Category Archives: Main Dishes

Ham & Potato Soup

Fall is here! Being born and raised in Florida, Fall is a foreign season for me. Two months ago we moved to Colorado and let me tell you, I am so excited to experience all the seasons! Now that it is getting chilly I have an increased appreciation for warm and delicious soup. This recipe came to be because I had extra potatoes that needed to be used and leftover diced ham from my morning egg muffins (recipe coming soon). Boy was this soup a winner! My husband and son loved it and the macros were incredible. You could easily add more ham or even some other form of protein (like white beans!) to increase protein further. I enjoyed two servings since I had plenty of carbs to play with and it knocked out 24g protein. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 20 oz russet potato peeled and cubed
  • 6 oz diced ham (I used Smithfield)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 cups Fat Free Fair Life milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add potatoes, ham, celery, onion, bouillon cube, and broth to a large pot. Bring to a bowl and cook potatoes for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Once potatoes are tender set to low heat and use a potato masher to smash about 1/4 of the potatoes to thicken soup. Slowly stir in milk and stir for about 3 minutes to allow to thicken. If your soup is still not thickening smash more of the potatoes but once the soup is no longer hot it should thicken up nicely. You could also do this soup in the slow cooker. Set to low for 8 hours of high for 4 hours. Do not add milk until right before serving. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of 2 cups, recipe makes approximately 6 servings): 158 calories, 1g fat, 25g carbs, 12g protein, 3g fiber

Macro-Friendly Stuffed Peppers

The venture continues: get my boys to eat more veggies! This is another staple recipe in our house that my husband and son love and it helps them reach their vegetable intake. It’s a great low carb recipe as well. Super simple, delicious, and macro-friendly. What more could you ask for!? Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 4 large green peppers
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup Old El Paso taco seasoning (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup 2% Mexican cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef with onion and then add seasoning. Turn up heat high and stir constantly until water evaporates. Turn down heat to low. Add tomato sauce and black beans and stir well. Cut off the tops of the peppers and pull out the guts. Fill peppers with beef mixture and put in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Enjoy!

Macros (per pepper, recipe makes 4): 310 calories, 10g fat, 18g carbs, 43g protein, 7g fiber

Zucchini Noodles & Meatballs

This delicious, low carb lunch or dinner option will leave you satisfied without breaking the macro bank on carbs. It’s super simple to make (especially if you buy pre-spiraled noodles) and only requires one pan for easy clean-up. Happy flexible dieting!

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz pork (I purchased mine from Whole Foods with 7g fat & 23g protein per 4 oz)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Publix brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 4 and 1/2 cups zucchini noodles (I bought mine pre-spiraled from Whole Foods)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups Newman’s own organic marinara sauce

In a large bowl mix pork, minced garlic, diced onion, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Set a pan on medium heat then add olive oil. Work the meat mixture by hand and form golf ball size meatballs. Add to hot oil and brown, about 3 minutes each side. Remove meatballs from pan and add zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles in the oil to coat and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the marinara sauce, toss in the noddles, and nuzzle the meatballs back in. Simmer for 10 minutes and enjoy! Salt and pepper to taste.

Macros (per serving of 2 meatballs and 1/2 cup noodles & sauce, recipe makes 6 servings): 207 calories, 9g fat, 14g carbs, 20g protein, 3g fiber

Tortellini Soup

As some of you may know, I am working to cut back on my meat consumption for moral reasons. It has been an interesting quest trying to consume enough protein without meat but through experimentation I have come up with some delicious recipes. This recipe couldn’t be easier. You just throw everything in a pot and wait! This can also be done in a slow cooker before work, leave it on low until you come home and dinner is ready to go. Feel free to add meat to this dish for even more protein. Happy flexible dieting!

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 32 oz container Pacific organic tomato soup
  • 2 32 oz containers low sodium vegetable broth
  • 20 oz Buitoni mixed cheese tortellini
  • 5 oz frozen spinach thawed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add about a tbsp of broth and minced garlic to a large pot on medium heat and cook the garlic. Then add the tortellini and rest of broth and bring to a boil. Once it’s to a boil reduce heat and add tomato soup, spinach, Parmesan, and seasoning. Simmer for a few minutes and enjoy! You can also do this in the slow cooker. Simply throw everything in and set on low. It’ll be ready in 4 hours or you can hold off for 8 hours.

Macros (per serving of 1 cup, recipe makes 12 cups):  184 calories, 5g fat, 28g carbs, 8g protein, 2g fiber

Add chicken for even more protein!

One Pot Spanish Chicken Thighs

One pot dishes are my favorite. Easy, minimal clean-up, and all the flavors get to marinate together. This dish is inspired by my close friend I grew up with. She’s from Mexico and would make this all the time. I absolutely love it. So much garlic flavor and the potatoes add a delicious touch. I always forget how good chicken thighs are, so moist and tender. I purchased boneless, skinless thighs so I could get a good amount of protein in without too much fat. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 8 oz potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp Adobo powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Season chicken. Brown chicken on medium-high heat using olive oil. Remove and add in onion and garlic, cooking for about five minutes. If you need more liquid to cook the onion add a few tbsp of broth so you don’t have to up the fat using olive oil. Once onions are soft add in the potatoes and tomato and cook for 3 minutes.  Add in the rice and then nestle the chicken thighs back in. Add the chicken broth, cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat then 10 more minutes on low heat. Check rice and if it’s done, fluff and enjoy!

Macros (for 1 thigh and 2/3 cup rice & potatoes, 6 servings):  352 calories, 13g fat, 31g carbs, 37g protein, 3g fiber

Lightened Broccoli Cheese Soup

Winter has arrived! Well, at least so I hear. In our little town in sunny Southwest Florida it’s record heat for the first day of winter. 88 degrees and humid as can be! Pretending I am in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, I decided a comforting meal would be some good ol’ broccoli cheese soup. This soup reminds me of Panera Bread’s but fresher and half the calories! The secret to getting the protein up without the fat is using Fair Life milk as it has double the protein as regular milk. Give this a try on your stove or slow cooker. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 2 cups fat free Fair Life milk
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 5 cups broccoli florets, chopped (frozen or raw)
  • 3 cups 2% cheddar cheese, shredded (can use 2% Velveeta- will slightly change macros)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add broth and milk to a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Add in flour, onion, carrots, and broccoli. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Reduce to simmer and allow soup to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and remove from heat. You can also do this recipe in the slow cooker. Just throw everything in except the cheese and set on low for 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before eating add the cheese in and cover. Enjoy!

