Easy Salmon Potstickers

These potstickers come together really quickly and they cook really fast. Make a large batch and freeze them for an easy weeknight dinner or quick appetizer.

First tip for making potstickers, use a blender to combine the filling. This brings all of the flavors together and ensures even cooking.

Next, use a one tablespoon scoop to measure out the filling onto the wanton wrappers. Again, it ensures the filling is evenly distributed and the wantons don’t end up overfilled.

You’ll need to work quickly, in small batches to prevent the wantons from drying out. Lay out six wrapper on your work surface. Add a tablespoon of filling to each. Then use your finger to wet two edges of the wrapper.

Fold the wrapper into a triangle and seal tightly.

Place your completed potstickers on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook. Or cover the uncooked potstickers with plastic wrap and freeze in a single layer for one to two hours, until firm. Then transfer to a freezer back and store for up to three months.

To cook from fresh or frozen, heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet. Add 8 to 12 potstickers to the pan and allow to crisp, about two minutes. Add 1/3 cup of vegetable stock and quickly cover the pan with a lid. Cook until the broth has evaporated.

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Salmon Potstickers

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 30 Wanton Wrappers
  • Avocado Oil
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock divided

For the Filling

  • 5 oz Slaw Mix
  • 3.5 oz Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 4 Green Onions
  • 1 inch Ginger peeled
  • 2 cloves Garlic peeled
  • 1 large Egg Yolk
  • 1 lb Salmon skin removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Rice Wine
  • 2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Asian Chili Sauce

For Sriracha Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce

Instructions
 

For the Filling

  • Add all of the filling ingredients to a blender. Process until combined but do not puree.

For the Dumplings

  • Working in small batches, not more than six at a time, lay out wanton wrappers. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to each wrapper. Dip your finger in water and wet two sides of the wanton wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling to create a triangle and seal the edges completely.
  • Place the completed wantons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • To cook, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add eight to twelve wantons to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about two minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Carefully add 1/3 of a cup of vegetable stock to the pan and immediately cover the pan with a lid.
  • Cook until the stock has completely evaporated. Remove the potstickers to a plate for serving.

For the Dipping Sauce

  • In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and stir until smooth.
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Vegetarian Gluten Free White Chili Mac

I’m going to be honest, this recipe was kind of made up on the fly. Because I tend to feel really awful when I’ve eaten tomatoes. I’m really sensitive to certain nightshade vegetables. So I was planning to make a chili mac dish for lunch but I needed one that doesn’t require tomatoes. Which made me think of white chicken chili with a vegetarian spin.

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Vegetarian White Chili Mac

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms stems removed and sliced
  • 2 15oz Cans White Beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 4oz Can Diced Green Chiles
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 8.8oz Box Gluten Free Pasta cooked to package instructions

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook an additional three to four minutes.
  • Add the beans, green chiles, spices, lime juice, and vegetable stock. Simmer about 15 minutes.
  • Add the cooked gluten free pasta. If preparing for meal prep, divide between meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Sweet glazed carrots and nutty black rice make a great pairing in this salad.

I first started doing meal prep three years ago. I found myself getting tired of eating the same old sandwich and fruit every single day. My process has continued to evolve as my schedule and tastes have changed. But I still take the time, at the start of each week, to create delicious and healthy meals to keep me going during a busy week.

For more details on how I plan my meal prep every week, jump over to my Meal Prep page (see top menu). You’ll find helpful tips as well as essential products I use. Subscribe to my blog to get a free download of my meal prep planning worksheet.

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Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor
  • Mortar & Pestle
  • Non-stick baking mat

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 Large Carrots peeled and cut into diagonal slices
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seed
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Black Rice (aka Forbidden Rice)
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 lb Salmon
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Dressing

  • Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the coriander and cumin seeds.
  • In a bowl, combine the carrots, 1 tbsp of avocado oil, ground coriander and cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread out over the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Add the maple syrup and bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a small pot, combine the black rice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the rice is tender the water has been absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon about 8 minutes per side, or until done.
  • To a large bowl, add the arugula, almonds, cranberries, black rice, carrots, and the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
  • Divide the salad among meal prep containers. Add portions of the salmon. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
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Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

I find Latin and Tex-Mex dishes to be some of the most difficult to translate into anti-inflammatory friendly meals. Mainly because so many of them incorporate tomato-based salsas and sauces. And what fun are enchiladas or quesadillas without cheese? Am I right? Not to mention some of the peppers that give these dishes their zest can also be problematic. But sometimes, the craving hits and you just have to satisfy it.

