lemon & butter chicken with warm green bean salad

Lemon & Butter Chicken with Warm Green Bean Salad - Ready in 30 minutes and low carb! | anutritionisteats.com

We ate really well this past weekend.

It started with takeout lunch from Pizzeria Mozza with my cousins and an amazing dinner a few hours later at République with a friend who was visiting LA. She loves food as much as we do, so we always eat well when she’s here. :)  We shared a bunch of small plates, my favorites were the brandade (salted cod with potatoes, mashed together and spread on bread) and an insane pasta with mushrooms, foie gras and freshly shaved truffles. It was one of those dishes we just had to try. And then of course the steady stream of cheese and crackers – standard weekend fare at our house.

Lemon & Butter Chicken with Warm Green Bean Salad - Ready in 30 minutes and low carb! | anutritionisteats.com

And then the weekend is over and it’s time for some lighter meals. This one is a new favorite dinner!

It couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s SO delicious. Let me tell you about it: chicken breasts are cooked in a packet so that they essentially poach in a broth of lemon, butter, garlic and parsley. They end up perfectly cooked and really flavorful. It’s everything you want in a chicken breast. (Which normally, I don’t even love.)

Lemon & Butter Chicken with Warm Green Bean Salad - Ready in 30 minutes and low carb! | anutritionisteats.com

And then on the side, a lovely salad, featuring my favorite vegetable, green beans! The beans are lightly steamed and then sautéed together with green onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes.

 

Lemon & Butter Chicken with Warm Green Bean Salad - Ready in 30 minutes and low carb! | anutritionisteats.com

As much as I wish I could, I can’t take the credit for this recipe. The New Low-Carb Diet Cookbook: Groundbreaking recipes for healthy, long-term weight loss (affiliate link) by Laura Lamont was sent to me to review and I loved paging through the book for some ‘lighter meal’ inspiration. I don’t follow a low-carb diet, but I’m not against cutting back on carbs to make up for rich weekends – or dessert.

It’s not your typical low-carb cookbook, where absolutely no carbs are allowed. At breakfast, carbs are allowed (and encouraged)! The rest of the meals are full of fresh vegetables, plenty of protein and bright flavors. It’s the kind of food I like to eat! And I definitely don’t consider it ‘diet’ food.

Lemon & Butter Chicken with Warm Green Bean Salad - Ready in 30 minutes and low carb! | anutritionisteats.com

Whether you’re looking for something a little lower in carbs or just looking for an easy weeknight dinner, I think you’ll love this version.

PS. More chicken recipes!

Lemon & Butter Chicken with Warm Green Bean Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Chicken
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 6 oz
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • freshly ground pepper
  • For the Green Bean Salad
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 handfuls green beans
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put two 12-inch square pieces of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and turn up the edges to make bowl shapes to contain the ingredients.
  2. Put a chicken breast half in the middle of each piece of foil and top them with the garlic, butter and parsley. Squeeze the lemon juice over and season with a twist of pepper.
  3. Fold the foil loosely over the chicken, then seal the tops to form airtight packages. Roast the chicken packages 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Toward the end of the cooking time, put the beans in a steamer, cover with a lid and steam about 5 minutes until just tender. Immediately rinse them under cold running water to set the color.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the salad, put the scallions, garlic and balsamic vinegar in a nonstick saucepan over low heat, cover with a lid and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. Add the green beans and halved tomatoes and cook 2 minutes longer to reheat the beans.
  6. Unwrap the chicken and put on top of the salad to serve, spooning over the buttery lemon juices.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 363 calories Fat: 14 grams Carbohydrates: 22 grams Sugar: 10 grams Fiber: 6 grams Protein: 41 grams

 

chicken tacos with guacamole

Chicken tacos with guacamole, a twist on the classic are the perfect weeknight dinner. 

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

Chicken tacos. They’re a weeknight staple, and hopefully on Tuesdays because Taco Tuesdays are just plain fun.

We actually went out for Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour just last week. All of a sudden, reality has started setting in that soon (10 or so weeks!) we’re going to have a squiggly, little infant on our hands and life as we know it is about to change. So we’re taking full advantage. An impromptu happy hour mid-week and two movies this weekend (American Sniper – SO good, Inherent Vice – not really a fan), we’re really living it up. (Hehe.)

Preparing for the baby’s arrival has also gotten into full swing and we finally hung curtains in the “nursery” …. putting together the crib and dresser are next on the list!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

These chicken tacos though! No taco seasoning out of a pouch here. These are a bit different. Just as flavorful, but without the overwhelming chili flavors. The meat is cooked with onions, garlic and red pepper and seasoned with pantry-staple spices. It’s fresh and tasty, and you control how spicy you want it to be!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

It’s extremely versatile as well. Double – or even triple – the batch, it’s perfect for freezing. We’re having leftovers with quinoa and black beans this week, but it would be great in quesadillas, on nachos or salads, in burritos, etc.

