Main Dishes

I started with 3 chicken breasts and pounded them thin so I could stuff and roll them.  This also made them cook quicker being pounded thin. Place them on a flat surface on top of saran wrap or parchment paper then place another piece on top and pound away!  I have an actual meat pounder but you can use the back of a pan or large tomato can as well – you will achieve the same effect. (just maybe not as quickly)


After pounding them thin, season them on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, cumin and drizzle with olive oil. (I add all of these into a small bowl and brush on the chicken for evenness)  Then add in your stuffing.  I used fresh spinach leaves, sliced cherry tomatoes and small pieces of mozzarella.  Roll them real tight and secure with a toothpick if needed. 



Once you have them all rolled tight and pretty, Heat your large skillet with olive oil and add them to the pan.  Sear them nicely on each side for a few minutes until they start to brown. Then add the pan to the oven to continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes (depending on how thin you pounded them).
Enjoy them with a side of roasted veggies!  I roasted purple cauliflower and carrots here.  It was delish! 
Deliciously Stuffed Chicken
 
Simple weeknight dinner that could be prepped ahead. Switch out to use whatever stuffing you like!
Author: 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb organic or free range chicken breast (3 medium breast)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 pearl mozzarella balls
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parchment paper for pounding chicken thin
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Lay chicken breasts on parchment paper then cover with another piece of parchment paper and pound thin
  3. Combine olive oil and seasoning is a small bowl and brush on both sides of the chicken breasts
  4. Layer spinach leaves, tomatoes and cheese on each breast
  5. Roll tightly and secure with a toothpick
  6. Heat skillet over medium heat and cook chicken 3 minutes on each side (they should brown a little)
  7. Transfer pan to oven and cook an additional 10-15 minutes
  8. Enjoy!

Taco Tuesday – Avocado Style!!

  updated Jan. 2018 with new pics





Who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday?!  Taco’s are so versatile that you can easily swap some ingredients and make them clean & healthy. On my continuing quest for new Taco Tuesday recipes I came across one that incorporated avocados in place of the taco shell or soft wrap that is traditionally used.  If you are scared to use the whole half of avocado because of the fat, just remember it is the good kind of fat that is actually healthy for you.  Plus they are loaded with vitamins such as K, C & folate. Yes, we should still keep portion sizes reasonable but don’t be afraid to eat the good fat! Oh and did you know it is considered a fruit?

Plus this recipe is so colorful and pretty you will love the way it looks!  Fresh salsa is a must to make the flavors all marry together beautifully!  With the taco meat left over I added it to a wrap the next day for lunch with some avocado!

I have updated the pics recently as my daughter and her friend chose to use this recipe for a project in their health class.  They recreated the whole meal themselves and I must say the updated pics are awesome!  They used organic ground turkey meat to keep it lean and frozen peppers to keep it easy! Plus this is a one pot meal so super easy for weeknights. 



They added a scoop of salsa to finish it off!  Super proud mom moment to see my daughter and her friends recreate my meals!  I think they deserve an A!! 


2 medium ripe avocados
2 limes (for juice)
1 lb. ground meat of choice (I used organic turkey)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper diced (or frozen bag blend to save time)

Seasoning for Tacos:
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Combine spices together.  You can adjust seasonings to your taste

Directions:

1. Halve avocados and brush with lime juice and sprinkle with sea salt.
2. Brown meat with onions and pepper in skillet over medium heat.
3. Cook until liquid is absorbed or drain well.
4. Add seasoning and taste test to liking.
5. Simmer to let the flavors marry and be happy.
6. Scoop the meat into the avocados.

Toppings to choose from:
-fresh salsa
-organic/grass fed cheese
-dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt
-fresh cilantro

Fiesta!!!!


**recipe adapted from www.cleanfoodcrush.com**

Bacon Wrapped Chicken


Bacon lover’s rejoice!  Now I must confess, I am not a huge bacon fan (gasp!!)  I know but I do like turkey bacon every so often – especially with eggs. Yummy!!  While you can use regular beef grass fed bacon with this meal I used grass fed turkey bacon.  Can’t find grass fed?  Get organic instead.

As suggested ,I marinated the chicken with all the spices overnight and I think this made it all the better!  Plus it was easy to just wrap the bacon around each chicken breast and pop it in the oven after work.  It was almost effortless!

I steamed up some veggies and roasted sweet potatoes to round out the meal with a green of veggies and a yellow of complex carbs.  These can also be made ahead of time when meal prepping so then all you have to do is heat them up!  Score!


