Mango Chicken Sheet Pan

I got the idea for this recipe from this website. Thanks Athletic Avocado! I was trying not to eat dairy and sugar this week, while still making food my family would eat. Mango has a naturally high sugar content so you won’t need added sugars. My kids enjoyed this one and hubby said, “Please make this one again!”. Since it’s on a sheet pan, it makes for a super easy clean up which I always love on work nights.

If you don’t have a Vitamix, you should totally get one! I use it for everything and can’t really figure out how I lived without one when I was newer to cooking. The other thing I can no longer live without is my ThermaPen. It’s an expensive thermometer that works great. I was always seeing them on cooking shows, and chefs use them. No one is paying me for endorsements yet, so you can trust both things are great. 🙂

When I cooked this, I added the veggies at the same time as the chicken. Our veggies were a little too soft, so next time I will add them a ways in, to keep them a bit more crisp tender. Feel free to add more veggies if you have any. Athletic Avocado added Red Pepper and extra Mango chunks which looked delicious. I might also try with Snow Peas, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts or Cabbage if I had some.

Serve with rice if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Small Chicken Breast Pieces
  • 1 Head Broccoli, Chopped
  • 1/2 Small Bag of Baby Carrots, Halved
  • 2 Large Ripe Mangoes, Chopped
  • 1 T. Garlic
  • 1 t. Fresh Ginger or more to taste
  • ⅓ C. Soy Sauce
  • ¼ C. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 T. Avocado Oil
  • Sesame Seeds

Steps:

Preheat oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up. Spray with non-stick spray.

Place chicken breasts in one bowl and chopped veggies in another.

Blend remaining ingredients except for sesame seeds in a blender until smooth.

Pour half the sauce into the chicken bowl and half into the veggie bowl. Allow to marinate for a few minutes or a few hours depending on how much time you have. (I wouldn’t go over two hours since fruit can make chicken mushy after too long)

Place chicken on one end of sheet pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and add veggies to other side of tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until thermometer in fattest piece of chicken is at least 165.

Fresh ginger on the cutting board, yummm
Trusty Vitamix
Bath of deliciousness

Nutrition Facts: (for chicken and veggies, not including rice)

  • Calories: 291
  • Protein: 19
  • Fat: 15
  • Carbs: 19

Chicken Quinoa Bake with Orange Jicama Salad

I was on a mission this week not to eat any processed foods, added sugar or dairy so my meal plan included a lot of white meat and veggies. The kids are a bit tired of chicken now, so the hubby is planning to take us to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar for dinner. I can get a chicken burger without cheese or a bun and a really delicious pick your own ingredients salad on the side. The kids can get good old american cheese burgers and fries and the hubby can get something interesting like spicy jalapenos or crazy big bacon. It’s nice we can all get something we like at the same place and it’s a real treat since we don’t go out to eat very often.

For this recipe I really just wanted a way to make quinoa and chicken in the same pan in the oven without using a cream based soup. Most of the recipes I found online all had Cream of Mushroom or some sort of variation of that nature.

So I just winged and it turned out pretty good. My family really likes garlic and that was the main flavor here. If there are other flavors you like better, definitely throw them in. Chicken and Quinoa alone are both pretty bland and neither soak up flavor very well.

The salad featured my two favorite in season ingredients right now, jicama and oranges. It was my favorite salad of the week. I made 4 separate salads this night instead of a big bowl buffet style. One of my daughters doesn’t like avocado so it was easier to make sure everyone got what they wanted. It actually turned out to be way too much food for one dinner so I had quite a bit of salad and chicken leftovers for lunch the next day and a container of quinoa for later use.

Ingredients:

Chicken Quinoa Bake:

  • 1 t. Olive Oil
  • 1 C. Quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 14.5 oz. Can Chicken Broth
  • 4 Thin-Cut Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
  • Black Pepper

Orange Jicama Salad:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • ¼ Jicama
  • 2 Cara Cara Oranges
  • 2 Green Onions
  • ½ Avocado

Steps:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Pour olive oil into 13 x 9 glass baking pan and rub to cover bottom and sides. Add rinsed quinoa and chicken broth and shake or stir until fairly evenly distributed. Place chicken breast on top trying not to overlap too much. Sprinkle with minced garlic and black pepper to taste.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove foil, stir quinoa underneath chicken and take the temperature of the biggest piece of chicken. (Mine were about 137 at this stage and quinoa had not opened yet). Replace foil and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes. Chicken should be a minimum of 165 degrees in the center of the thickest part and quinoa should be open. (They will seem slightly larger than when you started and their little curly tails will be sticking out.)

While the chicken and quinoa are still in the oven, make the salads.

