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How to Make Easy and Healthy Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Crispy golden brown pork chops ready in less than 10 minutes! These easy pan-fried pork chops come together quickly, are bursting with flavor, low carb, and make for a perfect weeknight dinner.

Ease of Making: Medium

This pork chop recipe is prepared on the stovetop and uses thinly sliced boneless cuts that sear in a hot skillet with a beautiful golden-brown crust. It’s served on top of garlic mashed rutabaga mixed with spinach, a combo superfood side dish that is also a great low carb option to use instead of potatoes.

Pork often gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but choosing the right cut provides some health benefits. Some cuts can be high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and calories, but if you’re looking for a healthy option, always choose lean cuts such as tenderloin, loin chops, and sirloin roast. 

Lean cuts of pork are high in protein, low in fat, and have more B-Vitamins than other types of meats. B-vitamins that contribute to boosting energy by helping with metabolism and energy production. Pork also delivers iron that helps carry oxygen and potassium that helps regulate blood pressure. It provides all these essential nutrients, while still being about lean as chicken.

How to Cook Pan-Fried Pork Chops

  • Keep the seasoning simple and season both sides
  • Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat
  • Add oil and add the chops
  • Sear on each side for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F
  • Set it aside for a few minutes before slicing the pork

Meal prep tips for Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Rutabaga and Spinach

Pan-frying is a quick and easy cooking method to get the maximum flavor on proteins and sear in the juices. 

Pork chops are known for being classic comfort food, less expensive and fatty than beef, and relatively easy to prepare. However, lean cuts can often be tough due to its lower fat content. Therefore, using the right cooking technique is key.

Marinating your protein overnight can help tenderize lean cuts just like these pork chops and actually help speed up the cooking process.

Add oil to a hot pan (medium high heat). Prior to placing the pork chops in the pan, use paper towels to wipe off any excess marinade. This will help get a good golden brown sear and avoid it from steaming in the pan.

Add the pork chops to the pan and let them cook and sizzle. Cook on the first side for 3 minutes before flipping it over. You want the meat done and cooked all the way through, but because they are so thin, it should be quickly cooked. 

Pair them with a comforting side dish just like the garlic mashed rutabagas and spinach medley or check out our:

Pork chop side dishes:

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Rutabaga and Spinach Recipe

Crispy golden brown pork chops ready in less than 10 minutes! These easy pan-fried pork chops come together quickly, are bursting with flavor, low carb, and make for a perfect weeknight dinner.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Pork Chop and Marinade

  • 4 each small boneless pork chops (thinly sliced about 3 to 4 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Rutabaga and seasonings

  • 1 each small rutabaga
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 each garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil note: can use butter for more flavor

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise en Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, large saucepan, skillet, tongs, fork/potato masher
  • Marinate the pork chops with the seasonings. Preferably overnight, but at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • Peel the rutabaga and cut into chunks. Peel the garlic

Cooking Method:

  • Place the rutabaga in a saucepan with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low medium and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes until it is fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, add oil to a pan on medium high heat and sear the pork chops on each side for about 3 to 5 minutes until it is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 145F
  • Once the rutabaga cooks, drain it completely. Add the olive oil and seasonings and mash with a fork. Once it is mashed, mix in the spinach
  • Serve the pork chops on top of the mashed rutabaga. Eat and enjoy!

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Easy Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Kebabs are one of the tastiest dishes stacked with tender marinated meats and bright colored veggies. Not only do bell peppers and cherry tomatoes add great flavor to this dish, but they are also full of essential nutrients that are good for your health. Bell peppers and cherry tomatoes are great sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium. A diet rich in vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancers. The fibers help keep your digestive tract working properly. Along with being full of nutrients, they are low-calorie and deliver a satisfying bite.

Ease of Making: Easy

What I love about kebabs is that there are so many ways to make them and so many flavors from all over the world that you can incorporate. They are easy to make and can be cooked on a grill, in the oven, or in an air fryer just like these chicken kebabs. Serve them with your choice of sides such as a salad, in a pita, on top of a bed of rice pilaf, or additional veggies. 

Meal prep tips for Air Fryer Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs

The Air Fryer is great for meal prep. It is the perfect size for roasting veggies and cooks large portions of protein. Therefore, you can batch cook multiple food items without having to pre-heat the oven and waste all that oven space. 