4-6 medium boneless skinless chicken breast
12 oz package turkey/beef grass fed bacon
1 tsp parsley (fresh if possible)
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp EVOO
Lemon Juice

Directions:

1. Marinade chicken in a large zip lock bag with parsley, dill, garlic & onion powder, S&P, EVOO.  Mix around well and rub into the chicken to evenly coat.
2. Place in fridge overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350
4. Wrap each piece of chicken with 2 pieces of bacon (seam side down)
5. In large baking dish drizzle lemon juice on the bottom.
6. Place chicken in dish.
7. Sprinkle lightly with S&P.
8. Cover dish with foil and cook 30-40 minutes. (until completely cooked)
9. Remove foil and broil on high so bacon gets crispy.
10. Enjoy!!!!

**recipe adapted from adventuresofashrinkingprincess.com**

Chicken Piccata – Coconut Style





Being Italian I love all those chicken dishes like marsala and piccata.  However, we know that these are dredged in flour and pan fried in some kind of oil.  Insert this clean eating recipe that I found and love!!!

Instead of white flour we use coconut flour, instead of vegetable oil…coconut oil!!  Add in some coconut cream and chicken stock and voila!!!  A delicious cleaner recipe of chicken piccata.  Plus with using the coconut ingredients my house smelled like a tropical island!!



1 lb boneless chicken thin sliced breasts
1/4 C coconut flour
2 TBS Coconut oil
1/2 C chicken broth
1/2 C coconut cream (in a can)
2 Lemons
1/4 C capers (drained)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat
2. S&P the chicken on each side then dredge in flour.  Press to coat.
3. Place chicken in hot skillet
4. Cook for 3-5 minutes each side until cooked
5. Remove chicken and keep warm
6. Keep heat to medium low and add broth, juice from both lemons, coconut cream and capers
7. Bring sauce to a boil then let simmer
8. Add chicken back into pan to coat chicken and heat back through.
9. Add chopped fresh parsley

Enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from cleanfoodcrush.com

Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash




With the cooler temperatures coming in Jersey I love making one pot meals especially chili!  It’s so hearty and full of veggies! I switched up traditional chili and added butternut squash and in place of beef I used turkey meat.  Either is fine, but try to stick with grass fed beef or organic if possible. I used kidney beans since they are full of fiber but you can substitute whatever beans you like.  Cater the recipe to your liking or what you have on hand! This is why I love cooking!  You can mix it up…not so much with baking as I am not a baker!

I love using the pre-cut mirepoix – it’s a true time saver especially during the week.  You can find it fresh or frozen.  I like to keep them on hand in the cooler months for quick add in’s to soups.

You can adjust the heat to how spicy you like it by adding cayenne pepper or chili powder.  My family doesn’t like the heat so much so I use southwest salt free seasoning from McCormick to give it that smokey taste.



1. 2 tbs olive oil
2. 1 yellow onion, 2 celery stalks, 4 carrots chopped or 14oz Mirepoix
3.  3 fresh garlic cloves; minced
4. 1 lb. ground turkey or grass fed beef
5. 3 cups raw butternut squash (peeled & diced)
6. 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
7. 1 28oz crushed tomatoes
8. 1 can kidney beans (or any other bean)
9. 1 tbs southwest seasoning (or chili powder)
10. 1 tbs cumin

Directions:

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery & carrots until soft. Add crumbled turkey and cook until brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add all other ingredients to pot and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes until the squash is soft.

Pass around some crusty Italian bread, share with friends and enjoy!!

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken with Fall Vegetables


It’s officially slow cooker season!!  Ok, we all may use it throughout the year but once Fall hits, I really start to break it out!  I love using vegetables that are in season and Fall has some hearty ones that hold up well in slow cookers! I used boneless chicken breasts but you can use any chicken parts to your liking.  I added in large cut mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions) that I picked up from Wegmans which cuts that prep time totally!  Threw in some fennel (love that licorice taste) and crushed tomatoes to make it thick and hearty!

I like to prep the whole meal the night before in the slow cooker pot and then all I have to do is pop it in after breakfast and it’s ready to go!  After work my house smells amazing-bonus!  You can also pair this with whole wheat bread to sop up the hearty goodness! This is a definite crowd pleaser!!




Just look at the Fall colors in the pot!  You know you are eating a rainbow of goodness!

Hot and delicious!

1. 3 lbs of chicken breasts
2. Italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary)
3.  2 cloves garlic, chopped
4. 14oz large cut up mirepoix
5. package (4 oz) mixed mushrooms
6. Fennel bulb, peeled and chopped
7. 28oz can crushed tomatoes
8. S&P to taste

Directions

1. Spray inner slow cooker pot
2. Lay down chicken on bottom
3. Add remaining ingredients
4. Cover and cook high for 4 hours or low for 6
5. Adjust seasoning to liking
6. Enjoy!!!

Did Someone Say Margarita Chicken?!


