Roast the Rainbow – Veggie Delight

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Having just returned to school after a diet-busting spring break filled with fried shrimp, whipped cream, carrot cake and of course piña coladas (I was in Destin after all!) I felt like making myself something lean, clean and green. I’ll credit my mom as my source of inspiration for this recipe – one of my favorite dishes as a kid was her olive oil roasted veggies (yes, maybe I am a little strange). But seriously, I love roasted veggies – they’re SO healthy for you and easy to make. Now you can eat and taste the rainbow…while actually having something that’s good for you and your waistline! (sorry Skittles)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 TBSP EVOO (or extra virgin olive oil spray to cut out extra fat)
  • 4 TBSP red wine (I used Malbec)
  • 1 TBSP dried rosemary (or fresh)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • veggies to your liking!

MAKES 5 servings

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This recipe is great because you can make it so many different ways. Choose the veggies that you prefer and start by chopping them up. Just to give you an idea, I used 6 large carrots, 1/2 carton of mushrooms, 5 stalks of asparagus, 1/2 sweet onion, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 red onion and 1 small zucchini. A recommendation I have if you use onions is to cut them in semi-circles as opposed to dicing, I just think it tastes better. Baby carrots would also be great in this, I just happened to have large ones!

Now comes the fork in the road. You can choose to make a beautiful rainbow array of veggies (like I did) or the faster route.

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If you’re pressed for time, mix all of the ingredients (olive oil, wine, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper) in a large bowl and add in all of your veggies, coating them with the mixture. Then pop them into the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, switching your oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to add a bit of crispiness.

However, if you need more color coding in your life, start by mixing the olive oil, wine, rosemary, salt & pepper in a large liquid measuring cup. Start by pouring out a little of the mixture (about 1/8th of the total) at a time into a separate bowl. Add the first “layer” of veggies and coat them in the dressing. Then line them up on a baking sheet and repeat until the sheet is covered!

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Voilá! The perfect roasted veggies – I love eating these as a light lunch, a side with dinner, in a salad, or even with pasta and a little extra olive oil. If you’re looking to cut down on fat content, instead of using regular olive oil, you could use olive oil spray (no mixing bowl required – just drizzle the wine on top of the baking sheet and spray!) Enjoy!

-SkinnyGirl

Sauteed Zucchini and Squash

Sauteed Goat Cheese Squash & Zucchini

As I was perusing the produce section at HEB I got inspired after I found some good-looking squash and zucchini. They’re some of those vegetables that nobody likes raw but when cooked right are absolutely delicious. I made them my favorite way – with goat cheese & garlic (even the boyfriend who HATES squash & zucchini admitted this was good). This is such an easy side dish to make and is also great to serve with your favorite whole grain pasta for a healthy meal.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 c. yellow squash and zucchini, sliced
  • 2 1/2 tsp. EVOO
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 oz. goat cheese

*MAKES 1 serving

I bought my veggies pre-sliced so if you need to slice up your vegetables do so. Pour the EVOO into your skillet and put it on medium-high. Add the veggies and cook for about 3 minutes.

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Add the minced garlic and salt and pepper to your liking (I find these are great with lots of pepper). After a few more minutes, once the veggies are turning a golden color, take them off the heat and top with about an ounce of crumbled goat cheese. Voilá! Absolutely delicious.

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Enjoy it at only 225 calories a serving!

Click here to see the nutrition facts

-SkinnyGirl

Herb de Provence Chicken

Herbs de Provence Chicken

The first time my mother brought home herbs de provence from the store I was in love. In my opinion it’s the perfect blend of spices – plus it’s fun to say since it’s French and doing so makes you feel sophisticated 😉

Inspired by my own hunger and the ingredients in the fridge, I came up with this low-calorie recipe that is healthy, easy, and full of flavor!

herb de provence chicken

Ransack your kitchen for:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3 tsp EVOO (you can also use canola oil)
  • 2 tsp herbs de provence
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 large onion (or 1 small one), sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup of red wine

*MAKES 3 SERVINGS

First, season each chicken breast with herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Next, add the olive oil to your pan and once it’s warm, place the chicken in the skillet. Meanwhile, slice the onions, celery and mushrooms. Once sliced, add the celery and onion to the pan.

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Continue to cook the chicken and once it is no longer pink, add the mushrooms, red wine and minced garlic.

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Cover the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken has fully cooked and soaked up the wine flavor.

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This recipe is super easy and all of the flavors compliment each other so well. To top it all off, it’s only 288 calories a serving! One of my favorite things about this chicken is that it comes out so tender – by letting it simmer in the wine it soaks up a lot of flavor!

Herb de Provence Chicken

 All I can say is yum. Serve it with your favorite blend of quinoa, brown rice or whole grain couscous! Eat up & enjoy! 

Tropical Fried Rice

Tropical Fried Rice

fried rice

Today I’m sharing one of my very favorite recipes! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can eat ridiculous amounts of fried rice. When I go to Benihana I eat more than should be humanly possible. In homage to my love for the stuff I came up with this healthy version so that I no longer have to feel bad about eating an absurd amount of food. Also, spice lovers rejoice: I’m heating up the kitchen with this one, get ready.