These tacos as a whole are SO good and adding anything else (besides a touch of sharp cheddar) is not necessary. You’ll be hooked on the warm chicken taco meat + sharp cheddar + cool guacamole all served up in a crunchy corn tortilla combination. And guess what? Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes. (By the way, I so rarely buy crispy corn tortillas that I didn’t realize that you need to bake them for a few minutes – they are so much better when you do this!)

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

If you’re a chicken-every-night kind of person, Chicken: The New Classics by Marcus Bean* deserves a spot on your shelf. It’s a collection of – yup, you guessed it – chicken-based recipes, utilizing a wide range of chicken cuts. This recipe is a perfect example of the modern twists on chicken classics theme, a classic but reinvented a bit and just as satisfying as the original.

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

The book is broken into sections like Buying, Preparing and Cooking Chicken, Weekday Meals, For the Weekend, Dinners & Celebrations and Basic Recipes (like the guacamole) and Accompaniments. The images are beautiful (which is always important for me) and I’ve got quite a few recipes I’d like to make flagged, like: Chicken Fricassee, Persian Chicken, Crisp Chicken & Potato Crust and Chicken with Crisp Noodles.

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

But ultimately, I started with these chicken tacos with guacamole and I’m so glad I did. I have a feeling that (Chicken) Taco Tuesdays will become your new favorite day of the week, too!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

 

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1.5 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper, and fry for 2-3 minutes until just soft.
  3. Add the chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring until the chicken is just starting to color.
  4. Add the dry spices and mix everything well, then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, prepare guacamole.
  7. Cut the avocados in half, remove pits and scoop out the flesh, using a spoon and put it into a bowl.
  8. Add the lime juice and crush with the back of a fork, add cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with spoonfuls of guacamole. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 tacos Calories: 565 Fat: 36 grams Saturated fat: 13 grams Carbohydrates: 31 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 44 grams Cholesterol: 162 mg

 (*affiliate link) This book was sent to me, all opinions are my own. 

waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

I love this time of year. The lights, the cheer – everyone seems so happy! And I can’t forget the constant stream of sweet treats. I don’t know about your office, but between the gift sweets and homemade sweets, it’s hard to stay away from the kitchen. And then there’s my own kitchen…which has seen its own constant stream of sweet treats lately. Dessert > Wine. (Only while pregnant.)

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But with all of the extra treats, it’s also a time of year when cutting back elsewhere needs to happen. Cookies > Other Carbs.

It’s not something that I actively keep track of, or even stress out about, but I make sure that salads are a staple for lunch and dinners are built around protein and vegetables. For me, it feels easy (and honestly, salads at lunch are the norm) but painless. I still get to enjoy the treats and while I’ll be gaining weight this year no matter what, at a minimum, I can feel good about fitting in some nutritious foods into each day.

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But it’s not the time to cut-back too much – meals still need to be filling! This salad, though pretty light in calories, still packs a protein and fiber punch, and it will keep you satisfied until your cookie snack! :)

Need more convincing? This salad is:

  • high in protein (32 grams!)
  • full of fresh produce (crunchy romaine and celery + sweet apples!)
  • healthy fats from almonds
  • light and tasty yogurt-based dressing

Enjoy every cookie. And every salad!

Waldorf Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-lb chicken breasts
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.
  2. Let cool and thinly slice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  5. Layer lettuce, celery, chicken, apples and almonds on each plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 32 grams

How do you balance things this time of year?  

slow cooker paella

slowcookerpaella6softlight

Is this week over yet? Between having my parents in town (SO fun!), some big projects at work, a work trip to New York this weekend AND looking for someplace to live, I’m ready to collapse.

Which is precisely the time to bring out the slow cooker. (Or, actually collapse…which might happen.) So let’s pull out the slow cooker, slow things down a bit and enjoy a nice, easy dinner. And please drink some wine for me. At minimum, a glass – preferably more.

Paella. In. The. Slow. Cooker.

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

This isn’t really authentic paella. It’s more like the paella for those of us who don’t have a paella pan. And don’t really have the time to spend an hour and a half on dinner. And don’t really have the money for dinners that include not only chicken and chorizo, but clams, shrimp and lobster tails.

I like to think of us as normal people. Real people. And people who sometimes need to collapse. :)

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.comThis slow cooker paella takes a half hour of prep work and two hours in the slow cooker. (And NO clams or lobster tails!)

And after it’s finished in the slow cooker, and you’re ready to eat, you must promise me three things:

  1. You’ll squeeze some fresh lemon over each plate
  2. You’ll sprinkle fresh parsley over each plate
  3. You’ll season (each plate) with some (hopefully high-quality) salt if it needs it

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

Slow Cooker Paella
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ lb (skinless, boneless) chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups short-grain rice (I used arborio)
  • 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 oz cured chorizo, roughly chopped (I found this in the packaged deli meat section)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped parsley for serving
  • lemon wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pan.
  2. Add chicken and sprinkle with half of paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Transfer chicken to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add rice to pan and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to slow cooker.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Cook on high for 2 hours, until rice is soft.
  8. Stir in peas and let sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 467 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 58 grams Sugar: 8 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 27 grams Cholesterol: 81 milligrams