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Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

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Can you tell I’m on a strawberry kick? I think this is my second post in a row centered around strawberries! What can I say? It’s screaming hot in Dallas right now and anything “citrusy” and refreshing sounds amazing!

And, when I can make a meal without having to turn the oven on or stand over the stove, COUNT. ME. IN!

I know you’ve read my salad schpeal before so I’ll keep this short for anyone who hasn’t read previous salad posts… I LOVE salad. Would eat it almost daily. But I don’t just love any salad, I love BIG salads that have lots of ingredients and textures and feel like a meal vs bird food. THAT is a salad in my book!

And this recipe will not disappoint that criteria. This recipe was actually started by Mo and then I swooped in and amp’d it up a bit.

We really believe in eating seasonally and we practice coaching out clients the same way. When you eat seasonally you get far more nutrition out of the food and you’re body is able to operate cyclically. Meaning, when you begin to pay attention to eating per the season, you will notice that you will crave lighter, brighter foods in the spring and summer months and heavier, more rich foods in the fall and winter months. Unless of course you live in SoCal and you have one season per year. Okay, okay, maybe one and a half. 😉

This salad recipe is super quick to make and is so refreshing and light. It is perfect for the hotter months!

If you’re practicing strict Paleo, feel free to sub the couscous with cauliflower rice. I offer directions on how to cook the cauliflower rice in the Notes section.

Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¾ cup dry couscous*
  • ½ large container pre-washed baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries, leaves removed and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, halved and toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  • While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  • While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  • Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!

Notes:

  • To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice – saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.
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  1. Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  3. While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  4. While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  5. Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!
Recipe Notes

To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice - saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.

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Blood Orange Summer Salad

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Salad’s can be boring. We get it. But when it is 7000 degrees in Dallas (not really, obviously – but good-ness it feels like it!) and the LAST thing you want is something hot to eat – salad’s can make the perfect meal! That’s right… To all my manly men out there – I just referred to a salad as a “meal…”

When Mo and I first met and I offered to make dinner and told him we were going to have “a big salad…” he almost broke up with me right there on the spot. (Look what he’d be missing out on today! Ha! 🙂 ) Nevertheless, he indulged me and all but licked his bowl clean. This girl can make a mean salad… And one that does not leave you feeling like you just ate “rabbit food…”

The key is loading it up with different textures and temperatures and then tossing it with a really yummy dressing.

First you’ve got to start with really good greens – none of this iceberg lettuce crap. I’m talking spinach, arugula, kale, mixed baby lettuces, mache, etc. Anything but iceberg!

Then, you pick out your protein – be it salmon, as on this salad, or perhaps roasted chicken, ground beef or bison, if you’re vegan – maybe some tempeh… And season whatever you choose really well! THIS is key!

Now lets talk temperatures – I love to toss a salad with some vegetables (anything in season) I’ve just roasted or a just cooked protein source – this way the warmth from the cooked item gently wilts the greens… I know this may sound odd but THIS is what brings the whole salad together and makes it really feel like a true meal vs just greens and vegetables on a plate.

So you have the crisp from the greens, the warmth from the vegetables and/or protein and now we need something chilled that when you bite into it along with the greens and protein creates this awesome experience in your mouth… Stop! Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about FOOD! 😉 This is where avocado or fruit, like the blood oranges in this salad come into play…

Now the dressing… It really depends on what season we’re in for me. So, if it’s cold outside and I am craving greens but want something really hearty – I will make a creamy dressing with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo as the base. If it’s hotter than hell outside and I want anything BUT hearty – I will simply use good extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and either with a vinegar – red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or my fav: apple cider vinegar.

Last but absolutely not least – something crunchy – this should go on the salad after you’ve dressed it so that it doesn’t get the crunchy item soggy. I love to toast up sourdough croutons or roast some chickpeas or black beans. Toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds, pecans, cashews, etc. are great too! In this salad, the crunch actually comes from the way I cooked the salmon – because it is seared, it gets this wonderful crust! Mmmm… It’s SO good! You could also make your own tortilla chips by slicing up Ezekiel brand Sprouted Corn Tortillas or Siete brand Almond Flour or Coconut Flour Tortillas and toasting in the oven to get them crisp!