The air fryer essentially is like an amped-up oven. The difference is that it has a fan and it utilizes a more compact space to facilitate fast cooking. The fan circulates the air around making food items crisp which is similar to what you could get from deep frying, minus the extra added fat. With normal baking ovens, there is a lot of humidity, so it’s difficult for an outer crisp to occur. 

Sometimes using a leaner cut of meat such as chicken breasts can result in dry tough meat. Which is why marinating your meats prior to cooking is a good technique to prevent it from drying out and making it chewy. Marinades have acidic components that help tenderize meats and make them juicy. They also help reduce the time of cooking. 

This recipe’s marinade incorporates some flavor spices such as paprika, cumin, turmeric powder, and minced garlic which all offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost immunity.

If you’re using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent them from scorching.

Layer the ingredients on the skewers and place them in the air fryer basket.

Side salads and pita bread with dip make great side dishes for kebabs.

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
  • 1 each red bell pepper
  • 1 each small red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Chicken marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey note: you can use agave nectar or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp juice of a lemon

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: skewers, cutting board, knife, air fryer (or oven)
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 10 minutes
  • Cut the chicken into 1.5 chunks. Mix together the marinade and marinate the chicken overnight or at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • If using the oven, preheat oven to 425F
  • Cut the bell peppers and red onion into chunks

Cooking Method:

  • Assemble the kebabs using skewers. Layer the chicken with the veggies.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook at 360F for 15-18 minutes (until internal temperature is 165F). If using the oven, cook for 20-25 minutes, until the outer edges are golden brown and chicken is cooked through an internal temperature of 165F)
  • Serve with your choice of sides and sauces. Examples: salad, pita, couscous, rice pilaf, or tortillas, etc

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Easy Air Fryer Steak Kebabs Recipe

Kebabs are such a fun and great meal that you can enjoy with friends or family. Everybody loves eating food on a stick, especially kiddos! It’s also a great way to pack flavor and healthy ingredients together on a skewer. 

Ease of Making: Easy

Kebabs are traditionally cooked on a skewer over a fire or baked in an oven so that it can roast.  Roasting is one of the healthiest ways to prepare your meals because it results in minimal losses of vitamins and nutrients.

Advantages of roasting:

  • Good quality meat is tender when roasted
  • Vegetables maintain their heart-healthy fiber and vitamins and minerals for fighting disease
  • Food is more appealing because it has a desirable texture and color by turning crispy and golden brown
  • Unlike stovetop methods such as sauteing or stir-frying, It is a cooking method that allows you to be hands-free and requires minimal involvement in the cooking process

Using a roasting pan in an oven is usually the best way to roast food because it allows the oven heat to reach as much of the surface of food as possible and allows the air to circulate. 

However, if you don’t have a roasting pan and don’t want to wait to heat up your large oven, then an air fryer will do perfectly. It has a basket that holds food similar to a roasting rack and the fan allows the air to circulate the heat evenly around the food giving it that golden brown crisp.

Meal prep tips for Air Fryer Beef Kebabs

  • Cooking beef kebabs in your air fryer not only saves you time, but cleanup is also incredibly easy, and it also tastes amazing.
  • Make sure to measure your air fryer to check that your skewers you are using actually fit inside of your air fryer. 6 to 8-inch skewers tend to fit best in most air fryers. And if you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to keep them from burning
  • When cutting veggies, make sure they are all the same size chunks the meat so that they all cook evenly. Use a variety of colorful vegetables like bell peppers and even add fruit such as pineapple
  • One of the best cuts of beef for kebabs is the Sirloin cut. It is relatively tender, lean, and fits into a balanced diet. In addition, it is budget-friendly. Other good beef choices are flat iron, strip steak, and even tenderloin.
  • Sometimes using a leaner cut of meat can result in dry tough meat. Therefore, marinating your meats prior to cooking is a good technique to prevent it from drying out and making it chewy. This marinade combines pantry friendly items such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dijon mustard, and spices such as oregano and garlic powder. One of the tasty components that result from marinating meat is getting that distinct flavor from a good golden brown crust when the protein cooks. Adding a sweet component such as honey yields in that delicious crust when cooked at high heat.

