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

FIt Mexican Stack

Fit Mexican Stack || Mimi's Fit Foods

OMG!  I seriously cannot believe that I haven’t blogged this yet.   I mean, I kind of can.  Mostly because whenever I make it we NEVER want to wait for me to snap photos of it before we eat.  Lucky for you all, the hubby and the baby were outside when this came out of the oven so I hurried as fast as I could to snap some photos before we gobbled it up.

Fit Mexican Stack | Mimi's Fit Foods

I’ve been making it for years.  It’s a family favorite.  It’s got all those classic Mexican flavors, but it’s oh-so-fun with the way it is layered and the layers definitely add some great texture.  I adapted the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. That should already sell you on the deliciousness, but let me just give you a few highlights.  Pretoasting the tortillas makes this dish a winner.  When they’ve been crisped up, they not only taste great, but they provide the necessary structure for the stack.  The toasted tortillas also help us to avoid that raw flavor and gummy texture that soggy tortillas can leave behind  So, the toasted tortillas are definitely a huge highlight.  Another huge highlight is the great amount of  filling you find between layers.  You will NOT feel short-changed here, folks. And, if I can, I must also highlight the mashed black beans.  I simply love them!

Fit Mexican Stack - Mimi's Fit Foods

So, what I’m saying here is that you should really make this because I’m pretty sure you’re going to find that it will become one of your family favorites too.  It’s a winner, hands down!

Fit Mexican Stack
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
8 ounces plum tomatoes (2 to 3), cored and chopped medium
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces cooked and shredded chicken breast
4 (10-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Directions:
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the corn and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the corn to a large bowl, stir in the tomatoes, green onions, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels, add the remaining teaspoon of oil, and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the black beans and the chicken broth and cook until the liquid has nearly evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mash the beans with a potato masher until no beans are left whole. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray both sides of half the tortillas with vegetable oil spray and lay on a baking sheet.

Bake the tortillas until lightly browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them half-way through the baking. Remove the tortillas from the oven and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Line a rimless or inverted baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one of the toasted tortillas on the prepared baking sheet. Spread one-quarter of the mashed beans over the top, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edge. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the corn mixture, one-quarter of the chicken, and 3 tablespoons cheddar. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, beans, corn, chicken, and cheddar and stack the topped tortillas to make a layered stack.

Bake the Mexican Stack until the cheese is melted and slightly brown, 20-25 minutes. Let the stack cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then slide it onto a cutting board using the parchment. Remove the parchment and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon cilantro. Cut into 8 wedges and serve hot.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Slice):
210.7 Calories | 21.1g Protein | 25.6g Carbs | 6g (1.6g = Sat.) Fat | 10.2g Fiber | 2.3g Sugars

Chicken and Tabouli Gyros

Chicken and Tabouli Gyros | Mimi's Fit Foods

As promised . . . here’s a yummy and healthy idea of ways to use that delicious Whole Wheat Flatbread!  These Gyros are sooooooo easy and they taste great.  All you do is make the Quinoa Tabouli, whip up some Whole Wheat Flatbread, throw in some shredded chicken, and you’ve got yourself a delicious Gyro!

Like I’ve mentioned several times before, I love cooking up a big batch of shredded chicken in my slow cooker so I can assemble meals at the drop-of-a-hat.  That’s what I had done here.  I had made the Quinoa Tabouli the day before, I already had shredded chicken sitting in my fridge, so really all I had to do for dinner was make the flatbread.

These taste super fresh and they’re very filling.  The only thing I think that would make these even better would be to add Tzatziki (you can make your own or buy it).  If you can spare a few extra calories, add it in!  It would take these from delicious to super delicious!

Chicken and Tabouli Gryos

1 Whole Wheat Flatbread
1/4 cup Quinoa Tabouli
3 ounces cooked and shredded chicken breast
Tzatziki, optional

To assemble place shredded chicken down the center of the flatbread.  Evenly top with Quinoa Tabouli.  If desired, top Tabouli with Tzatziki.  You can either fold in the sides of the flatbread and roll it up.  Or, you can fold it half like a taco.  Enjoy!

Serves 1 (but can easily be multiplied).

Nutritional Information per Gyro
Calories:  279.3
Protein:  25g
Carbs:  32.7g
Fat:  6.8g
Fiber:  4.6g
Sugars:  3.2g

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears|Mimi's Fit Foods

Ok.  Ok.  I know this is not the most glamorous looking dish.  However, it is so darn easy, so darn healthy, and so darn good.  I just have to share!

The balsamic vinegar yields a nice tang, while the pears balance that out with a hint of sweetness.  You’ll also find that by cooking the chicken in the slow cooker you get some natural chicken broth that mixes with the balsamic vinegar and this gives the perfect low-calorie sauce.  We ate this dish with Baked Brown Rice and the sauce poured over the top was deeeeeelish!

Oh, and the slow cooker does all the work?  Awesome!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears
Adapted from Laa Loosh

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 medium sized pears, cored and sliced thick
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and let cook for about 4-6 hours on low, or until chicken falls apart easily.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving – Approx. 4 oz.)
Calories:  146.8
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  11g
Fat:  1.1g (0.0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.4g
Sugars:  8.6g (mostly from pears)

Roasted Asparagus and Chicken Pasta with Balsamic Butter

Roasted Asparagus and Chicken Pasta with Balsamic Butter|Mimi's Fit Foods

How about a pasta dish that is under 300 calories per serving?  Yes, please!