See? Salads don’t have to be boring! They are AWESOME if you follow these steps!

Now make this one and you can thank me later! 😉

Enjoy!!!

Blood Orange, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad with Salmon

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 5-7oz wild caught salmon, skin on
  • 2 tsp ghee butter
  • 3-4 handfuls raw spinach, arugula or mixed greens
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ small avocado, diced
  • ½ blood orange, segments only
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  • While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  • To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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  1. Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  2. While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  3. To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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A Healthier Panzanella Salad

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Ok – so let me preface with – this is not a “true” Panzanella salad in every sense of the word. There is not near the amount of bread that is in a typical Panzanella and I’ve added greens in lieu of all of the bread. Nor did I marinade the croutons in tomato juices, etc. BUT, it eats like a Panzanella. Everything is in big pieces and the juices from the roasted tomatoes create some of the dressing and that seeps into the croutons and mmm… I mean, I can’t get enough!

This is one of those salads I crave at least once a week. It is one of my favorite and easiest meals to make. And yes, I just called a salad a meal and I promise you will feel this way once you’ve had this one!

Mo and I are eaters. Foodies for sure. But we really like to eat food. 🙂 So if you haven’t made any of my other salads and therefore you’re not “in the know” yet – you can trust that my salads are not for the faint of heart. This definitely took some convincing with Mo when I first started cooking for him. This is where the “inside joke” of “We’re having a ‘big salad’ for dinner…” came from. When I was racing triathlon a bunch and had a full load of clients, etc., etc. salads were an almost nightly thing at our house! But if you ask Mo – he loves them. They are filling, full of nutrition and full of flavor and texture! …I’m big on texture! Gotta have some crunch!

So this salad pulls out my Italian heritage. As I said, it is not an exact replica of a true Panzanella salad. But, the anti-inflammatory nutritionist in me cannot help myself, plus, we really like it better this way!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Primal Panzanella Salad

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1lb free range chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ large container pre-washed baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 large avocado, diced into large pieces
  • 1 ½ cups baby cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 pieces good sourdough bread, cut into large pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Real Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions for the Salad:

  • Place chicken a large Ziploc baggie with 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oregano and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Seal bag and gently toss (over the sink – yes, I’ve learned the hard way! J) to combine. Marinade for 30 minutes, up to overnight. Pull out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two small sheet pans with foil.
  • While oven is heating up, on one sheet pan, place the tomatoes and on the other sheet pan, lay the sourdough out, in an even layer. Drizzle the tomatoes and sourdough with ½ tbsp olive oil each and sprinkle both with salt and black pepper. Set the croutons aside and place the tomatoes into the oven to roast for 7-10 minutes until slightly browned and starting to burst open.
  • Using tongs, pull the chicken out of the bag and place each piece in an even layer, without touching, onto a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; discard the remaining marinade. Let cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until each piece is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, in a large salad/serving bowl place spinach, basil, goat cheese and avocado.
  • When you’re ready to pull the tomatoes out of the oven, place sourdough on the top rack of the oven to toast for 2-3 minutes and pour the tomatoes, while hot, in with the spinach and then add the chicken.
  • Drizzle remaining olive oil and balsamic over the top and toss gently to combine and coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and place croutons on top. Toss again to combine and serve!
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Instructions
  1. Place chicken a large Ziploc baggie with 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oregano and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Seal bag and gently toss (over the sink – yes, I’ve learned the hard way! J) to combine. Marinade for 30 minutes, up to overnight. Pull out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two small sheet pans with foil.
  3. While oven is heating up, on one sheet pan, place the tomatoes and on the other sheet pan, lay the sourdough out, in an even layer. Drizzle the tomatoes and sourdough with ½ tbsp olive oil each and sprinkle both with salt and black pepper. Set the croutons aside and place the tomatoes into the oven to roast for 7-10 minutes until slightly browned and starting to burst open.
  4. Using tongs, pull the chicken out of the bag and place each piece in an even layer, without touching, onto a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; discard the remaining marinade. Let cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until each piece is cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large salad/serving bowl place spinach, basil, goat cheese and avocado.
  6. When you’re ready to pull the tomatoes out of the oven, place sourdough on the top rack of the oven to toast for 2-3 minutes and pour the tomatoes, while hot, in with the spinach and then add the chicken.
  7. Drizzle remaining olive oil and balsamic over the top and toss gently to combine and coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and place croutons on top. Toss again to combine and serve!
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Meatless Mushroom Meatballs

