I forgot how delicious a well-cooked salmon filet is until earlier this week! I normally always have a bag of frozen salmon in my freezer for quick meal options and Monday night was one of those. I unthawed the fish in the fridge through the day and then cooked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes with a side of diced sweet peppers.
Below is the glaze and oil topping I did for both – which I always just eyeball these ingredients to personal preference.
drizzle of Honey
drizzle of Olive Oil
Salt (I buy a mixed jar from Whole Foods which is amazing)
I added the fish and peppers on top of brown rice and spinach for a pretty filling dinner. I was pretty satisfied!
How is it already February? I don’t think I’ve even been able to process the fact that we’ve past the holiday season and Valentine’s Day is next weekend. Holy heck!
Since my schedule has been so busy lately, I’ve been going after really quick lunches so I can focus on cleaning, walking Nella, getting in a quick workout, or running an errand over my lunch hour. Today I’m sharing three of the three quick lunches I’ve been eating like crazy lately. I try to get in a good portion of protein for my lunches so I’m full through the afternoon and can avoid cravings.
Lunches from Left to Right:
Scrambled Eggs & Turkey: Brown up about 1/2 cup of ground turkey with 21 Season Salute from Trader Joes. When the turkey is almost fully cooked, add in two stirred up eggs – scramble in the pan all together. Place in a bowl and top with salsa.
Ground Chicken Salad: Brown up about 1/2 cup of ground chicken in a pan with 21 Season Salute from Trader Joes. Place over butter lettuce, 1/8 cup shredded Mexican Cheese, & 1 spoonful of Plain Greek Yogurt.
Pasta & Green Beans: Pictured is the Birds Eye Veggie Made Mac & Cheese (but all of these pastas are super delicious) with crushed red pepper. Side of 1 can Green Beans with a slice of Pepper Jack Laughing Cow Cheese.
These are my current go-to lunches that only take about ten minutes to whip up because I’m always about being super productive through my day and maximizing my time. If you have quick lunches that you love, I’d be happy to hear & try them out.
If you enjoy food ideas, you can find more from me daily on Instagram at @ashraeeining where I share a lot of different meals, snacks, and drink ideas on stories! Let’s be best friends on social 🙂
After weeks of the same meals pretty much everyday (which I’m totally okay with), I had a spark of creativity in the kitchen and wanted to try out new recipes this last week – As you can probably tell from my most recent food posts. The latest was a very simple and quick chicken salad, because you know I love simple!
This was a nice add-in to my workweek lunches which I have a tendency to have tuna, eggs, or a roast beef sandwich. This one is definitely a keeper!
1 12.5 oz can Chicken Breast Chunk in Water
~1 tbsp of Fat Free Mayo (or to your liking)
sliced Black grapes
Honey Roasted Pecan Pieces
Mix chicken and mayo in a small bowl. Once throughly mixed, stir in celery, grapes, and pecan pieces.
Enjoy on a brioche bun or across crackers with a tall glass of lemonade on the side!
Have similar simple recipes you enjoy, send them my way!
After attending a lake birthday party this last week I had a pretty intense craving for Thai Noodle Salad since the birthday girl had made a batch for her party but I didn’t get to try it. My typical experimental brain hit the web Monday morning to find a simple recipe that I could quickly whip up and voila, I found one that I happened to have (most) all of the ingredients!
We tested it out last night after a longish run (4 miles) in the heat. I would definitely tweak a few things next time just to experiment with taste but overall I would say it’s a keeper. Also noted, we served it hot but traditionally after mixing all the ingredients you would chill it in the fridge and eat cold.
Seasonings (I used Garlic Sea Salt, Terriakyi Ginger mix, and Crushed Red Peppers)
Vegetables (I used a mixed bag I had in the freezer)
Optional Meat Topping (I had some Trader Joe’s Potstickers on hand that we through on top but shredded chicken or pork would also be delicious!)
Soak rice noodles in a pot or bowl for ~30 minutes. We placed our noodles right in the pot we would boil them in and went for a run.
Boil noodles on high for about 5-7 minutes.
Sauté veggies in a pan with olive oil until crispy.
Mix sauce in a small bowl. I used about a 1/4 tbsp of seasme oil, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, and 1/2 tbsp of honey but this will depend on the amount of noodles you are cooking.
