Happy New Year, everybody! You know that that means; it's now time to join the gym, vow to stay true to your healthy resolutions, and give up by the time Cupid comes bearing promises of love and boxes full of chocolate-covered everything. You'll start with one or two strawberries, naturally; it's not bad if it's fruit, right? Since I'm a fan of traditions no matter how fleeting they are, I'm making a lightened up, but truly satisfying, menu to start the New Year right.
Here's what I'm making:
Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Cooking spray Low sodium chicken stock Parmesan cheese Sour cream, reduced fat or fat-free Salt Pepper Garlic powder Cayenne pepper Crushed red pepper Oregano Cumin Chili powder
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 2 5 oz salmon filets 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 medium yellow onions 1 head escarole 2 bell peppers, red and yellow 1 shallot 1 head garlic 1-2 lemons 4 vine-ripened tomatoes 1 jalapeño, optional 2 avocados 1 bunch fresh cilantro Whole wheat soft tacos Whole wheat penne Brown rice 1 large can whole plum tomatoes in puree 1 can cannellini beans
Day 1 - Oven Baked Salmon w/ Spicy Garlic Escarole
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly drizzle salmon filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place filets oil side down on foil and twist the ends, creating open packets.
Mix 1 chopped tomato with ½ minced shallot, chopped garlic, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and ½ tsp oregano. Spoon mixture over salmon and fold foil over to cover completely, sealing the packets closed.
Place on baking sheet and bake until salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Sauté ½ head torn escarole with 3 cloves minced garlic, crushed red pepper and salt.
Serve baked salmon filets with spicy garlic escarole.
Day 2 - Red Chicken Chili recipe adapted from Ina Garten *Makes leftover Chicken Chili for use in Chicken Soft Tacos
Chop chicken into large chunks.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add in chopped chicken and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
To same pot, adding olive oil if necessary, add in 1 chopped yellow onion, cooking until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in 3 cloves chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add in large diced red and yellow bell peppers, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook for 1 more minute and stir in can of tomatoes, hand crushed. Add in fresh cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add in cooked chicken and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
Serve hot in bowls w/ a dollop of reduced fat sour cream.
Day 3 - Whole Wheat Penne w/ Roasted Tomatoes & Garlic
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Thickly slice two tomatoes and lay on baking sheet along with 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook penne according to instructions. Drain and add back to pot with ½ cup rinsed and drained cannellini beans. Add in roasted tomatoes and mashed garlic (removed from peel). Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and toss.
Serve topped with grated parmesan.
Day 4 - Chicken Soft Tacos w/ Chunky Guacamole *Uses leftover Red Chicken Chili
Mix diced avocado with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, chopped tomato, minced red onion, and salt and pepper to taste, mashing slightly. (Add minced jalapeño and chopped cilantro if desired).
Reheat leftover chicken chili.
Spoon into warmed whole-wheat soft tacos and top with fresh guacamole.
Day 5 - Brown Rice, Escarole & Bean Soup
Cook 2 servings of brown rice according to instructions.
Heat pot over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add ½ head escarole, chopped and 2-3 cloves minced garlic, cooking until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Add 2 cups low sodium chicken broth and ½ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. Cover and simmer until beans are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Serve soup over cooked brown rice and top w/ grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.