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Ahhhhh Meatless Monday’s. I really enjoy them! Sometimes it turns into a “Meatless Thursday” – nevertheless, while protein is obviously an incredibly important macronutrient, it is so wonderful on the body’s digestive system to take a break from animal protein sometimes – specifically meats – as these are toughest on the bloodstream and gut to break down. This is not a bad thing. Hear me: I am NOT advocating a meatless LIFE. but it is a great thing to offer the body a chance to break from it on occasion.

Mo and I spent the last 8 days in Maui, Hawaii. It was AMAZING. I will spare you the details so as to not rub it in 🙂 but suffice to say, we lived on fresh fruit smoothies and wild caught fish every day! It was fabulous!

Given that, we came back feeling pretty good… Sometimes travel can really take it out of you – especially when you don’t stick to your typical routine of clean-eating or perhaps drink alcohol more than normal, etc. Plus, travel in and of itself can be tough on the body… Plus, we’ve had a TON going on with LINK Endurance over the past month. So many WONDERFUL things that we are thrilled to share with all of you (are you signed up for our weekly newsletters!?!?) but nonetheless, I feel like we’ve been go-go-go for weeks now, even in Maui.

When we got back to Dallas we both decided it would be a good idea to give our bodies a little break and an easy way to do that would be going meatless at dinner for 5 days.

One of the greatest things I took away from practicing plant-based a few years ago is just because meat is available doesn’t mean I actually need it or want it. It’s just the American way right? We have a protein at every meal. I think it is SO important (and you know this if you follow us!) to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Before you order at a restaurant or decide what to cook for dinner – really think about it: do you WANT meat? Are you actually hungry for it? If so, YES! By all means! Have it! But if not, consider going meatless. Our bodies are so wise… If we listen consistently enough and actually adhere to, we will balance ourselves out so naturally. Okay now I’m getting on one of my favorite tangents! Back to the recipe!

These meatballs were absolutely delicious! All the texture and meatiness of the typical meatball but – no meat. And if you want to make them vegan, omit the optional cheese (perhaps use nutritional yeast instead…) and omit the 2 eggs and replace with 2 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tbsp filtered water, set aside to “set” for 5 minutes and then mix into the “meatball batter” as you would whole eggs.

Last weeks recipe: Spinach and Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes started us off on our 5 days of meatless dinners! Follow along for next weeks recipe! Perhaps you use these for at least one meatless meal each week!? I served ours with a simple salad, but you could also serve with Zucchini Noodles or Cauliflower Rice or perhaps your favorite Pasta or White Rice!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Meatless Mushroom Meatballs

Makes 16-18 small meatballs, Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • approx. 20oz baby portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup gluten free instant oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cage free eggs*
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1, 24oz jar marinara sauce*
  • parsley to garnish, leaves only
  • 1/3 cup grated raw/unpasteurized parmesan, pecorino or manchego cheese

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil and a pinch of sea salt on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, until completely softened.
  • Add mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-15 minutes until completely cooked down – you’ll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely.
  • To the mushrooms, add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, excluding marinara, to the mushrooms. Stir the mixture to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop.
  • When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture. Fry the balls in a small amount of olive oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Add marinara sauce to a medium saucepan. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on low heat for about 15 more minutes after either cooking method.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and/or grated cheese of choice. Serve with Zucchini Noodles, Cauliflower Rice, White Jasmine Rice or your favorite pasta!

Notes:

  • My favorite marinara is The Vine. They are the cleanest and best-tasting I have found! You can purchase in the LINK Endurance Shop or at Central Market.
  • If you want to make this entirely plant-based, omit the 2 eggs and replace with 2 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tbsp filtered water, set aside to “set” for 5 minutes and then mix into the “meatball batter” as you would whole eggs.

