Creamy Cranberry Chicken Salad

Looking for a fun and simple summertime lunch idea? This chicken salad is perfect for an afternoon by the pool or to prep ahead for lunch throughout the week. I made this recipe for lunch this week and packed sliced cucumbers to use in replacement of crackers or bread. It only got better as the days progressed!

Typically, the base for most chicken salads or other simple salads such as egg salad is mayonnaise. For this chicken salad, I used a plain, fat free Greek yogurt to not only add a little tanginess, but also bump up the protein content a bit! I was so pleasantly surprised how well this salad kept for 5 days!

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I used about 3/4 lb of chicken for this salad, but the recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd or to last a bit longer. I also used a pre-shredded chicken, but you can easily shred a small while chicken or cook 1-2 large chicken breasts, let them cool, and shred yourself.

I hope you give these easy and delicious summer recipe a try!! The weekend is right around the corner 🙂

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  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch of pink salt
  • 1/2 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard

Directions

Chop onion and bell pepper into small, bite-sized pieces.

In a medium sized bowl, make sure chicken is shredded to the texture you like. Add all ingredients and stir until chicken is fully coated. Taste to see if further seasoning is needed. Keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.

 


Simple Cilantro Guacamole

Happy hump day everyone! With my family being here this week I haven’t had much time to test out new recipes, but I made this for taco night a few nights ago and it was a big hit! My mom isn’t a huge fan of cilantro and even she enjoyed it! I definitely made too much, but it gave me the opportunity to have a little leftover which is always a plus!

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This recipe is super easy and can be made in the food processor or a high-quality blender. If you like chunkier guac, I’d recommended just mashing the ingredients yourself with a fork to get a more hearty and chunky texture. While I love avocado, it doesn’t keep for long in the refrigerator, so I’d recommend consuming within 24-48 hours!

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If you are an avocado lover like I am, good guacamole is a must for taco night! While everyone has their own preference for guac flavors, I like fresh and light with a lot of garlic! I use lemon juice for my guac recipe, but I know lime juice is also popular. Avocados are filled with heart healthy monounsaturated fat, so don’t let the high fat content scare you away! They are also high in B vitamins, Vitamin C and E, and other important nutrients such as folate and potassium. While I don’t believe in “super foods”, avocado is pretty high on my list of nutrient-dense food favorites!

I would love for you to give this recipe a try during your next taco night and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!

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Simple Cilantro Guacamole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 soft avocados
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil

Directions

In a food processor, pulse tomato and onion. Add avocados, seasonings (salt, pep, garlic, basil), and lemon juice. Pulse until you achieve your desired consistency. Add cilantro and either mix in or pulse a few times to incorporate. Decorate with a few leaves of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving!


Simple Turkey Burger w/ Roasted Veg

Let the Whole 30 recipes continue! Happy hump everyone! Today is day 9 of my Whole 30 journey, and I have to say this is definitely the best recipe yet. I take full credit for this one. It began as a “wing it” recipe that turned into probably my favorite so far in this process! The turkey burger is super simple, but very flavorful and filling. I have been having a hard time feeling full (odd right since I’m eating way more protein and fat than usual?) so this burger came at the perfect time!

For my side, I stuck with simple and delicious. Roasted cauliflower and potato with garlic and herbs. Take a head of cauliflower and break it apart with a small knife. Dice your potatoes into about 1-1 1/2 in chunks. Toss your cauliflower and potatoes in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, and 1 smashed garlic clove. You can also add 1/4 of a diced onion or sprinkle a little onion powder over the top. Roast in the oven on a greased baking sheet for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees. Delicious!


For my main dish, the burger, I did’t use a bun but you could always use two portobello mushroom caps for a little heartier meal or wrap in lettuce. I topped min with a few slices of avocado and a little roasted garlic salsa (yes, I have been putting salsa on EVERYTHING!). You can add other herbs or spices to your burger to change the flavor as you desire. This is a great base for any veggie or starch side and is minimal in ingredients! As my binder, I chose to use almond meal. If you find that your burgers seem a little too wet, add an additional Tbsp or so to the quantity I provide. I hope you try and enjoy these delicious burgers!

