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Introducing: Meals from Mel!

November 22nd, 2019 | no comments

 

I have a great idea that I know you are just going to 💕! 

 

As you know, I offer a weekly recipe as part of my Food for Thought message. I’ve heard from so many of you, that you are loving the meal ideas and would like more.

 

So…I’m pleased as punch to announce that every other week, your Food for Thought will take on a “Meals from Mel” theme, where I offer three simple recipes you can masterfully (and easily) duplicate in your own kitchen. Since I am obsessed with Pinterest, most of these recipes will be inspired by the loving folks who selflessly share their culinary masterpieces with the world. I test each recipe in my own kitchen and tweak it as I see fit.

 

One recipe will be a main dish, the second, a side dish, and the third…a sweet treat to fuel your soul 😘.

 

I never skip this last part, and I’ll tell you why. I wish I could remember the source of this advice, but I once heard someone suggest that if you have a taste for something sweet, rather than go to the store and buy a box of cookies, bake them yourself! Not only will you appreciate them more, the ingredients will be more wholesome (i.e. no preservatives, trans fats, artificial food coloring, etc.). 

Meal planning doesn’t have to stink!

Listen, meal planning doesn’t have to be a daunting task; it’s all in how you perceive it. If you look at it like a chore…I can promise you it will be a huge pain in the ass that you’ll dread like the bubonic plague.

 

On the other hand, if you see it as a loving opportunity to fuel the ones you love with wholesome, nutritious food, it will turn into a “meal plan with a purpose”. It’s almost—dare I say—mission-driven.

But what if you live alone?

What’s the point in cooking for one? It’s especially important to fuel your body with food that you lovingly prepare with your own two hands. It’s the best gift you can give yourself!

YOU are the most important person in your life…and until you fully embrace that, you’ll always find an excuse to put everyone else and their brother on the front burner…while you sit on the back one like a raw, disregarded chicken breast, left out on a 90-degree day. And we all know what happens to that chicken! 

Chill out!

If the thought of meal planning makes you break out in a cold sweat, chill out and begin with planning just one meal a week and increase it from there…or not. I always plan each meal with a goal of squeezing out enough for one extra day of leftovers. So really, I only plan three meals (with three leftover days) and then enjoy one night out at a favorite restaurant. 

Are you excited? I sure am…so let’s get started my friend!

 

This week’s Meals from Mel:

  1. Main: Veggie-Topped Chicken Crust Pizza
    (JUMP TO RECIPE)
  2. Side: Roasted Acorn Squash with Smoky Maple Butter
    (JUMP TO RECIPE)
  3. Sweet: Double Chocolate Walnut Fudge
    (JUMP TO RECIPE)
Print Recipe
Veggie-Topped Chicken Crust Pizza
Unlike traditional pizza, this one fills you up with just two squares... and keeps you satisfied! Because the base is ground chicken and egg, it serves as your protein source. I like to serve a leafy green salad on the side with lots of veggies—mostly raw or leftover roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or broccoli. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 pound dark meat ground chicken
  • 3 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • avocado oil cooking spray
Toppings
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 pound dark meat ground chicken
  • 3 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • avocado oil cooking spray
Toppings
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine ground chicken with egg and salt. Mix well.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread dough over the foil, forming a rectangle. Bake 15 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from oven and sprinkle with veggies, herbs and cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice into 16 squares and carefully slide a spatula underneath to remove from pan. Enjoy!
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Roasted Acorn Squash with Smoky Maple Butter
This combination of pure maple syrup, cumin, smoked paprika, and grass-fed butter is seriously to die for. As the squash roasts, the flavors seep into the flesh, making for a truly mouthwatering treat!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) Kerrygold butter
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) Kerrygold butter
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Carefully slice squash all the way down the middle, removing stem first if you have trouble. Once halved, slice a thin piece off the round bottom of each half so it sits nicely without rocking. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membranes.
  2. Place cut side up on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add the paprika and cumin and stir until fragrant. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup.
  3. Remove squash from oven and drizzle each half with butter mixture. Continue roasting another 25-35 minutes or until flesh is very soft and easily pierced with a fork, basting every 10 minutes. To baste, pull out oven rack with baking sheet and, with a pastry brush, baste the top edge of the squash with the mixture, then return to oven.
  4. When the squash is roasted, the flesh will be soft and the surface browned (with a few dark brown spots). Remove from oven, let stand a few minutes, and serve.
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Double Chocolate Walnut Fudge
This isn't a health food...it's an upgraded fudge that contains better-for-you ingredients like almond butter and coconut milk (versus sweetened condensed milk). Plus, it tastes EVEN BETTER than traditional fudge!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips I like Equal Exchange Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh ground almond butter
  • 4 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. cacao nibs I like Navitas brand
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips I like Equal Exchange Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh ground almond butter
  • 4 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. cacao nibs I like Navitas brand
Instructions
  1. Add chocolate chips through sea salt to a medium saucepan. Melt over low heat while frequently stirring.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper. Once the fudge is combined, remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, walnuts and cacao nibs.
  3. Pour fudge into prepared pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Store at room temperature for up to 12 hours and then refrigerate for up to one week. Slice into 21 squares.
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