Easy Meal Prep Recipe: Southwestern Quinoa Chicken Bowls

Hi friends! It’s my first post of 2018 so HAPPY NEW YEAR! While I’m not huge on resolutions, I’m all about setting yourself up for success and making goals you can achieve…which is why I am super excited to share today’s post with you because it hits TWO of my 2018 goals. SCORE.

  1. First, is always be healthy, be active…blah blah blah. This is not groundbreaking and I think we can all agree the new year is the time we all want to get back into shape. Plus, NOW is the time that will get us ready for summer. Ugh, but true. So I’ve been focused on healthy eating, drinking more water and working out.
  2. Second, is sharing more videos with you! I need to take my own damn advice because nothing is ever perfect and we should embrace our realness. AMIRITE?! So even though my video quality, or editing skills aren’t the best who the fuck cares!! You all always ask for more recipes, more beauty, more stories…so I’m going to give them to you!

So, without further adieu here’s a quick, one minute video on a healthy and filling lunch I made over the weekend that I’ve been taking to the office with me. I love making salad bowls like this because you can add anything you like to customize them.

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One of the main components of this bowl is a quinoa salad. (Salad on salad, doesn’t get any healthier than that.) You can pick any quinoa you like, and follow the instructions on the package on how to make it. From there I mixed in chopped red onion, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

QuinoaSalad

These are the toppings I used. I didn’t add the dressing or avocado but just brought it with me so it doesn’t get soggy and the avocado stays fresh!QuinoaBowlToppings

Pack it up, stack it up! I usually only make 3 servings because I like variety and can’t eat the same thing 5 days in a row. I know, I’m so bougie. MealPrepHealthyLunchI chose to use Trader Joe’s Green Goddess dressing which is vegan! It’s actually yummy and creamy because it has avocado as the base of it! I also think a chipotle vinaigrette would be great with this southwestern style salad bowl.

MealPrepQuinoaChickenBowl

What other things do you like to meal prep?! Let me know!

How to Make Thai Steak & Noodle Salad

So, fun fact: growing up in high school and college I always worked a server in restaurants — pretty much any chain restaurant you can think of I worked at (Applebees, Cheesecake Factory, Tony Roma’s — yup, can I take your order?!). But while I was in LA going to college I worked at restaurant name Houston’s (where I got to serve celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, John Legend, Chris Pine — NBD), a casual fine dining American style restaurant that had one specific salad that I LOVED – the Thai Steak & Noodle Salad.  It’s not a traditional salad at all and has so many bold, delicious flavors that it quickly became my favorite (probably because it has pasta in it) which is why I wanted to share my own version of how to make this bomb dot com meal!

Thai Steak and Noodle Salad

It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but you can pretty much add whatever you like to customize it to your taste. You can even use chicken or tofu instead of steak, but I love the classic version!

Let’s do it! First, prep your steak! 

Steak Marinade: 
2 Teaspoons Sesame oil
Half of a Lime juice
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Chili Garlic Sauce
3 cloves chopped garlic
**Depending on how large your steak is you could make more or less

Step 1: Marinate your steak with all ingredients for 4-8 hours in the refrigerator — take it out 30 minutes before you are ready to cook it.
Step 2: Heat your grill (or in my case grill pan) until hot, drain off excess marinade and grill for 4-5 minutes each side.
Step 3: Once cooked to desired temperature, take it off the grill, cover with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes (this locks in all the juices!). Once rested, cube it into bite size pieces.

SteakMarinade

SteakMarinating

Grilling Steak

Medium Rare Steak

Next, get your dressing ready!

Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup of Peanut Butter (I used chunky)
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Teaspoons sriracha
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Half juice of a lime

Step 1: Combine all ingredients except the oil and mix together. Once combined slowly drizzle your oil in to thicken – voila!
PeanutDressing

Now it’s time to assemble and toss everything together…and most importantly EAT!

Salad:
Marinated, cooked & cubed steak
1/2 pound of whole wheat spaghetti, cooked, drained, rinsed with cold water & tossed with a tablespoon of sesame oil
1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup shredded carrots
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups butter lettuce
1/2 cup each of roughly chopped mint, basil and cilantro
1 tsp of salt and pepper
Crushed peanuts and lime for garnish

Combine your cooked steak, salad ingredients and toss with your peanut dressing and ENJOY! This is just as good on day two so make extra for leftovers!

Thai Ingredients

Sesame Oil Pasta

Salad Assembly

Salad in Bowl

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How to Make the Best Damn Balsamic Vinaigrette

What’s cookin’ good lookin’?! I’m so excited because my first recipe post is here! You may not know this, but cooking is one of my passions. When I was younger instead of watching cartoons I was hooked to watching cooking shows, writing down recipes and recreating them. I even was considering going to culinary school but obviously opted for a different path. #noregrets So today, I get such a joy from creating yummy dishes and can’t wait to share some of my favorite recipes with you.

Today I’m going with something super #basic — balsamic vinaigrette. I used to buy salad dressing but I realized making it is so easy and so much more delicious. This one in particular is my go-to and can pretty much go with any type of salad you make but my favorite is on a kale salad!

Here’s what you need for the dressing: 
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic powder
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Step 1: Add diced shallot, dijon mustard, honey, lemon salt, pepper & garlic powder to a small bowl.

Step 2: Add balsamic vinegar and mix together.

Step 3: Slowly stream in olive oil and whisk at the same time. You will start to see the dressing thicken (aka emulsify) and really come together.

Step 4: Pour on your favorite salad, toss together and enjoy!

Step 5: 😊

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