Category Archives: Dinner

The Halibut Protein “Everything” Salad

hearty-halibut-protein-detox-salad

Hands down: one of my very favorite salads of all time because it’s packed with protein and colorful nutrients.  Adopted from my sister’s recipe book, this salad combines all sorts of delicious fruits and vegetables. I call it the “everything” salad because it’s got everything from brussel sprouts to avocado to orange slices to apples to mozzarella. It’s super moist and delicious, and the best part: it requires no dressing, at all! This salad is delicious and filling on its own, but if you’re looking for some extra filling, try it with the halibut fillet.

Estimated Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: add as much much/little of each ingredient as you like!

  • Kale/Spinach/Romaine Lettuce: 1 large handful
  • *Halibut Fillet: 4 oz, seasoned and baked
  • **Brussel Sprouts: 7 pieces, halved and boiled
  • Apple: 1/2 small, chopped
  • Cucumber: 1 small, chopped
  • Red Onion: 1/8 cup, chopped
  • Avocado: 1/2 medium, chopped
  • Orange: 1/2 small, chopped
  • Baby Carrots: 4 small, chopped
  • Light String Cheese: 1 stick, chopped
  • Fat Free Cottage Cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Parmesan Cheese: 1 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice: 1/2 lemon
  • Salt: 2 shakes
  • Pepper: 3 cranks

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly season the halibut fillet with your favorite seasonings (I personally love Santa Maria seasoning). Once the oven is ready, pop the fillet into the oven and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the fish easily flakes apart.

**Brussel Sprouts: I like to boil the brussel sprout halves for about 10 minutes before throwing them into the salad.

While the halibut and brussel sprouts are cooking, chop all the other fruits and vegetables up. Once all the items are prepared, combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Enjoy!

Thai Red Coconut Curry – Tofu & Asparagus

tofu-asparagus-thai-red-coconut-curry

tofu-asparagus-thai-red-curry

I’ve always been such a huge fan of Thai curry, but I’m always seeking new ways to cook my own healthier version. Restaurant curry always tastes so good, but it’s also often packed with a ridiculous amount of oil and fat. So, here ya have it: my spin on a super light, low-fat healthy thai red coconut curry. Best part: SO GOOD!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 3):

  • Light, Extra Firm Tofu: 12 oz, chopped
  • Asparagus: 1 bunch, chopped
  • Cilantro: 1/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Light Coconut Milk: 8 oz (half can)
  • Thai Red Curry Paste: 1.5 tbsp
  • Cooking Spray: 1 spray
  • Optional: Red Chili Pepper Flakes: 1/2 tsp
  • Optional: Red Cayenne Powder: 1 tsp

Chop up the tofu and asparagus into bite-size pieces.  *Don’t forget to chop off the ends of the asparagus! Next, spray a skillet or wok with cooking spray and heat up the pan on medium/high heat. Begin cooking the tofu first for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges are seared. Add in the asparagus and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. In a separate cup, mix and stir together the light coconut milk, red curry paste and cilantro – add that in next. If you’re looking for something a bit more spicy, add in the pepper flakes and cayenne powder as well. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Serve immediately with a side of brown rice, quinoa or shredded lettuce. And let’s not forget our favorite last minute friend: Sriracha sauce is always a great addition to the mix as well.

Stir-fry! Broccoli, Brussels & Shitake Chicken

broccoli-shitake-mushroom-chicken-stir-fry

Here’s an easy Asian stir-fry recipe that you can whip up in less than 30 minutes. Great for lunch or dinner, this tasty dish combines broccoli, brussels sprouts, shitake mushrooms and chicken. Easy peasy!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 3):

  • Chicken: 1 breast, chopped
  • Brussels Sprouts: 12 brussels sprouts, halved
  • Broccoli: 1/2 head, chopped
  • Shitake Mushrooms: 1 cup
  • Open Nature Sesame Ginger Dressing (or any conventional teriyaki marinade): 4 tbsp
  • Sesame Seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Oil Spray: 2 sprays
  • Water: 1/8 cup
  • Salt: 1 dash
  • Pepper: 1 dash

Start by slicing the raw chicken breast into small pieces. Spray a large wok or skillet with the oil spray and heat up the pan on medium/high heat. Toss the chicken pieces into the pan, sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper, and cook the chicken until it’s seared and sealed.  Add in 1/8 cup of water with the brussels sprouts and reduce heat to medium. Cover for about 5 minutes. Add in the remaining broccoli and and shitake mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Once the broccoli is half way cooked, add in the the sesame nature ginger dressing. If you don’t have that dressing on hand, feel free to use any standard teriyaki marinade. When all the veggies seemed cooked, sprinkle the dish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Chicken & Broccoli Feta Pasta

Chicken & Broccoli Feta Pasta

I’m super into this dish because it’s filling, hearty, cheesy and nutritious. “Nuff said, get at this.