We love, love, LOVE this pasta dish!  When fresh asparagus hits the stores, this recipe immediately goes in our line-up!  The asparagus adds that great freshness to the overall taste, while the balsamic butter coats everything with a sweet tanginess.  And, fresh Parmesan?  The perfect way to top it all off!

The funny thing about this recipe is that it screams spring-time . . . thanks to that asparagus.  But, the balsamic butter also gives the recipe a bit of comfort.  In the fall/winter months when asparagus isn’t at it’s best, just sub in some steamed broccoli and you’ve got a dish that you can add to your favorites year-round!

Roasted Asparagus and Chicken Pasta with Balsamic Butter
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
8 ounces whole wheat/grain penne pasta, dry
2 tablespoons light butter, cut into pieces (I used Smart Balance)
1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 of the pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the asparagus roasts, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced to about 5 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until melted.

Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until just done, 11-13 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the balsamic butter mixture. Toss to combine well. Add in the asparagus, chicken, Parmesan, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for serving.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  298.5
Protein:  25.1g
Carbs:  36.3g
Fat:  7.3g (2.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5.6g
Sugars:  1.3g

Chicken Salad Sandwiches With Avocado (Mayo-Less)

Chicken Salad With Avocado | Mimi's Fit Foods

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I just had to post another something green.  While this is great for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s really great for any day so you need to add it to your lists right now.  🙂

This is great because it is a chicken salad sandwich, but it’s using avocado instead of mayo.  Brilliant!  We get all the healthy benefits from using an avocado and we’re getting those good fats instead of the bad ones.  The avocado also offers a nice creamy texture and loads on the flavor (thanks to those good, healthy fats).  The egg also helps to boast the flavor while the dried cranberries balance things out with a hint of sweetness.  If desired, you can totally add chopped cashews to your sandwich to catch that traditional crunch you get from chicken salad.  I decided to omit them to save calories, but I’m sure they would be super delicious!

For someone who loves chicken salad sandwiches, I’m pretty darn happy with this version!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches With Avocado (Mayo-Less)
Adapted from The Skinny Fork

5 ounces chicken breast, cooked & shredded
1 medium hass avocado, mashed
1 large egg, hardboiled and diced
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
salt & pepper to taste
whole wheat bread (100 calories, per slice)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and fold gently to combine.  Divide in half and make two sandwiches.  (I make half sandwiches, using only one slice of bread.  And, in my case, I actually make three sandwiches out of this recipe.  Two bigger ones for me and the hubby, and a small one for the babe.)

Serves 2 (Generously).

Nutritional Information (Per Sandwich using 100 calories for bread)
Calories:  383
Protein:  24.9g
Carbs:  26.1g
Fat:  19.2g (1.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5.6g
Sugars:  8g

Fit Fajita Bowls

Fit Fajita Bowls | Mimi's Fit Foods

This is such a yummy clean, healthy, and gluten-free meal!  It’s loaded with protein, fiber, and traditional Mexican flavors.

These bowls are super easy to assemble.  All you do is throw in some rice, top it with black beans, smokey-cumin veggies, Mexican Chicken, Guacamole, and freshly cut green onions and cilantro.

When we ate these my hubby said they tasted like they came right out of a restaurant.  The great news is, that they tasted like Tex-Mex take-out, but I made them right at home with A LOT less calories and a higher nutritional content.  Woot!

Now, you can easily cut 100 calories off of these babies if you need/want.  All you do is omit the black beans and the Guac.  Admittedly, I think the bowls taste better with these ingredients in (which is why I have them in the official recipe) and they also add extra nutritional value.  But, if you’re really watching those calories and need a place to cut . . . these are the two ingredients I would chop.

I made my Easy Guacamole for these.  Why?  Because it’s super easy and delicious.  I also baked my brown rice so that I had one less thing to worry about while I was putting dinner together.  I love putting my rice in the oven and walking away without the worry of it boiling over, over cooking, or under cooking.

I hope you love these as much as we do!

Fit Fajita Bowl | Mimi's Fit Foods

Fit Fajita Bowl

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 bell peppers, sliced thin (any color)
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cumin
juice of 1 lime, divided
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup black beans (warmed, if desired)
1/4 cup Easy Guacamole
optional toppings:  chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, reduced fat cheese, salsa

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add peppers, onions, and cumin.  Sauté until the veggies soften, about 7-10 minutes.  Add half of the lime juice.  Set veggies aside.

Return skillet to heated stovetop and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.  While olive oil is heating up (which won’t take long), coat chicken strips with taco seasoning and remaining lime juice.  Add chicken to the skillet and sauté until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink (timing of this will depend on how thick you cut your strips).  Remove from heat.

Now it’s time to assemble your bowls.  Place 1/2 cup cooked brown rice in each bowl, followed by 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 of the veggies, 1/4 of the chicken, 1 tablespoon Easy Guacamole, and desired toppings (I just did green onions and cilantro).  Repeat with remaining bowls.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Bowl)
Calories:  348.8
Protein:  24.4g
Carbs:  46.2g
Fat:  9.4g (0.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  8g
Sugars:  2.9g