What I make for dinner after being gone all weekend: Chili Lime Shrimp & Mixed Greens Salad

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad.JPG

If you've been following along, you know that I have been traveling a lot lately.  It has been super fun but also doesn't leave much room for my regular routine, which usually includes weekend meal planning.  I love traveling and experiencing new foods in new cities, but, to me, there is nothing like a meal cooked in your own home.  It can be the simplest dish around -  nothing more than a grilled cheese and soup,.  However, for me the process of picking my own bread, my own perfect mix of cheeses and the fresh ingredients for a simple tomato stovetop soup is often times the perfect creative re-centering endeavor after crazy airports and plain rides and days of eating out.  

I recently just finished back-to-back trips where I went to Belize followed by NYC.  Needless to say, there was zero meal prep done in-between.  Breakfast was pretty easy b/c I managed to stock the fridge with some less-perishable fruit and milk before we left and I always make sure to keep Sun Butter and my go-to granola bars in the pantry.  Those are staples I highly recommend keeping around. While breakfast was simple, Monday night dinner didn't come quite as easily; however, I was excited to still be able to get a fresh and fast dinner on the table.  Being tired from travel and a full day of work, I was tempted to call on my usual go-to's, Zoe's or Eatzi's, but I knew that as tired as I felt, what I really needed was to get in my kitchen and chop and toss and mix and grill.  I know myself and I know that taking an hour or so to myself after work and using that time to create something in the kitchen would leave me more rejuvenated than our standard take-out.  It's something about the mixing of flavors and textures and a variety of spices that inspires me and makes me feel like myself again.  I guess some would say that't the "creative" in me.

Anyway, the recipe I put together this past Monday is what I want to share with you here.  I want to walk you through my train of thought and how this delicious dish got to our table.

Ever since I made those incredibly scrumptious salmon tacos by Ina Garten back in May (see my Instagram post), I knew I wanted to try her salmon rub in other dishes.  I'd been wondering how it would turn out on shrimp for a while now and so that is what popped into my mind first. I knew the marinade would be simple and shrimp takes basically no time to cook.  I also knew that my husband and I were not going to want something super heavy after just coming home from back-to-back trips and, in general, I always tend to crave lighter dishes in the summer.  So, I mentally threw together a picture and ingredient list for this Chili Lime Shrimp Salad in between projects at work, stopped by the store on the way home, and then got to prepping in my kitchen.  This dish is so simple and full of flavor.  You whisk together a 5 - ingredient marinade and let the shrimp sit in it while you chop the mangoes, tomatoes and avocado and plate the mixed greens.  Then fire up the grill (or grill pan) and cook those shrimp before topping them on your fresh mixed greens salad.   The longer you let the shrimp marinade the better.  I let mine marinade while I prepped a few lunch items for the week so it was probably about 30 to 45 minutes but I don't think it's an absolute requirement if you're in a pinch.

Here are the details for my quick and simple Chili Lime Shrimp & Mixed Greens Salad.  I hope you can make it a last minute go-to like I have.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

Chili lime shrimp & mixed greens salad

To make 2 salads I used (& we had left-over shrimp for later in the week)...

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 5 cups of mixed greens (3 for Kyle & 2 for me)
  • 1 small yellow mango, cored, peeled and cut into larger chunks
  • 1/2 of an avocado, cubed
  • About 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound of peeled & deveined shrimp.  I put about 8 shrimp on Kyle's plate and 5 shrimp on my plate and had about 5 more shrimp leftover, which will perfect for another one of these salads again this week
  • About 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ~2 - 4 teaspoons EVOO, for dressing
  • Balsamic Vinegar, as desired for salad
  • Crusty bread, optional
  • Marinade ingredients (inspired by Ina Garten)
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons EVOO
    • Juice of 1 lime

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine ingredients for marinade in a large Ziplock bag.  Add shrimp, coat evenly and let sit about 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Add mixed greens to each plate or bowl.
  3. Top mixed greens evenly with the chopped mango, avocado and tomatoes
  4. Preheat grill pan on medium high heat.
  5. Once hot, using tongs, place shrimp on grill pan and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp are pink and no longer clear in the middle.  Place cooked shrimp on a serving platter for guests to add to their salads or go ahead and plate onto dinner salads.
  6. Bake or toast crusty whole grain bread to accompany salads
  7. Serve salads with crusty bread, and drizzles of fresh lime, EVOO and balsamic vinegar as desired.
  8. Enjoy!

