Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Quick Meals
In most cases, what constitutes the biggest obstacle to a successful diet is the lack of preparation. We have all been there, when we get home, tired, hungry and somewhat cranky, open our refrigerator to see… nothing… at least, nothing that can satisfy us in our immediate need. So we watch ourselves reach for the cookie jar, the frozen pie, or even worst, the “Pizza Hut” menu, deliverable in less than 30 minutes.
If only we had something that we can put together quickly, easily and fast that represents a healthy sustenance for both our bodies and our emotional cravings.
When we discuss the ins and outs of the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet, there are so many elements that can fulfill these requirements, if we only allow ourselves a little preparation in the process.
Here are my suggestions:
When cooking chicken, throw in that extra chicken breast or two. Let it cool and refrigerate it. Cut up in little cubes, it will fit beautifully in your salad, in a whole wheat tortilla for a quesadilla or sliced thinly in your lunch sandwich.
Same thing when you are making whole-wheat or Dreamfields pasta, make a little more to have on-hand. You can add a few leftover vegetables and cheese for a quick snack without having to wait forever for the pot of water to boil.
Always have on hand the following to brighten up that salad: nuts (slivered almonds, toasted pine nuts, walnut or pecan pieces), small cans of garbanzo beans, artichokes, hearts of palm.
Buy microwaveable containers of Brussels sprouts, green beans, cauliflower and broccoli for an instant side.
Purchase whole wheat naam or artisan flatbreads. When you add a little tomato sauce and your favorite cheese (mozzarella, provolone or goat cheese) along with a few olives and herbs, all you need is 10 minutes in a hot oven to enjoy your own homemade pizza.
When you are at the market, buy one container of each strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. When you get home, throw them all together and add 2 Tbsp of orange juice. Cover and you have an instant fruit salad to enjoy with your favorite greek yogurt.
When you are making one of your favorite stews or soup, add a little extra to put in the freezer for a later date. It can save your day when you remember to reach for it on that night where you don’t feel like cooking.
Have your favorite foods readily available in your refrigerator: hummus and mini pizza to pop in the toaster, trail mixes, great vegetable sticks for parties, to dip in yogurt or smear with peanut butter or cream cheese (carrot, celery, zucchini and cucumber sticks).
And last but not least, never run out of dark chocolate. This might be the best tip of all. When you are in that mood, it’s amazing what a little piece of dark chocolate can do. Sit down, put the chocolate in your mouth, close your eyes and enjoy the sensations that your taste buds are feeling.
As I said, just a little preparation….
Have a great week!
Chicken Quesadilla (what else to do with leftover chicken in less than 10 minutes)
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
1 can olive oil spray
1 container guacamole
1 container salsa or pico de gallo
Heat a large griddle or pancake pan until hot to the touch. Place the tortilla to heat on one side, just to make it more pliable.
Turn the tortilla over and arrange half of the cheese on half of the tortilla. Spread the chicken pieces over the cheese. Sprinkle the jalapeno over the chicken. Arrange the remaining cheese over the chicken and fold the second half of the tortilla over the first one.
Let the tortilla slightly brown on one side then flip it over on the other side. If your toaster oven has trays, remove the trays. When browned on the other side, remove it and place on the grill portion of your toaster oven. Spray both sides of the tortilla with olive oil.
Set the toaster oven to high toasting setting for about 4 minutes.
When the quesadilla is done, the outside will be crunchy and the inside will be filled with spicy melted cheese and chicken.
Place on a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter into three or four wedges depending on size.
Serve with guacamole and pico de gallo.
To make your own guacamole, mash together one avocado, half a red onion, a handful of cilantro and the juice of one half lemon.
Chicken A La King (What to do with leftover chicken in less than 10 minutes)
3 Tablespoon butter
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 leftover cooked chicken breast cut into cubes
2 Tbsp whole-wheat flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp paprika
Place 1 Tbsp butter into a pan and melt. Place the toast in the pan and brown it on one side, turn over and brown on the other side. Remove and place on a plate.
Melt the 2 remaining tablespoons butter in the same pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until most of the moisture is gone from the mushrooms. Add the flour. Whisk constantly to remove all lumps. Pour the milk and continue cooking until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Add the chicken to the sauce and the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes to heat the chicken.
Pour over the piece of toast and sprinkle with the paprika.