You’ll Need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 c whole grain brown rice (I used organic)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1- 2 habanero peppers finely chopped (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • ½ onion diced
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used green) diced
  • 6 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
  • ½ pineapple core, diced into chunks (or 1 can of pineapple chunks)
  • 1 small mango, peeled & diced
  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped in florets
  • 3 tsp cayenne powder
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP sriracha (OPTIONAL)
  • 3 c. chicken stock (OPTIONAL) for rice

Makes 8 good-sized servings

Click to view nutrition facts

Start by cooking your rice. I like to cook my rice in chicken stock because it give the rice a richer flavor & chicken stock is very low in calories. If you read my last post then you know my favorite brand to use is Pacific Foods.

After you’ve got the rice going, chop up your veggies, peppers, pineapple & mango, & mince the garlic.

Heat up your skillet & pour in one tablespoon of grapeseed oil, then season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and 2 tsp of cayenne, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook the seasoned shrimp in the skillet with 2 teaspoons of the minced garlic. After cooking the shrimp for about 2 minutes, add in the remaining vegetables & fruits – including the rest of the garlic.

fried rice

In a smaller, separate skillet scramble the 4 eggs with salt & pepper. Your rice should be about done now so you can pour it into the shrimp skillet & add the eggs once they are finished cooking.

Add the remaining cayenne & garlic powder (1 teaspoon, each) into the skillet & stir. Mix in 6 tablespoons of soy or tamari sauce (I happened to have tamari so I used that) & sprinkle with salt & pepper.

If you really want to set your mouth on fire add the optional tablespoon of Sriracha (I’m obsessed with the Rooster). However, be warned – this will be VERY spicy! Only add the extra spice if you REALLY REALLY LOVE spicy food like myself 🙂

This recipe is so full of flavor and healthy! The great thing about spice is that it kicks up the metabolism & can actually help you lose weight – so eat up & enjoy the fruits & veggies. The amazing thing about this recipe is that the whole thing only has 1 tablespoon of oil, but trust me, you will LOVE it! Each serving is only 329 calories so fill up that plate 😉

Don’t forget to join the cool kids club: subscribe on the left to stay updated on all the healthy recipes & tips that I’ve got to offer! Happy cooking!

-SkinnyGirl

Chicken Soup for the Sick Person’s Soul

All of us have those days where all you feel like doing is laying in bed…all day. Unfortunately today was one of those days for me. I’m not sure if it was because I stayed up (basically all night) a few days ago or because I just have a virus of some sort, but either way I was definitely lacking in energy and well…the ability to function. In these times of trouble I find one solution…Chicken Noodle soup.

The more I’ve read and learned about diet, the more I’ve realized what an effect it has on how we feel. It happened to be my mother’s birthday this weekend so we went out to an italian restaurant for lunch today – even though the food was DELICIOUS I really have no intention of returning. The portions were enormous – only four of us were eating and they brought us about sixteen pieces of bread. The problem with this is that their garlic bread is extremely tasty and hard to resist…so I had about 3 and half slices. Not only is this bad calorically speaking (which I really wasn’t THAT concerned about) but I’ve noticed that after eating a lot of bread I just feel tired and weighed down. After this they brought us salad, thickly coated in dressing, and then my entree which was once again fantastic, but just too rich. It was chicken covered in a thick white wine cream sauce – I ordered it because it had vegetables: sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms but it was just too much. I only ate half of my meal and I was about to burst. After this enormous lunch I proceeded to taking a 2 hour nap after which I woke up feeling very sick and exhausted. I’ve learned that if I want to feel good I need to understand portion control and pick foods that are less rich and more nutritional.

That said, for dinner I wanted something light and healthy that wasn’t very complicated to make. So I created my own version of “Chicken Noodle Soup”, to make it you’ll need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 organic white quinoa
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c. shredded carrot
  • 4 oz. chicken (baked, sauteed, broiled, grilled – however you prefer)
  • 3 oz. 2% milk cheddar cheese
  • 24 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder

MAKES 2 servings

I started by cooking the quinoa. To give it extra flavor I cooked it in chicken broth instead of just plain water.

Trader Joe's White Quinoa

Trader Joe’s Organic White Quinoa

I LOVE the Pacific foods organic free range chicken broth, I think it tastes great and it’s usually not very expensive at the grocery store.

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

I chose to use quinoa as opposed to a whole grain noodle in this soup because I wanted it to be lighter and grain-free since I had ODed earlier on bread. After the quinoa was done (around 10 minutes) I put it in a separate bowl & added the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan.

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

I like to keep chopped onion in a airtight container in the fridge so that I can add it easily without having to chop it up all the time. The great thing about onion and garlic is that both are extremely healthy for you and are filled with antioxidants. Next I shredded the chicken which had been sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper and was kept in the fridge (another great thing to have on hand). You could simply boil your chicken or grill it if you’re watching calories. Then, I poured enough chicken broth to cover the ingredients and added the carrots.

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Next comes the spices: I added tumeric for flavor and that nice, yellow chicken-soup color. I love cayenne so I added it for spice and because its a wonderful metabolism booster – plus spicy food always opens up your sinuses when you’re feeling sick. The cinnamon was also for the same purpose – although it sounds odd to put cinnamon in a soup, you barely notice it but you still get its benefits. After adding the spices and cooking the ingredients for about 2 minutes I added the rest of the chicken broth. After everything was heated up, I added the quinoa, stirred the soup and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese! Delicious, easy and healthy – you can’t get better than that.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

After a hearty bowl, I’m already feeling better 😉 Especially since one bowl will only cost you 342 calories

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Enjoy & check back later for more recipes, promise I’ll update more often!

-SkinnyGirl