Full steam ahead! I’m back in my 7th out of 10th class in grad school (yes this is taking forever…), working full time at Pure Barre and as a Coach for All Access Internships. Woah buddy. All great things – but sometimes it just doesn’t allow for making healthy bachelorette meals. (Though did you hear the news?! Bachelorette only for a little while longer!)
Meal planning really helps during these busy weeks, and be sure to check out our healthy meal planning tools. These are the kind of weeks when you revert back to college and instead of doing laundry – you just buy more underwear. Yeah that happened.
Check out my weeknight power bowl! The majority of this recipe is prep, especially if you use chicken that you already cooked earlier in the week. It is a yummy, healthy and fresh meal for one that you can save for the next night, or even bring for lunch the next day. It provides lots of color from the vegetables that serve as your base, and you top it all off and make it more than your typical boring salad by adding hummus, avocado and a fun lemon cilantro vinaigrette. Did you know that the Vitamin E in olive oil helps you absorb the nutrients in your vegetables? See, salad dressing isn’t always a bad thing! Enjoy and happy cooking 🙂
Weeknight Power Bowl
Serves: 1 and 1 leftover
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 of a hot house cucumber, washed and sliced into half moons
- 8 campari tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into 6 pieces
- 6oz grilled chicken, cubed
- 4 Tablespoons pine nut hummus
- 4 Tablespoons cilantro
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (I used dill infused for more flavor)
- Pepper to taste
- Set out a large salad bowl and a tupperware bowl.
- Add 3 cups of the baby spinach to each bowl, and top with 1/2 of the cucumber slices, 4 tomatoes, 1/8 cup red onion, 3 avocado slices and 3oz of the grilled chicken.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of the pine nut hummus to the center of the bowls.
- Top each bowl with cilantro, squeeze one half of the lemon onto the salad and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Top with fresh ground pepper, and serve!
Lunch ready for tomorrow! And check out this fancy planner that I got to design with Erin Condren for Pure Barre. It also has a meal planning dashboard – pretty awesome!
It’s fully fall here in New England… how do I know this? I leave my house at 7am in a wool coat and come home at 5pm sweating and holding my wool coat. New England temperature fluctuations never cease to amaze me, just be incredibly inconvenient. But it’s all good, ya know? Especially when I have delicious food to make at home. So, I haven’t been apple picking yet, which means I let some nice person from Whole Foods pick them for me (wink wink). Please enjoy this quinoa salad however you wish! I served mine with oven baked spicy panko encrusted chicken, however, this would be awesome with fish or even just beans. Luckily, kale is such a hearty beast that this salad will still taste good for lunch the next day. Our homemade dressing is as simple as it gets with just four ingredients – don’t worry all of the names are easy to pronounce!
Apple Quinoa Kale Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
Serves: 2 with leftovers
- 5 of your leafiest Kale leaves
- 1 large apple, chopped (use your favorite kind or whatever is seasonally available to you!)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- Pepper to taste
For the dressing:
- juice of half a lemon
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Prepare the quinoa according to package directions.
- While the quinoa cooks, tear the leaves off in small pieces from the kale stems, wash thoroughly, drain, and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chopped apples, feta cheese, sliced green onions, and avocado.
- Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl once cooked and toss well. The heat from the quinoa will help soften the kale leaves.
- For the dressing: squeeze the lemon and lime juice into a medium bowl and add the honey. Whisk well until combined. While briskly whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until fully combined.
- Pour dressing over salad and serve!
Place all ingredients in the bowl together.
Honey, lemon, and lime juice mixed together.
Whisking in the olive oil.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper!
If any of you are also experiencing this heat in not only a tiny apartment, but also with a poorly performing air conditioner unit, you’ll understand my desire to eliminate all other sources of heat! I’ve been avoiding my oven and using the stove only when I have to. Grain based salads are great because not only are they easy to make, but they have a substantial amount of protein in them and make it an easy way to get in lots of veggies during the day. If you don’t like Farro (or have the patience for it to cook – I barely do), try quinoa, brown rice, or barley too.
Avocado Farro Salad
Serves 2 with leftovers
- 1 cup Farro, dry
- 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (flavored olive oil is even better!)
- Avocado for serving
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the faro according to package directions. It usually runs 1 cup faro: 1.5 cups water. Plan ahead because this will take about an hour to cook.
2. While the faro cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients. Add the beans, feta, tarragon, peppers, parsley, and olive oil to a bowl. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once the faro is cooked, add to the bowl with all of the ingredients. Mix well and serve.
* This is also great served cold the next day for lunch with salad or chicken etc.
Beets are the type of food that when consumed, I can almost feel my body saying, “thanks, I needed that”! Nutrient dense with powerful antioxidants and a unique flavor that is easily enhanced, beets are the ultimate vegetable. I roasted mine with an easy lemon herbal pesto-like mix and finished it off with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and avocado – delish! Goes well as a side with fish, chicken, meat etc!
