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Meal Prep Week 6: Post Turkey

12/4/16-12/10/16

Post Turkey Week

I traveled down to Charleston, SC with fiance and pup in tow to spend Thanksgiving with family. This picture below of my niece on her birthday (the day after Thanksgiving) pretty much sums up my eating habits during the recent holiday.

We eat pretty healthy on a daily basis, so I didn't feel overly guilty for splurging on tons of food during an amazingly awesome Thanksgiving dinner, Pecan Pie Cheesecake, and birthday cupcakes. However, the vacation and the holiday is over, so its back to better food decisions. This weeks' recipes have a bit of a salad theme going on. When we came back from travelling, it was late on a Sunday night, and there was no way we were going to get a solid meal prep session in before starting a crazy work week. So instead, we bought a bunch of veggies, spinach, and grilled up a ton of chicken. We also used whatever we had in the apartment, and made various salads for lunch and dinner all week. We forgot how versatile and creative we could get with just a few ingredients and different dressings. They were also quick and easy to put together. We varied the recipes this week just a little bit. You'll notice some avocados missing from our pictures... mostly because the avocados we brought home were no where near ripe yet! Salads are easy to customize, so have fun with them! On a side note, the Skinny Southwest Chicken Appetizer is aaaamazing! We ate some earlier with some chips, and are totally bringing this recipe to the next gathering we attend. It was so easy, healthy, and delicious that we feel it would be a hit!

Skinny Southwest Chicken Appetizer

http://www.yellowblissroad.com/giveaway-and-skinny-southwest-chicken/

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups shredded or diced boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 6 mini sweet peppers or one large orange, red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can corn, drained
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Mix yogurt and seasonings in a small bowl and set aside while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
  • Mix chicken, veggies, and beans in a large bowl.
  • Add yogurt mixture and combine well to coat.
  • Add salt to taste.

Can be served immediately, but if possible, allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

http://juliasalbum.com/2015/11/southwestern-chopped-salad-with-buttermilk-ranch-dressing/

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large chicken breast (about 1 lb), sliced in half horizontally
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (mild, not overly spicy kind)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn from the can, rinsed and drained
  • Hidden Valley® Buttermilk Ranch dressing

Directions:

Cooking chicken:

  1. Generously season the chicken breasts with salt, on both sides. Also, season both sides of chicken breast with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (reserve the remaining 1.5 teaspoon of each cumin and chili powder for later).
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat until hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil – it should sizzle immediately. Add the chicken breast, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, on medium-high heat. Remove the skillet from the heat, cover with lid, and let the chicken sit, off heat (it will continue cooking off heat) until the chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 10-15 minutes. Slice the cooked chicken into stripes or cubes. Set aside.

Assembling the salad:

Make sure lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, and green onions are all finely chopped. Rinse and drain canned black beans and canned corn. Add all salad ingredients, 1.5 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1.5 teaspoon of chili powder to a large bowl and toss with the desired amount of Buttermilk Ranch dressing. Taste the salad, and definitely add some salt, to taste. Adding just the right amount of salt at this point will really bring out all the flavors! Top each salad serving with cooked chicken (cubed or sliced into stripes).

Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

http://www.wellplated.com/slow-cooker-turkey-quinoa-chili/print/

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1, 12-ounce beer (I used an IPA; any dark or amber beer would be great too!) or substitute additional low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 – 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • For serving: cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the turkey, onion, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Cook and stir, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and cumin, then transfer to the bottom a large slow cooker.
  2. To the slow cooker, add the chopped sweet potatoes, quinoa, beer, 2 cups chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, and black beans. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in additional chicken stock if the chili is thicker than you would like (I added about 1/2 cup extra). Serve warm with desired toppings.
  • Leftover slow cooker turkey quinoa chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to three months.
  • If you are doubling this recipe it WILL NOT FIT in a 6-quart slow cooker. Borrow a second one, place part in a smaller crock pot, or upgrade to a larger size. You've been warned.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 (of 6) Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450, Total Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 748mg, Carbohydrates: 51g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 28g

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad

http://cafedelites.com/2015/08/09/grilled-chilli-lime-chicken-fajita-salad/

Ingredients:

Marinade/Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100ml (just over ⅓ cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to your preference of spice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Salad:

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, skin removed (no bone)
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • ½ an onion, sliced
  • 5 cups Romaine (or cos) lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Extra cilantro leaves to garnish
  • Sour cream (optional) to serve

Directions:

  1. Whisk marinade ingredients together to combine. Pour half the marinade into a shallow dish to marinade the chicken fillets for two hours if time allows. Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use as a dressing.
  2. Heat about one teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and grill chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through. (Grill in batches to prevent excess water being released.) Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.
  3. Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and fry pepper and onion strips until cooked to your liking.

Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, avocado slices, peppers, onion strips and chicken. Drizzle with remaining marinade/dressing and serve with (optional) extra cilantro leaves and sour cream.

Spinach and Artichoke Quesadilla

http://thesuburbansoapbox.com/2015/04/10/spinach-artichoke-and-chicken-quesadilla/

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pre-made rotisserie chicken, breast meat only
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and heat over med-high heat. Add the artichokes and sauté until warm. Stir in the spinach, garlic and chicken continuing to cook until the spinach is slightly wilted. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet over med-high heat and coated with cooking spray, add on corn tortilla. Top the tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese and then spoon 1/4 of the spinach/chicken mixture over the cheese. Top with another 1/4 cup of cheese and place a corn tortilla on top of that. Spray with cooking spray and cover with a lid. Allow the quesadilla to cook for 2-3 minutes and then carefully flip over. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a plate. Cut into quarters and serve immediately. Repeat procedure with the remaining tortillas.

Note: The spinach/chicken mixture can be made a day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm before adding to your quesadilla.

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