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Whole Wheat Pasta: 8 oz, dry
  • Chicken Breast: 4.5 oz
  • Broccoli: 1/2 head, chopped
  • Cherry Tomatoes: 2 handfuls
  • Fat Free Feta Cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt (for boiling water): 1 tbsp
  • Salt (garnish): 1 tsp

Butterfly the chicken breast, lightly season each side and bake in a small conventional oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water, add in the tablespoon of salt and cook the dry pasta as directed. While you wait, cut up the broccoli and cherry tomatoes. When the pasta becomes al dente, add and mix in the chopped broccoli to the boiling pasta and continue to cook for about 3 more minutes. Strain the pasta and broccoli, pour the remains in a large bowl and mix in the olive oil, salt and feta cheese.  The chicken should be done by now, so take it out of the oven and cut it up into small bite-sized pieces. Last but not least, add in the chicken and sliced tomatoes to the pasta mixture. I intentionally kept this low in oil, but if you’re not concerned with a little extra oil love, feel free to add in more oil or cheese.

Cauliflower Cashew Curry

Cauliflower Cashew Curry

Want an super nomz curry dish recipe? The title and pic speaks for itself. Cauliflower florets and crunchy cashew bits cooked in a creamy curry coconut sauce. The perfect blend of tangy lime, spicy sriracha and crunchy, roasted cashews are simply delectable. Not spicy at all, totally approachable for those seeking a mild curry dish.  Though, feel free to add more kick! And for all you vegan peeps out there – get at this!

Estimated Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Cauliflower: 1 head, chopped
  • Cashew Halves: 1/2 cup
  • Light Coconut Milk: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Reduced Fat Peanut Butter: 2 tbsp
  • Curry Powder: 1 tbsp
  • Sriracha Sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Red Pepper Flakes: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Lime Juice: 1 medium lime, freshly squeezed

On medium/high heat, roast the cashews in large pot until they’re golden brown (about 2-4 minutes). Add in the coconut milk, chopped cauliflower florets, curry powder, sriracha sauce, salt and pepper and cook on high until the sauce simmers. Reduce heat to medium/low and continue to cook until the cauliflower is tender. Meanwhile, mix the peanut butter, lime juice and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. After about 10 minutes of cooking the cauliflower, add in the peanut butter lime sauce. Cook for another 10-15 or until cauliflower has reached desired consistency. And your’e done! Serve with basmati rice, quinoa, pita bread or salad.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7 points per serving

Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Poppers

Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Poppers

Who doesn’t crave jalapeno poppers every once in a while? Here’s a super delicious recipe that turns the traditional jalapeno popper into a full-on dinner meal. Paired with chicken breast and served over a bed of lettuce and kale, you’re getting plenty of protein for a hearty dinner.

Estimated Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: 2 breasts, cut into 4 fillets
  • Lean Turkey Bacon: 3 slices, chopped and cooked
  • Fat Free Cream Cheese: 3 oz
  • Jalapenos: 2 medium, de-seeded and minced
  • Fat Free Cheddar Cheese: 1/4 cup
  • Fat Free Chicken Broth: 2 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper: 1 dash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Split the chicken breasts into four fillets (2 pieces per chicken breast).  Find a mallet, or something close to it, and pound each fillet so that each one flattens out into a larger surface area. Sprinkle both sides with a dash of salt and pepper. Next, de-seed and chop the jalapenos and place in a medium bowl. Chop up the raw bacon and cook the bacon in a skillet. Add the cooked bacon, cream cheese, 75% of the cheddar cheese and chicken broth to the bowl. Mix well.

Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray, and then place each chicken breast on the sheet. Divide the cheese mixture amongst each fillet and/wrap the fillet so that it’s completely closed. Cover with tin foil and add a few punctures to the foil. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove top foil, spread the remaining cheddar cheese amongst the top of each fillet and broil for 2-3 minutes. Do not let it burn! I served mine over a bed of romaine lettuce and semi-cooked kale. Really good!

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 points per fillet

3 Bean Turkey Chili

3 Bean Turkey Chili RecipeChili is one my favorite dishes and I’ve prepared a super healthy version that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Lean ground turkey, garbanzo beans, cumin, oregano and chili powder are some of the key ingredients. It’s one of my fav go-to dishes because it also freezes well. I like to make a huge batch so that I have 10 meals ready to go when I need ’em.

