healthy meals for all them single ladies

Left: Finished Apple Turkey Picadillo portioned for a small 300 calorie meal (1 cup of turkey and 1/8th batch of kale). Right: Finished Chicken Pillard portioned for a small 322 calorie meal (1/2 chicken breast, 1/4 batch of potatoes, and 1/8th batch of kale)

I’m starting this blog to keep track of my favorite recipes, share some of my weight loss experiences and strategies, and maybe help others trying to make a positive change by taking control of their meals.

I’ve also started to stream my cooking sessions on twitch because it’s fun to interact with others in the kitchen. Below is a quick rundown of my menu for my stream on Friday, along with ingredients, instructions, some commentary and recipe sources. If I make any adjustments to the recipes, I’ll update after the stream.

The menu:

  • Freezer delight: Apple Turkey Picadillo with Sautéed Kale
  • What’s for dinner: Chicken Paillard with Potato, Fennel & Meyer Lemon Sauce
Clockwise, from left to right: Chicken Pillard with Potato & Fennel, Apple Turkey Picadillo, Sautéed Kale, and Meyer Lemon Sauce for Chicken.

I’m obviously making a lot of food for one person. You’ll see that this session is basically preparing my meals for the next 4+ days, plus some leftovers to be frozen for later.

Apple Turkey Picadillo with Sautéed Kale

This is one of my go to meals when the weather is cold or I’m feeling particularly hungry. Ground turkey is an excellent (and affordable) source of lean protein, which pairs really well with cooked greens.

Each portion is about 300 calories, and oh so delicious. My plan is to freeze at least half of this dish since I probably won’t be able to eat it all within the next 4 days. Hoping it freezes well!

Picadillo Nutrition: 4 servings, 249 calories (protein: 29g, carbs: 16g, fat: 2g) Sautéed Kale Nutrition: 8 servings, 51 calories (protein: 3g, carbs: 5g, fat: 2g)

Picadillo Ingredients: I’ve tweaked the ingredients a bit from the original recipe to fit my tastes and my pantry. It’s a very forgiving dish.

  • 16 oz lean ground turkey
  • 2 medium apples, chopped (pink ladies are my favorite, but any tart apple will work well)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4–5 tsp taco seasonings
  • 1 tsp umami stir-in paste & condiment (or tomato paste)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Picadillo Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until soft, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add turkey; cook, stirring and breaking up, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in taco seasonings; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in apple, tomato, and umami paste. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring often, until any liquid in the pan has reduced to a syrupy glaze, about 8 minutes. Serve on something delicious.

Original recipe: Eating Well

Sautéed Kale Ingredients:

  • 10 oz kale for cooking (grab a super cheap bag at trader joe’s ❤️, or stem and roughly chop some yourself)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Sautéed Kale Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook until slightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored.
  2. Raise heat to high, add kale and chicken broth, toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.

Chicken Paillard with Potato, Fennel & Meyer Lemon Sauce

I received this recipe in my Blue Apron box this week. Haven’t made the dish before, but it sounds relatively solid and simple to make.

The recipe makes 2 servings, packing 540 calories each serving — which is way too high for me. I prefer to keep my meals under 300 calories each (a more detailed post on my approach to weight loss is forthcoming, I promise). The easy fix is to split the meal into 4 servings, bringing one portion down to 270 calories. 👍🏾

Nutrition: 4 servings, 270 calories (protein: 22g, carbs: 20.5g, fat: 25g)

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 meyer lemon
  • 1 yukon gold potato
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 oz castelvetrano olives
  • 1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the ingredients: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Halve the potato lengthwise; cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Using a peeler, remove the lemon rind, avoiding the white pith; mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Cut off and discard any fennel stems; core the bulb, then roughly chop. Using the side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop. Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
  2. Cook the potato: Add the potato to the pot of boiling water and cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Off the heat, add the juice of 1 lemon wedge; gently stir to coat.
  3. Roast the fennel: While the potato cooks, place the fennel on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and transfer to the pot of cooked potato; set aside in a warm place.
  4. Prepare and cook the chicken: Place the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. With the bottom of a heavy pan (or a flat meat mallet), pound to a ¼-inch thickness; discard the plastic wrap and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chicken; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.
  5. Make the sauce: Add the olives and garlic to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the juice of 2 lemon wedges, ¼ cup of water and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Turn of the heat; add the butter. Stir until melted; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Finish the vegetables and plate your dish: To the pot of cooked vegetables, add the lemon zest and the juice of the remaining lemon wedge. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished vegetables between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked chicken and sauce. Enjoy!

Original recipe: Blue Apron


Wrapping it Up

It’s so appropriate that today’s stream fell on the day I weighed in 40 lbs less than when I started three months ago.

Celebrating this milestone by sharing a few easy, low calorie meals was such a treat. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my weight loss strategies and success in adopting a healthier lifestyle with you all.

Thanks so much for reading or viewing!

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