Posts tagged chicken
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad-Fresh and Balanced

When I was a kid, I had a salad that I ordered at Applebee's every time my family went. I felt very grown up and sophisticated ordering from the adult menu, no chicken nuggets for me! I always stated my order proudly and couldn't wait to dive into a bowl of what I thought was a very exotic and adventurous Chinese chicken salad. 

I loved everything about that salad! It was crunchy, bright and a balance of sweet and salty that I couldn't get enough of! When the summer temperatures start to climb, I always get a craving for this cool and crunchy salad. 

Sadly, as an adult I learned that the salad I used to order had as many calories as a cheeseburger. So I set out to create a salad that would take care of my craving, but stay on the light side!

The real secret to this salad is to make your own dressing. A bottled dressing works in a pinch, but take an extra minute to whip out this sweet, salty, spicy and savory dressing! 

Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken Salad-Fresh and Balanced

Chinese Chicken Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (caramel brown in color)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

 

For the Salad:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 chicken breasts cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions

Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Dressing will save in the fridge for 5 days. 

In a large bowl, toss all salad ingredients except lime wedges together. Evenly distribute salad between six plates and drizzle with one tablespoon of dressing. Serve each salad with a wedge of lime to be squeezed over salad before eating. 

 

Top Three Meal Prep Marinades
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Who doesn't love a good marinade? It's one of those fun cooking tricks that infuses a huge amount of flavor into your dish with minimal work! Marinades are especially helpful when cooking for meal prep as you want that dish to still have maximum flavor days after it's made. In addition to adding flavor, marinades help tenderize your protein. This is especially helpful if you purchase cheaper cuts of meat!

These are my top three marinades that I use all the time! And fun tip, reduce the amount of oil in the recipe and turn these marinades into delicious sauces. 

I typically marinate my protein for 30 minutes, bonus points if you marinate overnight before your meal prep! 

Enjoy these flavor packed, super simple marinades! 

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1) Lemon Caper Marinade

Ooo this one is so bright and flavorful! Chicken and fish are perfect for this marinade. Bright lemon, fragrant parsley, garlic and salty capers make this marinade something special. 

Lemon Caper Marinade

Enough for 1 pound of protein

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed 
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add protein and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or place in a plastic sealable bag and refrigerate overnight. 

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2) Jerk Chicken Marinade

If you are looking for flavor, here is where you will find it! So many aromatic spices go into this marinade that my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I use this mostly on chicken, but this marinade is amazing on everything! 

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Enough for 1 pound of protein 

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add protein and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or place in a plastic sealable bag and refrigerate overnight. 

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3) Spicy Chipotle Marinade

If you want something spicy, look no further! This powerful marinade packs a big punch. Use it on chicken, pork, beef and fish!! 

Spicy Chipotle Marinade

Enough for 1 pound of protein

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped 

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add protein and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or place in a plastic sealable bag and refrigerate overnight. 

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken
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It's Friday, and that means I am going to want to treat myself with a guilty dinner tonight! I pretty much always work Friday nights, so once I get off work I make a bee line for the nearest Panda Express. I don't know what it is about the fried rice, spicy kung pao chicken and tender zuchinni but I always get a craving for it on Fridays! 

However, did you know that for one 9.3 oz serving (so basically a little over 1 cup)  of the fried rice it's 520 calories???? And for the kung pao chicken a 6oz serving is 300 calories! YIKESSS!!! I'm down to splurge every once in awhile, but I knew I needed to make a healthier option! 

A few weeks ago, I played around with a few versions of kung pao chicken. The winning recipe is made in the slow cooker so it can sit and cook all evening while I'm at work. Simply whip up some brown rice, sauté some zucchini and BAM! A low calorie version of my favorite Friday night dinner! 

The key to that pretty golden "fried" look on the chicken is to brown the chicken bits in a little cornstarch before adding to the crock pot! 

Enjoy! 

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Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Sriracha sauce for serving 
  • Cooked brown rice 
  • Vegetable mix (zucchini, carrots, onions etc..)

Instructions

Add chicken and cornstarch to a large bowl. Toss to coat the chicken with the cornstarch. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken to the skillet and cook chicken until just golden. Pour the chicken into the slow cooker. Add minced garlic to the slow cooker as well.

In a medium bowl, add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil and red pepper flakes and whisk until combined. Pour sauce to the slow cooker with the chicken. Stir to coat chicken. Cook on low for 2-3 hours

Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions on top of the chicken before eating! Add Sriracha to taste. Serve with brown rice, zucchini or any other vegetable mixture you would like! 

Coconut Chicken Curry
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Are you a fan of curry? I love a well balanced curry! For me all the flavors have to come together and blend into a slightly spicy, aromatic plate of goodness. Enhance too much of one flavor and I'm usually not a fan! This coconut chicken curry is fast and easy to make but has a wonderful rich flavor. I used zucchini noodles instead of rice to keep it Whole30 compliant, but to be honest I prefer the zucchini noodles to rice. They add a light crunch to the dish and really fill you up! 

Coconut cream creates a delightful rich sauce that will have you scraping your plate to get every drop! Feel free to adjust the spice in this dish, if you like a hearty curry flavor add 1/2 teaspoon more curry powder than this recipe calls for! 

Enjoy! 

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Coconut Chicken Curry

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips 
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

In a large skillet on your stovetop, heat oil until shimmering. Add chicken to the skillet and cook until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside in a small bowl. Add a bit more oil to the pan and add curry powder and cumin. Stir and toast until spices are fragrant. Add garlic, onion, and peppers and cook until just tender. Add in coconut cream, lime juice, cooked chicken, baby spinach and zucchini noodles. Cook until spinach is just wilted and noodles are crisp tender. Top each plate with a pinch of cilantro.