Chicken Gyro Bowl Ideas

Chicken Gyro Bowl Ideas

I think I love this chicken gyro bowl so much because it's fresh and fun. What I especially love about this recipe is that it teaches you how to make the pickled onions and tzatziki from scratch. That ensure you can control how much sugar and fat goes in.

A chicken gyro bowl could easily be made into a mason jar lunch.

Adjusting the Recipe

If you're going low carb, leave out the pita bread.  And if you're going whole 30, you'll need to leave out the beans as well. Most paleo diets are ok with legumes like garbanzo beans.

Normally I'd be running away from the kale and quinoa, but in this case, I'd try it out that way first and then make adjustments. Chances are, I'd prefer chard or spinach to the kale. And quinoa is growing on me.

I'm finding it easier to eat since I found out The Big Secret. You have to rinse it before cooking. It removes a bitter flavor.

I don't know any secret for kale. I think you either love it or you don't. And I don't. Mustard greens and collards are as bitter as I'll go.

You can save money by cooking your own beans and quinoa. I love the Instant Pot. Garbanzo beans definitely need extra soaking or longer cooking. For whatever reason, chickpeas just need that extra care.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Make Farmer’s Casserole Lighter

Make Farmer’s Casserole Lighter

Taste of Home published a Farmer's Casserole recipe.  It's really easy and a good base to build upon when learning to cook yourself thin.

They recommend assembling it the night before to make it easier to have breakfast faster in the morning.  Watch the video:

How to Make Farmer's Casserole Healthier

You could substitute in riced cauliflower, or thinly sliced sweet potatoes as the base instead of hash browns.

If you are going to use hash browns, thaw them out and dry them off before popping them into the casserole dish. If you want to have a crispy base, bake them for about 10 minutes at 350.  You may need to reduce the baking of the total dish.  Check after 45 minutes and see how the custard is firming up.

If you're concerned about the fat content, you could use ricotta or feta instead of jack cheese. And you could use chicken or turkey sausage instead of ham.

To make it vegetarian, use soy based sausage. A soy chorizo would add a lovely spice to the dish.

I would probably add in more veggies (are you surprised?) like diced tomato, zucchini and spinach. I love thawing out frozen spinach and keeping it in the fridge. Then I can add a pinch in here or there to add in extra iron.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter

Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter

Looking for something tasty to make with boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Check out Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter from CookingLight.

This video shows how easy it is.

I have a lot of fresh sage in my garden right now. The thyme isn't growing quite so well.

Things you could add? I'd also think about adding in some capers for a briney flavor.  It's kind of like a picatta. Mushrooms would also be a great add-on.

What to serve with sauteed chicken?

This would go lovely with a grain pilaf like quinoa or brown rice. If you're going no carb, try making this simple cauliflower rice.

This would go great with some steamed or sauteed spinach or chard with a squeeze of lemon to brighten up their earthy flavors.

 

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

 

 

Cucumber Sub Sandwich

Cucumber Sub Sandwich

Nikki Dinki posted this video for her cucumber sub sandwich. All I could think of was “Wow, that's a GREAT idea.”  If you don't know her, she was a contestant on Next Food Network Star. And she's published a cookbook called Meat On the Side. She was one of my favorite contestants.  I love how creative she can get with incorporating more vegetables into a meal.

She has the recipe here on her blog. It's a longer Facebook live video at 22 minutes, but she does give a lot of good tips. My favorites were:

  • Stuff it quite a bit because it will taste more like a sandwich than a cucumber
  • Using something warm will melt the cheese

Other Ideas

I'm mostly thinking cold sandwiches since it's over 90 here. I shouldn't complain. My mother-in-law said it was going to get to 102 where she lives.

  • Bay shrimp salad sandwich
  • Crab salad sandwich
  • Lobstah roll (sorry, I couldn't help myself)
  • Tuna salad sandwich (I love using diced celery and red onion) with some cheese (American, I'm so bad….)
  • Salmon and cream cheese (think tea sandwiches)
  • Ham and cheese
  • Bacon Lettuce & Tomato
  • Club Sandwich (any leftover chicken or turkey in the fridge?)

Making a cucumber sub sandwich reduces the carbs if you're wanting to try that to lose weight. And I am. I also get a bit tired of salads. This is a great way for me to feel like I'm actually eating a sandwich. But it's not as messy as when I made a burger with two portobello mushrooms as the bun.

Just note that you want to find a cucumber with a thin skin but that's also big enough to have the seeds scooped out. Also, make sure that it's not seedless or you'll be having some difficulties with trying to hollow out the cucumber halves.