Macros (per about 1 cup serving, recipe makes 8 servings): 175 calories, 7.5g fat, 7g carbs, 15.5g protein, 2g fiber

Light Buffalo Dip

I tried this buffalo dip from the Publix deli and fell in love. Unfortunately the macros on the Publix version isn’t great considering they use full fat cheese so I set out to make a lighter version with less fat. I saw that the Publix version uses Neufchatel cheese and was like, what the heck is that? Haha! I checked in the cream cheese section of the store and there it was! One single brand, Organic Valley, but it was there! After a few variations tested this final one came out fantastic. Served it with some crackers and veggies and everyone loved it! Would be perfect for a football snack and can I just mention it has 9 grams protein PER SERVING? Happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly light buffalo dip for iifym

Recipe:

  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Danon)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream (I used Daisy)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce depending on how much heat you want (I used Frank’s)
  • 8 oz Neufchatel cheese 1/3 less fat, softened (I used Organic Valley)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and put in a baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes or until the top is bubbley. If you have a small slow cooker this would work great too. Enjoy!

Macros (per 30g, recipe makes about 30 servings): 75 calories, 3g fat, 1g carb, 9g protein

Macro-Friendly Chicken Pot Pie Soup

macro-friendly chicken pot pie soup

Excuse my hiatus. A lot of traveling going on lately along with a busy workload. I can’t lie though I love being busy! At least when it’s stuff I love to do. Part of the job is providing clients with new meal ideas so I set out to try a new recipe. My mom actually requested this chicken pot pie soup after seeing it on one of those cooking videos on Facebook. Aren’t those the best!? If they torture you never fear, this recipe along with the jalapeno popped chicken are both lighter options adapted from those scrumptious looking Facebook vids. If you have any particular requests, let us know!

This chicken pot pie soup is made macro-friendly using low fat milk. I used store brand milk but if you’re willing to shell out the money for 6 cups of Fair Life milk that will up the protein content even more! This soup was perfect for the cool fall weather rolling in. It can easily be made in a slow cooker but I made mine on the stove just an hour before my mom arrived. She loved it, even had a second bowl. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe:

  • 6 cups low fat milk (Publix brand 2%)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 large russet baked potato, diced (I used 7 oz)
  • 1 smalled onion, chopped (I used 2.5 oz)
  • 12 oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, corn)
  • 16 oz cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Pour milk into large pot on low to medium heat, slowly bringing it to a bowl. Add in the onion and vegetables and allow to simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Add in the diced potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk water and flour to create a slurry. Finally, add in the chicken and slowly whisk in the slurry. Leave on low for five minutes until the soup has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.

*You can easily make this in the slow cooker, simply cook everything on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. When there are 15 minutes left slowly add in slurry and stir until thick.

Macros (per 1 cup serving, recipe makes 6 servings): 253 calories, 7g fat, 25g carbs, 30g protein, 2g fiber

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

jalapeno popper chicken macros

Thomas saw this recipe on Buzzfeed and decided to give it a go. I recommended some replacement options to reduce total calories & fat content. We used fat free cream cheese and low fat cheddar cheese to lighten things up. We also used less oil for frying and opted for a longer cook time in the oven. You can easily change this recipe to be low fat cream cheese, fat free cheddar, or even skip the breading! That’s why I love flexible dieting so much, it is so easy to adapt a recipe to meet your macronutrient needs. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Recipe:

  • 2lb chicken breast
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese (could do cottage cheese or a mix of the two instead for more protein)
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeno. Slice a pocket into each chicken breast to stuff the filling in. Stuff each chicken breast with mixture and seal shut. Dip the chicken into the flour, then egg whites, then bread crumbs. Brown chicken in oil on the stove. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the chicken is golden brown (about 3-4 mins each side)  transfer to baking dish and bake for 20 mins. Enjoy!

Macros (recipe makes 8, serving is 4 oz): 367 calories, 15g fat, 26g carbs, 36g protein, 2g fiber

 

Macro-Friendly Supreme Pizza

 

 

Another delicious and macro-friendly homemade pizza by Papa Thom! I could honestly eat this every night, especially considering when Thom cooks I clean and this has basically no clean-up! Hope you enjoy the recipe, happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly supreme pizza

Recipe:

  • Pizza dough from local bakery or Pillsbury pizza dough
  • 2.5 cups 2% shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup Prego pizza sauce
  • 1 cup sauteed peppers, mushrooms & onions
  • 6 oz Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles

If you’re using dough from the bakery or made your own preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare area to get your dough ready, you can use a rolling pin or stretch with your hands. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour on your prep surface. Roll the dough in the flour until it is not sticky. Roll or stretch the dough carefully until you reach desired crust thickness. Place dough on pizza pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until the dough has a firm outer crust. Remove dough from oven and spread pizza sauce evenly across dough.

If you’re using PIllsbury dough follow the cook time instructions on the package.

Sprinkle half of cheese all over dough. Place turkey sausage on top and veggies on top, then add the rest of the cheese and place into the oven. Our dough took 18-20 minutes, we rotated the pizza 1/4 turn very 4 minutes. Once crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbly remove and let sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per slice): 281 calories, 9g fat, 31g, 18g protein, 2g

Macro-Friendly Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Sandwiches

One of the most common questions I get from clients is, “what should I make for lunch?” Lunches can get really boring. Always the same simple salad or sandwich. I tried to switch it up and make lunch fun with yummy macro-friendly sandwich that’s packed with protein but easy on the fat. If you have fat to spare add a slice of cheese or do real ranch (although, I think this Greek yogurt ranch tastes even better and fresher!). If you’re looking to save carbs roll this up in a low carb wrap or use Sara Lee’s 45 cal bread. Being on maintenance macros, I actually struggle to meet my carbs and protein. This delicious sandwich helped me get 40g protein in the most delicious way possible. Hope you enjoy this recipe idea. Considering it includes bacon how could you not? Happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly turkey bacon ranch lunch

Recipe:

  • 2 slices bread (I used Publix’s butter bread)
  • 3 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 1 slice low sodium bacon (I used Publix brand)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley ranch mix
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion to garnish, optional

Macros (for entire sandwich using 1 tbsp ranch, not including garnish): 313 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbs, 40g protein, 2g fiber

 

Macro-Friendly Meatloaf

iifym flexible dieting meatloaf easy dinner

Recipe:

  • 2lbs 93/7 lean ground beef (weight uncooked)
  • 8oz white onion, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Progresso bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Heinz low sugar ketchup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup Fair Life fat free milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Glaze:

  • 1 cup Heinz low sugar ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beef, onion, bread crumbs, ketchup, egg white, and milk in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350, applying glaze halfway through. Enjoy!

macro friendly meatloaf iifym recipes

Macros (for 1/10th of loaf):  231 calories, 7g fat, 17g carbs, 22g protein

To figure out the exact macros of your portion follow these guidelines before cooking.

Easy Homemade Macro-Friendly Pizza

homemade easy pizza macro friendly iifym

About once a week Thomas picks up a ball of pizza dough from our local grocery store and makes us a homemade pizza. It’s such a quick and easy dinner and my favorite part, there’s essentially no clean up! I realized how easy it is to make these pizzas macro-friendly. I’m sharing a traditional pepperoni pizza recipe but you can also make it with chicken breast (do a bbq or bufflalo style or even margherita!), do a taco style pizza using lean ground beef, or if you have the fat to spare make a steak & cheese pie!

