August 22, 2017

Simply Sauteed Baby Artichokes

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August 21, 2017

Clean Eating Turkey And Veggie Chili Recipe Video

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August 21, 2017

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs can be made on the grill or in the oven and are packed with flavor from a delicious homemade marinade with fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and paprika.

When it comes to weekend entertaining, I absolutely love firing up the grill and preparing our meal outside. Now to be totally honest, a big part of this is because it means I don't have to do all the cooking. There is always someone happy to take on the grilling duties and I can sit back and relax, preferably with a glass of wine. So this past weekend when we had some friends over for, I purposely prepped these kabobs ahead of time along with a simple corn salad, guacamole, and baked chips. This guaranteed that once things got started, I could sit back and enjoy instead of running around the kitchen.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs marinated and ready to cooked.

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, kabobs really are one of the best options. Not only can they be prepped ahead of time, they feel a little fancier than simple grilled chicken and don't take that much extra work. Just marinate your favorite, add some veggies, and you are ready for a delicious meal. Now when it comes to these kabobs, they are kind of reminiscent of chicken fajitas but packed with more lime and cilantro. To keep the flavors mild for everyone, I didn't add any chili pepper, but you could add a jalapeno or some chili powder to the marinade as well.

Here are some ways to mix things up when making these Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs:

  • Chicken breast is a popular choice when it comes to protein but you can definitely use chicken thighs, beef, or even pork for these kabobs. I imagine tofu would work as well, just make sure to press it first to remove any extra moisture.
  • Since I knew a few of our guests aren't the biggest vegetable eaters, I kept things simple with bell peppers and onions. However you can pack in more veggies to make it even tastier. Consider adding zucchini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, or asparagus.
  • For a little sweetness, throw some fresh pineapple in the mix. Just thread it on the skewers along with the other ingredients and prepare to fall in love with the grilled sweet pineapple flavor.
  • To make things spicier, add some chili powder or a fresh jalapeno to the marinade. If you like a sweeter marinade, you can also add some honey or brown sugar.
  • If you have time, marinate these kabobs for 4 hours or more before cooking them. This really gives the chicken time to soak up the marinade and it will lead to a more tender cooked chicken.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs with a marinade of fresh lime, cilantro, and garlic.

Looking for more kabob recipes:

Here are some products and tools I used when making these Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs

  • If you don't have a gas or charcoal grill at home, a grill pan is a great option for grilling indoors. I used one for years when I lived in an apartment that didn't allow grills. The two that I use most often are this nonstick version and this cast iron version. The nonstick is great for easy clean-up but the cast iron will give you deeper grill marks and more smoky flavor.
  • When it comes to food processors, I absolutely love mine and have had it for years without a single problem. The blades stay nice and sharp and it works for everything including being an awesome slicer. I wasn't sure about investing in a more expensive model but it has been worth every penny.
Calories 265, Total Fat 9g, Total Carbohydrate 11g, Protein 33g, Serving Size 1 kabob

August 17, 2017

Healthy Homemade Frozen Burritos

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Healthy Homemade Frozen Burritos are one of my secret weapons when it comes to easy, quick meals. Packed with all your favorite ingredients, these delicious burritos are so much better than what you can buy in stores and can be popped out of the freezer at any time for a hearty meal that's ready in 3 minutes.

As we continue diving into Back to School recipes, these homemade frozen burritos rank up there as one of my favorites. Not only are they much healthier than the store bought varieties, they also are much more affordable and you can make up a huge batch to keep in the freezer in less than an hour. Plus it's really easy to mix up the flavors and make burrito combos that everyone in your family will love.

Now while I am going to share a specific frozen burrito recipe packed with corn, black beans, peppers, and quinoa, you can really make these with any of your favorite ingredients. I like to set out a whole array of ingredients and make up different combinations so that we always have a good selection in the freezer.