If you are, try using a grapefruit spoon or a melon baller. And then save the insides for a salad or pop in your water for a refreshing drink.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto Shrimp

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto Shrimp

Zucchini noodles with avocado pesto shrimp sounds so divine with all the zucchini I'm trying to grow in my garden. And shrimp is a lovely protein for warm summer evenings.

You can see the full recipe here.

What Can You Change?

This recipe calls for pistachios to make the pesto. You can make a more classic pesto with pine nuts.  I also love using raw walnuts in my pesto. It provides a flavor that reminds me of warmth and love.

Every November, my mom would set out a nut bowl with walnuts and hazelnuts so we could just have a few nuts when we walked through.  I love filberts, make no mistake. But there's something about a raw walnut that's so, oh I don't know, perfection.

I confess to being a nut for nuts. And I do say to look for unsalted nuts for this recipe. The avocado pesto would be way too salty otherwise.

But back to the topic. You could also use bay scallops (the little guys) in this as well for a delicious dinner.

Avocado pesto is a great way to make a creamy sauce with healthy fats. Now, don't get me wrong. Olive oil is super healthy too. I'd probably also add in more herbs like cilantro or flat leaf parsley.  Flat leaf parsley has a different flavor.

Try growing some and you'll see what I mean.  I'm a huge fan of growing something..anything…just to get in touch with the growing life cycles.

But I digress.  You can eat this on its own or have a crisp salad with it. I'd also think about adding in halved cherry tomatoes for a burst of acid and color.

Butter Garlic Herb Steak Packets

Butter Garlic Herb Steak Packets

Using foil packets on the grill is a great way to make these butter garlic herb steak packets. Since it's summer here, it's hot. I used my Weber kettle outdoors the last three nights.

But it's always kind of annoying to have to remember to rub down the grill after cooking. Using foil packets, you can keep the grill clean. Well, cleaner.  Anyway, it's all in one since you have your veggies in there too.

See how easy it is in the video:

Things to Note

In the recipe, the author has you cut the steak into bite sized pieces. This ensures it cooks as evenly as the potatoes and carrots. You could use different vegetables in the butter garlic herb steak packets. Since it's summer, you may want to do potatoes and zucchini or other summer squash.  Just know that the squash will cook faster than the root vegetables.

You may want to cook one as a test first to see how everything cooked. I prefer my meat rare. Hubby and daughter prefer it medium rare.

You could also cook this in a toaster oven if you're only cooking for one or two people

And while you could use dried herbs, you'll get a better flavor if you use fresh.

 

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Quick Shrimp Stir Fry

Quick Shrimp Stir Fry

This quick shrimp stir fry is really tempting.  For starters, stir fries are a wonderful and quick way to get a healthy dinner on the table. You can pack in the vegetables.

You can find the full recipe here.

What Would I Change?

This kind of recipe is good for learning how to stir fry.  Zucchini is fairly simple to cook. And the most difficult aspects of this recipe are slicing the grape tomatoes and making sure the shrimp is deveined.

That being said, it's good to realize this isn't going to taste like a Chinese restaurant stir fry.  There's no soy sauce. And it uses basil and Parmesan cheese.  It makes a quick and easy dinner.

If you wanted a quicker dinner, you could pick up fresh or frozen stir fry vegetables from your local market. There's usually pea pods, onions and red bell pepper in them.

I would also add in bok choy or green cabbage. It doesn't matter if you choose Napa, curly leaf or smooth. Cabbage cooks quickly and adds a nice texture.

Broccoli is also another great vegetable to cook over high heat in oil.

Different Seasonings

If you want to make an Asian stir fry, then you'll need to whip up a sauce using soy sauce. And you won't want to use butter. Use a good high heat oil like grapeseed. And then you can use a bit of sesame oil for flavor.

But the whole world really is your oyster when it comes to stir fries. All you're doing is cooking small pieces of vegetables and meat over high heat, and then finishing with a sauce.  You could use chili powder for a Mexican stir fry.

Look for seasoning mixes in your supermarket. You may also want to add in Italian seasoning to this particular shrimp recipe for a deeper flavor.  Or find some Herbs de Provence.

You can swap out the shrimp for chicken, beef, pork, tofu, turkey, etc. The sky is the limit.

To make this low carb, find low carb noodles or make zoodles. Otherwise, serve with a bit of brown rice. You'll be so happy you did.