Ok so like many of you I love pizza and could seriously eat it everyday!  However, that does not line up with my health & fitness goals…darn!  (And it shouldn’t for most of you either lol!) So when I came across this recipe for Margarita Chicken & Zucchini my mind went right to Margarita Pizza!!  Duh!!  However, while this recipe is a far cry from the pizza it was still delicious and the colors alone were amazing! With zucchini, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil..yes fresh is a must for this dish – it marries all the flavors together well!  I also added fresh grated parm because I am Italian and that is what we do, but you can leave it out if you want too.  So yes it has similar ingredients to the infamous Margarita Pizza just without well..the pizza!


1 lb chicken breast cut into 1″ pieces
2 tsp oil divided (olive, avocado or coconut)
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 medium zucchinis, cut into half moon shapes
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
S&P to taste
Sprinkle of good quality Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat non stick skillet on medium heat with 1 tsp oil
2. Add 1 garlic clove and cook for about 30 seconds (be careful not to burn)
3. Add chicken and sprinkle with S&P
4. Cook until chicken is no longer pink – stirring
5. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate
6. Add the other 1 tsp oil & garlic clove to the pan with chopped zucchini
7. Cook for about 8 minutes or until soft
8. Add in tomatoes and cook additional 5 minutes until bursted
9. Add chicken back in and heat everything through
10. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh basil and grated parm

Enjoy!!  Hopefully there will be leftovers to enjoy for lunch tomorrow!!

*Original recipe adapted from Cleanfoodcrush.com

Fall Classic One Pot Meal

by Cherise Mazur 


I love taking advantage of Fall’s harvest with crisp apples and sweet, sweet potatoes – 2 of my favorites! I added in chicken already cooked and ready from the deli section. To make it even easier I grabbed a frozen bag of cubed sweet potatoes!  It seriously couldn’t get any easier!

The only prep work that I did was dice up the onion and peel and chop the apples.  I actually sauteed them the night before and left them in the fridge so when I returned from work the next day all I had to do was add the rest of the ingredients into one pot and heat through! Score!!!

Just look at the fall colors in the pan!  it was super tasty and you can swap out the chicken and put it over quinoa for vegetarians or switch up the dried cranberries for cherries or raisins.  Just cater it to your taste buds!

Love it or hate it comment below!

Fall Classic One Pot Meal
Recipe here

Ingredients:
3 tsp. olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium granny smith apples (peeled, cored and diced)
2 cups cubed baked sweet potatoes
1/4 cup dried cranberries
8 oz chicken breast, boneless & skinless, chopped (cooked)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

Directions:
1. Heat 11/2 tsp oil in large nonstick pan over medium heat
2. Add apples and onions, cook stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until apples and onions begin to soften.  Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add in sweet potatoes, cranberries, chicken and seasonings. Mix well.
4. Heat remaining oil over medium heat.
5. Add apple mixture; layer in pan and cook until heated through approx 10-15 minutes.

You can put this dish over quinoa if you feel it needs more but honestly its hearty enough on its own!

Fajita Stuffed Zucchini Boats




Since Zucchini’s are in season and you can find them virtually anywhere (even in your own garden), I have decided to take a break from my spiralizer and hop on the boat trend…zucchini boat that is!  I have seen many versions of these stuffed with many different fillings. Yes they are that versatile!  I went with a fajita style that is 21 Day Fix friendly. You can use the turkey fajita recipe straight from the 21 DF book if you want to get the exact container count.  Below you will find my recipe with my container count that will produce the following delicious looking zucchini boats!!




* 3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, most of the flesh scooped out
* 1 medium yellow onion, diced
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 Tbs Olive Oil
*1 lb lean ground turkey breast (or beef)
* 1 tsp southwest salt free (McCormick)
*1 tsp cumin
*1 tsp smoked paprika
* sea salt and pepper to taste
*1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
* 1 cup drained and rinsed black beans (I use either Target or Whole Foods in the box instead of canned)
*3 Tbs fresh cilantro
*1 Tbs fresh lime juice
*2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used fresh ciliegine mozzarella balls – just a few)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sauté until golden (about 5-7 minutes), then add garlic and sauté a few minutes longer (be sure not to burn).

2. Transfer onion mixture to plate. Brown meat in same pan and season with S&P.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add tomatoes, onion mixture, black beans, seasonings and season with S&P. Cook until heated through.

4. Add mixture to each zucchini half (press fillings to fit). Cover baking dish with foil and bake about 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and add cheese evenly on top of each boat. Return to oven and bake until cheese has melted.

Arroz Con Pollo (slow cooker style!)





Yes it’s Summer and I love to grill just like the next person but on those rainy days or busy weeknights I still reach for my crockpot!  One of my favorite Spanish meals is arroz con pollo so this is a perfect dish to change things up in my household.

I started with tons of seasonings and instead of white rice I used quinoa and boneless skinless organic chicken breasts. I added frozen peas and you can always garnish with olives, fresh parsley or cilantro.  I also used Wegmans organic frozen peppers and onions to really make it easy!   It’s a perfect one pot/dish meal with tons of flavor!!  A family staple in my household now!

