I experimented in the kitchen Sunday to create a new pulled chicken that would taste great alone – or in a meal. I came up with this sweet and spicy pulled chicken recipe. Use the pulled chicken in burritos, salads, rice bowls (recipe also below), flat bread pizzas, wraps or sandwiches. Here are my 2 recipes!
Mexi-Mango Pulled Chicken Crock Pot Recipe
- 8 Chicken Breasts
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 1 Package of Lipton onion soup mix
- 1 Cup Diced Mango
- 1 Cup Mango Peach Salsa
- 1 Diced Onion
- 1 Small Can Green Chilies
- 2 T Lime Juice
- 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Fresh Minced (or pureed) Garlic
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 T Curry
- 1 tsp Chili Pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 T Stevia
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Cracked Pepper
Place chicken in a crock pot (choose your setting, low or hi, based on desired cook-time). In a separate mixing bowl, mix all the other ingredients together. Scoop out approximately 1/3 of the mixture and add to the chicken for cooking. Once the chicken is almost done, remove 1/2 the excess juice and place in a separate container (I use this if I feel I need to add moisture back in after pulling the chicken). Put the broth aside.
Finally, add the remainder of the seasoned mixture in with the chicken for the rest of the cook time. When the chicken is tender, pull the chicken apart until the chicken is well coated with the seasoned mixture. If the chicken is nice and juicy, you can discard the broth – or use it for a great stater for soup using leftover chicken and adding your favorite vegetables.
Mexi-Mango Chicken Quinoa Bowl
Layer ingredients in a bowl in the following order:
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup Black Beans
- 1 T Sour Cream
- 3oz Grilled or Pulled Chicken
- 1/2 cup shredded Lettuce
- 1/4 Sliced Avocado
- 1/8 cup Finely Diced Onion
- 1/4 cup Finely Diced Mango
- 2 T Peach Mango Salsa
- 1 T Curry Hot Sauce (or your favorite sauce)
Dust a bit of salt & garlic powder (optional) on top and add a pinch of lime juice over the avocado for zest!
Approximately 367 Calories: 30g protein, 37g carbs, 12g fat – getting almost a perfect equal balance of calories from each substrate.
Who says dieting has to be bland?! Not me!!
If I had known it was going to turn out this good, I would have taken prettier pictures. So, instead, you get a pic of my dinner on paper plates – because, after a long hard day, that’s how I roll! Bonnie really doesn’t like to do dishes!
If you are new to Quinoa, read my blog: Cooking with Quinoa.
Here’s what you will need…
- Fresh Tilapia
- Olive Oil
- Lime Juice
- Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning
- Italian Bread Crumbs
Coat the fish with olive oil and lime juice. Then, heavily season both sides of the fish, topping with a light sprinkle of bread crumbs to add a little bit of crunch. Place each piece of fish on the hot grill (I have a pan I use to grill fish) for approximately 4 minutes on each side. Since I like my edges crispy and a little charred, I turn my grill up at the last minute until I get the crispiness I want.
Zesty Black Bean & Corn Quinoa Ingredients:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 12-oz. can seasoned black beans, drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 chopped green bell pepper
- 2 finely chopped jalapeños
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (I was out, so I skipped this darn it!)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (cuz ♪ some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on ♫ )
- sea salt or kosher salt and a bit of fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil (I cut mine with water, or skip it, to reduce calories)
Combine the black beans and vinegar and let sit. Once the quinoa is cooked, combine all the ingredients for the black bean and corn quinoa together (including the black beans). In a separate smaller bowl, combine the ingredients dressing and toss together until it is all well coated. I served this hot with the tilapia, but it is also amazing cold (which is how I will eat it for leftovers!) Since this is so good cold, you may want to double the ingredients so you are well stocked with leftovers like we do!
Lately, I’ve really enjoyed adding Quinoa to meals. Here is what I whipped together last night that was totally delish, healthy and low calorie! Enjoy!
