World’s Best Chicken

There was a pin floating around Pinterest that I had pinned no fewer than four separate times.  It was called “World’s Best Chicken” and “Man-Pleasing Chicken” among other accolades.  When I started looking at the recipes, they were all basically the same.  It’s a twist on a sweet dijon chicken and it’s really good.

I’ve made it as part of several batches of Freezer Cooking, so I’ve had a chance to prepare it lots of different ways.  It isn’t amazing in the crockpot.  But it’s slap-your-momma good on the grill or baked in the oven.  It’s also fantastic with chicken thighs instead of breasts.  And when I bake it, I often add a jar of mushrooms too.  My heavens!  I’m always excited when this is on the menu!

The recipe calls for more maple syrup than I think you’d need, but start here and then cut.  It’ll improve the carb count if you limit some of the maple syrup.  But I calculated the macros as-written.

2 lbs of chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1/2 C dijon mustard
1/4 C maple syrup (not colored high fructose corn syrup…read your labels!)
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (remove from stem and chop)

In a bowl, whisk together everything and pour over chicken.  If you bake it, cover in foil and bake for 30-40 mins at 450.  Flip and check halfway through.  It’s done when juices run clear.  If you grill (my preferred method), add more of the maple-dijon mixture halfway through.

Portion it out into 4 servings.  Nutritional info comes to: 298 cal, 7f, 16c, 45p.  Can’t be sad about that.  If you make it as-written, search MFP for MacroTools World’s Best Chicken and the math is already done for you.

Thanks to RachelShultz.com (among others) for the recipe.  http://rachelschultz.com/2012/07/11/worlds-best-chicken/

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Chili

There’s a recipe over at AllRecipes.com called Chili By George!  It has been made over 3,000 times on the site.  It’s simple, but a perfect base.  You can add and change and tweak according to your preferences.  I’ve been making different versions of it for nearly 10 years and here’s my favorite.  It’s also featured in my Freezer Cooking post and freezes excellently for quick meals later.

2 lbs ground beef (either lean or drained)
200g onions, diced
100g bell pepper
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 can chili beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can diced green chiles
1 can tomato paste
Seasonings (these are suggestions…if you’re a comfortable cook, get wild with em…if you need a smart place to start, use these.  I often follow this, cook a few minutes, then add this much of everything except the sugar and chili powder all over again)
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cumin
1/4 C chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

In large pot, brown beef with onions, garlic and peppers.  Drain grease.  Add everything else.  Mix well and let simmer.  I usually add a couple of cups of water at this stage.  It will still be really thick.  Add more water to reach desired consistency.  The longer it simmers, the better it is.

chili

Divide into 8 servings immediately.  As written, the nutritional info is: 280 cal, 10f, 21c, 28p.  It’s hearty and delicious.  Feel free to tweak to your specifications.  It’s fantastic topped with plain greek yogurt (or sour cream) and shredded cheese.

Mega thanks to George!  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/14985/its-chili-by-george/

Chicken Teriyaki

The first time I used this in a freezer meal session, it was a total risk because I hadn’t ever made it before.  It was the only recipe in that batch that was an unknown.  It turned out to be the most pleasant surprise!  We LOVED it.  This appears in the Freezer Meals post, but here’s the stand alone recipe for you to try if you’re not up for a surprise.  🙂

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced (would be awesome with thighs too)
1 bag of frozen vegetables (mine was 15oz and broccoli-based)
1/2 C honey (you can afford to use less if you’re worried about the carbs)
1/2 low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/4 C red wine vinegar
100g diced onion
some minced garlic (1 tbsp.? maybe)
1 inch peeled and minced ginger root.  Or be lazy like me and use 1tbsp of this stuff: http://www.gourmetgarden.com/en/product/104/ginger-stir-paste  From produce section.
1/4 tsp black pepper

For prep, you have a couple of options for this one:
throw everything in a crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 OR
make on the stovetop.

I’ve made it both ways.  For the stovetop, add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil or butter to a skillet.  Add garlic and onions.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add diced chicken.  When chicken is nearly finished, throw in the rest of the ingredients.  Cook until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through.

Divide into 4 servings immediately.  Macros come out to 374 cal, 9f, 27c, 48p.

We eat it as-is, but it’s also awesome with cauliflower rice like this: http://cookeatpaleo.com/how-to-make-cauliflower-rice/

Thanks to New Leaf Wellness for the original recipe:  http://newleafwellness.biz/2014/10/20/6-healthy-freezer-crockpot-meals-50-minutes/

Taco Soup

My friends joke about how much soup I make and how much I love it.  It’s kinda my thing.  🙂  So don’t be surprised when this blog starts looking like a database of awesome soups…it’s going to happen!  Today’s is my momma’s Taco Soup.  It also appears in the Freezer Cooking post from yesterday, but I wanted to give you the recipe on its own so you can try it before you commit to having a bunch in your freezer.  So, here goes:

2 lbs ground beef (either buy super lean or drain the fat off the less lean cuts)
1 can chili beans
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced green chiles
1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer the ones without added salt)
1 can tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
200g diced onion
100g diced peppers
chopped cilantro
1/2 packet of dry ranch mix (or make your own here: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/homemade-ranch-seasoning-mix/)
1 packet of taco seasoning (I prefer homemade like this one:  http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/06/diy-taco-seasoning/  Only tweaks: use smoked paprika if you can find it and skip the directions about corn starch…you don’t need that junk)

(Feel free to add more seasonings to taste.  It’s also just fine as written w/ taco seasoning and ranch mix.  If I added one thing, it would be smoked paprika)

Alright, first add ground beef, minced garlic, diced onions and peppers to a soup pot.  When the meat is browned, add 1 C water, the taco and ranch seasonings and mix well.  Then add everything else.  It’ll be really thick.  I prefer it that way because it’s easy to store and freeze, but if you plan to eat it now, add water until it’s your desired consistency.  I usually add a couple of cups for the whole batch.

tacosoup1

This recipe makes 8 servings.  As always, divide them up now so your macros will be correct.  If you followed the recipe as posted, you can search MacroTools Taco Soup in MFP and use my numbers.  It comes out to 280 cal, 10f, 21c, 27p.

