Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli | Mimi's Fit Foods

I must admit.  I’m not a pro when it comes to knowing much about Middle Eastern cuisine.  However, I have had Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) before and LOVED it.  It is traditionally made with bulgur wheat.  That being said, I ran across this version with quinoa instead of bulgur and knew I would love the simple exchange.  It’s still a healthy grain, yet I tend to have quinoa on hand much more often than bulgur.

Tabouli is naturally healthy.  There is nothing found in this salad that isn’t clean.  It’s PACKED with flavor because it’s made with gobs of fresh herbs (mint and parsley to be exact). It’s seasoned beautifully with a dressing made primarily of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

The great thing about this little salad is it is quite versatile.  You can eat it as is, you can add chicken to it, you can made a vegetarian wrap out of it, etc. In fact, stay tuned because I have a post coming up where I actually stuff this yummy Tabouli in a wrap/gyro.  It’s so good!

Quinoa Tabouli
Adapted from Nutritious Eats

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed, drained & cooked to package instructions
2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1 pint)
1 1/2 cups chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped onion (can substitute green onions)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cups fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Dressing:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 scant cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Koser salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl to cool while you prep other ingredients.

Add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and fresh herbs to cooked, cooled quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Pour over quinoa salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for a couple hours to chill slightly. Serve room temperature or cold.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  124
Protein:  2.8g
Carbs:  16.4g
Fat:  5.5g (0.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.6g
Sugars:  3g

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)

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

Lucky Lime Creamy Protein Shake

Lucky Lime Creamy Protein Shake | Mimi's Fit Foods

Oh man!  I might be a little biased because of my love for anything citrus-flavored, but this shake seriously made my day yesterday!

I wanted to bring you another healthy  “green” recipe that you can use on St. Patrick’s Day and this is what I decided on.  I had originally hoped to make something with mint, but when this idea entered my mind . . . . I couldn’t let it go!  I’m yearning for warm, summer weather and this shake just might have given me a taste of it.  It’s SO refreshing!  We had a nice 55ish-degree day yesterday that was filled with sun.  After making this shake, I put the babe in the stroller, walked to the park (without a jacket, mind you), and sipped this the whole way there.  Sunshine, a creamy lime shake, and a happy toddler going down the slide . . . . I think summer is coming!  I’m totally feeling lucky about that and this shake definitely  helped!

This shake comes out with a slightly green hint.  If you really want it to look more green, add a drop or two of green food coloring.  Feel free to make this on your St. Patrick’s Day.  It will definitely bring out the fun mood of the holiday and it might even make you feel like it’s summer for a day.  Worked for me!

Lucky Lime Creamy Protein Shake

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (100 Calories, 15g Protein)
1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
sweetener, to taste (I used 2 packets Stevia)
fresh juice from 2 limes
zest from 1-2 limes
1/2 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
ice, to desired consistency
1-2 drops green food coloring, optional

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Shake
Calories:  200.5
Protein:  29.3g
Carbs:  12.7g
Fat:  3.8g (1.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.1g
Sugars:  7.7g

Roasted Cabbage Slices

Roasted Cabbage Slices | Mimi's Fit Foods

St. Patrick’s Day is in a matter of days and I know several of us are on the lookout for recipes, so I decided to share another one for you to consider.  There are LOTS of fun recipes out there for this lovely green-inspired holiday, and of all the recipes, I decide to share with you Roasted Sliced Cabbage.  Stay with me, here!  Stay with me!

While this may not appear “fun,” I promise I would not share this with you if I didn’t absolutely love it!  This is seriously crazy yummy when it comes to the cabbage world.  Roasting the cabbage helps to bring out a level of sweetness you don’t get otherwise, and it offers a bit of crunch on the edges (my favorite part).  Seriously!  If you’re not a fan of cabbage, this could certainly be one of the cabbage dishes that could possibly sway you!

Besides that cabbage seems to be popular in Irish-inspired St. Patrick’s Day dishes (for example . . . Corned Beef and Cabbage), it’s also green!  Why not make this a side dish at an all-green dinner?  It’s a great way to make sure you get something healthy, it’s green, and it’s deeeeelish!

Roasted Cabbage Slices - Mimi's Fit Foods

Roasted Cabbage Slices
Adapted from Wellness Mama

1/2 head of medium-sized cabbage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the cabbage in 1/4-1/2 inch slices.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a Silpat liner.  Place the cabbage on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. If desired, evenly brush drizzled oil over cabbage.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender in the middle and sides are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  58.4
Protein:  1.6g
Carbs:  6.2g
Fat:  3.8g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.6g
Sugars:  0g

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

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Every-so-often I am looking for a good and healthy casserole to make.  This gets tricky for a couple of reasons.  1 – Casseroles are usually not healthy.  2 – Casseroles usually use canned soup of which I am not the biggest fan.  So, I get kind of picky when it comes to making casseroles.  BUT, casseroles are so wonderful because they are great one-pan dishes that feed a crowd.  So, I never stop searching for tasty and healthy casserole dishes.

This is my current favorite casserole dish!  It’s loaded with traditional Mexican flavors and the texture is phenomenal thanks to the black beans and quinoa.  It is really easy to make and takes little effort.  The prep time takes about 20 minutes (that’s to chop up and sauté the veggies and cook the quinoa) and the bake time is 30 minutes.  So, I essentially had dinner ready in 20 minutes, and used the 30 minute bake time to make a green salad AND wash the dishes so I wouldn’t have to do much after dinner.  Pretty awesome!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Whole) - Mimi's Fit Foods

I loved adding the fresh toppings to the cooked casserole.  The green onions, fresh cilantro, and avocado were oh-so-perfect.  It hyped up the freshness and intensified the Mexican flare.

This is also a meatless casserole.  That being said, the addition of shredded, cooked chicken would work SO well here (and stretch the servings).  I have NO doubt that I’ll be incorporating that on occasion to increase the protein content.

This is going to become a regular around our house!  Please make it at yours . . . and then bring me a plate.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups 99% fat free chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour – optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Add quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add cheese and pour in the enchilada sauce and stir to combine.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Note-this recipe freezes well!

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  289.7
Protein:  15.9g
Carbs:  38.6g
Fat:  9g (2.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  9g
Sugars:  3.3g