Arroz Con Pollo (slow cooker style)
Recipe here

Ingredients:
* 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
* 1 medium onion – diced
* 1 red pepper diced
* 1 cup quinoa (rinsed & uncooked)
* 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
* 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
* 2 tbs lime juice
* 2 tsp oregano
* 2 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp cumin
* 1 tsp turmeric
* 1 bay leaf
* salt & pepper to taste
* 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
* fresh olives and parsley or cilantro for garnish

Directions:
1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with olive or coconut oil. (you can pan sear the chicken first if you want to.  I didn’t – I just combined everything and it was still delicious!)
2. Add all the following ingredients (except the olives and fresh herbs garnish)
3. Stir well and heat on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 5-6 hours.  Stir halfway through to break up chicken and combine all the flavors.
4. Garnish with olives and fresh cilantro or parsley.
5. Serve and Enjoy!!

recipe adapted from www.thelemonbowl.com

Chicken One Pan Fall Dish


I love the Fall season with all the great veggies that are available this time of year!  Pumpkin, sweet potato, asparagus, squash….plus the spices that go with them like cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin spice! Ok my taste buds are watering just writing this!
Being a working mom and keeping up with our kids schedules (like most of us these days) I need dinner to be quick, simple yet healthy.  I love when I come across one pan meals as these are exactly what I need plus less mess to clean up! Score! The veggies are interchangeable to your liking but I honestly have only tried chicken for the protein. But feel free to let your creative juices take over and switch it up to your liking.  Depending on the protein you use, the cooking time may differ.
Top it off with chopped pecans or walnuts (for those omega 6’s) and some dried cherries or cranberries to add a little sweetness!  Truly a tasty Fall dish!!!
Tip: I have the veggies & chicken cut up and prepped ahead of time with the spices so all that I need to do is add them to the pan.

Ingredients
  lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut up into pieces)
 1 large sweet potato peeled and diced into even cubes
 1 head broccoli florets
 ½ red onion diced
 4 TBS Olive oil (or avocado oil)
 3 garlic cloves diced
 1 tsp thyme, parsley & rosemary
 1 tsp nutmeg
 S&P to taste
 ½ C pecans or walnuts
 ½ C dried cherry's or cranberries

Instructions
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 Place cut up sweet potatoes in a bowl with 1 Tbs oil and toss to coat. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
3 Add remaining ingredients into same bowl (broccoli, chicken, onion, spices and remaining oil)
4 Toss evenly to combine making sure broccoli is coated well in oil (so they don't burn)
5 Remove sweet potatoes from oven and add all ingredients randomly onto baking sheet (spreading everything out evenly)
6 Return to oven and continue roasting another 15-20 minutes or until chicken cooks to 165 degrees
7 Toss in pecans or walnuts and cherries or cranberries (or both!)
8 Enjoy!
(adapted from Cooking Classy)

Forget the Beans Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili


Huh?!  No bean chili?  Yes, you read that right! For the month of January a group of awesome ladies and myself have embarked on the Whole 30 challenge!  For those of you not familiar with the Whole 30 way of eating, it is an elimination diet to take out certain foods that may trigger internal issues that you might be exhibiting and not even realize!  Think bloating, inflammation, gastro issues….the list goes on my friends!  The biggest culprits that are eliminated right away are dairy, grains, sugar, beans and alcohol (that includes peanut butter as that is a legume…this was a tough one for me…but almond butter gets the green light..phew!!)
I know what you must be thinking…no way!!  These are all my favorite things!  I get it….me too!  But I wanted to reset my diet especially after the holidays where it was sugar palooza!!  I found a bunch of ladies who were interested in it as well and it is always better when you have support and motivation! I read through the Whole 30 book, learned why we need gain a healthier relationship with food and picked several recipes to try out.
With the cooler months upon us here in Jersey I am always looking for a one pot meal that is tasty and warm like soup or chili.  When I came across this no bean turkey and sweet potato chili it was like hitting the jackpot!  Super simple with minimal ingredients that I was able to whip up after work and there was enough leftovers for the next night too! Score! 