Drain noodles, return to pan, add sauce mixture, and cook on low so sauce absorbs into the noodles.
Add veggies to the noodles. Continue to cook for about ~5 minutes or while cooking meat.
Cook optional meat.
Hot: Serve in a large bowl with a cold drink!
Cold: Place mixture in a large bowl, set in the fridge for a few hours, then enjoy!
I’ve just started to explore the instapot craze since my partner owns one and let me tell you guys, I am hooked! I totally understand what everyone is raving about now. It is so simple & easy to make quick yet delicious meals.
I’m a huge fan of home cooking and dabbling with new recipes but can be turned off by the time it takes to make a well thought out meal so the instapot definitely solves that pain point. We threw whipped up some juicy chicken for tacos the other night & I thought I would share. We choose this recipe since all the ingredients are basic that you would more than likely already have on hand (win!).
2 Chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1/2 small Yellow Onion
Plain Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream
Combine all ingredients (minus toppings) in instapot, close lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
Release steam, remove chicken from pot, shred, and return shredded chicken back to pot with the sauce. Can let it sit in the sauce for a bit to absorb or immediately serve.
Build tacos or salad bowl and enjoy!
So simple, am I right! That’s why we’re all such a fan of tacos 🙂
I took a bit of time to step away for some self-growth work through reading, education, and movement and girl, do I feel good now. It also might be these amazing chicken enchiladas recipe I enjoyed over the weekend. Let’s make this one simple so you can get right into the beef (or chicken) of this post.
8 Flour Tortillas
4 cups cooked + shredded Chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 (10-ounce) can red Enchilada Sauce
2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
1 tbsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
3 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Flour
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 large Yellow Onion, diced +sauteed
1 (7.5 ounce) can diced Green Chilies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 9×13 baking pan. Mix chicken, sauteed onion, seasoning, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and 1 cup cheese. Add enchilada sauce.
Spoon mixture into tortillas, dividing evenly throughout the 8. Roll up tortillas and place in pan seam side down.
In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour, and cook for one minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly; stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in greek yogurt, 1 cup cheese, and chilies. Do not bring to boil; you do not want the yogurt to curdle. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 24 minutes and broil for final 3 minutes or until cheese on top begins to brown.
You might be thinking… this doesn’t sound very healthy? And it isn’t, but it’s delicious and sometimes that’s all that matters!
How many times have I shared this dish on my Instagram? Way too many, that’s for sure. So it’s about time I give more details on how to make it since I’m so obsessed. It started with a Hello Fresh meal which I have a tendency to start up when I’m going through a slump with new cooking ideas. This recipe just stuck, clearly.
The Mediterranean Chicken Couscous dish is very filling with refreshing, nuritioning ingredients. It’s a meal I have about once a week if I know I have a big day the next day and will need to feel energized. It also makes good left-overs if you eat within the following 2-3 days.
1 Chicken breast
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Zatar Seasoning
2/3 cup Coucous
3/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Dill
1 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Preheat over to 350 degrees
Line a pan with a piece of foil, slice tomatoes in half, place in pan topped with olive oil, garlic, and half the dill. Cook in the oven for ~15 minutes.
While roasting tomatoes, boil chicken in a medium pot on high on top of the stove.
In another medium pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on high. Once hot, pour in coucous and let cook until browned. Boil with 1 1/2 cups of water until couscous is thoroughly cooked.
Once chicken is thoroughly cooked through, take out of the pot and shredded. Pour out water and rinse pan. Place shredded chicken back in the pot cook on medium for 4-5 more minutes with balsamic vinegar and zatar seasoning.
In a small bowl, combine greek yogurt, 1 tsp water, remaining dill, and lemon juice. Stir until consitency is creamy.
Place cooked couscous, chicken, and tomatoes in bowl and top with feta cheese and yogurt creama.
In true Cinco de Mayo fashion, this night calls for a robust taco salad. And luckily this is a recipe that is suuuuuper easy to make sugar-free (minus the red wine I had to include for festivity purposes). You really can’t go wrong with a veggie filled salad that is topped with some homemade salsa.