 

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Low-Carb Ground Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Low-Carb Ground Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Low-Carb ground turkey stuffed zucchini boats are a wonderful and easy to make dinner.

Zucchini is a wonderful vegetable that's often the butt of jokes because it grows so prolifically. You can use it in place of pasta as zoodles or sliced as lasagna noodles.  In this recipe, it provides a meaty holder of meaty cheesy goodness.  See what you think.

You can find the full recipe at From Valerie's Kitchen.

What Would I Change

If I were doing meatless Monday, I would use crumbled tofu instead.  You could also use regular sausage, ground beef or ground chicken depending upon what you have and what's on sale.

If you needed to save time, you could get ground turkey that's already seasoned. But I wouldn't skip the onion. You can buy pre-chopped onion and just toss it in. I buy bags from the freezer section of my local supermarket.

Also, you could buy pre-cooked turkey sausage. I keep a bag of Jimmy Dean's turkey sausage crumbles in my fridge for my morning egg scrambles.

Watch the Cheese

I don't think this recipe has too much cheese. But you could skip the mozzarella cheese entirely and just use fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Update the Marinara

You should make sure that the marinara sauce you choose has very low sugars. Or you could substitute in a can of petite diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce. It would have a more tomato-ey flavor which some people like.

However, if you want a more marinara flavor, here's a quick recipe that uses crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic, parsley, etc. It will take about 40 extra minutes. You could use this recipe in a slow cooker.  Or you could check out this ten minute recipe.

Alternate Flavors

You could easily use salsa, chorizo, beans, rice and fresh tomatoes. Here's one recipe for Mexican zucchini burrito boats. You would swap out Mexican seasoning for the Italian seasoning.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Easy Broiled Salmon with Lemon

Easy Broiled Salmon with Lemon

Broiled salmon is a great way to get your Omega 3's. Fish is a wonderful lean protein that we should eat more of. I always keep tuna packs at hand for a quick snack.

Salmon is more satisfying because it has a higher fat content and so you feel more satisfied after the meal. Some people are afraid of cooking fish, and we've all made that mistake where it comes out more like catfood than a gourmet meal. And it's OK to make mistakes.

I think this video makes it seem easy. And if you have a toaster oven, you can broil it in there if you only want a smaller portion.

You can see the full recipe here. What it doesn't tell you but the video shows is that they sprinkle lemon juice over the broiled salmon once its cooked.

The Key to Cooking Salmon Correctly

My family from Seattle told me the key to cooking salmon correctly is pull it off when it's still a little pink and shiny on the inside. You want it to look a little underdone. It will cook the rest of the way by the time you get the plate on the table, trust me on this.

What to Serve with It

Broiled salmon goes great with a wide variety of veggies. I've made it with swiss chard, green beans, broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts, etc. Pasta and potatoes along with rice can balance out the dinner.

I never serve tartar sauce with salmon. I think the lemon is quite sufficient. You could also make a mango salsa to go on top of this. It would go great with a salad and simple rice on a warm summer's evening.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

Eggplant Parmesan is one of my absolute favorite things. Unfortunately, eggplant is right up there with Brussels sprouts for a lot of people. The bottom line is that it's important to prepare it correctly (more on that below). It doesn't take that much extra time but it will provide a better result.

My mom would make eggplant Parmesan occasionally. She'd also make chicken Parmesan. And I was such a brat that I'd complain because it wasn't eggplant.

But then I've always loved vegetables.  So, here's a cool and easy to prepare eggplant Parmesan recipe that's super light.

Watch the video:

This video doesn't have a recipe per se that I could find. So take notes when you watch it.

It's pretty light as is. So what would I change? I've become very aware of how much sugar is in things these days. I even found sugar in my Stacy's bare naked pita chips.  So before you buy your jar of marinara, check how much sugar is already in it.  Better yet, make your own. I'll make a post later this summer when I have an abundance of tomatoes on the vine begging to be made into a sauce.

How to Prepare Eggplant Well

One important thing to know is that it's essential to salt the eggplant slices and let them sit for at least fifteen or twenty minutes.  Then you can rinse off the slices and continue on with the recipe. It just makes the eggplant tastier.

Some people put the slices in a colander and then salt to make it easier to rinse off.

And others swear to salt and then put something heavy on top of the eggplant to squish out the stuff. The salt is drawing moisture out of the eggplant, and probably some other flavor. I'm not an expert or a nutritionist.  I just love growing eggplant and making Alton Brown's one pan quick eggplant parm.

As always, use the best possible ingredients that you can for the best flavor.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.