Air Fryer Beef Kebabs

Kebabs are such a fun and great meal that you can enjoy with friends or family. Everybody loves eating food on a stick, especially kiddos! It’s also a great way to pack flavor and healthy ingredients together on a skewer.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean top sirloin
  • 1 each yellow bell pepper
  • 1 each small red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Beef marinade:

  • 3 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar note: you can use honey, agave nectar or white sugar

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: skewers, cutting board, knife, air fryer (or oven)
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 10 minutes
  • Cut the beef into 1.5 inch chunks. Mix together the marinade and marinate the beef overnight or at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • If using the oven, preheat oven to 425F
  • Cut the bell peppers and red onion into chunks

Cooking Method:

  • Assemble the kebabs using skewers. Layer the beef with the veggies.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook at 400F for 8-10 minutes. If using the oven, cook for 10-12 minutes, until the outer edges are brown and beef is cooked through
  • Serve with your choice of sides and sauces. Examples: salad, pita, couscous, rice pilaf, or tortillas, etc

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Meal Prep Salmon With Butternut Squash Noodles

This Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles is easy and simply perfect for a light and refreshing weekday lunch. It’s a great low carb meal with minimal ingredients that you can make in less than 20 minutes.

Easy of Making: Easy

When it comes to eating healthy, it’s all about including a balance of proteins, veggies, smart carbs, and healthy fats. This meal delivers a powerhouse of nutrients that will help you meet your health goals.

Salmon is a great source of protein that will help you keep full longer. It is also rich in healthy fats such as Omega-3 Fatty acids which may promote weight loss and decrease belly fat. Salmon is also high in B Vitamins which is important in helping the food you eat into energy, creating and repairing DNA, and reducing inflammation that can lead to heart disease. It is also tasty, versatile, and widely available. 

This baked salmon is paired with a superfood medley of butternut squash spirals, cherry tomatoes, and arugula. Butternut squash is a low calorie, low carb, a sweet, and nutty ingredient that makes a great addition to many savory recipes and is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage and reduce inflammation which may reduce your risk of several chronic diseases. 

To add flavor and pack it with even more nutrients, we mixed it in with arugula that has a distinctive peppery flavor and a great source of calcium and folate. The addition of tart flavors from the cherry tomatoes pair well with the savory and nutty flavors of this recipe.

So not only is this recipe tasty, but it is also packed with nutrients to help you meet a healthy and balanced diet.

Meal Prep Tips for Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles:

How to pick the right salmon:

There are several types of salmon, such as pink salmon, red salmon, and Atlantic salmon. Any of these types can taste delicious in the oven. 

You do however want to make sure you choose a filet with firm flesh when you are buying at the store. When you gently press the fillet with your finger, it should spring back. You also want to avoid any fish that are dark around the edges or brown/yellow discoloration. And be sure to smell the fish. It should smell like saltwater or the sea smell and not have a strong fishy smell.

Baking salmon delivers soft, juicy, and tender salmon on the inside with crispy edges. 

The key to evenly cooking the fish is to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes until it comes to room temperature, otherwise, other parts of the fish might overcook while the other parts are still raw.

How to use frozen salmon:

If you are using frozen fish, be sure to let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and also allow it to come to room temperature before baking.

The great thing about salmon is that you don’t need a lot of seasonings to make it taste good. However, you don’t want to add salt too early, otherwise, it will draw out the moisture if left for an extended period of time. For best results, salt the salmon right before you place it in the oven to cook.

Fish cooks fairly quickly, however, cook time will vary depending on the thickness. The thickest part of the salmon should look opaque and the layers within the salmon should flake apart easily.

Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles

This Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles is easy and simply perfect for a light and refreshing weekday lunch. It’s a great low carb meal with minimal ingredients that you can make in less than 20 minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 12 oz salmon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Squash Noodles

  • 10 oz butternut squash noodles
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, sheet pan, parchment paper, skillet, tongs
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F
  • Mince garlic, slice cherry tomatoes in half
  • Marinate the salmon with the seasonings and olive oil. Place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Cooking Method:

  • Place salmon in the oven and bake it for 10-15 minutes
  • Add olive oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Saute the garlic and butternut squash noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. Add seasonings and continue to stir until butternut squash is tender
  • Add fresh tomatoes and arugula
  • Top off the noodles with shredded parmesan cheese
  • Serve the salmon on top of the noodles. Eat and enjoy!

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Easy Caribbean Chicken And Rice In The Oven

Oven-baked chicken and rice was a staple growing up in my household. I mean who doesn’t love baked chicken? My parents would whip up mouthwatering baked chicken thighs seasoned in a tasty rub served on top of fluffy soft rice. 

Ease of Making: Medium

This recipe adds an island flair using Caribbean spices such as allspice and cayenne pepper. It is served on top of turmeric-infused rice pilaf with sauteed aromatics such as onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic. 