 

what's in this?

Mangoes:  vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, fluid

Mixed Greens:  iron, vitamin K, fiber, fluid

Tomatoes:  vitamin C, lycopene, fluid

Avocado:  monounsaturated fat, potassium, lutein, fiber

Shrimp:  protein, B12, iron, phosphorus, selenium

EVOO:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E

Hello, World!

My Trip to Memphis - Cupcakes & BBQ

Muddy's Cupcake aerial.JPG

Some of you may have seen my Instagram posts this last weekend and thought, "What?  Isn't she a sports and wellness dietitian?  How does this match up?  How is she talking about nutrition for sports and health but then her posts show pictures of eating BBQ mac & cheese and chocolate strawberry cupcakes?" 

I thought I would take this opportunity to write a non-recipe post because I do think this topic should be brought to light.  As a young or adult athlete, it's important to surround yourself with mostly nutrient-dense fueling foods to support your workouts and training.  However, it does not mean that you have to eat "perfectly" all the time.  What does "eating perfectly" really mean anyway?  A sports or fitness "diet" (and I use the word "diet" here to define a way of eating - not as a means of restriction) still makes room for food that you love that may provide nothing more than satisfaction and a smile.  

Like you have probably heard many other dietitians say, strict restriction, whether in the form of calories or of certain foods, only leads to eventual feelings of deprivation and then overeating those foods later on.  In the end that is counterproductive for the athlete or exerciser.  

As a young competitive athlete, I probably took this too seriously in the beginning, being overly rigid on when I allowed myself "treats" or those foods I really loved but didn't think were "good" foods for my sport.  Later on, after I had changed my food and meal mentality and was eating more, eating on a semi-structured schedule to support my training and allowing myself those favorite foods when I really wanted them, that is when I actually started seeing improvements in my performances.  No, I didn't eat french fries or chicken tenders before I went out on the ice, but I may have included them later on when it wouldn't be a pre-event meal.  I ate my favorite warm chocolate chip cookies when I really wanted one and loved grabbing fro yo with my friends.  I was incorporating some of my favorite foods into my regular balanced nutrient - dense meals & snacks and focusing more on the placement of these foods vs elimination. 

As athletes and exercisers, we need to remember that it's all about meal and snack timing.  When I go in and talk to high school athletes, I'm not telling them "oh, you can never eat a hamburger" or "yeah, you have to drop the ice cream for good".  No, I actually never talk about eliminating.  What I talk about is placement and what type of foods our bodies need for the best workouts and performances.  I talk about what those pre and post event meals and snacks should consist of to give us the most energy and the best recovery so performance can improve and injury can be prevented.  I have the same overall message for adult exercisers.  I ask them to think about and create their plan.  I ask them to write down their nutrition plan to support training and performance, which includes pre and post exercise meals and snacks.  This sets the base and then other foods that may not normally be in your plan can be added when the occasion arrives.

Commissary BBQ.JPG

So, back to Cupcakes and BBQ.  I love fresh, simple meals.  I think that's pretty clear from my Instagram account.  I have learned over the years what foods fuel great runs and workouts for me and what I need after to help my feel stronger for future sessions.  However, if I'm in a new city then I'm going to be curious and try new foods or, if I'm in an old familiar city like Memphis, I'm going to enjoy those foods that bring back memories.  When you go to Memphis, you've gotta have BBQ.  I have a goal of taking my husband to a different top BBQ place in Memphis on each visit, so this past trip was to The Commissary.  I'm not a huge sweets person, but when in Memphis, I have to take a trip to Muddy's.  It's the best cupcake shop local to Memphis and it was started by a girl who graduated from my high school.  It was a fun, relaxing and delicious trip to Memphis mixed with reading, running, resting and eating at all of my local favorites.  So, no, I don't eat a cupcake or big plate of BBQ before a long run and I certainly didn't eat them before an ice skating training session, but I will enjoy it on a trip home to Memphis where I want to soak up all of my familiar favorites.

