Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chicken Tenders with Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

I absolutely love spaghetti squash. If you haven't tried it, it's definitely worth a shot! It's simple to prep (although it does take some bicep strength to cut in half) and very versatile - it essentially just takes on the flavor of whatever you mix with it. Which is especially good when that something is cheese.
I paired my cheesy spaghetti squash with quick homemade chicken tenders and roasted broccoli, which I cooked at the same time while finishing off the squash on the stovetop. It was simple enough for a weeknight, and a healthy dinner that fits right in with the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan!

Chicken Tenders with Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli



Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 packages chicken tenders, about 2 lbs
  • 1 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (or any milk)
  • 1/2 tbsp gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 tbsp high-quality butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Spicy seasoning blend (I used Weber's Bold Chipotle)
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 for convection, 425 for regular oven. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place cut side down on a lined baking sheet. Roast 30 minutes, until squash is golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool, at least 15 mins.

While squash is cooling, spread the broccoli out on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, season with spicy seasoning. Next, prep the chicken tenders. Spread breadcrumbs, parmesan and spicy seasoning blend on a small plate. Drizzle the chicken tenders with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then press in the breadcrumbs. Lay out on a lined baking sheet.

Roast the broccoli and chicken tenders for approx 15 minutes, or until both are crisp and browned. If needed, roast the broccoli a few extra minutes while the chicken tenders rest.

While the broccoli and chicken is cooking, use a fork to shred the spaghetti squash (for a quick demonstration, check out my video). Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the gluten-free flour and whisk together until browned. Pour in the milk and whisk for about four more minutes, until smooth and thickened. Whisk in shredded cheese and remove from heat once melted. Stir in the spaghetti squash - add in stages, as depending on the size of the squash you may have more or less. Serve immediately with the chicken tenders and broccoli.

This dish also reheats really well! I run the chicken tenders and broccoli through a couple of rounds in the toaster oven, and microwave the spaghetti squash for about 30 seconds. Using the toaster oven crisps it right back up so it tastes as good as the first night!

21 Day Fix Serving Suggestion:

I served myself three chicken tenders, 1/2 green container of broccoli and 1/2 green container of the spaghetti squash and counted it as 1 Red, 1 Green, 1/2 Blue, 1/2 Yellow, 1 Teaspoon

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Team Beachbody is Doing it Again–Join the December Fix!

Just in time to combat that holiday weight gain and get your new years’ resolutions started early, Team Beachbody is hosting another massive Facebook challenge group, the December Fix, for a round of the 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme!

21DayFixDecemberFix

The group is already going strong at over 30,000 members, already larger than the Labor Day Fix group – and it doesn’t start until Dec 1st.  All you have to do to join is click on this link and ask to join – it’s a welcoming bunch! It’s really cool to see just how many people out there live the 21 Day Fix lifestyle or are trying the program out for the first time, everyone comes together and shares their experiences, ideas and support for each other.  It’s set as public now so people can easily join, but will switch to private once we get going.

On top of all the motivation and a whole nation of people doing a round alongside you, Team Beachbody is sweetening the pot a little with some prizes!  You can check out all the details here, but the best one in my opinion is one they are giving out to everyone who does a round and sends in their results – a special December Fix Challenge tshirt!  I’ve already got a 21 Day Fix tshirt, and I’m looking forward to my PiYo shirt and 21 Day Fix Extreme tank top coming soon.  I want a whole collection! Might as well get the freebie and show off how you got your amazing results right? Smile  Other prizes include Beachbody Performance line supplement samplers awarded to randomly selected participants, and a chance at $5,000 prizes for the most inspirational transformations.

Been thinking about trying the 21 Day Fix yourself?  Now is the perfect time to start getting the hang of it and help combat that holiday weight gain and send the numbers in the other direction instead and enjoy the support of all these people, plus all the personal support and motivation you need from yours truly!  The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack special was extended through November – you can get the program for a mere $10 on top of the cost of Shakeology, the best thing that happened to my body all year and the reason I became a coach.  It’s truly amazing, and you can get all your money back if you don’t like it.  Can’t lose!

The program includes 30-minute workouts, one for each day of the week, a set of Autumn’s color-coded containers that make the nutrition balance super easy to follow, and a complete eating plan.  It even comes with a free insulated tote bag and a bonus workout.  This could be your jump start on the journey to a fitter, happier, healthier you.

21DayFixThanksgiving

This program has truly changed the way I view both exercise and eating, and has totally turned my life around.  If you have any questions or want to hear more, reach out to jennifl@beachbodycoach.com.  I’d really love to help you on your journey to the best you.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zoodles

Chicken Parmesan is a favorite in our house!  Unfortunately, our usual way of pan frying makes it more of a special occasion dish thanks to the time, effort and cleanup involved.  Not to mention extra calories and fat!  So I came up with a quick and easy baked version last night that let us feel like we were indulging, but doing so in a healthy way. 

Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zoodles

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Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded to about 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used a mix of Italian fine and panko)
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella for topping (I used shredded and pearls)
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (I used convection, so you may wish to go 450 in a regular oven).  Prepare a baking sheet with nonstick foil.  Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan  cheese on a plate.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over them, rub to coat.  Press them into the breadcrumb mixture firmly to adhere crumbs, and place on baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with tomato sauce and mozzarella.  Bake an additional 5 minutes.

While the chicken is finishing, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil in (optionally add some chopped fresh garlic).  Add the grape tomatoes and zoodles to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, until zucchini is just softened.

You could also just use thinly sliced zucchini in place of the spirals, but I love the fun texture and appearance of the pasta-like substitute!  Will be posting soon about my experience with my favorite new kitchen toy, the Paderno Spiralizer.

21 Day Fix Container Equivalents per serving (approximate)

  • 1 Red
  • 1/2 Yellow
  • 1 Blue
  • 1 Green

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Easy Method for Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Cold Brew Coffee is the new hot (cold?) thing these days - it's quite hip to drink the cold brew!  But I don't drink it because it's trendy, I drink it because I love my coffee cold anyway, and the cold brew method reduces the acid significantly and makes for a smoother, less bitter taste.  But it's also crazy expensive in coffee shops and stores, and as someone who cannot bring themselves to drop $4 for a cup of fancy coffee (especially when you can get a meal replacement as fabulous as Shakeology for that price tag), I had to investigate at-home methods.



Turns out, it is super easy to make!  It does involve more time to brew, but all you have to do is let it sit in the fridge, so you just have to make it in advance.  And as someone who only has a single-brew K-cup machine in the house, it's also a great solution for making a pitcher of coffee without having to go a cup at a time.  So for me, it's actually less work.

To get started, all you need is ground coffee and a French press coffeemaker, which you can find for a great price at stores like HomeGoods, but they are widely available and affordable.  

Next, all you have to do is add coffee and water to the carafe, let it hang out overnight (12 hours is recommended), and then in the morning just press the grounds down and voila - perfect cold brew coffee!  

Check out my video for a quick demonstration of the process - 



That's all there is to it - simple and much more affordable than buying it premade!  You can get particular about the beans and grind and all that if you're a coffee connoisseur, but I use just regular old pre-ground Dunkin Donuts coffee and it produces great results.  Cold brew is my liquid of choice for Shakeology, as it gets my morning coffee and breakfast all in one convenient cup that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.  Can't beat that!
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