6pm – Plan a Gluten-Free, Family-Friendly Sneak Attack (recipe provided)

In the gluten-free kitchen

My younger brothers and sisters had no clue what going “gluten free” meant, and neither did my father – but little did they know, they were getting a delicious taste of what it meant to eat gluten-free when I came home for a weekend visit. I like to think of it as a gluten-free sneak attack – and it’s fairly simple to pull off as long as your dinner entree is savory with a zesty kick. 

Am I a gluten-free eater? No. Have I considered going gluten-free? Yes. From research, I learned that going gluten free may help those with thyroid disorders, celiac disease or sensitive stomachs. However rather than cutting out gluten-filled foods, I learned that I can still reap the benefits simply by limiting my gluten intake and making easy substitutions. 

This lemon chicken, red bean and quinoa recipe is one of those substitutions. I knew my pasta-loving family would enjoy. 

You’ll need:

  • Chicken breast cutlets (I used about 2 lbs)
  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • Lemon (1)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint 
  • Sea Salt (As much as you like)
  • Pepper (A pinch)
  • 2 tbsp Cumin 
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Quinoa (I bought a box of rice/quinoa mix at Publix)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 can red pinto beans – salt free preferred

 

Cook quinoa according to box directions. 

To prepare chicken – Pat the chicken with cumin, mint, paprika, sea salt and pepper. Add about 2 tbsp of olive oil to skillet and add chicken. Squeeze lemon over chicken and cook over medium heat (about 5 min each side). Set aside when chicken is cooked completely. 

lemon chicken

Remove chicken from pan and add more olive oil. Cook the red onion with the garlic until it has a nice brown color.

 

 Add the pinto beans and quinoa into the mixture when ready. 

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When you have a colorful mixture, add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to add some extra flavor. Pair mixture with chicken and dinner is served! 

I tend to eyeball ingredients when I cook, but if you have any questions on how this was prepared feel free to ask and I’ll give you some tips. I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious gluten-free recipe. 

Jordana

 

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7pm Celebrate Earth Day – Bake A Healthy Kale Inspired Recipe

earth day israel jerusalem

Happy Earth Day! As many of you have the environment in mind, I wanted to inspire you with a new green food I recently discovered at the local market: It’s fresh. It’s crunchy, and it’s all the rage with fitspo bloggers and health enthusiasts around the world – kale.

I discovered the new green when I was at the local market. A man took a heaping mound of kale and placed it in his basket when I asked how he would suggest preparing it. He suggested using it for juicing, but has seen others use it as a lettuce alternative in salads since it packs in more nutrients. I thought it was worth a try and took some home myself.

I later learned that kale was not only more nutritious, but it also had the following benefits:

  • It’s high in vitamin K – a necessity for preventing various cancers
  • It’s great for cardiovascular support and can lower cholesterol levels
  • It’s filled with fiber and sulfur and can detox your body and keep your liver healthy

And so much more!

It’s very easy to prepare and add to various dinner dishes. However, this versatile food also makes a great snacking alternative. Kale chips are growing in popularity as a healthy, low-cal alternative to potato chips and other high-carbohydrate snacks.

This Parmesan kale chip recipe from Do It Delicious is easy to make and requires ingredients you probably have sitting around at home. It requires kale, olive oil and Parmesan cheese! Simply place kale on a baking sheet and cover with olive oil, bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes until crisp, let cool, then sprinkle with salt and Parmesan!

kale chips from do it delicious blog

Have you ever made anything with kale? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

Jordana

Sunday 4pm: Rev-Up Your Metabolism With This Healthy Chicken Recipe!

Looking at the week ahead, I can already tell cooking is NOT on the agenda. This month, my friend and I agreed to start a 28-day 6:40 am bootcamp. Despite seeing amazing results, and being able to finally do 20 pushups in a row – it’s been a long and tiresome week. While burpees, jump squats and plyo lunges provide ample energy to make it through the day, I rarely make it home before 8pm! By packing a homemade dinner to-go, I remain nourished and energized throughout the later hours of the evening. 

Power foods are one way I speed up my metabolism through the evening. Spinach, tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil are a few of my go-to ingredients for their exceptional nutritional value and added benefits. High-fiber, high nutrient spinach is a wonder food on it’s own, yet when paired with antioxidant rich tomatoes and the healthy monosaturated fats in olive oil – you have a delicious, healthy food combination! According to TheDailyBeast.com, Greeks consume more tomatoes and olive oil than anyone else and they have higher life expectancies than Americans! 

Using these ingredients, I’ve created a recipe that you can pack away and enjoy later in the workday. 

