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

 

 

12 healthy lunch recipes

Boring lunches are so 2014. This year it’s all about tasty and healthy lunches.

We know the reasons we should pack our lunch instead of buying it out. (Healthier and cheaper!)

But it’s not easy. It takes planning and prepping. And most importantly, precious time. But as annoying as it is to actually do it, you’ll be so glad you spent a little time when you get to sit down to a tasty and healthy lunch. I prefer to set aside some time each Sunday to prep the components for lunches so that I only have to spend a few minutes getting lunch ready the night before.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

It’s also important to start small. It would be crazy to make a different meal each day of the week, so I aim to make the same lunch for three days and leave the other two days open for leftovers, frozen meals or meals out.

Here are some of my favorites that can be prepped ahead of time and easily packed up for work. Pick a new recipe to try each week and you’ll never suffer through a boring lunch again!

Green Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Summer Harvest Salad (Trader Joe’s Copycat!) I’m so glad I found this recipe again, it’s such a good one and it’s full of satisfying ingredients topped with a yummy mustard-y dressing.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Simple Kale Salad Sometimes you just want a simple kale salad…and here it is. It’s a superfood salad!

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Waldorf Salad Sweet, crunchy and full of fresh produce. Low in calories (300) and high in protein, if you’re looking for something light but filling, this is your salad.

Grain Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Is it wrong to say that I love this salad because the arugula can be used as-is and it doesn’t require washing any vegetables?! It’s the truth. But it’s also delicious.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad Hmmm, so many good ingredients in this quinoa salad.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Black Bean Quinoa Salad This vegetarian salad has a whopping 23 grams of protein per serving. It’s a satisfying one! Quinoa, black beans and a little cheese – what else do you need in life?

Soups and Sandwiches:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup Make a huge batch of this soup and freeze for many lunches to come. If you eat salads often, this vegetable-packed soup will be a nice change of pace.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Curried Lentil Turkey Soup Oh I love this soup. So much curry flavor going on and so many satisfying ingredients (lentils and turkey).

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Egg, Avocado & Cheese Toast This is about the only recipe that can’t be packed up for lunches, but I had to include it because it’s such a staple in my life. Add two of my favorite foods to avocado toast and I could eat this for every meal of my life!

Chicken Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Curried Chicken Salad If you like curry, you’ll love this curried chicken salad. Chicken salads are perfect for lunch because you can top a simple green salad with a dollop of chicken salad and you have quick lunch for a few days.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Spring Chicken Salad The best spring produce (peas and leeks) shine in this chicken salad that’s made with greek yogurt and a small amount of mayonnaise.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Fall Chicken Salad This is a copycat from a favorite little cafe of mine and I might have to consider it my favorite. (I’m not sure I can fully commit but it’s definitely up there on the list.)

PS. If you want more… Healthy lunch ideas!

What’s your favorite healthy lunch?