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Fast and Healthy Recipes

menu 6

After a week of holiday meals, we are cleansing our palates with some citrus-flavored dishes. We could probably use a burst of freshness after all the comfort meals that we enjoyed last week! Citrus flavors have a unifying quality and bring crisp and refreshing flavors to meals. The best part is that they blend well with many different flavors and cuisines. Citrus fruits are also rich in multiple nutrients like vitamin C which help boost your immune system. We are bringing some zest to this season with a variety of simple recipes. 

Menu Breakdown

Breakfast Recipe One: Scrambled Eggs with Pork Carnitas and Pico de Gallo

Anytime we make a batch of pork carnitas, it’s always a good idea to set aside extra carnitas for breakfast. Eating the chewy shredded carnitas with soft scrambled eggs and fresh pico de gallo for breakfast is so satisfying. You can easily serve this meal between warm tortillas or even with a side of beans. If you have any extra veggies, such as bell peppers and potatoes, throw those in a skillet and serve them all together. You can also prepare your eggs soft and runny instead of scrambled eggs. Other toppings that will go well with this dish are fresh avocado, salsa, and cheese.

scrambled eggs and pork

Breakfast Recipe Two: Cranberry Orange Oat Muffin Bars

These tasty muffins are healthy and aren’t overly sweet with tangy pops of cranberries infused with citrus orange flavors. These muffins have oats that are 100% whole grain which digests slowly giving you energy throughout the morning. If you make a large batch, you can freeze these and thaw them out for later when you are in the mood for muffins. You can always pop them in the microwave and warm them quickly. They are also portable and make for a healthy on the go snack. 

cranberry muffins

Lunch Recipe One: Grilled Ginger Lime Chicken Salad with Mango Salsa

This ginger cilantro lime chicken is so simple to make. While the citrus-marinated chicken can stand on its own, we decided to pack it with more flavor with delicious mango salsa. The sweetness of the mango pairs perfectly with the tangy lime flavors and also the fresh herbs with the cilantro. We serve this with a bed of spring mix, but you can also serve this over cilantro rice or quinoa for an amazing meal. 

grilled chicken salad

Lunch Recipe Two: Grilled Orange Chili Steak with Orange Salsa

Flank steak is known for its hearty, beefy flavor. We marinated the steak with a citrus marinade and chili rub and topped it off with a flavorful orange salsa. We recommend using clementine segments since they are easier to peel and tend to be more juicy, sweet, and less acidic than other oranges. You can also serve the steak pieces in tortillas or on top of a bed of rice pilaf. You can easily turn this meal into a taco salad with extra veggies such as bell peppers, cucumbers, corn, and black beans. 

grilled steak salad

Dinner Recipe One: Pork Carnitas Tostadas

This is one meaty, rich, and savory dish with a burst of tangy flavors from the fresh limes and oranges. It’s so moist and tender and goes well on top of a crispy golden tostada. Once you shred the pork carnitas, you can also lay it flat across a sheet pan and put it under the broiler to crisp it up for extra flavor and texture. You can prep the pork the night before to get ahead. Feel free to customize these tostadas with your own toppings. If you’re looking for heat, you can add fresh jalapenos. Add acidic flavors by adding pickled red onions. We served this with a side salad, but you can also serve it with your favorite veggies or coleslaw. If you have extras or leftovers, you can save them for sandwiches. 

pork tostadas

Dinner Recipe Two: Air Fryer Orange Soy Glazed Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

When you think of air fryers you typically think of air fryer french fries or air fryer chicken strips and recipes that we normally throw in a deep fry. However, the air fryer does so much more. We marinated our chicken thighs with an Asian inspired citrus soy glaze marinade. The chicken thighs come out so juicy on the inside with the perfect crisp on the outside. They are perfect with a side of veggies or steamed rice. When you’re in a pinch for time, this is a healthier version of takeout with no deep frying and no added sugar and it can be made in just 20 minutes.

asian chicken thighs

Meal Planning and Preparation Tips

  • For this meal plan, we incorporated ingredients that overlapped throughout the meals. Therefore, we decided to use citrus ingredients such as lime and orange to be the shining star for flavors since they go well with many different cuisines. 
  • We also incorporated recipes that use the same meal preparation. For example, we used the prep technique of marinating our protein for our lunch salads. Then, we cooked them first on the grill pan to add a crispy char flavor, followed by transferring it to a sheet pan to finish cooking in the oven.
  • We also took advantage of two appliances (the Instant pot and Air Fryer) for two recipes. These appliances allow for low maintenance cooking so that that we can focus on other things in the kitchen.
  • For meal appeal, we topped things off with fresh pico de gallo versions with added fruit such as mango and fresh oranges throughout our meals.

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