If you’d like the recipe to our other versions just let us know!

Recipe:

  • Fresh pizza dough from local bakery or Pillsbury Pre Made Pizza Dough
  • 3 oz Boar’s Head turkey pepperoni (assuming you want all turkey pep on the pizza instead of the half & half we did)
  • 2.5 cups 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Prego pizza sauce

If you’re using dough from the bakery or made your own preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare area to get your dough ready, you can use a rolling pin or stretch with your hands. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour on your prep surface. Roll the dough in the flour until it is not sticky. Roll or stretch the dough carefully until you reach desired crust thickness. Place dough on pizza pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until the dough has a firm outer crust. Remove dough from oven and spread pizza sauce evenly across dough.

If you’re using PIllsbury dough follow the cook time instructions on the package.

Sprinkle cheese all over dough. Place turkey pepperoni on top and place into the oven. Our dough took 18-20 minutes, we rotated the pizza 1/4 turn very 4 minutes. Once crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbly remove and let sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per slice using PIllsbury dough and turkey pepperoni): 264 calories, 8g fat, 29g carbs, 18g protein, 2g fiber

Ways to Decrease Carbs: Cauliflower crust, Flatout bread, or large low carb tortilla as “crust”

Ways to Decrease Fat: Dice up chicken breast and replace pepperoni, use a blend of low fat & fat free cheese (you do want some fat in the cheese to help melt)

Macro-Friendly French Dip Sandwiches

macro friendly meal french dip

Another awesome recipe by Thomas! After 3 and a half years of tracking my macros I am so happy to say that Thom has jumped on the bandwagon and has even become a master of macro friendly meals! Since he’s now the main cook of the house he’s been experimenting with some new recipes for the blog and this one was too good not to share. Super simple, amazing macros, great taste. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Recipe:

  • Loaf french bread
  • 1lb deli roast beef (or a sirloin for homemade)
  • 8 slices 2% provolone cheese
  • 1 cup beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 packet french onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pile 4 oz of roast beef on 1/4 roll of french bread and add 2 slices of cheese. Toast sandwiches open face in the oven for 10 mins or until cheese is golden brown. If you prefer softer bread roll the sandwiches up in tin foil and cook on a baking dish for about 15 mins. While the sandwiches are heating up add the beef broth, soup mix, and water to a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low to simmer.  Enjoy!

Macros (per sub with 1/8 cup dip): 469 calories, 14g fat, 44g carbs, 37g protein

 

Trader Joe’s Beef Tri-Tip Roast

Thomas here. Mallory asked me to guest post today as I’m becoming the cook of the house while she takes care of 50+ clients. She’s pretty amazing!

trader joe's tri tip roast

This is not so much a recipe as a public service announcement. I was so glad to come across this unseasoned Tri Tip Roast at Trader Joe’s. The macros are insane at 5g fat and 24g protein. We have had all of the seasoned and marinated varieties and enjoyed them all, especially the Santa Maria. This time we bought the unseasoned version and gave it a go. I kept it simple and it turned out incredible. I highly recommend giving this a try!

Recipe:

  • Tri tip roast
  • 3/4 tbsp garlic powder per lb
  • 1/2 tbsp salt per lb
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper per lb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

You can use a grill or cast iron skillet and an oven to cook. Heat grill or cast iron skillet to high and preheat oven to 375F.  Rinse meat and pat dry. Season meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides. Lightly brush meat with olive oil.

If you’re using a grill sear 1-2 min per side on direct heat and then allow to cook 10-15 min per side on indirect heat.

If you’re using a skillet and oven, add any leftover oil to the pan and heat. Sear all sides of roast 1-2 min per side in cast iron skillet. Place Skillet in oven, cook 10-15 min, flip, and allow roast to rest, loosely covered in foil for 5-10 min.

Macros (for 4 oz uncooked meat): 140 calories, 4g fat, 0g carbs, 24g protein

IMG_2151

We paired it with half a baked potato, Lean Cuisine mac & cheese, and steamable broccoli for a delicious dinner!

Doritos Taco Salad

 

Last week I took a surprise trip to Orlando so I could visit my best friend Rebecca and see her walk across stage for graduation. She just graduated from my alma mater, the University of Central Florida, exactly two years after I did. We actually just hired her as a coach for King’s Coaching! You will hear much more on that soon! Her story is absolutely incredible.

Her parents (who by the way, are THE most adorable people on this planet) threw a graduation party for Rebecca and boy was I looking forward to their cooking.. they don’t mess around! Her mom made, among many things, this Doritos taco salad that I could not get enough of. When I got home this week I decided I just had to make it! The macros ended up being pretty great, so I just had to share!

dorito taco salad macros

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and  rinsed and
  • 1 serving 2% Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/2 serving Fat Free Catalina dressing
  • 1/2 serving Doritos of choice
  • Jalapenos (optional, not included in macros)

Mix everything accept for Doritos in a bowl. If all servings will be eaten immediately, mix in Doritos. If not, add the Doritos to each serving so they don’t get soggy. Enjoy!

Macros: (per 1 and 1/2 cup serving, makes about 4 servings 2 and 1/2 cups each): 320 calories, 14g fat, 19g carbs, 29g protein, 3g fiber

Macros without doritos: 250 calories, 10g fat, 11g carbs, 28g protein

Burger Bites

burger bites iifym macros

Recipe:

  • 4 oz lean ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2 serving reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 wonton wrappers
  • Toppings of choice: I like doing a cheeseburger style with diced tomatoes and I make a special sauce by mixing ketchup with plain non-fat Greek yogurt and a little cayenne pepper or doing a taco style and dipping with pico de gallo and light sour cream

Mix beef & shredded cheese together. Take a wonton wrapper and place on an oiled baking sheet. Scoop 2 tbsp of beef & cheese mixture onto the center of the wonton wrapper. Take a second wonton wrapped and place on top. Now, to be able to get the wrappers to stick together you need to dot water around the outside of both wonton wrapper. Just stick your fingers in a bowl of water and run your finger across the wrappers. Crimp them together using a fork. You can brush a bite of egg white wash on the tops of the burger bites before cooking to allow for a more crispier outside. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, check the burgers and if needed flip them and cook for a few more minutes. Mine are usually done within 5-8 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (for 4 burger bites, not including toppings): 413 calories, 14g fat, 32g carbs, 38g protein

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

Flexible dieting is my favorite because there are endless opportunities for meal ideas! This was a new and delicious recipe that will definitely be a frequent meal in this house. The macros are pretty great, too, but you could look into using a leaner cut of meat for less fat.

slow cooker shredded beef tacos

Recipe:

  • 2lbs chuck roast
  • Taco seasoning
  • Flour tortillas, small
  • 1 cup beef broth, optional (not included in macros)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro

Season the beef and sear on each side for about 2 mins (you can skip this step but it helps lock in the flavor). Add the beef to the slow cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours. You could add a cup off beef broth but I found it unnecessary. While the roast is cooking make your pico de gallo. Mix together the onions, tomato, green pepper, cilantro, and squeeze half a lime over top. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow this to chill in the fridge for the duration of the cook time. Once the meat has cooked shred the beef using two forks. Add 3 oz of beef to each taco, 2 tbsp pico de gallo, and feel free to add other toppings like low fat shredded cheese, light sour cream, or avocado.