And this vegan enchilada dish does just that, while avoiding most of the problem foods. I did make them vegan, so they are completely plant-based and have no cheese. If you really need the dairy, I would recommend using crumbles of feta. Feta cheese is made from sheep milk or a blend of sheep and goat milk. Because of the different proteins in these types of milk, they tend to cause fewer inflammation issues. I do occasionally incorporate feta into my diet and find that I don’t have issues from it. Plus it adds the satisfying saltiness of a cotija cheese, which is perfect for this dish.

Green Enchilada Sauce

For my enchilada sauce, I wanted to avoid tomatoes. So I went with a green sauce. Fresh enchilada sauce is quick and easy to throw together in a blender. Capsaicin, the stuff that gives peppers their heat can cause increased inflammation in some people. For this sauce, I used poblano peppers and one jalapeno with the seeds and ribs removed. Most of the capsaicin is found in the seeds and ribs. So removing these helps minimize any exposure.

To make the sauce, start by roasting the poblano peppers under a broiler or over the open flame of a gas burner. Turn the peppers until the skin has blackened and blistered on all sides. Then place the peppers in a resealable bag or a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Let them sit for about fifteen minutes. The steam will loosen the skin away from the flesh of the pepper. Gently remove the skin and discard the skin from the outside of the poblanos. It’s not necessary to remove every bit of skin. Just remove the majority.

Remove the stem, seeds and ribs from the jalapeno and roughly chop.

Add the peppers to a high speed blender, along with a small onion, roughly chopped, four cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, 1 cup vegan vegetable stock, the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper to taste.

Process the sauce in the blender until smooth and set aside.

This can also be used as a restaurant style salsa. Service with gluten free corn tortilla chips as an appetizer or a snack.

Gluten Free Wraps

Instead of tortillas, I discovered some great gluten free wraps made with flax and chia seeds. Both are loaded with fiber and other anti-inflammatory friendly nutrients. This brand makes a few other varieties that I’m looking forward to trying in other recipes.

If you prefer to use a traditional tortilla, stick to gluten free corn tortillas.

Making the Enchiladas

To make the enchiladas, start be peeling and dicing the two to three sweet potatoes. Toss them in a tablespoon of avocado oil, a teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft. When the potatoes are done, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse the black beans. I always go for no salt added when shopping for canned beans. This way I have complete control over the amount of salt going into my dish. Combine the beans with the roasted sweet potatoes and ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce. Stir to combine.

In a 9×13 baking dish, add a small amount of sauce to create a thin layer along the bottom of the pan. Lay down one of the gluten free wraps and add a generous amount of the bean and potato mixture. Roll up the wrap around the filling. Repeat with the remaining five wraps.

Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through.

For serving, top the enchiladas with slices of avocado, green onions, and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.

These are best enjoyed the same day but can be reheated in the oven. Just warm at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes to warm back through.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Gluten free, dairy free, and vegan
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

For the Enchiladas

  • 3 Sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 15oz Can Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Gluten Free Wraps or Tortillas (6)
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce

  • 4 Poblano peppers see article for notes
  • 1 Jalapeno stem, ribs, and seeds removed; roughly chopped
  • 1 small Onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock vegan
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Enchiladas

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the peeled and diced sweet potatoes with one tablespoon of avocado oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees, about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the sauce.
  • Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the sweet potatoes with the black beans and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce.
  • Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Lay one of the gluten free wraps in the baking dish. Add a generous portion of the potato and bean mixture. Roll up the wrap and place, seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining five wraps.
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the wraps, spreading it into the cracks between wraps.
  • Bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are warmed through. Garnish with slices of avocado, sliced green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds, and/or chopped fresh cilantro.

For the Sauce

  • Place the poblano peppers under a broil for about 10 minutes, turning so that the skin is charred on all sides. This can also be done over a burner; be very careful if using this method. Place the charred peppers in a resealable bag or in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Set aside for 15 minutes. The steam from the peppers will soften the skin, making it easier to remove.
  • After 15 minutes, carefully remove the skin from the poblanos. It is not necessary to remove all of the skin, just the majority. Do not rinse the peppers. Remove the stems, seeds, and ribs. Add the peppers to a high speed blender.
  • To the poblanos, add the remaining sauce ingredients. Pure until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
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Roasted Vegetable Salad

Usually, I stick to roasting vegetables for fall and winter dishes. But sometimes, you just need a good comfort dish, regardless of the weather. In which case, this is the vegetarian lunch for you. Salmon or chicken would be great protein additions if you prefer to add a little more protein. This is also a great side dish.

