Recipe: Protein-Packed Chicken and Asparagus Summer Soup

Protein-Packed Chicken and Asparagus Summer Soup | Photo by Becca Boyd

Protein-Packed Chicken and Asparagus Summer Soup | Photo by Becca Boyd

This is one of the freshest tasting soups I’ve had in a long time. With spicy radish and bright lemon, not to mention the seasonal asparagus, sipping on this soup is probably the closest I’ll ever get to doing a “cleanse.” And, speaking of cleanses, have you heard that souping is the new juicing? This is a trend I can get on board with. But question: What does the health industry have against chewing? Me, I love to chew.

This soup is high in protein thanks to the white beans and chicken, but not in calories — the sort of meal I might eat daily leading up to a “tight dress” sort of event. AND you still get to chew while eating it. Win-win. Read more »

Make: Healthy Shredded Chicken Tacos With Avocado Cream

Shredded Chicken Tacos with Avocado Cream | Photo by Becca Boyd

Shredded Chicken Tacos with Avocado Cream | Photo by Becca Boyd

Taco Tuesday is pretty common but, though we love Mexican food, it’s not one we implement in my house. I just never seem to have all the right ingredients on hand at the same time. But I’m thinking it’s really time to change that, because besides a salad — which, let’s face it, can get a bit boring — I can’t think of a better (or more crowd-pleasing) way to get summer’s bounty of fresh produce into one delicious meal.

Because the ingredients involved in these shredded chicken tacos are simple, the flavors are allowed to shine, and the avocado cream is literally lick-the-plate good. Coming together in under 30 minutes, this recipe works well for weeknights, but as you can see form the photo, the end result is so fresh and pretty that it also works for entertaining guests. Happy cooking! Read more »

Recipe: The Protein-Packed Pancakes You Should Definitely Make

Protein-Packed Gluten-Free Pancakes | Photo by Becca Boyd

Protein-Packed Gluten-Free Pancakes | Photo by Becca Boyd

When my husband began eating gluten-free, pancakes were one of his saddest farewells. Breakfast for dinner is a staple in our house and pancakes are hard to beat. I tried a few mixes and fell hard for Trader Joe’s gluten-free pumpkin pancakes — alas, it’s a seasonal item.

But making your own is always a good bet, so I got to work in the kitchen. I wanted a pancake that was naturally sans gluten, low enough in calories that I could partake, and filled with enough protein to keep us satiated. Well, my friends, I have found it. And the best part? This pancake mix is made, start to finish, in your blender. Read more »

The 4-Step Crock Pot Dinner That Will Save You on Busy Days

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

My least favorite part of using the Crock Pot? Food that comes out hours later with seriously drab colors. Not the case here with this fiery-red Thai-style chicken that uses simple ingredients — and not very many of them, I might add. I also dislike when a Crock Pot recipe’s directions are any more difficult than “mix ingredients in Crock Pot and cook for eight hours.” I mean, if it’s supposed to be easy, it better be easy. This recipe fits the bill: All it takes is four very easy steps, and you’ve got dinner. And you barely have to spend any time in the kitchen! (Hello, lifesaver on busy days.)

After making this, my house smelled stupendous all day and the meal tasted even better than it smelled. I suggest you whip this up tonight then pack leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch to eat over torn butter lettuce for an almost too good to be true two-for-one meal. Read more »

Make: Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Chicken, Herbs and Parmesan

Chicken and Herb Stuffed Portobellos | Photo by Becca Boyd

Chicken and Herb Stuffed Portobellos | Photo by Becca Boyd

I’ve got a little cooking lesson in store for you today, but first, a little bit about today’s recipe: To sum it up, this recipe is a veggie-heavy, protein-packed weeknight dinner, ready in under 30 minutes, that will make you want to pat yourself on the back when you see just how beautiful it looks on a plate.

Okay, now on to the educational portion of our program: Does the ingredient “cooked, chopped chicken” send you in search of another recipe with clearer directions? I want to fix that. So, the lesson: When you see this direction, you can choose any meat from the bird — or even a different bird, for that matter (hello, turkey). It can be white meat from the breast or dark meat from thighs, wings, or back. You can then poach the meat (submerge in barely simmering liquid until cooked through), roast in the oven, grill, or sauté in a skillet. Just take it from pink to white and you’re in business. Once cool enough to handle, chop the chicken and measure it in dry measuring cups. And voila: You’ve got cooked, chopped chicken.

