Dinner Tonight? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

“I do great with breakfast and lunch, but dinner’s are tough, especially when all this kids are home.”

Heard it a million times…

Admit it, you have said this and thought this before. This is such a common theme in my consults and just talking with clients in general. Dinners can be daunting. You have been at work all day, you have to run the kids to soccer, and your husband or wife is no where to be seen (convenient, right?)

Never fear, I have a secret weapon that will save you time, won’t bust your wallet or your belt, and will taste pretty damn good too.

Rotisserie Chicken to the rescue!


Rotisserie chicken can be found at almost every grocery store, and even at convenience stores and gas stations these days.

We all know how healthy chicken is, and cooking it tends to be the longest and hardest part of the meal. RC takes all that work from you, and puts it back into your energy and time bank. Score.

Check out the following three awesome recipes that your whole family can enjoy, and they will save you a ton of time!

Stay fit my friends.

BBQ Chicken Tacos

bbq chi




2 c. shredded skinless rotisserie chicken meat

0.33 c. barbecue sauce

1.50 c. fresh corn kernels (1/2 cup per ear)

2 plum tomatoes

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

8 flour tortillas

3 c. thinly sliced iceberg lettuce

0.50 c. reduced-fat sour cream



In large bowl, stir together chicken, barbecue sauce, corn, tomatoes, and lime juice.

Just before serving tacos, place stack of tortillas between paper towels on microwave-safe plate; heat in microwave on High 10 to 15 seconds to warm.

To serve, divide lettuce and chicken mixture among tortillas; fold over to eat out of hand. Serve each with a dollop of sour cream.

Source: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a30016/bbq-chicken-tacos/

Nutrition Facts

Serving = 2 Tacos

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 376

Total Fat 11 g

Saturated Fat 5 g

Total Carbohydrate 56 g

Protein 17 g

Sesame Peanut Noodles



0.33 c. creamy peanut butter

0.25 c. lower-sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 clove garlic

2 c. shredded rotisserie-chicken meat

1 small red pepper

1 lb. spaghetti (PRO TIP: Try substituting Black Bean Spaghetti noodles here to ramp up the protein and fiber!)

1 large cucumber

1 c. fresh cilantro leaves

Sriracha (hot chili sauce)



Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling on high.

In large bowl, gently whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and garlic.

Add chicken and red pepper, tossing to combine. Set aside.

Cook pasta as label directs. While pasta cooks, cut cucumber in half lengthwise and thinly slice into half-moons.

Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Add pasta and cucumber to bowl with chicken mixture. Toss until well coated. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with Sriracha, if desired.

Source: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a36337/sesame-peanut-noodles-recipe-ghk0314/

Nutrition Facts

 Servings 6.0

Amount Per Serving

Calories 247

Total Fat 11 g

Saturated Fat 2 g

Total Carbohydrate 29 g

Protein 11 g


Low Carb – High Protein Chicken Salad

(pair with roasted potato/sweet potato for a carb)




4 slice bacon

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. olive oil

0.25 tsp. salt

0.25 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper

1 bag cut hearts of romaine

2 c. shredded skinless rotisserie chicken meat


In 2-quart saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes or until browned.

With tongs or slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from saucepan.

With wire whisk, add vinegar, Dijon, oil, salt, and pepper to drippings in saucepan and heat to boiling over medium heat. Remove from heat.

Place romaine in large serving bowl. Pour hot dressing over romaine; toss until coated. Add chicken and toss until well mixed. Crumble bacon; sprinkle over salad.

Source: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a23735/rotisserie-chicken-salad/

Nutrition Facts

Servings 2.0

Amount Per Serving:

Calories 244

Total Fat 17 g

Saturated Fat 3 g

Total Carbohydrate 4 g

Protein 17 g




SNAP Challenge: Summary

First things first, I want to note that yes, I did not do a full 7 days of eating, but I can promise that I had plenty of food left at the end of day 6 to make it through one more day. The reason I did not complete the final day was because unfortunately I came down with Strep Throat and was not able to eat much the last 2 days.

Some of my final thoughts on this past week of eating off of $32.00…

  1. It was hard…but very feasible
  2. It was a boring diet…but healthy
  3. My average breakfast prep time was about 7 minutes
  4. My average lunch prep time was about 4 minutes
  5. My average dinner prep time was 10 minutes

And in the end, I only lost 1 pound.

I feel like with adding a little more variety week by week, and using some foods as “carryover” foods from week to week, there would be so many more options through out the week of eating healthy. Over time, I know I have acquired many different spices, seasonings, sauces, etc. that have easily lasted me months (some spices probably close to a year….)

The biggest key in saving time when making these meals is BULK PREP. Take advantage of time that you do have to make large batches of rice, beans, quinoa, oats, etc…which will last you through out the week and can be eaten hot or cold.

I feel that with just a little more education and awareness of healthy eating on a budget, it can be done with a little perseverance and creativity…

Maybe I’ll blog one of MY “normal” eating days just to compare…once I’m back to 100%.

SNAP Challenge – Day 6: Dinner and Final

Unfortunately, I have come down with a wicked cold, possibly the flu. I woke up this morning with an even worse sore throat. Since this my last day, I will stick it out an finish it up. MY dinner last night was 2 tilapia filets, and 1 medium sweet potato. It was pretty basic prep. I just pan seared the filets and microwaved the sweet potato.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Calories: 374

Carbs: 35 grams

Fat: 4 grams

Protein: 49 grams

Final Day Stats:

Calories: 1550

Carbs: 184 grams

Fat: 27 grams

Protein: 146 grams

Cholesterol: 749 milligrams

Sodium: 1698 milligrams


SNAP Challenge – Day 6: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 started pretty standard, nothing exciting here… 3 eggs, 1 cup veggies, 1/2 cup dry oats.


