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

Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Chicken Kabobs

Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Chicken Kabobs | Mimi's Fit Foods

Grilling season is in full swing and these kabobs were one of the very first things we threw on the grill this summer.  They are so, so, SO good.  The flavors are summery fresh and they all meld together incredibly well.  We’re talking rosemary, garlic and lemon!  Amazing!  There’s plenty of each of these ingredients in the marinade, so there is no lack of flavor whatsoever.

And, if that isn’t convincing enough, the chicken is incredibly moist (so long as you don’t over cook).  The base for the marinade is buttermilk and while it provides nice tang, it also makes that chicken nice and juicy!

We like to add bell peppers and red onion to our kabobs.  There are various opinions on whether you should grill your veggies separate from your meat.  The main argument for this is so that you can cook each to the level of doneness you prefer since they rarely get done at the exact same time.  I am not picky with the level of doneness on my veggies (I find that they’re slightly still crisp once the chicken is done . . . and I love them like that anyways), so I combine my meat and veggies on the same skewer.  Plus, I think it looks prettier.  However, if you’re one that likes your veggies cooked to a perfect doneness (per your opinion), then put your meat and veggies on separate skewers.

You seriously gotta make these this summer.  Probably more than once!  Again, they are so, so, SO good!

Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pinches
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch squares
lemon wedges (for serving)

Directions:
Pepare marinade by combining buttermilk, rosemary, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small-medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Combine the chicken and marinade in a large zipper-lock bag, press out the air, and seal the bag tightly. Toss to coat the meat and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours, flipping the bag occasionally.

Thread the marinated chicken, peppers, and onion onto 12 skewers in an alternating pattern, then brush with leftover marinade.

Prepare grill. IF USING A GAS GRILL: Turn all the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until hot. Turn all the burners to medium-high. IF USING A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open the bottom grill vents completely. Light a large chimney starter three-quarters full with charcoal briquettes. When the coals are hot, pour them in an even layer over the grill.

Set the cooking grate in place, cover, and heat the grill until hot.

Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook, turning as needed, until the chicken and vegetables are lightly charred on all sides and the chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (or until juices run clear), 8-12 minutes.

Transfer the kabobs to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (2 Kabobs):
147.5 Calories | 24.9g Protein | 7.1g Carbs | 3.9g Fat (0.5g = Sat.) | 1g Fiber | 3.1g Sugars

Polynesian Salad With Shrimp and Pineapple Vinaigrette

Polynesian Salad - Mimi's Fit Foods

I’m back!  I’ve been on a little (well, kinda huge to our little family) vacation to none other than Hawaii.  This was our first “big” vacation with the baby in tow, and we managed to get through the airport, survive the flights, and have a wonderful time on the island of Oahu.

Hawaii-Mimi's Fit Foods

While this was my view every day from our beach house, I also tried some delicious food (of course!).  One of the spots we frequented was a burger spot in Laie called Seven Brothers and I got myself a salad on our first visit.  The cashier said it was the most popular salad on the menu, so I ordered the Polynesian Salad.  You guys!  It was sooooo good!  In fact, I loved it so much that I had it three times while I was in Hawaii and it was what I chose for my “last meal” before I flew home.  I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I seriously couldn’t get enough of the yummy salad.

So, while I enjoyed my “last meal” I carefully studied the salad and its flavors so I could try to recreate it at home.  I’ve done it, my friends!  I’ve seriously done it!  When I sat down to eat this for dinner I could almost hear the waves crashing in the background . . . it took me right back to Laie.  It has fabulous texture thanks to the crunch you get from the carrots, cabbage, and nuts.  It also has a balanced sweetness with the grilled pineapple and the coconut.  And the dressing . . . yeah, this is what takes it over the top.  It has a distinct pineapple taste with a slight edge of sophistication because of Blue Cheese.

The Seven Brothers restaurant does not serve their salad with shrimp (although you can add fish to your salad if you want), but I thought shrimp was the perfect addition for a healthy protein.  It was a fabulous compliment to the sweet pineapple flavors found throughout.

Again, I’m not trying to be dramatic, but this salad is absolutely amazing.  I know it doesn’t scream “Autumn,” so perhaps you might think the timing of putting it on the blog is a little off, but it is the BEST thing I could bring home to you all from Hawaii (trust me . . . you would WAY rather have this than one of those cheap key chains from the Swap Meet).  You’re going to love it and so will everyone else who gets a taste.

Aloha!

Polynesian Salad With Shrimp and Pineapple Vinaigrette 

For the Salad:
12 cups (or 16 oz.) mixed greens (I used a Spring mix)
3 medium carrots, chopped fine
2 cups red cabbage, chopped fine
6 fresh pineapple rings, 1/4 thick
24 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 1/2 oz. macadamia nuts, toasted
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons shredded coconut

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons agave (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
Combine mixed greens, carrots, and cabbage in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Prepare grill by heating to medium (I used an indoor grill, AKA my George Foreman).  Oil grill grates.  Place pineapple on grill and grill for approximately 3-5 minutes per side, until tender and golden.  Remove from grill and cut into chunks.