Roasting Veggies

To roast my veggies, I start with preheating the oven to 400 degrees. I prefer roasting at a higher heat, to help the vegetables caramelize. Cut your vegetables into similar sizes to ensure they cook evening. In this salad, I used eggplant, yellow bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. Toss the cut vegetables in a tablespoon or two of avocado oil. Then I season them with a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of za’atar, salt and pepper. If you’re a regular reader, you’re likely already familiar with my love of za’atar. It adds a delicious earthiness to just about anything. I’m a big fan and use this stuff on just about everything! Spread the veggies on a lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast about 35 minutes. I give them a stir about half way through the cooking process.

Israeli Couscous

Also called Giant Couscous or Pearl Couscous, this toasted pasta is a great option to accompany a wide variety of dishes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and adds great texture.

I’ve not found this in a gluten free option. If you are gluten free, I recommend substituting buckwheat, quinoa or millet in this salad.

You’ll want to follow the package instructions when preparing Israeli Couscous. The variety I use calls for one and a quarter cups of liquid to one cup of couscous. In this case, I used a vegan vegetable stock to add a little extra flavor. The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid so feel free to experiment with different cooking liquids.

Bring the vegetable stock and couscous to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and cover for six minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend not leaving the couscous sit too long before adding sauce or dressing. I will get very sticky when it cools and needs the sauce or dressing to keep from forming one big solid clump.

Put it Together

To assemble this salad, add the roasted vegetables and the couscous to a large bowl. I also added some extra peas I had from my Quinoa Pea Salad. Toss everything to combine. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil and the juice of half a lemon to create a dressing. Toss to combine. Garnish with a little sprinkle of za’atar and feta cheese crumbles (omit if serving with meat).


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Roasted Vegetable Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small Eggplant diced
  • 1 small Zucchini sliced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper stem, ribs and seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • 1 large Carrot peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms quartered
  • 1 cup Peas
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Za'atar divided
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 cup Israeli Couscous prepared according to package instructions
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Feta Crumbles optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the vegetables in one tablespoon of avocado oil, one teaspoon of za'atar, the cumin, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables into a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking process.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous and peas according to package instructions.
  • To assemble the salad, combine the prepared couscous and peas with the roasted vegetables, along with any cooking liquids from the veggies. Add the remaining avocado oil, lemon juice, and za'atar. Toss to combine. Garnish with feta crumbles (omit if serving with meat).
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Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Quick and easy salad, perfect for meal prep

It’s meal prep time again! This salad is a quick and easy combination of lots of amazing super foods. For starters, pearl barley is a good source of potassium and fiber. Figs, dried blueberries, spinach, and pumpkin seeds are all rich sources of antioxidants and other nutrients which help reduce inflammation in the body.

This recipe makes two lunch servings of salad. It can also be doubled and served as a delicious side dish, without the chicken.

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Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 5-6 Calimyrna Figs quartered
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 Chicken Breast cooked and diced

For the Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • In a medium pot, place the pearl barley and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, on low, for 30 minutes. The barley should be tender and all the water absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients. Add the cooled barley. Toss with the dressing to coat.
  • Divide the salad into meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
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Ginger Pineapple Chicken

The key to keeping meal prep lunches interesting is making them flavorful. This dish is loaded with flavor from the fresh ginger to the juicy pineapple. Add in tender chicken and a protein-packed grain. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapple has long been known as an anti-inflammatory. Why? Because it contains Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that aids in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Studies say it can also help with pain control. So it’s a great ingredient to incorporate into your diet if you are affected by inflammatory autoimmune conditions (see my About Me page for disclaimers). Plus it’s sweet and delicious!

Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has a crazy amount of health benefits. It’s a natural germ fighter. It’s great for relieving nausea and stomach irritation. It’s anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce muscle pain. It’s the epitome of a super food! Plus fresh ginger adds a slightly spicy, slightly citrus flavor to dishes. It’s so good!

