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Posts tagged lunch
Creamy Coconut Lime Chicken Thighs
 

Creamy coconut lime chicken thighs - 30 minute, one pan meal that is perfect for meal preps or for a quick dinner! Dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly.

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Do you ever get tired of cooking chicken the same way over and over again? As someone who is married to a man that works in the poultry industry BOTH of my hands are up! I would think even someone who develops new recipes every day can fall guilty to this routine.

To get me out of this rut, I often turn to Thai cuisine. One of my favorite thai dishes is Tom Kha Gai soup. If you’ve had this traditional thai soup then you know the flavors of coconut and lime are at the forefront. I’ve taken those components of Tom Kha Gai soup and incorporated it with chicken. So, there you have it -- a delicious Thai-inspired chicken recipe that pairs well with cauliflower rice or sprouted brown basmati rice and broccoli for lunch or dinner!

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You may have noticed that the sauce color isn’t the prettiest but you shouldn’t be discouraged because we are focused on flavor over appearance. I’ve followed recipes similar to this one but they skip the best part which is thoroughly developing flavors in the cast iron. Don’t wipe away those brown bits after browning your chicken! That is the best part, I’m telling you!

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My husband describes this recipe perfectly - it’s reminiscent of a good southern meal but with flavors of something exotic. I think that’s a perfect description because I wanted to create a recipe that is wholesome and hearty but with more depth. You can bring these spicy, floral, and fragrant flavors to your table easily using curry powder, ginger, and cilantro.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs

  • Salt, pepper, yellow curry powder to season

    SAUCE

  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 red pepper (diced)

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 small knob fresh ginger (minced)

  • 1 lime (juice)

  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot flour + mixed in with 1 Tbsp water

GARNISH

Fresh cilantro, green onions, lime wedges

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

  2. While your pan is getting hot, generously season chicken thighs on both sides with salt, pepper, and yellow curry powder.

  3. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and sear for 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point - we will be returning it back to the skillet shortly.

  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add more oil to the pan. Add garlic to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped peppers. Make sure to scrape the brown bits into the garlic and pepper mixture.

  5. Once peppers start to sweat, add coconut milk, salt, fresh ginger, and lime. Bring to a boil then add the arrowroot flour + water mixture. Once your mixture has thickened, place chicken thighs back into the pan.

  6. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat or until your chicken thighs have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  7. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and lime. Serve over brown or cauliflower rice.

NOTES

  1. If meal prepping for 4 servings, cook 4 servings of brown or cauliflower rice and one broccoli head.

  2. Some coconut milk brands can provide different consistencies. I prefer using Thai Kitchen.

  3. Feel free to spice up the recipe with chili oil or fresh chilies!

 
Chicken Shawarma Bowl
 
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Chicken Shawarma Bowls - Bursting with flavor, fresh and full of color!The fascination for chicken shawarma started fairly recently. I put sole blame on this cute Mediterranean restaurant, Cafe Arazu, located a little too close to my work, lol.

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This type of chicken shawarma is very different than what I’m typically used to but is still amazing in its own way. The classic way of cooking shawarma is to mount large marinated chicken chunks onto a large rotating skewer. The chicken then slowly roasts against a gas burning grill. The restaurant that I typically go to for lunch does it differently by marinating the chicken in a wonderful blend of cumin and turmeric. They finish it off by grilling the chicken.

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If you haven’t figured it out yet, grilling is the exact route I’m going as well! While it would be nice to have a rotating meat skewer with a gas burning grill at my house, it’s not ideal or practical!

Now you can prepare just the chicken shawarma and add them to wraps or just as appetizers with a nice aioli sauce, but what I have found to be my favorite is to put everything in a bowl. Bowls are an easy way to load up on veggies while adding a grain and protein to keep you full and nourished.

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The ingredients that I added to my bowl can be interchanged depending on your preference so have fun with it! I paired a quick and easy tomato salad to go along with the chicken. You can find the ingredients for the salad below. I also added some roasted sweet potatoes which I seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic, and oregano.

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Being an advocate of meal prepping, this recipe has been in my lunch meal prep for three weeks straight! (Okay, mainly for recipe testing but hey, I cannot complain!) And I could go on and on about this recipe but the biggest thing I love about it are the flavors! Every part is bursting with flavor that you can’t help but want more!

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Not pictured: asparagus (for the meal prep picture)

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!

