Super Healthy Turkey Vegetable Soup

turkey veggie soup
I made this recipe expecting it to be something healthy I could have for lunches for a few days after everyone else in the family complained at dinner time. BUT it was surprisingly flavorful and quite a hit! I served it with garlic bread for everyone else to dip in the soup and we all loved it! I will definitely be making it again, especially in this cold weather. Thanks to The Lyons' Share Wellness for another great one! (my adaptations included in the recipe below)

10 ounces 99% lean ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 cup salsa (I used salsa verde)
1/2 cup corn kernels (I leave these out)
2 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
2 large stalks of celery, diced
6-10 baby carrots, chopped (or 2-3 regular carrots)
1 onion, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Chop all your vegetables and add all ingredients (besides broth) to the crockpot.
Pour broth on top of all ingredients, allowing the spices to get mixed into the dish.
Give it a good stir. Set your crockpot on low for 6 hours or so.
(I had cooked a bunch of ground turkey and onion the day before so I left it out until the last couple hours and then added it in)
*Notes from Megan.. I usually stir once throughout the cooking process, but you really don’t have to. You shouldn’t stir TOO much, because it allows a ton of heat to escape from the crockpot. (If you don’t have a crockpot, brown the turkey first in a frying pan, then add all ingredients to a large pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes or so – the longer the better!).*
Ladle into bowls and add toppings of choice (she chose nutritional yeast and avocado, but suggests cheese, cilantro, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or tortilla chips). Enjoy!
If made according to these instructions (for 5 servings pre-toppings), each serving will contain 174 calories, 3g fat, 21g carbs, and 17g protein.

Easy, Tasty Powerballs

I've been browsing a lot of clean and healthy eating sites recently, probably like everyone else who is trying to start the new year off with a healthy bang, and have come across many variations of powerballs. I decided to try this recipe from Clean Eats and Treats for my first go and was really happy with how they came out. I've adjusted them a bit since and have put the changes below. They satisfy a sweet craving or when I need a little boost. The kids didn't love them unfortunately, but oh well :-).

2 cups old fashioned oats (slightly broken down in the blender) (I used Gluten Free)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (she suggests using Adams all natural no stir which our Walmart didn't have so I got a different natural no stir brand and it worked great)
1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/2-1 cup mix ins (mini chocolate chips, dried fruit or nuts)
2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder
1/8 cup hemp seeds (I didn't have these so used all chia seeds)
1/8 cup chia seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of sea salt

Combine all dry ingredients in a kitchen-aid mixing bowl.
Using the paddle attachment, mix until well blended. (I just used a bowl and wood spoon)
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until a "dough" forms.
Scoop into balls with a 2-inch cookie scoop. (I used a Tablespoon to scoop ours and ended up with 28 balls)
Place onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Greek Chicken Kebabs with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

I have really been missing one of my favorite restaurants in Katy where we get the most delicious kebabs so this recipe really caught my eye and I couldn't wait to try it. The homemade Tzatziki sauce was easy to make and so delicious. Since we don't have a grill right now I baked ours in the oven (and also, baked the veggies about 5 minutes extra on their own before adding them to the skewers with the chicken for the rest of the cook time). The marinade for the meat was amazing as well and I have been enjoying the leftovers immensely! Thanks Mel's Kitchen Cafe for the recipe!

Tzatziki Sauce:
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 English cucumber, shredded
1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chicken and Vegetables:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small to medium zucchini, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1-2 red peppers, cut into squares
1 red onion, cut into squares
(I also used a can of artichoke hearts)

For the tzatziki sauce, wrap the shredded cucumber in a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
For the marinade, in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients.
Place the chicken in a resealable gallon-size ziploc bag (or in a shallow dish) and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag (or cover the dish) and let marinade for 1-2 hours.
If using wooden skewers, soak them for 15-20 minutes prior to assembling.
Thread the chicken, zucchini, peppers and onion onto skewers. Give the kebabs a little sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
Grill over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve immediately with tzatziki sauce for dipping.

Chicken Mango (or Broccoli) Basil Stir Fry

The flavors in this stir fry were amazing! We subbed out the mango for broccoli and loved how it soaked up the delicious sauce. Recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10-12 mins

1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
5 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Pinch of red pepper flakes (I used sriracha)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons vegetable or coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and diced or 1 to 1 1/2 cups pineapple (I used 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli)
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced (I used 1 small red and 1 small yellow)
1 medium red onion, diced or cut into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
Hot, cooked rice, quinoa or noodles for serving

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, vinegar, red pepper flakes and sugar until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining 3 teaspoons cornstarch.
In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the chicken, breaking up any clumps, and cook until it is golden brown on all sides and just barely cooked through (it will cook a few minutes longer later in the recipe). Scrape the chicken onto a plate, keeping as much liquid in the skillet as possible.
Add the garlic, mango, bell pepper, and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet over medium heat. Whisk the sauce quickly before pouring it into the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, while the sauce simmers and thickens, 1-2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
Sprinkle with basil and serve over rice, noodles, quinoa or by itself.

Healthy Crustless Quiche

I have made this quiche a multiple times now and love having it on hand all during the week for a quick, healthy and filling breakfast. I found it originally on The Lyons' Share Wellness. She has some great super healthy recipes.

Ingredients (6 servings)
9 eggs
1 cup liquid egg whites (or add an additional 4 eggs)
1/2 cup milk, unsweetened almond milk, or other unsweetened milk alternative
6 cups of vegetables (I always use onion, tomatoes and spinach plus various combos of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, kale, etc)
1/2 cup salsa
(I like to sprinkle a little low fat cheese on top)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease or spray 9x13 casserole dish.
Chop veggies into bite-sized pieces, and lay in greased dish.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, and seasoning. Pour egg mixture on top of veggies.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until top is browned and middle of casserole has set.

Christmas Eve Prime Rib

Every Christmas Eve my family all gets together for a big meal and my grandfather makes an amazing prime rib. This year was our first to be on our own and making the meal for ourselves. We were quite nervous about ruining the roast, but luckily it turned out great and was actually really simple to do, you just need to allow plenty of time for it to cook.

5 pound beef rib roast
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small cup. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan so that the fatty side is up and the rib side is on the bottom. Rub the seasoning onto the roast.
Roast for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Turn the oven off and the leave the roast inside. DO NOT open the door. Leave it in for 3 more hours.
30-40 minutes before serving, turn the oven back on at the 375 degrees F to reheat the roast.
The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving into servings.