Combine Quinoa with 2 cups water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients together and toss into Quinoa, finishing with 1 squeezed lime, then salt to taste. Serve hot. Extremely fresh tasting and yummy!!
I’ve never heard anyone say “I feel so fat, if only I could be stronger in the gym”. No, that never happens. What they say is, “I’m so fat, I just wish I could be stronger around food”. The fact is, what we do in the gym is the easy part. It’s what we do in the kitchen that is tough.
We need food. It’s fuel for our body – BUT we have to learn to control food like we learn to control a weight. Think about this: When people first lift free weights, their weights are all over the place. Every movement feels a little unnatural. Newbies are shaky, wobbly and unbalanced. Lifting weights takes a certain amount of practice, which require repetition. Then, once we are able to control the weight, we work to improve, increasing the weight, and improving our skill.
We could use some of those same principles in the kitchen. We must first do what comes unnatural for us. For example, you may need to force yourself to eat 5-6 times a day at first. Like trying a new exercise, we have to try new things with our diet, like counting calories or making protein shakes. Then, you have to practice those things over and over – yes, you heard right. We have to practice eating healthy. You will practice new recipes and try new snacks – and just like when we practice anything else, we will not always get it right. So we keep working on it.
Look at the definition of what practice:
Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency. “Practice makes perfect.”
Don’t you think we could all use more practice when it comes to eating right? This means we have to REPEATEDLY keep trying to improve our eating habits, even when we fail, until we are proficient in healthy eating. Like anything else, it will take work. We can’t rely on shortcuts or happenstance. But, just like the work we put in the gym, the work we put in the kitchen comes with a great reward! You will get stronger.
My husband, Steve, LOVES him some meatloaf! It’s his favorite dish I make. And, for people who really don’t like the texture of meat, it’s a great way to get more protein in your diet when you are sick of chewing on chunks of meat. Even people who enjoy meat get sick of eating chicken sometimes you feel like if you have one more piece of dang chicken, you’ll SCREAM. That’s when it’s time to get your baking dishes out!
I would post more recipes, but the truth is, I rarely follow them. I make stuff up as I go. Monday I made Turkey & Quinoa meatballs and shirataki noodles with a sweet basal and spinach sauce. I have no idea what I put in it because I just added a dash of this, a dash of that and just played around until I liked what I tasted.
However, sometimes I like to follow recipes to get ideas. I rarely follow it to the T. Most of the time I double, triple or quadruple it (you would too if you were married to Steve Pfiester – that boy can EAT! haha). So, here’s the recipe I followed from Lazy LowCal Cookbook by Becky Clark to put Quinoa to the test. Result: SUCCESS!
I doubled this recipe, added a little more kick too it with the fresh jalapenos, and personalized the flavor with some of my favorite spices.
Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf (from the Lazy LowCal Cookbook)
- 1lbs Ground Turkey
- 1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
- 1 Onion Diced
- 7 oz Green Chiles
- 2 Diced Jalapenos
- 6 oz Can of Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- Seasonings (I used spices like Chili Pepper, Salt & Stevia to sweeten a little)
Cook your quinoa first, then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all together, put in your bakeware, and bake on 375 for 90 minutes. If you have your own favorite meatloaf recipe, use Quinoa instead of breadcrumbs.
People can normally handle looking up calories for whole foods, but it seems they “Lose It” when they start doing complicated recipes and casseroles. If you use a calorie management app (I like LoseIt) Managing calories from your favorite recipe is easier than you think. Simply add each ingredient (full amount for the whole recipe) into your lose recipe builder (located under More & Edit Foods & Exercises). The total calories will look huge – but remember, you have to set the number of servings for that meal.
So, divide the meatloaf into squares (or simply mark with a knife) when it cools and put the total number of squares in as number of servings to get the number of calories for each piece. It’s better to have smaller squares (and serve more than one piece), than to have large squares. This way you can have “snack-size” pieces that you can easily manage when you count calories. Also try using miniature cupcake pans instead of full baking dishes to make it even easier to serve and manage calories!