Bursting with flavor, fresh and full of color! Gluten free, dairy free and meal prep option!


ingredients

Chicken Shawarma Marinade

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast

  • 1 lemon

  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp salt (more for seasoning chicken)

  • 2-4 tbsp EVOO

Sweet potatoes

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (diced)

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 2 tbsp EVOO

Tomato salad

  • 1 small cucumber

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 red onion

  • 1 small bunch of parsley

  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp EVOO

  • S&P to season

Garnishes

1 small bunch parsley, lemon wedges, feta, goat cheese, tahini, aioli

Other ingredients

Veggies of choice, 2 cups cooked quinoa

instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add to a Ziploc bag. Combine the seasonings, oil, and lemon juice to chicken and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight preferably.

  2. While your chicken is marinating, prepare the sides by starting with quinoa first. Cook quinoa in a rice cooker or stove top as directed.

  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To a small bowl, add diced sweet potatoes, seasonings and oil. Toss with tongs until sweet potatoes are fully covered in oil and seasonings. On a parchment lined large sheet pan, place sweet potatoes on a single layer. You should have room to add the asparagus but make sure that the veggies are not too crowded and on a single layer.

  4. Cook veggies for 20-25 minutes, flip veggies, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until nice and crispy. (if you are cooking with asparagus and not broccoli, you may need to take the asparagus out after the first flip)

  5. Prepare the cherry tomato salad by dicing all veggies and adding to a small bowl. Add the vinegar, maple syrup, chopped parsley, and oil and toss until combined. Add salt and pepper and season to desired taste. I like this with more vinegar so I usually add another tbsp of ACV or a squeeze of a lemon wedge.

  6. When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat a medium skillet on medium high heat with oil. For a faster cooking time, dice chicken then add to the heated skillet and cook 3-4 minutes per side. You should have some marinade left over in the bag, I like to add that to the skillet so the chicken is covered in the sauce (the flavors are amazing!)

  7. After the chicken is cooked through, prepare your bowls or meal prep containers by adding the mixed greens first, then cooked quinoa. Add your veggies such sweet potatoes, asparagus, etc. Then, add your tomato salad, chicken, and top with a lemon wedge and parsley.

 
Fall Harvest Grain Bowl
 

Fall Harvest Grain Bowl is that perfect main dish filled with the most favorite seasonal produce!

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I was inspired to make a harvest bowl after eating at a sweetgreen for the first time. My husband ordered their famous harvest bowl and absolutely fell in love with it. Now, this doesn’t happen too often where he will love something healthy, so I knew right then that I had to create a recipe similar so that he can continue to enjoy healthy foods like a harvest bowl.

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Not only can we both enjoy a healthy meal, but I also get to make our harvest bowls with best seasonal produce! As you make this fall harvest grain bowl, here is a list of fall seasonal produce to look forward to in your local grocery store or market:

Apples

Beets

Broccoli

Brussel Sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Fennel

Figs

Garlic

Greens

Mushrooms

Pears

Parsnips

Pomegranates

Radishes

Sweet potatoes

Winter squash

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The grain that puts this dish together is farro. If you haven’t had farro then you are missing out! Farro has a brown rice / nutty taste with a nice, chewy texture. This ancient whole grain is also very healthy as it contains a hefty dose of vitamins A, E, and minerals like iron and magnesium. What’s great about farro is that the texture pairs perfectly with soups and main course salads like this fall harvest grain bowl!

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A new tip I learned recently from Nutrition Stripped is to massage kale. Not only will your kale last longer in the fridge, but your body will digest the kale more easily by physically breaking it down. You can read more in her post here for the nutrition/science break down. For this recipe, we will be massaging the kale with lemon, olive oil, and salt.

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Have fun with this recipe and swap out ingredients based on what your favorite fall produce are as well as preference. For example, if sweet potatoes are not your thing then use butternut squash instead!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Fall Harvest Grain Bowl is that perfect main dish filled with the most favorite seasonal produce!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cooked farro

  • 1 sweet potato (cubed)

  • 16 oz brussel sprouts (halved)

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 large bunch kale

  • 1 red apple (diced)

  • 1 lb grilled chicken (or rotisserie chicken)

  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic glaze

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO

  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 lemon

toppings:

Pepitas and pomegranate seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts with a little EVOO, S&P, and garlic powder. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and crispy.

  2. While your sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts are cooking, de-stem the kale leaves from the stem by slicing out the center. In a large bowl, add the de-stemmed kale leaves, 1 Tbsp EVOO, squeeze of 1/2 lemon and a couple dashes of salt. Using a massaging action, start to tear the leaves apart and massage. Continue to massage until the kale leaves turn a more vibrant green.

  3. On medium-high heat, add diced apples to a large skillet with 1 tsp oil. Saute for about 2-5 minutes. Add the kale leaves along with the cooked sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cooked farro.