Chop lettuce and arrange in bottom of the bowls. Peel 2 oranges using a knife and cut into small pieces. Chop jicama into small squares and chop green onions. Slice ½ an avocado in the peel two ways and then scoop. Arrange all veggies on top of the lettuce. Return to refrigerator and then serve with dinner. We used lemon or lime juice and avocado spray for dressing, but any vinaigrette would also work.

Not too many ingredients and one pan makes for a quick weeknight dinner
These are thin-cut chicken, regular whole breasts would probably take too long to cook compared to the quinoa
More quinoa than one family of 4 can eat!
I want to eat this salad again….

Nutrition Facts: (1 Piece of Chicken, ½ C. Cooked Quinoa, 1 Salad no dressing)

  • Calories: 417
  • Protein: 34.9
  • Fat: 13.8
  • Carbs: 37.7

Oven Baked Italian Chicken or Fish

This recipe was inspired by Parmesan chicken. My middle daughter loves Parmesan chicken, but I don’t always want to eat mozzarella cheese when I’m watching my nutrition. So this night I made some chicken with cheese and some fish without any cheeses. Double bonus for getting some healthy nutrients from the fish and making my non-fish eating family happy without adding much extra work. I didn’t take many pictures of this meal, but did end up serving it with roasted cauliflower and mini penne pasta. I had leftover fish and cauliflower to eat for lunch later in the week.

Ingredients:

For the Chicken Recipe:

  • 3 4 oz. chicken breasts
  • Avocado Oil Spray
  • ½ C. Garlic or Italian Flavored Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C. Parmesan Cheese (chopped fine)
  • 1 ½ C. Jar pasta sauce (I used Classico Fire Roasted Garlic)
  • ¾ C. Shredded Mozzarella
  • Salt or Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

For the Fish Recipe:

  • 3 5 oz. Orange Roughy or other white fish fillets, still partially frozen
  • Avocado Oil Spray
  • ½ C. Garlic or Italian Flavored Breadcrumbs
  • Salt or Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Sprinkle salt or garlic salt and pepper on all the chicken and fish fillets.

Finely chop the parmesan cheese if needed. Add parmesan cheese and ½ C. Breadcrumbs to one shallow bowl, add ½ C. Breadcrumbs to another shallow bowl. Spray the chicken and fish fillets with avocado oil. Dip each chicken into the crumbs with cheese and flip and spray the other side with avocado oil. Flip and pat until well coated. Do the same with the fish in the crumbs without cheese and be sure to wash hands in between so as not to cross contaminate.

Place the chicken and fish fillets on a sheet pan covered with foil. You can make a fold in the foil to make a barrier in between the chicken and fish, although it’s not really necessary. I was afraid my fish juice might get over on the chicken side, but the juices didn’t stray too far.

Bake 15 minutes. Flip each of the pieces carefully and bake about another 15 minutes. If your fish was fully thawed or very thin pieces, you may need to remove them earlier than the chicken pieces. Use a thermometer to see if the chicken is at least 165 degrees and test the fish with a fork for flakiness.

Add ½ C pasta sauce and ¼ C. mozzarella cheese to each piece of chicken. Broil under oven broiler until cheese is melty and slightly browned. (You can either leave the fish if it’s still on the pan to get it a little crispier, or turn the pan to only broil the chicken side if the fish is crispy enough already)

Nutrition Facts Chicken (including pasta sauce and mozzarella):

  • Calories: 387
  • Protein: 39
  • Fat: 13.3
  • Carbs: 22.7

Nutrition Facts Fish:

  • Calories: 188
  • Protein: 25.8
  • Fat: 2
  • Carbs: 14.6

Greek Chicken Gyros

This recipe is kind of like a Greek take on taco night. My husband really likes the Greek flavors. The kids aren’t in love with Greek flavor, but serving buffet style allows them to choose what they like and leave the rest.

Apparently traditional standard Greek flavor is lemon, garlic and oregano. I use poultry seasoning instead which has some oregano in it. Oregano is really strong and not my favorite spice, especially by itself. If you want more traditional flavor and you like oregano, use that in place of the poultry seasoning.

Ingredients:

Chicken Marinade:

  • Zest and Juice of half a Lemon
  • 1 T. minced Garlic
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Poultry Seasoning
  • 2-4 Chicken Breasts

Optional for serving:

  • Flatbread or Pita Bread
  • Feta or Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • Tzatziki Sauce (find it in the deli or make with Greek yogurt, lemon, cucumber and dill)
  • Leafy Green Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Red Pepper or Mini Peppers
  • Pickled Peppers
  • Kalamata Olives

Steps:

Cut chicken breasts into strips or chunks. Add all marinade ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until well mixed. Add chicken and fold until evenly coated. Place in refrigerator while preparing remaining ingredients or up to several hours covered if made ahead.

Chop remaining optional ingredients for serving. Thinly slicing red onion, cucumber, and peppers makes for easier pita stuffing. Serving chopped veggies in pyrex or tupperware allows for easy leftover storage. Use any leftovers to make greek salads for lunch!

