Chicken Pasta Caprese!

A couple nights ago my husband made the Skinnytaste recipe for Chicken Pasta Caprese. Out of all the recipes in the cookbook so far that we have tried, this one tastes the least skinny!

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It’s absolutely to die for and probably one of my favorite pasta dishes I have ever made. Melty cheese with pasta, tomatoes and chicken? Yum! And it’s only 400 calories per serving! This would even be good with a side salad. And if you want to kick the nutrition up a notch you can use whole wheat pasta! We made it with regular pasta shells, but you can use just about any kind. We actually doubled the recipe so we would have leftovers to eat on all week, and it only tasted better the next day!

Chicken Pasta Caprese

  • 1 lb chicken breasts cut into bite size cubes
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 9 oz pasta
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 4 oz part skim mozzarella, cut into cubes

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Season chicken with dried basil, salt & pepper. Spray pan with cooking spray and cook chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. Heat large frying pan to high and add olive oil and garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Do not burn, watch carefully. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes are tender (about 5 minutes). Add pasta to tomatoes, if this seems too dry you can add a little water. Add chicken and toss. Remove from heat, and stir in fresh basil and mozzarella. Enjoy! 🙂

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Beef and Broccoli Lightened Up!

This morning I had strength training on my schedule, so I did Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week 6 Pack video this morning! When training for long distance running, hitting your abs is extremely important to protect your back. I learned this the hard way as I used to only run and did no strength training whatsoever! You will inevitably end up with a lot more aches and pains than if you did strength training. After my video, I had some yummy chia pudding with fruit and some greek yogurt to add in a bit more protein!

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I am burnin’ through my new Skinnytaste cookbook, and loving every minute of it! I have a new recipe from this book today: Beef and Broccoli. I LOVE Chinese food, but it is often bad for you with tons of fat and sodium. I have never been good at making Chinese food at home, so only the simplest recipes seem to work for me. This one fit the bill, and is now one of my husband’s favorites!

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I served this with some brown rice and it was awesome. I have recently changed from white rice to brown rice mostly because it has more protein and fiber, and  also because I feel better when I eat brown rice rather than white, which is important!

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Beef and Broccoli Lightened Up (from Skinnytaste)

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 medium green onions cut into 1 inch pieces, white and greens separated
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

In a shallow container, whisk cornstarch, 2 tsp soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Season steak with salt and place meat in this mixture and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Boil broccoli for about 1 minute, or until bright green and slightly tender. Strain and rinse with cold water, set aside. Heat a large wok over high heat, add 1 tsp of oil and half the beef. Cook each side of the beef about 30 seconds and brown on all sides. Repeat with remaining meat and another tsp of oil. Set meat aside. Heat remaining tsp of oil in wok and add onion whites, garlic, and ginger cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli, brown sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and oyster sauce and cook for 30 seconds. Add beef and cook 30 seconds more, remove from heat and stir in onion greens.

Get ready for a yummy weeknight meal that requires very little time or work! Serve with rice if desired. 🙂

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken and Yoga!

It’s Friday, it’s Friday!!! *sings*

I’m so happy it’s almost the weekend! Going back to work after break for Christmas is hard… adulting is hard in general, haha!

Since I am definitely signing up for a half marathon soon, I am trying to get rededicated to healthy eating and working out on the regular. I think I’m going to try a bit stricter diet and have a “cheat meal” once a week. I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂

This morning I got in an awesome yoga video. This one is 45 minutes long, and will have you sweating in no time! This one actually has some cardio in it so it’s perfect for me! I really love yoga because it stretches you out while also strengthening your muscles. In addition it’s a great stress reliever, along with most other exercise I think.

Last night I tried another Skinnytaste recipe and surprise surprise… Garrett and I loved it! It’s Santa Fe Chicken, and it’s super easy and very versatile. Plus it’s a slow cooker recipe, which I love because I can put everything in the crockpot in the morning, and when I get home from work I have a delicious meal waiting for me!

You eat this as a stew (which I did) topped with chopped scallions and a little plain Greek yogurt.

You can have it over brown rice with lime juice (which I also did!) if you want a bit heavier meal. She also suggests it as an enchilada filler, which I will certainly try at some point!  1 cup is only 181 calories, which makes this a total winner to me.

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken

  • 1 can (14oz) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 3 chopped scallions (plus some extra for topping)
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Put all ingredients except chicken into crockpot and stir. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in crockpot. Cook on low 10 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, shred chicken in crockpot. Serve as a soup topped with scallions and Greek yogurt, over rice, as enchilada filler, etc. The possibilities are endless! 🙂 I added slightly more chicken broth to mine, because I wanted it to be soupier (um, it’s January and freezing!).

Have a healthy happy weekend y’all!

Jerk Chicken Tacos and a Few Days Catch Up!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

This morning I did Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week Six Pack video (I have SERIOUSLY been needing to do some ab work lately) and had a cookies & cream protein shake.

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Seriously, where has cookies & cream protein powder been all my life?! It’s delicious! For this shake I wanted to keep my calories low, so I just put in 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, pinch Truvia, 1/2 scoop cookies & cream protein powder, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup ice cubes. It was super cold this morning, so my shake may not have been the best option for keeping me warm, haha! I actually looked out the window after my work out and it was snowing!

So I’ve been trying to get back into healthy eating, and have mostly been successful! I had a frontega chicken sandwich at Panera the other day with black bean soup and an apple. (Yes that is a Nora Roberts book in the background, I have been sucked into her books lately!)