And my favorite part of the dish is pairing it with diced pineapple. The sweet and tart flavors of the pineapple pair well the savory and spicy flavors of the Caribbean species. 

This is definitely a dish that is vibrant and full of flavor and a great twist on chicken and rice. 

Meal Prep Tips for Caribbean Chicken with Turmeric Rice Pilaf

Many recipes normally start with searing chicken on the stovetop and rendering out the fat to get it crispy and golden brown.

For this recipe, there is no need for that extra step because the seasoned chicken will roast in a hot oven and the oven will do all the work. 

If you want to keep it low fat, remove the skin or you can use boneless chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken thighs in this recipe. Just be sure to reduce the amount of time you cook the chicken by about 10-15 minutes. Use a thermometer to make sure that the chicken has cooked to an internal temperature of 165F,

What rice should I use?

Long grained white rice is what you normally would use for rice pilaf, but you can also swap it out for brown rice or barley which are great whole grain options. If you want to keep it low carb, then use cauliflower rice as an option.

Caribbean Chicken with Turmeric Rice Pilaf

This recipe adds an island flair using Caribbean spices such as allspice and cayenne pepper. It is served on top of turmeric-infused rice pilaf with sauteed aromatics such as onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (can use fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 4 each leg quarters
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Rice Pilaf

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grained rice (for low carb option: use 4 cups of cauliflower rice)
  • 2 cups water (omit if using cauliflower rice)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2 each cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, roasting rack, oven, sauce pot, spatula
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F. Marinate the chicken with the seasonings and coat with olive oil
  • Dice the onions and bell pepper. Chop the onions and mince the garlic.

Cooking Method:

  • Place the chicken in the oven for 35-45 minutes. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rice pilaf. Add oil to a pot on medium high heat.
  • Add the onions to the pot and saute until it softens and turns translucent, then add the garlic, bell peppers.
  • Next, add the rice and seasonings. Mix well until the rice is toasted and fully coated with the seasonings. Then add the green onions.
  • Pour in the water and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the leat to low heat and let it simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender. (Note: If you are using cauliflower rice, omit the water. Just saute the cauliflower rice on medium high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes until it is cooked and tender)
  • Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork.
  • Serve the chicken with the rice pilaf. Top it off with fresh pineapple. Eat and enjoy!

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Easy Caribbean Chicken with Turmeric Rice Pilaf. This dish hits all the right spots with notes of sweet and savory flavors, coupled with a delicious rice side.

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Easy Air Fryer Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

Our Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken is the perfect mix of a sticky and sweet sauce coupled with deliciously crispy and healthy fried chicken. We use chicken thighs in this air fryer recipe but you could easily adjust to chicken breast or wings if you’d like. Our chicken teriyaki marinade is made up of classic Asian flavors like soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and honey. All of which combine to provide the perfect teriyaki taste for your dish.

Ease of Making: Medium

We’ve paired our teriyaki chicken with one of our favorite sauteed bok choy recipes, that is loaded with minerals and vitamins. Most notably Bok Choy is high in Vitamin C, K and A. This antioxidant rich vegetable may also reduce your risk of heart disease, fights inflammation and has anti-cancer properties.

Another great side dish for teriyaki chicken is our cauliflower fried rice, which is low in carbs but high in flavor. This recipe combines similar flavors and ingredients of the marinade and would go well with any piece of teriyaki chicken you make in the air fryer. 

How to Cook Teriyaki Chicken Using an Air Fryer

Teriyaki chicken is easy to conquer in the air fryer. All you have to do is place your marinated chicken in the air fryer and press the chicken setting on your fryer to cook.

How to Prepare Bok Choy

Many of you may be wondering, “what is bok choy?” If you’re not familiar with this cruciferous vegetable, it is in the same vegetable family as some more common veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale. This group of vegetables is most known for their cancer fighting qualities, low caloric value and high densities of vitamins K, C, E and fiber. 

How to Cut Bok Choy

Bok choy may look like a strange cousin to your average head of romaine lettuce but prepping this vegetable isn’t much different. 

  1. First, you’ll want to rinse your bok choy
  2. Remove the thick white stems by cutting them off with a knife
  3. Gather your bok choy leaves and cut into 1-inch strips

Meal Prep Tips for Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

  1. Marinate your meat for extra flavor and tenderness. By making your teriyaki marinated chicken ahead, you can have your meat soak up all the sauce for an extended amount of time for extra flavor. 
  2. Save some sauce. If you make your meat marinade ahead, save some on the side to brush your chicken with after it has cooked for a sweet and sticky glaze.
  3. Remove the fat from chicken thighs. If you’re looking for a recipe a little lower in fat, try removing the skin from your thigh.

Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken With Sauteed Bok Choy

Our Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken is the perfect mix of a sticky and sweet sauce coupled with deliciously crispy and healthy fried chicken. We use chicken thighs in this air fryer recipe but you could easily adjust to chicken breast or wings if you’d like. Our chicken teriyaki marinade is made up of classic asian flavors like soy sauce, ginger, garlic and honey. All of which combine to provide the perfect teriyaki taste for your dish.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Teriyaki Chicken

  • 4 pieces chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or coco aminos)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Bok Choy

  • 4 cups chopped bok choy
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, air fryer/oven, skillet/wok
  • if using oven: pre-heat to 400F
  • Marinate the chicken with all the seasonings for at least 30 minutes

Cooking Method:

  • Place the chicken in the air fryer and cook on the chicken setting. (Note: if using the oven, cook for 35-45 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F)
  • While the chicken is cooking, add olive oil to a skillet/wok on medium high heat.
  • Add the green onions and saute until they soften. Then add the bok choy and season with garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Keep stirring until the bok choy softens. At the end, drizzle with sesame oil and mix well.
  • Serve the chicken with the bok choy. Eat and enjoy!

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Grilled Zesty Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans

Our Grilled Zesty Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans is a modern twist on a classic Mexican favorite, cilantro lime chicken. Using two sauces from one of our favorite Whole 30 condiment companies, Saucy Lips, this easy to make chicken recipe is packed full of nutrients and flavors and comes together in under 30 minutes.  Cilantro is commonly combined with chicken for seasoning and in marinades in southwestern, Mexican and Caribbean dishes. 

Ease of Making: Medium

Cilantro, also known as coriander, has many health benefits and is great for high blood sugar and type 2 diabetic diets. Although, the seeds, oils and extracts from coriander are so effective at lowering blood sugar that those with diabetes or on diabetes medication should practice caution when using this powerful plant. 

Our main protein in this easy cilantro recipe, chicken, is also loaded with nutritional benefits and is more cost effective than most other proteins. Chicken is a lean meat that provides a high amount of protein to help keep bones strong and build muscles. It is also a powerhouse provider of B6, which can help reduce the amount of homocysteine, one of the key components linked to heart attacks. If you’re looking for a heart healthy protein, this is it.

Meal Prep Tips for Grilled Zesty Cilantro with Rice and Beans

It is healthy to eat rice and beans together because they combine both carbs and proteins while being low in fat. In fact, many people around the world eat this as a tool for survival. While you cannot live off rice and beans for the long term, these dishes do provide a fantastic protein source and 9 amino acids. 

How to make black beans and rice:

  1. Heat oil and saute green onions until translucent
  2. Add rice and season, stir until rice is fully coated
  3. Add beans and water
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked

How many cups are in a can of beans:

Our recipe calls for one cup of beans, your average 15oz can of beans hold 1.75 cups of beans drained. So if you’re looking for extra ways to use your beans, try them in a soup, quesadilla, or on a salad. 

Grilled Zesty Cilantro with Rice and Beans

A quick and easy Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe. The chicken is perfectly grilled on the outside and bursting with juices and flavor from the marinade on the inside.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Chicken and Marinade

Rice and Beans

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup kidney beans (or use your choice of beans: black beans, pinto beans, etc)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, bowl, grill pan, tongs, sauce pan, spatula
  • Chop the green onions and cilantro
  • Marinate the chicken with the sauces and seasonings for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking

Cooking Method:

  • Heat a grill pan to high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the chicken to the pan. Lower the heat to medium high heat. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes on the first side to develop dark grill marks
  • Then, flip the chicken using tongs to cook the other side for 5 to 6 minutes. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F
  • Then, remove the chicken and let it rest before cutting it into bite size pieces
  • While the chicken is grilling, start cooking the rice by adding oil to a sauce pan on medium high heat. Add the green onions and saute until they soften and turn translucent
  • Next, add the rice and season with garlic powder and salt. Mix the rice well until it is fully coated with the oil and lightly toasts. Then add the beans
  • Pour the water and bring it to a boil. Once it comes a boil, cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low heat. Simmer the rice for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender
  • Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and mix in fresh cilantro
  • Serve rice with the chicken and enjoy!