Recipe adapted from Tania at cooktoria.com

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Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil and a pinch of sea salt on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, until completely softened.
  2. Add mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-15 minutes until completely cooked down - you'll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely.
  3. To the mushrooms, add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, excluding marinara, to the mushrooms. Stir the mixture to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop.
  5. When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture. Fry the balls in a small amount of olive oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Add marinara sauce to a medium saucepan. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on low heat for about 15 more minutes after either cooking method.
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or grated cheese of choice. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or grated cheese of choice. Serve with Zucchini Noodles, Cauliflower Rice, White Jasmine Rice or your favorite pasta!
Recipe Notes

My favorite marinara is The Vine. They are the cleanest and best-tasting I have found! You can purchase in the LINK Endurance Shop or at Central Market.

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Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Avocado Pesto and Roasted Chicken

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I. LOVE. PASTA. I’m Italian – well, 25% or something… Maybe I should do the ancestry.com thing? Regardless – my Italian grandmother cooked for me all the time, growing up – in fact, she is the reason I am a Nutritionist and because of her I practice Nutrition holistically. She has always cooked with high quality, healthy fats and sprouted grains. She was sprouting grains before it was even a “thing.” She would make Zucchini Muffins and we would add bran and olive oil to them and then smear lots of good, REAL butter on them when they came out of the oven. I can taste them now as I type this…

All of that to say – I CRAVE Italian food but what I dislike about pasta is you can have so little for SO many carbohydrates and calories. NO I don’t advocate counting calories, BUT the way Mo and I eat (ehemmmm – we could probably eat most people under the table!) I want quality AND quantity! So, I’ve fallen in love with the discovery of making vegetables into noodles. Just makes me happy to have a plate full of vegetables that satisfy me the way a plate full of good old fashioned spaghetti does.

This Zucchini “Pasta” makes the perfect summer dish – it’s hearty but refreshing, and super clean – full of healthy fats from the avocado, pine nuts and olive oil and it can be served at room temp or slightly chilled, so it’s perfect in warmer weather! Another bonus – no standing over the stove! Once the chicken is cooked, the heat in the kitchen is turned off!

The Avocado Pesto is completely dairy free and vegan and I promise you won’t miss the cheese! It is great in this recipe but could be your new go-to for pesto’s in other recipes!

This is a super easy to make dinner, but can also serve as a great lunch for the kiddos or to take to work! Just prep all of the ingredients and portion out the zucchini, sundried tomatoes and shredded chicken in individual tupperware and then do the same with pesto in separate tupperware – keep in the fridge and grab and go in the mornings! When you’re ready to eat, simply pour the pesto over the zucchini, etc., shake it up and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this easy to make lunch or dinner! You’ll feel satisfied and refreshed after eating it!

Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Avocado Pesto and Roasted Chicken

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on free range chicken breasts***
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles using a spiralizer or peeler
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • approx. ¼ – 1/3 cup filtered water
  • Optional: 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and place chicken, bone-side-down/skin-side-up, onto the pan. Rub chicken all over with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place chicken into the oven on the top rack and roast 25-40 minutes, depending upon how large the breasts are — until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Pull out of the oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes, so that you can handle it with your hands.

  • While the chicken is roasting, spiralize the zucchini and place in a large bowl and set aside.

  • While the chicken is cooling, make the pesto. In a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, combine the basil, parsley, avocado, ¼ cup pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest/juice and olive oil. Process until combined. With the processor running, add just enough water to make a smooth, but not runny, sauce – no more than a few tablespoons at a time. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

  • Before shredding the chicken, if you want to use the skin, gently peel it off of the top of the breast and lay flat on the same pan you roasted the chicken on and turn oven to broil. Then, shred the chicken and place into the bowl with the zucchini, add the sundried tomatoes. Pour the sauce over and toss well to combine.

  • Place the chicken skin into the oven on the top rack for 45 seconds to 1 minute – until skin is crisped up.
  • Plate the zucchini, etc. and top with a few pine nuts, red pepper flakes and crispy chicken skin, if you’d like!
  • This is best enjoyed the day it is made.