Place a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. When skillet is hot, add 1 T. of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add chicken and cook until no pink remains in the largest pieces. A thermometer in the center should read at least 165.

Arrange all ingredients buffet style and allow each person to make their own.

Nutrition Facts:

For one flatbread with 2 T. Tzatziki sauce, ½ oz. crumbled feta, ½ chicken breast, all the veggies and 4 kalamata olives

  • Calories: 359
  • Protein: 20.3
  • Fat: 19.8
  • Carbs: 29.3
  • Fiber: 4.5

Class Night Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I do Krav Maga class 2 nights a week, so I’m always making recipes that can either go in the crock pot before I leave for class, or in a casserole that I can assign to the hubby or the kids to put in the oven while I’m gone. I forgot we were off for the holiday this week, but decided to make this one anyway cause everyone in my family loves taco night. I serve everything buffet style so everyone can make theirs how they like best. If you’re saving carbs, eat a salad instead of a tortilla or a shell. If you’re saving fats, go easy on the cheese and avocado and skip the sour cream.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • ½ White Onion Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ½ pack of Taco Seasoning or your favorite taco spices (I like Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin, Salt and Black Pepper)
  • ½ to 1 Cup Water

Optional to Serve:

  • Small Flour Tortillas, Taco Shells or Tortilla Chips
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Green or Red Onion
  • Avocado
  • Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa or Hot Sauce

Steps:

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. It’s fine if they are still frozen. Add chopped onion and garlic. Add taco spices and about ½ cup water. Cook on low until chicken is fully cooked, about 3 hours. Shred with 2 forks and serve with optional ingredients.

I used frozen chicken and added about 1 Cup of Water and it was too watery when it was done
Buffet Style, save dishes by serving from the cutting board if you’re not having company…

Nutrition Facts:

This is based on the plate I made for myself. Your facts will differ depending on the size of the tortillas and what you add to them. I had 2 fajita (small) sized tortillas with ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 chicken breast, iceberg lettuce, 2 cherry tomatoes, ¼ of an avocado, a few diced red onions and Cholula hot sauce.

  • Calories: 523
  • Protein: 28
  • Fat: 19.8
  • Carbs: 44.6
  • Fiber: 2.7

Easy Chicken Broccoli Soup

This is a super easy and versatile recipe that is one of my go-to’s when I’m counting calories. It’s easy to make, fills you up (see if you can even eat the whole bowl), and makes you warm from the inside. It’s as easy as making a bowl of ramen noodles, but with actual nutritional value…

I make this for lunch when I’m tired of salad with chicken. I make it for dinner when the kids are eating MacD’s or mac and cheese or something else that won’t fit into my day. I eat it when I’m saving calories for something special like dinner out with my husband.

This recipe is super budget friendly if you can buy the chicken from Costco or use leftovers from another meal, but you can change the ingredients to whatever you have on hand and make more expensive versions if you’re not counting cash along with your calories.

This recipe has a lot of sodium from the bouillon and canned chicken. If you are watching sodium, be sure to use a low sodium broth and leftover baked chicken from home.

Easy Chicken Broccoli Soup

Basic Recipe

  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube or other broth
  • 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 of a 12 oz. can of Kirkland Chicken Breast drained or any 4-6 oz. leftover chicken (baked, rotisserie, etc)
  • Spices or Hot Sauce to taste (I like garlic, pepper, dry mustard and poultry seasoning)

Steps:

Add 2 cups of water and bouillon cube or broth and water to make 2 cups liquid to a small saucepan. Heat on high until boiling and bouillon dissolves completely. Add chicken and broccoli and continue cooking until broccoli is hot but still fairly crisp (about 3 minutes from frozen). Add spices to taste. Pour into a really big bowl and allow to cool a bit before taking a bite.

Add-in option ideas:

If you’re not on a super tight budget or have other things to use up in the kitchen you can try some other options. These are just ideas, use whatever you like:

  • Use any frozen vegetables like mixed veggies, cauliflower, asparagus or Brussels sprouts
  • Use any broth like vegetable broth, beef broth or bone broth (I’ve even used the sauce packet from a package of ramen in a pinch…)
  • Add a handful of fresh spinach or power greens right at the end
  • Add fresh minced or canned garlic or some green onions
  • Add diced fresh or canned mushrooms
  • Only if you want to add more calories/carbs: Add leftover cooked quinoa, brown rice or farro

Recipe nutrition facts for Basic Recipe:

  • Calories: 172
  • Protein: 25.3
  • Fat: 2.95
  • Carbs: 13.08
  • Fiber: 4.7
  • Sodium: 1267.5 <–That’s almost a whole days worth!!
Basic Chicken Broccoli Soup with a handful of spinach. Yum!