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.
“If you are stranded on a desert island, what three foods would you want with you”?
This is a hard question for me. The “practical nutritionist” area of my brain wants to think of three foods that could provide me with enough balance to nourish my body and help me withstand a potential lengthy and tumultuous time on said island. The “playful foodie” area of the brain just wants to name my all-time favorite foods: sushi, tacos, and PIZZA! Today, the playful foodie wins.
While I strongly protest against deprivation diets and encourage moderation to all foods/food groups….we all know, eating pizza everyday is not going to lead to a rocking beach body. With that being said, I think that you can still have your cake and eat it too….but, maybe that cake is not really a cake, it just looks like a cake, and it doesn’t taste like cake….but it’s still really freaking good.
This is my “pizza that’s not really pizza, but still really delicious and actually quite nutritious” recipe.
BBQ chicken Portobello pizzas
- 4-6 Portobello mushrooms (Likely 1-2 per person), washed and stems removed
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
- 4-5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 red onion, caramelized
- 1/8 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place the Portobellos on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, gill side up
- In a bowl, mix the chicken, BBQ sauce, and red onion
- Fill the Portobellos with the chicken mixture
- Top pizzas with pineapple and goat cheese
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms are soft
- Remove from oven and garnish with chopped cilantro
- Serve immediately
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!