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How To Make Shrimp Soba Noodle Salad

shrimp soba noodles

Shrimp soba noodle salad is one of our favorite Japanese recipes and is incredibly easy-to-make, so it’s perfect for beginners. The soba noodle is in an underrated noodle that falls second to ramen in popularity and use. However, this buckwheat based noodle is as versatile as it is healthy, move over ramen there’s a new noodle in town. 

Ease of Making: Easy

Soba noodles are one of the healthiest types of noodles as they are gluten-free, low fat and high in both protein and fiber. One cup of cooked soba noodles contains 6 grams of protein which is essential to building muscle, and producing hemoglobin to keep your immune system healthy. 

The shrimp in this recipe coupled with the soba, provides even more protein. Shrimp is a powerhouse food if you’re on a diet because it’s high in protein but low in carbs, calories and fats. Shrimp contains a wide variety of nutrients including antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids which have shown to improve heart health. 

How to Cook Soba Noodles 

If you’re wondering how to make soba noodles, there are several steps you can take to ensure you get it right. Soba noodles are extremely versatile and can be served both hot or cold depending on which soba noodle recipe you’re following. The noodles in the recipe will be warm after cooking but will cool as you rinse them and  add in the ingredients for the sauce. You can eat this warm or chilled as a prepped item for the week. 

Step 1: Pick a big enough pot so your noodles have room to move around.

Step 2: Don’t salt your pasta water. 

Step 3: Cook for a short amount of time. Soba noodles only need a maximum of 7 minutes (depending on how much you are cooking) in the water before they should be removed. The majority of soba noodles will cook in 3-5 minutes depending on their thickness. You’re aiming for an al dente noodle. Try testing out the noodles at the five minute mark to see how they are coming along. 

Step 4: Rinse! Soba noodles can stick together and form a gummy clump of noodle mess if you don’t immediately rinse the starch from the pasta after cooking. Leave your soba noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water for at least a minute while you whirl them around your pot. Your water should run clear before stopping your rinse.

Step 5: Drain, serve and enjoy!

Soba Noodle FAQ

What are soba noodles? 

Soba noodles are noodles made from buckwheat and whole wheat flours. Soba, is the Japanese word for buckwheat, a food many consider a superfood due to its ability to improve heart health, promote weight loss, and help manage diabetes. This type of a noodle has a mild nutty, earthy taste. 

Where to buy soba noodles?

Dried soba noodles can be found in most grocery stores in the international foods aisle. Look for a noodle that is similar in appearance to spaghetti but slightly flatter and brown in color. 

If you live in an area with a specialty asian food market, keep an eye out for fresh soba noodles which are fantastic as well. 

Do soba noodles have egg in them?

As a general rule, soba noodles are considered vegan and do not have egg. However, there are brands that may include egg so always be sure to check the label. 

Should you rinse soba noodles?

Without a doubt, you want to rinse your soba noodles. This removes excess starch and prevents a big sticky mess.

Are soba noodles bad for you?

Soba noodles are a healthier option than most other pasta options. However, there are some brands that use more refined wheat flour than buckwheat and those would be considered less nutritious. 

How do you cook soba noodles so they don’t stick?

Choose a pot that is large enough to give them plenty of room to move around and rinse them immediately after cooking with cold water. 

Can you use soba noodles for spaghetti?

Sure, you could! Soba noodles are similar to spaghetti in shape and function but will have a nuttier taste than a traditional pasta. 

Meal prep tips for Shrimp Soba Noodle Salad

Our chilled soba noodle recipe is the perfect grab-and-go option for a quick, healthy meal. Here are some tips to make it even better. 

  • If you like your shrimp warm but the salad cool, store them separately in the fridge. You can then reheat the shrimp and toss them in your already chilled salad. 
  • Rinse your noodles. We’ve repeated this multiple times because it’s important.
  • Don’t overcook them. Soba noodles should be served al dente or they can become mushy. Taste your noodles as they cook in an effort to prevent this from happening. 
  • Sub low-sodium soy sauce. If you’re watching your sodium intake, this is a flawless substitution to make this recipe even healthier. 
  • Add in other vegetables like broccoli, snap peas, or carrots. These all make for a great crunch alongside the slippery noodles and shrimp.