If desired, season shrimp with salt and pepper (to taste).  Place on grill and grill for approximately 2 minutes per side, or until shrimp is completely pink/white and it curls up a bit.  Remove from grill and set aside.

If serving for a large crowd, wait for pineapple and shrimp to cool to room temperature and then gently toss with mixed greens.  Add toasted macadamia nuts and coconut and evenly toss.  Serve with dressing.  (Recipe makes enough for 6 good sized dinner portions and would probably serve at least 10-12 people as a side dish.)

If serving individual plates (which I mostly do at home), place approximately 3 cups of greens on a plate, top with pineapple chunks (from one ring), approximately 4 ounces of shrimp (which was about 8-10 of my medium shrimp), 1 tablespoon of nuts, and 2 tablespoons of coconut.  Serve with 2 1/2 tablespoons of dressing.

Serves 6.

For the Dressing:
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Serves 6.

**Notes about this salad:  The macadamia nuts are high in calories.  If you omit them altogether, you’ll save yourself 80 calories and 9 grams of fat per serving.  They aren’t the healthiest nut to have around, but they are truly Hawaiian so I left them in the recipe.  Omit them if you’re really watching your food intake.  Also, I used fresh pineapple, but I’m sure canned would work in a pinch (and for the dressing you can use the drained pineapple juice from the can).  

Nutritional Information
Salad & Dressing (Per Serving = 1/6 of the Recipe)
Calories:  402.8
Protein:  29.7g
Carbs:  27.2g
Fat:  20.6g (7.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.7g
Sugars:  17g

Nutritional Information
Salad Only (Per Serving = 1/6 of the Recipe)

Calories:  336.7
Protein:  28.6g
Carbs:  22.8g
Fat:  15.2g (6.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.6g
Sugars:  14.2g (all natural sugars)

Nutritional Information
Dressing Only (Per Serving = Approx. 2 1/2 Tablespoons)
Calories:  66
Protein:  1.1g
Carbs:  4.4g
Fat:  5.4g (1.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0g
Sugars:  2.9g

Grilled Peaches With a Raspberry-Lime Marinade

Grilled Peaches With a Raspberry-Lime Marinade - Mimi's Fit Foods

Have you ever had grilled peaches before?  They are delicious and make such a sweet little dessert without loads of calories.  We have them every fall when the peaches are in season.  I tried this new variation of them and they turned out so awesome.  The peaches get to take a 30-60 minute soak in a flavorful marinade made up of brown sugar, lime juice, and raspberries.  Holy moly!  So good, right!?  This marinade just adds an extra fabulous layer of taste to the grilled peaches and we were all smitten at our house.

The grilled peaches are delicious plain (well, topped with a little extra marinade, of course) . . . especially if you’re using them for a side dish.  If you want to take them to an extra dessert-ish level, you can add ice cream.  We totally did this (because, why not!?) and we chose to top our peaches with Dryer’s Slow Churned Frozen Vanilla Yogurt.  YUM!

Grilled Peaches With a Raspberry-Lime Marinade Frozen Yogurt - Mimi's Fit Foods

Grilled Peaches With a Raspberry-Lime Marinade
Adapted from sparkrecipes.com

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (usually 1 lime)
1 cup fresh raspberries
5 medium unpeeled peaches, halved and pitted
(vegetable oil to coat the grill)

Comine sugar and lime juice in a shallow dish; mix well.  Add 1/2 of the raspberries and mash.

Add peach halves, turning to coat and marinate at room temperature, cut sides down for 30-60 minutes.

Clean and pre-heat grill to a medium-high heat.  Coat grill rack with oil and place peaches cut sides down (save marinade).  Turn peaches over after two minutes, reduce heat to low-medium, then cook for another 15 minutes or until tender, basting once with half of the reserved marinade.  Remove from grill.

Stir remaining raspberries into reserved marinade and spoon over peach halves.  Serve warm (and top with your choice of ice cream, if desired).

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Peach Halves)
Calories:  75.8
Protein:  1g
Carbs:  21.7g
Fat:  0.2g (0g = Sat)
Fiber:  3.7g
Sugars:  7.5g

Nutritional Information
(Per Serving = 2 Peach Halves + 1/4 Cup Dryer’s SC Frozen Yogurt )
Calories:  125.8
Protein:  2g
Carbs:  30.2g
Fat:  1.7g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.7g
Sugars:  7.5g

Jalapeño Turkey Cheeseburgers with Guacamole

Jalapeno Turkey Cheeseburgers with Quacamole - Mimi's Fit Foods

You guys!  Labor Day weekend is this weekend and I know you totally need THE burger recipe for your BBQ.  I found it!  I truly did.  These are seriously so yummy!  We’re talking about taking a turkey burger to an elevated level with some simple spices, cheese, and quac.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this combination for a turkey burger before, but I’m sure glad I found it.  There’s onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, smoky spices (cumin and smoked paprika), lime, and jalapeño in the turkey burger itself.  And then it gets topped with cheese and guacamole.  LOVE!  The jalapeño doesn’t make the burger spicy because you remove the seeds and membranes, but it packs GREAT flavor.

