Ground chicken + veggies = Healthy meals

Spring is almost here , despite the snow we just received here in CT.  That means lighter healthier meals. Load up on veggies!

Zucchini noodles & chicken meatballs

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This is one of my favorite go too meals. Its tasty & you can eat a lot of noodles without feeling guilty or bloated afterwards.

Just get a spiralizer & go to town on zucchini. I usually add a little bit of water or chicken broth plus the zucchini noodles in a pan and warm them up and let them get to my desired firmness.

Next the meatballs. I make them with chicken or turkey and use whatever veggies I have in the fridge. I almost always put spinach.

  • ground chicken or turkey
  • spinach
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion

Mix together , form into balls, & put on a baking sheet and cook until done.

Once they are done I take jarred sauce, place in a pan and add the meatballs to the sauce. Heat until sauce is hot.

Add it to you zucchini noodles and eat it all up!

Chicken & veggie patties

ChickenVeggiePattiesSomething similar just bigger & flatter.

  • Ground chicken or turkey
  • bell peppers ( used yellow this time)
  • spinach
  • garlic
  • onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mushrooms

Mix together, form patties, place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until done.

I made broccoli and baked fries as sides. Delish!

I don’t eat bread to often so no bun but sometimes do use a romaine lettuce leaf.

 

 

Hearty Taco Soup with chicken sausage

One of my favorite meals is taco soup.
Its hearty, filling, yummy, easy to make, cooks quickly, and it’s budget friendly.

I usually have it meatless but sometimes add diced chicken or a can of chicken.
Well within the past month I received a coupon during my checkout at Shoprite for $1.25 off fully cooked chicken sausage. I never noticed it before , probably because its where the precooked, fully cooked, sliced deli meats are. I mostly just buy chicken or ground chicken/turkey so don’t really venture too much into the other meat sections.

Well I checked it out and it was on sale. So with the coupon it was on $1.73 ( originally $3.49)

Johnsonville Chicken Sausage

I was already planning on making taco soup and thought the 3 cheese Italian style with cheese, red bells peppers, & garlic would be good in the soup. The other flavors available are: Cajun , Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese, Apple & the 3 cheese Italian style.

What you need for the soup:
Taco Soup Ingredients

Chicken broth
Diced tomatoes
black beans, rinsed & drained
kidney beans or pinto beans, rinsed & drained
corn , drained
Taco seasoning
Avocado, diced
*Johnsonville Chicken Sausage ( keep it meatless or add any meat you’d like, already cooked)

Why is this my favorite? You just open the cans, drain & rinse the beans. The just pour it in a pot and cook until heated through. You can use as much or little broth as you want. I usually pour right above the beans & corn. You can also use vegetable broth or even water. Mix in taco seasoning and cook on medium heat.

I chopped up the chicken sausage into slices.
Johnsonville 3 cheese italian style chicken sausage

Added them to the pot. Waited until it started to boil. Turned off.

Diced up avocado.

Put soup in bowl, add diced avocado.
I sometimes add broken tortilla chip pieces for a crunch.

Carra's Taco Soup

Enjoy!

The chicken sausage made the soup a little more hearty & filling, as well as added a little extra flavor.
I would buy Johnsonville Chicken Sausage again, next I want to try the apple chicken sausage tastes. I would also use the 3 cheese Italian style in pasta dishes. Yum!

Do you make taco soup? What is your go to Winter meal?

My easy go to dinners

Sausage zucchini seeds of change

Not to long ago I made stuffed zucchini. Well I skipped a step and just made it one pot.
eeds of change quinoa and brown rice with garlic
Chicken sausage
Chopped up zucchini
Red pepper
Tomato
Parmesan Cheese

Cook chicken sausage in pan. When halfway cooked I added zucchini & red pepper. I put the quinoa rice packet in the microwave. When almost done I added diced tomato & rice. Stir.

When done place in bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

chicken cous cou feta

Chicken
Cous Cous
Tomato, diced
Feta Cheese
zucchini, cut into quarters

Grill chicken, cut into pieces. Place to the side.
I use my grill pan to make zucchini with a little coconut oil
Make cous cous as directed.

Place chicken, zuchini , tomato in cous cous when it is done and cover for a few minutes. I just don’t like raw tomatoes which is why I do this. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
I sometimes add spinach to this as well.

Grainful Entree Review

Grainful was kind enough to send me 2 of their meals to try & review.
Who is Grainful ? They are based in Itaca NY. It started when they were not satisfied with all the processed products on the grocery shelves full of artificial ingredients. So they set out to create delicious, convenient , nourishing food options with REAL food.

