Built in the Kitchen; Sculpted in the Gym.

Home Articles Posted by FitMenCook

Posts by : FitMenCook

FitMenCook
Author Author / 463 Posts
My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.
,

Like every other honest person in the world, I get cravings…and I have to admit that sometimes I cave and enjoy a non-scheduled indulgent treat, or two…or three.  And yes, I try to plan when I’m going to eat something that is less calorie-conscious because if I actually plan for it, then it’s not really “cheating.”  Rather, it’s a part of my well-balanced diet and lifestyle.

All that to say, today I was craving both salty potato chips and sushi.  I had dreams of a deep fried sushi roll that was somehow crusted with kettle chips. Yeah, it was one of those days.

Instead of heading out to the nearest gas station for chips and then swinging by my favorite sushi spot for tempura-fried rolls (with Sriracha mayo drizzle), I started thinking about a way I could satisfy both cravings in a much more calorie-conscious way.

I stopped by my favorite seafood market in Dallas and fired up the air-fryer I got from Kohl’s last month (aside: if you haven’t checked out my review on the Philipps Air-Fryer, you should.)

If you do not have an air-fryer, no worries! You can still make the chips but it will take a bit longer.  Check out my video here on making baked sweet potato chips.

SUSHI POKE AND SWEET POTATO CHIPS RECIPE

Video from FitMenCook Instagram Story

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1/2 lb sushi-grade wild tuna
  • 1 large sweet potato (~12oz or 341g)
  • 1 teaspoon safflower oil (or grapeseed oil or olive oil)
  • Salad
    • 1 cup chopped bok choy
    • 1 cup shredded (purple) cabbage
  • Sauce
    • 1/4 cup diced red onion (or chopped green onion)
    • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (or ginger paste)
    • 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos)
    • 1 tablespoon (toasted) sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or more to cut saltiness as needed)
    • fresh lime juice to taste
  • Garnish
    • diced red onion
    • fresh chopped cilantro
    • sesame seeds

 

Utensils needed: mandolin, sharp chef’s knife

 

Steps:

Set the air-fryer to about 290F – 300F.  Do not go higher than this or you will risk burning the chips.  Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the sweet potato into thin pieces, about the thickness of a nickel.

Put the slices in a bowl, then add the oil.  Mix together using your hands to ensure that each piece has a little bit of oil on it.  Add the slices to the air-fryer tray and cook for about 25 minutes (or more as needed).  Check the slices every 8 minutes – shake the tray – to ensure they are not sticking to each other.  Remove them once the edges are browned.  Note:  remember the chips harden as they cool so do not keep them in the air-fryer for too long.

Prepare the salad by cutting the end/butt off the bok choy, then chopping it into pieces.  It’s best to use a mandolin to cut up the cabbage so that it is fine like strands of hair or hay.  Mix the two together and then set it aside.

Mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl.   Then, using a very sharp knife, carefully slice the tuna into small cubes and set it aside.

Once the chips are ready, add the tuna to the sauce and gently fold the tuna in the sauce.  Allow it to marinate for about 5 minutes.  Then, add the tuna poke to the top of the nixed salad and garnish.  Pour in the extra sauce.  You can either mix everything together, or enjoy the poke with the chips, then eat the salad after with all the sauce from the poke having marinated it very well.

Enjoy and try your hardest to share…operative word being try.

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 2 servings of sushi poke:

154 calories, 32g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 3g protein, 5g fiber, 7g sugar

Approximate macros for 1 of 2 servings of sweet potato chips:

222 calories, 7g carbohydrates, 9g fat, 28g protein, 1g fiber, 5g sugar

,

With all of the writing I’ve been doing for my upcoming book on meal prep and meal prep recipes, I wanted to do a deeper dive on an article I wrote a while back on cooking chicken in bulk and having variety.  Besides over cooking the protein, I often hear complaints about the lack of variety.

So, here’s a video showing how I cook protein – beef (or ground meats) and chicken (poultry) – in bulk.  Regardless of your diet, there’s a lot of key learnings in this video for everyone, even vegans.  It talks about how to do exact meal prep or calorie counting so that you better arrive at the intended calories and macronutrients for each meal.

