are a sweet alternative to store bought and preservative filled snack bars.
protein-muffins
Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • OPTIONAL – 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL – 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a muffin tin lightly with cooking spray, fill with cup cake liners, and then hit the liners with a little more cooking spray.
Place the all ingredients but the chocolate chips and pecans in a blender.  Blend  on high, stopping to scrape down and stir the ingredients once or twice as needed, until the batter is smooth and the oats have broken down almost completely, about 3 minutes.
By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each no more than three-quarters of the way to the top. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips or nuts.
Bake for 15 minutes (10 for mini muffins), until the tops of the muffins are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. They will deflate but still taste amazing!
Remove from the pan and enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla less Crock Pot Soup

It’s wet n’ stormy weather outside. There’s a spicy salsa beat pumping from the speakers. A delicious and healthy chicken tortilla crock pot soup cooking in the kitchen. This is exactly what is happening in my life right now… well, everything except for the salsa music part.

chicken-tortilla-less-soup

We have a recipe here that lets you easily scale the spiciness and is simple enough that anyone can cook it. It essentially boils down to one step: dice everything and throw into crock pot, go to work or school, come home and eat.

Lets do this!

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 to 1.75 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green, I normally buy whatever is cheapest)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (keep the seeds if you want it to be more spicy, bin the seeds if you want it less)
  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes (do not drain, we want that juice)
  • 1 15oz can black beans (optional recipe is great without)
  • 2 cup chicken broth (I use the reduced sodium stuff)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like your soup on the less spicy side, start with a 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (if you like your soup on the less spicy side, start with a 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • *after cooking*
  • avocado (cubed, to use as a soup topping prior to serving)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to crock pot (except the avocado). Make sure the chicken is covered by all of spices, juice, and vegetables.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken, using a pair of forks (or whatever your preferred method is, ninja sais or robotic claws work also ) shred your chicken, return chicken to pot. Cook on low for another 2 hours.

Salt and pepper to taste. I normally do 10-15 cracks on the pepper mill for mine, but I like it a bit more peppery.

Throw your soup in a bowl, toss some cut up avocado chunks on top and enjoy!

Crock Pot Ginger Apple Pulled Pork

Pulled pork. Pork that is pulled apart (by hand – caveman style!) and slathered in sauce. Super easy to make when it’s unhealthy and loaded with sugar…  but I’ve never really found a recipe that both made my mouth water AND is good for you.

ginger-apple-pork

Until now.

This recipe is a lot different from the normal bbq pulled pork sugar-bomb we normally have, but it’s amazingly tasty and with a different flavor profile,  it’s a nice change up from the same-ole same-ole “meat with red sauce” that can quickly become routine.

So drop your preconceived notions on combining ginger, apples, and pork and let’s give this a go!

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.25lb pork shoulder (I buy the cheapest hunk of meat they have normally)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 apples (I prefer red apples, but anything you have on hand will work)
  • 1 cup beef broth (I use the low sodium stuff)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp ginger (buy fresh, it makes a difference!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

Core your apples and cut into small cubes. Slice up all of your onions. Make a bed along the bottom of the crock pot using roughly half your apples and onions. Put your meat in the crock pot. Add the rest of the onions and apples on and around your pork.

Grate your ginger and add it to the crock along with the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the meat is evenly covered by your spices.

Cover your crock pot, set to high, and let cook for 5-6 hours.

Everyone’s crock cooks a little differently, but cooking for around 5ish hours seems to do the trick. A perfect indicator of it being done or not is if you can easily shred the pork IN the crock pot using only one fork. The meat should be basically falling apart at this point. If you need to take it out to shred it, I’d let it cook for a while longer.

That’s all there is to it. Get out of your safe zone and give this sucker a try.

Turkey Vegetable Chili

vegetable turkey chili

A big ole pot. A pound of turkey. Some tomato, veggies and spices.

What does that all add up to?

The tastiest healthy chili you’ve just about ever had. The only thing that could make this recipe even better is if it was super easy. Like throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and a couple hours later have some delicious food to eat easy.

Luckily for you – it is. I’ve had a bunch of folks try this yummy chili at one of our 44 fitness post workout potlucks and the reviews were awesome, so I’m confident you and yours will enjoy it too.

The recipe below has no beans, but you could easily toss in a can of pinto beans if you need some additional carbs in your life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pd ground turkey
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomato
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 squash
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaf

start with 1/2 a tsp of the following spices if you like your chili milder, you can always add more later (I personally normally do a generous tsp to liven stuff up)

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin

chili in pot

Directions:

Throw your ground turkey into a large pot, break apart with a spatula until cooked. When that’s doing its thing start cutting up your veg. When the turkey is finished cooking, toss in your chopped celery and onions. Let the onions cook until they are translucent.

Add the rest of your chopped veggies, tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices to the pot. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let simmer for one hour. The longer you cook it, the better it will taste, but an hour is the minimum. I normally start my chili around lunch time and let it simmer until dinner, checking the heat and stirring occasionally. Depending on how moist your veggies are, cooking for longer will allow you to get rid of some of the extra fluid and thicken everything up (as well as make it taste better).

Like noted above the 1tsp of the spicey-spices will make an above average spicy chili, so if you like your food a bit milder (or someone who is eating this does) start with half tsps of the last spices. Remember you can always taste it and add more heat if needed.

Give it a try and enjoy!