They were drawn to steel cut oats because its full of fiber, complete proteins, & loads of other nutrients. They started out making breakfast , which is what you think of when you have oats.
One night when getting ready for dinner, she realized there was not pasta, rice , or potatoes. There was lots of steel cut oats though. Steel cut oats has a light nutty flavor, & rich risotto like texture. It looks like rice, and cooks like rice so she decided to use it for dinner. She made jambalaya and that’s when she realized steel cut oats were destined for much more than just breakfast.

Thats when they crafted their convenient frozen dinner entrees by pairing whole grain steel cut oats with a colorful palette of bold spices and fresh, natural ingredients.

You can see why else they chose steel cut oat on their site here

 

Here are their options:
– Porcini Mushroom Chicken
– Unstuffed Pepper
– Vegetarian Chili
– Andouille Sausage and Oats

  

Porcini Mushroom Chicken: It’s a creamy risotto style with creamy whole grain steel cut oats simmered with mushrooms and chicken strips. Topped with Pecorino Romano cheese. It’s full of flavor , 100% natural, has 9 grams of fiber, & 13 grams of protein.

I had it for lunch and it was full of flavor, delicious, & filling. No skimping on the meat..there are big chunks of white chicken.

Grainful Chicken Ingredients

Look at the ingredients! Short, easy to read, and you know what they are…real food!

Grainful Unstuffed Pepper

Unstuffed Pepper: With zesty flavors of the southwest , its a twist on the stuffed pepper. It has a nice little kick and is full of flavor. It has seasoned ground turkey, tomatoes, red & green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, & herbs. Topped with Pecorino romano cheese. It reminds me of something I would make for myself. It has 18 grams of protein & 5 grams of fiber.

I LOVED these meals. I’m all about healthy eating & sometimes when you’re tired after a long day sometimes convenient means going towards unhealthy options. I like that they use real ingredients that are not only good for you but will keep you full & satisfied. Grainful entrees are made with 100% all-natural steel cut oats which are high in both fiber & protein. They are under 300 calories & minimally processed. Most frozen entrees can be bland, not Grainful. They are full of flavor. I can’t believe its made with oats! Who would have thought? I like having oats for breakfast, in smoothies, baking, or even as an add in ( like my black bean burgers) but never as a main component for dinner. It definitely gave me some inspiration to experiment with steel cut oats.

Two thumbs up for Grainful Entrees!!

If this is something you would like in your grocery store, print out a form and take it to the store manager ~> form

You can find out more about Grainful here: ( and where to find them)
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Have you heard of or tried Grainful entrees before?

15 minute dinner -Mediterranean Chicken Wrap

This what you need :

Rotisserie Chicken

cous cous ( I bought garlic & herb)

Chicken broth

2 plum tomatoes

Feta Cheese

Lemon Juice ( I used a 1/4 wedge from a large lemon)

Pepper

Wraps ( I used whole grain)

First make cous cous, instead of water I used chicken broth to give extra flavor.

while your waiting for the chicken broth to boil, cut chicken into bite size pieces & dice tomatoes.

I am weird and only like my tomatoes cooked & warm. I placed the tomatoes in the with the cous cous as I was waiting for it to cook & fluff up. Also add pepper & Lemon juice

Next you can either mix the chicken in with the cous cous or keep separate.

Then make your wrap

Cous cous w/ tomatoes, chicken , sprinkle with feta = yummo

Next variations Im going to try ; spinach or sundried tomato wraps, add spinach or zucchini

 

I made this again ( 8/20) added sauteed onion, garlic, zucchini

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Outfit of the day & Food

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Outfit: Loved this tribal print-

Dress : Target I think it was $19.99

Sandals: also Target Merona $15

Necklace : Not sure

Was going to wear different shoes with this perhaps wedges but then I was in a rush and these were right in front of me. Isn’t weird how a shift in your morning schedule could throw you off? Today I hit the snooze button 🙂

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I made these a week or 2 ago, I forgot to post them.

The popsicle looks phallic but whatever lol I wanted a different popsicle mold but this is all Bed, Bath & Beyond had.

Greek Yogurt/ chopped strawberries ( or your fruit of choice) wah*lah instant healthy snack . Well after it freezes anyway 🙂

The pasta dish was really yummy.

For the most part I followed the recipe linked above.

Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Box of spaghetti

1 lb of chicken- cut into pieces – I like getting tenders because they can be easily cut into bite size pieces.

For the chicken marinade:

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped ( I used dry)

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)

–  Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinade for 20 minutes- or over night

–  Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.

For the garlic gravy:

½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, finely minced

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups chicken stock

1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta) ***I sprinkled a little bit of dry parsley**

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cups whole cherry tomatoes *** I used or 3 roma tomatoes cut into quarters****

–  Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.

–  Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.

–  Add the flour and cook for a minute.

–  Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.

–  Season with salt and pepper.

–  Add the sauteed chicken & tomatoes in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this  sauce.

– Sprinkle with parsley