 

Is calorie counting necessary to lose weight?

No.  Is it helpful? Yes.  If you’ve never measured or weighed food before I highly suggest doing it.  Helps your “Kitchen IQ” so you know by “eyeballing” something how many calories are in it.

 

GROUND MEAT MEAL PREP (BEEF)

cooking protein in bulk

I like cooking ground meats with other veggies, but for calorie counting, I’ve found the most success with patties and meatballs.  I prefer the meatballs over patties because smaller, cooked pieces of meat are easier to portion out, transport, cook and eat.

The quick process:

First, I start by adding a bowl to a food scale and zero-ing it out.  This will allow you to know the weight of all the ingredients – including any additions such as chopped veggies and seasonings.

Write down how much the seasoned meat weighs and then divide that amount by the number of days you’re prepping for. And that should give you the amount for each day (or meal).

Remove it from the scale, then mix everything together.

Make the meatballs.  Scoop out a portion of the meat, weigh it, roll it and then add it to a (mini-) muffin pan.  I like using a muffin pan because it keeps the meat separate, it cooks in its own juices and keeps them round.   Also, I find that the smaller pieces cook faster in the muffin tins because the metal around it is also hot.  This is a plus because it cuts down on cooking time.

Keep in mind that leaner pieces of ground meat will cook much faster so you may have to either reduce the cooking time and/or temperature.

 

 

CHICKEN MEAL PREP

cooking protein in bulk

Chicken is likely the most common prepped protein, yet the one that gives the most grief.  Besides overcooking, people always complain about the lack of variety.  They prep everything the same.  But you don’t have to.

 

The quick process:

First, cut up the chicken breasts into tiny nickel-sized pieces.  This will allow for faster cooking and easier consumption.

One of the most important steps that people forget when cooking chicken is to pat it dry.  This is especially true if you’re using frozen chicken breasts.

 

Take a paper towel and pat it dry.  If you’re using frozen chicken breasts, then I recommend letting it sit on a paper towel for at least 20 minutes to get rid of excess water and enhancing solution.  Once dry, then add it to a bowl on a scale.

Add base seasoning – the seasoning that ALL your chicken will have such as garlic and onion.

Next, divide the chicken by the number of types of variety you’d like. That will give you the equal amounts for each portion of seasoned chicken.  In my example, I use 3.

Once the chicken is equally in separate bowls, add the various seasonings.

Get a baking sheet and aluminum foil.

Spread the foil over the pan and create equally sized rectangles by pinching parts of the foil together.  This creates a ridge/barrier so that juices will not flow into the chicken adjacent to it.

Now, add the chicken to the individual spaces.  Spread it out and make sure the chicken has breathing room.  This will help cut down on cooking time and ensure all pieces are properly cooked, and not cooked together.

,

Continuing with my recent article on avoiding food waste – in honor of Earth Day on April 22, 2017 – I wanted to share another way to use overly dry chicken breasts and leftover baked sweet potatoes or red potatoes. And that’s to create delicious patties that you can enjoy with mixed green salad or your favorite grilled vegetables.

It’s amazing what you can do with 1 chicken breast and 1 sweet potato. Think twice about tossing away food – just transform it! Team #nowaste.

 

SWEET POTATO & CHICKEN PATTIES RECIPE

Video from FitMenCook Instagram Story

Ingredients for 5 patties:

  • 6 1/2 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 250g baked sweet potato (with skin), chilled/cold
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  •  Seasonings
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon garlic (powder or minced)
    • pinch of sea salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup (wheat) panko crumbs (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil or olive oil

 

Steps:

  1. Set oven to 420F.
  2. Place a leftover, cooked chicken breast in a food processor and pulse blend to shred.
  3. Mash up COLD (from the refrigerator) sweet potato in a large bowl.
  4. Beat an egg then, add it to the bowl along with shredded chicken, green onions, goat cheese, coconut flour and seasonings. Mix everything together using a spatula.  If you find the mixture is too lose or wet, add teaspoons of coconut flour until it thickens and easily moldable.
  5. Form equal-sized patties with your hands, about 4 large or 5 regular, then place them back in the refrigerator for at least 2o minutes in order to become more firm.
  6. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and add oil.  Allow the oil to heat up.  Before placing the patties in the skillet, lightly dust them on all sides with the wheat panko crumbs.  Sear on each side for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, then place the entire skillet in the oven to cook for an additional 6 – 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and enjoy with a salad or your favorite grilled vegetables.