Whether you are a competitive or elite athlete or a fitness enthusiast, remember that all foods can still fit into a sports nutrition plan at the right time.  Eat to fuel and recover most of the time, but allow yourself to still experience the joy of food and the joy of eating.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

Salmon Nicoise Salad

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Hello, friends!  It's been quite a while since my last post.  This season has been a packed one that seems to have flown by.  I was super excited to get away this Memorial Day weekend.  Kyle and I took a trip to the ranch, which meant no phones or computers or social media - just family, exploring, reading, writing and grilling.  It was just the right balance of exploration and rest. We navigated our way along streams that opened to fresh pools of cold water surrounded by the greenest grass (a very unique find in the Texas - New Mexico desert) and we made ourselves at home on the large rocking chairs that lined our front porch with plenty of reading and writing material in hand (& morning visits from our peacock friend, which you know about if you saw my IG post, ha).  Given the time and lack of technology, I got to catch up on all of my fun reading, brainstorm new recipes and articles, and start making progress on recipes I have been wanting to post for some time now.

As summer is quickly approaching, I thought getting my Salmon Nicoise Salad up would be a good first step.  It's fairly simple to throw together and, although a salad, it is hearty enough for a filling and satisfying weeknight or weekend dinner.  Not only is it simple and filling but wild salmon is also reaching its peak season as we speak, making it a perfect time to give this recipe a try!  Parts of this salad can also be prepped ahead of time, which is great if you're making this for company and want more time to talk and hang out vs being in the kitchen. I'm excited to finally get this recipe up and here it is - my Salmon Nicoise Salad.  It's recipe that friends and family have enjoyed these last few months and I think you will enjoy as well!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

SALMON NICOISE SALAD

Serves 3 - 4

INGREDIENTS (for Salad):

Ingredients.JPG
  • Two 6-ounce salmon filets
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium lemon, sliced into 6 thin slices
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (about 4 cups diced raw)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, to cook potatoes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives (drained of juice)
  • 2 tablespoons capers (drained of juices)
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • Champagne Vinaigrette - see recipe below

INGREDIENTS (for Dressing):

  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and place both salmon filets on baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle salmon filets with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper (<1/8 teaspoon salt on each).
  4. Top each salmon filet with 3 slices of lemon, covering the length of the filet and set salmon aside.
  5. Line separate large baking sheet with parchment paper (may need 2 - see step #7).
  6. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  7. Spread the potatoes out onto the large prepared baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if the pan gets too crowded).
  8. Place sweet potatoes in the preheated 400 degree oven on the top rack and cook for about 35 minutes, flipping the potatoes about 15 - 20 minutes into cooking.  If cooking potatoes on bottom shelf, turn or stir about 10 minutes into cooking to prevent burning on one side.
  9. While potatoes cook, add capers, olives, tomatoes, and mix greens to a bowl and set aside.
  10. Now start the green beans..  Fill a medium pot with about 1/2 - inch water and bring to a boil.  Add the steamer basket to the pot followed by the green beans.  Cover the pot and allow beans to steam about 5 minutes.  After the beans have cooked, turn the burner off but leave beans in the basket covered to stay warm.
  11. When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left, add the salmon filets to the oven and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes (cooking time of salmon will vary.  A general rule is to cook the salmon 10 minutes for every inch thickness). 
  12. While the salmon & sweet potatoes cook, make the dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients.  Or add to a small jar and shake really well!
  13. Add about 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the greens-caper mix and toss to combine.
  14. After the last 15 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn the oven on broil, cooking just the salmon filets about 1 more minute.  The lemons will brown and caramelize slightly.  Remove from the oven.
  15. Now that all items are cooked, to a dinner plate:  Place 1/2 salad mix.  Add 3/4 cup green beans to one side of plate.  Add 3/4 cup of sweet potatoes to another side of plate.  Flake the warm salmon in the middle.
  16. Serve with the remaining dressing, caramelized lemon slices and warm crusty bread.
  17. Enjoy!