Notes:

  • Feel free to substitute a pre-roasted rotisserie chicken vs roasting your own. You can certainly use the dark meat as well, if you enjoy it!
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place chicken, bone-side-down/skin-side-up, onto the pan. Rub chicken all over with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Place chicken into the oven on the top rack and roast 25-40 minutes, depending upon how large the breasts are -- until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Pull out of the oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes, so that you can handle it with your hands.
  4. While the chicken is roasting, spiralize the zucchini and place in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. While the chicken is cooling, make the pesto. In a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, combine the basil, parsley, avocado, ¼ cup pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest/juice and olive oil. Process until combined. With the processor running, add just enough water to make a smooth, but not runny, sauce – no more than a few tablespoons at a time. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  6. Before shredding the chicken, if you want to use the skin, gently peel it off of the top of the breast and lay flat on the same pan you roasted the chicken on and turn oven to broil. Then, shred the chicken and place into the bowl with the zucchini, add the sundried tomatoes. Pour the sauce over and toss well to combine.
  7. Place the chicken skin into the oven on the top rack for 45 seconds to 1 minute - until skin is crisped up.
  8. Plate the zucchini, etc. and top with a few pine nuts, red pepper flakes and crispy chicken skin, if you’d like!
  9. This is best enjoyed the day it is made.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to substitute a pre-roasted rotisserie chicken vs roasting your own. You can certainly use the dark meat as well, if you enjoy it!

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Easy Roasted Tomato Soup

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I made this soup on a whim one night and now it is one of our favorites!

Life has been crazy lately! We’re doing a lot of work on our home that we just moved into in January and getting the opportunity to help lots of people and move forward with our coaching and nutrition practices. So, all really wonderful things, but still – BUSY!

I came home the other day from working with clients and realized I had NO clue what I was going to make for dinner – I needed something quick and easy and frankly, I wanted something meatless. Do you ever feel like, as an American (assuming you are one) that you don’t think twice about having protein in the form of meat or eggs with a meal? It’s the “American Way” right? Majority of us grew up with meat at every meal so as adults, it’s a given, right? After practicing a plant-based lifestyle for a couple of years from 2011-2013, I realized that it is not NECESSARY nor always a good/healthy thing to have meat at EVERY meal. The body/digestion needs a break sometimes. So, I’ve learned, and encourage you to do the same if you’re not already – really THINK about what you’re craving and in turn what your body NEEDS. Don’t eat something just because it’s the routine or because it’s what you feel you “should” do. I mean, yes, there are times for that – i.e. if you’re an athlete getting ready for a particular race or game, etc. But day-in-day-out – listen to your body as much as you can!

ALL of that being said – that is where this recipe was born. Quick, easy and meatless (and if you want it to be completely plant-based/vegan simply omit the cheese!) AND possibly MOST important – it tastes JUST LIKE PIZZA! That’s right – you heard me. PIZZA! And, it’s incredibly good for you! So… You’re welcome! 🙂

Hope you enjoy!

If you missed the demo of me making this on Facebook LIVE – click here to watch!

Easy Roasted Tomato Soup

Makes 7 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs ripe Roma tomatoes (approx. 14)
  • 2 large shallots, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ¾ – 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • ¼ cup + extra for garnish grated raw/unpasteurized parmesan or manchego (omit if vegan/plant-based)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Halve tomatoes and place cut side up with the shallots on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and a few pinches of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  • Roast for 30 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
  • Place tomatoes in the blender with garlic powder, basil, thyme, tomato paste and coconut sugar. Puree until smooth.
  • Add the grated cheese and while the blender is running on a low speed, life the peep-hole at the top and pour in the coconut milk. Continue to puree until smooth well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Serve immediately topped with more cheese! Or, place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply reheat in a sauce pan over medium heat.

 

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Halve tomatoes and place cut side up with the shallots on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and a few pinches of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
  5. Place tomatoes in the blender with garlic powder, basil, thyme, tomato paste and coconut sugar. Puree until smooth.
  6. Add the grated cheese and while the blender is running on a low speed, life the peep-hole at the top and pour in the coconut milk. Continue to puree until smooth well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  7. Serve immediately topped with more cheese! Or, place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply reheat in a sauce pan over medium heat.
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