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 5 patties:

163 calories, 14g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 14g protein, 2g fiber, 3g sugar

,

On April 22 we will celebrate Earth Day, and millions of people across the globe will engage in activities that “celebrate” and appreciate our planet.  I want to touch on a topic that is often overlooked (in many parts of the world), food waste. In the US alone, it is estimated that we throw away about 70 billion pounds of food each year.  While some of it may be necessary because the food spoils, often times it’s because we get tired of eating the food we initially purchased.

 

To that end, one of the foods I hear people complain about most often is – dry chicken breasts. I’m guilty of tossing it out too – there’s not enough hot sauce in the world that can help us choke it down! Lol However, with a few tweaks in the kitchen – and by chopping it up into smaller bites – I find that you can actually enjoy the chicken breasts that once tasted like tires.

Here are 4 easy leftover chicken recipes to get the wheels in your head turning so you can make your own, better versions to compliment your diet! I kept the serving sizes small because you generally only have 1 or 2 chicken breasts left at the end of the week and the recipes are pretty streamlined, requiring very little effort and using store-bought ingredients. I purchased everything from my local Kroger (Ralph’s, Fred Meyers, Fry’s, etc) so items should be easy to find.

 

Always adjust portions to compliment your needs.  In general per serving, average adult male consumes 5oz to 7oz cooked chicken breast and average adult female between 3oz to 5oz cooked chicken breast per serving.

 

LEFTOVER CHICKEN RECIPES

 

CHICKEN LASAGNA

leftover chicken recipes - chicken lasagna

Ingredients for 2 servings (in a 17.5oz jar):

  • 6oz cooked chicken breast (shredded in a food processor)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese (part skim milk)
  • 1 cup Simple Truth basil marinara/pasta sauce
  • 1/8 cup reduced fat Simple Truth mozzarella

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 2 servings:

290 calories, 15g carbohydrates, 8g fat, 38g protein, 3g fiber, 8g sugar


 

KETO CHICKEN ALFREDO (HIGH FAT RECIPE)

leftover chicken recipes - keto chicken alfredo

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 5oz cooked chicken breast (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • fresh basil (optional)
  • Garnish:
    • parsley
    • pepper

 

**Remember, to ALWAYS adjust ingredients and portions to compliment your diet, goals and needs.**

Approximate macros for 1 serving:

675 calories, 10g carbohydrates, 46g fat, 57g protein, 2g fiber, 5g sugar

 


 

SPICY PEANUT BUTTER CHICKEN

leftover chicken recipes - spicy peanut butter chicken

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 6oz cooked chicken breast (chopped into small pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons Simple Truth peanut powder
  • 3 teaspoons arrowroot starch
    • 1 teaspoon sprinkled on chicken (while it cooks)
    • 2 teaspoons in the sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Garnish:
    • brown rice
    • lime

 

Approximate macros for 1 serving (without rice):

402 calories, 15g carbohydrates, 11g fat, 60g protein, 3g fiber, 3g sugar

 


 

AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD

leftover chicken recipes - avocado chicken salad

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 6oz cooked chicken breast (shredded in a food processor)
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • fresh lime juice (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Garnish:
    • whole wheat pita bread
    • tomatoes & mixed greens

 

Approximate macros for 1 serving of JUST salad:

290 calories, 10g carbohydrates, 16g fat, 28g protein, 7g fiber, 2g sugar

,

If you’ve never had homemade Spanish rice before, then you need to add it to your list of things to try right away.  You need this kind of food in your life.  Growing up in Texas, I’ve met a lot of people who have decadent family recipes for Spanish rice and their version is always the best…and quite frankly it likely is at the time until you try someone else’s.