Macros (per taco, yields 8 tacos): 304 calories, 12g fat, 22g carbs, 26g protein

Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

Hello heaven on Earth. I have arrived. This was everything I could have ever imagined it could be and more. Especially for how easy it was! Of course, you know it’s macro friendly. I just love flexible dieting.

buffalo chicken mac and cheese iifym macros

Now, bare with me on this. There’s a few ways you can do it.. The macros for this recipe include this method.

Recipe:

  • 4 oz cooked chicken breast
  • One package Lean Cuisine mac and cheese
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce

I happened to already have chicken prepped when I came up with this simply concoction, if you don’t the best way to prepare your chicken is in a slow cooker and then shred it up with the buffalo sauce. Otherwise cook everything accordingly and mix together!

Macros (for entire recipe): 478 calories, 11g fat, 48g carbs, 48g protein

If you want to use a less processed mac n cheese check out my homemade version. This would change the macros to  478 calories, 13g fat, 28g carbs, 51g protein

Macro Friendly Philly Cheese Fries

Holy yum! My husband Thomas is obsessed with Philly cheese steaks. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had one and since we’ve moved there’s nowhere near us that can make a delicious one. Plus now that Thomas is counting his macros he can’t afford all the fat so I set out to make a satisfying low fat version. I’ve posted a Philly cheesesteak sub on my blog before but today when I used the leftovers on top of Alexia fries I knew I had to share.

philly cheese fries iifym macros

 

Recipe:

  • 3 oz eye round steak, cooked (could do chicken instead for lower fat)
  • 2 oz sauteed peppers and onions
  • 1 oz sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 serving Alexia 98% fat free fries (pictures are Alexia tots for my husband, if you want lower fat stick with their fries. They’re delish!)
  • 2 slices Sargento Ultra Thin provolone cheese

Macros (for entire recipe): 459 calories, 19g fat, 32g carbs, 31g protein, 4g fiber

One Pot Macro Friendly Chicken Lo Mein

Forever on a search to not feel like I’m dieting but not get fat. Haha! Thomas and I rarely get Chinese takeout because it’s filled with sauces and fried meats that we end up having to save all of our fat for the day! So I set out to make a yummy chicken lo mein that wouldn’t break the macro bank. I adapted this recipe from one I found online by adding more meat and veggies. Holy crap did it turn out delicious!

 

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 1 16 oz box of linguine, cut in half
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut 3 inches long or grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut 3 inches long
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional, not included in macros)

Cook chicken in pot on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Once it is no longer pink add the pasta and broth and bring to a boil then add in the remainder of the ingredients, stir, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let cook through for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may end up needing to add more liquid but do so slowly. I did not. Enjoy!

Macros per serving (yields 8 servings, about 1 and 1/2 cups): 355 calories, 4g fat, 48g carbs, 30g protein, 3g fiber

Lean Beef Italian Slow Cooker Meatballs

 

Thomas and I are still really tired of chicken, haha! So this week we prepped some lean beef Italian meatballs to make as meatball subs for him (and his infinite carbs) and to pair with spaghetti squash for me. The beauty of IIFYM is the options with these are only limited to the macros you have left! So these Italian meatballs are a great option for your next meal prep session.

An added bonus to cooking these (and anything) in the slow cooker is using a slow cooker liner and having no clean-up! The lazy teenager in me is pleased.

meatballs iifym meal prep

 

Recipe:

  • 2 and 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 3 and 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll into balls. If you want to follow the macros of the recipe weigh each ball to be 3.5 oz. I placed mine in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours then added marinara sauce and cooked for another 2 hours. Slow cooking the meatballs are my favorite because they come out so moist and soft yet brown and crispy on the outside! If you don’t have a slow cooker you can bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 400 degrees. Make a meatball sub using marinara sauce and low fat slices of provolone or place a few on top a bowl spaghetti squash and shredded parmesan for a low carb alternative!

italian meatballs 4

Macros (1-3.5 oz uncooked meatball, makes 13): 171 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbs, 19g protein, 1g fiber

Simple and Macro Friendly Sheperd’s Pie

Ok so quite honestly I’m not sure if it should be called Sheperd’s pie since it has beef in it. I think the European version is made with lamb but Americans use beef and still call it Sheperd’s pie. Americans are weird like that! At any rate, this is as delicious as it is simple.

shepard's pie simple iifym meal recipe

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or brown gravy packet
  • 16 oz potatoes of choice (I had Gold on hand)
  • 3 cups frozen steamable mixed veggies, cooked
  • 1 cup skim milk (I used Fair Life)
  • 4 tbsp low fat margarine (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Peel (or don’t) and boil potatoes. Brown beef on stove with seasonings.  Once beef is browned add in onion and Worcestershire sauce, move to medium high heat and allow the liquid to evaporate. Mix in cooked vegetables, take off heat, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once potatoes have finished mash them and add in butter, milk, and salt & pepper. Add beef and vegetable mixture to 9×9 glass dish then add the mashed potatoes on top. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (for one serving of 4, about 2 cups): 13g fat, 31g carbs, 30g protein (cheese not included)

You can easily store this meal in the freezer to save for later. Cook as directed, allow to cool completely, cover well, and when you are ready to reheat it defrost the pie in the fridge overnight then cook for 1 hour on 350 degrees covered.

 

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries IIFYM Style

 

That’s it. I’m claiming the title. I’m the queen at making bar foods more macro friendly. What can I say, I’ll forever be a fat college kid at heart.

These cheese fries are to die for. The key ingredient is the 98% fat free Alexia fries.

buffalo chicken cheese fries iifym style

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 servings 98% fat free Alexia Crinkle fries
  • 6 oz baked chicken tossed in 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce
  • 1 serving reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • Handful of scallions
  • 1/2 serving low fat ranch
  • If you’ve got the extra fat you could add bacon bits

Cook fries according to packaging. Top with chicken and serving of cheese and put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Top with scallions, ranch, and anything else you fancy. Enjoy!

Macros (for entire recipe, no bacon):  491 calories, 15g fat, 38g carbs, 51g protein

5 Minute Meal: Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki with Rice and Broccoli Slaw

All the parents out there know, being a full time mom means you gotta get creative with some simple meals. Bored with sandwiches and chicken burrito bowls, I set out to try something new that’s as easy as ever. The week before I had visited Trader Joe’s and stocked up on IIFYM friendly freezer goodies. One thing I picked up that I hadn’t tried before was their BBQ Chicken Teriyaki. I’m so glad I gave it a shot!

trader joe's iifym easy recipe

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 servings Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s broccoli slaw

The package directions for the chicken have you microwaving the chicken with no instructions for cooking in the oven. The first time I tried it I reheated the chicken in the oven, but the second time I tried the microwave and there was no difference. If you want to cook in the oven simply do so at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I used Uncle Ben’s instant rice, but you could also save this meal for when you have leftover rice! Once the chicken was done I added the rice and broccoli slaw and mixed it all up. Yup, that’s it! I garnished with some scallions.

