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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Saffron Chicken

This is an easy dish with simple ingredients while still full of flavor. Perfect for a special dinner at home. I like to make this dish with black rice as a main course for Shabbat dinner.

Saffron

Saffron is known the world over as the most expensive spice in the world. I was first introduced to this exotic flavor when studying in Spain. It’s popularly know as the spice as the signature spice in Paella. It’s also common to Middle Eastern cuisine. Saffron is the stigma and stamen from Crocus flowers. These vibrant red “threads”, as they’re referred to, are harvested and dried before they are sold by weight. Good quality saffron can be quite expensive but I assure you, it is well worth it. Only a small pinch is needed to add a beautiful yellow tint and a slight floral flavor to your dish. And there is no substitution.

Black Rice

Also known as Forbidden Rice, black rice is so named for it’s black color. But don’t let the color turn you off. When cooked, it has a soft texture, similar to its white counterpart but with a complex, slightly nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with Saffron Chicken. Black rice is naturally gluten free and loaded with antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s higher in protein than brown or white rice and low in carbohydrates. I could go on and on about all the wonderful nutritional benefits of this stuff but what I like about it most is that it’s delicious.

When preparing black rice, keep in mind the yield of cooked rice from uncooked rice is 3:1. So for one cup of uncooked rice, you’ll get three cups cooked.

To prepare black rice on the stove top, combine 1 ¾ cup water, 1 cup of rice, and a pinch of salt (optional) in a small pot. Bring this to a boil over high heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to stand, covered, for about five minutes. Then fluff and serve.

It’s the perfect accompaniment with Saffron Chicken or any other dish where you would normally use white or brown rice.

Art of Tea Organics

Saffron Chicken

This is a very simple dish with just a few simple ingredients. Those are really my favorite things to make. I like combining just a few ingredients so each one really gets to shine. This recipe makes 2 to 4 servings and can easily be increased.

Before starting to prepare this dish, steep the saffron in the vegetable stock. Place three quarters of a cup of vegetable stock in a microwave safe cup and add a pinch of saffron. Microwave for a minute to heat the stock and allow the Saffron to start to dissolve. Set this aside while you start preparing the chicken.

Start with four bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Use a paper towel to dry the skin. This is important because it will help the skin to brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Place a saute pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of avocado oil. Heat the oil until it shimmers but don’t let it smoke. Add the chicken, skin side down and allow to brown. Don’t move the chicken pieces. Check them after about five minutes and turn over to brown on the other side. Remove them from the pan to a plate and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Saute until they start to caramelize. Then add the garlic. Garlic can burn quickly so it’s best to add it toward the end of the cooking time. Let the garlic start to brown, about one to two minutes. Then add the chicken pieces and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back to the pan. Add the vegetable stock along with the juice of half a lemon. Top the chicken pieces with slices of lemon. Reduce the heat so the stock is simmering and cover the pan. Allow the chicken to cook through, about 35 minutes.

To garnish, add a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley and serve. I recommend serving this with black rice but you could also substitute quinoa. Or prepare my Israeli couscous salad. Get the link to this recipe below. If serving for Shabbat dinner, be sure there is plenty of challah on the table because your guests will want to soak up every last bit of the sauce. Enjoy!

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Saffron Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs Chicken Thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 small Yellow Onion diced
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 pinch Saffron
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Uncooked Black Rice prepared according to package instructions

Instructions
 

  • Place the vegetable stock and the pinch of saffron in a microwave safe measuring cup and microwave about 45 seconds to heat the stock and disolve the saffron.
  • Pat the skin of the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat, until the oil shimmers. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down and allow to brown, six to seven minutes. Turn and allow to brown about five minutes. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Set aside.
  • Reduce the heat under the pan to medium. Add the onions and saute until starting to brown, about five to seven minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional one to two minutes, until the garlic become fragrant.
  • Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Add the vegetable stock and juice from half the lemon. Slice the remaining half of the lemon and top the chicken pieces with slices.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and allow the chicken to cook through, about 35 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with a side of black rice.
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Za’atar Lamb Chops

Za’atar

I was introduced to za’atar by a dear friend and quickly became addicted to this spice blend. It’s aromatic. It’s earthy. It’s delicious on practically everything. Recipes can vary by brand but generally, za’atar is a combination of oregano, thyme, and marjoram blended with sumac and toasted sesame seeds. It’s great on meats like chicken, beef, and lamb or fish. It’s my go-to garnish on hummus. I toss it with sweet potatoes and avocado oil to roast as a side dish. Like I said, it’s amazing on everything.

Selecting Lamb Chops

When I created this recipe, I used a lamb shoulder chop. Lamb shoulder chops contain connective tissues and are a more worked muscle in the animal, which can make it a tougher cut, more suitable to a braising method of cooking. You may want to look for a bone-in, frenched lamb chop for this recipe, if this is a concern for you. Personally I like the lamb shoulder chop because of it’s marbled fat, similar to a ribeye steak, making it more flavorful than a standard lamb chop, which is more like sirloin. If you’re using a quality meat, the tenderness shouldn’t be an issue but if you’re concerned, definitely go with the standard lamb chop.

In some areas, lamb can be a little difficult to come by. If you don’t have a local butcher shop that carries good lamb, I’ve always been very happy with the products from Grow and Behold (kosher). They ship anywhere in the U.S. and have very good quality products.

Art of Tea Organics

Preparing This Recipe

To prepare this dish, combine za’atar, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture on the lamb chops and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a skillet, over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Sear each side of the lamb until the meat reaches a medium rare. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the meat.

Allow the lamb chops to rest before serving so the juices redistribute.

Alternatively, you could also prepare these on a stovetop grill pan or on the outdoor grill. Give them a quarter turn halfway through their cooking time, on each side, to create beautiful hashmark grill marks on the meat.

I recommend serving these chops with my Israeli Couscous salad. Find the link to the recipe below.

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Za’atar Lamb Chops

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Lamb Shoulder Chops
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Za'atar
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine the cumin, za'atar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl and combine. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the lamb chops. Allow them to sit for fifteen minutes.
  • Add the avocado oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat until it shimmers. Add the lamb chops and sear on each side until the meat reaches a medium-rare. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. My chops took about five minutes per side.
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Pair It With


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Chicken with Mushrooms and Wild Rice

Perfectly easy weeknight dinner

This is a perfect meal for a weeknight dinner. It’s quick and easy to prepare and it’s perfect comfort food. I like the texture of combining wild rice with quinoa. I find it more interesting than traditional wild rice blends and the quinoa adds additional protein. This also helps keep the dish gluten free.

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Chicken with Mushrooms and Wild Rice

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Chicken Thighs bone in, skin on
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 8oz Baby Bella Mushrooms stems removed, sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 cup Wild Rice cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a skillet with high sides, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the chicken and sear on both sides, until the skin is golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the onions to the pan and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook an additional five minutes.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and wild rice and the thyme. Stir to combine. Top with the chicken. Add the vegetable stock and wine. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and allow to cook approximately 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
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