 

 

what's in this??

Green Beans:  folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A

Sweet Potatoes:  beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Lemons: vitamin C

Dressing:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E

Salmon:  omega 3 fatty acids, protein, B12, selenium

Spinach:  vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron

 

fun nutrition facts - salmon

Did you know what the different types of salmon mean?  I didn't really until recently when I asked the man at the fish counter about it and then read an article on it in my new Cook's Illustrated magazine.  Yes, knowing the difference between these can play a role in what you choose from a nutrition perspective, but it may also help your friend or family member like salmon!  Salmon can certainly be a fishier fish, but some varieties are more mild than others.  Here is a brief rundown of what I now know....

WILD SALMON (Coho / King / Sockeye) - leaner, tougher, a stronger flavor

FARM RAISED (Atlantic / King salmon) - milder flavor, more omega-3's (fattier fish), a softer, flakier texture (some say "buttery").

Want more details on the salmon varieties?  There's a good overview here. (Thanks Cook's Illustrated!) or here (thanks Food & Nutrition magazine)!

 

 

 

tomato caper prep.JPG
 Dressing whisked!

Dressing whisked!

 olive mix &amp; greens tossed together with dressing and added as base of dinner plate&nbsp;

olive mix & greens tossed together with dressing and added as base of dinner plate 

 Layer roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans &amp; flaked salmon to dish.&nbsp; Serve with the roasted lemon slices.

Layer roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans & flaked salmon to dish.  Serve with the roasted lemon slices.

Cinnamon Apple Tarts! A light, flakey & subtly sweet dessert

If you haven't already realized or, if you are new to my blog, I'm all about delicious but simple and stress-free recipes and meals.  I eat most foods but, in this space, you'll find a bit healthier recipes.  I'm out to prove that healthier meals can be delicious, that they don't equal deprivation AND that they don't have to be complicated.  And, seeing as my background is in mainly wellness, exercise and sports nutrition (both adult and pediatric), my recipes are all created with this theme in mind.  I have a few principles that I follow when thinking up dinners,  principles that work whether I am cooking for one, cooking for the family, or cooking for an entire house of guests.  I won't go into detail about them today but I can tell you that following these is what allows me to create balance and keep flavor at our table each week.  These principles are getting summed up in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today's recipe, these Cinnamon Apple Tarts, that are just sweet enough, light enough and simple enough to make the menu of many celebratory and more time-consuming meals. 

A little story behind their creation...

AC Tarts Cover photo 2JPG.JPG

These apple cinnamony treats came about when Kyle and I were having my Bible Study leader and her husband over for dinner.  I have been in her Bible Study for probably about 5 years to the point that she is like family.  She even flew up to Memphis to attend my mom's funeral, a woman she had never met.  I got to know her husband through being at their house every other week for Bible Study and through our church.  After I met Kyle, they welcomed him into their lives, joining us for dinners and brunches and lending words of wisdom when we needed it.  Her husband actually ended up being one of the ministers that married us.  So, with all of this to say, these were some very special dinner guests.  That night I, with Kyle as my sous chef :) , made some of my favorite dishes - a Roasted Beef Tenderloin with a Rosemary Chocolate and Wine Sauce (thank you, Ellie Krieger!!  This dish is delicious and one of my favorites for special occasions and entertaining!), roasted root veggies, spinach and brown butter gnocchi and a mixed greens salad.  This might sound complicated but it fits perfectly with those "Three Principles for Simplified Dinners".

For these tarts - the key to preparing them is pulling the pastry dough out of the freezer before dinner begins because they need about 40ish minutes to thaw.  You can either have your apples already sliced or do a quick slice after dinner before throwing them in the oven.  On this particular occasion, I had the pastry thawing and then, as everyone was taking their last bites of dinner, I tucked away into the kitchen, assembled the tarts (using apples I had sliced before dinner) and then baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes while I joined the rest of the conversation.  When they were done I broiled them for just a minute and then plated them and served each with a ramekin of cold and creamy Blue Bell vanilla bean ice cream (everything is better with Blue Bell in this house).  They were simple and light, the perfect ending to a satisfying and filling meal.

