Ultimate Chopped Salad with Creamy Avocado Pesto Ranch Dressing

What do you do on Saturday afternoon when you have a thousand things to do and yet another vacation to start packing for…COME UP WITH A NEW RECIPE OF COURSE!

I was craving a salad…go figure…and I had all the fixins for this amazing chopped salad! The dressing is totally amazing! It is seriously bowl-licking good!!!

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You could really interchange the veggies, based on personal preferences and what you have on-hand!

The amounts I used here served 2-3 people.

I used:chop_salad4

  • 1 romaine lettuce head
  • 4-6 Roma tomatoes (from our CSA)
  • red onions to taste (from our CSA)
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/2 avocado

Directions: Chop all of the veggies into small, bite-sized pieces. In my opinion, that is what makes a good chopped salad! Place all of the veggies into a big bowl

For the dressing (should be MORE than you need):chop_salad2

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove – chopped/minced (I used garlic scapes from our CSA.)
  • 1 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2-1 lemon (depending on size and taste)
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (or just a nice bunch!)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

chop_salad1Directions: Place everything except the oil into a blender or food processor and pulse until it starts to come together. Then blend, while slowly drizzling the olive oil into the mix (may use less or more depending on taste and desired consistency). Add by spoonfuls into the veggie bowl and gently toss together until everything is lightly coated with dressing. Reserve the rest for later!

*Optional Extras: add some chopped grilled chicken, feta cheese, nuts, beans, etc…you can’t make a mistake with this!

 

 

For 21 Day Fix:
1 blue, 1 teaspoon, 1.5 greens per serving

21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme Challenge Packs are on sale through the end of July! You can actually get either program PLUS Shakeology for LESS than a one-time order of Shakeology! Check out the links below! And then go make this salad!!!

check_out_fix_cp 21dfx_cp_button*I’ll coach you through it – for FREE – as I have SO many others! I’ve seen women lose up to 10-15 pounds in the first 21 days…and just keep going! I’ve seen men lose even more! (not fair though is it?) Just join my next challenge, and you won’t be alone. I’ll help you every step of the way!

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Clean Eating Chicken Pot Pie

Mmmm… I’m drooling just thinking about how good this was!

I made this for a family visit yesterday, and it was a HIT! The kids loved it too! (Well…all but one, but he hates most everything I cook! Hoping he grows out of that!) 😉

This is creamy comfort food, with WHOLE food ingredients! *No red cans were opened for this recipe!

And…it’s 21 Day Fix approved! SCORE!

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I love the way the quinoa crust on top turned out!

Feel free to get creative with your veggies and spices. There are a lot of combos that would be quite tasty I think!

Ingredients

Quinoa Crust:
    • 2 eggs, large
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1 tsp thyme, dried
    • 2/3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
    • 3 cups quinoa – cooked & cooled
Filling:
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 bunch broccoli – chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1/2 large onion – finely chopped
  • 4 cups frozen mixed veggies – thawed
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast – diced
  • 2 t. olive oil
 Directions
    1. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites together. Add thyme, cheese, quinoa and stir to combine. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 375° F. In a small bowl, whisk broth, milk, flour, salt, pepper and set aside.
    3. Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat and add oil. Add garlic and onion, saute until translucent. Slowly pour slurry (broth and milk mixture) into the skillet, whisking and making sure no flour is left at the bottom of the bowl. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat and add veggies and chicken and stir to combine.
    4. Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish and flatten with a spatula. Drop spoonfuls of quinoa mixture on top and spread with a spatula to cover the filling evenly. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes, cut into 8 portions and serve hot.
21 Day FIX portions:
1 serving = 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green
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Plans for Weekly Meal Plans

So I’ve heard from enough people that they’d be interested in my weekly meal plans, that I’ve decided to start sharing them again. I’m starting with this one here, but I’ll be sending a weekly newsletter, available for FREE if you’d like to receive it every weekend, in time for shopping and planning for the week ahead. Just provide your information below, and you will receive next week’s meal plan via email.

