Baked Chicken with Artichoke and Vegetable Medley

Baked Chicken with Artichoke and Vegetable Medley (adapted from Diethood)

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As is the common theme of the majority of my posts, this recipe is great because of all the ways you can modify it by using your own favorite veggies. I used yellow squash, mushrooms, red onion, spinach, and artichoke. Even the protein can be up to you. I did chicken thighs but you could do chicken breasts, drumsticks, even chicken breast strips. (Full ingredient list at the end of post.) I was also going to add chickpeas but frankly was doing two recipes at the same time and just forgot to add them. I may do it next time I make this but will DEFINITELY be making this again regardless. This is my favorite meal to date- it is seriously so good I cannot believe it’s good for you! I store mine in the fridge for lunch throughout the week and it’s as if letting it sit in the fridge made the dish even more flavorful. I’m ready for lunch tomorrow!

Preheat oven to 425.

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Sear chicken thighs on a hot pan for about five minutes on each side, but do not cook completely. Remove chicken and set aside for now.

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In the same pan without removing the juices from chicken, cook onions, mushrooms, and garlic for a few minutes. Everything will continue to cook in the oven so you do not need to cook as long as you may normally. Add squash, cook a few minutes more. Then add a handful of spinach, cover and let wilt, remove cover and stir to incorporate, add more spinach and repeat. I used a big enough pan I could just add the entire contents of the bag of spinach at once.

Add 1 cup of chicken broth and let come to a simmer. Remove from heat, and add chicken thighs on top.

Place the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165.

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If storing for the week, let cool for about 20 minutes before distributing into tupperware. If eating for dinner, go ahead and serve and enjoy! If cooking for dinner, a side of couscous or quinoa would be good. In fact, you could add some quinoa at the time you add the chicken broth, above, and let cook in the oven. I may have to try that.

Ingredients:

4-6 pieces of chicken of your choice (I used thighs, one package from Winn Dixie)

1 bag of spinach

1 package of mushrooms

2 yellow squash

2 cans of artichoke hearts, quartered

1 red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 C fat-free chicken or vegetable broth

Avocado Stuffed Meatballs

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I am so making these again and again and again! What I love most is since you have the creamy avocado in the center, you don’t even need sauce for these. But hey, sauce it up if you like. (My homemade marinara sauce is in to How-To section.)

First preheat your oven to 400.

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Roast some garlic by peeling a few cloves, tear off some foil and place the cloves in the middle of it. Squirt just a tsp of olive oil and sprinkle a bit of s&p, then wrap the foil into a loose ball and roast for about 10 minutes (at 400). Then mince the roasted garlic. And dice an onion. You can saute the onion if you like, I did not. I usually do but was looking for something to give a crunch this time. In the future I will pack these meatballs with raw veggies.  I suggest spinach; it mixes well with meat and keeps it super moist. Plus spinach provides TONS of vitamins your body needs and is a great source of fiber. Sometimes you need to hide your fiber in good food like this.

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If you have favorite spices, use them. I used onion powder, Montreal Steak seasoning, crushed red pepper, and cumin. Measurements are below.

Combine these seasonings with Panko, one egg, garlic, onion, and one lb of ground chicken (or turkey). Mix well. I actually suggest using a bit more than 1 lb of meat as my meatballs were super sticky and were difficult to mold.

avocados

Take a glob of the meat mixture in one hand, and put a piece or two of avocado in the middle, and wrap the meat mixture around it.

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Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165.

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Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/4 C Panko

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Montreal Steak seasoning

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 avocado

Zucchini “Ravioli” with Ground Turkey, Spinach and Ricotta

Zucchini “Ravioli” with Ground Turkey, Spinach and Ricotta and Homemade Marinara

If you notice a lot of ground turkey in my recent recipes, it’s because I went to Sam’s Club and bought 5 lbs of it. So I’m just finding healthy ways to use it in the way I like to eat.

I saw a picture of this on Pinterest, but there wasn’t much of a recipe to it. It’s sort of a take on ravioli and lasagna at the same time, but substituting the pasta with zucchini, because I made it for my week of lunches.

First, preheat your oven to 400.

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You can really use whatever vegetables you like to season your ground turkey. I love, love, love caramelized onion so I use that quite often. I also recommend mincing some garlic, as this is a quasi-italian recipe.

Saute your vegetables for a few minutes on medium heat, careful not to burn the garlic. You’re going to add the meat to this pan, so the vegetables will continue to cook. You just want them to sweat a little, and for the onions to get that translucent color.

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Add the ground beef, and cook on medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly. I used 93% fat-free ground turkey (as that was all Sam’s Club had) so I had to drain the excess fat.

