10 Weeks Until Summer: Week 4

 

Plain chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and brown rice…aka ‘The Pro Bodybuilder Diet”.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be this boring and bland. Food is supposed to be enjoyable, pleasurable, and believe it or not, it’s easier to eat when it tastes good.

The following blends of herbs, spices, and other flavor boosters will give your chicken, beef, fish, or veggies a kick that will make them much more palatable.

There are two ways I recommend using these blends; as a large marinade/dry rub or on a “per meal basis”. You can either cook up a ton of chicken using these flavorings, or do what I prefer – make a ton of plain chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper, then add the flavors when you reheat the chicken for the given meal.

If you decide to add the flavors to the individual meats/veggies at the meal, you will obviously cut down on the portions to your liking. To do this, I like making different dry blends and storing them in labeled Tupperware containers, so all it takes is one little spoonful every time you want that flavor. You will then add a squirt or two of any of the liquid flavorings to the pan you are using to reheat your meat in.

Lets get to the flavors.

The Basics

Minced Garlic

Garlic adds a ton of awesome flavor to anything. I personally use it in a ton of dishes, and it works with any cuisine. You can buy jars of minced garlic at the grocery store. Simply add a teaspoon to your roasted veggies with some olive oil, salt and pepper and they become 100x better.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper can also be added to anything to give it a little kick. If you are looking for something quick, just do some cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt and you instantly get a little more spice in your life.

Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

Lemon juice and zest adds a little bit of sour to your meats. Combine with black pepper and you have a nice lemon pepper blend that goes well with chicken or white fish. For zest, you can just use a small cheese grater to get some of the lemon rind to add more intense lemon flavor.

Killer Combos (4 servings per)

 Southwest Blend

 Combine 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl, stirring well.

 Chinese Marinade*

Combine 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon onion powder, pinch red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, pinch sugar.

 

*If making for just one dish, add this at the end of cooking/reheating, so the garlic doesn’t burn in the pan.

Thai Flavor*

 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 Tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of diced cilantro, 1 tsp. Thai chili oil (this can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)

 

*If making for just one dish, add this at the end of cooking/reheating, so the garlic doesn’t burn in the pan.

 

Italian Blend

 Dry blend: 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 tablespoon basil, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon thyme,

For cooking, add: 2 Tablespoons red cooking wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil, diced cherry tomatoes. Cook down into a very light red sauce.

 

Indian Blend

 1 Tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon ginger powder, 1 Tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder

 

Mexican Blend

1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 2 teaspoons paprika, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Quick Thai Chicken & Vegetable Curry (4 servings)Quick Thai Chicken & Vegetable Curry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1- to 2-inch-long julienne strips
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons red curry paste, to taste (see Ingredient note)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Lime wedges

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste; stir to mix.
  2. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and brown sugar; bring to a simmer.
  3. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in spinach and lime juice; cook just until spinach has wilted. Serve immediately, with lime wedges.
  5. Vegetarian variation: Substitute 1 pound extra-firm tofu (drained) for the chicken and vegetable broth for chicken broth.

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Stay healthy my friends,

2 thoughts on “10 Weeks Until Summer: Week 4

  1. Pingback: 10 Weeks Until Summer: Week 10 – Now What? | MG FitLife

  2. Pingback: How to Meal Prep Like A BOSS | MG FitLife

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