Macros (for entire recipe): 305 calories, 6g fat, 27g carbs, 29g protein

iifym easy meals

Scotch Egg: An Experiment Gone Delicious

We saw the Scotch egg on Facebook and were drooling! It’s pretty much all protein (and fat from the oil) so we knew it’d be a great IIFYM food. We made it a little more macro friendly by using turkey sausage but it is still pretty high in fat. It’s a bit of a task but well worth the deliciousness. A great treat, especially for the holidays!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

Recipe:

  • 4 eggs soft boiled and peeled
  • 1lb turkey sausage
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, seasoned
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 raw egg for egg wash
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare three bowls: one with 1/2 cup flour, 1 with beaten egg and milk, and one with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a pan (you want an an inch and a half of oil). Once you have your eggs soft boiled and peeled roll in flour. Then wrap each egg in 4 oz of (uncooked) sausage. Lightly roll the sausage around the egg into a ball. Make sure you do this lightly as to not break the egg. Now coat in flour, then egg wash, and then bread crumbs. Fry egg in i oil for 3 minutes on each side. Finish in the oven for 5 minutes, preferably on a drip pan.

Macros (for each Scotch egg): 27g fat, 13g carbs, 37g protein

Pizza Grilled Cheese

 

A delicious, unique lunch that will leave you satisfied and in disbelief you’re dieting.

pizza grilled cheese iifym meal ideas

Recipe:

  • 4 oz chicken breast, cooked
  • 7 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 slice 2% provolone cheese
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cooking spray

Heat up a pan on medium heat. While the pan is getting hot assemble your grilled cheese. First spoon the serving of marinara on each slice of bread, then add the chicken, pepperoni, and cheese. I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning on as well. Spray your pan and cook your grilled cheese sandwich until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Make sure the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Macros: 11g fat, 27g carbs, 47g protein

Baked Chicken Parmesan

 

One of my FAVORITE dishes made lighter. I’m a happy girl and the whole family loved it! That’s always a plus. 🙂

baked chicken parm iifym mealideas

Recipe:

  • 1lb chicken breast, I took 2 breasts and sliced in half to make 4 cutlets
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put both the breadcrumbs and egg whites in two separate bowls. First dip the chicken into the egg white, then into the breadcrumb mixture, and lay on a lightly sprayed oven tray. Repeat until all chicken is breaded. Give the chicken a light spray on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon marinara sauce over chicken as well as 1/8 cup cheese. Put back in the oven another 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Enjoy with whole grain pasta or if you’re low on carbs use spaghetti squash. Yum!

Macros (for each chicken cutlet, including marinara and cheese): 7g fat, 12g carb, 31g protein

Cheeseburger Nacho Fries

I’m obsessed with cheeseburgers, mkay? Cheeseburger soup, wontons, nachos.. bring it on! This was actually a random creation I threw together because I had a limited amount of fat and carbs left and an equally limited fridge, but it ended up being delicious!

cheeseburger nachos iifym

Recipe:

  • 4 oz lean ground beef, browned & seasoned to liking
  • 50g white onion, diced
  • 2 servings Alexia 98 fat free crinkle fries
  • 1 serving reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Ketchup
  • Greek yogurt, 0% fat plain

Cook fries according to packaging and brown beef in a pan. Once fries are done top with cheese and throw back in the oven for 2-3 mins (keep an eye on it!). Take out, top with your serving of beef, and all other topping. Enjoy!!

Macros (does not include Greek yogurt, does include 1 serving of ketchup): 498 calories14g fat, 48g carbs, 45g protein

 

Macro-Friendly Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

macro-friendly cheeseburger soupI cooked this in the slow cooker and it was friggin delicious. Not going to lie, I was kinda procrastinating making this but it was really simple.

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 8 oz can Rotel tomatoes drained
  • 16 oz 2% Velveeta cheese
  • 12 oz Russet potatoes, cubed
  • Bacon crumbles (optional, not accounted for in macros)

Toss all prepped ingredients except Velveeta and bacon in slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours. When there’s about 2 hours left cube the Velveeta and stir in. Before serving crumble bacon on top. I also topped with Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese (not accounted in macros). Viola!

Macros (per serving of about 1 and 1/2 cups, recipe makes 9 servings): 203 calories, 6g fat, 16g carbs, 20g protein

Macro Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

I couldn’t resist sharing this chicken noodle soup because it’s PACKED with protein at only 3g fat, 10g carbs, and 31g protein per serving! It’s just like any other chicken noodle soup but I doubled the meat & liquid. So filling and delicious!

chicken noodle soup iifym recipe

First chop veggies and add into the slow cooker. Then add your chicken, broth, and seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours.

chickennoodle2

After 7.5 hours pull chicken out, shred, and throw back in. Add the dry noodles and allow to cook another 30 minutes.

chickennoodlesoup

Recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 32 oz contained chicken broth (I used Pacific’s organic brand)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cup egg noodles
  • 2lbs chicken breast (could easily use a cheaper part of chicken)
  • Seasoning (I used salt, pepper, and a little ginger)

First chop veggies and add into the slow cooker. Then add your chicken, broth, and seasoning. Cook on low for 8 hours. After 7.5 hours pull chicken out, shred, and throw back in. Add the dry noodles and allow to cook another 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of 8, about 2 cups): 187 calories, 3g fat, 10g carbs, 31g protein

macro friendly chicken noodle soup iifym recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

slower cooker chicken bowls iifym

These burrito bowls are packed with protein at 34g but only 19g carbs and 8g fat for a total of 294 calories! Plus, all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the slow cooker before work and it’s ready to go after! Especially if you use the Ready Rice. 🙂

Recipe:

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 8 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice of choice (I used Uncle Ben’s ready rice, 1 cup if dry)
  • 1 cup reduced fat Mexican shredded cheese
  • Seasoning of choice (I used salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, and garlic powder)
  • Garnish of choice (I used avocado and cilantro, not included in macros)

Throw all ingredients in the slow cooker accept for the rice and cheese. Add in a cup of water or broth, stir ingredients, and set on low for 8 hours. If you’re using dry rice cook rice about 30 mins before the slow cooker is ready. Top with cheese when garnishing. Would be great garnished with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or crushed up tortilla chips.

Macros (yields about 6, 2 cup servings, includes rice & cheese): 270 calories, 6g fat, 20g carbs, 34g protein, 3g fiber 

Philly Cheesesteaks

macro friendly philly iifym recipe

 

This was too delicious not to share and not to mention loaded with protein. I feel like it’s assumed that philly cheesesteaks can’t be eaten on a diet but on IIFYM it sure can! Just make sure you use sirloin steak or another lean cut and low fat cheese. I upped my carbs and have a lot more to play with so if you’re looking for a low carb option simply use a low carb wrap!