So, I’m “throwing my hat in the ring” to give y’all my version of a delicious Spanish rice.  This is a vegan-friendly base recipe.  Make it your own and add your choice of protein such as chicken, tofu, beef or even a white fish.

Healthy Spanish Rice Recipe

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 275g (roughly 6 small) tomatoes, raw
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large shallot, diced (or 1/3 cup diced red onion)
  • 1 cup uncooked Basmati rice (you can substitute with brown rice or jasmine rice)
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3/4 lb cooked chicken meat, breast (OPTIONAL)
  • Seasonings
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • pinch of sea salt & pepper
  • Garnish
    • fresh cilantro

 

Steps

  1. Set oven to 420F. Place the raw tomatoes in a cast iron skillet (or baking sheet) and roast for 30 minutes.  Once finished, remove them from the skillet and set the tomatoes aside.
  2. Using the same skillet, set it on low-medium heat, then add olive oil, garlic and shallot.  Sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the seasonings (minus the sea salt & pepper) to the skillet and “bloom” the seasonings for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high heat and add the tomatoes.  Gently mash them with a spatula to create a sauce and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until you have a fragrant smelling tomato sauce/paste.
  5. Add the uncooked rice to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Pour in the veggie stock and add a few pinches of sea salt & pepper.
  7. Reduce the heat to low so there is a slight simmer, then cover and cook for at least 25 minutes unbothered.  If you suspect the rice is drying out, simply add about 1/4-1/3 cup veggie stock to the skillet to prevent it from burning.
  8. After 25 minutes, gently stir it up, then add in your choice of protein, if desired.
  9. Add garnish.  Serve immediately.

 

Note: Serving size will be about 1/3 cup WITHOUT the added protein.**

Approximate macros for 1 of 6 servings with added chicken:

230g calories, 26g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 20g protein, 1g fiber, 1g sugar

,

Here’s a quick and easy chicken recipe with pineapple glaze – one of my favorites for meal prep, family dinner or Friday night chill-axing at the crib (and for those unfamiliar with the term chillaxing, it means chilling and relaxing at the same time; you’re essentially relaxing to the absolute max).

I made this recipe on my Instagram Story to show just how easy it is.

Pineapple Chicken Meal Prep Recipe

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • Sauce
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or safflower oil)
    • 1/4 cup chopped shallot or red onion
    • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 cup fresh pineapple cubes WITH juice
    • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard (or Chinese mustard)
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or more if desired)
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon agave
    • drops of Bragg Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce) to taste
    • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • Garnish
    • cracked pepper
    • fresh chopped cilantro

 

Steps

  1. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, Sriracha, ACV, agave and Bragg Liquid Aminos.  Set it aside.
  2. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and add oil, garlic and shallots.  Cook until the shallots are almost translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, and be careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. At the same time, season chicken pieces with pinches of pepper, then set a nonstick skillet on medium heat.  Spray it with olive oil and when it’s hot, add the chicken pieces.  Cook for about 8 minutes until the outside edges are seared and no longer pink.  When the chicken is about 80% finished cooking, add the diced red pepper and cook the chicken and the red pepper together.
  4. Once the shallots are ready, toss in the cubed pineapple and cook alone for about 2 minutes, then pour in the sauce.  Set the heat on low-medium and ensure the sauce is lightly simmering. Then, mix 1 tablespoon water with arrowroot starch and immediately add it to the skillet with the sauce.  Stir the sauce quickly so the arrowroot starch will not clump.
  5. Add the sauce to the chicken, remove the skillet from the heat and fold everything together using a spatula, ensuring every piece is coated.
  6. Season to taste with more pepper, Bragg and fresh cilantro.
  7. Enjoy with quinoa, jasmine or brown rice or even cauliflower rice for a lower-carbohydrate alternative.

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 4 servings:

213 calories, 13g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 27g protein, 1g fiber, 10g sugar

,

One of my favorite recipes for cooking chicken in bulk, but this time using flavorful chicken thighs.  Since chicken thighs are not as lean as chicken breasts, it’s important to purchase skinless thighs and trim large, visible pieces of fat in order to reduce the amount of fat in your diet.