10 Servings: 153 calories, 1.4gm fat, 11.7gm carbs, 24.6gm protein, 2gm fiber.
8 Servings: 191 calories, 1.8gm fat, 14.6gm carbs, 30gm protein, 2.5gm fiber.
Turkey Meatloaf Wrap
- 1 Healthy Grain Flat Out Wrap
- Cold Meatloaf
- Romaine lettuce
- Lite Mayo
- Optional Burger style: Add onion, Mustard, Ketchup & pickles and heat the meatloaf
The lettuce adds a nice fresh crunch – and the whole thing stayed with me for several hours. Totally yummy!
I swear, everytime I go to say Quinoa I want to say Kuinoy. Keenwaw is how it is pronounced, and it’s a previously overlooked grain that is gaining popularity, and is a wonderful addition to a healthy meal plan. It was hard to find at the grocery store however. I searched several times before I finally found it. Mine is organic and it came in a bag and it looks like little round seeds. Some people have found it in the grain (rice) section, however, I found it by the flower, corn meal and stuff, in the Greenwise section at our Publix. If you can’t find it, find a grocery employee to help you locate it because I don’t think people really know where it is supposed to go yet. Also check the gluten-free section as a possibility.
Look at the Nutritional comparison between 1/1 cup of cooked quinoa (120 calories) and 1/2 cup of cooked instant long grain rice (180 calories).
In this particular brand of white rice, the protein appears to be the same, but if you are counting calories and compared 120 calories of quinoa to 120 calories of rice, the protein would be less for rice (approximately 2.7gms). Not only do you get to eat fewer calories, quinoa has all the essential amino acids, plus lysine which aids tissue repair (great for helping repair muscles). Quinoa is even more nutritious than brown rice, which is pretty darn nutritious.
CLICK HERE for 20 Ways to Cook Quinoa from CookingLight.com
I recently got a new cookbook called the Lazy Low Cal Lifestyle Complete Cookbook (does that say something about me? hah), and I am loving the creative simple recipe ideas – one of which is this recipe for Reuben Quesadillas.
- 1 Whole Wheat Tortilla
- Spicy Mustard (I like light thousand island!!)
- 1/2 c Shredded Swiss Cheese
- 8 oz Can of Sauerkraut, drained
- Four 1-oz slices of pastrami
Spray 1 side of the tortilla with Pam and place sprayed side down on skillet. Squirt the mustard on the tortilla and start layering the ingredients on one half of the tortilla, and fold in half. Heat it on medium and then flip.
For more great low-cal recipes, check out Becky Clark’s book:
Picture of Reuben Quesadillas
If you can’t shop right, you can’t eat right. Dieting and eating clean (low-fat, high protein, whole foods) starts at the grocery store.
Below is a shopping list categorized by what you can eat, and how much you can eat. You see, not all high-calorie foods are bad. High calorie foods are necessary, but you just have to limit them.
For instance, nuts are very healthy, but the calories add up fast so they are in the “Use Sparingly” column. However, you can eat a TON of fish and asparagus so they’re in the “Enjoy Plenty” column.
How do you want to spend your 211 calories?
4oz tilapia AND 11 spears of asparagus AND 1 cup of cauliflower
OR 1/4 cup (which is only 1 1/4 ounce) of almonds
Both of the above options are 211 calories, but with one option you can eat a LOT and the other option you only can eat a LITTLE. When you choose correctly, this is what I call eating smart – and the smarter you eat, the happier you will be, the healthier you will feel, and the faster you will reach your goal!
Dieter’s Shopping List
Click on the list below to open in a new window and enlarge or print.
NOTE: This doesn’t cover all the foods we eat, but these are just some of the most common foods on our own shopping list to give you some ideas. This list is mainly a list of whole foods and doesn’t include items like milk, vinegar, creamer, etc.
What are some items that are always on YOUR grocery list?