Simple Turkey Burger

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (may need to adjust as needed)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on size), minced
  • seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, dried Italian herb blend (may sub oregano) — season to taste. I never measure my seasonings, but I would recommend no less than 1 tsp of the herbs and garlic powder!
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil or olive oil spray
  • toppings of choices

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with your hands. Carefully incorporate your almond meal to help take away some of the moisture from the ground turkey. Please feel free to add more almond meal if you cannot properly handle the meat or if it is just too sticky to form a patty. It should still be a little sticky regardless (that’s why they are so moist!).

Separate your meat mixture into approximately 4 servings (the burgers will be a good size; if looking for “slider” size, you can separate into 6-7 smaller burgers instead). Once you have formed your patties, either place on the grill or in a heated stove-top pan with a little olive oil or cooking spray for about 4-6 minutes per side. You may need to flip more than once to assure both sides are cooked through. Allow patties to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Not So Traditional Chicken Salad

This chicken salad isn’t your traditional “chicken salad.” It is a cross between chicken salad and a salad with chicken, but it is definitely delicious and flavorful! It was the perfect post-run lunch for me yesterday afternoon, so I just had to share this little creation! It is super easy and very quick to make. I had some leftover chicken already shredded from my Friday night quick dinner (whole roasted chicken from Whole Foods), which made prep a lot faster. Shredded chicken is always great to have on hand for easy dinner or lunch prep, for topping salads, or for simple snacking.

I made this chicken salad for 1, but you could always double or triple the recipe. I also used OPA Greek Yogurt Feta and Dill dressing in replace of traditional chicken salad condiments (mayo and mustard). This dressing is absolutely delicious and creamy but is made with a Greek yogurt base. Super easy, super satisfying, and very flavorful! I hope you try this fabulous little afternoon pick-me-up!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/2 small apple of choice, diced
  • 1/4 of a red pepper, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8-10 raw almonds
  • 1/2 small avocado, diced
  • ~2 Tbsp OPA Greek Yogurt Feta and Dill dressing

Mix all ingredients together and serve immediately of refrigerate and serve w/in 24 hours. Enjoy!

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Simple Snacking, Nutty Energy Bites!

Happy Sunday everyone! Life has been crazy recently. Juggling school and working is a lot more difficult than I expected, but I finally think I’ve got a good groove going! At least I hope…

Ya’ll know how much I like my snacks! I am not one to skimp when it comes to snacking. When I don’t have good snack choices on hand is when I tend to make bad choices…like heading to the vending machine or picking up that delicious cookie from Starbucks on my lunch. When I have options available that I enjoy and that I know will make me feel good throughout the day, I am golden!

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I know I have posted some energy bites in the past. I believe my last one was for pumpkin energy bites! This recipe will probably mimic a few I’ve done in the past or have a lot of the same ingredients. That is primarily because I usually use the same base when making any type of energy bite/ball. Try out this recipe and feel free to add your own twist to it! It is quite delicious and will satisfy mid afternoon tummy grumbles with something a little sweet and tasty!

Nutty Energy Bites:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chunky, no added salt peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • cinnamon to taste

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until your ingredients are sticking together. If you would like to add any other flavors such as nutmeg, vanilla, cocoa powder, etc. please feel free to do so at this time.

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Roll your balls. I usually make min a little smaller than a ping pong ball. Stack in a bowl or on a small plate, and cover with just a small piece of parchment or wax paper. Allow you energy bites to chill in the refrigerator overnight. This helps the chia seeds form a little bit of a gel with the wet ingredients which will keep your bites in their ball shape form and hold them together.

Store in a plastic container for up to a week in the refrigerator. Your quantity will depend on how large you choose to roll your balls. Enjoy!

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