Shrimp Soba Noodle Salad

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pre-cooked frozen shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 8 oz soba noodles
  • 1.5 cups frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 each red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: knife, cutting board, boiling pot
  • Start boiling water
  • Defrost shrimp and edamame according to packaged instructions
  • Dice bell pepper into small pieces

Cooking Method:

  • Boil soba noodles for 7 minutes until al dente. Drain the noodles in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Then, place the noodle mixture in a bowl. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, and olive oil to the bowl. Mix well
  • Then top it off with the shrimp, edamame, and bell pepper. Eat and enjoy!

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Asian Glazed Salmon With Kale and Squash

There are many recipes you can use to prepare salmon, but one that never disappoints is an Asian baked salmon recipe. Our version of this is a baked sesame ginger salmon. The marinated salmon soaks up the flavors of the ginger sesame dressing and it is then baked to perfection in the oven alongside seasoned kale and butternut squash. This quick-and-easy salmon recipe also only uses one pan, which may be an even better benefit than the high sources of fiber and healthy fats you’ll find throughout this dish. We’ll take our Omega-3s with a clean kitchen any day. 

Ease of Making: Easy

All jokes aside, there truly are countless nutritional benefits to this meal. Salmon is packed with omega-3s, protein, B vitamins, potassium and more. It has also been known to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, joint problems and other medical issues or conditions. 

Then we have our kale and butternut squash, each nutrient dense on their own. Kale is known as one of the healthiest and nutritious foods on the planet, due to its low calorie content and high volume of vitamins and antioxidants. Kale has been linked to protection against diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and benefits digestion, skin, hair, eyes and more. 

Butternut squash didn’t want kale and salmon to have all the fun when it comes to benefiting your health, this winter vegetable is a great source of fiber, vitamins (A,C, B, E), calcium, magnesium and zinc

How to Cook Salmon

Salmon can be cooked in a multitude of ways; oven, stovetop, air fryer, broiled, etc. Each recipe may call for a different variation of cooking method. However, no matter the cooking method here’s a guide for getting your ideal doneness on the inside of the fish.

Salmon Temperature Guide

CookInternal Temperature
Rare120℉
Medium Rare125℉
Medium130℉
Medium Well135℉
Well Done140℉
Please note that the USDA recommends that salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145F to ensure food safety (measured with a cooking thermometer in the thickest part of the filet). Consuming salmon that does not reach the internal temperature of 145F can increase the risk of being exposed to foodborne illness. 

Salmon FAQ

What is a good side dish with salmon?

If kale and butternut squash doesn’t do the trick for you, try our Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Green Beans or Sautéed Brussel Sprouts.

What is the healthiest way to cook salmon?

Broiling is one of the healthiest ways to cook salmon, unlike some other fish, salmon’s natural oils prevent the fish from drying out when cooked this way. This cooking method also doesn’t require the addition of any fats like oil. 

Do you rinse salmon before cooking?

Depending on the freshness of your fish you may want to rinse it and pat dry. Fresh or hardly aged salmon is fine without a rinse. 

Do you season salmon before cooking?

Yes, but you want to season immediately before baking as salt can start to break down the proteins and draw out the moisture in salmon if it sits too long. 

Butternut Squash and Kale FAQ

How long to cook?

Cooking Time for Butternut Squash at 400F

CutTime
Butternut squash halved50-60 minutes
Butternut squash cubed35-45 minutes
Butternut squash diced15-20 minutes

Can you eat butternut squash without cooking it?

Yes, butternut squash can be consumed raw. Many people find that they like putting it in salads or smoothies. However, butternut squash contains a lot of beta-carotene which is easier to absorb once heated. 

Do I need to peel butternut squash before roasting?

Depending on the recipe you may not need to peel the butternut squash before roasting. This recipe calls for dicing the squash in small portions so that it can cook at the same pace as the salmon and kale, so it will need to be peeled.

How long does cooked butternut squash last?

Cooked squash can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator and up to 3-4 months in the freezer for best quality.

How long does fresh butternut squash last?

A whole butternut squash with the skin still on should be kept outside of the refrigerator and can last an entire month in the right conditions. 

What is kale good for?

Besides this recipe, kale makes a perfect addition to salads, smoothies, omelets, breakfast scrambles and more. 

How many calories are in kale?

There are 8 calories in one cup of chopped raw kale, and 33 calories in one cup of cooked kale. 

How much protein in kale?

There are 0.7 grams of protein in one cup of chopped raw kale, and 2.5 grams  in one cup of cooked kale. 

How to tell if kale is bad?

