April 22, 2014

Quick & Easy

Quick personal update: I feel like crap this morning from the cupcake yesterday, but I am starting the day clean. I had a cup of almond milk with hemp protein and 1/2 banana before yoga and then kale granola with sliced almonds, raisins and coconut milk after yoga. To stay away from these temptations that will set you back - even when you're in a hurry - here are some homemade, paleo & nutritious meals that you can easily throw together in 20 minutes.

It's so easy to snack all day when you're busy, and then you end up eating more food with less nutrients because making a meal takes too long. Trust me, I know how this goes. I have spent many days in the same chair in front of my computer outlining and studying. These meals will fill you up and keep you going without needing to snack. These recipes are all written in single-portions; however, they can easily be multiplied by increasing servings of protein and vegetables and proportionally increasing seasonings or sauces.

Baked Salmon & Frozen Vegetable
1 salmon filet (~0.4 lb.)
Mayonnaise or Ghee (optional)
Dill Weed
Sea Salt & Pepper

Coat the salmon filet with mayonnaise or ghee, if you wish. It will be just as good without it! Sprinkle with dill, salt and pepper. If you're not using mayo or ghee, just sprinkle the filet with dill, salt & pepper. Bake at 375 for 12-20 minutes, depending on thickness of filet. Microwave a frozen vegetable (check ingredients) while the salmon is baking. (Pictured is Green Giant Broccoli Spears.) Top with sea salt and pepper.

Max time: 20 minutes
Nutrition: Salmon is a great source of Omega-3 and protein.
BONUS: This meal costs ~$6.00!

Tuna Salad with Avocado & Celery Sticks
1 can of tuna
1 avocado
1 hard-boiled egg, diced (optional)
1 dill pickle, diced (optional)
5-6 celery sticks

Drain extra liquid out of the tuna. Mix with avocado, mashing together. Fold in hard-boiled egg and pickle. Season with salt and pepper. Eat with celery sticks.

Max time: 20 minutes
Nutrition: This meal has a ton of protein (tuna and egg), good fat (avocado) & some potassium (tuna). The crunch of the celery and pickles will make your taste-buds satisfied that they ate something substantial.

Salsa Chicken with Plantain Chips & Guacamole
1 chicken breast, sliced
1/2 cup salsa
1 tbsp. olive oil
onion powder
chili powder
garlic powder
1 avocado
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp. cilantro
diced onion (optional)
tomato (optional)

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Place chicken strips in the skillet and season liberally with onion powder, paprika, chili powder and garlic powder. Flip and season the other side. While the chicken is cooking, make the guacamole (This recipe is also in the Recipe Book) by mashing the avocado with the pressed garlic, lemon/lime juice, cilantro, onion & tomato. Top the chicken with salsa. Serve with plantain chips (Trader Joe's).

Max time: 20 minutes
Nutrition: Chicken provides protein, and the guacamole gives you those natural fats we so desperately need.

Coconut Chicken Tenders & Green Beans
5 oz. chicken breast, cut into tenders or chicken tenders
1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 tsp. coconut flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
dash paprika
pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 small handful green beans, ends trimmed
garlic powder, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 tsp. coconut aminos (optional)

Heat oven to 375. 
Breading: Mix shredded coconut, coconut flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper in a bowl.
Drizzle melted coconut oil over chicken breast. Bread chicken with breading mixture. Place in baking dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Then, broil on High for 5 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, heat coconut oil in a small frying pan. Add green beans. Season with garlic powder and pepper. Sautee for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut aminos (optional) and sautee for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This chicken is great on its own; however, for some added flavor, use 2 tbsp. of my Homemade Ketchup (Recipe Book) to dip.

Max time: 30 minutes
Nutrition: This is a very clean and lean meal packed with protein.

"Garlic Lime Chicken Bites" over Sauteed Spinach and Onions
Click here for the chicken recipe.

You probably have most of the ingredients for the chicken in your refrigerator, so this is a GREAT way to dress up a chicken breast that needs to be made. I poured the chicken and its sauce over sauteed spinach and onions (Recipe Book) and sprinkled the whole thing with sesame seeds. The sauce has so much flavor that it pulls everything together really nicely.

Max time: 25 minutes
Nutrition: Chicken provides protein. Spinach has a ton of nutrients, including iron and fiber.

Lemon Dill Baked Salmon with Sauteed Kale
salmon filet(s)
dill weed
garlic powder
1 lemon slice - may sub for lemon juice
1 cup kale
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Heat oven to 350. Sprinkle a filet of salmon with dill weed and garlic powder. Then squeeze the juice of the lemon slice over the salmon. Bake salmon for about 12 minutes, if the oven is pre-heated. It will take a little longer if the oven is still warming up. About 7 minutes before the salmon is done, heat 1 tbsp. coconut oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic clove and sautee for about a minute. Add the kale and sautee, stirring almost constantly, until tender. Once tender, pour the red wine vinegar over the kale and serve immediately.

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