2021 Meal Planning… Menu 3

Most of us have experienced days that take on their own identity, their own schedule. That was Day 3 of our new meal plan, so leftover fish was the only option for dinner, pushing the promised Chicken Fajitas to day 4, but menu 3.

I think its safe to say, it was worth waiting for!

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled, mixed with chunky chicken sausage, sautéed spinach, mushrooms and onions. Add some chopped avocado on the side and you will be full for hours! This can be cooked as a scramble or an omelet, your choice.
Decaf Tea

Lunch: Left over salmon and roasted cauliflower

The cravings were pretty strong today. I should win a gold medal for passing right by the Christmas caramels in the pantry! I tried to keep the urges at bay with extra water and some cashews for snacking. I have to admit, the touch of salty seemed to do the trick for an hour or two until I was again wishing for a little sweet treat. There is something about being told you can’t have something and therefore that’s all the mind wants.

Dinner: Chicken Fajitas with a sprouted corn tortilla shell
Smashed avocados, lettuce & vegan shredded Mozarella cheese

chicken fajitas
Low Carb Chicken Fajitas, Keto Approved
I made some tweaks to the fajita recipe, simply to keep them more mild for my personal preferences. I did not include any chili powder and maybe only a 1/4 tsp of cumin. Due to the fact we aren’t supposed to have any condiments right now, I elected for the ground mustard rather than the Dijon, and instead of chicken thighs I used breast meat. The meat was incredibly tender and flavorful – pretty much perfect with the adjustments. No cilantro – it’s one of the herbs this family does not eat at all, and only 1 pepper, 1/2 red and 1/2 orange. Gosh, I guess I made more changes than I thought… I also never use red onion because my husband doesn’t care for them, and my preference is vidalia sweet onions, but it was less than half. As a result of all these edits, I’ve provided my altered recipe below…

The fajita is layered with cheese on the bottom, topped with a dollop of smashed avocados (mixed with a bit of lime juice, salt & pepper), lettuce, chicken mixed with peppers and onions and topped with a tablespoon more cheese for color.

Low Carb Chicken Fajitas

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fajitas, keto, low-carb, mexican
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Fajita Seasoning

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Fajitas

  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast, chopped (for stir fry)
  • 1/2 med bell pepper, red
  • 1/2 med bell pepper, yellow or orange
  • 1/2 med Vidalia sweet onion

For serving…

  • 1 1/2 small avocados, smashed
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Vegan (non-dairy) mozarella, shredded

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients for the fajitas seasoning.
  • In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, mustard and fajita seasonings. Toss in chicken chunks until well coated. Let chicken marinate while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Slice the onions and peppers.
  • Heat 1 tbls. butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook another 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Melt the remaining 1 tbls. butter in the same skillet and brown the chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until heated through. Return the onion and pepper to the pan to heat.
  • Compile the fajitas in the corn tortillas; avocado, lettuce, cheese, chicken, onions and peppers.

I can honestly say the meals are really superb – flavorful and filling – which is so important to keep me focused and on-target. I hope you’re finding the same success if you’re following along with us. We would love to hear how you’re doing!

Blessings,
Tina

Copyright © 2020 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


Chicken & Egg Salad Sandwich

Chicken & Egg Salad

Servings: 6
Author: Tina Cusker

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 20 grapes, halved
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup pecan peices

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Serve equal portions on bread of your choosing. Add a pickle or baby cucumber as a garnish.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

ingredients for chicken soup

When recently hosting a small family meal, my husband requested a “beer can” chicken. I was, after all, looking for a gluten free meal that required a minimal amount of prep so I could enjoy our company as well. While I didn’t really roast it on a can of beer (which is pretty darn good, I might add), I do have a ceramic baking dish with a cavity for a half can of beer and a basin for the chicken to rest upside down while it bakes. Rub some ghee butter over the chicken skin, and sprinkle with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. You have a very moist full-size bird that only needs a bit of carving and some flavorful vegetables and a salad to make a healthy meal.

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mushroom sauce & mashed potatoes

Coq au Vin

6 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 chicken breast halves, skinless
3 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
3 chicken drumsticks
3 tablespoons caramelized garlic olive oil
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb button mushrooms, white or portobello, brushed clean & quartered
10 oz. frozen baby or pearl onions, thawed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pot.

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Rainy Day Comfort

It has been raining for 3 days straight and there doesn’t seem to be reprieve in the near future. What is it about dreary, cold weather that tends to inspire a bit of comfort food? Pasta almost always fits the bill, and is a good compliment to most any protein – chicken, beef, veal, or pork. While I hope to complete a post very soon for homemade pasta, there’s nothing wrong with simplifying your menu with a store bought fresh pasta. For this recipe, I decided on a spinach and ricotta ravioli from Giovanni Rana along with their marinara sauce to pair with chicken tenderloins.

Baked Chicken & Ravs

Baked Chicken & Ravioli

Serves 3-4

3/4 lb. chicken tenderloins
1-2 tsp. Alpine Touch seasoning
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-2 tsp. Divine Inspired seasoning

10-oz. package Giovanni Rana Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli
15-oz. container Giovanni Rana Marinara Sauce

3 tbls. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

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Apricot Glazed Chicken

A dear teacher friend in The Netherlands introduced me to goat cheese close to twenty years ago. Mary is an American, married to a Dutch man, and was a fellow teacher for the Department of Defense Schools in Germany. I believe it was at least one of their four boys with a cow’s milk allergy and therefore she served goat cheese with the local fresh baked brötchen (German bread similar to a French loaf). I had no idea what I’d been missing – the creamy texture and mild flavor, spread over the warm bread – a perfect pairing with salami, prosciutto and fresh fruit! I can still taste the wonderfulness.

Ever since that day, a salad or entree made with goat cheese will certainly get my attention. For instance, when we lived in middle Georgia, The Rookery in downtown Macon serves a Chevre Chicken entree made with grilled chicken, fresh chevre, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and green onion. I highly recommend it. In fact, I’m not sure I tried anything else on the menu as it was my absolute favorite! Recently, I was inspired to stuff chicken with goat cheese and somehow integrate a jar of homemade apricot preserves hanging out in the pantry. After a couple hours at the local ski hill followed by a 2 mile hike on a slushy trailhead with the dogs, we were more than ready for dinner, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.

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