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

 

black bean hummus

Black bean hummus takes five minutes to make and is full of protein and fiber. 

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

I’ll start with the obvious. Black Bean Hummus is not what I would consider a pretty food.

But this dip has a lot going for it. And I can’t get enough of it.

Easy: It can be made in minutes. Dump ingredients into the food processor and process away!

Healthy: With black beans at the base, a serving of this dip is a good source of protein and fiber. Bonus, tahini is high in vitamins, minerals and calcium!

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

For years now, I’ve been making my own hummus and I strongly feel that once you start making your own, any version you get from the store just isn’t good enough! There are of course (desperate) times when tubs are purchased and I had one of those times before the Packer game last week. I picked up some roots black bean hummus from Whole Foods so that there was something a little healthy to snack on in between the chicken wings and cheese. (Game day food also justified a pre-game green juice…you know, for the baby.)

I really liked the root’s black bean hummus, but it was also $5 for an 8 oz tub so I wanted to try making it at home.

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

And just like my regular hummus, I kept this one really simple. And it’s why I’m calling it black bean hummus and not black bean dip. There is a small difference, but it’s notable. When I make hummus with garbanzo beans, I like lots of lemon juice, some garlic and tahini and olive oil. I also add cumin to hummus, it’s something that I learned from the French Meadow Bakery & Cafe YEARS ago (Minnesota friends, you’ll know where I’m talking about!). It’s not really noticeable but it totally makes the hummus. Naturally, cumin works really well with black beans too, so I definitely added it to this version.

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

There’s a certain game this weekend that could probably use a healthy dip…serve with tortilla chips, multigrain crackers and fresh veggies to make everyone happy. :)

Black Bean Hummus | anutritionisteats.com

PS. I’ll be back on Thursday with some of my other favorite dips…just in time for Super Bowl snacking!

Black Bean Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-15 oz can black beans (1¾ cups)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Place garlic cloves in food processor and process.
  2. Scrape down sides and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Process to desired consistency.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sliced green onions to serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 138 Fat: 6 grams Carbohydrates: 14 grams Sugar: 0 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 6 grams

 

the jennifer aniston smoothie

Jennifer Aniston Smoothie | anutritionisteats.com

…for real people.

Stars are just like us and they drink smoothies for breakfast. :)

Jennifer Aniston Smoothie | anutritionisteats.com

And we can drink the “Jennifer Aniston” smoothie for breakfast and be just like her. (Or something like that.) Her daily breakfast  is a nutrient-rich smoothie made out of berries, banana, chocolate almond milk and protein powder, maca powder, sprouted almonds and trace mineral drops. When I read about it, I was instantly intrigued and had to try it myself.

What makes her smoothie so great?  Let’s break it down:

Jennifer Aniston Smoothie | anutritionisteats.comberries (cherries and blueberries): full of antioxidants and vitamins.

chocolate almond milk: this was surprising to me. I won’t buy chocolate almond milk because it’s too high in sugar, so I would actually recommend swapping this out for regular milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk – or a combination of both. (I ended up trying out a few different combinations of milk and water, but thought it was best with 1 cup of almond milk and 1 cup of 2% milk.)

vegan chocolate protein powder: I recommend using the protein powder that you have and/or like. If you don’t have chocolate, add a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder and a touch of stevia or honey. (I love the vega one line.)

maca powder: is one of those superfoods you find at the health food store and it’s been used for thousands of years in Incan cultures as a source of nourishment and healing. (Maca is a nutrient-dense packed with vitamins, plant sterols and many essential minerals that can increase staminia, boost libido and combat fatigue. From Navitas Naturals ) I don’t keep any at home (vega one actually has some in it already) and it’s certainly not necessary.

trace mineral drops: again…not necessary. I’m not sold on mineral drops being an integral part of a smoothie.

frozen banana: they make smoothies creamy and sweet. It’s always a good idea to have them in your freezer.

chocolate stevia: use stevia if you have it and like it (any flavor) or a small drizzle of honey if you don’t. (Or skip sweeteners completely!)

sprouted almonds: uhhh, what?! you might be thinking… but it’s really easy. Soak raw almonds in water overnight and add to the smoothie. Or, if you forget, simply add the almonds before blending. :)

Jennifer Aniston Smoothie | anutritionisteats.com

If you love berries and chocolate together, you’ll love this smoothie! It makes a great, nutritious breakfast – whether it makes us look like Jennifer Aniston or not!

Jennifer Aniston Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 10 almonds
  • 1 cup frozen cherries or mixed berries
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • optional: maca powder, trace minerals, chocolate stevia
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
Notes
Be sure to use a protein powder you like!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 523 Fat: 19 grams Carbohydrates: 69 grams Sugar: 45 grams Fiber: 13 grams Protein: 29 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.