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I was shocked it was only about 540 calories for the whole meal! I have also been putting in plenty of snuggle time with Chloe on my new bedding I got for Christmas. 🙂

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Jerk chicken tacos is the first recipe I have made out of my new Skinnytaste cookbook, and I have to say it did not disappoint!

They were delicious and I have been using the chicken for other things too, like salads. I put the chicken on my crunchy Thai peanut salad that I have made a zillion times and it worked perfectly!

Jerk Chicken Tacos (from Skinnytaste)

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp lime juice, 1 tbsp lime juice (divided)
  • 1 mango chopped
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • yellow corn tortillas (I used Mission)

Combine first 5 ingredients in crockpot, and cook on high for 2 hours. After chicken is done, shred or chop it, whichever you prefer. Combine mango, avocado, red onion, and salt and pepper to make salsa. Then, get a frying pan heated over medium-high heat and cook each tortilla until crispy and slightly browned. I cooked each side for about 45 seconds and then flipped it. Assemble tacos with tortilla, chicken, and salsa and you’re done!

I didn’t realize until I made this recipe how much lower the calories are if you eat yellow corn tortillas compared to the regular bleached flour ones. It’s a huge difference! Plus the corn ones have a great texture and flavor. I think we’re switching to these from now on!

 

Quinoa Enchilada Bake and Yoga!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Here lately I have been so busy with Christmas-y things that I have been slacking in the blogging department, haha! I think one of my gifts is glaring at me…

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This morning I had a delicious Green Pineapple Smoothie! Here lately I have been changing up my recipe a bit though, I’ve been adding more ice and more yogurt for thicker smoothies.

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I knew I was going to be eating out a couple of times today so I wanted to start the day off right. I also did some yoga to help stretch out my hamstrings. Running gets my lower back and hamstrings so tight, yoga is the only thing that helps. I LOVE this video, it always makes me feel “unstuck” for lack of a better term! 🙂

This week I made this Quinoa Enchilada Bake. It was SO good. It was probably the best quinoa dish I have ever made!

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It’s filling, cheesy, and full of flavor. Not to mention it’s something fun and different! Plus it’s super simple. I garnished mine with fresh avocado and roma tomato. The fresh veggies on top really made it shine, don’t skip them!

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Quinoa Enchilada Bake

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) diced green chiles
  • 3/4 can (19 oz) red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced (for garnish)
  • 1 roma tomato, diced (for garnish)

Rinse and cook quinoa with 2 cups of water according to package directions (I use a rice cooker). Once quinoa is cooked, combine in a large mixing bowl with corn, beans, chiles, enchilada sause, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Then stir in 1/2 cup of each cheese. Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 casserole dish and cover the top with remaining cheeses. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with avocado and tomato, and enjoy! 🙂

I did not use the entire can of sauce for this recipe because I thought it tasted better cut back a bit, but you can totally add the whole thing if you desire! This makes 6 servings, at 285 calories a piece. I know, holy moly. It is a lot of super filling food for very few calories! This is making it into my weekly rotation for sure. One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s stuff I usually have on hand anyway, so it’s a perfect weeknight meal that requires very little effort.

Have a healthy happy weekend y’all! 🙂

 

T25 and Easy Shredded Chicken

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! I have already watched about 4 Christmas movies and am going to get my Christmas tree tonight! Yaaaay Christmas time! 🌲 I put up my parent’s tree yesterday, with Sadie’s help! IMG_1111

Though there is one downside to this time of year- many of us put health and fitness on the back burner and eat pretty horribly! I think eating holiday treats is awesome! But it needs to be a part of a balanced diet, and we need to get some workouts in there too! When I’m celebrating with family I want to look and feel my best, so that includes getting in my workouts and eating healthy food when I can.

Last week I started back T25!


One thing you can always say about T25- it gets you sweating, and fast! I’m starting with Alpha and will probably only do it a couple weeks before moving on to Beta since it’s not super challenging for me. Plus I’ve been adding in runs when the weather is nice!

Now I have a recipe I may have shared before, it’s shredded chicken in the crockpot.


It’s super easy to make, and so versatile! I’ve used it in tacos, nachos, and my favorite: salads!


For this salad I have a bed of lettuce with shredded chicken, black beans, corn, cheese, broken up tortilla chips and a few dollops of plain Greek yogurt. Yummmm!

Easy Shredded Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Rotel (I use hot!)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning

Put all ingredients in crockpot, and cook on low 7-8 hours. Once done, shred with 2 forks and enjoy!

See? You can’t get any easier than that!

Cashew Noodle Salad

Happy Saturday! I’ve got another awesome new recipe, that is husband approved!

I got a recipe for a noodle salad here, and it is similar to a dish I eat at Vietnamese restaurants often and have a hard time recreating… until now!

Cashew Noodle Salad

My husband and I prefer to eat this dish cold, but you could certainly eat it warm if you prefer. I love all the different tastes and textures- fresh veggies, shredded chicken, creamy sauce, and noodles!

Cashew Noodle Salad

The best part is this recipe is super simple and quick. But most importantly, tasty and satisfying!

Cashew Noodle Salad

  • 1 pkg rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • about 2 cups fresh mixed veggies (I used baby spinach and chopped purple cabbage)
  • 2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded (or grilled, however you prefer!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews

Sauce ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup water (or more depending on desired thickness)

In a large bowl, toss the first 4 ingredients and set aside. In separate bowl, stir together sauce ingredients adding water a spoonful at a time until desired thickness is reached. Pour sauce over salad, and enjoy immediately or refrigerate and eat once everything is cold.

I loved this dish so much because it’s so simple, but full of flavor! Plus it really gets you out of a rut eating the same thing over and over, it’s fun to try new things! 🙂