Once everyone is making their own taco seasoning, those carbs will come down some.  There are carby thickening agents (and a ton of sodium and other weird things) in the store-bought kind that are affecting the numbers.  I’m planning a seasoning post soon so we can stock your kitchen with healthier versions of the store-bought stuff.  Then we’ll update the macros in recipes like this.

Anyways, I hope you love the taco soup.  My family does.  If you make it, please leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Pork Chow Mein

Here’s lunch!

This originated from the Little Bits Of blog.  You can find the recipe here:  http://littlebitsof.com/2014/10/spaghetti-squash-chow-mein/  I added protein and cut back the sugar.  Here’s my take:

2.75 lbs pork sirloin grillers–You could use any cut of pork or sub out a different protein.  I had these on hand hoping to grill them as pork chops last week, and it didn’t happen.  So I threw them into my pressure cooker with some Dale’s Reduced Sodium Seasoning and a little garlic and butter.
1 spaghetti squash
100g onion, diced
168g (about 3 stalks) celery, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil
80g shredded red cabbage (bought mine in a bag and had some left over from making Broth Bowls earlier in the week)
250g cole slaw mix (also left over from Broth Bowls)
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 c soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 tbsp. ginger (I use this kind because it keeps well http://www.gourmetgarden.com/en/product/104/ginger-stir-paste)
water (optional, I ended up using 2 c)
pepper to taste

Cook spaghetti squash.  (This can be done in the microwave, oven, or pressure cooker.  The microwave is the easiest if you’re just starting out with spaghetti squashes.  Puncture with a knife 10-12 times.  Place in microwave (on a plate because it can get messy)  Cook 12 minutes then let it sit for 10 minutes.  Times may vary by size.)  Cut in half, remove seeds and goop.  Shred into noodles with a fork.  If you’ve never done this before, you’ll be amazed.  It’s the coolest.
Cook pork sirloin grillers and shred with forks.  (Grill, bake, slow cook, pressure cook, whatever makes you happy)
I did both of these steps on Sunday during my meal prep extravaganza, so throwing dinner together was no big deal.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, garlic, onions and celery.  Cook until onions are translucent and celery begins to soften.  Add red cabbage, cole slaw mix, brown sugar, soy sauce/coconut aminos, ginger and pepper.  Combine and sauté until veggies are soft.  Then add spaghetti squash noodles and shredded pork.  At this point, mine needed some water to combine well, so I added 2 cups.  If yours mixes well, feel free to omit that step.  Mix well and divide into 9 servings.

It’s really simple with a little prep done ahead of time and neither the pork nor the spaghetti squash require much effort to prepare.

The nutrition info comes to: 245 calories, 9f, 14c, 28p if you make it as-is.  Without the pork (in case you want to add your own/different protein), it comes to: 62 calories, 1f, 11 c, 2 protein.

porkchowmein

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
1 can (10 oz) corn
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes (I used no salt added), with juice
1 can (10 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
2 tbsp lime juice
950 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 dry ranch packet (I used homemade)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
100 g diced onion
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 c salsa (I used World Table Salsa Verde)
water (to desired consistency; I used about 2 cups)

7 servings.  31c, 6f, 32p

Add olive oil, bouillon cubes, garlic and onion to the bottom of a soup pot.  Brown until onions are translucent, stirring regularly.  Add everything else.  Cook until chicken is done.  Remove and shred, then return to soup.  Portion out into 7 containers.

Can be garnished with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, guacamole, or sour cream, just be sure to log those additions.

tortillasoup

Broth Bowl

I’m still not blogging.  I don’t have time for that.  But, I fell hard for the Soba Bowl at Panera last night and was able to recreate a stellar version with WAY more favorable macros that I wanted to share with you.  So, here’s the plan:

1/2 diced onion (100g)
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp olive oil
100 g shredded cabbage (I used a cole slaw mix with cabbage and carrots)
100 g shredded red cabbage (also comes in a bag pre-shredded)
215 g slices white mushrooms
5 oz fresh baby spinach
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp miso (I used Minute to Miso because it’s what I could find)
240 g zucchini noodles (I use an Inspiralizer.  It’s super fast and easy.  http://inspiralized.com/shop/)
4 cups water

Throw olive oil, garlic, and onion in a pan and sauté until onions are translucent.  Add cabbage and onions.  Cook until tender.  Add everything else except the spinach and cook until noodles are tender.  Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.

Makes 4 servings.  Divide it out now to keep your macros straight.  Then you can add whatever protein you want to the top of each when you’re ready to serve.  If you want to add beef, just sub out the chicken bouillon cubes for beef ones.  I had chicken breasts that I had batch cooked at the beginning of the week, so I sliced one, heated it, and added it to the top.  That made my meal 13c, 9f, 49p, which makes me and my macros very happy.  Try it out.  I hope you’ll love it!

 

brothbowl