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!
- 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
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!
- 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
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!
- 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
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!
- 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
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!
- 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
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.
Now, bare with me on this. There’s a few ways you can do it.. The macros for this recipe include this method.
- 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
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!
- 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
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.
- 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
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!
- 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
A delicious, unique lunch that will leave you satisfied and in disbelief you’re dieting.
- 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
One of my FAVORITE dishes made lighter. I’m a happy girl and the whole family loved it! That’s always a plus. 🙂
- 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
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!
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.
- 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
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!
- 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
- 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
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…
The real MVP in this 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!
- 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
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!
- 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
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!
- 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