Cook up with taco seasoning
Sauteéd peppers & onions
Season with salt + cracked pepper
Plain Greek Yogurt
Throw all that yumminess in a bowl and do a little salsa dance because you have one good dinner! Feel free to substitute the ground beef for chicken, pulled pork, fish, or jackfruit. Also, can add whatever vegetables your heart desires.
What are you enjoying this Taco Tuesday (or indulging in ;))?
The biggest concern for me the first time I started an added-sugar-free detox was “What the heck am I going to buy at the store?” I was intimidated by the lack of knowledge I had and almost embarrassed to be one of those shoppers looking at the ingredient list on the back of items. But why? Nobody actually is noticing me and if I need to take a little bit longer to pick out my items NO. BIG. DEAL.
Once I started shopping I was relieved by how simple it became and how empowered I felt taking control of what I knew I was putting into my body to fuel it. Over time I’ve came back to my staple items that I know I’ll use up between meals and snacks.
So today I’m sharing that staple shopping list with all of you! I will more than likely be updating this list as I’m exploring new meal ideas in the coming weeks. Feel free to share your additional items with me as well or ask what I use specific items for!
Printable .pdf file available on request: email@example.com
Do you struggle with bloating, inflammation, or trouble sleeping? Or maybe you wake up most mornings to stare in the mirror with a puffy face and dry eyes? Or maybe you are victim to the afternoon slump most days?
If none of these things resonates with you then congratulations! But this is the definition of my life when my diet contains too much added sugar. Which is why I attempt* a monthly detox a few times a year.
*Attempt is the key word because our lives still need indulgences.
Added sugar is a variety of caloric sweeteners or sugar carbohydrates added to food and beverages during their production. This type of sugar is chemically indistinguishable from naturally occurring sugar that we would find in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Added sugars have no nutritional value and are “empty calories”.
These sugars can cause the body to become inflamed, gain weight, higher blood pressure and can even increase risk for heart attack and stroke. These little punk ingredients aren’t only bad for us but are just as addictive as alcohol, caffeine, gambling, etc. Our bodies become dependent on the need for sugar that we are consistently craving to fill the desire to consume more sugar. This desire than results in withdraw when we detox our body from them. Symptoms of withdrawal are headaches, increased cravings, and mood swings that can result in feelings of anxiety and sadness. The good thing is most withdraw symptoms only occur for a few days or a week.
You might be thinking, why would I give up added-sugar then? Well, the rewards extremely outweigh the work. All those questions at the beginning of this post… ya, let’s get rid of those!
Cutting out (or for the most part) added sugar from your diet will likely decrease inflammation, boost your energy levels, and improve your ability to focus. You might even lose weight or see more definition around muscles. A low sugar diet also has been known to help with diabetes, heart disease, brain health, mood levels, and even improve the health of skin, hair, and nails.
An informed diet does take work though. The food industry has a long history of sneaking in these ingredients in ways that do not have to be stated in the nutrition chart as actually added sugar. That means even if you see 0g added sugar, you still need to review the list of ingredients to actually be sure. For example:
Brown Rice syrup
Cane Juice crystals
Fruit Juice Concentrate
High Fructose Corn Syrup
The sad part is this isn’t even close to all of the sneaky ingredients the food industry shoves into food. The most effective way to reduce your sugar intake is to eat mostly whole and unprocessed foods. You might be thinking that is way too hard – I thought the same thing the first time I did an added sugar detox. But once you get into a routine of what to eat that is good for you, not too mention how good you’ll be feeling, it becomes a lifestyle that you don’t want to quit.
If you would like to join me for the month of May, I’ll be sharing tips for shopping, meal planning, and yummy dish ideas here as well as on my Insta account (@ashraeeining). Having a tribe to go through this together, ask questions, and share ideas makes it WAYYYY more enjoyable (yes, it can be enjoyable!)
Like I said earlier, indulgences are still part of life – so have that donut or 3 scoops of ice cream. I know I sure do! Enjoy that margarita on a nice day and the cheesy enchiladas at your favorite Mexican restaurant. But making sure we are monitoring these indulgences so they don’t become a habit is when we start to take control over our health so we can feel all the benefits I stated above.
So if you would like to join me on this journey for the month of May (or at least attempt* it) then stick around and follow me over on Instagram as well. I like to share some esthetically pleasing, highly edited photos of meals, snacks, and drinks (you can even follow just to creep the photos).