As kale ages you will notice the leaves start to wilt and turn brown. If the decomposition goes further, your kale will turn into a liquid brown mush and likely start to leak out it’s bag. 

Meal prep tips for Baked Sesame Ginger Salmon 

  • Switch up your sides – if there are just too many nutrient-dense ingredients in this recipe for you, try switching up the sides. Rice and broccoli would make perfect pairs with this salmon. 
  • Broil it – If you like your salmon to have a nice crisp outer layer, try broiling it for the last five minutes of the baking process.

Baked Sesame Ginger Salmon with Kale & Butternut Squash

An easy, heart-healthy recipe featuring omega 3 rich salmon, alongside butternut squash and kale
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 12 oz salmon
  • 5 oz baby kale
  • 5 oz butternut squash (diced small)
  • 3 tbsp sesame ginger salad dressing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: sheet pan, parchment paper, cutting board, knife, mixing bowl, tongs
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F
  • if needed: dice butternut squash into small pieces
  • line sheet pan with parchment paper

Cooking Method:

  • Place salmon on a sheet pan. Marinate it with 1 tbsp of the sesame ginger salad dressing
  • In a mixing bowl, add the baby kale and squash. Add 2 tbsp of sesame ginger salad dressing, 1 tbsp of olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well until everything is fully coated.
  • Place the baby kale mix on the same sheet pan and spread it out evenly.
  • Bake everything in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the salmon has fully cooked.
  • Remove from the oven. Eat and enjoy!

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How To Make Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

pineapple chicken stir fry

Stir-frys are a weekday favorite no matter what you put inside. They are great because you can typically take items that you have on hand, throw them in a pan to get cooking and have a quick, full meal in a matter of minutes. For this stir fry recipe, we opted to go with a tangy pineapple chicken combo that features peppers as well. Pineapple and red peppers are too flavors you see a lot together, think chicken kebabs. 

Ease of Making: Easy

Stir-frys are also great for substitutions if you don’t have one of the ingredients in your fridge or freezer. No chicken? No problem! Sub in any protein like beef, shrimp, tofu, etc to pull this dish together. 

Some of our other favorite stir fry recipes include: Soba Noodle Chicken Stir Fry, Ground Beef Stir Fry and Sheet Pan Chicken Stir Fry. 

How To Make Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Making chicken stir fry from scratch is as easy as throwing the chicken and vegetable you’ve got lying around in a pan and cooking until perfection. Diced chicken breast is commonly found in stir frys but we’ve opted to use a chicken thigh to impart more flavor and tenderness in our dish. 

How to Cook Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

First, start by seasoning your chicken and cut it into small pieces. Then cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Next, you’ll want to add in the stir fry sauce from the next step, top with your bell peppers and sesame oil and enjoy. 

How to Make Homemade Stir Fry Sauce

Making stir fry sauce from scratch is as easy as combining several classic Asian pantry items together in your dishes like hoisin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Hoisin is a thick Chinese sauce that is salty and sweet in flavor. Many people use it to make Chinese inspired sauces or as a dipping sauce for proteins and vegetables. Sesame oil is extremely powerful in taste so it’s best to add in small amounts or you’ll end up what tastes overwhelming like sesame and coat your mouth in the oil. 

To make the sauce: simply add your hoisin and soy sauce to the pan of cooking chicken and bring to a boil while it thickens. 

Meal Prep Tips for Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

  • Serve up our pineapple chicken stir fry with a variety of sides like rice, cauliflower rice, noodles or even put it in a lettuce wrap for a fantastic low carb option. 
  • Cut all your vegetables the same size to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a thinly cut piece of chicken or chunks of chicken. This helps reduce cook time and gets those warm pineapple bits of stir fry to your mouth even sooner. 
  • Use canned or fresh pineapple in this recipe instead of frozen. 

Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 each red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, saute pan, spatula
  • Dice your red bell pepper and onions into small chunks
  • Cut your chicken into small pieces

Cooking Method:

  • Add oil to a heated pan on medium high heat.
  • Saute the onions until they soften. Then, add the chicken and season with garlic powder and salt.
  • Continue to stir the chicken until it turns golden brown on all sides. (cook for 5 to 7 minutes)
  • Then, add the soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Continue to cook until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • At the end, add the red bell peppers and pineapple. Sprinkle with sesame oil and mix well.
  • Enjoy with rice or noodles (use cauliflower rice or squash spirals for low carb option). You could also serve this on top of a lettuce wrap.

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