A few weeks ago I promised you all some fun, exciting and (most importantly) delicious healthy meals and snacks to help you along your Great Jeans Challenge road to success. Then all of the craziness happened and it just did not seem as important and though we are all still on the mend and still trying to find our center again I think we can all agree that we need some new food inspiration.
Speaking with several of you in the studio we realized that the events and ensuing lockdown two weeks ago set us back a little bit. Not being able to go out and get healthy options for food and being locked in the house with that box of Oreos did not do us any favors. Well these next few recipes will help us get back into the swing of things while still giving us an option to tempt the sweet tooth we may have re-developed.
Chicken Teriyaki w/ Grilled Spinach
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (5oz each)
1 tsp sesame seeds
1) Turn oven to broil. Put soy sauce, honey and tomato paste in medium bowl and stir together.
2) Add chicken to bowl and turn to coat surfaces.
3) Put chicken on a lined baking tray with cooking spray under the broiler.
4) Cook chicken until well browned, about 10 minutes in the broiler. Flip and brown the other side until cooked through, another 4 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
Note: If you want the flavor to be more pronounced, poke holes in the chicken and allow to sit in the mixture for 30 minutes in the fridge.
1 bag, fresh, washed spinach.
½ Tsp salt
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp sesame seeds
1) Cut an 18” x 18” square of foil, spray with cooking spray.
2) Put spinach on foil, spray and toss with salt and red wine vinegar. Fold the edges over and seal to form a pouch.
3) Cook for 10 minutes in broiler or until spinach is wilted.
4) Remove and season with salt and pepper to taste, top with sesame seeds if desired.
Plate the Teriyaki Chicken on top of the wilted spinach on a plate and enjoy!
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1) pre-heat oven to 450 F
2) Place drumsticks in a mixing bowl with oil and coat drumsticks with combined ingredients.
Arrange drumsticks 1” apart on a lined baking sheet.
3) Bake chicken about 25-30 minutes until they are browned and cooked through..
Pair this with the mashed sweet potatoes below
Mashed Sweet Potato Puree
Start these just before putting the chicken in to bake. You can also prepare these ahead of your week and reheat them before ready to eat dinner.
2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 4) peeled and cut into large dices.
2/3 cup apple juice
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
Large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1) Bring potatoes to boil potatoes in apple juice in a medium saucepan, reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are soft enough to mash.
2) Put potatoes and juice into food processor (or large bowl) adding butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper and puree. You can also use an immersion blender to puree if available.
Serve this with the baked chicken above and enjoy.
3 cups ziti
1 lb skinless chicken breast cut into 1x1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic crushed
3 zucchinis, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼” thick
2 tbsp balsamic/red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chunky pasta sauce
2 oz prosciutto, torn into small pieces
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1) Prepare pasta as per package directions, drain pasta as per instructions
2) Sprinkle chicken with garlic, some salt (add onions if you desire) and add the vinegar to the chicken allowing it to marinate for about 10 minutes.
3) Heat oil in same pot used for pasta over medium-high heat. Add zucchini to pot and cook covered stirring occasionally about 2 minutes, add chicken and cook another 4 minutes. Pour pasta sauce over the chicken and zucchini and cook another 3 minutes. Using a food thermometer check chicken temperature for a reading of 165◦ or higher.
4) Add pasta to the chicken and zucchini, mix in prosciutto. Top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy.
Herbed Salad with Walnuts
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
¾ tsp of salt
1 bag of spinach (or greens of choice)
½ cup chopped herbs (basil, chives and parsley)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1) Whisk oil, vinegar and salt in a large bowl
2) Add greens and herbs and toss to coat greens
3) Top each serving with walnuts
Italian-Style Ice cream
For a fun classic dessert made more upscale take one scoop of high quality vanilla bean ice cream in a small cup, pour a shot of hot espresso over it and enjoy. In Italy this is called an affogato.