A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my Jerk Chicken Sunday Spread. Well with NFL playoff season in full swing–GO PATS!–I decided y’all might enjoy another modified comfort food recipe, and one that will keep your guests happy and healthy. This Sunday Spread is tailgate-inspired with its sandwich, slaw and chip combo. The recipes are nutrient-dense and tasty as can be…leaving a little wiggle room for some of my signature perfect Manhattans (*insert devilish grin here*).
For starters, homemade BBQ sauce is the way to go. Not only do you know exactly what you’re eating and avoid a lot of preservatives, but you also get to control the acidity, sweetness and spice levels. At 32 g of lean protein per serving, the chicken in these sammys gives you a good dose of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein–which for adult women is 46 g and adult men 56 g. Cruciferous vegetables like the broccoli and kale used in these side dishes are packed with disease-fighting nutrients, including several carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and dietary fiber.
Get to cookin’ and enjoy this football-friendly Sunday spread, guilt-free!
Grab a mix bowl and combine the garlic, ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika, cumin, allspice and cinnamon. Give it a good whisk until smooth and well blended.
Add your chicken breasts or thighs in a single layer at the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle the diced onions evenly overtop. Pour your BBQ sauce mixture on top, cover and set heat to low. Let cook for 4-5 hours like this.
Remove chicken from slow cooker. The chicken should be pretty much cooked-through, but now it’s time to shred. Using two forks, gently pull apart the chicken into stringy pieces and/or small chunks. Once you’ve shredded the lot, add it back to the sauce in your slow cooker and cook another 1-2 hours.
ASIAN BROCCOLI SLAW
What You’ll Need:
1 package pre-shredded broccoli slaw mix (your could use the cole slaw mix here as a substitute or shred your own cabbage and carrots)
2 tbs green onions, sliced thin
2 tbs fresh cilantro, minced
For the dressing:
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs honey
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
How to Make It:
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add slaw mix, green onions and cilantro. Toss together until well-coated and combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
BBQ-INSPIRED KALE CHIPS
What You’ll Need:
1 head kale (whatever variety you like best)
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
salt and pepper, to taste
How to Make Them:
Pre-heat over to 300°F. Wash, stem and cut kale into bite size pieces.
Toss kale and olive oil together in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spices as evenly as possible over the kale then mix thoroughly with your hands, massaging the kale, for 1-2 min.
Place wire cooling racks on two cookie sheets. Spread coated kale leaves over both wire racks. (Note: the wire cooling racks allow heat to crisp the kale from top and bottom. Without this added elevation your chips will be soggy and oily.) Bake for 20-30 min depending on the oven. Keep an eye on them for the last 10 min or so to ensure they don’t burn.
Remove from oven, flake them into a bowl and enjoy!
Here are the recipes you’ll need for breakfast, days 1 through 4 of my 10-Day Cleanse.
Blueberry Beet Smoothie w/ Ginger:
To Make: Blend together 1-2 medium raw beet (cleaned with skin on, roughly chopped), 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, 1 tbs grated fresh ginger, 2 tbs fresh lemon juice, 1 cup water, and a handful of ice. (Optional: substitute half of that water for a 1/2 cup almond milk)
This energizing smoothie is bound to put some pep in your step. The blueberries boast a high concentration of antioxidants and the raw beets are full of folate, vitamin B, and fiber.
Pineapple Banana Kale Smoothie:
To Make: Blend together 1 cup fresh pineapple (cubed), 1 banana, 2-3 kale leaves (chopped with stems removed), 2 tbs ground flaxseed, 1 cup water, and a handful of ice. (Optional: substitute half of that water for a 1/2 cup almond milk)
This powerful smoothie is not only naturally sweet, but packed with dietary fiber, two powerful antioxidants (carotenoids and flavonoids) that are proven to help prevent cancer, and vitamins A, K and C.
Keep in mind this is a cleanse, so while these will taste refreshing and healthy they won’t be as sweet as a typical smoothie. If you are really struggling, try adding in the optional almond milk and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or raw honey to these recipes–with the sweeteners these would also be great non-cleanse smoothies too.
I’m a huge fan of Lebanese dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) with lamb, so when I was trying to think of a new recipe to put my healthy spin on these were a no-brainer. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with eating the delicious lamb version of these babies. That said, on those nights when I get back late from a double session at my studio–e.g. tonight my ass got handed to me in a power yoga class, immediately followed by my first pilates class in over a year–I like to have something healthy ready to go in my fridge so I don’t just punish a jar of peanut butter or eat a whole bag of TJ’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints.
My version of dolmas are made with cabbage leaves instead of grape leaves and ground turkey meat instead of lamb. Cabbage is rich in vitamins K, C and B6, as well as folate. It also contains large amounts of glutamine, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties—key for athletes and those with joint issues. 90% lean ground turkey delivers 30g of protein at only 150 calories for a 3.5oz serving. The best part? Infused with yummy turmeric, ginger and all spice, they taste really freaking good. Scout’s honor!
Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup bulgur
1 large head Savoy cabbage
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely chopped white onion
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper (to taste)
12 oz ground turkey
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tbs grated lemon zest (divided)
2 tbs lemon juice
Here’s how you do it:
Prepare the bulgur according to package instructions and set aside in a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Trim the bottom of your cabbage and separate the leaves. Place the 12 largest leaves in the boiling water, cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook the leaves until they soften (about 8 minutes) then remove from water and set aside to cool. Keep the remaining cabbage leaves uncooked.
While the cabbage is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your onion and shallot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add your garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add your salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, all spice and cinnamon and cook for another 2-3 minutes to combine and infuse the flavors.
Transfer the onion mixture to your bowl of bulgur and let stand until cool enough to handle. Add the lightly beaten egg, parsley, 1 tbs lemon zest and ground turkey. Give the mixture a good knead until it all comes together, well blended.
Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with some of the uncooked cabbage leaves. Take the cooked cabbage leaves and place about a 1/3 cup of the filing at the root end of each leaf. Fold in the sides and roll it up like a burrito. Lay the rolls seam side down in the pan.
Combine the lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, chicken broth and white wine. Pour the mixture over your cabbage rolls. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil.
Bake the rolls for 40 minutes, or until the thicker veins of the cabbage leaves are very tender.
Plate and enjoy!
I usually eat two or three in a sitting. They are so full of fiber and protein that I always feel stuffed after eating a few. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that they keep well. I’d say they’re good in the fridge for up to a week.
Hope you like them!