Hard work beats talent!

All posts by MGBModels

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup buffalo sauce
2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
¼ – ½ cup buffalo sauce
4-6 large soft leaves of lettuce (I used Boston Bibb Lettuce)
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup diced tomatoes
½ cup diced avocado
blue cheese (or ranch) dressing & scallions to garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly grease (I used cooking spray) a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Toss the chicken in the ½ cup buffalo sauce, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow dish. Coat each chicken piece evenly and place them on the prepared baking sheet. The baking sheet will get pretty crowded — it’s okay.
Bake for 30 minutes.
To assemble the wraps, fill each leaf of lettuce with quinoa, tomatoes, and avocado. Top with the crispy baked buffalo chicken, drizzle with the blue cheese, and sprinkle with the green onions.
These are also a delicious cold lunch if you prepare the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it before serving.

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

5-6 full-sheet graham crackers (or 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs)
2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted or salted butter, melted (or even melted coconut oil)

8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened (do not use fat free)
3/4 cup (185g) Chobani Greek yogurt*
2 egg whites
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (85g) mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides. Set aside.

Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.

For the filling: Beat the softened cream cheese for 1 minute using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the yogurt, egg whites, sugar, and flour until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, beat for 1 additional minute until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Remove the crust from the oven and spread filling on top. Bake for 25 minutes, covering the cheesecake bars at the 20 minute mark with aluminum foil to prevent browning. Allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.

Makes 16 bars. Store bars in a covered container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator; bars may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan, baking time will vary – about 45-55 minutes.

Pineapple Cucumber Lime Salad

1 pineapple, chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
2 limes, zested and juiced
⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
salt and pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients and toss lightly to distribute the lime juice and zest evenly.
Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to serve.

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 bell peppers, any color
3/4 cup instant brown rice
1 cup chunky-style mild salsa
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Cut peppers in half; remove seeds. Place in a shallow baking dish, cut-side down. Bake in preheated 425°F oven 15 minutes or until skins begin to bubble and peppers are just tender.

Boil 3/4 cups water in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in rice; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in salsa, beans and corn, and mix lightly. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

Fill baked peppers with rice mixture; cover with foil. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and top with cheese slices. Continue baking 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is hot. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Chicken Pesto Artichoke Naan Pizza

2 whole wheat naan breads
3 tbsp basil pesto
1 cooked skinless chicken breast, shredded
4 artichoke hearts, roughly chopped (about ½ cup)
2 tbsp sliced kalamata olives
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, heat the stone in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Lay 2 pieces of naan on a pizza peel or on a baking sheet (if not using a pizza stone).
Spread 1 ½ tablespoons basil pesto on each naan. Divide the chicken artichoke hearts, olives and cheese between the 2 pizzas.
If using a baking stone, transfer the pizzas from the peel to the stone. If using a baking sheet, place the baking sheet in the oven.
Bake until the cheese is melted and the naan bread is golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the pizzas to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes before cutting.
Sprinkle the basil and parsley over top. Slice the pizzas in to quarters. Serve.

Skillet Sweet Potato Chicken Hash with Eggs

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
10 ounces peeled sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp fresh or 3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
8 oz leftover rotisserie chicken breast, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and onions to the pan and cook until the onions are golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and thyme, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, paprika and pinch of black pepper and stir to combine. Add 3 tbsp water, cover and cook the sweet potatoes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and tender, about 12 minutes. Add the chopped chicken to the skillet and cook 2 minutes, uncovered.

Make 4 wide wells in the hash. Crack 1 egg into each well and season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny, about 5 to 7 minutes. Top with fresh herbs.

Sriracha Lime Chicken with Chopped Salad

Sriracha Lime Chicken
2 organic chicken breasts
3 tbsp sriracha
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups lettuce, chopped (I use this salad chopper)
8 pineapple slices, using pineapple corer
1 cup organic grape tomatoes
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, cubed

Lime Vinaigrette
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp raw honey
Dash Himalayan sea salt

* Heat the grill
* Season chicken with salt and pepper
* In a bowl or marinade dish, combine sirarcha and lime
* Add chicken and let marinade in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, the longer the better
* Once marinaded, add chicken to grill
* Cut pineapple using pineapple corer and add to grill, grill for 3-4 minutes on each side
* While they are grilling, chop lettuce, then chop avocado, tomato, and red onion and add to serving dish
* Whisk together dressing, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired (i.e. more lime, additional sea salt, additional vinegar)- place in fridge until ready to use
* Once chicken is done cooking, assemble the salad, toss with dressing and enjoy!

Oatmeal with berries and dried figs

1/2 cup dry oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter
3 dried figs
1/4 cup each of frozen blueberries and raspberries

Bring almond milk to the boil, add oats. Cut the banana in half, mash have and slice the other half into circles. Add the mashed half to the oatmeal. When oatmeal is ready, stir in vanilla extract.

Top with the berries, banana, dried figs and peanut butter

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Yield: About 8 tacos

Ingredients Salmon
* 1 1/2 lbs boneless salmon, skinned and sliced into 3 equal portions
* 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grill
* 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
* 1 tsp ancho chili powder
* 3/4 tsp ground cumin
* 3/4 tsp onion powder
* 1/2 tsp paprika
* 1/2 tsp ground coriander
* 1/2 tsp salt, then more to taste
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients Avocado Salsa
* 2 medium avocados (ripe but semi-firm), peeled, cored and diced
* 1/3 cup small diced red onion, run under cool water to remove harsh bite and drain
* 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper * For serving
* 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
* 2 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage
* 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese

For the salmon:
* Preheat a gas grill over medium-high heat. In a mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, ancho chili powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika, coriander, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Evenly rub mixture over both sides of salmon (I placed the first one on the plate then began to stack the rest over it so the rub didn’t all just end up left behind on the plate). Brush grill lightly with oil, place salmon on grill and cook, rotating once halfway through cooking, until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, prepare avocado salsa.
* For the avocado salsa:
* In a mixing bowl gently toss together diced avocado, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
* * To assemble tacos:
* Break salmon into small portions and layer over center of tacos, add cabbage, avocado salsa and Cotija cheese. Serve warm.