Category Archives: Recipes

Plantain Chips + Marathon Recovery

Marathon recovery is moving along nicely and I’m all ready to race the Shamrock 8k tomorrow.  I wasn’t too sure how I’d be feeling about tomorrow’s race after hitting my marathon goal last Sunday.  The good news is a week of rest, yoga, body weight exercises and light running has me ready to go.  I’d like hit a new 8k PR since it’s been quite a while since I’ve raced at that distance but the weather doesn’t look too good.  Rain with some reasonable wind might hamper my efforts a bit.

No matter what happens at Shamrock, I’ve had my best training cycle yet this year, learned a lot and am in a great place to hit my goals for the rest of 2017.  I’m ready for a little post race down time then kicking things back up later in the spring.

Since I had a quiet workout week, I hit the kitchen to try something completely new.  Plantain chips!  I’m not too familiar with plantains but received some from a friend and figured it couldn’t hurt to play.  My first thought was plantain chips since they’re simple and probably hard to muck up.  This experimental recipe is a mash up of others for both banana chips and plantain chips but it turned out well.  I hope you enjoy it, too!plantain chips

Cinnamon Plantain Chips
Ingredients: 
1 plantain, peeled and sliced thinly. 
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil. 
1 teaspoon lemon juice. 
Cinnamon as desired.

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss plantain slices with coconut oil, lemon juice and cinnamon until coated.
Place evenly spaced plantain slices on lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then flip over for 5-7 additional minutes until edges are browned.

Meredith

Do you like plantain chips?  Have a favorite plantain recipe?  Share it with me!

My First WIAW + A Recipe

This is my very first WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) post and to be honest it’s only one meal.  I threw some things in my fridge together for dinner, making it up as I went along.  I’ve shared some recipes before but not since I’ve cleaned up my eating and started to really pay close attention to what I’m putting in my body.  So I guess this is really a recipe post that happens to be on a Wednesday.WIAW

Grabbing a few things in my kitchen, I put together a quinoa, flounder, pico de gallo meal that was clean, healthy and filling.  It was very simple and took about 20 minutes to prepare.  After starting one cup of quinoa with water on the stove, I seasoned the flounder with crushed red pepper and lime.  I let the quinoa boil and fish marinate while I chopped onion, tomato and home grown cilantro for pico de gallo.  This was my first time making pico de gallo and I was excited to use ingredients I had grown myself.  My dicing skills will definitely benefit from some practice!

WIAWI started to pan fry my flounder as the quinoa was finishing and it only took 4 minutes to be ready.  When I pan fry, I use a big wok or frying pan and extra virgin olive oil.  I prefer that over a cooking spray since it’s a healthier choice.  Once the fish was to temperature, I took it off heat and let it rest for a minute.  I served the fish over quinoa with a massive side of pico and two slices of lime.  It turned out hotter than I expected but was very tasty and filling.

I really enjoy the cleanness of simple recipes like this.  They’re easy to make with fresh, good for you ingredients and are practically impossible to mess up.

Meredith

What’s your favorite WIAW?  How often do you share recipes or meals?

Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken Tenders

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared a recipe.  I recently made these Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken Tenders for the first time and really liked the way they turned out.  Here’s the recipe for this juicy, tasty chicken dish!

Basics:
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Calories Per Serving: Varies 160-240

Ingredients:
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1-2 cups very crushed tortilla chips
1 lb boneless chicken chicken breast, cubed
2 cups broccoli
1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Spicy Corn Relish

Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 425, grease large baking sheet.
2.  Place eggs (beaten), flour and crushed tortilla chips into separate bowls.
3.  Dip each chicken cube in egg, coat in flour and cover in chips.
4.  Place each coated tender on baking sheet making sure none of them touch.
5.  Place in oven for 17 minutes at 425.
6.  Steam broccoli until tender.
7.  Remove tortilla crusted chicken tenders from oven and (optional) top with spicy corn relish.
8.  Serve tenders warm with broccoli.

tortilla chip crusted chicken tenders

Additions:
For extra flavor, add spices or herbs to the flour bowl.
This is also great with a black bean and corn salsa.
Brown rice is a good way to pack in some calories with this dish.

