Thank you, Dr. Meghan for putting together these great options for healthy eating this summer (or year round!).
One-Pan Southwestern Chicken and Quinoa
Ok, so here’s one of my favorites, BUT in order to cut carbs and fat, you can omit the quinoa AND cheese. I have never made it any other way. The key to this recipe is the avocado cilantro dressing, which is yogurt based, and ridiculously delicious—also great to dip raw broccoli! ~Dr. Meghan
Nonstick aluminum foil
1 lime, wedged
1 large sweet potato
1 (8-oz) package mini sweet peppers
1 cup tri-color quinoa
2 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (1-oz) packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning
1 (12-oz) package fresh broccoli florets
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons avocado-cilantro dressing
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with foil.
- Cut lime into wedges; cut potato and peppers into 1-inch chunks.
- Prepare quinoa following stovetop package instructions (using 2 cups stock). Coat chicken in 1 tablespoon each oil and taco seasoning, then place on baking sheet (wash hands). Coat potatoes in 1 teaspoon oil and arrange around chicken; bake 15 minutes.
- Coat peppers and broccoli in remaining 2 teaspoons oil and taco seasoning. Remove pan from oven and arrange vegetable mixture around chicken and potatoes; bake 10–12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is 165°F. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing chicken.
- Divide quinoa between 4 serving bowls; top evenly with potatoes, vegetables, sliced chicken, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon dressing, and a lime wedge. Serve.
Island Chicken with Tropical Salsa
Here’s a summery one I would pair with black beans (add cilantro, garlic powder and onion powder) and a sauteed pepper medley. Don’t forget that a serving of beans is just 1/3 of a cup–they are very starchy and calorically dense, so go easy on the beans, or replace with sauteed green beans for a low-carb version. ~Dr. Meghan
1 1/2 lb boneless chicken cutlets
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh prediced red onions
4 thin slices Swiss cheese
- Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with garlic salt (wash hands).
- Place butter in pan, then add chicken (wash hands); cook 4 minutes. Flip chicken over, add onions, and cook 4–5 more minutes and until chicken is 165°F.
- Top chicken with cheese slices. Cover and cook 1 more minute or until cheese melts. Serve with Tropical Salsa.
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, for juice
1/3 cup jalapeño pepper jelly
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- Chop cilantro; place in large bowl. Squeeze lime for juice (1 1/2 tablespoons) into bowl; stir in pepper jelly until well blended.
- Cut fruit into bite-size pieces, in order listed; add to bowl.
Papaya: Cut in half lengthwise; remove seeds and peel. Cut up one fourth of papaya (2 cups). Reserve remainder for another use.
Mango: Cut mango away from pit. Remove peel; cut fruit (1 cup).
Pineapple: Cut, as needed.
Avocado: Cut into quarters; remove peel and cut fruit (1 1/8 cups).
- Gently stir to coat ingredients; chill until ready to serve. (Makes 8 servings.)
Sausage-Butternut Squash Ravioli
This is my other favorite! For the gluten-free or dairy-free crowd, omitting the ravioli and the added butter works just as well—I promise! ~Dr. Meghan
2 shallots, finely chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 lb mild Italian chicken sausage
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or stock)
10 oz frozen (or fresh) cheese ravioli pasta
4 cups fresh (or frozen) prediced butternut squash
2 tablespoons garlic-herb butter
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Chop shallots, garlic, and sage. Remove sausage from casing (wash hands). Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place sausage, garlic, and shallots in pan; cook 5–6 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, until no pink remains. Remove from pan; set aside.
- Pour stock in same pan; bring to a boil, then add pasta. Cook pasta 6 minutes, then add butternut squash. Cook 6–7 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until two-thirds of the liquid has been absorbed and pasta and squash are tender.
- Reduce heat to low; return sausage mixture to pan. Stir in butter, spinach, and sage; cook and stir 3–4 minutes or until squash breaks apart when pressed with back of spoon. Remove pan from heat; stir in cheese. Serve.