Recipe:

  • 1lb thin sliced sirloin steak
  • 4 hoagie rolls (or low carb wraps for less carbs)
  • 8 slices 2% provolone (or swiss) cheese
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • Two green peppers, sliced
  • One red pepper, sliced

We cooked our steak on our griddle. Sautee peppers and onion. Top hoagie or wrap with 1/4 serving peppers & onions, 4 oz sirloin, and 2 slice low fat provolone. Throw in the oven for 10 mins on 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of 4): 530 calories, 15g fat, 50g carbs, 42g protein

Almond Crusted Coconut Chicken

almnd crusted coconut chicken

I was in search of something unique to do with my chicken and found almonds and shredded coconut in my pantry so this simple dish was created!

Recipe:

  • 1.5lb chicken breast, split
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • Seasoning of choice (or buy seasoned bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • Honey
  • Mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Mix the almond, coconut, bread crumbs, and seasoning in a bowl. In another bowl put the flour in and another put in the egg whites. Coat chicken in flour, then dip in egg whites, then dip in bread crumb mix. Pan fry using 1 tbsp olive oil for 3 mins on each side then finish in the oven for 20 mins on 375 degrees. I made a honey mustard sauce to go with it which was 1:1 honey & mustard and served it with brown basmati rice and mixed veggies.

Macros (per serving of 6): 230 calories, 9g fat, 8g carbs, 31g protein, 1g fiber

10 Macro Friendly Lunch Ideas Packed with Protein

10 macro friendly lunches

 

These lunch options are not only packed with protein, they’re super simple to make and are great for on the go.  All ten lunches can be easily prepped ahead of time. For a healthy yet satsifying meal under 400 calories, give one of these recipes a try!

1. Turkey Chili

254 calories, 30g carbs, 6g fat, 25g protein, 9g fiber

254 calories, 30g carbs, 6g fat, 25g protein, 9g fiber (toppings not included)

There are so many things you can do with this low fat turkey chili! Have it alone with toppings like light sour cream or Greek yogurt, tortilla chips or fritos, fat free cheese, or put it on top a potato, turkey dog, lean beef burger, or spaghetti squash.

2. Cheeseburger Wraps

Cheeseburger Wraps

277 calories, 10g fat, 13g carbs, 21g protein, 2g fiber

These cheeseburger wraps are a great low carb option for bringing to work! Simply prepare the wrap ahead of time and microwave for 1 minute when you’re ready to it! Serve with sweet potato fries or chips.

3. Light Mac n Cheese

Light Mac n Cheese

310 calories, 8g fat, 28g carbs, 16g protein, 3g fiber

Hands down the best tasting mac n cheese for the macros! It’s already packed with protein, but to up the content add in some diced ham or turkey dogs, peas (fiber, too!), or even tuna. This is even kid friendly!

4. Starbucks Recreate Tomato Mozzarella Panini

Tomato Mozzarella Panini

425 calories, 40g carbs, 22g fat, 14g protein, 7g fiber

Ok, so I threw in one not so friendly macro meal. But I couldn’t resist, this is SO tasty! I used to buy a Starbucks tomato mozzarella panini every week for lunch at work but that $6.50 a week adds up! Instead I began to make my own and I swear it increased my productivity by 52%!

5. Skinny Fried Rice

macros skinny fried rice

245 calories, 5g fat, 16g carbs, 32g protein, 2g fiber

At 2g fat this obviously isn’t fried, but you’d never tell the difference! Delicious soy sauce and brown rice with chopped eggs and peas and carrots. Add in shrimp and/or chicken and you’ve got yourself a low carb meal with tons of protein!

6. Light Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

bacon cheeseburger

203 calories, 6g fat, 16g carbs, 20g protein

Holy cow this soup is delightful! Have your coworkers jealous with this unique lunch option. At 16g carbs and 20g protein the macros are impressive considering the fact that you’ll feel like you’re cheating while you enjoy this.

7. Taco Cupcakes

These bad boys are surprisingly work lunch friendly. Prep them ahead of time and bring a few to work in a Tupperware container. Throw em in the microwave when you’re ready to eat! You can bring your toppings in a smaller container.

8. Lean Beef Cheeseburger with veggies

Lean Beef Cheeseburger

350 calories, 13g fat, 21g carbs, 35g protein, 3g fiber

Cheeseburgers can be macro friendly using lean ground beef, reduced fat cheese, and a multi grain bun. Serve with fresh, low carb veggies. Yum!

9. Taco Salad using lean beef, reduced fat cheese, and 0% plain Greek yogurt

Taco Salad

365 calories, 11g fat, 29g carbs, 35g protein, 2g fiber

Usually restaurant taco salads are just as many calories if not more than more dishes on the menu. Make yours macro friendly using lean ground beef, reduced fat or fat free cheese, and light sour cream of 0% plain Greek yogurt. Crumble a few baked tortilla chips on top and you’re good to go!

10. Chicken Parmesan Sub

Chicken Parmesan Sub

399 calories, 9g fat, 45g carbs, 38g protein, 2g fiber

One of my favorite lunches is saved for last! A chicken parmesan sub made low fat with grilled chicken and 2% provolone cheese. You could make this low carb by using a wrap but I love me some sub rolls.  The cheese and 4 oz of chicken give it a high protein content.

Find me on Instagram or Pinterest for more meal ideas!

Jambalaya Pasta

 

Another delicious summer recipe! Jambalaya is a summer recipe, right? Anywho, not news to many but I love pasta. I could live off it. I had some extra whole grain penne hanging around the pantry and the last time I went to Costco’s I went a bit crazy on chicken sausages so I came up with the idea for jambalaya pasta!

Macro Friendly Jambalaya Pasta

Recipe:

  • 2 cups whole grain penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup 2% colby & monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 Andouille cajun chicken sausages
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked
  • 1/4 unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups diced peppers
  • 1 cup diceed onions
  • Tbsp olive oil
  • Green onions, optional

Cook the chicken sausages in a skillet. Once done, take out and add in the peppers and onions with a tbsp of olive oil and cook veggies. While cooking chop up the chicken sausage and chicken breast. When the veggies have softened add two cups of water and the pasta in and allow the pasta to cook. The water will have evaporated once the pasta is cooked. Add in milk and meat and mix well. Then add in 3/4 cup of cheese. I used a cast iron skillet so I topped the rest of the cheese and threw it in the oven for 15 minutes on 400 degrees. SO YUM!

Macros (per serving of 4, serving about 2 cups): 367 calories, 13g fat, 34g carbs, 31g protein, 4g fiber

Freezer Friendly Skinny Taco Pasta Bake

Another venture of freezer meals for when Marshall arrives and this time we’re going Mexican for dinner! Because who doesn’t love Mexican food? With this taco pasta bake my love for noodles and Mexican have been met. I actually made this for dinner tonight and doubled the recipe so I could freeze the extra portion. Freezing instructions, and as always calories & macros, are included below!