Estimated Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 10):

  • 99% Lean Ground Turkey: 20 oz
  • Chopped Onion: 1 medium
  • Chopped Carrots: 4 medium
  • Chopped Garlic Cloves: 5 regular
  • Chopped Fresh Tomatoes: 2 medium
  • Canned Stewed Tomatoes: 2 cans (30 oz)
  • Canned Black Beans: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Canned Kidney Beans: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Canned Garbanzo Beans: 1 can (14.5 0z)
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Cumin: 2 tbsp
  • Chili Powder: 1 tbsp
  • Dried Oregano: 1 tbsp
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Cooking Spray: 1 cup

Start the recipe by chopping and prepping all ingredients: carrots, onions, garlic and tomatoes. Spray a large pot with cooking spray and begin cooking all the carrots, garlic and onions on medium/high heat. After about a minute, add a cup of water to the veggies so that they can sort of boil with the water. Once the veggies become tender (about 5 minutes), add in all of the spices as well as the ground turkey. Continue cooking the ground turkey until it is completely cooked. From there, add in the fresh tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, beans and remaining cup of water. Keep the heat on high until the chili stew begins to boil. Once it starts boiling, cover the pot, reduce to low heat, and let simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Serving size is approximately 1.25 cups.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 6 points per serving

3 Bean Turkey Chili Freezer Packs

If you’re an 0n-the-go-type person like me, then you should portion out the correct serving size into individual zip-lock bags and freeze the individual meals. Sometimes in the morning before running out the door, I make a sprint past the freezer, grab a zip-lock meal and then microwave it for lunch. It works out perfectly because I feel like I’m always on the run.

 

Low-Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower Pizza Crust w/ Grilled Veggies
Look at that beauty! A few nights ago, I invited some friends over for wine and pizza cooking night. Three little cooks in the kitchen, working away to create a healthy masterpiece! So yes, the crust is made from cauliflower! I honestly could not taste the cauliflower and the colorful blend of veggies was a delightful distraction from the low-carb crust. My version of the crust is still not perfect; however, doesn’t mean we didn’t devour the whole thing in less than 20 minutes. I sort of packed a lot of veggies on mine, which might have been too heavy on the crust. So, we just ate ours with knives and forks and that seemed to work well for us.  Try my veggie version or mix and match your own toppings!

Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes socializing and drinking wine)

Pizza Crust Ingredients (serves 3):

  • Cauliflower: 1/2 head, about 2 cups “riced”
  • Fat-Free Cottage Cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Egg Whites: 1/4 cup
  • 2% Mozzarella Cheese: 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Oregano: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 dash

Pizza Sauce Ingredients:

  • Canned Stewed Tomatoes: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Rosemary: 1 tsp
  • Basil: 1 tsp
  • Oregano: 1 tsp

Veggie Toppings:

  • Zucchini: 1 small, sliced
  • Onion: 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Baby Bell Peppers (Yellow & Orange): 1 cup, sliced
  • Broccoli: 1 cup, chopped
  • 2% Mozzarella Cheese: 3/4 cup, shredded

First, start with the pizza sauce. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you’ve reached a smooth consistency. Place in a separate bowl and set aside; this allows the flavors to blend and marinate together while you work on the other parts of the pie.

Next, preheat the oven to 450. “Rice” the cauliflower by shredding it (raw) with a hand-held grater or by mincing it in a food processor. Then place the riced cauliflower into a microwavable bowl and microwave uncovered for 8 minutes. Do not add any water. While that’s cooking in the micro, drain your cottage cheese (very important!) and then place the cottage cheese and other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add in the cooked cauliflower and mix well. Spray down a cookie sheet with cooking spray and then evenly lay out the cauliflower mixture onto the sheet. It should be fairly thin. Bake for about 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the crust is golden, with crispy edges and cooked through the middle. Remove from oven and set aside.

While your pizza crust is cooking in the oven, chop and prep all the veggie toppings. With a non-stick skillet, spray down a pan and cook all the veggies half way through on the stove. You’re not going to be cooking the pizza that long, so you want the veggies semi-tender before they hit the oven.

Finally, top your pizza with the sauce, veggies and remaining mozzarella cheese. Broil the pizza for about 5 minutes, until the cheese looks perfectly melted. #nomz Let cool for a couple of minutes and then dig in! Should yield about 3 servings.