OK, so I saw this beautiful picture of Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Roasted Cabbage, and knew I MUST give it a try. When I took a look at the recipe, I was surprised to see so few of ingredients. It looked so yummy, yet it was so simple – Too simple, I thought. Honestly, after I read the ingredients, I wasn’t expecting much. But, since I love cabbage, I new I couldn’t go wrong. BOY WAS I IN FOR A TREAT!
I did make some slight adjustments to the original recipe. I like a lot of flavor, and I needed less fat, so here was what I did.
Roasted Cabbage with Lemon
1 Head of Cabbage, cut in 8 halves (keeping stem)
3 TBS lemon Juice
1 TBS Olive Oil
I sprayed the baking sheet with pam, then placed the cabbage halves neatly on the pan. I brushed the lemon juice and olive oil mixture over the cabbage until almost all of it was used. Finally, I dusted the cabbage lightly with garlic powder, sea salt & pepper. I cooked the cabbage on one side for 15 minutes on 450, then flipped each piece, recoated with the remaining lemon mixture and baked it for another 10-12 minutes.
Makes 8 servings: 45 Calories each
14.2g Carbs, 3g protein, 3.7g fat
I had 2 pieces and it took EVERYTHING out of me not to have a 3rd and 4th piece. Then Steve came home and had his 2 pieces with grilled chicken. Then he went back for more…and then some more. Then there was one very lonely piece left behind. What was one to do? Yes, you guessed it, he went back and had the final piece too, saving me the final bite. Now you know why I am calling it Crack. We couldn’t stop eating it. It was so dang delicious! I will be going back to the store today and I plan on wiping out the cabbage aisle! So, if you live in Vero Beach, you better get to the store fast if you need cabbage! haha ENJOY!
My friend GiGi is one Kale of a blogger. She totally cracks me up with her fun wit, but inspires me with her passion for eating healthy – and just making healthy living super fun. After one of her recent blogs about Kale, I’ve just had Kale on the brain – and on the plate!
Ironically, while I was picking up some kale at the grocery store this weekend, Steve was researching Kale online and was amazed with it’s nutrition. By the time he got hom that night, I already had Kale cooked and waiting – and had no clue he had already gotten on a kale kick himself! Great minds think alike!
See What GiGi has to say about Kale:
Don’t believe us? Check out What WebMD says about Kale:
“One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.” Read the whole article, The Truth About Kale.
Simple Kickin’ Kale Recipe
Kick it even another notch by serving it with your favorite hot sauce.
Do you eat Kale? How do you cook it? Share you kale story!
I first discovered this originally as a “chicken dip” nearly 20 years ago. It was served with wheat thin crackers at a gathering at one of my old friend’s house. I immediately fell in love with this healthy snack and used to make it all the time – until I ate it so much I got sick of it. ha! (isn’t that what we do? We wear something out that we love!)
Although I try to stay away from crackers, this “chicken dip” is great on top of salad greens or eaten alone. It’s also perfect for eating healthy on the go since you don’t have to heat it up. It has a TON of flavor and is super healthy!
Chicken Peppercorn Salad
3 Chicken Breast, cooked chopped and shredded
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Small Diced Tomatoes
25 Finely Chopped Green Olives
1/2 Cups Green Onion
1 TBS Fresh Minced Garlic (I buy it in a jar for easy cooking)
2 TBS Whole Black Peppercorn (amount is your preference)
Salt to taste
FOR SNACKING: Makes approximately 8 1/2-cup servings. 74 calories per serving, 10gms of protein. Eat with celery sticks, low-cal crackers or alone.
FOR MEALS: Makes 4 1-cup Servings. 148 calories and 20gms of protein. Serve cold over greens with a freshly squeezed lemon or greek style vinaigrette (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper).
Please forgive me Diane Kawar if I butchered the original recipe. I never wrote it down, so I’m just going by memory here! ha! ….but it’s still a Pfiester Pfav!