Just look at that yumminess! (Sorry I don’t have more pics, we all enjoyed it right away!)  The sweet potatoes made it tasty and filling and I didn’t even miss the beans!  Tip – you could cut up the sweet potatoes and onion on your prep day or the day before and keep them in an air tight container in the fridge to save some time.  But honestly, while the turkey was browning is when I cut up the sweet potato & onion so really not much time as wasted. 
If you prefer to use tomatoes with green chilis for a bit of a kick you can use that as well.  Also, you can add more spices to increase the heat if you like it real spicy!  We like it spicy but not too crazy – that is why I stuck with regular chopped tomatoes. 
You can pair this with my paleo style corn bread….because chili and corn bread go hand in hand and you need something to sop of all the goodness at the bottom! 
Check out the recipe and if you give it a try shot me out of FB or IG and let me know!  I love to see your recreations!
Ingredients
 1 lb organic lean ground turkey
 ½ cup chopped onion
 3 garlic cloves chopped
 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
 1 cup water
 Salt to taste
 ½ tsp cumin (or more to taste)
 ¼ tsp chili pepper (or more to taste)
 ½ tsp paprika (or more to taste)
 1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced small
 cilantro to garnish (fresh is possible)

Instructions
1 Place a large skillet over medium/high heat adding the turkey and breaking it up into smaller pieces.
2 Season with salt & cumin.
3 When cooked through add onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
4 Add in tomatoes, sweet potato, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt.
5 Cover and let simmer over low heat until potatoes are soft about 25-30 minutes
6 If too thick add more water to liking.
7 Enjoy!

(adapted from skinnytaste.com)

Chicken Zoodle Soup!

by Cherise Mazur 

 Yup it is chicken soup weather here in Jersey!  Cold, snowy and wet!  Not my favorite but I do love making a big batch of chicken soup to have on hand for lunch, dinner and to freeze for a quick meal another day.  You always hear that chicken soup heals the soul and it is so true!  There are many healing properties in the chicken stock.  I personally used bone broth in this batch and it was so tasty!  When picking a stock make sure you check the sodium count on it as many of them can have some in the hundreds!  Eek! Opt for low sodium and organic whenever possible.  Broth is pretty cheap too.  I usually get the store brand that is low sodium and organic.
You can use chicken breast with the bone and cook it in a slow cooker too.  At the end of the 4 hours on high just take the chicken out and remove the bones.  Otherwise you can use 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (again organic if possible).  I started with precut onions and celery (easy time saver trick) and let them simmer for about 5 minutes.  Then I added in the broth, cut up chicken & seasoned with salt, pepper & thyme. I just added all the ingredients into 1 pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes and the house smelled delicious! During the last 10 minutes is when I added in the zoodled carrots and zucchini & added a pinch of red pepper flakes (I like it with a kick plus its great for your immunity!) Viola!!

Ingredients
 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
 1 cup chopped celery
 1 cup chopped onion
 1 tsp chopped garlic
 3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut up into bite sized pieces
 1 zucchini spiralized
 1 carrot spiralized
 2 tsp salt, pepper & thyme
 2-3 bay leaves
 Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
1 Grab a non stick pot over medium-high heat, add celery, onions and garlic sauté for 3-5 minutes
2 Add in broth and seasonings
3 Bring to a simmer
4 Add in cut up chicken breast
5 Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes
6 Add in zoodled zucchini & carrots (you can cut then shorter)
7 Simmer for 10 minutes
8 Enjoy!!!


I really wish you could smell this because it is amazing!!!  You could get creative and use other zoodled veggies like sweet potatoes or butternut squash!  The possibilities are endless and healthy! Great alternative to actual noodles!

Enjoy!!
xo – Cherise

Sloppy Joe over Sweet Potatoes



I must admit for the longest I was not a red meat eater.  I still don’t eat steaks but I have grown to enjoy grass fed ground beef whether it is in the form a burger or just chopped up in a tasty dish.  While at my last physical I was told that I am in awesome physical health (thanks Beachbody & Shakeology!) and my HDL (good cholesterol) outweighs my LDL (bad cholesterol) I was also told that I am anemic!  GASP!!  Now I have always been borderline anemic but this time my doctor said he didn’t understand how I was still walking around without getting winded because the size of my red blood cells were so small!  WHAT?!  But I feel fine I said!  I even teach INSANITY LIVE classes a few times week?!  But something needed to be done!  While I eat spinach everyday along with broccoli it wasn’t enough…I needed red meat!  Or my other option was to get an IV drip of iron!  ummm…no thanks! 

So I started buying grass fed beef and made burgers to start with.  Then I found this recipe for sloppy joes!  I remember as a kid growing up loving sloppy joes in those big rolls!  I started to feel nostalgic for this old comfort food but of course I had to clean it up…a lot!  

I swapped the white starchy roll for a more complex carb with the sweet potato. Added in chopped onions, mushrooms and carrots with some tomato sauce and oh man was this tasty!!  I had some leftover broccoli so I added that on top too – you know extra iron!  This has been added to my dinner rotation this winter as it is such a warm and comforting meal – but healthy! I highly recommend using grass fed beef if you can find it.  Not only is it better for you but so much juicer too!  My secret seasoning for almost everything these days is Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute!  It has everything in it but salt.  I do add in my own pink Himalayan sea salt though which is the good salt so no worries – still use sparingly.

Plus this is Whole 30 friendly! 

