Fitness Crazed Foodie
Lover of all things food and fitness related
Holiday season is right around the corner and so the 6 weeks of indulgences begin... This week I'm planning menus for Friendsgiving's and two different Thanksgiving's, and seeing if I can create some healthy, crowd-pleasing options for everyone. In the meantime, I want simple and nutritious dinners that can keep me on track before the indulgences.
These lettuce wraps are half-filled with mushrooms and onions to add volume and flavor to the turkey with less overall calories. I kept my toppings simple with some green onions and cucumbers for crunch, but there are so many options to spruce up the wrap! You'll find additional topping ideas at the end of the ingredient list.
The whole recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and makes about 8-10 lettuce wraps. Make this recipe one night and eat them throughout the week!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 container (2 cups) of cremini mushrooms
4 green onion stalks
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 tbsp sriracha
3 tbsp liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
Garlic salt, pepper, chili powder
1 iceberg lettuce wedge
Additional toppings: water chesnuts, chopped cashews, chickpeas, shredded carrots, jalapeños, cilantro
1) Add olive oil to a large skillet pan on medium heat. Roughly chop mushrooms and add to pan. Chop green onions (after peeling off outside skin layer) and add to pan. Cook these down for about 5 minutes. You might have to drain some water out of the pan, as the mushrooms lose moisture when cooked down. I just spooned out a couple tablespoons of liquid.
2) Add ground turkey to pan and break into pieces with a spatula. Cook for 5-7 minutes until mostly browned and add sriracha, soy sauce, garlic salt, kosher salt and chili powder to taste. Stir around and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
3) Wash the iceberg lettuce and peel off the first layer. Use one layer as the shell of your wrap and scoop 2 hefty spoonfuls inside. Add toppings of your choice!
Breakfast for dinner is a weekly occurrence for me, and I'm not mad about it. Throwing a crispy over-medium egg on basically anything adds another flavor dimension, and this skillet is a perfect example of that.
This recipe sneaks in about three serving of veggies (remember: you need 5 servings of fruits and veggies A DAY!), and is bursting in flavors from the crispy potatoes, runny yolk, caramelized onions and seasoned greens. Enjoy it for a healthier weekend brunch option, or live a little and join the Breakfast For Dinner club!
1 regular large potato
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 chopped white onion
1 cup shredded brussel sprouts
2 cups raw spinach
2 chicken sausage links
Salt and pepper
Optional (but really not optional): 2 eggs
Dice up the potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet pan and add the potato to the pan. Cover the pan to steam the potatoes for 10-12 minutes, and stir every couple minutes.
While they are steaming, in a separate pan, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat and add in chopped white onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes and then add in shredded brussel sprouts, raw spinach, and chopped chicken sausage. Cook all ingredients for another 5 minutes.
Uncover the potatoes, add some salt and pepper, and combine the onion and veggie mixture to the potatoes. Stir around to incorporate everything. Dish out the servings and fry up an egg however you like it! Add that delicious yolky goodness to the top of the hash and heavily sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
Added weekend brunch bonus: serve with a homemade mimosa and soak in all that Fall has to offer.
Not going to lie... a massive pile of loaded nachos with all the fix-ins is one of America's finest restaurant offerings. Buuuut it's also a bomb to the stomach and doesn't leave you feeling the greatest. My version has all elements you would want in nachos, but it is healthier and won't leave you feeling gross. This recipe is the meal-prepped version that I made for the week days, so it has 3-4 servings. It's also great for family dinners or a make-your-own nacho bar with friends!
3 large regular potatoes
1 large white onion
1 lb of 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salsa (no-sugar added)
Fat-free plain greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes
Optional: part-skim mozzarella cheese, jalapeños
Preheat oven to 425. Roughly peel the skin off the potatoes, leaving some on, and slice thin. Place potato slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed. Add sea salt and pepper on top. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Since they are thin, they may burn quickly, so keep an eye on them!
Chop the white onion. In a sauté pan over medium heat, spray with cooking spray and onion. Cook until brown and caramelized. Remove onion from the pan and set aside on a plate. Spray the pan again with cooking spray and add ground turkey. Once browned, sprinkle on equivalent amounts of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cook the meat fully in the pan.
Time to assemble the nachos!