Roasted Beets with Fresh Herbs & Goat Cheese
Serves: 2 (with leftovers)
- 1lb yellow or red beets, diced (save the leaves!)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped beet leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese
- 1/4 avocado, diced
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash beets, cut off the leaves and put to the side for later. Carefully peel the beets using a peeler. Dice into bite size pieces.
3. Place the diced beets on a baking sheet, toss in olive oil and fresh pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until beets are fork tender.
4. While the beets cook, combine beet leaves, parsley, dill, garlic, green onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon juice.
5. When beets are cooked, add into herb mixture and toss lightly. Lastly, add in sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and avocado. Enjoy!
It’s Chili time baby. Why not add some color and flavor to make your experience a slightly healthier one?! I added sweet potatoes and lots of fresh herbs with a good combination of delicious chili spices. When cooking chili, its important to let it simmer for a while in order to let the spices bloom properly, always taste and adjust spices after you have let it cook for quite a while. I did not add beans to mine, but it is always a great option! Enjoy!
Serves: 4 (2 + 2 leftovers)
- 2 tbps olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 to 1.5 lbs ground turkey breast
- fresh black pepper
- 1 sweet potato cubed
- 1 can 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want an extra kick!)
- Please note you can also use a “chili spice packet” in lieu of the previous three ingredients – just follow packet directions!
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 cups of water
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- sliced avocado for garnish
Directions: 1. Heat olive oil on medium and sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes, then add diced red onion. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add ground turkey breast and season with black pepper. Stir frequently until ground turkey is cooked through. 2. Add sweet potato, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, seasonings, and water. Allow pot to simmer for at least 25 minutes. This will allow the seasonings to bloom and the sweet potato to cook thoroughly. Consider adding an additional cup of water if too much liquid evaporates during the cooking process. 3. Once flavor has infused to your liking, add green onion, cilantro, and parsley. Serve with fresh sliced avocado and extra fresh herbs.
So we have all heard it again and again: use the portion plate to plan your meals. But what does that LOOK like?
Here is an idea for a simple, yet healthy and yummy lunch for the work week. Here’s how it works out:
- 1/2 your plate vegetables = 1 medium bell pepper, sliced
- 1/4 of your plate carbs = 1 slice whole wheat bread
- 1/4 of your plate lean meat = 2oz sliced turkey
BONUS: The avocado gives this sandwich some healthy fats and also will help keep you full. This lunch only has 255 calories! Be sure to surround it with a healthy morning and afternoon snack (think 1/4 cup nuts or a KIND bar).
Healthy Bachelorette Work Day Lunch:
Turkey Avocado and Tomato Sandwich with “Bells”
- 1 slice whole wheat bread (I used Dave’s 21 whole grain)
- 2oz sliced deli turkey
- 1 tomato slice
- 1 tablespoon guacamole OR 2 slices avocado
- Spinach leaves (I used about 1oz)
- 1 medium bell pepper
- Assemble the sandwich by toasting the bread, and then cutting the slice in half. On the bottom half stack the turkey, tomato and spinach and avoacdo (if you are using) and top with other half of bread. If you a re using guacamole spread 1 tablespoon on the top piece of bread.
- Slice the bell pepper.
- Chow down!
What does your Healthy Bachelorette lunch look like? Share comments and photos below!
I love the idea of healthy foods, all mixed together in one awesome and big bowl. Unwrap your fajita and put it in a bowl!! (This is also less messy.)
We love fajita vegetables with all the flavor that they bring..and of course I topped it off with a healthy avocado which brings in a creamy texture and more awesome flavor. This bowl is low carb, as we controlled the portion sizes of the quinoa and black beans. Don’t forget that beans are a carb too! Both quinoa and beans are great, healthy carb options – just watch your portion sizes ladies 😉 I left off the cheese and sour cream that is traditionally put on a fajita, however if you would like to add small portions of low fat sour cream or reduced fat cheese that would be a healthier low-carb addition to the recipe as well.
This recipe is another quick and healthy meal idea for a weeknight dinner. Share with a friend or take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!
Chicken Fajita Bowl
Servings: 2 (to share, or bring for lunch tomorrow!)
- 1 6oz chicken breast, cut in half
- Garlic Powder, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 glove garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup low-sodium canned black beans, rinsed
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into 8 slices
- Cilantro (optional)
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the garlic powder and black pepper over the chicken breasts. Grill the chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Once the chicken is cooked, slice.
- Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small pot. Add in the quinoa and bring to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook according to the package directions (about 20 minutes) until all of the water is absorbed.
- While the chicken and quinoa are cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cover the pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the pepper slices and saute about 10 minutes, until they are tender.
- Once the peppers/onions, chicken and quinoa are cooked, start assmebling your bowl. For each bowl add: 3oz of the grilled chicken slices, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/2 chopped tomato, 1/2 the peppers, 1/2 the onions and 4 avocado slices.
- Top your chicken fajita bowl with some fresh cilantro and enjoy!