So, here you go - my recipe for Cinnamon Apple Tarts.  I hope they bring your future dinners many happy endings :)

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

CINNAMON APPLE TARTS: a light, flakey & subtly sweet dessert

Makes 18 tarts 

CA Tarts Ingredients.JPG

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 rectangles of a puff pastry sheet, thawed for about 45 minutes
  • 1 red apple (like golden delicious)
  • 1/2 green apple (like granny smith)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of regular sugar
  • 4 teaspoons honey

 

DIRECTIONS:

 1.&nbsp; Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.  2.&nbsp; Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares (should end up with 18 squares).  3.&nbsp; Slice each apple in half.&nbsp; Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise,&nbsp;along the length of the core.&nbsp; Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards.&nbsp; Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.

2.  Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares (should end up with 18 squares).

3.  Slice each apple in half.  Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise, along the length of the core.  Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards.  Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.

 4.&nbsp; Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.

4.  Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.

 5.&nbsp; Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (I really just eyeball the honey I drizzle on each tart.&nbsp; Don't stress about being super precise - just have fun drizzling a little over each tart, saving enough to drizzle each again in a little bit!)  6.&nbsp; Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.  7.&nbsp; At 8 minutes,&nbsp;remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.  8.&nbsp; After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil.&nbsp; Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized..&nbsp; Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!&nbsp; &nbsp;

5.  Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (I really just eyeball the honey I drizzle on each tart.  Don't stress about being super precise - just have fun drizzling a little over each tart, saving enough to drizzle each again in a little bit!)

6.  Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.

7.  At 8 minutes, remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.

8.  After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil.  Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized..  Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!   

 9.&nbsp; Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream,&nbsp;pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)

9.  Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream, pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)

 10.&nbsp; Serve and enjoy!

10.  Serve and enjoy!

Serve it again!

Store any uneaten tarts in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.  When ready to eat again, remove from fridge and place on foil or baking sheet.  Reheat in a preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.

Breakfast anyone?  While not the best pre or post - exercise breakfast, these make a great accompaniment if hosting a big weekend brunch or they serve as perfect leisurely weekend homemade pastry.

 

PRINT A COPY!

print recipe
Cinnamon Apple Tarts
Light, flakey and subtly sweet
Ingredients
  • 6 rectangles of a puff pastry sheet, thawed for about 45 minutes
  • 1 red apple (like golden delicious)
  • 1/2 green apple (like granny smith)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch regular sugar
  • 4 teaspoons honey
Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.2. Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares / rectangles (should end up with 18 squares).3.  Slice each apple in half.  Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise, along the length of the core.  Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards.  Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.4.  Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.5.  Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.6.  Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.7.  At 8 minutes, remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.8.  After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil.  Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 45 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized..  Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!   9.  Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream, pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)10.  Serve and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 18 tarts

Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad

A chicken salad with pesto and home roasted red peppers.  It's mayo-free and packed with flavor!

Friends, this chicken salad is so scrumptious. I wish I could hand you a sample through the screen!  I tested this recipe a few times because I couldn't get the chicken how I wanted it.  I quickly learned that if the chicken isn't cooked like you want it then the final product will not be exactly what you want.  However, once I mastered the basic chicken breasts, the rest of the recipe was a breeze!  You can learn how I perfected the chicken breast and find my recipe for fool-proof tender juicy chicken by clicking here!

After I determined the best way to cook my chicken I added just TWO simple ingredients and, voila!, a delicious, tender, flavor-packed chicken salad.  It's the perfect protein-packed AND flavor-packed lunch to keep you energized throughout your day. 

I love chicken salads like this because they are such an easy way to get my protein at lunch.  I especially appreciate this when I have had an intense resistance workout early in the morning before work.  Because our bodies can only utilize about 20 - 30 grams of protein at one time for muscle building and repair, it's important to have your protein present in not only the meal following your workout but also each meal and snack throughout the day (if you're trying to build or simply maintain muscle mass for your sport, personal goals, or general health and well-being).  This is a protein - packed recipe that does not disappoint!  It stays tender and moist throughout the week and it keeps its flavor while passing on the higher saturated fat mayonnaise common in so many chicken salads.  