You’ve got to get these in before the grilling season ends.  I think Labor Day is a perfect excuse!  We had these on Fit Burger Buns with Easy Guacamole and we can’t wait to make them again.

Jalapeño Turkey Cheeseburgers with Guacamole
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced small
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, mined or pressed
1 jalapeño, seeded, cored and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

To serve:
Sliced Reduced Fat Cheese (I used Sargento’s Colby Jack)
Fit Burger Buns

Easy Guacamole

Directions:
Heat grill to medium-high heat.  Oil the grates to prevent the burgers from sticking.  To make the burgers, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix lightly, just until evenly combined.  Form the mixture into 5 patties.

Cook the patties on the heated grill, about 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once.  A few minutes before the burgers are finished cooking, top with sliced cheese.  Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160 degrees or until they are no longer pink.  Remove the burgers to a plate and let rest a few minutes before serving.  Assemble with burger buns and 1 tablespoon guacamole (each).

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information (Per Burger)
Calories:  393.6
Protein:  28.6g
Carbs:  33.3g
Fat:  18.9g (7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.4g
Sugars:  3.3g

Grilled Chicken With Sweet and Spicy Cherry Sauce

Grilled Chicken With Sweet and Spicy Cherry Sauce - Mimi's Fit Foods

I love sweet cherries.  My heart seriously skips a beat when I start seeing sweet cherries in the grocery stores and fresh fruit stands.  I can just sit and snack on them all day.  I decided to hit Pinterest up for some different uses of this awesome fruit and I found this gem.  Since sweet cherries are usually found in sweet recipes, I thought it would be worth a try to use them in a savory type of way.  Besides, I’m also always looking for more low-calorie ways to dress up chicken.

I was NOT disappointed with the outcome of this recipe at all!  This took a boring piece of grilled chicken to an exciting piece of chicken that bursts with flavor.  The sauce is slightly spicy, but also leaves a trace of sweetness behind.  Besides the fact that it’s yummy, isn’t it pretty?  I would totally serve this to guests on a summer evening.  It would be so perfect.

Grilled Chicken With Sweet and Spicy Cherry Sauce
Recipe Adapted From  Health.com

cooking spray
1 cup chopped & pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup red cooking wine (I used Sherry)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fruit preserves (I used Strawberry)
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Prepare your grill to a medium heat.  Then lightly spray the grill rack with cooking spray (sometimes this creates flames, so I often times take a paper towel sprayed with cooking spray and wipe it on the grill rack).

Lightly crush cherries in a small saucepan.  Add the cooking wine and the next 6 ingredients (through preserves).  Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

Grill chicken, covered, for 4 minutes on each side or until it is cooked through (if you have a thermometer, I cook mine until the temperature reaches 165 degrees).  Serve topped with cherry sauce.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  189
Protein:  27g
Carbs:  9g
Fat:  3g (1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1g

Grilled Lime Coconut Curry Chicken

Grilled Lime Coconut Curry Chicken - Mimi's Fit Foods

You guys!  This is chicken is sooooo good!  I mean, the flavors are so tasty and the combination of flavors definitely give this dish the “wow” factor!  We’re talking lime, coconut, curry, and a few other awesome ingredients that make the marinade out-of-this-world.  The marinade is super easy to throw together and I was SUPER happy when dinner time rolled around because all of the prep. work was done and all I had to do was throw the chicken on the grill.  The marinade not only made the chicken YUMMY, but it also made it TENDER.  

Oh, and did I mention you get to use the leftover marinade as a sauce.  Well, you do!  And, it makes this dish even THAT much yummier.  

I like to cut my chicken into smaller pieces (rather than use the entire chicken breast as a whole).  I also slice any pieces that may be extra thick (I usually slice them in half . . . like a hamburger bun).  This helps the chicken to soak up the marinade better, which offers a more intense overall flavor.  It also helps give all my pieces a more uniform size so that they all cook for about the same amount of time.

I served this with a side of Baked Coconut Brown Rice (you want the recipe for that too, don’t you?).  We were all VERY happy with dinner and even happier that we have leftovers.  Add this to your summer grilling menu . . . NOW!  (I’m really not that bossy.  But, seriously!  Now would be the best time!)

Grilled Lime Coconut Curry Chicken
Slightly Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

3 tablespoons canola oil
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
pinch cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see note above)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
fresh limes, cut into wedges

In a large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, coriander, soy sauce, salt, sugar, curry powder, coconut milk, and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken in a large ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for 6-7 minutes per side (actual time will depend on the thickness of the chicken). While the chicken is cooking, pour the marinade into a small or medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the grilled chicken on a serving platter or plate. Drizzle with sauce (reserve the remaining sauce to serve separately) and sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top. Serve with lime wedges and additional sauce.

Serves 8.

 
Nutritional Information (Per 4-Oz. Serving & Approx. 1 Tab. Sauce)
Calories: 174
Protein:  23,3g
Carbs:  4.3g
Fat:  7.2g (1.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.2g
Sugars:  3.5g