Paleo Hot & Sour Soup

With the weather getting colder and colder outside, what better way to warm up than with a spicy bowl of warm soup!  My favorite soup of all time is Hot & Sour soup, but since eating Paleo, I cannot eat it with all the soy.  So, I decide to create my own delicious version that is full of flavour, quick and easy to make, and is as authentic as the real thing. It’s a sure thing to cure any soup craving! Mmm…IMG_1347

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms
  • 1 cup dried fungus
  • 1/4 cup rice vineger
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Add one cup boiling water over dried fungus and let sit for 1 hour
  • Set aside 1/4 cup of chicken or vegetable stock for later
  • Pour chicken of vegetable stock to a pot and bring to a boil
  • Add in mushroom and simmer for 5 mins
  • Pour in vinegar, coconut aminos, chili garlic sauce into the pot and stir to combine
  • Strain water from the dried fungus and add into soup
  • Whisk together 1/4 cup arrowroot powder and 1/4 stock (that you had set aside).
  • While soup is simmering, stir in the arrowroot mixture and stir for 1 min until the soup has thickened
  • Stir soup in a circular motion and drizzle eggs in a thin steams to create egg ribbons
  • Season with salt and pepper (I personally like to go a little heavier on the salt since this recipe doesn’t have soy sauce for the saltiness)
  • Stir in sesame oil and green onions
  • Serve immediately and garnish with some green onions and a small drizzle of  sesame oil
  • Enjoy!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

There’s nothing like fresh asparagus when it’s in season – take advantage! Asparagus is a nutritional STAR that’s high in fibre, with lots of vitamins and minerals. This recipe is so simple and fast, and a big favourite in my house. It’s great any time of year, as a quick warm snack, or as part of a lunch or dinner.

Keep this in mind – I recently read that eating soup before a meal can lead to consuming less calories overall. Another reason to love soup, right? So grab your spoon and get sippin’! Mmm …

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp avocado oilIMG_1975
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Lbs asparagus
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
  • 10 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
    ( I like to use homemade stock – check out my last blog post to learn more!)

Directions:

  • Prep asparagus:  wash and cut and discard woody ends.  Cut asparagus tips and reserve.
  • Heat avocado oil and sautee leeks and garlic.
  • Add in chopped carrots, potatoes and asparagus.
  • Cover with chicken stock, approx 10 cups (note you can use half water and half chicken stock).
  • Simmer for 20 – 25 mins.
  • Add in seasonings.
  • Take soup off heat and blend with immersion blender.
  • Quickly steam asparagus tips in the microwave (place in micowave safe bowl, 1/4 cup water, microwave for 5 mins).
  • Top soup with cooked asparagus tips.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Classic Chicken Soup

I love soup and could eat it every day for every meal!  It is so versatile, and the flavour combinations and ingredients are endless! The amazing thing about soup is that, in general, they are low-calorie and packed with nutritious goodness. They can be a lunch, a dinner, a snack, and can be super filling! The chicken soup that I’m sharing with you here is a classic recipe, and good to use for chicken noodle soup, holidays (including upcoming Passover), matzah ball soup, and serves as a great chicken stock base for other soup recipes. Enjoy! IMG_2020
Mmm…

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken quarters – drumstick and thigh
  • Chicken bones (if you can find at your local store) this will make a richer broth
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 leek, trim top and bottom, slice lengthwise 1/2 way (do not cut full way through)
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Place chicken and chicken bones in a large stock pot and cover with water, approx 16 – 18 cups

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    Remember to skim the foam to make your soup as clean as can be!

  • Boil on medium heat, for about 15 mins.
  • Skim the foam and particles that rise to the surface of the water.  Repeat until it has all been removed as best as you can.
  • Reduce heat to a low simmer and add in the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper).
  • Cook for 2 hours.
  • Add in a small bunch of flat leaf parsley 30 min before cooking is done.
  • And salt and pepper to desired taste.
  • Allow broth to cool, and put through a mesh strainer into another pot.
  • Reserve carrots and shred chicken off the bone.
  • Serve with shredded chicken, carrots, noodles, matzah balls, dumplings, etc.
  • Also freezes great for on hand chicken stock for cooking needs or as a base for other soups!

 

Asian Ground Chicken Stir Fry

One of my secrets to adding more vegetables into my diet is to make a big batch of my awesome Asian Ground Chicken Stir Fry. Asian flavours with crisp veggies, and topped with creamy avocado for the perfect pairing!IMG_1965 This delicious meal is quick and easy that takes less than 30 mins to make. Mmm…

Quick Tip – Prepare a big batch at dinner time and use the rest for a fast, pre-prepared lunch later in the week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 bag shredded veggies mix sold at local grocery store  (I prefer the brussel sprout, nappa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrot & kale mix)
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbs sesame seeds (reserve 1 Tbs sesame seeds for garnish)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbs cup coconut aminos (or you can use 2 Tbs soy sauce for non paleo option)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Directions:

  • Heat coconut oil in pan
  • Saute onions with a sprinkle of salt until translucent
  • Toss in garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant
  • Add in ground chicken and cook until browned
  • Stir in seasonings, coconut aminos, and veggies, cook for 5 – 7 min
  • Drizzle with sesame oil and top with remaining sesame seeds and chopped green onion
  • Top with sliced avocado – serve and enjoy!