Spiced Chicken Thigh Recipe

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 3lb chicken thighs, skinless and fat trimmed
  • Veggies
    • 1 tablespoon safflower (or olive oil)
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
    • 3 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • Seasonings
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • pinches of sea salt & pepper (then to taste AFTER cooking)
  • Garnish
    • freshly chopped mint
    • cracked pepper

 

Steps:

  1. Set oven to 420F.
  2. Season the chicken thighs in a bowl and set aside and allow to marinate (at room temperature).
  3. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of safflower oil.  Once hot, toss in the garlic and veggies.  Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the edges of the veggies are lightly seared and softer yet still crunchy.  Be careful NOT to burn the garlic.  Set the veggies aside.
  4. Using the same skillet, lightly spray with oil (if needed), then add chicken thighs to the skillet.  Sear on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. Add the seared veggies back to the skillet and add a pinch or two of cracked pepper on top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Tip: set the oven to broil for the final 2 minutes of cooking.
  7. Once finished baking, garnish with mint and pepper.

 

Approximate macros for 1 of 8 servings (of 6oz chicken):

253 calories, 3g carbohydrates, 33g protein, 12g fat, <1g fiber, 1g sugar

,

Whether you’re trying to impress someone for the first time, or you’re trying to boost the romance in your existing relationship, here are few “rules” that I try to abide by:

  • Keep it simple. This is especially true if this is one of your first dates. Make a recipe that is not so complex and really focus on the presentation. Remember, we eat with our eyes FIRST.
  • Keep the portions to a good fist size. By not stuffing the person (or yourself) with food, you allow room for another course such as dessert and/or alcohol and wine.
  • Avoid foods that tend to bloat or make people gassy. This is self explanatory.  While your dream date may be eating pizza – which is perfectly fine to do if that’s what you want – remember that you want your date to feel good about herself/himself. So, loading them up on cheese or dairy may run counter to that goal and could kill the romance after a delicious meal.  Think about it – have you ever had someone try to be affectionate but you’re not feeling well?  It’s uncomfortable and slightly annoying…
    • To that end, you don’t have to stuff yourself.  A polite idea is to say something like, “This is so good, I’d love to take some of this home with me. Would you mind if I packed some up for my lunch and dinner?”  Now, the etiquette police out there may advise against doing this because it can be seen as tacky; however, I find that it is flattering.  “The food is so good I want more of it.”
  • Always be grateful.  When someone cooks for you, it really is a way to show love and affection. And, for some, it can be very personal and vulnerable.  Be sensitive to this and be mindful of your comments and gestures. If it doesn’t taste that great, then keep reminding yourself how much someone cared to take time out of their schedule to make you feel special.
    • This has surprisingly only happened once for me. She surprised me with a picnic and we had ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread. To this day it’s still one of my most memorable dates ever.
  • Never show up empty handed. Bring a beverage, a salad, wine, flowers, dessert, etc – anything! Just don’t show up with an appetite.
  • Brag on her/him. Compliments in the moment do go a long way, but if it’s someone you’re trying to establish a real relationship with, then don’t be afraid to make a modest social media post bragging on your woman/man for whipping up some stuff in the kitchen.
    • It doesn’t have to be right away but it should be public (unless the person is a sidepiece – remind them of their role ON THE SIDE).
    • Public recognition is ESPECIALLY true if a dude is cooking for you! Lol There’s nothing like getting public love from someone who has captured our hearts – strokes the male ego.  And if you’re trying to get your man to do MORE cooking, then definitely brag on us (just don’t overdo it though).

 

Remember, food does more than satisfy our appetites.  It creates moments and memories that can stay with us for a lifetime.  You decide which kind of memory you want to create – the “spatula” is in your hand…

Tweet me your date night tips!

,

I’ve been experimenting a lot in the kitchen recently to prepare for my upcoming book. Not everything I make is going to make the final cut to go to print but it doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of a little link “love.”

Here’s a recipe I made with a calorie-conscious date-night in mind.