Choosing your fillings for Healthy Homemade Frozen Burritos

  • Tortillas: I have tried all kind of tortillas for freezer burritos and a traditional flour tortilla or low carb tortilla (like the ones from Ole) work best. Look for one that is thin and pliable so that it won't tear when you roll it. The key here is choosing a tortilla that won't rip when you add the toppings. Having the tortilla at room temperature when it's time for assembly also helps ensure it won't tear.
  • Beans: You can use virtually any store bought canned beans or homemade beans here. Black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, chickpeas, or even lentils are all good options. Just make sure to drain any excess liquid before adding them to your burritos. And if beans aren't your thing, just leave them out.
  • Whole grains: Some people love the idea of rice in their burritos and other fervently oppose it. For those who want rice, try and go with a whole grain option like brown rice. I like to season mine up with cilantro and lime juice. You can also use quinoa, farro, or cauliflower rice for a lower carb, veggie packed option. To keep it quick and easy, consider buying precooked rice.
  • Veggies: I am always looking for ways to sneak extra veggies into our meals so these burritos are no exception. You can use raw or cooked veggies in your burritos, but I find cooked veggies work better most of the time. Consider adding cooked zucchini, mushrooms, summer squash, broccoli, or cauliflower. The exceptions to this are bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It's really a personal preference when it comes to those but if you opt for the raw version, I recommend cutting them nice and small.
  • Protein: Chicken, beef, shredded pork, ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, tofu, tempeh - anything works. Make sure your protein is cooked before adding it to the burritos and if you are using a slow cooked meat, make sure there isn't too much liquid since that will cause the tortilla to tear. Here are some great slow cooker options for protein: Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga, Slow Cooker Chicken in Salsa Verde, Slow Cooker Shredded Beef, Slow Cooker Carnitas.
  • Cheese: Shredded cheese tends to work best in these freezer burritos since it is easy to distribute and will melt evenly when you reheat the burrito. Think outside the box here as well. While traditional cheeses like mozzarella and cheddar are great, try using feta or goat cheese for a more interesting flavor combination.
  • Salsa: Normally I like to add salsa to the burritos after they are reheated since you don't want too much liquid in the burrito before it freezes. However sometimes I do add some pico de gallo, enchilada sauce, or a thick salsa to the burritos before freezing.
  • Extras: You will almost always find some fresh cilantro and diced onion in my freezer burritos. It adds a nice touch of freshness. For extras like guacamole and sour cream, I prefer to add them once the burrito is reheated since it can make for a soggy burrito when it's frozen.

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Homemade Frozen Burritos reheat in just 2-3 minutes.

Assembling your Healthy Homemade Frozen Burritos

  • Temperature: It's important that your tortillas are room temperature or even a little warm before making the burritos. Cold tortillas will tear. When it comes to fillings, make sure they are room temperature or even a little cold. This will also prevent the tortillas from tearing.
  • Fillings: Although almost any filling will work, avoid anything that is too wet. Wet fillings are more likely to cause the tortilla to tear or will seep out the edges while it freezer. Also make sure not to overfill the burrito.
  • Assembly line: I find the best way to make a big batch is to create an assembly line and get your family involved. Place all the toppings out in bowls and just pile them in to create an array of delicious burritos. Just make sure to label the individual burritos so you know whats inside.
  • School lunches: Depending on what fillings you use, these burritos can be delicious at room temperature making them a great option for school lunches. Just pull the burrito out of the freezer and place in the fridge the night before so they begin to defrost. Then pop them in a lunchbox the next morning. By the time lunch time rolls around, they will be completely defrosted and room temperature.
  • Rolling the burrito: Check out this video if you need help rolling your freezer burritos.

Homemade Frozen Burrito packed with quinoa, black beans, and corn.

Calories 370, Total Fat 10g, Total Carbohydrate 58g, Protein 16g, Serving Size 1 burrito

August 15, 2017

Frozen Oatmeal Cups

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Frozen Oatmeal Cups will be your best friend on busy mornings. They take no time to make and are packed with good-for-you ingredients that will keep you feeling energized all morning.

Unfortunately busy mornings are the reality for most and this couldn't be more true for many families with school starting. And while I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes oatmeal is too hard to make, sometimes it just is. Getting out the measuring cups, watching to make sure the bowl doesn't overflow in the microwave, cutting up fruit, and gathering toppings from the pantry can take way longer than I have. On those morning, I pull out these simple freezer oatmeal cups and we're good to go. A healthy breakfast in about two minutes.

Frozen Oatmeal Cups ready to be put in the freezer.

The other thing I love about these frozen oatmeal cups are that they are incredibly versatile. There are so many different ways to make them and you can make multiple flavors all in one batch.