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Breakfast Frittata

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this frittata is my secret weapon to healthy eating success.  Frittatas are so versatile; you can any veggie and meat in your fridge or freezer to give it that extra punch of flavour. Individually wrap portions in advance for an easy breakfast on the go! You won’t be disappointed by making this frittata part of your weekly meal prep routine.  Mmm…

Ingredients:img_1950

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced
  • 4 cubes frozen spinach (or 1 cup fresh spinach)
  • 1 turkey sausage, cooked and diced

*TIPAdd different veggies/meats each week to keep this recipe fresh and different.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Spray 8×11″ dish with cooking spray and set aside
  • Crack all 12 eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and whisk
  • Heat coconut oil in pan and sauté veggies, season with salt and pepper
  • Lay sautéed veggies into baking dish
  • Pour over egg mixture
  • Bake for 20 – 25 mins, until centre is firm
  • Makes 8 servings

Sweet Potato Loaded Nachos

Weekends are meant for letting loose and having fun – and these sweet potato nachos will help do the trick. Perfect for a Friday or Saturday night when you’re in the mood to unwind with some fun finger food, with all the fixings.

These nachos look and taste like a cheat meal, but they’re NOT. So go ahead and indulge in a grande-sized platter of nacho heaven – paleo and Whole30 approved! This is healthy twist on a classic recipe made with bold flavours that, when combined with the sweet potato, is the perfect combination to kick-start your weekend the right way.

Load these nachos up and enjoy! Mmm…

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Ingredients:img_1866

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbs avocado oil
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground chicken (or ground turkey or beef)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup water

Toppings: Avocado, Hot Peppers, Olives, Cilantro, Franks Red Hot Sauce Original; Non paleo options – cheese and sour cream.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Thinly slice sweet potatoes and lightly coat with avocado oil.
  • Place on baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  • Bake sweet potato for approx. 25-30 min( 15 min one side, flip and bake 10 min on other side)
  • In skillet, add coconut oil, and sauté onions until translucent. Sprinkle with a ½ tsp of salt while cooking.
  • Add in ground chicken, cook until browned.
  • Add in minced garlic and all other spices, mix through.
  • Add in water, let cook on low for 5 min and set aside.
  • Once sweet potato is cooked and crisp, line on a large serving dish evenly, place ground chicken evenly on sweet potato. (or you can place on dinner plates for single servings)
  • Top with toppings of choice. I like avocado, olives, hot peppers and Franks Red Hot Sauce
    Original.
  • Non-paleo option – add sour cream and/or cheese.
  • Makes approx. 4 – 6 servings as an appetizer, or 3 servings as a dinner.

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Welcome to My Motivated Meals!

For my very first post, I wanted to share with everyone my weekly ritual when it comes to meal planning and healthy eating.

The main goal of this blog is not only to share some of my meal planning secrets to make your life easier, but also to share all the healthy recipes to help keep you on track with weight management. Also, please read my intro to learn more about me and how this blog started, and follow me on Instagram where I have already been sharing all of my meals!

Ongoing, I will be sharing easy, healthy recipes that anyone can add into their repertoire, along with my weekly meal plans.  Subscribe by clicking the “+follow…” button that appears at the bottom right of this page, or leave me a comment using the ‘COMMENTS’ link beside the date at the top of each post.

Meal Planning 101

Step 1 Plan out your meals for the week, by day. This is the most important step and the basis for how I build my grocery list each week (see image below). Coming up with meal ideas can be the hardest part of the whole process, but once you have your list it gets that much easier. Also, think about striking a healthy balance. Try cooking these meals on the weekend to prepare you for the upcoming work week.  Also it is always good to consider at least 1-2 meals that you can whip up easily when you get home for everyone (BBQ, for example). Also, making big batches and freezing for another week is a extra bonus, for example meat sauces, meatballs and chili freeze great!

And don’t even think about throwing out that list at the end of the week. When  you have  4–5 weeks of meal plans saved, it becomes that much easier to recycle and mix and match those idea as you plan your next week.

Step 2: Build your grocery list. The example below is organized by department; in my mind, I just follow the path of the grocery store, starting with fruits and veggies, followed by meats, bakery, etc.

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Step 3: Get your groceries! Now this all depends on what type of shopper you are. I recently converted to online shopping, which, as a busy working mom with 3 young children has saved me tons of time running around the grocery store every Saturday (I’m exhausted just thinking about it!). But if you’re the type who likes to get out there in the aisles, by all means, go for it. Either way, I keep a list of favourites that I buy, adding those extras that I need to fulfill my meal plan each week. It’s that simple.

Step 4: Get cooking. People often ask me how and when I find the time to prep 3-4 meals for the week, but really there’s no secret. When you already have the right ingredients in the fridge, just roll up those sleeves and get to it. Remember – no pain, no gain. A few hours on the weekend (in between those kids swimming lessons and birthday parties), will make a world of difference come Monday thru Thursday when you’re not scrambling in the kitchen. Eating right doesn’t come without a little sacrifice, so if you can spare a little time on a Thursday or Friday evening planning for the week ahead, you – and you’re entire family – will thank you for it later. Once you get into the routine, you will never go back!

If anyone would like my template, message me I will be happy to share!

Thanks for reading, and happy meal planning!