You’ll need: 

  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • About 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts
  • 1/2 a bag of Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Feta (if you prefer)
  • About 1 tbs of Italian seasoning (or a combination of oregano, rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • a pinch of pepper

Add about 2 tbs of olive oil to the bottom of your pan or skillet. There should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle chicken with italian seasoning, pepper and salt then add to the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes on each side until it is golden brown. If you’re impatient like me, cut the chicken into chunks to save on time!

Chicken in Olive Oil

When the chicken is prepared to your desire, remove and reserve it on a plate.

Chicken on plate

Add extra olive oil to the pan and add about 1-2 cloves of garlic. Spread garlic around the pan and add tomatoes and spinach. It should start smelling delicious by now if not already! Although it may look like A LOT of spinach, it will reduce in minutes (I promise). Allow the spinach to cook until wilted and place the tomato/spinach mixture on top of the chicken. If you have feta, now is the time to add it. Yours truly forgot the ingredient while shopping at Publix during Super Bowl Sunday. 

Here’s the finished product: 

Chicken tomatoes and spinach recipe

Please comment and let me know what you think. Have a great weekend!

-Jordana

 

4pm Sunday: Prepare a healthy chicken dish the whole family (should) love

Last weekend, I made a trip back home to Tampa to visit some family and friends. It was a busy but fun weekend which included Gasparilla, 3-mile runs, car washes and tennis. By 2pm on Sunday, I felt like an 80-year-old lady! All I wanted to do was sleep. Yet with no family dinner plans in the making, I sought out to find a healthy meal.

I searched for a healthy recipe that would serve my large family of seven and eventually came across this DELICIOUS Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo dish from Eating Well. This simple recipe only took 30 minutes to make and when the recipe was doubled, there were plenty of leftovers for the beginning of the week. The directions were easy to follow – the only change I made was the cooking method for the sauce. I boiled the tomato puree in a large saucepan, then added the orzo and let it simmer. I topped the chicken with the orzo mix and sprinkled Romano cheese on top.

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This recipe was brother, sister, parents AND boyfriend approved. Even a couple of family members couldn’t believe it was “healthy.” Family members can add extra cheese if they prefer.

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You can find the recipe on the Eating Well website here:

If you prepare this dish, let me know how it turns out!

-Jordana

1pm: Know When To Recover And Stop Workouts

ImageThe flu season is here and thankfully, I don’t quite have it yet. Yet I did see my fair share of those infected this weekend as I dragged myself into the Walgreens Walk-In clinic with a hot head and a sore throat. At 12pm I was number eight in line to see a nurse practitioner- meaning I’d be seen close to 4-5pm. Thankfully, I found another nearby clinic and was seen around 1:30 ( I can’t believe how many people are sick this time of year!).  I made it out ok with an upper respiratory infection and an ear infection and I was fine knowing it could be way worse.

But none of that matters. What does matter is that I’m learning to properly relax and take care of myself and my body.

If you’re like me, you never slow-down. It’s difficult. It’s like placing a jar of candy in front of a child and telling them they can’t have any. Rest is an important element to recovery. You can work and put in 50% effort each day, but until you relax, you will never get back to 100%.

Over the weekend, I made the following changes:

  • Extra water- Before I was drinking less than a bottle a day
  • Healthy foods- Added blueberries, greek yogurt, toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches, apples
  • Soup! Shout-out to Annie’s lower-sodium Minestrone, one of the ONLY store-bought soups I enjoy
  • Hot Tea – Currently sipping on some Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger
  • Tylenol as needed
  • ZERO workouts. That’s right- I went there.

 It was difficult to let go of workouts, my “stress-reliever” but I know it’s necessary to heal. I’m giving this relaxation thing all my effort so I hope it works. For all my blogging friends and followers – take a moment, be thankful for what you’ve accomplished, know when your body needs to recover and just breathe.

6:30pm: Make Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Melt in your mouth chicken made with greek yogurt, parmesan and garlic.

I was leaving the office on Tuesday night, ready to finally unwind and workout when my boyfriend texted me asking if I wanted to get dinner. I assumed I was going to cook (Little did I know he was going to take me to get sushi!).

So I ran into Publix while rummaging through Pinterest on my Galaxy for a simple, delicious recipe that will satisfy both our stomachs- which can sometimes be difficult to do (I’ll admit it, I’m picky and I eat like a girl).

I found this recipe on-the-go. Looking at it I could automatically tell it was a winner. The recipe called for mayonaise, parm, and a large amount of salt – much to his liking (and to the boyfriend who may be reading this, I say that with love).

To add a healthy touch, for my chicken, I swapped out the mayo for plain nonfat Greek yogurt, less parm, and a bit of basil and thyme.

Dinner was served with green beans tossed in 2ish tablespoons of olive oil, parsley, thyme, oregano and garlic.

Much to my surprise, he liked the Greek yogurt version better!

I recommend giving this recipe a try!

To view recipe visit: goo.gl/efxT9i