Weight Watcher Points Plus: 5 points per serving (roughly)

PS – There’s a good chance you’ll have extra sauce left over, but you can always freeze it for your next pizza.

PSS – Stay tuned for another healthy pizza variation! Mmm think ricotta cheese, spinach, tomato and feta… coming soon!

 

Salmon topped with Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Salmon topped with tomato basil bruschetta

Mmm what to make with fresh heirloom tomatoes? First thing that came to mind was bruschetta. Since I’m running low on bread at my house, I turned this appetizer dish into dinner by preparing my delicious heirloom tomato bruschetta over a hearty piece of salmon. SO GOOD. I didn’t have any fresh basil on hand, but if you’ve got it – I would def recommend it over dried basil. Nonetheless, whether fresh or dried – this main course dish is super nomz.

Estimated Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Fresh salmon: 15 oz
  • Fresh heirloom tomato: 1 medium/large
  • Garlic: 3 cloves
  • Basil: 1 tbsp dried or 1 bunch fresh
  • Olive Oil: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 1 tsp
  • Water: 2 tbsp
  • Cooking spray: 1 spray

Slice the salmon into 4 equal pieces and place on a sprayed cooking sheet. Sprinkle the salmon with just a dash of salt and pepper and then bake [in a small conventional oven if you’ve got one] at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the tomato, garlic and basil. Stir these three items together in a small bowl and then add in the olive oil, water, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir together and set aside. Once the salmon is cooked all the way through (should flake apart easily), take it out of the oven and top with the bruschetta topping. Serving size is about 3.5 oz of salmon per serving. Serve with a side salad, broccoli and/or half cup of quinoa or rice. If you’re not ready to eat all the salmon right away, place each serving in a sealed zip-lock bag, freeze individually and pull ’em out to use as your protein in your next grab-and-go salad.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 points plus (for 3.5 oz salmon)

PS – don’t forget that this bruschetta recipe can be used as regular bruschetta too! If you’ve got sourdough bread on hand, cut ’em up, rub each side with garlic, toast ’em and top each slice with this amazing bruschetta recipe. You won’t regret this one, I promise. Well, maybe you’ll regret the garlic breathe…sorry dawgies.

Tofu Skin & Vegetable Stir Fry

Tofu Skin Stir Fry

In case you were wondering where it was, here’s my Asian authenticity comin’ right at ya: bean curd. Bean curd, also known as tofu skin, tofu curd or yerba has an almost egg-y flavor and comes from the same soy bean family as tofu. Like tofu, it’s high in protein and low in fat. Bean curd is often sold in Asian grocery stores (or Chinatown) and the dried stalks come in a package that you can keep in the cupboard. To use, just soak in water. It will take about an hour (some say a whole day but wait ’til you see my trix) for the tofu skin to soften, after which it cooks up in no time.

If you’re still skeptical of the curd, you can substitute it with regular tofu. Or, substitute with chicken, beef, pork or seafood. Either way, still super nomz.

Estimated Time: 45 minutes to rehydrate; 15 minutes to actually cook

Ingredients (serves 4):

About an hour before you want to start cooking you’ll want to rehydrate the tofu skin: fill a large, microwavable mixing bowl with water and place dried tofu skin in water. Cover with a large plate or plastic wrap and microwave for about 5 minutes. You want the water to get real hot. Let this sit (with the cover on top) for about 30-45 minutes. The steam from the bowl will slowly rehydrate the skins into tender, softened pieces. They say you need to do this at least 8 hours in advance, but I’ve found this method to work pretty well. If you plan to use dried shitake mushrooms, just let those sit in a cup of water for about 10 minutes; that’s all it takes to rehydrate those.  Otherwise, canned shitake mushrooms work too.

Once the tofu skin is soft and spongy, you can begin cooking. First, chop the garlic and trim the green bean ends. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, chili garlic sauce and water together to create a marinade. Spray a large cooking pan or wok with cooking spray and begin cooking the garlic and green beans on medium/high heat. After about 1 minute, add in half of the marinade mixture to the pan. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes and then add in the broccoli and hydrated shitake mushrooms. If you haven’t already done so, drain the tofu skin and chop into small bite-size pieces. Finally, add the tofu skin pieces and second half of the marinade into the stirfry. Continue to cook on low for about 5 more minutes or until the broccoli is cooked and the marinade has made its way across the entire stir fry. This recipe may sound tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy; feel free to comment and ask any questions.

Serve alone or with a side or white rice, brown rice or quinoa.

Weight Watcher Points Plus: 3 points per serving