Skinny Jamaican Jerk Chicken

So for our 10 month anniversary, Michael was presented with the letter “J.”  And boy did he take it and run with it!  We had a “jazz and Jamaican food” night (cause those two things typically go together, right??).  He cooked up some of the best Jamaican Jerk Chicken I have ever had, so I obviously want to share it with you.  Low cal, high protein, and packed with tons of flavor and fiber!

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Grilled Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe

The biggest health issue with Thai food is typically either that it's loaded with high carb and calorie pasta (think pad thai) or with high saturated fat and calorie coconut milk (think curry) or... let's face it... both!  That's why I love chicken satay.  You don't get any of the refined carbs or the fried meats.  And this chicken satay is even healthier (duh)!  With light coconut milk, PB2, and lean meat, you can have your little taste of Thailand without the guilt (or the mystery meat).  Stole this recipe from www.skinnytaste.com and modified it a bit to my taste/health liking. 

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Healthy Taco Salad

Well my taco friends, this salad is different.  I ditched the high fat, low fiber ingredients for beautiful, filling, lean ingredients.  But the one thing I left in?  Taste of course!  Salsa and lime juice serves as the dressing for this dish.  I love salsa as a salad dressing.  Unlike other dressings, it has almost no sugar or fat, but it definitely packs the flavor!  I also used Good Thins corn crackers in place of a fried bowl or tortilla chips for this salad.  I love these crackers because they use very simple, "clean" ingredients but taste great, and are also SUPER low in calories.  

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Banh Mi Bowl

Enter: the banh mi sandwich.  Pulled pork, pickled carrots, cucumbers... all lusciously sandwiched between a huge bun that's not only high calorie and full of refined carbs, but in my opinion it masks the beautiful flavors between it!  This conflict has haunted me for years, so imagine my surprise when I came across this recipe from www.skinnytaste.com.  A banh mi in the form of a bowl versus a sandwich!?  Higher fiber (it uses brown rice- duh), lower calorie (no mayo based sauces, fatty meats, or high calorie buns), this is a bowl you'll want over and over again (or maybe that's just me).  

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Pineapple Turkey Burger

Aloha!  Welcome to Hawaii!  Or Denver... same difference, right?  This pineapple turkey burgers got my feelin' all tropical!  This is such a fun way to serve a burger and pineapple makes a tasty, fun bun substitute.  Whether you're gluten free, cutting back on refined grains, cutting calories, or just looking to mix things up a bit, this burger is for you!

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Mango Chicken Salad Wrap

As a clinical dietitian, one of the most misunderstood nutrients to my clients is protein.  Protein is the trendiest thing since scrambled eggs, but why?

What? Protein is found throughout the body in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. 

Why? Protein is imperative for muscle growth.  Our bodies use protein to build and repair tissues.  Protein is also a key macronutrient for satiety.  It helps us to control blood sugars, hunger, and energy levels.  Without it, we would be hungry all of the time (and you know that’s not good for your waistline OR wallet)!  You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

How much? The recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 gm/kg of body weight for the average adult.  That’s around 40-70 gm of protein per day for most people.  For athletes, active people, and older individuals, I recommend slightly higher than this, but never over 2 gm/kg protein per body weight.  It is best to evenly distribute protein through all 3 meals, vs back-loading it at dinner, as most Americans tend to do.  A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate 30 g of protein at each meal had a 25% boost in muscle building, compared with those who ate the same amount of protein but skimped in the morning and loaded up at night.

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Lean BBQ Pulled Pork

I scream, you scream, we all scream for BBQ!  That's how it goes, right??  I LOVE BBQ, but often it's made with fatty cuts of meat.  Well, in typical RD fashion, I've found a healthy and easy modified BBQ!  This is my take on a pulled pork... except lean!  And super easy!  Cue... the crock pot.

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Rotel Skillet Enchiladas

I’m a Texas girl, so I LOVE my Mexican food.  But as you all probably know, Mexican food doesn’t always love me (health-wise anyways).  It is typically loaded with cheese, sour cream sauce, fried, or loaded with high fat/calorie meats.  Mexican food is also typically heavy on the carbs, which this dish is not.  So I love this Rotel Skillet Enchilada recipe.  Not only is it healthy, but it is SO quick and easy!

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Skinny Coconut Curry

I LOVE curries.  Like... could eat them daily.  But unfortunately they are typically made with high saturated fat creams and/or coconut milks.  This not only bumps up the artery clogging saturated fats in the dish, but the calories too!  So for years (no joke) I have pondered how to make and curry dish that gave me that same creaminess and coconutty flavor, but none of the saturated fats and calories.  And guess what... I found it!  This dish uses high protein, low saturated fat and calorie Greek yogurt for the creaminess and coconut extract for an almost NO calorie coconut flavor.  "Whaaaaaaaaaaaat??  Is this real life, Lauren?"  Yes friends, this is real life.  Real curry life.  Real low calorie, low saturated fat curry life.  And welcome to it.

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Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas

I'm from Texas, so it's only natural that I LOVE Mexican food.  Like... LOVE.  And living in Colorado, I miss it.  It's just not the same here.  Are you crying for me yet?  So not only have I had to take the responsibility upon myself to learn how to cook good Mexican food, I have also had to find a way to make it healthy.  And I did just that with this recipe.

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Flatout BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ BBQ BBQ! Chicken pizza. Healthy style of course. Flatout Bread topped with barbecue sauce (I used Head Country - it's much lower in sugar than most!), a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, rotisserie chicken, chopped red onion, and basil. Broil until browned. Took about 10 min to prep and cook, and is only about 350 calories for the whole pizza. High in fiber (thanks to onions and Flatout) and protein (thanks to cheese and chicken). Go 'za!

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