Lemon Garlic Marinated Grilled Chicken

Lemon Chicken

This grilled chicken recipe is a go-to for me FOR SURE.  I’ve been using it for years (ever since I found it on The Sister’s Cafe website . . . and it’s been posted there since 2011).  It’s so basic, yet SO flavorful.  The flavors are pleasing to just about any palette because they aren’t too weird, too spicy, or too strong.  I often times marinate my chicken, grill it, and then eat it as is with a nice side dish.  But, this chicken is so wonderful atop salad in almost any form (my favorite being either a beautiful Cobb salad or a spinach salad).

I highly recommend adding this to your go-to stash for easy, delicious, crowd-pleasing, and fast dinner/lunch recipes.

Lemon Garlic Marinated Grilled Chicken
Mimi’s Fit Foots
Adapted from The Sister’s Cafe

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons lemon juice (I always use freshly-squeezed)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound chicken breasts

Directions:
Combine all ingredients, except for the chicken. Whisk to combine. Pour marinade over chicken breasts and marinate chicken for at least three hours, but it’s even better if it’s marinated for 8-12 hours.

Grill chicken breast when ready. Chicken is ready when the internal temperature (of the thickest part of the breast) registers at 165 degrees.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving):
148.5 Calories | 0.2g Carbs | 4.3g Fat (1.0g = Sat) | 0g Fiber | 0g Sugar

Refried Bean and Fried Egg Tostadas

Refried Bean and Fried Egg Tostadas | Mimi's Fit Foods

You want a quick, easy, meatless meal that also happens to be gluten free?  Enter in this Refried Bean and Fried Egg Tostada.  It comes together in a flash.  And, if you’re anything like me, occasionally (or more often than occasionally) you forget to thaw meat for dinner and shear panic hits with the frazzled, “What in the world am I going to make for dinner!?”  Well, never fear because this is a great solution!

This recipe is a bonus because it also fits well for lazy nights, there are not a lot dishes, and you can seriously throw it together in 20 minutes or less.  This recipe also uses that awesome Winter Salsa in the previous post.  Of course, you can use your own variation of salsa, but I’m definitely going to recommend using the Winter Salsa so you can really cash in on the authentic taste.

The best bonus . . . these tostadas taste awesome!  They are satisfying and taste very authentic.  My hubby made the comment that he thought this tasted like something we had eaten on vacation in South America (Nicaragua to be specific).

So, take advantage of all these bonuses and throw it in your wheelhouse because if you don’t have a night when all the aforementioned bonuses are in need . . . . well, you’re super human and you better start teaching me your tricks!

Refried Bean and Fried Egg Tostadas
Mimi’s Fit Foods

Ingredients:
2 Mission Thin corn tortillas
nonstick cooking spray
4 tablespoons fat free refried beans (I used Rosarita brand)
2-4 tablespoons Winter Salsa, see post for link (or salsa of your choice)
2 eggs
chopped cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray corn tortillas (both sides) with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Bake tortillas for about 12-15 minutes, or until desired doneness/browning/crispness is reached.

While tortillas are baking warm refried beans in a saucepan on stovetop over low-medium heat. Cook until heated through.

Meanwhile, prepare to cook your egg. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Break your egg gently in to the pan and lower your heat to low. Cook the egg until the whites and yolk reach the desired consistency (usually this means that the whites are firm and the yolk is thick but not firm . . . offering that runny consistency). Repeat with second egg (unless your pan is big enough to cook both at the same time).

Assemble your tostadas. Put 2 tablespoons refried beans on each tostada, followed by 1-2 tablespoons of Winter Salsa, an egg, and garnish with cilantro.
Enjoy!

Serves 1 (2 Tostadas Per Serving).

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tostadas):
284 Calories | 17.9g Protein | 27.3g Carbohydrates | 10.6g (3.2g = Sat) Fat | 5.1g Fiber | 3.8g Sugar

Winter Salsa

Winter Salsa | Mimi's Fit Foods

Well folks!  I’m finally returning back to my blog.  Adjusting to life with two children was a little more challenging for me than I thought it would be.  So, the blog just never made it on the to-do list.  I’m feeling much more adjusted to life now days and am creating/trying new recipes again.  Yay!  So . . . without further ado, let’s get back into it with salsa!  Salsa that tastes fresh, even in the winter months.