Fill the base of your plate with roasted potatoes and add onions on top.
Add 1/4 of the ground turkey (about 4 oz) on top.
Add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, a scoop of salsa, 2 tbsp of greek yogurt, 1/3 of chopped avocado.
Enjoy with a fork and knife, or get messy and dig right in!
Meal prepping salads can seem bland and unsatisfying, especially if you are making multiple servings to eat throughout the week. However, it's probably because you haven't found the right salad that does the mid-day trick.
I have found that this Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad is the perfect big-batch option to make on Sundays and toss with different proteins all week. It is flavorful, sweet, savory, and fiber-filled! Your taste buds will thank you for the combination of salty from the almonds, sweet from the grapes, tangy from the lemon, and nutritious from the greens. You're welcome.
1 big bag of shredded brussel sprouts (should have about 4-5 servings)
1 head of broccoli
1/4 cup lightly salted almonds (my favorite are Trader Joe's dry roasted 50% less salt)
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Steam the bag of brussel sprouts in the microwave for 3 minutes. Chop the head of broccoli and steam in a microwaveable bowl for 4 minutes once the brussel sprouts are done. Roughly chop the almonds and halve the grapes. Combine steamed greens with the rest of the ingredients and toss until well combined. Let the salad cool down before serving and storing in the fridge.
- grilled chicken
- sautéed tofu
- baked salmon
- garlic sautéed shrimp
- roasted cubed sweet potatoes
I know what most people are thinking: cheesy tortellini isn't healthy! Why is this on the blog?!
Well, let's set this straight. Pasta can be a healthy choice if served in the right portion, with the right add-ins, and if used as fuel for your workouts. I have my first olympic-distance triathlon coming up this Sunday, so I thought making a hearty, green pasta dish was appropriate for this week. Obviously, you don't have to be training for a triathlon to eat pasta, but timing of a carb-heavy meals is important. Carbohydrates, regardless of whether they're from pasta, bread, vegetables, fruit, etc., will be used as energy/fuel when eaten before or after a good workout, rather than being stored away as excess calories.
Bottom line: you don't have to shy away from carbs like pasta, but just make sure you're being active enough to use it as fuel!
This recipe has a great balance of green vegetables, lean protein, flavorful spices, and a liiiiiitle cheesiness from the tortellini filling. It's great served with a chilled summer salad, too! I added a simple recipe at the end of this post for a great summertime side dish that compliments the Veggie-Loaded Tortellini & Chicken perfectly. Enjoy!
1 package of Trader Joe's Spinach Tortellini
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 bundle of asparagus
2 heads of broccoli
Salt and pepper
Optional: nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, tomatoes
Ambitious Kitchen's Cilantro Pesto Sauce
1 cup cilantro leaves (about ½ a bunch)
1/3 cup roasted or raw cashews
1 small lime, juiced
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño, seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary to thin the pesto
Chop up asparagus and broccoli and put in a big bowl with 1/3 cup of water. Cover with paper towel and steam in the microwave for 5 minutes. Drain and keep in the bowl.
While veggies are steaming, chop chicken into big chunks and sauté on medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked through the center.
In a separate stove pan, boil water and cook tortellinis based on instructions. After boiling, the pasta should only take 2-4 minutes to cook thoroughly. Add cooked pasta, chicken, and veggies into the large bowl and mix.
For the sauce, add cilantro, cashews, lime juice, garlic clove, jalapeno, olive oil, and salt and pepper to a blender. Process on high speed until smooth and add water, if necessary, to help thin the pesto and make it easier to process. Add the pesto directly to the bowl with the pasta and mix to combine.
Once ready to serve, top with nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese) and additional spices if preferred. You can serve it hot or cold- both are delish!
Corn, Avocado & Tomato Summertime Salad
1 bag of frozen corn
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Paprika, chilli powder, salt and pepper
Steam the frozen corn until thawed (a couple minutes in the microwave). Pour into a bowl with roughly chopped avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, a handful of chopped cilantro and spices to taste.
Set in fridge for 1 hour before serving chilled.
