One-Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Veggies

I love to cook, but I absolutely dread doing dishes. I used to try to avoid cooking just so I didn’t have to worry about the clean up afterwards. -For Italians, the kitchen is sacred. If it’s not clean enough to eat off the floor, it’s blasphemy. The kitchen must be spotless!– So then I discovered one-pot cooking, and life became so much easier! This one-pan simple chicken dinner is a delicious, healthy, and easy meal to throw together in a time crunch, with less clean up!

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Coconut-Almond Protein Bar

OK so I don’t know about anyone else, but store-bought protein bars SUCK. They taste like chalk and chemicals to me. I hate having to eat them, but I am struggling to find a good protein source for breakfast since after having the bariatric surgery, I no longer can tolerate eggs. Not only did they not taste good, I never really found a flavor I liked. I mean it’s literally just the same 5 flavors made by a different brand. You can only remake Fudge Brownie and Cookies ‘n Cream in a bar so many times. So I thought fine, if you want something done, just got to do it yourself. I am a big coconut fan, Almond Joy candy fan, so I turned it into a protein bar with 19g of protein! Check it out!

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Some Good News & Some Bad News

SoOoOoOoOo it has been a crazy week…..

The good news is I have reached a weight loss milestone. Since my Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery, I have lost 55lbs. So between that and the weight I had to lose before the surgery, I AM OFFICIALLY DOWN 80 LBS!!!!!! I recently had some lab work done and other tests, and for the first time in a long time, my heart is healthy, my lungs are healthy, my sleep apnea is doing so much better, and I am no longer a risk for diabetes! I literally cried when the doctor told me this. This surgery and this weight loss gave me a second chance at life. I am so grateful, and so motivated to keep going and hitting my goal of losing 200 lbs.

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

Fried Rice is so delicious whether you use it as a side dish or eat it on its own. But what is not so delicious, is that on average it has about 42 grams of carbs… no one likes 42 grams of carbs… they are mean to you and your blood sugar level. So instead of eating all of those bad carbs, we switch out the white rice for some lovely and healthy Riced Cauliflower and Tah-Dah! – your fried rice is no longer mean to you or your blood sugar. This low-carb Cauliflower Fried Rice is an excellent, high fiber substitute that pairs great with my Low-Carb Sesame Chicken recipe!

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Low-Carb Sesame Chicken

So I don’t know about you, but Chinese Take-out is my guilty pleasure. Sesame Chicken and friend rice was always my “go to” dinner. Obviously since the sauce contains a ton of sugar and the chicken is breaded in cornstarch, it isn’t the most healthiest option on the menu. So I decided to recreate this recipe into a “not-so-guilty” pleasure but reducing the amount of sugar, and honestly the chicken tastes perfect without the breading (who needs the extra carbs anyways). This quick and easy recipe is an excellent and healthy replacement for when your are having those take-out night cravings. Pair this recipe with the Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe I posted on my blog!

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Low Carb Chinese-Style Dumplings

So when you have a Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery, there is a 6-8 week period after surgery where you can’t eat any solid foods. You’re put on a diet that tarts with clear liquid and in stages you increase to “soft -solid” food little by little. This is to ensure that everything heals properly, but also really sucks because you still crave actual food- and all I did was crave Chinese Takeout soooooo badly (plus I was watching Crazy Rich Asians and reading the book series, so that didn’t help much.. (great series by the way). So when I got to the “soft-solid” food stage, about 4 to 5 weeks into recovery, I was able to eat ground meats and well cooked vegetables. So after trying out a few ideas, finally discovered that cabbage leaves is a great low-carb replacement for dumpling dough. You need to try out this recipe!

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Spiced Pear Pie

This one is a “Spoonful of Sugar” Alert!… (Well more like a cup and a half of sugar but that’s besides the point)- this means EAT IN MODERATION! ~So my surgery happened right before the COVID-19 quarantine in New York began. When I was finally well enough to start doing things, and start eating solid foods again, it wasn’t safe to leave the house, especially since your immunity is low right after a surgery. So being stuck in the house I decided to bake, but since I couldn’t go grocery shopping, it was whatever was in my kitchen at the time. Dug up some prepackaged pie dough and a few pears and tah-dah! I made a damn good pie! This is also one of those recipes that’s great to bake for friends and family who eat your food before you get tempted to eat it yourself… sorry to all the friends and family who put on 50 lbs. thanks to me… love you guys!

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Three Bean Salad

Have you ever gone to a Barbecue and all the food is just, heavy? It’s all thick sauces and hefty potato salads and macaroni salads, and there is nothing just light and refreshing to break it all up? This Three Bean Salad is the perfect solution! This colorful and healthy bean salad is a great way to brighten up those summertime backyard barbecues with its light and clean flavors. It goes great as a side dish, or as a meal on it’s own, and it is so simple to make – you can even swap out for your favorite types of beans and add other veggies too!

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Air Fryer Quinoa Chicken Fingers with a Greek Yogurt Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Chicken Fingers and Honey Mustard was literally my favorite thing to eat growing up. If we ever went out to eat, it was the only thing I would ever order up until I was probably 16 years old. The Greek Yogurt Honey Mustard works great as a dipping sauce, or a salad dressing. Honey mustard in general isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but when your on a high protein diet, you need to look for all the places you can squeeze a little extra protein into- Thank you Greek yogurt! Replacing the usual breading on the chicken with a healthier carb such as Quinoa is a great way to get in some extra protein, and whole grains too! This healthy, Air fried take on a classic combo Will leave you guilt-free, and hungry for more!

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Cinnamon Bun Cookies

Have you ever ran into a problem where you can’t decide if you want a cinnamon bun, or a cookie? Well now you can have both! – OK. Let me tell you. These cookies are HEAVENNNN! Like I could honestly eat the entire batch… I won’t, because I am being healthy, like the blog says… but I totally could. They are the perfect mix of that rich cinnamon flavor and a perfectly soft cookie. ~This recipe is the “Spoonful of Sugar” part where you definitely need to eat in moderation, or just bake them and force feed them to your friends and family so you’re not tempted to eat the whole batch. Either way works!

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