  4. Mix together maple syrup and balsamic glaze and drizzle over the skillet mixture.

  5. Once the mixture is fully incorporated with the balsamic reduction, turn the skillet off and plate your harvest grain salad with grilled chicken (or other types of protein). Top with pomegranate seeds and pepitas and enjoy!

 
Classic Healthy Chicken Salad
 

My healthy take on the classic chicken salad is loaded with nutrient dense fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats that will keep you full all day long without weighing you down! 

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Make your busy life manageable with this quick and healthy classic chicken salad that is sure to fill you up and save you time and money!When I worked at a spa in West Georgia, I would grab lunch at Chicken Salad Chick and get their amazing chicken salad that was quick and super refreshing. Sometimes, I would indulge and get the not-so-healthy chicken salad options. Nonetheless, everything was amazing and I miss it dearly! Now that I live in Kentucky where unfortunately Chicken Salad Chicken does not exist, I make my own chicken salad at home, saving time and money. With this recipe, all is good in the world!

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My healthy take on the classic chicken salad is loaded with nutrient dense fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats that will keep you full all day long without weighing you down!There are many ways to prepare chicken salad, but for this recipe, I have found that red onions, carrots, granny smith apples, sunflower seeds, and grapes are the perfect classic combination. As far as seasonings go, I keep it simple but use fresh herbs like dill and smoked paprika which I believe separates my classic chicken salad from the rest!

You can use whatever creamy component you prefer depending on your allergies/preferences. I have tested this recipe with avocados, vegan mayonnaise, and greek yogurt, so you are good on all fronts if you would like to change things up. Additionally, you can either shred the chicken or dice them. I prefer dicing as it saves a little bit of time and I appreciate the texture. Now, onto the recipe!

This recipe makes 4-6 servings and is a good choice if you want to meal prep it for the week. I like to use chicken salad for sandwiches, pairing it with tomato slices, mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, and pickles on 100% whole grain bread.  You can also add it to a salad or even have it as a snack with crackers!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


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My healthy take on the classic chicken salad is loaded with nutrient dense fruits and veggies as well as healthy fats that will keep you full all day long without weighing you down! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 Tbsp poultry and citrus seasoning

  • 1/2 lemon with zest

  • 1/2 small red onion (diced)

  • 1/2 granny smith apple (diced)

  • 1 cup fresh dill (chopped) (less or more depending on preference)

  • 2 carrots (shredded)

  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup grapes (halved)

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Primal Kitchen or Just Mayo) (or use greek yogurt or ripe avocado)

Garnish

Micro greens, pickles, alfalfa sprouts, mixed greens, slices of tomato

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Prep chicken by seasoning with poultry and citrus seasoning and s&p.

  2. Grill chicken on both sides for about 3-5 minutes or until brown and completely cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; let chicken rest and cool.

  3. Add the remainder of the ingredients to a large bowl.

  4. Dice chicken after it has cooled (or shred with two forks if you prefer!)

  5. Add chicken to large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix until fully combined.

  6. Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to one week.

NOTES

  1. If you are using avocados in place of mayonnaise, the fridge life will be shorter as avocados brown in the fridge.

  2. You can cut down the time to make this salad even faster by using rotisserie chicken instead of grilling chicken as well as purchase pre-shredded carrots instead of shredding by hand.

  3. I have recently noticed that Walmart does not carry the organic poultry and citrus seasoning anymore so I have used this brand instead.

 
Kale and Pesto Cauliflower Rice
 

Cauliflower rice is cooked with kale and pesto for a low carb, gluten-free, easy and healthy dish! 

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Cauliflower rice has become the new “it” vegetable. Not a day goes by where I don’t see a new cauliflower rice recipe being passed around by all the low-carb, veggie lovers. Even though it may seem like a trend, I am not so sure it will fade away anytime soon. I believe cauliflower rice is here to stay and I am perfectly okay with that! It has become a staple for my dinners as it lowers my carb intake. I also use cauliflower rice when I batch cook since it is so easy to prepare!

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So, what’s with the hype for this smelly vegetable? Here are some quick facts about cauliflower:

Despite knowing how healthy it is to eat cauliflower, the taste sometimes discourages me from eating it. There is just something about the taste of plain cauliflower that my taste buds do not agree with which is why I have created this recipe in such a way that adds zest and boosts the nutritional value. The wonderful thing about cauliflower is that it’s a vegetable that will take on whatever flavor you add. In this cauliflower rice recipe, I have combined it with my quick and easy 5 ingredient pesto sauce. Kale is used to amp up the veggie and fiber intake, and finally, I add lemon to complement the pesto sauce and bring out the savory taste of kale.

You can use cauliflower rice to substitute your typical heavy carb sides. Here, I have made kale and pesto cauliflower rice for dinner along with grilled chicken, roasted cherry tomatoes, and steamed broccoli.