Roasting meats and vegetables together seems like a big task that takes practice and perfect timing. But I'm here to show you that it can be all done in one pan and take 60-90 minutes from start to finish. This meal idea comes from my boyfriend that followed a recipe online and it turned into the best meal he has ever made me! I tweaked a couple things based on nutrition and my preference. This recipe makes 4 servings and can be eaten all week or served as a great family meal.
4- 5oz chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic salt, pepper, oregano
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 bag, or 2-3 lbs, of fingerling potatoes
1 large red onion
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400F. Line large baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Drizzle olive oil over the chicken breasts and rub it to cover the tops of each. Add garlic salt, pepper and oregano. Over a bowl, hold a sprig of rosemary at its top, slide your fingers down to the bottom, and strip off the leaves into the bowl. Sprinkle half of this rosemary on top of the chicken and save the rest for the vegetables. Add the chicken breasts to the baking pan.
Slice the fingerling potatoes in halves if very small or fourths if larger. Roughly chop the red onion and cut the tomatoes in half. Add them all to a bowl and toss with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and the rest of the rosemary sprigs. Pour onto the baking pan and disperse evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is done and potatoes are crispy. I usually cut into one chicken breasts to make sure there is no pink and it is fully cooked (I know, the juices come out then, but it's the safest way to know!). Serve with a cold side salad or any other greens you like!
After a month of birthdays, vacations, and never-ending celebrations, I am back on the Whole 30 as a solid reset to my digestive system and eating behavior. Buuuuut this time I'm calling it the "Dirty 30", as I will incorporate some alcoholic beverages while staying strict with the food. I can't say no to the beginning of patio season drinking!
My first go-to for a Whole 30 recipe was this simple and flavorful frittata that was my lunch for every day last week. It takes 30 minutes to make and it can be the star of any meal. I served it alongside some roasted sweet potato fries and mixed greens with Trader Joe's Green Goddess dressing. I can't believe this was my first time trying this dressing because I have heard so much about it...and all the hype is true! Write it down on your next grocery list and you'll be forever grateful you did.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 cup steamed cauliflower
Optional: 3 chicken sausages or Italian sausage (with no sugar added)
10 eggs (can sub for 1/2 egg whites if want a lower fat version)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
Salt and pepper and paprika
Preheat oven to 425F.
Heat up olive oil over medium heat in large cast iron pan (10'') for 2 minutes and add chopped white onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent. Add the steamed cauliflower and broccoli on top of the onions (I steam in the microwave with a little water and cover with paper towel for 4 minutes). Add sliced chicken sausage on top of veggies. Turn the heat off of the stove.
Whisk eggs, milk and seasonings in a separate bowl and pour this mixture over the ingredients in the sauté pan. Carefully transfer the skillet pan to the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the edges get brown and there is just a slight jiggle in the center.
Let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving, or putting it in Tupperware for the week!
Some great toppings: salsa, avocado and cilantro... or some parsley, grated parmesan, and red pepper flakes!
^^^ Not pretty, but this is what a typical meal-prepped lunch looks like at work!
This frittata should make about 8 servings, but I doubled up at the end of the week when I ran out of sweet potato fries :)
Enjoy! And comment if you have any other topping ideas or sides to go along with it!
What is better than a build-your-own burrito bowl that is healthier and cheaper than Chipotle?! Answer: not many things.
Unfortunately, guac is still extra... But the price of avocados does not stop me from piling it onto this bowl of goodness.
This is my take on a burrito bowl that is layered with black bean and lime cauliflower rice, steamed broccoli, seasoned turkey and mushrooms, and then alllll the toppings of course. There are so many different variations you can play around with to create the burrito bowl of YOUR dreams, and you can use my version as inspiration.
I recommend storing the rice, broccoli, meat and toppings separately in the fridge so you can build the bowl fresh each time. This also allows you to change portion sizes depending on the day or meal you make it for!
Serving size: 4
1 bag of frozen cauliflower rice (about 4 cups)
1 can of low-sodium black beans
2 heads of broccoli
1/2 red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small container of cremini mushrooms
1 lb of ground turkey (93% or 99% lean)
Paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes, S&P
Plain greek yogurt
Steam the bag of cauliflower in the microwave according to bag's directions. Drain and rinse the can of black beans. Once steamed, combine the cauliflower and beans in a bowl, add a generous portion of salt and pepper, and squeeze the juice from two limes into the bowl. Set aside.