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Once cooked, add a handful of spinach, and cover. Let set for about 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Remove cover and stir to combine. Repeat this step for your desired amount of spinach. I used one whole bag of spinach (found with the bags of salad mixes in the produce section of the grocery store).

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Mix the ground beef and spinach mixture with one cup of ricotta cheese. I used part skim ricotta. Ricotta is one of the few cheeses I will use the low-fat version. It cuts the fat significantly and you seriously could not tell the difference.

Zuchinni Ravioli

Using a mandolin if you have one, slice two zucchinis lengthwise to your desired thickness. Mine are pretty thin, but I apologize I do not know the exact dimensions. You will need four slices per each “ravioli.” Make a cross as I have shown above, and lay a spoonful of the ground turkey and ricotta mixture in the center.

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Fold the zucchini into itself, almost like a little round burrito. In doing this myself, the bigger the zucchini, the better. The shorter slices gave me trouble folding them in.

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marinara

Top with marinara. I made mine homemade by roasted some garlic slices on the stove in a bit of oil, and then adding two cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 tbsp each of oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper.  Then I took two sprigs of fresh basil and let simmer for 15 minutes, then took the sprigs of basil out.

If you like, you can also top with mozzarella cheese prior to placing the dish in the oven. I wish I had done that, but since I was just using what was on hand at the house, I did not have mozzarella so I ended up topping with a bit more ricotta cheese (not pictured). I LOVE ricotta cheese!

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. If you do top with some mozzarella cheese, cover the dish with foil for the first 10 minutes, then remove and continue baking until the cheese has melted.

Happy Eating!

UPDATE: Ate my first ravioli yesterday at lunch, and it was wonderful! Kept me satisfied until dinner time, but if you need a bit more a side salad would go a long way with this dish.

Ingredients:

2 zucchinis

1 lb ground turkey

1 bag of spinach

2 cloves of garlic

8 oz ricotta cheese

1 jar of marinara sauce, or homemade

Turkey Meatloaf Roulade with Spinach and Ricotta

 Veggie Packed Turkey Meatloaf Roulade with Spinach and Ricotta

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When making my lunches for the week, I try to think of proteins that aren’t going to dry out, like plain ole chicken breast. Ground turkey is great for this, and all the veggies in there keep it nutritious and moist and juicy. Plus, sometimes we have to trick our adult selves to eat more veggies by hiding them in really good food, like our parents did when we were kids.

First, preheat the oven to 400.

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Dice your veggies. This time I chose red bell peppers, jalapeno, onions, garlic, and zucchini. Would be great to add mushrooms and some spicy peppers too, but was just using whatever I had on hand.

Heat olive oil on saute pan until smokin’ hot.

Saute your veggies to your preferred level of done-ness. I did mine for about 7 minutes on medium-high heat. (In retrospect, I would have sautéed the zucchini separately, and for not as long.)

Once the veggies are cooked, transfer them to a plate and stick in the freezer for a few minutes to cool (so they don’t cook the egg and ground turkey).

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Once the veggies are cooled, combine with about 1 lb of ground turkey (I used 1.4 lbs), 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs, and one whole egg. Mix it up real good, use your hands and get messy.

Once mixed, lay a piece of saran wrap on a free space on your counter or kitchen table- I know, easier said than done! Spread the ground beef/veggie mixture atop the saran wrap as evenly as you can.

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Chop one bag of spinach on a cutting board (these bags of spinach are with the bags of salad in the produce section of your grocery store). In a bowl, combine spinach and 8 oz of ricotta cheese. I did not chop my spinach in the image featured above, and nobody died, however the finished product would have been easier if I had.

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Spread spinach/ricotta mixture as evenly as you can on top of the ground meat you previously laid out.

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Roll it up carefully, like a big sushi roll.Mold to create a loaf shaped rectangle.

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Back in the preheated oven (at 400) for 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165.

You’ll notice in my finished image above that my meatloaf split while cooking. Boo. Another egg would’ve bound it together more, or I could have rolled it tighter. Either way, it was still SO good. Eating like this doesn’t feel like I’m eating healthy at all.

Ingredients:

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb ground turkey or ground chicken

1 whole sweet onion

1 whole red pepper

1 whole jalapeno pepper

1 whole zucchini 

(or other vegetables of your choice)

1 whole egg

1/4 C Panko bread crumbs

1 bag of spinach

8 oz ricotta cheese (whole or part skim, I used whole in this recipe, but part skim really cuts the fat, which I tend to eat too much of. I suggest going with part skim, you seriously cannot tell the difference)