Quick and Healthy Cabbage and Turkey Kielbasa Skillet

Modern society and fast food joints have trained many of us to believe that food that is ready quickly has to be junky or prepackaged. The truth is that sometimes the healthiest meals to eat are also the fastest to prepare. This super-quick, one-skillet cabbage and turkey kielbasa meal is very nutritious, low in calories, and tastes so clean and delicious. As an added bonus, this delightful meal costs practically nothing. With this lightning fast dinner, you can save dollars, calories, and a trip to the drive-through.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

14 oz. turkey kielbasa, cut into bite-sized rounds

1 medium head of cabbage, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3-4 garlic  cloves, minced

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook until it is heated through and browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the cabbage, lower the temperature to medium and cook until the cabbage is wilted, but still somewhat firm, about 8-10 minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Thai Red Curry Chicken Noodle Soup with Basil

Soup season is the best time of the year as far as cooking goes. Not only are soups super easy to make, they are (usually) healthy and make great leftovers. I love making big ol’ pots of soup on weekends so that I have super yummy lunches at work for the week. That way, I actually look forward to lunch instead of being sad about the boring sandwich or frozen meal I have to eat. Do yourself a favor and make a batch of this next Sunday and portion it out for your weekday lunches. Do the same for a family member, and they will love you forever.


2 Tbsp. avocado oil

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces 

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced

2 Tbsp. red curry paste

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

2 c. cabbage, shredded

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 15 oz. can of coconut milk

4 oz. rice noodles

2 Tbsp. fish sauce 

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 bunch of Thai basil

Salt to taste


Green onions, sliced

Lime juice

Sriracha sauce

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse them, and set aside. 

Heat the avocado oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook through. Add the curry paste, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the sweet potato cubes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Add the cabbage and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Stir to combine and heat through. Add salt. Add the basil in at the last minute. Stir to combine until the basil is wilted. 

Top with green onions, additional basil, lime juice, and sriracha sauce.


Mexican Protein Power Bowl

Sometimes I just really need to feel really strong for a workout, but I don’t want to eat chicken breasts and steamed veggies. I want something craveable, flavorful, and exciting, and I definitely do NOT want to feel hungry. You feel me?

This Mexican protein power bowl fools my brain into thinking I’m enjoying a big ol’ bowl of naughty food, but in reality my body is being nourished and fueled by a super-healthy, protein-packed meal that is sure to give me superpower strength in the gym, hiking trail, or ski slope. There is such thing as a win, win – and this meal is a prime example!


2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips

1 15 oz. can of black beans

1 large onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

Squeeze of lime 

Salt and pepper to taste

½ c. cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, sliced


Sour cream or dairy-free sour cream

Green onions, sliced

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5-7, or until browned and cooked through. Add the onions and red bell peppers and cook until they are soft and lightly browned, or about another 5 minutes or so. Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and cook until fragrant and spices are well mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the black beans and season with a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper. 

To assemble the bowls, divide the chicken and veggies and black beans among two bowls. Top with cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, and green onions. Enjoy!


Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

For me, buffalo chicken with the fixins is a craving that I can’t always control. Once I think about that taste, I NEED to eat some kind of buffalo chicken-something. When I’m trying to eat healthy foods, this craving can rear its head and be problematic for reigning in my overindulging. Too bad calories actually do count.

With this recipe for buffalo chicken zucchini boats, I have found a meal that I can justify (and actually enjoy) eating when I’m craving buffalo chicken AND trying to live a healthy-ish lifestyle. The saucy, tangy chicken, creamy cheese, crunchy veggies, and yummy dressing work together so well to make sure I’m satisfied and happy. Score one point for the angel on my shoulder. 


4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 c. shredded chicken, rotisserie works great

Buffalo sauce 

4 oz. cream cheese

½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

Green onions

Blue cheese or ranch dressing (for topping) 

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Cut the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the fleshy part in the middle. Spray with olive oil on all sides and place onto a lined baking sheet. 

Combine the chicken, buffalo sauce, and cream cheese in a large skillet and heat through while stirring to combine.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted and lightly browned. 

Top with green onions and drizzle with blue cheese or ranch dressing. Enjoy!


Turkey Gołąbki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) with Tomato Sauce

Golabki, or stuffed cabbage rolls, is a traditional Polish dish that is comforting, delicious, and healthy. The ingredients are common and readily-available, and the dish takes a while to cook, but is very easy to prepare. 

For me, this is an ideal meal to prepare for the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Golabki is one of those meals that smells amazing as it cooks, so you’ll be looking forward to eating it when it comes out of the oven. I might be a bit odd, but I love smelling a good meal cooking long before it is finished. It gets me excited to eat. 

While the traditional version of golbaki usually contains ground beef and/or pork, this version is made with ground turkey just to lighten it up a bit. None of the deliciousness of the original version is missing, and since I don’t feel as guilty eating this version I can definitely eat an extra roll or two. Right?


1.33 lb package of ground turkey 

1 large head of cabbage

¾ c. uncooked rice

1 ½ c. water (for the rice)

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional, but yummy)

Salt and pepper


2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

Cook rice according to package directions and cool. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove 10-12 large leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Chop the remaining cabbage roughly. Set chopped cabbage aside. 

Boil the large leaves for about 5 minutes, or until they are pliable.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook about half of the chopped onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped bacon (if using) and cook until crispy. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bay leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking , combine the ground turkey, the other half of the chopped onions, cooked rice, egg,  salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly with your hands until all of the ingredients are equally dispersed. 

Place about ¼ c of the turkey/rice mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito, tucking in the leaves toward the middle and then rolling. 