Grain Options

I try to stick with protein-rich grains with lots of antioxidants in my meals. So I tend to avoid things like white or even brown rice. If that’s your preference with a dish like this, by all means, go for it. But I find there are better options that pack more nutritional value into my meals. Which is important to me when I’m consuming a small portion. Might as well make every calorie count, right? I also like to avoid gluten whenever possible because I find it can lead to inflammation for me. So here are some other options for you:

Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious super grain that is packed with fiber and protein. It’s a great substitute for rice and it’s really quick to prepare. Be sure to give your uncooked quinoa a rinse before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. My preferred brand of quinoa calls for a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I add two cups of water or vegetable stock and one cup of quinoa to a small pot with a small pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Let it stand about five minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

Forbidden Rice

Also aptly known as black rice for its hue, this stuff is also packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. I really like the subtle nutty flavor while texturally, it gets soft like white rice. It is a little slower cooking than quinoa. My preferred brand takes thirty minutes. But it’s well worth it.

Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles

This is a great, gluten free pasta option. I like the wider Pad Thai noodles but Maifun is a great option if you prefer a thinner cut. They’re a good source of fiber and they cook up in just five minutes.

Recipe:

Start by taking the skin off a fresh pineapple and removing the core. I like to use a pineapple corer to make this job a little easier and cuts the fruit into even slices. Place half the pineapple into the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup of coconut aminos, 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 inch of grated ginger and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth and set aside.

Cut the remaining pineapple into chunks and set aside.

Cut about a pound of chicken thigh meat into bite sized pieces (swap breast meat if you prefer). Toss the chicken pieces in two tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a pan. Heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken pieces and allow to brown. When the chicken is nearly browned, add the pineapple pieces. Allow them to caramelize. Add the pureed mixture from the food processor. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your grain of choice.

Divide the grain between three meal prep containers. Top with the chicken mixture. Store in the fridge until ready to heat and enjoy.

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Ginger Pineapple Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pineapple peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger
  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the sauce, add half the pineapple along with the coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and salt to a blender. Process until smooth and set aside.
  • Cut the remaining half of the pineapple into chunks and set aside.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the pineapple chunks and allow to caramelize. Pour in the sauce mixture and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
  • Prepare your grain of choice.
  • Portion your grain of choice and the chicken mixture between two to three meal prep containers. Refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Sweet Chili Chicken Meal Prep

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry is great for a meal prep lunch. It’s satisfying and delicious without being heavy.

Grain Options

I try to stick with protein-rich grains with lots of antioxidants in my meals. So I tend to avoid things like white or even brown rice. If that’s your preference with a dish like this, by all means, go for it. But I find there are better options that pack more nutritional value into my meals. Which is important to me when I’m consuming a small portion. Might as well make every calorie count, right? I also like to avoid gluten whenever possible because I find it can lead to inflammation for me. So here are some other options for you:

Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles

This is a great, gluten free pasta option. I like the wider Pad Thai noodles but Maifun is a great option if you prefer a thinner cut. They’re a good source of fiber and they cook up in just five minutes.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious super grain that is packed with fiber and protein. It’s a great substitute for rice and it’s really quick to prepare. Be sure to give your uncooked quinoa a rinse before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. My preferred brand of quinoa calls for a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I add two cups of water or vegetable stock and one cup of quinoa to a small pot with a small pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Let it stand about five minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

Forbidden Rice

Also aptly known as black rice for its hue, this stuff is also packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. I really like the subtle nutty flavor while texturally, it gets soft like white rice. It is a little slower cooking than quinoa. My preferred brand takes thirty minutes. But it’s well worth it.

Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

I love the flavor of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce but all that extra sugar can be a little rough. So I came up with a quick swap that’s a little more anti-inflammatory friendly. Start with a sugar-free apricot jam. Use one made with Stevia. Stevia is a no calorie, plant-based sweetener that is anti-inflammatory friendly. Add a tablespoon of Thai chili paste to a measuring cup and add enough jam to make a cup. Set it aside.

Gluten Free Breading

My go-to coating when I need a breading is cornstarch. Be careful if you have celiac because cornstarch is often processed in plants that also process wheat. Cornstarch adds a light crispiness and helps thicken sauces.

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Recipe

To prepare this recipe, start by cutting your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken in two tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a saute pan and heat over medium-high heat, until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown. It will cook through in the sauce.