As always, if you give this a try let me know!  Tag me on my IG page at cherisemazur 
In good health…..Cherise




Ingredients
 1 lb grass fed or organic ground beef
 2 medium sweet potatoes
 ½ cup chopped carrots
 ½ cup chopped mushrooms
 ½ cup chopped onions
 2 garlic cloves chopped
 1 tsp red wine vinegar
 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
 8 oz can no sugar added chopped tomatoes
 1 tbs tomato paste
 1 tbs Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute
 S&P to taste
  cup water (if too thick)

Directions
1 Cook sweet potatoes in preheated oven at 425F for about 45 minutes or in the microwave for 7-10 minutes. Be sure to poke holes all over with a fork before cooking.
2 Heat a medium size skillet over medium heat-high heat. Add the meat and seasoning to the pan cooking and breaking up the meat into smaller pieces.
3 Add in the onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrots to the pan.
4 Reduce the heat to medium heat and add in the red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
5 Continue cooking another 5 minutes mixing thoroughly.
6 Add in tomato sauce, paste and water if needed. Stir to combine.
7 Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until carrots are fork tender (15-20 minutes)
8 Cut sweet potatoes in half and top with ½ cup of meat.
9 I use a half of potato per serving to get 4.
10 Enjoy!

Mini Turkey Meatloaves



To me, meatloaf is a great comfort food.  I grew up eating it most weeknights as it was an easy dinner for my working mom to prep in the morning and throw in the oven at night.  I remember her using pre-packaged meatloaf seasoning and I wonder now what exactly was in there?!  I find it so crazy how little we once knew about whole real ingredients before.  The food industry sure has us fooled (but that’s a whole other post!)
I use my own seasonings which are minimal and this meatloaf still comes out tasty and moist.  I used turkey meat but you can use ground beef as well (try to stick with organic or grass fed) First I sauté up a small onion with fresh spinach and sometimes I even add in mushrooms.  Season it well with salt, pepper and I love Trader Joes 21 seasoning salute – it has all the essential spices in it (Onion, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, lemon – see I told ya!) 
Then I let it cool for a few minutes before adding it into the meat mixture which has 1 egg and 1/4 cup almond flour.  You can use breadcrumbs but I like to keep it gluten free when possible. I also add in 1 tsp of Worcester sauce and 1 tsp of organic ketchup.  Mix it all well and you can make it a traditional meatloaf in one pan or I love my using my mini loaf pan.  This way we have ours portioned out – also great to freeze! 



I like to mix 1tbs of ketchup and 1tbs of Worcester sauce and spread on top of each loaf for extra flavor! This is of course optional but it seriously makes it taste amazing! Cook them for about 30 minutes (longer if in 1 big loaf) and then pair it with a side veggie like broccoli or asparagus plus a complex carb like mashed sweet potatoes to round it all out! 
How cute are they?! 


Ingredients
 1 lb organic or grass fed turkey meat (or ground beef)
 1 egg
 ¼ cup almond flour
 1 8oz fresh spinach
 1 small onion diced
 1 cup mushrooms diced (optional)
 1tbs plus 1 tsp ketchup
 1 tbs plus 1 tsp Worcester sauce
 1 tsp oil (I used avocado)
 S&P to taste
 Your favorite seasonings (21 Seasoning Salute)

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2 Heat the oil over medium high heat in a non stick pan
3 Add in onions and mushroom and cook until softened
4 Add in spinach (I tore the leaves into smaller pieces)
5 Cook until wilted
6 Let cool for a few minutes
7 Add turkey meat to large bowl
8 Crack egg into bowl
9 Add in ¼ cup almond flour
10 Add in 1 tsp of ketchup and worcester sauce
11 Add in spices (I usually do 1 tsp of each)
12 Once cooled add in spinach mix
13 Mix everything together well with a large spoon
14 Divide mixture into well greased muffin tins or cook in large meatloaf pan
15 Mix 1 Tbs of each ketchup & Worcester sauce together and spread over top
16 Cook for 30 minutes (may need longer if in 1 large pan)
17 Let cool and enjoy!

Chicken, Spinach and White Bean Soup



Soup Season is upon us!  I love making a big batch of soup to have during the week.  Whether for lunch, a quick dinner or freeze for later soups are a simple dish you can create to your liking!  Plus they are an easy way to get in some veggies!  This chicken soup is an easy one for sure!  With few ingredients it a time saver and budget friendly too!


You can make your own tomato sauce or for the best jarred version look for low sodium and in a glass jar.  I like the brand Pompi.  While not in a glass jar, they are in a BPA free container.  Their ingredients are GMO-free and directly from Italy.  Plus the sodium is the lowest I have seen with 5 grams per serving! Check it out below!


