Fresh Chef Recipes

Healthy Cooking Momma

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Being a conscious and healthy eater has not always been easy for me, I still struggle at times.  Transforming a family into healthy eaters can be even more difficult. I recently stopped eating meat but I think this will be a struggle for my family. I still eat seafood but the Hubs and my daughters still like chicken and beef every now and then. There will be always be days of backsliding, times of enjoying guilty pleasures, or indulging in a dessert here or there. Those are not the times that hurt us the most, the times that are the most detrimental to our health are the constant days of indulgence.  We have trained our brains to believe that healthy means flavorless or taste deprivation; in fact, it is just the opposite. When you eat healthy, you consume more fresh food, fresh herbs and vegetables that lends to robust flavors that wake up taste buds that have been dormant for years because they are used to the same routine of meat protein, starch and a typical vegetable. Over the past year, I have found ways to incorporate different veggies and herbs into our meals and explore different recipes.  I know what you are thinking, how did I get the kids to eat everything I cooked?  To be completely transparent, it has been hit or miss with them but they are always open to trying everything. Another myth is that eating healthy is labor intensive and time consuming; honestly, any good meal can be but it does not have to be. Many of my meals are delicious, quick, simple, and winners with the entire family. With spring at our door and summer quickly approaching lighter meals are usually craved more frequently, to get that summer body back right? If so I got you, here are a couple of delicious, fat trimmed recipes that your family love and  that you can prepare in under an hour.

This mango salsa with cilantro lime rice, black beans and grilled chicken is one of our new favorites. I generally make mines with shrimp or salmon.  This meal looks complex and time consuming but it is simple and yummy. This meal provides tons of potassium, protein, and vitamin C.

Ingredients

1 lb. of chicken breast (shrimp or salmon)

2 tbsp. ground cumin ½ red onion

1 can of BPA free black beans 1 tbsp. chili powder

1 ½ cups basmati rice salt & pepper 

1 clove of garlic, minced 1 orange

2 cups vegetable broth 3 tbsp. avocado or olive oil

3 limes1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 bunch of fresh cilantro ½ yellow onion

1 mango 1 jicama

½ red bell pepper ½ serrano pepper (seeded)

Directions

Chicken

  1. Combine the ingredients for the chicken marinade: cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, 4 cloves chopped garlic, zest and juice of 1 orange, and the zest and juice of 1 lime to the a bowl. Stir together until everything is incorporated.
  2. Add the chicken to a bowl or a Ziploc bag, pour the marinade over the chicken (salmon/shrimp), toss to coat and let it sit while you prepare the rice and salsa. 
  3. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken (salmon/shrimp), and cook, 10-12 (shorter if seafood) minutes or until browned all over and cooked throughout. 

Cilantro Lime Rice

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ¼ of the ½ yellow onion and sauté until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil allowing the rice to toast for about a minute. Add the broth and increase the heat to high, allowing it to come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the zest and juice of one lime, salt, and place the lid on the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has absorbed.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow rice to sit with the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Add ½ of the chopped cilantro bunch and season with salt and pepper, to taste if necessary.

Mango Salsa

  1. Peel the mango and half of the jicama and chop. Chop half of the red bell pepper, red onion, bunch of cilantro and serrano pepper. Mix all of the fruit and vegetables. Add the zest and juice of one lime and season with salt. Set the salsa aside. 

Black Beans

  1. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the other half of the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds. Add the black beans and cumin, smoked paprika, salt/pepper and the juice of the last lime and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve 

To serve, place the cilantro lime rice in a ramekin or small bowl and invert it on the plate.   Place the chicken/shrimp/salmon on the plate with space in between for the salsa and place the beans next to it. 

Zucchini Shrimp Scampi 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken stock and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer; stir in zucchini noodles until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

University of Michigan Alumni. Master’s in Business Administration and Health Care Management. Currently working on a Doctoral Degree in Health Administration. Samira is happily married, living in Texas with her husband and two beautiful twin daughters.

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