I couldn’t resist jumping on the “meal-in-a-jar” trend that’s making its way around the internet. Those little jars just make everything so darn cute. And, it’s built-in portion control! Since the Seattle summer is starting to fade away and the air has become more crisp, it felt necessary to start adding warm and cozy meals to my weekly menu. What could be better than good ol’ lasagna? It’s easy, delicious, and protein packed. For the mini lasagna, I skipped the noodles, and instead focused on protein and veggies.
Triple Protein (noodle-less) mini lasagnas
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 2 cups of your favorite tomato/pasta sauce in a jar (I prefer herb or basil sauces)
- 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
- 1 cup cottage cheese (2% or less) (or ricotta cheese)
- 2 egg whites
- 20 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dreid parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 9 Tbsp shredded reduced fat mozzarella
- 6- 7.4 oz clamp jars
- Optional: add in mushrooms, sautéed bell peppers, diced eggplant, yellow squash, or other veggies of your choosing (just remember, there’s only so much room in those little jars!)
- Start by removing the rubber gasket from all jars. (Optional: remove the entire lid from the jar)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a large skillet, warm cooking oil over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, sauté until for 4-5 minutes.
- Add turkey to skillet and brown, keeping onion and garlic in pan.
- Once brown, drain excess liquid. Add in 1.5 cups of tomato sauce, parsley, and oregano. Mix well and reduce heat to low.
- In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, egg whites, basil, salt, and pepper.
- In a 7.4oz clamp jar, spoon 1 Tbsp of tomato sauce. Next, begin layering each jar: 1. add 4-5 slices of zucchini, 2. 1-2 Tbsp turkey mixture, 3. 4-5 slices zucchini, 4. 1-2 Tbsp cottage cheese mixture, 5. 1-2 Tbsp turkey mixture, 6. 1.5 Tbsp shredded mozzarella.
- Fill all jars, then place them on a lined baking sheet and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
- Once cooked, let cool. Store in fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
My clients hear me say this all the time, “use your vegetables as your vessel!” What I mean is, skip the white bread, rice, and pasta; look for ways to be creative with your food. You can still have the texture of noodles, but maybe they’re made of broccoli stems. Or, instead of using bread for your sandwich, make a wrap using Boston lettuce or collard greens. I know this can sound weird for many, but with some trial and error, I guarantee that you’ll find some recipes that you love…like this one!
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 16 thin slices of provolone cheese
- 4 green bell peppers, stem removed, cut in half lengthwise, seeds discarded
- 1/4 pound of deli roast beef, sliced into 1/2-1″ strips
- 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2″ strips
- 4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place the peppers skin side down.
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the mushrooms, roast beef, and spices. Stir fry until the mushrooms are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Place the peppers in the oven to cook for 5 minutes.
- Gently remove baking sheet from oven and carefully line each pepper with 1 slice of provolone cheese.
- Scoop the beef-mushroom mixture into each pepper.
- Place baking sheet back in oven and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until pepper is soft.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add 1 slice of cheese to the top of each pepper. Cook again for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melted.
- Serve immediately.
Hope you enjoy!
A few months ago I decided to follow a grain free diet. Although I don’t have an allergy (that I’m aware of) to gluten or other grains, I liked the challenge of trying to cook gluten-free. While it was fairly easy to eat meat, dairy, fruit, and veggies….I still longed for many of my favorite grain-filled recipes. After reading lots of blogs and cookbooks, and exploring the nearest co-op, I discovered some amazing grain-free cooking and baking alternatives! Some of my favorite new kitchen staples include: almond, tapioca, and coconut flour! While a bit more expensive than wheat flour, these options provided amazing flavor and textures. Here is an alternative to fried chicken with wheat flour. Hope you enjoy!
Gluten Free Chicken Strips with Spicy Honey Mustard
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp stone ground mustard
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1-2 Tbsp Frank’s hot sauce (adjust based on desired spice level)
- Mix mustard, honey, and hot sauce in a small bowl for dipping.
- Over medium-high heat, melt coconut oil in a medium to large skillet or non-stick fry pan
- Combine almond meal, tapioca flour, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Mix well.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg.
- Dip chicken tenders (one at a time) in egg and then gentle roll in flour mixture, coating evenly.
- Once oil has heated, gently place the coated chicken tenders in skillet. Be careful not to spatter oil or burn skin.
- Arrange chicken evenly in pan and cook 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Once browned on the bottom, gently flip the chicken to the other side and cook for another 3-5 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
- Cover a plate with 1-2 sheets of paper towel. Remove chicken from skillet and place on paper coated plate for 1-2 minutes to reduce excess oil.
- Serve chicken with dipping sauce.
This recipe is very easy to adjust. Get creative by adding different seasoning/herbs to the flour mixture or adjust the dipping sauce to make it more/less spicy.
Please let me know what you think!