Check out some of my “rules” to creating a memorable date night with food.  This is a low-carb recipe with higher fat so it is satisfying.

shirataki shrimp stir-fry

Shrimp Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry Recipe

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 14oz jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and raw (OR your choice of protein such as tempeh, chicken, beef)
  • 16oz tofu shirataki noodles (drained, patted dry on a paper towel)
  • Stir-fry:
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1 celery stalk, thinly and diagonally sliced
    • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • Sauce:
    • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy
    • 1 tablespoon hot Chinese mustard (or jalapeño Dijon)
    • 1 teaspoon agave (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
    • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot starch (optional, as a thickener)
  • Garnish
    • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
    • sesame seed
    • 3 green onions, thinly and diagonally sliced
    • lime

 

Steps:

  1. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and spray with a little olive oil or cooking spray.  Once the pan is hot, toss in the raw shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes until it is no longer pink.  Set the shrimp aside and using the same skillet, add safflower oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, toss in the bell pepper and celery.  Cook until the outside edges are seared and the veggies are still crunchy.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and set it aside.
  4. Add the cooked shrimp and noodles to the skillet and toss the mixture together for about 1 minute.  Reduce the heat, then move the mixture to one side of the skillet and pour in the sauce.  Once the sauce begins to simmer/bubble, toss everything together in the skillet.
  5. Cook for about 1 -2 minutes more, then plate. Add the garnish (if desired) and enjoy.

Approximate macros for 2 servings:

344 calories, 29g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 24g fat, 4g fiber, 5g sugar

,

 

As part of my partnership with Pronamel, they asked me to create content with the theme “Twice as Good” in mind – something that can serve two purposes.

First thing that came to mind was obviously, food!  But here’s my take/twist.

One thing I like to do is purchase produce and products from my local farmer’s market and nearby small businesses.  By doing so, I’m investing in my community and so it can flourish and provide newer, better “goods” for all of us.

Similarly, that’s how food should be.  It should nourish our bodies and push us closer to our wellness goals, all while tasting delicious!

With that in mind, I purchased some produce from my local farmer’s market to create some delicious, natural salad dressings just in time for the spring!

HEALTHY SALAD DRESSING RECIPES

 

ORANGE RASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

natural salad vinaigrette

Ingredients for 14oz (14 servings of 2 tablespoons):

  • juice from 4 oranges (~1 cup orange juice)
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave (or raw honey)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (1 sprig)
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil for flavor (or just add more olive oil if allergic to peanuts)
  • pinch of pepper

 

Steps:

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor, then blend until smooth.

Season to taste with sea salt & pepper…and other fresh herbs of your liking.

 

Approximate macros for 2 tablespoons serving size:

131 calories, 3g carbohydrates, 13g fat, <1g protein, <1g fiber, 3g sugar

 

SESAME CARROT VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

natural salad vinaigrette

Ingredients for 16oz (16 servings of 2 tablespoons):

  • 2 large carrots (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger (or 1 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste)
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy
  • 1 tablespoon agave (or raw honey)
  • 1/8 cup red (or white) onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil for flavor
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon raw turmeric (optional)

 

Steps:

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor, then blend until smooth.

Season to taste with sea salt & pepper…and other fresh herbs of your liking.

 

Approximate macros for 2 tablespoons serving size:

119 calories, 4g carbohydrates, 12g fat, 1g protein, <1g fiber, 2g sugar

 

 

ROASTED PEPPER VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

natural salad vinaigrette

Ingredients for 16oz (16 servings of 2 tablespoons):

  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, skin, seeds and tops removed
  • 1 roasted shallot (or 1/3 roasted red onion)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon agave (or raw honey)
  • pinch of sea salt & pepper
  • fresh dill to taste

 

Steps:

Set oven to 400F.

Chop the tops off the red bell pepper.  Place the bell peppers and shallot on a baking dish lined with parchment paper.  Roast in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes (careful not to let it burn). Or broil for 15 minutes for a faster solution.

Remove the skin and the seeds from the peppers, as well as the skin from the shallot/onion.  Let them cool to room temperature.

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor, then blend until smooth.

Season to taste with sea salt & pepper…and other fresh herbs of your liking.

 

Approximate macros for 2 tablespoons serving size:

100 calories, 2g carbohydrates, 11g fat, <1g protein, <1g fiber, 2g sugar