Add the slices of bell pepper and matchstick carrots. Cook an additional two minutes. Then lower the heat to low and add the sauce mixture. Allow the chicken and vegetables to simmer in the sauce until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your preferred grain option. In this case, I used rice noodles.

For meal prep, divide the noodles between two meal prep containers. Divide the chicken mixture between the containers. Store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and enjoy.

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Sweet Chili Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tbsp Thai Chili Garlic Paste
  • 1 cup Apricot Jam sugar free
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Your Grain of Choice prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots

Instructions
 

  • Add the chili sauce to the apricot jam. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown on all sides.
  • Add the sliced bell pepper and matchstick carrots. Cook another two to three minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and add the apricot jam mixture. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  • Portion your prepared grain of choice, followed by the chicken mixture between two to three meal prep containers. Refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
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Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Great for lunch or a quick snack

Chicken salad is a great go to as a sandwich, with greens for a salad, or as a protein-packed snack with crackers. This salad has a little different twist with the addition of sweet, dried blueberries, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Both add great flavor and extra fiber.

This recipe can dressed in two ways. I used a jarred olive oil based mayonnaise. You can also substitute vegan-aise.

Or blend your own dressing using an avocado, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a table spoon of avocado oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.

However you choose to dress this salad, it makes a great grab-and-go lunch. Save yourself some time and use leftover chicken or even a cooled rotisserie chicken from your local market.

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Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Snack

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Chicken cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cups Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
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Za’atar Challah

Challah is a delicious, rich bread traditional in Jewish culture and ritual. For the purpose of this recipe, I’m making mini loaves but this recipe can also be used to make a single, large loaf or two medium sized loaves. Here, I’m creating four mini loaves, slightly larger than challah rolls. But, I’m still going to teach you the six strand braid. I know, what am I thinking doing six strand braids on mini loaves? But to me, it’s worth the little bit of extra effort to divide the dough.

Six strand braiding is far less complicated than it sounds. The key is “over two, under one, over two”. Most of the tutorials I’ve found tell you to pinch together the dough strands at one end but this causes an ugly blob at one end of the bread and can cause it to bake unevenly. The trick is to start your braid near the middle of the strands and then braid back to the other end. Let’s walk through it and the photos will make it easier to follow.

Let’s start with our raised dough

Divide the dough into three equal pieces

Roll each piece into a long rope

Cut the ropes in half and roll them to six equal lengths

Now let’s braid

Start with the rope farthest to the right. Over two, under one, over two. Remember to start near the middle of the ropes.

Now finish the other end

Again, working from the right on the unbraided side, repeat the pattern: over two, under one, over two.

Finally, roll the ends under

Roll the ends under to meet in the center of the loaf, tucking in any loose ends.

Allow to proof a second time, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with za’atar, and bake

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Za’atar Challah

Prep Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Bench scraper
  • Baking sheet
  • Silicone baking mat

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Warm Water 110-115 degrees F
  • 2 tsp Active Yeast
  • 4 – 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1/4 cup Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Za'atar

Instructions
 

  • To the warm water, in a measuring cup, add the yeast and a big pinch of sugar. Allow the yeast to bloom for five minutes.
  • While the yeast is blooming, in a large mixing bowl, add four cups of the flour, the salt, and remaining sugar. Stir to combine and form a well in the center.
  • Add the bloomed yeast, two of the whole eggs and the egg yolk, and the oil to the well. Gradually add in the flour until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean board and knead about ten minutes until a soft, smooth ball forms.
  • Lightly oil a clean bowl. Turn the dough around in the oil to coat. Cover the bowl with a dry towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. About 90 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out on a clean board. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Roll each into a rope of equal length. Cut the ropes in half and roll again until each is about an inch in diameter.
  • To braid the challah, lay the six ropes close together. Start braiding near the center, working from right to left, following the pattern of "over two, under one, over two (see the image tutorial above). Then work form the other end, staring from the right with the same pattern to complete the braid. Tuck the ends under, to meet in the center.
  • Set the braided challah on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Allow to proof again about 60 minutes, until puffed.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat the remaining whole egg to make an egg wash. Brush the loaf with a thin layer of the egg wash and sprinkle with the za'atar.
  • Bake the challah at 350 degrees about 30 to 35 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and registers 190 degrees in the center.
  • Let the challah cool on a wire rack until just warm. Slice and serve.

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