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This is one of those dishes that will always impress and make everyone think you’re an amazing cook (because you ARE!). I love love LOVE pasta but it’s not always the best dinner when you’re trying to lose weight. That being said, I decided to just go for it and carb out with this dish because cheat meals exist and YOLO. (I did use whole wheat pasta to make this a tad more health-friendly).

Prep for this meal takes all of 15 minutes tops, most of the time going to pounding the chicken. If you haven’t already invested in a meat pounder, I highly recommend you pick one up. Using one will help your meat cook evenly, which is especially important with chicken since it can tend to dry out if overcooked. I have this one and it’s a game changer!

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about this dish – just go make it! Seriously, go make this right now.

Chicken Marsala

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Serves: 3-4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 pack chicken breasts
  • all purpose flour
  • dried basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 box/bag cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • pasta of choice

Instructions

Pound chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap so they’re even. Coat in a flour mixture that has dried basil, salt & pepper mixed in. 

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, put the chicken breasts in. Cook about 4 mins or until slightly browned, then flip. Cook for an additional 4 mins or so until second side starts to brown. 

Turn down the heat to medium and add the mushrooms to the pan with the chicken, mixing them into the butter/olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Cover and cook for about 3 mins or until mushrooms slightly soften. 

Add the wine, season with more basil and a pinch more of salt & pepper. Simmer until wine reduces a bit, about 3-4 mins. 

Add the cream and parsley, mix, and season to taste. Simmer for a minute to let all those juices combine. 

Serve over cooked pasta of your choice. Make sure to get all those juices on it for maximum deliciousness!

April 21, 2017
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Yes, you read correctly. I made some buffalo this week. In hopes of impressing my ever-manly fiancé (think Khal Drogo meets Tarzan… that’s him) I thought to myself, what’s a sort of exotic meat I can likely execute in a dish this week? While strolling through Whole Foods over the weekend, I came across some ground buffalo and bam! Inspiration struck.

I’ve never cooked buffalo before, and I can’t really say I’ve ever eaten it either. Foodies everywhere rave about it being a lean, high protein meat so I figured why not give it a shot. I decided to incorporate it into a red meat sauce, adding some chopped spicy Italian sausage for a little kick and some sauteed carrots for a little crunch. I served the sauce over some spaghetti squash, which is delicious and light on it’s own and allows this hearty meat sauce to take center stage on your palette.

Did I mention this wound up being f*&#ing delicious? I mean, geez. I might start using buffalo in place of ground beef any chance I get at this point. And since this sauce is even more delicious the next day, it makes the perfect meal prep or sauce to throw in your freezer.

If spicy is not your thing, you can always swap for a mild Italian sausage, or go ahead and skip the sausage all together if you prefer!

Easy, lean, healthy, and delicious. Serve it over pasta, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or layer it into some lasagna. I’m drooling already….

Scroll down for the recipe!

Prepped! Served over spaghetti squash, this makes a delicious meal prep for the week!

RECIPE:

465 calories per serving: 27g carbs/18g fat/37g protein

 

April 4, 2017
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I’m giving out big secrets to the internet today with this recipe. Well, maybe it’s not really a secret, but it’s been a cherished recipe in my family for decades (and continues to be). My grandmother is an Italian woman from New York – let’s preface this with that. Her cooking is ridiculously good and has inspired me to get creative in the kitchen my entire life.

Her turkey meatballs were always one of my favorite things she made when I was growing up. They are delicious over mashed potatoes (pictured), in red sauce over some pasta, or even chilled on their own as a mid-day protein snack! Seriously, these things are just so damn delicious. So of course I had to snag this recipe from her.

Cooking these bad boys are as easy and mixing a bunch of ingredients together, then popping them into the broiler until they turn brown and are cooked through. I always can’t help but sneak one off the baking sheet to “taste test” while they’re still hot, which always managed to burn my tongue. Happens every time, but these are so good I can’t wait for them to cool off before tasting them. For reals. Meatball crack over here, guys.

I make these meatballs several times a year – not are they just easy, delicious and versatile, but also they will also impress anyone who eats them. Impress some people with you cooking. Make them some meatballs. They might just become one of your family recipes after you try it….

March 6, 2017
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One of my friends introduced me to this recipe awhile back and it stuck with me ever since – the mixture of citrus, tequila, and smoky flavors make for a delicious marinade on pork. Did I just say tequila? Yep. Don’t mind me if I take a little swig as I’m cooking… (I’m kidding. My tequila days are way behind me!)

I love this recipe because the meat is very versatile – serve it over rice with some chopped onions, cilantro and avocado, serve it in corn tortillas topped with some mango salsa for tacos, or put some on top of a salad with some roasted corn, red bell peppers and black beans… so many possibilities!

I can’t take full credit for this recipe because I followed a recipe I found online. However, I did modify it bit to save time and work with personal taste. The original recipe calls for you to grind the spices up yourself, while I wound up buying pre-grinded spices from Whole Foods. Also, while the original recipe calls for 4-6 hours of marinating and 4 hours of being cooked in the oven wrapped in banana leaves, I found using a pressure cooker to be just as effective for getting that super soft, juicy meat as you would in the oven. And it only took 30 minutes!

