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

 

lasagna soup

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

Thank you SO much for completing the survey, it was so helpful. If I could, I’d show my appreciation through an amazing cheese platter. :)

Lately I’ve been worried/frustrated that my blog hasn’t grown to where it “should” be by now and I started to wonder if I needed a more precise focus. I tossed around ideas, but ultimately, I don’t have a precise eating focus or style so why should my recipes? I’m not vegan, I’m not paleo, I don’t count calories……

I love food. I love real food, I love simple food. I love complex recipes and I love meals that require three-ingredients from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. I don’t eat perfect. And I don’t think anyone should.

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

So now that I’ve got that off my chest, it’s time to share this recipe I’ve been holding out on you a bit. It was one that I made (and we loved) but I wondered if it was good enough, or different enough to share.

If I learned one thing from the survey, it’s that you want more of those real life posts which makes me take a step back and realize that every post doesn’t need to be a perfectly-styled, super-creative recipe. It’s about the real food. The food that’s eaten after a long day at work and no desire to cook. Food that doesn’t fit a diet perfectly, because, your family probably isn’t on that diet. (I also learned that you really aren’t interested in product reviews and my favorite link posts – noted!)

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

So 2015, it’s going to be a lot more real. And a lot more life. (And a baby!!!!!!) And the food that goes along with it.

Lasagna soup is one of those meals. It’s a big bowl of comfort food, and I think your whole family will love it. It’s got classic lasagna flavors – but in a slightly different form. We loved it because it was really filling and satisfying, but also not really heavy either.

Lasagna turned into soup – you’ll love it too!

Lasagna Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 32 oz beef, chicken or veggie broth
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dry basil
  • 8 oz fusilli pasta
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or basil
Instructions
  1. Dice onion and mince garlic.
  2. Add olive oil to large pot and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up chunks, for about 7-9 minutes, until cooked through. Drain if necessary.
  5. Add broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and seasonings to pot, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, while soup is simmering, cook pasta as directed, until al dente. (Be careful not to overcook!)
  7. Taste soup and add any additional seasonings if necessary.
  8. To serve, portion out pasta in bowl, top with soup mixture, cheese and fresh herbs.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 421 Fat: 15 grams Carbohydrates: 44 grams Sugar: 9 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 29 grams

 

green beans vinaigrette with blue cheese

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

Let’s ring in 2015 with something green, shall we?

It’s a total cliché, I know. But December wasn’t all cookies and egg nog either – things were actually quite healthy around here. Waldorf Salad, Veggies with a Charred Onion Dip, Blueberry Baked Oatmeal and not a single cookie or candy insight! (Well, I was eating them but not making them.)

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

It’s no secret that I love green beans. (Always haricot verts actually, and there is a difference, albeit small.) Richie gets sick of them because week after week, I prepare them in the same exact way: lightly steamed, finished in a pan with a touch of (usually) butter, garlic salt (YES, the stuff that comes in a big green bottle) and red pepper flakes. On the nights that he makes them, they’re always much better! His secret?

Skipping the garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Butter, salt and pepper. That’s it.

Green Bean Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

But this idea for green beans basically fell into my lap (it was on the back of the package) and since I’ve been loving the blue cheese + nut +vinaigrette combo lately I had to make it immediately. I need a life – I know!

It couldn’t be easier to make. Steam the green beans, whip up the vinaigrette (which honestly, is something I think you should always have around) and toss everything together. Dinner vegetables get an upgrade!

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

 

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Lightly steam green beans. (I microwave mine!)
  2. While the beans are cooking, whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper.
  3. Toss green beans with about ¼ cup of dressing. (You'll have extra dressing.)
  4. Top with blue cheese and chopped nuts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

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?