Lime It Up!

Nothing screams summer better than a flavorful lime-infused dish! Using lime juice or even lemon juice in recipes instantly adds a burst of zest to any meal. These citrus fruits pair well with proteins and veggies. For years, lemons and limes have been used in home remedies as natural cleansers in the body. In fact, many physicians recommend patients consume ½ of lemon/lime juice daily to help raise the level of citrate in the body to help fight against kidney stones. Here are two recipes (one borrowed and one my own) that I recently paired together for a flavorful Monday night dinner. Anytime my husband’s first words are “this is delicious” after taking his first bite, I know it’s a keeper in our household (and worthy of a blog post!).

Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad (adapted from paleomg.com)photo 1

  • ½ pound bacon
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375oF. Put foil down on baking pan and lay bacon flat across the pan. Cook for 15-20 minutes turning once halfway through cooking until bacon is crispy. Set aside to cool and then roughly chop.
  2. In another pan, combine chopped sweet potatoes, garlic and coconut oil. Roast at 375oF for about 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are slightly tender.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss in green onions, dill, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. Once sweet potatoes are done cooking, toss them together with the dressing and baconphoto 2

Smokey Lime Chicken

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lime (2-3 Tbsp lime juice)
  • ½ tbsp pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375oF. Meanwhile; pulse garlic, shallot, lime and spices in food processor.

2. Slowly add in olive oil while blending and mix until smooth.

3. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay chicken breasts on top. Evenly cover each chicken breast with marinade. (The flavors really set in if you refrigerate the chicken with the marinade on it for a couple of hours)

4. Place in oven and cook for 35 minutes or until done.

 

You can find more delicious and healthy recipes just like these two in our health library!

Dad’s Choice

Serious Senior ManFather’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate those special men in your life than with a little bacon! There is always a big debate on if we should consume regular bacon or turkey bacon.

Turkey bacon is generally considered a more heart healthy substitute primarily because it contains less fat; however, you will also find that turkey bacon often contains a lot more sodium than regular bacon. Personally, I’m about flavor and moderation so I stick to regular bacon. Bacon is certainly not a regular part of our meals so it’s perfectly fine to indulge every once in a while, especially if it’s celebrating a special occasion!

This recipe requires only a few ingredients and is easy enough for the kids to help out with. Be sure to serve these with some green veggies for Dad too!baconwrappedchickenskewers

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers

• 3-4 chicken breasts, cut lengthwise about 1 1/2 -2 inches thick
• 1 slice of bacon for each chicken skewer
• 1 tbsp Garlic powder
• 2/3 cup Brown sugar
• 2 tbsp Cumin
• 2 tbsp Chili powder
• Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes
1. Pre-heat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, mix all seasonings together in a small, shallow bowl.
2. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise. Take a skewer and thread it through the long part of the chicken breast or you can fold the chicken back and forth over the skewer like an accordion.
3. Wrap one slices of bacon around each chicken on the skewer. Dip bacon-wrapped chicken into seasoning mix and generously coat all sides.
4. Place skewers on grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning chicken once half-way through. *Skinnier/smaller chicken skewers will require less cooking time.
This recipe also doubles for a great appetizer. Cut bite-size pieces of chicken and wrap a small portion of bacon around each bite. Secure with a toothpick, coat in seasoning and prepare on grill.

The “I don’t know what’s for dinner” Chicken Recipe

My husband and I made it safely back home from our wonderful vacation and walked into a situation that almost all of us can relate to…there was no food in the fridge! With both of us exhausted and unwilling to spend money on going out to dinner, I had to use some creative thinking on what to prepare for dinner. All this recipe took was some chicken breasts I had in the freezer, my spice cabinet and a jar of salsa. IMG_1425

Salsa Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Equal parts of salt, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 16-oz jar of preferred salsa

1. Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Meanwhile, tear off two medium-large sheets of foil. You will be very loosely wrapping your chicken with the foil.

2. Place each chicken breast on a separate foil sheet. Since this was the first time I made this recipe, I didn’t measure my spices rather I coated each chicken breast with a light even layer of each spice.

3. Drizzle 1 tbsp of lime juice over each chicken. Finally, divide the salsa in ½ and pour contents over chicken. Loosely, fold the sides of the foil up over the chicken and secure the top (basically you make a tee-pee for your chicken).

4. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

salsa-chicken1 My husband and I loved this quick, simple recipe so much the first time that I have prepared it multiple times since then! Try experimenting with different salsa blends. I    have used both regular salsa varieties as well as a medium-peach salsa that turned out just as fantastic.

