Who ate more than their fair share for the holidays?  (Waiving my hands over here!)  Although I’m VERY conscious of what I eat during the holidays and do my BEST to keep on a healthy track, there simply are just too many amazing chefs and bakers in this world (aka. my own family/friends) to NOT ‘try’ their masterpieces!  BUT, not to fear, it’s a new year, new goals and a great time to test out new healthy recipes to help keep you on track in 2020!

If you’re at all a planning freak like me, I know what our family will be eating Friday night for dinner by the Sunday prior (if not before then).  I’m the queen bee of menu planning and if you’ve never tried it, I truly can’t recommend it enough as a tool to keep you on track for healthy living.  Having the healthy food there/ready in the house, makes the world of a difference.  Also, having staple meals (that make leftovers) is KEY for me…leftovers equal either another dinner the following week that I can simply pull on a busy night from the freezer, or it means lunches during the work week, which saves me time (either way, winner winner!)

So today I’m sharing two of my favorite family recipes that make great leftovers….and help to make healthy meals simple as your get jumpstarted for 2020!  Easy, simple, flavorful and will help offset all those Christmas Calories!

One Pan Crunchy Parmesan Chicken with Veggies

As I sit here writing this blog, this is literally what I’ll be making tonight for dinner and is my husband’s fav.  A twist on ‘fried’ chicken…just healthy! What makes this simple is you can cook everything all on one large pan in the oven.  Veggies I use and season with a simple mix of olive oil, salt, pepper and sometimes a little basil or rosemary if I’m wanting an herb mix include: red potatoes (quartered), yellow and green squash (sliced in thick coins so they don’t cook to fast), onions and peppers. 

As for the chicken, I pound out 4 organic chicken breasts to be pretty thin.  In a bowl mix ½ cup of olive oil based mayonnaise, ½ cup low fat sour cream and ½ cup of shredded parmesan (or I use mozzarella a lot too).  Spread this mix thinly on top of each of the four chicken breasts and place those in the center of the large sheet pan.  Top the chicken breasts with ¼ cup each of plain panko bread crumbs (this is what gives it the crunch once it’s baked) and for our family, we like to sprinkle some Cajun seasoning on top of the panko—but you could flavor with anything or just eat plain. 

Heat your oven to 375* and spread veggies around the chicken on a pre-sprayed large baking pan. And about 35-40 min later you have crispy golden chicken as well as great seasoned veggies (then the left overs are lunch the next day!)

Mexican Lasagna

I LOVE this dish…you can make it small or double it to serve for a party.  Every time I serve this people are SHOCKED it’s so healthy!  Below is what I use for a 8×8” glass dish.

  • 1 chicken breast (or left over chicken works too) shredded
  • 1 can black refried beans (low fat/sodium)
  • 1 small jar of sliced black olives
  • ¾ c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. salsa (I love a cilantro flavored salsa)
  • ½ c. onion + red pepper diced
  • 1 Tbsp jarred diced jalapenos
  • 8 oz shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • 8 small whole wheat or multi-grain tortillas

Sautee onions and peppers with jalepenos in pan.  Add pre-cooked/shredded chicken to cook along with salsa, olives and corn until warmed.  In 8×8 dish, layer tortillas, black refried beans, chicken mixture, topped with cheese and then repeat ending with chicken and some extra cheese on top.  Bake in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes or until the middle is warm.  Pull out about 5 minutes before serving to let sit and then cut.  SO good and we honestly think the flavors blend and taste even better the next day.