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Cauliflower rice is so easy and quick to make that I often prepare it when I batch cook on Sundays!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo with #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Cauliflower rice is cooked with kale and pesto for a low carb, gluten-free, easy and healthy dish! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cauliflower head ((or 16 oz bag frozen cauliflower rice))

  • 1 large bunch fresh kale ((stem out))

  • 1-3 Tbsp pesto (less or more depending on preference)

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 1/2 lemon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Begin by bringing about ¼ inch of water to a boil in a large frying pan.

  2. Add ½ tsp fine sea salt and cauliflower florets* (or frozen cauliflower rice)

  3. Cover and steam for about 3-8 minutes until desired tenderness

  4. Drain the cauliflower rice and add back to the frying pan with 1 tsp of coconut oil on medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes.

  5. Add kale, pesto sauce, and S&P. Stir and cook for about 5-10 minutes until rice is crispy, kale has wilted and rice is fully coated with pesto sauce.

  6. Take off heat and garnish with freshly squeezed lemon.

NOTES

*If using fresh cauliflower, cut into florets and then briefly pulse in the food processor until they are the size of grains of rice.

  1. This recipe will make four servings. With that in mind, if you would like to use this in meal prep, divide up your protein, roasted cherry tomatoes with avocado oil and basil, and steamed broccoli. 

 
Mediterranean Grain Bowl + Goat Cheese And Olive Dressing
 

Classic grain bowl - Mediterranean style! Great recipe for batch cooking. Homemade goat cheese and olive dressing included!

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I don't know about you, but I generally have a busy schedule. An everyday schedule looks something like this: wake up at 6:15AM, get ready for work/prepare a smoothie, long commute to work, work all day, chemistry lecture in between, workout, come home, make dinner, study for GRE, work on homework, work on the blog, and go to bed around 11PM. As you can see, there is not much time in my schedule to make a nutritious and filling lunch.

This is where batch cooking (or meal prep) comes into play! Mastering this art has saved me so much time and money. It has helped me to maintain a healthy weight by not eating out as much, especially at work.  I typically batch cook on Sunday's for two hours. Within two hours I will make lunch for four servings, prep for breakfast meals that I want for that week, and chop fruits/vegetables for snacks and dinner sides. If you are just starting on the batch cooking train, grain bowls are the way to go!

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Not only are grain bowls easy to put together, they are also aesthetically pleasing. I love seeing all my veggies laid out on top!

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You begin by choosing a grain, a form of protein, some greens, and veggies, and finish it off with something extra like a dressing, lime wedges, or avocados. For this recipe, I decided to create a Mediterranean style grain bowl by using couscous, lemon and garlic marinated chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens. I also created a goat cheese and olive dressing that is simple to make in a mason jar but is even easier if you have a food processor.

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Mediterranean cooking has become a popular way of eating as it consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats with lean sources of protein like fish and poultry. This style of cooking is very easy to follow especially when it comes to batch cooking lunches. In this Mediterranean grain bowl recipe, you will need to cook the grain and protein but the rest is all fresh ingredients that are super easy to assemble. What’s even better about grain bowls is that you can add or take away ingredients if you need to! For example, if you want to skip the meat, you can instead toast chickpeas with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and Italian seasoning in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until brown and crispy.

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Let us know how you like to prepare your favorite grain bowl! If you tried this recipe, don’t forget to comment and share!

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Classic grain bowl - Mediterranean style! Great recipe for batch cooking. Homemade goat cheese and olive dressing included!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 1 cup cooked couscous

  • 1/2 cup black olives

  • 3 gloves garlic (peeled and minced)

  • 1 whole lemon

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 small red onion (sliced)

  • 1 whole cucumber (sliced)

  • 1 large handful of spinach or mixed greens

Goat Cheese & Olive Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (more if into vinegar like me!)

  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

  • 4 Tbsp avocado oil (or EVOO)

  • 2 Tbsp goat cheese (or feta cheese)

  • 3 whole olives

  • 1 clove garlic

DIRECTIONS

  1. Marinate chicken with minced garlic, juice, and zest of one lemon and S/P for at least 30 minutes. If you have more time, marinating it overnight will create a super juicy chicken!

  2. Grill or cook chicken in a skillet for 5-10 minutes per side until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. While the chicken is cooking, add all dressing ingredients to processor and process until smooth and creamy. If you do not have a processor, finely mince garlic and olives and add to mason jar along with the rest of the ingredients and shake vigorously until desired creamy texture.

  4. Assemble!

NOTES

  1. This recipe will make four servings. With that in mind, divide up your couscous, chicken, veggies, and dressing in order to create four-grain bowls!