Trying New Things With Chicken

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a chicken recipe. We’ve been eating chicken all right, but I’ve had a handful of recipe fails lately that did not make the cut to be featured on the blog. For weeks, I have been craving a solid honey mustard chicken recipe. It took me fives tries before I came out with this one, but that didn’t stop me from continuously trying to make the perfect chicken recipe. Whether your challenge is training for a ½ marathon, making strength gains at the gym or, like me, cooking new recipes… remember, taking on any new challenge can have its own set of triumphs and letdowns. It’s important to not let those set-backs get in the way of you achieving your goal and boy, am I glad I didn’t quit. My husband has already asked me to make this recipe again since finally nailing it! It’s quick, simple and can be served by itself or prepared in a salad.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken

photo

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (not the generic syrup we’re most accustomed to)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary or 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Lightly season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and lay in cooking dish.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together mustard, syrup and red wine vinegar. Pour mixture over chicken breasts and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle rosemary on top of cooked chicken and serve warm.

Keep an Open Mind

 

photoOne thing I have been trying to work on is being more open to recipe ingredients I am less familiar with. When I first looked at this recipe, my immediate reaction was “fennel seeds?…next please.” It’s a good thing I am overcoming my fears, because this chicken dish was a burst of citrus, fresh air for these cold snowy winter days.

I used the leftover lemon for my haricot verts (basically fresh green beans) and this became one of my new favorite side dishes. Haricot verts are a low-cost, low-carb side dish that goes well with any entrée!

Chicken and Haricot Verts with a Lemony Twist 

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 chicken breasts


For the Haricot Verts:

  • 1 lb of fresh green beans/haricot verts (I use a 1 lb bag of haricot verts from Sam’s Club)
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Mix first 5 ingredients for chicken recipe together in a small bowl. Pour ingredients over chicken and coat evenly.

2. Place chicken in oven and cook 30-35 minutes.

3. While chicken is cooking, place steamable bag of haricot verts into microwave and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add shallots, garlic and onion. Sautee for a few minutes until onions and shallots become tender, but do not brown.

5. Add steamed haricot verts to skillet and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir into mixture for a couple minutes and serve warm. Optional–you can garnish this dish with chopped almonds or tomatoes.

Living and Breathing What I Teach

Living healthy, active lifestyles is not only something that I encourage on all my patients, it’s something that I value in my own life. I strive to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, not only to set a good example for my patients but more importantly to lead a long, healthy life for myself and my family. To show proof, here is how I spent my Friday.

5:15am:Alarm clock! Yes, I did snooze for 9 minutes then quickly got up, dressed, brushed my teeth and out the door we go to Crossfit.

6:00am: CrossFit WOD

Bench Press (close grip) 4-3-2-1
    (75 lbs, 85 lbs, 95 lbs, 100 lbs)

Thruster 8 min EMOM (every minute on the minute) 3-5 reps
(4 reps @ 83 lbs)

5 Minute AMRAP- 1 Turkish get up (each arm), 3 strict pull-ups, 10 wall balls (14 lbs)
3 rounds

7:15am:1 scoop of whey protein powder + 8 oz of almond milk.

9:30am:Breakfast (in between patients) of 5 eggs whites sautéed with mushrooms and spinach and ½ cup sweet potatoes + ½ avocado. I always make my breakfast and lunch meal the night before so I am stocked up and ready for the day.

photo 2

12:30pm:Lunch. Typically I have leftovers that consists of meat and veggies but since the leftovers are used up at the end of the week, I threw together a salad and plan on cooking tonight. Salad ingredients: mixed greens and baby spinach, artichokes, craisins, mushrooms, avocado, grilled chicken and walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.photo 4

2:30pm: Snack time. Gala apple with peanut butter.

photo 5

5:00pm:Pack up and head home but not before having a little fun after clinic-hours. Who doesn’t do a handstand after work to celebrate on Fridays? I also munched on some mixed nuts on my ride home and to the grocery store.

handstand

6:30pm:Dinner is fixed. Kept it simple tonight with my rosemary herbed chicken, garlic-roasted butternut squash and garlic mashed cauliflower. Can you tell my love for garlic??

photo 3

9:30pm:8 oz of chocolate almond milk–delish!

10:30pm:Lights out. Early morning Crossfit workout and lots to do on Saturday!

Eat clean, move more, spend time with family, value your sleep and make a point to have a little fun each day!