I love salsa!  That’s no secret if you peruse the blog here.  I definitely prefer fresh salsa over the store-bought stuff.  Sometimes that just gets tricky in the winter months since the tomatoes are just not in season and lacking in flavor.  I mean, let’s be honest . . . we only get the good garden-fresh tomatoes a few months out of the year.  So, what can we do the other nine?

Surprisingly, I whip up this salsa from canned tomatoes and jalapeños.  I pair the canned stuff with fresh cilantro and onions.  The salsa is AMAZING and full of rich tomato flavor.  My husband tells me that it tastes just like the salsas found in authentic Mexican restaurants.  You know . . . when you get served the chips and salsa when you are seated.

Perhaps that is all you need to know.  But, more importantly, you can still make salsa during the winter months or when you just don’t have fresh tomatoes handy.  This salsa is good year round.

Enjoy!

Winter Salsa
Mimi’s Fit Foods

Ingredients:
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon canned jalapeños
1 onion, roughly diced
1/4 – 1/2 cup cilantro (depending on your taste preference), roughly torn
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste (I do about 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper)

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until salsa is “chopped” up to desired consistency (anywhere from 5-10 pulses).

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tablespoons)
5.9 Calories | 0.2g Protein | 1.4g Carbs | 0g Fat | 0.4g Fiber | 0.6g Sugar

Our 2nd Miracle From Heaven

Adoption - Birth Mom Belly
I know I have completely been missing from the blog for months!  Let me explain.  Our second little miracle came into our lives on December 30, 2014.  And, for the four months prior to her arrival we had been meeting with her gorgeous birth momma and working towards this baby girl’s delivery.  I suppose my priorities were focused on getting my second beautiful daughter to my family and the blog took a back seat.  I sure hope you’ll forgive me because this little miracle is so darn beautiful I can hardly stand it!  (And, it might be just a smidge longer before I seriously get back to blogging recipes.  In my eyes, my babies are only this little once and I don’t want to miss out on these precious days.  But, I do have a post that will be coming shortly on make-ahead freezer meals that I can’t wait to share with you.  So, stay tuned!)

Adoption - Open Adoption Birth

Adeline Joy weighed 7 lbs., 14 oz., and was 19″ long.  As with our first amazing miracle, we also chose to have an open adoption with Addie’s birth mom and she was gracious enough to allow me and my husband in the delivery room during Addie’s arrival to this world.  Words cannot explain the amazing experience of this grand event!

Adoption - Miracle #2

When little Adeline was discharged from the hospital 48 hours later we loaded her in her car seat and headed home.  This is when Evie met her baby sister for the first time.  Evie was THRILLED and literally jumped up and down with excitement when we walked through the door.  She adores her baby sister and it’s SO sweet to watch her interact with Addie.  I am so grateful these sisters have each other!

Adoption - Sisters

We are seriously head-over-heels in love with this beautiful baby girl.  She is so sweet and such a mild-tempered baby.  We cannot get enough of her.  If we didn’t have to do anything else (you know . . . like laundry, eat, shower, etc.) then we would NEVER put her down.

Adoption - Mommy & Baby

Adeline’s birth mom has one of the biggest hearts I have ever witnessed.  She knows how to truly love better than most.  She loves our little Addie so much and we are grateful that she had the strength and the GREAT amount of love to break her own heart (and trust me, she did!) to give Addie a better life than what she can currently offer.  Addie’s birth mom is one strong, courageous, brave, faithful, and loving woman.  There are no words to describe the amount of gratitude and love we hold in our hearts for this beautiful woman.  We are grateful to have an open adoption with her and welcome all of her love in our family.  I mean, can there ever be too much love?  I think not.

Adoption - Adeline's Birth Mom

We feel like Adeline is truly “home” and, like Evie, was always meant to be in our family.  Our “new” family of four is, without a doubt, a miracle in our lives.  We love our little family and the way it has come about.  I feel like we are just walking through each day with a big giant heart wrapped around us.  The love is indescribable and I am madly in love with our sweet family.