To add a little fiber I include cannellini beans & fresh spinach.  You can always switch it up to your liking with kale or red kidney beans. Top off with freshly grated parmesan cheese (or omit if vegan) to add a little bit of saltiness flavor and sprinkle fresh basil.  This combo is sure to excite your taste buds!  I even add a little red hot pepper flakes in it to give it a kick!  


So bust out that soup pot and get started!  Your meal prep is only minutes away!  


This also pairs well with my paleo style corn bread!  Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 32oz carton low sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ cups tomato sauce or 1 box pompi crushes tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can low sodium cannellini beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast cubed
  • ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz baby fresh spinach
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup fresh grated parm cheese
Instructions
  1. In stock pot bring chicken broth, sauce, beans and red pepper flakes to a boil
  2. Turn heat to low and simmer.
  3. Season chicken breast with s&p and add to pot.
  4. Let chicken cook while stirring occasionally - about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in spinach and let wilt.
  6. Let cook about 5 minutes more.
  7. Add in basil and top with grated cheese.
  8. Season with s&p to taste.

Hearty Minestrone Soup


Ahhh…yes the cooler weather is upon us here in Jersey and this is when we hibernate and make soup right?! OK that may just be me but you can’t deny that soup is easy, versatile and can be made healthy. Sure you can buy the canned or boxed soup but even the low sodium ones are still kind of high in sodium plus have added preservatives that our bodies just don’t need. I believe in making your own soup this way you know what is going in it and you can add what you like from chicken to pasta to tons of veggies even sweet potatoes. This meal is sure to please all diets as it is vegetarian friendly, vegan (omit the cheese rind), paleo (omit quinoa & beans). Better yet, throw it all in the crock pot and cook high for 2 hours or low for 4. Who doesn’t love the crockpot!?

What’s in it?!
In trying to limit my animal protein to just once a day I made a big ol’ batch of hearty minestrone soup to have for lunch this week plus there were leftovers that I froze for a quick weeknight dinner! Score! Feel free to interchange your favorite veggies but I stick with your basic mirepoix blend (carrots, onions & celery), red kidney beans (higher in protein), fresh spinach, quinoa, crushed tomatoes and a frozen rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. (I keep the rinds and freeze them for soups – they add great flavor).  I feel this was a good mix of macros with carbs from the quinoa, protein from the beans and quinoa, full serving of veggies and a little fat from the cheese.) I shave some fresh parm cheese over the top when it’s all done too!

My Secret Shortcuts
Now I am all about making my weeknight dinners fast and simple so I go for frozen veggies and herbs when possible.  I know some may frown upon this but honestly frozen is just as good as fresh if not better as they are picked at their peak of freshness.  Some items I buy frozen like the mirepoix blend which saves time on cutting and prepping. (and that helps for this working momma!)  I also came across a great find of frozen garlic and herbs!  You could use frozen spinach but I prefer fresh.  When it comes to crushed tomatoes I often have found them high in sodium until I came across Pomi with only 5 grams of sodium per serving (6 per container).  With canned beans I like to use Eden Organic as their can lining is BPA free and the sodium is low too. These are just my secret shortcuts and depending on where you live you may not have these options but just be a conscious consumer and read labels to make sure you are making healthy decisions for you and your family.


Pair it with my paleo style corn bread and you have one hearty comforting meal!

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup quiona
  • 1 can organic low sodium red kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 32 oz low sodium vegetable broth
  • 26 oz crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • 12oz bag frozen mirepoix (or fresh)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp each fresh or frozen herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Frozen parm -cheese rind (optional)

  • Directions
  1. Add oil to stock pot on medium heat.
  2. Add in garlic and let simmer a little (careful not to burn)
  3. Add in mirepoix blend and cook 5 minutes through
  4. Pour in vegetable stock, red kidney beans and crushed tomatoes
  5. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil
  6. Once boiled add in rind and simmer for 20 minutes
  7. Add in herbs and S&P
  8. Taste test and adjust seasonings to your liking
  9. Remove and discard cheese rind before serving
  10. Enjoy!

Bangin’ BBQ Chicken Pizza

by Cherise Mazur



Did someone say Pizza?!  I don’t know about you but I am truly in love with pizza!  I could literally eat it every day!  It’s the one meal I enjoy on the weekends as my cheat meal. There are so many ways to make pizza with various toppings.  Veggies, meatballs, chicken even fruit! Round, square, thick, thin! I prefer thin crust – I like the crispy taste- plus I feel it’s less doughy.


I told you I like it thin so the crust that I used I purchased from Whole Foods and is called Top This!  It has minimal ingredients, GMO free, grilled already and from a local vendor – SCORE!!  It made this recipe even more simple to throw together during the week!


While I am not a fan of BBQ sauce I wanted to give this one a try since I was making the sauce from scratch.  Hint….the leftover sauce I used to top my burgers with the next night for dinner!  You could just make a batch of the BBQ sauce alone and keep it bottled in the fridge!  Yes – it is that good!