I am a believer in a 5 dinner plan for the week. I have a list of typical breakfasts, lunches and snacks that I almost always eat from, and that just leaves dinners. I have found that we really only need FIVE dinner plans, leaving room for one night of leftovers and one night that is a flex night – either a date night, dinner out, dinner at a friend’s house, etc. There is almost always SOMETHING that comes up like that. So plan for 5 meals, and I think you’ll find that will be enough for the whole week!

Do some weekend meal prepping, for quick and easy breakfast, lunches and snacks that you can grab and GO!

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Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Kale Quesadillas

I have been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time! Finally, today while I was out running 16 miles with my cousin-in-law (is that a thing?)…we had a llloooonnnnggg time to talk about things! Somehow or another, the topic turned to “sweet potatoes”. It reminded me that I LOVE sweet potatoes…and loving sweet potatoes reminded me that I have this awesome recipe I really wanted to share!

As per usual, I started with a couple of recipes from the world-wide internets, and made it my own. Feel free to do the same, but I assure you… this one is da bomb!

sweet_pot_quesadilla

 

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Kale Quesadillas (4 servings)
    • 2 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/4 t. chipotle chili powder (or cayenne)
    • ½ tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 cups chopped kale
    • 1/4 C. diced sweet (or red) onion
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 4 Ezekiel tortillas (or large whole grain)
    • 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
    • sea salt
For sauce:
  • 1/2 C. non-fat Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 C. salsa
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • *BLEND until smooth
Directions:
  1. Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt to the pot. Boil or steam potatoes until tender (about 15 minutes). Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt, cumin, chili powder, and chipotle seasoning. Mix until well combined.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add in the kale and onions. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the kale is bright green and tender. Add the mixture to the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes. Next add in the black beans and mix until well combined.
  3. Place the tortillas on a work surface. Use a spatula to smear about ⅓ to ½ cup of the filling on half of the tortilla. Top with a couple of tablespoons of the cheese (or to taste). Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the filling to form a semicircle. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  4. Wipe out the skillet you used for the kale and set over medium high heat. When hot, spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Place an assembled quesadilla in the pan and cook, flipping once halfway through, until both sides are browned and the cheese is melted. Cut into triangles and serve with the sauce.

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The last time we did this, participants lost an average of 5-7 pounds!

FREE Clean Eating 7 Day Slim down!

What’s Included?
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Big Crock Pot O’ Shredded Buffalo Chicken

Well this was tasty and definitely worth repeating again and again!

I’ve been following the 21 Day FIX meal plan, and I love how simple it is to track what to eat each day without counting calories or points. Meals like this are GREAT, because I can make a big batch, and use it throughout the week to fill up my red (lean proteins) container. I put it in wraps (I like Ezekiel tortillas) or even on top of a salad. You can adjust the heat, using the amount of hot sauce that suits your fancy. My ‘fancy’ likes it HOT! 😉

Crock Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients:buffalo chicken

  • 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 3-4 C. chicken broth
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • *water
  • 1/2 – 1 C. Franks Red Hot Sauce

Directions

Add chicken, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth and pepper to the crock pot. Add enough *water (or more broth) to just about cover the chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours (depending on the temp of your crock pot). Remove the veggies and skim or strain the broth to remove the icky, chunky bits. Reserve broth. Shred chicken with 2 forks and return to the crock pot with 1/2-1 cup of the reserved broth PLUS 1/2-1 cup of the hot sauce, until it’s the desired heat and moistness. 🙂 Cook for an additional 30 minutes on low. Eat it up!

buffalo_serving_suggestion
Serving Suggestion: Ezekiel wrap, lettuce, shredded carrot, chopped celery, Greek yogurt and reduced fat feta crumbles

 

 

 

 

Meal Plan and a VLOG!

That’s like a video blog, I think.

So today I wanted to share a video that I made to explain how very EASY it is to do a weekly meal plan! Seriously, anyone who knows me well, knows that I am not a terribly well-organized person. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants, scatter-brained, willy-nilly, chicken with the  head cut-off, kinda gal. So I even surprise myself at my ability to stick with this meal-planning gig of mine, which is a testament to how very EASY it is! A real no-brainer that even the most scattered of brains can manage. 🙂 It’s my kind a gig!

So first, the video:

(The lighting isn’t the greatest, but you’ll get the idea.)

And now the plan:

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Click here to print and link to recipes.

Have a SIMPLE week! 🙂