So, now that you know how to handle that portion of the ingredients, let’s get to the recipe. Up today: Chicken and Herb Stuffed Portobello Caps. Enjoy! Read more »

The Make-Ahead Lunch Recipe You’ll Make Again and Again

Photo by Becca Boyd.

Photo by Becca Boyd

I’m pretty sure my body takes an inordinate amount of time to signal my brain that I’m full, so big salads, soups, and slaws are my go-tos for when I’m watching my weight. In fact, this is the type of food that you need to make if you’re trying to lose weight: After all, it’s a whole heck of a lot of chewing for not many calories, tons of protein and lots of filling fiber.

If chopping up a head of cabbage seems an insurmountable task for weeknight cooking, feel free to buy the bag of slaw mix at any grocery store. Just note that you might need two bags for this recipe. Once made, this slaw will keep for two to three days in the fridge but, typical for slaw, the cabbage will let go of some water. Make a batch for a light Sunday dinner and trust me, you’ll be extra excited for your lunch break come Monday afternoon. Read more »

Recipes: Bacon-Filled Snacks You Won’t Regret Eating

B.L.T. Bites | Photo by Becca Boyd

B.L.T. Bites | Photo by Becca Boyd

How often do you find a snack free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar that doesn’t make you a little bit sad? It’s not often, right? Well, these recipes are all those things, and they’re delicious to boot. In fact, when eating these, generally big grins ensue with nary a guilt twinge to be found.

As you read the title of this post, the thought “Bacon — again? Really?” might’ve crossed your mind. And I agree: Things got a little crazy there for a while, what with the bacon cookies and bacon chocolate bars at every supermarket. But as it’s a food that is both salty and delicious, it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere. And as diets like Paleo have hit the scene hard, bacon has actually become a go-to for dinner parties when you need to please guests trying to stick to their diets.

Cue these appetizers: Two recipes — bacon-wrapped dates and B.L.T. bites — full of fiber-filled fruits like dates and veggies and loved by picky eaters and regular will-eat-anything eaters alike. Even toddlers happily get in on the action (after all, dates are nature’s candy). Just a note to make your life easier: Purchase thee a squirt bottle of mayo for the B.L.T. bites – a thousand times easier than spreading it with a knife. Read more »

This Hands-Off Dinner Recipe Will Become Your New Favorite for Spring

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

Can we talk about how amazing slow cookers are? I threw this soup together in about five minutes — as I finished the breakfast dishes, no less — and as we dug into it later that evening, garnished with chunks of perfect avocado, sharp cheddar and blue corn tortilla chips, conversation had to be temporarily halted. It was too good to talk through. Read more »

Make: These No-Bake Coconut Truffles Are Your New Favorite On-the-Go Snack

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

I’m always reading how current research has discovered the next superfood, when, in reality, most whole foods have something wonderful to offer. That being said, there are certain fads that are here today, gone tomorrow and some that are here to stay, one being coconut oil.

My husband clued me into the coconut-oil train — I once saw him eat a spoonful of the stuff. Yes, a spoonful. He’s of the “eat to live” mindset, which is baffling to my “live to eat” mentality, but nevertheless, a two-bite snack that has the power to keep you satiated like almost nothing else can come in quite handy on long bike rides or when you need an on-the-go snack. That’s where these oh-so-trendy coconut truffles come in. Just a note: Keep these cold, as we all know what coconut oil looks like when the summer humidity sets in. Read more »

The Perfect Rainy-Day Dinner: Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

Kielbasa: At the mere mention, many of us experience visible excitement. That said, sitting down to a big plate of grilled kielbasa for dinner at night probably wouldn’t help us be well, Philly — but there’s no need to omit this flavor powerhouse from our diets altogether. Though I use the turkey variety to keep the calories and fat in check, the flavor is all there. If you choose to use the classic, every ingredient and direction remains the same.

We enjoy soups in the fall as the weather turns crispy, but we fill the bowls in late winter for a slightly different reason: Spring break is looming and bathing suit season’s on deck. That’s where this soup comes in: It’s comforting on a rainy day like this one — and also bikini-friendly. Read more »

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