Freezer & Macro Friendly Taco Pasta Bake

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 15 oz can Hunts tomato sauce
  • 1 small can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles
  • 1 and 1/2 cups 2% Kraft Mexican shredded cheese
  • 8 oz dry Cavatappi noodles or elbow (use whole grain to up fiber & protein amount!)
  • Sour cream, Greek yogurt, guacamole or tortilla chips for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta according to instructions. While pasta is cooking brown beef with seasoning of choice. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin. Once beef is done drain and add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, then add noodles. Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes. I topped mine with crushed tortilla chips and Greek yogurt and it was delicious!

Macros (per serving of 8 servings or about 1 cup, not including garnishes): 260 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 21g protein, 1g fiber

To freezer simply put in an 8×8 tin pan and once completely cooled cover with tin foil. It will last up to 3 months. Reheat at 350 degrees for 30 mins covered and 15 mins uncovered.

Freezer Friendly Skinny Taco Pasta Bake

Freezer Friendly Crockpot Cheesy Broccoli Chicken

Freezer meals for baby Marshall continues! This mama won’t have any excuses to eat out all the time when he arrives. A few tips for freezer cooking in Ziploc bags: use Ziploc not store brand, put vegetables on bottom and meat on top so when you dump it in the slow cooker the meat is on the bottom, when sealing the Ziploc make sure you get as much air out and once you there is an inch left before closing completely squeeze bag to get any last air you can,and make sure you properly label bag (see photo below).

cheesy broccoli chicken

 

Recipe (per bag):

  • 1lb chicken breast, raw
  • 170 grams frozen broccoli (half a bag Bird’s eye)
  • 14.5 oz red potatoes thin sliced (a little under 1lb)
  • 1 small can healthy request condensed chicken soup
  • Dried parsley
  • 4 oz 2% Velveeta cheese

Add all ingredients into bag except for Velveeta cheese. Add potatoes and broccoli first, then chicken, parsley, and soup. Make sure to write on freezer bag that you’ll need to add Velveeta cheese. You will dump contents into slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the cheese and stir for five minutes.

Macros (per serving of 4 for one bag plus cheese): 315 calories, 7g fat, 27g carbs, 33g protein, 3g fiber

 

 

Easy Oven Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

So this meal started as something simple I threw together after a long day. Chicken thighs were on sale at Publix this week (where my Florida people at, Publix ROCKS right!?) and for $1.69lb I had to grab em! When I set out to make dinner I was originally planning to do a complex Spanish dish and then I decided to things…1) I was craving honey mustard sauce (well, more like Chick-fil-a sauce that stuff is addicting!) and 2) I wanted something quick and easy. I had some Ken’s lite honey mustard dressing in my fridge and was ready to do a happy dance! Then this was born…

Easy Oven Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

honey mustard chicken thighs1The real MVP in this recipe

Recipe:

  • 4-6 chicken thighs (with skin)
  • 8 tbsp Ken’s lite honey mustard dressing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp mustard (opt’l)
  • 3 tbsp honey (opt’l)

All I did was mix together about a tbsp of olive oil with 4 tbsp dressing then rubbed the chicken thighs with it. I allowed the chicken thighs to brown in the pan and once both sides were brown I added about 4 more tbsp of dressing around the chicken. I also mixed some yellow mustard and honey into the dressing but I don’t think this would be necessary. This dressing is heaven sent! I threw the chicken into the oven on 400 degrees for 20 minutes and took it out and was ready to chow down! Served with yellow rice. SO FREAKING YUMMY!

Macros (per thigh): 233 calories, 15g fat, 9g carbs, 16 protein (macros include what is left of the marinade on the chicken, if you scoop the honey mustard sauce on top you will be adding more carbs and fat so be sure to measure it!

 

Skinny Fried Rice

Skinny fried rice only 2g fat, 16g carbs, 6g protein per serving

Recipe:

  • 1 cup brown rice, dry
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste

Cook rice (I did this in a rice cooker) with the onion. Once rice is close to done add in the frozen peas and carrots and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes covered. Then just crack in your egg and egg whites to cook covered for 2-3 mins. Remove lid and fluff rice. Add in soy sauce to taste. That’s it! I added some cubed chicken after.

Macros (yields 4 servings, 1 cup serving including 3 oz cooked chicken breast): 341 calories, 6g fat, 36g carbs, 33g protein, 2g fiber

 

Lightened Taco Soup

Light, Healthy, & Hearty Taco Soup

I love my slow cooker. I love soup. I love Mexican. Throw it all together and what do you get? Taco soup! Mmm what is better in the winter time than soup? Well, soup in the slow cooker. I love being able to throw a few things in and when I’m hungry for dinner BAM it’s there, simmering, smelling delicious, calling my name. The smells do torture me throughout the day.

This soup is made lighter by using lean ground beef, although you could also use lean ground turkey.

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, yellow
  • 2-15 oz cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1-8 oz black beans, drained
  • 1-8 oz red kidney beans, drained
  • 1- 10oz can corn, drained

Sautee onions then brown beef in the same pan. Don’t drain and add to slow cooker. Add all other ingredients and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Garnish with Greek yogurt and cilantro.

Macros (per serving of 7, about 2 cups): 260 calories, 5g fat, 34g carbs, 22g protein

Margherita Pasta Skillet

Skinny 5 Ingredient Margherita Pasta Skillet

Some nights I just don’t want to cook. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. But I don’t want to turn to unhealthy takeout or even waste money in general. It’s so important to have a few simple meals on hand that you can throw together. This is DEFINITELY a must on your list! I mean who doesn’t have a pasta, a veggie, and cheese on hand at all times? For me I had spaghetti, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. I happened to have fresh mozzarella and basil as well since we made homemade pizza the night before. So BOOM! This recipe is as easy as it gets for a delicious dinner! It took 25 minutes total, uses only 5 ingredients, and 4 of which are fresh! Plus it only takes on pan so it makes for an easy clean-up! DOUBLE plus it is super light and packed with protein!

Recipe:

  • 3/4 box whole grain pasta of choice
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
  • 1 box cherry tomatoes
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp fresh garlic

In a pan add pasta, tomatoes, 8 basil leaves, salt, and water. Bring to a boil on medium heat and stir periodically. Once water has reduced put on low and add garlic. I did this in a cast iron skillet so once the water had reduced I added the cheese and threw it in the oven for 5 mins on 400 degrees to melt the cheese. Garnish with remaining basil, chopped. Viola! This would be great with chicken shrimp, or scallops!

Macros (per serving for 8 servings): 209 calories, 5g fat, 29g carbs, 11g protein

Macro-Friendly Taco Bites

photo 5 (2)

This household loves tacos. Like, a lot. We eat tacos at least once a week. This week I wanted to try something different for tacos. Wonton wrappers make these taco bites and bit lower in carbs and more macro-friendly. I’ve used wonton wrappers before for baked mozzarella sticks, light crab rangoons, and burger bites. I love how versatile they are! The main ways this recipe is has better macros is with the lean beef (93/7), low fat cheese, and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I’ll tell you I’m not a big fan of Greek yogurt but when I use it in place of sour cream I never tell the difference! Great way to save some fat and sneak in protein. Happy flexible dieting!

