It's Monday and you know what that means, another meal prep inspired blog post. It's the beginning of my cut and my first full week back in the office. With a busy week full of meetings and new projects, I knew I needed to be prepared. I also knew I wanted to get creative in the kitchen. Cutting can be hard. That's a lie. It is hard. So, it is essential that I continue to change the meals I am eating to stay on track.
But, I lack inspiration sometimes just like everyone else. So, what do I do? Ah ha! I browse Pinterest. Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration. You can find so many recipes for whatever your needs are; gluten free, low sugar, high protein, low calorie and much more!
As Sunday approached - my grocery shopping and meal prep day - I began saving meal ideas into a healthy living board. It's important to have options, even if you don't eat every meal every day, this let's you mix and match. Create a Pinterest board you can constantly save healthy recipes into, so when you need a new idea in the kitchen you can hop right on and pick out what sounds delicious!
As I began my grocery list for the week, I went into my healthy living board and selected 3 recipes that sounded good. I only pick 3 because I always prep the same breakfast and leave dinner open.
Here are recipes I chose:
NOTE: If you'd like the macronutrients for any of the recipes below, please comment. Macronutrients vary if you stray from the recipe, like I did. In next week's meal prep blog I will share (along with a new recipe), how to determine the macronutrients for ANY recipe.
Below I will share the recipes from Pinterest (click the link to visit the originating blog) and my thoughts on them.
Greek Yogurt Biscuits - After making homemade biscuits over Christmas for biscuits and gravy, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into my meal prep. However, I didn't really want to spend 150-300 calories on a biscuit. So when I saw this recipe, I figured why not give it a go. Up front: they aren't as soft and fluffy as a biscuit made with REAL cream. That is to be expected though. I frankly thought they tasted good - not amazing but good. Paired with sausage, they made a delicious mid-morning snack (I mean who doesn't want to eat breakfast multiple times a day?). The Greek yogurt makes them a little denser than your average biscuit, but because I made them a little smaller, they were only 75 calories a piece! In an effort to save some calories, I would highly recommend this recipe. *just don't forget the baking powder like I did the first go around...oops*
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup reduced-fat milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the yogurt and ¼ cup of the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured counter top.
- Add up to ¼ cup more milk, and just until a dough forms, to the floury bits that were left in the bowl. Add this dough to the dough on the counter.
- Knead a few times, just until dough is smooth. It will be fairly sticky.
- Quickly, so that the baking powder won't lose its potency, roll the dough out, using a floured rolling pin, to 1-inch thick.
- Cut into 3-inch rounds. I used a biscuit cutter, but a floured drinking glass is fine.
- Place 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately, with butter, honey and jam. NOTE: I found baking them for 15 minutes left them a little doughy, try 18 minutes. But keep a close eye as ovens and humidity can alter this.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders - Okay, okay....so like I said above make sure not to forget your baking powder when making the biscuits. Ugh. Because of that mistake, I ended up not having enough greek yogurt to make the recipe for these. So I improvised. We mixed the spices that would have otherwise gone in the greek yogurt and whisked them into the panko bread crumbs. Since you need to have a 'glue' for the panko bread crumbs, we used the method I use for my chicken fingers and whisked two eggs up. We sliced boneless chicken breasts into strips, dipped them in the egg wash, then in the panko bread crumbs mix. Baked for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. After they cooled, we tossed them in Franks RedHot Original Wing Sauce. These stilled turned out tasty and quite frankly were less calories when it was all said and done so I am not complaining. I think I would have preferred using the extra crispy shake 'n bake because like the title, it makes the chicken tenders extra crispy. Tossing them in the Frank's was a winning decision - so I'd definitely repeat my version of the recipe in a heartbeat - plus Frank's is zero calories! Below is the REAL recipe. If anyone tries the ACTUAL recipe, let me know how it goes.
- 1½ cups non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed (Just use your fingers to crush the flakes.)
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders/tenderloins
- 1 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce
- Start by making the ranch dressing. In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, parsley, dill, garlic powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
- Place the chicken tenders in a large Ziploc bag and add ¾ cup of the ranch and seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Squish the chicken and dressing around, making sure that each tender is well coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Pop that extra ranch in the fridge too.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place it on top of a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl with a good pinch of kosher salt. Set this bowl next to the prepared baking sheet and get your marinated chicken from the fridge. You want to set up a little assembly line to make your life easier.
- One at a time, remove the chicken tenderloins from the bag and dredge them in the bowl of breadcrumbs. (Tongs make this process less messy.) Use your fingers to gently press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken tenders. (You want each tender to be realllly well coated, capiche?) Transfer the breaded tenders to the prepared wire rack.
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat the wing sauce in a medium saucepan. When hot, remove from the heat and add a few of the chicken tenders at a time. Use tongs to make sure they get completely coated in the sauce.
- Transfer to a plate and serve immediately with the reserved ranch for dipping.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Rolls - This is the recipe I was most excited for. After it was all said and done, I would 100% make them again with a few alterations. First, I would change the kind of cheese. I don't really care for blue cheese, but I wanted to give it a chance - if you like blue cheese then great, but if not I would pick something else, let me know if you have a cheese substitute that goes well with Franks! Secondly, if you want HOT - I suggest adding a few additional spices and really drenching your shredded chicken in Franks. The rolls were delicious, but not very HOT like I wanted - more mild. So, if mild is for you, don't change a thing. Tip: these are best when served crispy, if you can't eat them fresh, I recommend heating them up in the oven or a toaster oven (luckily my office has one of these). The chicken rolls are only 100 calories...seriously! I fit 3 into my macros today and dipped them in bolthouse farms ranch dressing (45 calories a serving).
- 12 egg roll wrappers (buy the ones that are roughly 4" x 4" square)
- 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken (6 ounces)
- 1/2- 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 cup broccoli slaw or coleslaw (dry)
- Blue cheese dressing, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface. In a small bowl, stir chicken* (see note below) and hot sauce until well coated, using more or less sauce depending on your spice preference. The meat should be moist with sauce.
- Begin by placing one tablespoon of the broccoli slaw on the diagonal of the bottom right corner of one of the wrappers. Next, place 2 tablespoons of shredded spicy chicken evenly on top of the slaw. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Do not overfill.
- To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the stuffing mixture so that it covers it completely, with the tip of the corner now pointing to the center of the egg roll wrapper. Fold in the bottom left corner, followed by the right, so that you now have formed an envelope. Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top left corner open. Wet your index finger in the small bowl of water and press to moisten the top left corner. Now fold that down on top of the filled roll, sealing it like you would an envelope.
- Repeat with remaining rolls.
- Place the rolls on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet (or just on a greased cookie sheet) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spritz each roll evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls are crisp and beginning to turn a light golden brown.
Trying new recipes is fun but it is risky! You may not always fully enjoy the recipes you try but you also might be surprised and fall in love with one. Never be afraid to adapt a recipe either! Pinterest is for not only step by step DIY recipes in the kitchen, but for inspiration. The recipes I tried this week were all great - while I plan to continue adapting them to fit my personal liking - I stepped out of my comfort zone with meals and kept it interesting for a week! And, because of that, I don't plan to stray from my diet.
Let me know if you too try any of the recipes above or if you have a healthy recipe Pinterest board, comment the link below so we can connect!