Prep Time: 6 minutes

Calories: 397

Carbs: 37 grams

Fat: 17 grams

Protein 25 grams

In between breakfast and lunch, I got my 2 servings of fruit in. Had one banana at 10AM, and an orange after my workout around 1PM along with a half cup of low fat cottage cheese.


Todays lunch was a filling, high protein lunch. 1/2 cup quinoa, 6 oz of tuna, 10 chopped carrots, a little diced onion, and a Tbsp of mustard. DSC00062Stats:

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Calories: 400

Carbs: 37 grams

Fat: 4 grams

Protein: 50 grams


SNAP Challenge Day 5: Lunch and Dinner

On Friday, I ended up going back home for the weekend, but was stil able to eat according to my SNAP foods. Before hitting the road on Friday, I had 1 cup quinoa, and 1 cup red kidney beans. When I got home for dinner, we were actually having fish, brocoli and rice. Pretty standard meal for my family, and it just so happened that these were the same foods I’ve been exclusively using for the past week. I dont have a calorie count on my day since I was away from my computer and not able to enter my data into a program. I should take this moment to say, I have been using MyFitnessPal.com as my calorie counter. It is a great database for everything weight loss and nutrition, I highly recommend checking it out!

SNAP Challenge – Day 5: Breakfast

For BFast today I went with a little more creativity and made a 1 egg, 3 egg white omelet with 3/4 cup mixed veggies and 1/4 cup cottage cheese. 1/2 cup dry oats with 1/2 banana. The omelet was pretty simple to make, just sautéed up the veggies, set aside. Poured the egg and whites into the pan and cooked until solid, then folded it over the veggies and half of the cottage cheese, and put the rest on top.

DSC00061Breakfast Stats:

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Calories: 398

Carbs: 51 grams

Fat: 8 grams

Protein: 34 grams



SNAP Challenge – Day 4: Final

I ended the night going out with my fellow interns and ate probably about 2 cups of popcorn at the bar…along with a few brews.

Final Stats:

Calories: 1588

Carbs: 252 grams

Fat: 26 grams

Protein: 116 grams

Cholesterol: 416 milligrams

Sodium: 1974 milligrams

Fiber: 40 grams

SNAP Challenge – Day 4: Dinner

Dinner tonight was pretty big since I lifted legs today. Traditionally this is the day that I eat almost everything and everything that I want. The legs obviously contain the largest muscles in the body and thus demanding the most nutrients for adequate recovery/growth. I pretty much just threw a bunch of stuff on a plate and devoured it. 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup kidney beans, 1/2 cup stewed tomatoes and a side of 1 cup of cottage cheese. 

DSC00060Dinner Stats:

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Calories: 558

Carbs: 111 grams

Fat: 4 grams

Protein: 43 grams



SNAP Challenge: Day 4 – Breakfast and Lunch

Pretty standard breakfast today, 2 eggs, 2 whites, 3/4 cup oats, 1 cup mixed veggies, and water. I figure no picture is needed since there already are 2 pics of the breakfast of champions on here.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Calories: 438

Carbs: 51 grams

Fat: 13 grams

Protein: 32 grams


Eggs for Muscle, duh bro!

Eggs for Muscle, duh bro!

My early snack was a whole banana as well


So lunch was pretty interesting…since I was craving sushi, I decided to try and make “poor mans sushi” by rolling rice and tuna up in cooked spinach, after drying it out…this was an epic fail. So it turned into “Mike’s Exploded Sushi Roll Supreme”  3/4 cup brown rice, 4 oz tuna, 1/2 cup spinach, 5 carrot sticks, few onion slices.

Exploded Sushi Roll

Exploded Sushi Roll


Calories: 377

Carbs: 50 grams

Fat: 3 grams

Protein: 38 grams

Oh, and it tasted nothing like sushi…go figure!

SNAP Challenge – Day 3: Dinner and Final

For dinner tonight I went with the classic tilapia, 1 cup brocoli, 1 cup brown rice (I prepared 2 cups of dry rice earlier). I decided to pan-sear the fish this time with a little garlic and lemon-pepper seasoning. Turned out a little better than the microwaved stuff from Monday.



Dinner Stats:

Calories: 351

Carbs: 48 grams

Fat: 4 grams

Protein: 30 grams

I also had a snack of 1/2 cup cottage cheese just now…mmm casein protein…


Final Stats:

Calories: 1248

Carbs: 155 grams (50% of calories)

Fat: 21 grams (15% of calories)

Protein: 111 grams (35% of calories)

Cholesterol: 487 mg

Sodium: 1600 mg

Fiber: 21 grams

Even though these calories were much lower than what I wanted, and need, it makes sense because today was a non-lifting day for me. All I did was 30 minutes of light cardio, and a ton of sitting on my @$$… I never really was hungry, especially early in the day after that breakfast. It has been shown that eating most of you calories at breakfast will lead to lower consumption through out the day and successful weight loss. Along with that, eating eggs at breakfast has also been shown to lower hunger through out the day. These plus not doing my usual high intensity weight training, it makes sense that I really didn’t get hungry, even by eating about 1000 less calories than I am used to.

I am finding myself starting to miss some foods though. I would love to have a sandwich or some of my main guilty food addiction, sushi…giant-sushi-roll