Place the chopped cabbage on the button of a large casserole dish. Then, lay the cabbage rolls on top of them, seam side down. Pour the sauce over the top and bake for 60-75 minutes. Enjoy!


Lighter Mexican Chicken Salad

Your struggle to find a lunch that is protein-packed, low in calories (and carbs if you’re watching those), tastes delicious, and is satisfying is over. Meet this lighter version of chicken salad that flaunts its Mexican flavors in every bite. 

In this version of Mexican chicken salad, Greek yogurt is used in place of mayo. No taste is sacrificed because of the deep cuts to the calories and fat, people. This spicy, savory chicken salad is oh-so-yummy, filling, and is wonderful on a sandwich, with crackers or tortilla chips, with a salad, or just all alone in its glory.  


3 c. shredded chicken – rotisserie works best!

⅔ c. Greek yogurt

¼ c cilantro, chopped

¼ c. green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and diced

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients (except for salt and pepper) into a large bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Serve on sandwiches, with salads or all alone! 


Chicken Pancit Bihon

Pancit bihon is a classic Filipino dish that is a combination of bihon (rice stick) noodles, meat or seafood (or none of that ), and vegetables. As you can see by the parentheses, this dish is versatile, customizable, and likely unique to every cook’s interpretation and execution.

The basic ingredients are the same, but there are all sorts of fun changes you can make each time you make pancit. You could use Chinese sausage and/or shrimp, add green beans instead of snow peas, or experiment a bit with the level of heat by adding thai chilis or serrano peppers. It’s not traditional for pancit to be spicy, but who says we always have to follow the rules? It’s your pancit, after all. 


1 8 oz. package of bihon noodles or rice sticks 

1 lb. chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 c. shredded cabbage

1 c. snap peas or snow peas

½ c. shredded carrots

3 green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Lemon wedges


3 c. chicken broth

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. oyster sauce

2 tsp. sugar

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a wok or large skillet. Cook the chicken until it is lightly browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, peas, and carrots and cook until they’re a little bit tender, about 3 minutes. 

Add the sauce and dried noodles to the wok. Allow the noodles to cook in the sauce, stirring frequently, until they are cooked. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Feel free to add more broth if there’s not enough liquid to cook the noodles. Continue cooking until the noodles are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. The noodles should be a bit saucy, but not soupy or dry. Season with additional soy sauce, if desired, and serve with lemon wedges and topped with green onions.


Chipotle Pepper Chicken Skewers

June is traditionally the month in Colorado when the weather is absolutely perfect – not too hot, not too cold. Things have been different this year (and why wouldn’t this year continue to be weird), because it has been SO hot. Like late July hot. Anyway, the point of all of this rambling about the heat is that it’s way too hot to cook inside, so grilling is happening on a much more frequent basis. And I’m not mad about it because our dinners around here have been pretty amazing lately.

These chipotle pepper chicken skewers are honestly some of the best little morsels I have ever had the pleasure of devouring. The smoky, spicy, super flavorful marinade makes the chicken taste so indescribably delicious. In fact, I’m actually having a hard time conveying just how yummy these are. You need to try them to believe it, seriously. 



2 lb. chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 yellow onion, cut into bite-sized pieces


¼ olive oil

4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large shallot

1 Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. oregano 

2 Tbsp. cilantro

Juice from one lime

2 tsp. salt

Place all marinade ingredients into a food processor and process until a paste is formed. Combine the chicken pieces and marinade in a glass container and marinade overnight or for at least 4 hours. 

Thread the chicken, bell pepper, and onion pieces onto skewers and preheat the grill to medium high heat. 

Grill the skewers for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned. Serve with extra lime and cilantro. 


Yogurt-Marinated Saffron Chicken Skewers

It’s officially grilling season, and we’re off to a great start at my house. We’re making all kinds of delicious things on the grill, and this yogurt-marinated saffron chicken is one of my favorites. 

Saffron is the power ingredient in these tasty chicken skewers, but they are also full of other wonderful spices, like turmeric, cayenne, and paprika. Of course, I can’t forget to mention that putting yogurt in the marinade is truly a secret weapon for adding deliciousness because the lactic acid in it really helps to tenderize the chicken and bring a special tang to the flavor profile. Speaking of tang, don’t forget the lemon zest in these babies. It makes all the difference. 

Summer food, I love you.


2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

¾ c. plain Greek yogurt

¼ c. olive oil 

One lemon, juice and zest

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp. saffron threads

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. cayenne 

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass container and mix together thoroughly. Marinade overnight.

When you’re ready to cook the skewers, heat the grill to medium high heat. Put the chicken pieces onto skewers and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. 

Enjoy immediately!

Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches

Reina Pepiada Arepas

If you’re tired of the same old sandwich, it’s time to try this delicious Venezuelan version of a chicken salad sandwich on freshly-baked arepas. This fresh, flavorful chicken salad is amazing on its own, but when it is served on a warm, homemade arepa . . .  wow is all I can say. Swoon worthy. 

Speaking of swoon, reina pepiada translates to “curvy queen” and was apparently named after a famous Venezuelan beauty queen. From what I can gather, a local arepa stand named this sandwich in her honor because it was a thing of beauty and yeah, it lives up to its moniker. I’m not sure if she ever had the privilege of tasting this creation, but I hope she did. Otherwise, she really missed out.


Chicken/Avocado Filling:

2 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!)

1 avocado, mashed

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

Juice from one lime

½ serrano pepper, chopped (if you like spice)

Salt and pepper

Freshly-baked Arepas

Mix all ingredients for the chicken/avocado filling in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve inside freshly-baked arepas.