This recipe usually gets me about 3 to 4 lunches, depending on how big I make my portions :).  I really do make this all the time and am super excited to share it with you today!  Make sure you read to the very end for ways to use this one recipe for a variety of deliciously simple meals throughout the week!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

ROASTED RED PEPPER & PESTO CHICKEN SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.75 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast (should make about 3 cups cooked shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons jarred pesto

DIRECTIONS:

 1.&nbsp; Prepare chicken by roasting according to my  Tender Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken Breasts  recipe.

1.  Prepare chicken by roasting according to my Tender Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken Breasts recipe.

 2.&nbsp; While the chicken roasts, prepare your roasted red bell peppers by following the recipe in my   DIY Roasted Red Bell Pepper   post!

2.  While the chicken roasts, prepare your roasted red bell peppers by following the recipe in my DIY Roasted Red Bell Pepper post!

 3.&nbsp; Once the chicken is cooked, allow to rest for about 5 minutes.  4.&nbsp; Then, using two forks, shred the chicken to bite-size pieces.&nbsp; The chicken should still be hot and should shred easily.

3.  Once the chicken is cooked, allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

4.  Then, using two forks, shred the chicken to bite-size pieces.  The chicken should still be hot and should shred easily.

 5.&nbsp; Add the pesto to your warm chicken and toss to combine.&nbsp; You want the chicken to still be warm so that it really absorbs all of the flavors in the pesto.&nbsp; Mmmmmm :)

5.  Add the pesto to your warm chicken and toss to combine.  You want the chicken to still be warm so that it really absorbs all of the flavors in the pesto.  Mmmmmm :)

 6.&nbsp; Add in your warm roasted red bell peppers and toss to combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.

6.  Add in your warm roasted red bell peppers and toss to combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.

 7.&nbsp; Serve or store and enjoy!

7.  Serve or store and enjoy!

 

IDEAS FOR MIXING IT UP!

I love recipes that can be incorporated numerous ways to make a variety of dishes.  This recipe happens to be one of my favorites of these type of recipes.  Here are all different ways you can incorporate this chicken salad to keep dishes interesting, delicious and energizing throughout the week!

  • Serve it on its own with whole grain crackers and a side of fruit
  • Warm it up (or serve immediately after preparing) and serve it over penne pasta for dinner
  • Keep it cold and toss in bowtie pasta for a fun picnic lunch
  • Serve it over a bed of spinach and add small cubes of mozzarella cheese for a Spinach Chicken Salad
  • Pile it between two slices of your favorite bread, add a slice of mozzarella cheese or sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the top and place in a panini press (or press it in a skillet over the stove) for a warm Italian Pesto Chicken Panini

 

nutritio notes:

Chicken:  protein, vitamin B12

Pesto:  monounsaturated fats, vitamin E

Red Bell Pepper:  vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber

 

print the recipe

print recipe
Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad
A CHICKEN SALAD WITH PESTO AND HOME ROASTED RED PEPPERS.  IT'S MAYO-FREE AND PACKED WITH FLAVOR!
Ingredients
  • 1.75 ounces (should make about 3 cups cooked shredded) Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil
  • 1/2 Fresh lemon (cut into quarters)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 medium Red bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons Jarred pesto
Instructions
1.  Prepare chicken by roasting according to my Tender Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken Breasts recipe.2.  While the chicken roasts, prepare your roasted red bell peppers by following the recipe in my DIY Roasted Red Bell Pepper post!3.  Once the chicken is cooked, allow to rest for about 5 minutes.4.  Then, using two forks, shred the chicken to bite-size pieces.  The chicken should still be hot and should shred easily.5.  Add the pesto to your warm chicken and toss to combine.  You want the chicken to still be warm so that it really absorbs all of the flavors in the pesto.  Mmmmmm :)6.  Add in your warm roasted red bell peppers and toss to combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.7.  Serve or store and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: About 4.5 cups