Adoption - New Family of Four
(I obviously love adoption, and open adoption in particular.  I am happy to answer questions, offer advice and/or explanations if desired. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a private email.)

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing || Mimi's Fit Foods

This is for all of you Ranch Dressing lovers!  I recently made this to go on our taco salads.  I usually make my Ranch Dressing with cottage cheese (you can check that out here), but this is a good alternative . . . especially if you’re looking for more of the “right” consistency.

I throw everything in a Mason Jar and shake it up.  It turns out beautifully!  Make sure you use the Ranch Dressing packet (not the Dip packet).

This is a GREAT alternative to making the typical Ranch Dressing with full-fat sour cream and buttermilk.  It can be used for everything you love to use Ranch Dressing with (salad, veggies, snacks, etc.).

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing | Mimi's Fit Foods

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from No Thanks To Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used 1%)
1 packet of Ranch dressing mix

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a pint jar. Tighten lid on jar and shake until everything is well combined. (You could also put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.)

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tablespoons):
16.3 Calories | 2.3g Protein | 1.3g Carbs | 0.1g Fat (0.1g = Sat.) | 0g Fiber | 1.3g Sugars

 

Fit Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (3 Ingredients Only!)

Fit Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Mimi's Fit Foods

It’s officially Autumn so why not throw a pumpkin recipe your way?  Even better, a pumpkin cookie recipe with chocolate!  And, even better than that . . . a pumpkin/chocolate recipe cookie that only takes three ingredients and is ONLY 70 calories per cookie (remove the chocolate chips and you’ve got yourself a pumpkin cookie for ONLY 42 calories!).  Yah . . . pretty awesome wouldn’t you say?

I’m not really sure where I got this recipe.  I’ve seen it circle around Pinterest lately, but I’ve been making it for years.  It seems like my hair dresser told me about it years ago, but I can’t remember exactly.  At any rate, I’m so glad it’s in my recipe files and it should be in yours too (in my humble opinion).

All you do is take a spice cake mix, mix in one can of pumpkin, and then fold in some chocolate chips.  That’s right . . . no added oil, butter, or eggs!  This makes for a low fat/low calorie cookie.  Bake them up and you’ve got yourself some fluffy, distinctly flavored pumpkin cookies with melted chocolate found throughout.  I think they are as good, if not better, than any Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie you can buy in a bakery.  And, that’s kind of a big deal considering that similar cookies found in the bakeries can total anywhere from 175 to 300 calories per cookie!  Oh dear!

Fit Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies || Mimi's Fit Foods

So, if you’re needing a little Autumn treat that won’t break the calorie bank, these are the ticket!  They’re easy to make, super delicious, and much lower in fat and calories than the traditional cookie.  Nobody will ever know they aren’t the “real” thing either.  I’ve taken these to parties, pot-lucks, given them to friends, etc.  They are LOVED by ALL.  And, don’t be afraid to let your toddler help you mix, bake, and eat these cookies.  Mine loved the fun in making them and she DEFINITELY loved the fun in eating them. Happy Autumn!

Fit Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Toddler Helps | Mimi's Fit Foods

Fit Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mimi’s Fit Foods

Ingredients:
1 spice cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 (15-0z.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper or silpat liners (you can also spray the bare cookie sheet with cooking spray).

Put cake mix in medium sized mixing bowl. Add pumpkin puree to cake mix and stir until well combined (I do this with a hand mixer on a low speed, but you can use a spoon or other mixer too). Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by 1 1/2 tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet (I use a cookie scoop that totals 1 1/2 tablespoons). Leave about an inch between dropped cookies (I usually fit 12 on a cookie sheet).

Bake in preheated oven for 14-17 minutes, or until lightly brown on bottom (mine were perfect at 15 minutes).

Remove cookies to cooling rack to cool completely.

Yields Approximately 40.