  • Oatmeal: You can use regular old fashioned oats or steel cut oats for this recipe. I don't recommend using instant or quick cooking oats since they will get gummy after being cooked and reheated. And if you want to get really creative you can mix the oats with some whole grains like quinoa, sorghum, or farro.
  • Liquid: Use whatever type of liquid you like with your oatmeal. I like a thicker, creamier oatmeal so I always use milk and usually opt for almond or cashew milk.
  • Sweetener: I like to add the sweetener while I am cooking the oats so that it is evenly distributed throughout the oats. You can use brown sugar, honey, agave, or maple syrup. And for a more natural sweetener use mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, or date paste. One trick is to look for baby food purees of different fruits. These normally have no added sugar and are a great way to sweeten oats and add flavor.
  • Spices: There are so many different spices you can add to oatmeal. The most common are cinnamon and nutmeg but you can also use ground ginger, cardamom, turmeric, or cloves.
  • Boost the nutrients: I am always looking to boost the nutrition of my morning oats so I pretty much always add chia seeds and flax seeds. You can also add protein powder, maca powder, cacao nibs, collagen, or any other nuts, seeds, or powders.
  • Nuts and Nut Butters: Adding nuts and nut butters is a great way to add protein to your morning oats. Usually I add a good scoop of almond butter to the oats while I am cooking them or if I want to switch up the flavors, I just add it into the muffin cups before freezing. It will melt in the microwave and can be stirred throughout the oatmeal.
  • Fresh Fruit and Dried Fruit: No matter how I have my oats, you can also rest assured there is fruit involved. Usually I opt for fresh fruit but sometimes I use frozen or dried fruit as well. Whatever fruit you choose, it can be added right to the oatmeal cup before freezing and it's fun to make a bunch of different combinations so you don't get bored with your morning oats.

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Frozen oatmeal cups out the of freezer.

Looking for other healthy oatmeal recipes:

Here are some of the products I recommend using for this Frozen Oatmeal Cups

Frozen oatmeal cups packed up in a ziploc and ready for the freezer.

Calories 150, Total Fat 4g, Total Carbohydrate 25g, Protein 4g, Serving Size 1/2 cup

August 14, 2017

Easy Chopped Detox Salad Recipe

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August 14, 2017

How-To Make Pumpkin Puree – Clean & Delicious

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August 14, 2017

Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry

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Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry is the easiest way to make a quick stir fry that's full of flavor in under 15 minutes!

Stir fries are one of those dinners that I rely on all the time. They are fast, easy, and I almost always have ingredients on hand that can quickly morph into some type of Asian inspired quick dinner. However sometimes even the idea of standing at the stove for 15 minutes tending to the stir-fry seems like too much work. On those nights, this is your recipe. No standing by the stove - just toss everything on a sheet pan and in no time you'll have dinner on the table.

Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry in a bowl marinating.

Now in true short-cut fashion, here is what I recommend to really make this dinner quick and easy. Chopping veggies can be time consuming, so instead head over to the freshly bagged produce and grab a bag of Asian veggies. I got mine at Trader Joe's and everything is pre-chopped and ready to go. All I had to do was break up a few pieces of especially large broccoli. Then while the chicken was cooking, I popped a bag of frozen brown rice into the microwave. Three minutes later - perfectly cooked brown rice. You could use quinoa, brown rice, or cauliflower rice - all of which is now readily available in the freezer section of most stores.

Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry on the sheet pan before being cooked.

Here are some things to keep in mind when making this Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir-Fry:

  • This is one of those recipes where you can play with the proportions in the stir-fry sauce until it is exactly what your family likes. If you like a thicker sauce, use extra oyster sauce. For a sweeter sauce, add more honey. If you love spice, then up the Asian chili paste or use Sriracha if that is what you have on hand. You can also add some fresh garlic and ginger to the sauce and sometimes I use hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce if I run out.
  • When it comes to veggies, the sky is the limit. Usually I opt for a pre-chopped bag of Asian or stir-fry veggies since it is usually cheaper than buying all the individual vegetables and it cuts down on prep time but you can definitely create your own mix. Just try to use vegetables that cook relatively quickly and if you use a heartier vegetables like sweet potatoes or butternut squash, toss it in the oven beforehand to let it precook.
  • I have made a vegetarian version of this recipe using tofu that turned out great. Make sure to dry the tofu first using paper towels or a tofu press. For a bit more crunch, toss it with cornstarch before adding it to the sauce.
  • This recipe is excellent for meal prep. Make up a batch on the weekend and quickly pack it for weekday lunches. Just add a grain like brown rice, quinoa, or farro or pot for a low carb version like cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash. Make sure to drizzle the grains with the extra sauce from the sheet pan for extra flavor.

Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry just out of the oven with sesame seeds.

Looking for more healthy Asian dinner recipes?

Here are some tools and products I used when cooking this recipe:

  • Baking sheet: There are so many options out there but I have been using this brand for years and find they hold up really well.
  • Low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos: When it comes to soy sauce, I always opt for low sodium soy sauce and many times use coconut aminos instead which have lower sodium and are gluten free.
  • Sambel olek: When it comes to Asian hot sauce, I switch between Sriracha and Sambal Olek, a thicker chili paste flecked with garlic. I can't decide which I like better, but I love the garlic flavor in the sambel olek.

Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry packed up for meal prep.

Calories 297, Total Fat 9g, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Protein 32g, Serving Size 6 oz. chicken and 1 cup veggie

August 14, 2017

How-To Freeze Strawberries

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