The other day my parents had most of my mom’s side of the family over for a little get together to celebrate my recent graduation, and because we haven’t all gotten together in so long! It was a little difficult for me at first because since the past year or so I have cleaned up my diet tremendously, and my body doesn’t, for lack of better words, digest certain foods as easily as I could back when I would eat anything and everything in sight! My mom of course made two of her most famous dishes: pasta salad and potato salad!! Now, I have recently hated the idea of mayo (and this is coming from a girl who loved mayo and cheese sandwiches – my stomach is churning at the thought of those now!). Helpful Hint: You can replace mayonnaise in most dishes with hummus (it is tastier than you think ;-)) Anyways, I just had a little of each salads, and maybe half a burger pattie (I haven’t had ground beef in well over a year. Helpful Hint: You can create a healthier burger with either ground turkey or chicken – just make sure it is lean.
Now despite how delicious those traditional cookout sides are, I wanted to put in a healthier option. So after some pondering, I came up with the idea of mini pulled chicken pita pockets (Mini pockets courtesy of Trader Joes)! Now this was a last minute idea (by last minute I mean a few hours prior), so instead of traditionally creating pulled chicken via crockpot, I ended up baking then hand pulling it. Imagine this: pulled chicken marinated in balsamic vinegar and a little bit of light olive oil mixed in with roasted sweet peppers and low-fat mozzarella cheese stuffed inside tiny whole wheat pita pockets!
Now the finished product:
While they did turn out quite well for being a last minute idea, I kept thinking how much better they would be with little caramelized onions throughout the mixture – to add an extra kick of juicy-ness…oh well, next time!
This evening we kept it simple with little baked potato cubes, grilled chicken and veggie stir-fry. Mom made the potatoes, dad grilled the chicken, and naturally I made the stir-fry! Now I am going to let you in on a great secret….you really do not need all that dang oil when heating up those veggies! enjoy their flavor as they are, and you will get the most out of your food. One of the best kitchen items my mom recently purchased (and I am in love with) is a little oil mister. You can put in your own oil in it – rather than purchasing name brand sprayers.
Now, all you need is a few quick sprays in the beginning before you toss those vegetables into your pan, then allow their natural juices to flow out in Med-Low heat. If you notice some dryness or burning, just add a little water – or for healthy flavor you can add lemon juice, vinegar, or low sodium chicken broth. Mid cooking you can add a dash of salt to help make them sweat out their natural flavors.
That’s all for now! and tomorrow concludes a chapter in my life…more to come 🙂