Nutritional Information (Per Cookie):
70 Calories | 0.6g Protein | 13.1g Carbs | 2g fat (1.3g = Sat.) | 0.3g Fiber | 7.9g Sugars

Nutritional Information (Per Cookie without Chocolate Chips):
42 Calories | 0.6g Protein | 9.5g Carbs | 0.4g fat (0.3g = Sat.) | 0.3g Fiber | 4.7g Sugars

 

Fresh Herb Sweet Potato and Zucchini Baked Fritters

Fresh Herb Sweet Potato and Zucchini Baked Fritters

I haven’t shared one zucchini recipe with you this year.  That is kind of ridiculous considering it’s a staple at our house starting mid-summer.  We still have zucchini growing like crazy and, unlike many others, we are STILL loving it.  For those of you who are looking for another creative and delicious way to use zucchini I must share one of my new favorite ways to use to use it.  These fritters make such a delicious side dish and go with just about any main course.  And, they look pretty fancy to boot!

They are seriously easy to prepare, especially if you have a food processor.  I like using the food processor to shred my sweet potatoes and zucchini for two reasons.  1 – It’s fast.  2 – Everything turns out to be the same size.  However, if you don’t have a food processor you can totally use a hand grater and your fritters will turn out just fine.

Shredded Sweet Potatoes & Zucchini | Mimi's Fit Foods

I looked at several fritter recipes and, based on previous experience/knowledge of zucchini, I found it pretty essential to get as much liquid out of the zucchini as I could before cooking up my fritters.  There are several ways to do this, but the easiest and most mess-free way of accomplishing this task is to place your shredded zucchini in a colander, salt the zucchini, and then let it sit for about 30 minutes (you’ll want to place the colander over a bowl or simply in a sink to catch the liquid).  This magically pulls the liquid out of the zucchini and all you have to do is gently press it with a spoon to get any extra liquid out.  (Another popular method is to squeeze the zucchini with a towel, paper towels, or cheese cloth.  While this works, I still find it hard to get as much liquid out of the zucchini and then I have a dirty, wet, green towel to deal with.)

Also, if you’re a bit salt-sensitive, then I recommend rinsing your zucchini after the 30 minutes.  This will take some of the salt off the zucchini.  I slightly rinsed mine and then just used a wooden spoon to gently squeeze the zucchini against the colander to remove any excess water.

You’ll find that I used a combination of fresh Thyme and fresh Basil.  You can really use just about any combination of fresh herbs you desire.  I found these to be delicious and well-balanced and . . . I happened to grow them in my little herb garden this year.  The herbs really help elevate the freshness of these fritters.  Soooo yummy!

Most fritters are typically fried, however that’s not really a great option when looking for healthy ways to prepare foods.  So, I went with a baked option and we loved the way these turned out.

You seriously should add these to your zucchini recipe files.  These fritters are a keeper and we totally love them at our house.  Plus, having one more way to mix up the zucchini is a huge bonus when we practically eat it every day.

Fresh Herb Sweet Potato and Zucchini Baked Fritters
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Averie Cooks

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded zucchini (1 large or 2 small zucchini)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups shredded sweet potato (1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled)
2 tablespoons light butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Directions:
Place shredded zucchini in a colander (place colander over a bowl to eventually collect liquid from zucchini) and sprinkle salt over zucchini. Gently toss the zucchini and salt. Let zucchini sit for approximately 30 minutes. This will remove excess liquid from zucchini. Gently push zucchini with a wooden spoon against sides of colander to squeeze any additional liquid from zucchini.

Remove zucchini from colander and place in a medium-large sized mixing bowl. Add the shredded sweet potato to zucchini and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking tray with Silpat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter (about 1 minute on 50% power). To the melted butter add the egg and egg white and beat with a fork to combine. Add the black pepper, the flour and herbs to the butter/egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour this mixture over the sweet potato and zucchini and toss to combine. The mixture will be loose and a bit soggy.

Using a 1/2-cup measure, form fritters by transferring one packed half-cup of vegetable mixture from mixing bowl directly to baking tray.

Bake fritters for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. You’ll find that the fritters will “leak” additional liquid (either from the zucchini releasing additional water or from the butter/egg mixture) and this is okay.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully flip fritters over (they will be soft and delicate, so be careful not to break them) and bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until browned. Fritters will be browned and soft upon removal from the oven. Serve hot/warm.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information Per Fritter:
87.3 Calories | 2.5g Protein | 14.7g Carbs | 2g Fat (0.6g = Sat.) | 2g Fiber | 0.1g Sugars