Meredith

What are some of your favorite recipes?  What would you do to make these tortilla chip crusted chicken tenders your own?

**I purchased the Stonewall Kitchen Relish and received no compensation
for using or promoting it**

Tin Foil Chicken and Vegetables

Tin foil chicken and vegetables is one of my favorite week night meals.  This recipe is quick, simple, good for you and delicious.  I love the way I can mix up the flavors by simply switching out one or two ingredients.  Using the ingredients below, each serving is home to less than 300 calories, packed with muscle building protein and very filling.

Tin Foil Chicken and Vegetables
Servings – 2-4
Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 30 minutes
Difficulty – 1

Ingredients
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (to lower cook time, divide into sections)
1 cup frozen corn (thawed)
2/3 cup black beans drained and rinsed
2/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-4 Tablespoons taco seasoning
2-4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2-4 large squares of tin foil

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 375.
Add olive oil, peppers and onion to sautee pan and cook until onions start to become clear.
Place each chicken breast in center of one tin foil sheet.
Season chicken with taco and cayenne powders.
Top each chicken breast with tomatoes, corn, black beans, green pepper and onion.
Fold tin foil into packet around chicken with small opening to vent.
Place in oven for 25-20 minutes or until juice runs clear.
Serve by carefully opening foil packets and pouring chicken, vegetables and juice onto a plate.chicken and vegetablesThis simple chicken and vegetables recipe can be switched up for winter by adding squash and carrots or swapping out taco flavors for basil and thyme.  If you want to find out how the calorie count would change, plug in your ingredients here.  I love using fresh vegetables for a colorful meal that’s great all year long and with very easy cleanup, this delicious dinner won’t take away from family time.  Give this tin foil chicken and vegetables recipe a try.
I love it and know you will too!

Meredith

What’s your go-to weeknight meal?  What vegetables would you use?

Shrimp and Rice Stuffed Peppers

Shrimp and rice stuffed peppers were a spur of the moment idea that dawned on me because I had some precooked shrimp to use and a few large green bell peppers that I didn’t want to go to waste.  My little experiment turned out to be a simple and filling easy weeknight recipe I’ll definitely make again.

Shrimp and Rice Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  20-30 minutes
Difficulty:  2

Ingredients
2-4 large green bell peppers, cored, cleaned and halved
5-20 large shrimp, thawed, peeled, tailed and de-veined.
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1-15.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 to 1/3 cup cheddar jack cheese
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2-3 dashes cayenne (to preference)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350, cook rice until almost all water is absorbed.
Add tomatoes, cheese and seasonings to rice.  Heat until cheese is melted, stirring regularly.
Paint outside of pepper halves with olive oil.
Add shrimp to rice mixture and spoon into pepper halves.
Place peppers in oven for 20-25 minutes until shrimp are opaque and peppers are soft (to preference).
***If using precooked shrimp, cook peppers with rice for 15-18 minutes then add shrimp on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes to prevent shrimp from becoming tough/chewy)***
shrimp and rice stuffed peppersI was really happy with the way these shrimp and rice stuffed peppers turned out.  They’re a tasty dish that’s simple to put together and allows for a big range of flavor with under 320 calories.  One additional bonus is that I’ve found a vegetarian dish I can both make and enjoy so if you need something for your meatless Monday, leave the shrimp out and fill up.

I hope you’ll give these shrimp and rice stuffed peppers a try and let me know what you think!

Meredith

What do you usually put in your stuffed peppers?

