A twist on cheat meals

I went out to dinner on a cheat meal night and was craving a burger. The restaurant burger and fries totaled to 1273 calories. Mind you, it would have been a little less without the bacon and fried egg but some cheat meals are worth the extra calories!

During the week one day I was craving a burger but it wasn’t a cheat meal day. So I decided to make a healthier version of the cheat meal I love. The burger is topped with a little cheese, cilantro, tomato, onion and a tsp of chipotle catchup. The fries are lightly tossed in olive oil, pink salt, and pepper, then baked. The homemade burger and fries totaled to 599 calories. That’s less than half the calories of the restaurant version! This is a great trade for the restaurant version if wanting a healthier twist on a cheat meal!

When you’re doing a healthy diet, you don’t have to eat boring meals. Granted I wouldn’t recommend eating a homemade burger and fries every day. That’s a little more red meat than you need and there are better options than white potatoes. But this is definitely a great option on occasion. I love to take my favorite restaurant foods and mimic them at home in healthier ways. It beats eating baked chicken, rice and broccoli every day like I used to do! Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. You just have to be cautious of what you are putting into the meal or on the meal.

Happy eating!

Mustard vinaigrette chicken

Ingredients:

•1/2 oz apple cider vinegar

•8 oz asparagus

•2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

•1/2 oz feta cheese

•1 tbsp grainy mustard

•1/2 oz light brown sugar

•2 zucchini

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400. Trim ends off asparagus and dice zucchini. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.

Combine vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Grill chicken on grill (I used stovetop cast iron) for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to baking sheet and baste with 1/2 vinegar mixture. Place in oven for 15 minutes.

While chicken cooks, place asparagus on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook asparagus for 10 minutes.

Toss chopped zucchini in a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place zucchini pieces on stove top grill. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes.

Once food is cooked, plate food and top chicken with remaining vinaigrette and top asparagus with feta. Enjoy!

Summer salads

I’m not a huge fan of vegetables. I’d rather have a burger. But let’s be honest, my health would suffer quite a bit if I ate a burger every day instead of vegetables.

During the summer when it’s really hot here in Texas I crave salads. I don’t like that heavy full feeling when it’s hot out. I love topping salads with grilled shrimp because it’s protein rich and high in water content. Not to mention they are quick and easy to cook!

This salad is a spring mix with strawberries, mango and pineapple topped with grilled shrimp. Sometimes I’ll add a little slivered almonds to my salads as well for a little more texture. One is my favorite salads is a chicken salad with hard boiled egg white, dried cranberries and slivered almonds (homemade of course). 😍

I’ve seen a few premade salads at Sprouts recently that are high in protein, low in calorie and low in fat. They actually look pretty good. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to make your own salads, these might be a good option for you! I know other grocery stores like Tom Thumb and Trader Joe’s carry them too!

Salmon with wild rice

Ingredients:

•2 salmon filets

•2 garlic cloves

•2 tsp grainy mustard

•4oz grape tomatoes

•1 tsp butter

•1/4 oz of parsley

•1/2 cup wild rice

•2 cups broccoli

Recipe:

Bring medium pot of wild rice with 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Lower temp to simmer and cover. While rice cooks steam the broccoli.

Halve tomatoes. Mince garlic. Stem parsley. Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper.

Place a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook salmon on each side for 4-6 minutes until browned. While salmon cooks, make the tomato topping. In a pan on medium heat add butter and let melt. Add 1 tsp of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and half the parsley. Stir occasionally till tomatoes blister. Add mustard and a pinch of salt.

Plate broccoli, rice, salmon and top the salmon with the tomato topping. Enjoy!

Poblano pepper chicken

Ingredients:

•2 Chicken Breast’s

•1/2 oz butter

•8 oz butternut squash cubed

•8 oz carrot chopped

•1 tsp chipotle powder

•2 garlic cloves

•1 poblano pepper

•1 oz shredded chihuahua cheese

•1 oz shredded cheddar

•1 cup brown rice

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 25 minutes. While chicken cooks, stem and cut poblano peppers. Mince garlic, and mix with poblano pepper. Sauté on a non stick skillet. Cook until lightly charred 1-2 minutes). Set aside.

Place carrot and butternut squash in pot and fill with water till covered. Boil until tender, 7-10 minutes. Drain water and mash with potato masher. Mix in butter and chipotle seasoning. Cover and set aside. While cooking mash, boil brown rice in 1 cup of water till tender. Drain and set aside.

Mix together poblano pepper mixture and cheeses. Remove chicken from oven and place mixture on top of chicken. Place back in oven and cook for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Place mash and rice on plate. Plate chicken on top of rice and serve!

What you eat

I went to lunch with a friend recently and she told me she was wanting to lose weight. She asked me what I typically eat in a day so I explained. I start my mornings with a solid breakfast, then a snack, then lunch, then another snack, then a post workout protein shake, and finish with dinner. None of my meals are huge but they are a good size to where I’m not still hungry after.

When we went to order our lunch I ordered a a grilled chicken salad with no cheese and salsa instead of dressing. My friend ordered a fruit smoothie. This is where people get it all wrong. Food is not your enemy if consumed in the proper amounts! A fruit smoothie isn’t a meal. It’s a snack. Yes fruit is good for you but in small amounts. Your body processes fruit as a sugar. If you want to lose weight, fuel your body properly. Give it the nutrients it needs to burn fat….veggies, proteins, fats (avocado), etc. I wish people would stop being so scared of what they eat. Educate yourself on foods! If you don’t know where to start, then ask!

Easy breakfast

I’m a creature of habit. I eat the same thing for breakfast for months without wanting a change. I normally always have a piece of gluten free toast with avocado. (I’m gluten free by force not by choice. I have an actual allergy.) Lately I’ve been frying two eggs and topping them with sriracha. I love this breakfast because I get a mix of protein, fats and carbs all in one meal. I need my energy in the mornings and this is the perfect healthy and filling meal. Not to mention it’s so easy to make. I can actually make it all one handed while holding Ryder! If you love eggs and avocado, give this a try! Sometimes when I’m not in a bread mood I’ll eat it without the toast. You can’t go wrong with avocado and eggs! 😍