All I did was cut up 3 organic chicken breasts and cook them in the pan with some olive oil, salt & pepper, then added in a few spoonfuls of the BBQ to coat the chicken. Threw int he bag of fresh spinach to wilt, diced red onions and topped it off with freshly grated parm cheese!


Bangin’ BBQ Chicken Pizza

Recipe here


Ingredients:

1 Whole Wheat pizza crust

½ cup BBQ Sauce (see below)

2 Tbs shredded parm cheese

3 organic chicken breast

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs chopped red onion

1 6oz bag fresh spinach

1 Tbs fresh cilantro

Salt & Pepper to taste


BBQ Sauce

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup water

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbs pure maple syrup

2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

-Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well

-Store leftover in refrigerator in air tight container


Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 400F

2.If using pizza stone, warm it up first in the oven for a few minutes

3.Heat oil in non-stick skillet

4.Cut up chicken into small bite size pieces and cook in pan over medium-high heat

5.Add salt & pepper to taste

6.Once cooked through use ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce to coat the chicken pieces

7.Add in onions and bag of spinach and cook until wilted

8.Take out pizza stone if using

9.Place pizza crust on stone or baking sheet

10.Top with ¼ cup of BBQ - cover most of the crust leaving the edges clear

11.Spread the chicken mixture evenly over the top

12.Sprinkle the fresh parm cheese on top

13.Bake for 10-12 minutes to heat through

14.Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately

Enjoy!


aMAZing Healthy Chicken Fajitas (MAZur Style)



Since starting my health journey I am always looking to take my favorite recipes and turning them into aMAZing healthy swaps (see that…aMAZing for MAZur?!  lol)  I love my taco Tuesday’s so I made my chicken fajitas into a healthy swap using lettuce in place of the taco and an avocado and plain greek yogurt sauce in place of the sour cream.  Yes you can still add your cheese if you wish,  I choose not too.  But if you need your cheese go for it!  Just do me a favor and stay away from the yellow processed low fat cheese — trust me you are not making a healthy swap there!

Here are my ingredients (minus the greek yogurt but I used that too).  I am a frequent Wegmans shopper so most of my ingredients come from there. They have these great organic chicken strips perfect for my fajitas plus organic frozen peppers and onions so it saves me time on prep for during the week. Score!!  I used Trader Joe’s pineapple salsa but you can use your favorite brand and plain greek yogurt for the avocado sauce.

First I marinade the chicken strips (you can use boneless chicken breasts and then cut them into strips) in olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, sea salt and a salt free southwest sweet & smoky seasoning (you can use chili powder but we are not too big on heat.)


You can marinade it over night or let it sit and get yummified while you make the avocado greek yogurt sauce.  In a mixer combine an avocado (I used half since it was just me and my husband) with 1/2 C of plain greek yogurt (1 cup for 4) then I added the same spices to it that are on the chicken plus I threw in some cilantro and half of squeezed lemon and the other half of the lime.  Blend it all together.


Heat 1tsp olive oil in a pan and then add the chicken strips to cook until no longer pink.  Then I added the peppers and onion mix (I heated them up first in the microwave) squeezed the other half of the lime into the pan and let it all cook together for about 10 minutes. I invested in one of those lemon/lime squeezers and it is fabulous!  I highly suggest getting one!  You can see me working it!  (I was concentrating real hard here lol)


Add the lettuce to your bowls and top them with the chicken & pepper mixture and top it off with the avocado and greek yogurt.  Dinner is done! Plus these hold up good for leftovers the next day – just keep the ingredients separate when storing in the fridge.  Try it out and let me know what you think!!  


aMAZing Chicken Fajitas

Recipe here


Ingredients:

-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 1 package of strips)

-1 tbs olive oil (divided)

-1 tsp southwest seasoning or chili powder

-1 tsp cumin

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp sea salt

– 1 lime (divided)

-1 lemon (divided)

-1 bag frozen peppers and onions (or fresh cut up)

-1 bag lettuce

– your favorite salsa


For Avocado & Greek Yogurt Sauce:

-1 avocado (half may be good)

-1/2 Cup plain greek yogurt (1 cup for 4 servings)

-1 tsp southwest seasoning or chili powder

-1tsp cumin

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1tsp sea salt

-squeeze half lime


Combine all ingredients in a mixer and blend well.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


Directions for Chicken, Pepper & Onions:


1. Combine the seasonings, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime juice in a large resealable bag and add the chicken, peppers and onions. Either marinade overnight or for a few hours.

2.Heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet and add the contents of the bag.  Cook through until chicken is no longer pink stirring frequently.  Cook together for about 10-15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and divide the lettuce among bowls and distribute the chicken and peppers mixture evenly.

4. Top with avocado & greek yogurt mixture plus your favorite salsa.

5. Enjoy!!

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