As a foodie, I definitely appreciate the detail that goes into self-grinding spices, marinading for a long time, and letting something cook slowly in the oven for hours, so I don’t mean to say that my version is better than the original. But as a meal prepper, I also don’t want to have to spend a whole day cooking in order to prep something delicious. So that’s where the pressure cooker comes in for me.

Haven’t used a pressure cooker before? That’s too bad. It’s my favorite meat-cooking method! I highly recommend looking into purchasing one, especially if you’re a fan of shredded, juicy meat!

Marinating the pork butt in the spices, orange juice, white vinegar, chopped garlic, and a generous sprinkle of tequila 🙂

Check out that juicy goodness straight out of the pressure cooker!

Meal prep plated with rice, zucchini and yellow squash and the pork, topped with chopped onion and a lime wedge. Don’t forget to drizzle with sauce!

Don’t forget to drizzle some of the juice from the pressure cooker on top of the meat and rice!

As a side to this meal prep, I cooked some zucchini and yellow squash rounds with some chopped onions in some olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned. I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Easy peasy.

I prepped my pork with 1 cup of rice this week, but like I said before, you can eat this meat as taco fillings or even as topping to a salad! I find that tortillas don’t really keep well for meal prep purposes, so rice was a good choice for this. But feel free to prepare it however you wish!

February 13, 2017
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The first time I heard of a zoodle, I legitimately thought it was the dorkiest name for a food ever. Like one of those names your mom comes up with to sound cool, and you just roll your eyes like “OK mom, whatever, I get it, you’re trying to make vegetables cool.” Turns out, zoodles are pretty damn delicious (and also pretty cool). For those who don’t know, zoodles = zucchini noodles. Or more like an actual zucchini cut into noodle shapes. As a health-conscience pasta lover, these have completely changed the game for me.

So how do you make them and what do you do with them? My favorite way to make these is simply by swapping out regular spaghetti for the zoodles in your recipe. But if you need to ease your way into full-blown veggie mode, try mixing half pasta with half zoodles – you will still feel like you’re eating all pasta, but you’ll be getting in your greens – double win!

Equipment

Let’s talk equipment. I have this awesome spiralizer from OXO ($40 on Amazon) that easily helps you turn your zucchini into noodle shapes with the quick turn of a handle. The great thing about this tool is that it comes with different blades, so you can cut your veggies into different shapes for whatever recipe you want to make! You can also use it to spiralize carrots for a yummy salad – the list goes on. Don’t get me too excited right now!

Cooking Zoodles

Once you’ve zoodled your zucchini, it’s time to cook. The trick to cooking these is to not over-cook them (easier said than done!). You don’t want your zoodles to turn into mush, so my approach is to cook them in a skillet with olive oil and minced garlic for about 3-4 minutes, or until soft but still slightly crunchy. Top with some salt & pepper to taste, and there you go! One thing to note: these bad boys totally shrink once they’re cooked, so get yourself a lot of zucchini! I would say maybe 3-4 zucchini per person.

Some ways you can serve the finished zoodles:

  • Top with some turkey meat sauce
  • Cook with some shrimp, lemon juice, and white wine for a scampi sauce
  • Serve on top of some brown rice with a piece of teriyaki salmon
  • Replace any pasta (or half of your pasta) with zoodles for a splash of veggies

There are so many possibilities! I love to top these with a good homemade turkey meat sauce for a super low-calorie, delicious, lean protein meal!

How do you zoodle? Leave me a comment below!

February 7, 2017
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You know how some people talk about what they would eat if it was their last meal? Well mine would 100% for sure be shrimp scampi pasta. So you’ve got shrimp (yes), garlic (hell yeah), butter (omg yas), pasta (yassss carbssss), and WINE (hallelujah!) all combined into one plate of goodness = pure happiness in my belly.

I’ve cooked scampi so many times, I can’t even count. The pros of this is that I have tested many ways to make this dish, and finally feel I have “nailed” it. So when my fiancé made a special request for shrimp scampi for this week’s meal prep, I was more than happy to oblige. While this meal is definitely not the healthiest if you’re looking for weight loss prep, you can always swap the pasta for some zucchini noodles (my fav!) for a much lower-calorie and veggie friendly option.

Since we decided to go with the regular pasta for this week (we picked fettuccine instead of linguine this time around), we balanced out all the carbs with some huge leafy green salads topped with sliced red bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, radish, and broccoli. Even though this pasta is delicious, you can’t forget to get your greens in!

And now for the main event – the shrimp scampi recipe! I must say, writing this post has made me really hungry. I can just taste all the garlic now…. mmmm….. OK! Go forth and try this recipe – I can’t promise you won’t fall in love with it….

 

 

Try this recipe out? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment 🙂

February 6, 2017
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