April Right Now: Watching, Fixing and Cooking

It’s just past the middle of April and it’s time for the April edition of Right Now.  I’m two weeks away from my target spring race, the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in Wichita, Kansas which will help me check off state #11.  With only fourteen days until I go after a new half marathon PR, I’ve started my taper and have had some time to play.  Here’s what I’ve been watching, will be fixing and starting cooking this month.right now

Watching.  Doug and I had a date night Wednesday to check out some of The Virginia Arts Festival that is going on right now in Norfolk.  After a casual dinner, we walked a few blocks to a grassy area for an outdoor show by Strange Fruit.  The Australian troop performed atop what essentially look like pole vaulting poles to a soundtrack that featured a variety of genres.  The weather was great and we really enjoyed watching the acrobats float through the air on their big white lanterns.

Fixing.  I’m not much of an artist but I can be pretty handy.  Working with a hammer and nails is something I can definitely do and painting isn’t much of a challenge, it tends to just be tedious.  Tape, paint, tape, tape, tape, paint.  Luckily, I won’t be painting any wall space that requires a roll of painter’s tape.  I will be sanding and staining this plant stand I recently acquired (thank you, taper miles) this weekend.  Once I’m finished, the philodendron I’m attempting to grow will have a proper home.right now

Cooking.  Omelettes, and I’m not sure what set me in this direction since breakfast for dinner isn’t usually my thing.  It really doesn’t matter why but I’m undeniably into omelettes right now.  Egg whites with shrimp, green pepper and cheddar cheese served as last night’s meal and I’m excited to play around with different fillings.

That’s what I have going on right now, what about you?

Meredith

What’s in your favorite omelette?  Do you fix things around your home?

My New Favorite At Home Nachos

Nachos are, hands down, one of my favorite bar foods.  They come in all varieties and I prefer the chicken nachos some places but the chilli nachos at others.  As much as I enjoy munching on a big plate full of cheesy, chili-ed chips while watching a game and sipping on a cocktail with a few dozen of my closest friends, I know they’re not the most healthy meal out there.  I have tried to make healthy nachos at home and it’s been a mixed bag.  Until now.  This more dip/chili style recipe is less greasy (runny) than some of my other experiments, makes great leftovers and is a happy healthy medium while tasting great.

My New Favorite Nachos
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 lb 97% lean ground beef
1 cup diced sweet pepper
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup frozen corn
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup monterey or cheddar jack cheese
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
A few sprinkles of cayenne pepper

Instructions
1.  In large frying pan, saute onions and peppers in olive oil
until onions begin to brown, then move to large pot.
2.  Add ground beef to same frying pan and brown.
3.  While beef is browning, add tomatoes, corn, cheese and seasonings to large pot with onions and peppers.
4.  Drain beef and add to large pot.
5.  Heat beef mixture over medium flame until warm throughout and cheese is melted.
6.  Serve with nacho chips.favorite nachos

I’m not a big fan of super spicy food but feel free to throw in your as much cayenne, ghost pepper or diced jalapeno as you want.  I hope you will enjoy my new favorite nachos as much as I do!

Meredith

What’s your go-to bar snack?  Do you have a favorite nacho recipe? 

Quick Quinoa and Bean Chili

This Quinoa and Bean Chili didn’t really appeal to me when I first saw the recipe, but it is delicious!  As a meat eater, I was cautious about it’s vegetarian roots.  I usually do my meal prep on Thursday or Friday, and a Sunday recipe is an odd post for me, but I know lots of people do their meal prep on Sunday, and I couldn’t wait to share this one.  Filling and bursting with flavor, this meat, fish, poultry, dairy and egg free meal turned out to be one I’m sure I’ll make again.  It’s easy, and compared to chilies that required meat to be cooked through, super fast.

Quinoa and Bean Chili
Basics
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: 1

Ingredients
3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup diced green pepper
3 cloves (1-1/2 teaspoons minced) garlic, chopped
1-1/2 cups frozen corn (2 ears – we like ours off the grill and cooled in the fridge for a day)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-15oz can Garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed (these can be subbed out for kidney beans, it’s a personal preference)
1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-14.5oz cans diced tomatoes
1-8oz can of tomato sauce
1 packet chili seasoning (like heat?  Use hot!)