Recipe: 

  • 24 Wonton wrappers
  • 1lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • Taco seasoning
  • Yellow onion, diced
  • Diced tomato
  • Low fat Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While you brown meat and onion, bake wontons for 6-8 mins. Then add taco seasoning to meat. Scoop about a tbsp of meat into wonton cups and top with cheese, cook for another 2-3 mins. Top with remaining ingredients.

Recipe makes 24, macros per taco cupcake, using 93% ground turkey: 63 calories, 6g carbs, 2g fat, 5g protein 

Tomato Pesto Panini

Starbucks Recreate Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Panini

This is essentially a recreate of the Tomato Mozzarella panini at Starbucks. Ever tried it? It’s DELICIOUS! If not you’re totally missing out, but now you don’t need to spend almost $7 at Starbucks. This isn’t the most macro friendly option but it sure is scrumptious.

Recipe:

  • Trader Joe’s Panini slim
  • Grape tomatoes (sometimes I use sun dried tomatoes or if I have regular tomatoes only that works too)
  • 1/8 cup Pesto sauce
  • 1 oz Fresh mozzarella (I’ve used 2% cheese sticks they work great, too!)
  • Fresh spinach

Spread pesto sauce on bread, add spinach and cheese, then top with tomatoes. If you have a panini press this would work best but I just wrap mine in foil and throw it in the oven on 400 degrees for about 20 mins or until cheese is ooey gooey. Oh my gosh it’s so good!

Macros: 425 calories, 40g carbs, 22g fat, 14g protein, 7g fiber

Cheeseburger Wraps

This recipe is from my second meal plan and is a low carb option for cheeseburger lovers like myself.

Cheeseburger Wraps

Recipe adapted from Mostly Homemade Mom. * Not my photo

 

 

Recipe:

  • 1lb lean ground beef (or regular drained)
  • Seasoning of choice (I used garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 low carb wraps
  • Tomato
  • Other garnishes of choice (lettuce, ketchup, etc)

Sauté onion then add beef, season, and cook til brown. Drain fat then add a cup of water and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drain water and add beef to tortilla, then top with cheese. I rolled mine up in a tortilla and through it in the oven for 5 minutes to warm the tortilla and melt the cheese. If you have a panini press this would work best. Then garnish with whatever you like! This was delicious with sweet potato fries.

Macros (for one, servings of six): 277 calories, 10g fat, 13g carbs, 21g protein, 2g fiber

 

Light Mac and Cheese

I don’t think I have ever met a person who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese. Mac n cheese is certainly one of my favorite comfort foods, but 1) I’m not a fan of the box kind and 2) I wanted to be able to eat it more often and not get huge ;). So I set out to make an easy homemade recipe that I could enjoy on the reg. It’s also included in meal plan #2!

Lightened Mac & Cheese

 

Recipe:

  • 1 box whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 4 tbsp light cream cheese
  • 2 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta, drain, and set aside. While the pasta cooks add flour and salt to saucepan and mix, then add milk and whisk together. Turn on heat to medium-high and add cream cheese, stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat, add cheddar cheese, and stir. Add into pasta and toss well. Enjoy!

Macros (8 servings, about 1 cup): 310 calories, 8g fat, 28g carbs, 16g protein, 3g fiber

Southwestern Cobb Salad

It’s Monday and that means meatless Monday! Which worked out well because I wanted to make a Cobb salad but I didn’t have any meat prepped and was feeling a bit lazy. This meal is perfect for if you’re feeling lazy, it took me less than 10 minutes to whip up!

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Recipe:

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fried onions (could do chopped red onions for healthier option)
  • 1/3 cup canned corned (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp dressing of choice (I used low fat ranch)

Mix together and enjoy!

Macros for entire recipe (not including dressing) 16g fat, 22g carbs, 6g protein

 

Low Fat Turkey Chili

Is it Fall yet? Not quite..but we are so close! I seriously love Fall. I know, I know… everyone loves Fall. But I REALLY love Fall. Living in Florida gives you a great appreciation for any months not between May and August. Also I have a huge obsession with Halloween. Anyways! My favorite Fall dinner has got to be chili. It’s easy to make and lasts forever! You can either throw this in the crockpot before work or quickly throw it together in a pan.

chili

 

Recipe:

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 16 oz can chilli beans
  • 16oz can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 16oz red kidney beans

Brown meat and cook onions. If using crockpot, add everything in and allow to cook for at least 6 hours on low. If you’re using the pan, add in the tomatoes and beans and simmer for ~15-20 mins. I garnished with cheese and fritos. So yum! You can easily double the recipe and freeze for later.

Macros (per serving of 6, about 1 cup): 254 calories, 30g carbs, 6g fat, 25g protein, 9g fiber

Skinny Chicken Taco Skillet

skinny skillet taco bake

Um, what have I created? I want to give myself a pat on the back. I just did. This dish was way too delicious to be light. It was creamy, cheesey, and well it’s a Mexican dish you really can’t go wrong. My husband is hard to please when it comes to light dishes and he absolutely loved it, so win-win in my book. Plus, it’s uber easy and you only need one pan! Quadruple win!

Recipe:

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 1-15.5oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4oz 1/3 the fat cream cheese
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese
  • Light sour cream
  • Tortilla strips or chips, optional

I broiled my chicken as it’s super easy and no oil to avoid extra fat. Lay your chicken breast on foil, use half the taco seasoning on top, and wrap the foil. Broil on 500 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Once the chicken has cooled chop it up, add to a pan on low-medium heat and add the beans, cream cheese, and rest of the seasoning. Mix together until cheese has melted. Add the tomatoes and shredded cheese. Before serving add lettuce and sprinkle with more cheese. I used sour cream and tortilla strips on top. Guacamole would be yum, too!

Macros (for 5 servings, not including garnish, about 1 1/2 cups): 298 calories, 21g carbs, 9g fat, 34g protein, 6g fiber

 

 

Skinny Skillet Taco

 

 

Easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu Ever (Protein Packed & Healthy!)

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I think it’s safe to assume everyone knows I like things simple. I love chicken cordon bleu but I never feel like going through all the hassle. So this is how I get in my fix!

Recipe:

-1lb chicken fillets

-4 slices ham (I used thick cut)

-4 slices 2% Swiss cheese

-Seasoned bread crumbs (or season w/ garlic and onion powder)

Spray a cookie sheet with oil and lay chicken down. Season one side with bread crumbs and flip. Lay Swiss cheese and ham onto chicken. Fold chicken over and secure with two toothpicks. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with more bread crumbs. I find that because I use 2% cheese the cheese will not over melt. It will ooze a bit outside of the chicken, but after cooking you should be able to slide the piece of chicken right off with the cheese still intact. Cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

MACROS (for one fillet, 4 oz): 232 cal, 3g carbs, 8g fat, 37g protein