Chop the two heads of broccoli, add to a bowl with 1/4 cup of water, cover with paper towel and steam in the microwave for 4 minutes.
In a sauté pan on medium heat, add olive oil, chopped red onion and chopped mushrooms.
(TIP: Adding mushrooms to a meat mixture creates more bulk/servings without the added calories and with the added vitamins and umami flavoring!)
Once onions are translucent, add ground turkey to pan. Once meat is browned, add 2 tbsp of water and all the seasonings to the pan. Stir well so that the seasonings are evenly spread. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Now it's time to layer your bowl!
Start with a big scoop (very precise, I know) of the "rice", then add 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/4 of the turkey mixture, 1/3 sliced avocado, 2 tbsp salsa, 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt. Sprinkle some more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes on top. And waaalaahhh!
Other great toppings: cilantro, chopped red onion, reduced-fat cheese, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Sriracha.
Move over turkey meatballs-- this pad thai is my new go-to meal and I couldn't be more excited about it!
Once I make a new recipe that I love, it becomes a part of my routine for weeks on end. I like to stick with what I know works and what I know I love. But then a couple weeks go by and I am itching for a new recipe that leaves me feeling the same satisfaction. That's why I'm pushing aside the turkey meatballs for now, and moving on to some healthy pad thai!
This recipe uses spiralized sweet potato noodles (which you can sub for whole wheat noodles, soba noodles, zoodles, or any other base of choice) and loaded with other vegetables, chicken and a bomb spicy peanut sauce that brings it all together.
Ingredients for Pad Thai:
(Makes 4-5 servings)
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 small container of cremini mushrooms
1 bag shredded brussel sprouts
3 green onions
1 lb of chicken breast
Ingredients for sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cashew milk
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
Sriracha- amount depends on preferred level of spicy
Spiralize sweet potatoes and add to a sauté pan with cooking spray. Put on low heat and cover to steam for 5-7 minutes. In a separate pan on medium heat, sauté chopped mushrooms, chopped shallots, brussel sprouts and other veggies of choice until shallots are translucent (about 5-7 minutes also). Uncover sweet potatoes, combine the two pans of veggies together and keep on low heat.
While those are on the stove, sauté the chicken breast and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Once the breasts are white all the way through, transfer to a plate and shred it by pulling apart the meat with two forks.
For the sauce, whisk all ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds.
In a bowl, add a heaping cup of veggies and top with 4-5 oz of shredded chicken. Drizzle with 2-3 tbsp of the sauce, and top with 1 chopped green onion. Other great toppings include 1 tbsp chopped salted cashews, red pepper flakes or juice of 1/2 a lime.
After a week of indulging for the holidays and vacation, I was motivated to cook new healthy recipes for this week. Sometimes getting a little off track can be a good thing!
I was thinking of different ways to incorporate veggies into my meals, instead of just steaming, roasting, sautéing, etc. I perused Pinterest for a while and found many recipes on creamy vegetable soups, so I decided to make my own cleaner version of these. And since I grew up eating an abundance of broccoli cheddar soup every week from Panera (that was the only way you could get me to eat broccoli by the way...) I decided to go in that direction of flavor.
This recipe makes 4-6 servings, so make it on Sunday and enjoy all week long.
2-3 cups of chopped broccoli
2-3 cups of halved brussel sprouts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2-3 cups raw spinach
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Kosher salt, garlic salt, black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425F. Line large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the broccoli and brussel sprouts on the pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil on top. Top with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until there is a slight char.
While these are baking, Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauce pan. Roughly chop the white onion and sauté until translucent (5-7 mins). Add the chicken broth, spinach, garlic salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Put a handful of broccoli and brussel sprouts to the side, as you will use these as a topping to the prepared soup. Add the rest of the roasted veggies to the saute pan with the broth and let them soak for 2 minutes. Transfer all this to a blender, add nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavoring) and blend until mostly smooth.
Pour into bowls to serve immediately and add a few of the roasted vegetables on top. Or, store in the fridge for up to a week.
This soup compliments really well with chicken or pork entrees, or a colorful fall salad. Enjoy!!
About this Section
This section is here to share my experiences in the kitchen and to give you inspiration to try out healthy and fun recipes!