Instructions
1)  Chop onion, garlic, cilantro and pepper and cut corn from cob, if using non-frozen corn.
2)  Bring 2 cups vegetable stock (water) to boil and add quinoa.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Cover and set to side.
3)  Preheat large stock pot for 2 minutes then add oil, onion, pepper, garlic, corn and cilantro.  Brown lightly.
4)  Reduce heat and add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, the final cup of vegetable stock, chili seasoning and quinoa.
5)  Simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring in cilantro if desired.
6)  Serve warm with an optional wedge of lime.quinoa and bean chiliThis Quinoa and Bean Chili is great for lunch or dinner and it freezes wonderfully.  It’s the first vegetarian meal I’ve blogged about, and I’m definitely going to add it to the recipes section on the FitNicePT blog.  Be sure to check out lots of my other favorite recipes both here and there.

Give this Quinoa and Bean Chili a try and let me know if you like it, too!

Meredith

Are you a vegetarian?  Do you ever have trouble finding new things to make?

Mango Lime Salmon with Black Bean Salad

*I’m busy running the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville this morning (recap coming next week), and then recovering, but I really wanted to share this delicious Mango Lime Salmon recipe with you all.  It’s paleo friendly (if you bail on the salad or sub them out – try avocado), low in fat, high in protein, rich in flavor and I love it.  Couldn’t think of a better time, I hope you give it a try!*

Mango Lime Salmon with Black Bean and Corn Salad

Basics
Servings: 2-4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: 2

Ingredients
2-4 Wild Alaskan salmon filets
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-14 oz can rinsed and drained black beans
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup frozen yellow corn
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1-2 cups mango salsa (recipe found here)

Instructionsmango lime salmon
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2)  Place salmon filets on foil lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and white fat has risen to the top.
3)  Dice onion and green pepper, place black beans and corn in medium sauce pan.
4)  Saute onion and pepper for 4 minutes, add to beans and corn.  Add water, bring to boil until mixture is warm.
5)  Serve salmon over bean salad and top with mango lime salsa.

Add this Mango Lime Salmon to your meal plan and let it start bursting with flavor.

Honey Sesame Chicken

Honey Sesame Chicken is a recipe I made to feature in the FitNicePT blog, where I try to post a new, healthy recipe every week (check them out here).  I aim for low carb, low fat and low sugar dishes, and although this meal features a 3/4 cup measure of honey, it’s not as bad as the Asian style food you’ll find at P.F. Chang’s or the local take-out.

The FitNiceRunner version of honey sesame chicken is baked, rather than deep fried, which keep calories and fats low, and while it’s picture served over white rice, I usually serve on a bed of snow peas.  Easy to make at home, everyone on Team FitNice loves this simple, but delicious recipe and I’m excited to share it with you!

Honey Sesame Chickenhoney sesame chicken

Basics
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: 4

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cubedhoney sesame chicken
1 cup cornstarch
3 eggs
Salt and pepper as desired
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oilhoney sesame chicken
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Additional sesame seeds for garnish as desired

Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 325, season cubed chicken with salt and pepper.
2.  Place cornstarch in bowl and gently beaten eggs in separate bowl.  Coat chicken in cornstarch then cover with egg batter.
3.  Brown battered chicken in canola oil over medium heat then place in greased 9×13 baking pan.
4.  In medium mixing bowl combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and cornstarch.
5.  Douse chicken with sauce and bake 45 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring frequently to cover chicken in sauce.
6.  Toss cooked chicken in medium sized mixing bowl with additional sesame seeds, if desired.
7.  Serve over edamame or snow peas.honey sesame chickenThat’s your recipe for Honey Sesame Chicken!  One of the best things about it is you can easily substitute white vinegar or olive oil for rice wine vinegar and canola oil, making it accessible even to those who don’t have an exotic spice rack.  Remember to keep it healthy by accompanying with greens, like edamame or snow peas, rather than carb heavy rice.