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From the Journal

Balancing Food and Health for the Holidays

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Daily Inspiration

Make it a lifestyle, not a chore.

When you’re on track, eating right, exercising regularly, making wholesome food choices, and being proactive for your health, this feeling comes over you.

It’s hard to describe, but once you experience it you’ll know . . .

It’s a buzzing in your cells. It’s a tickle of excitement. It’s a steady flow of energy. It’s a confidence. It’s a satisfaction in your bones. It’s a peace of mind and heart.

It’s about living in that feeling. 

I have a brand new menu for you to enjoy filled with wholesome feel-good recipes. Here’s this week’s game plan for getting delicious, home cooked meals on the table…

Monday: Mu Shu Chicken and Veggies and Coconut Flour Tortillas

We are starting the week out with a savory slow cooker dinner. This recipe for Mu Shu Chicken and Veggies is incredibly flavorful! I used to love getting Mu Shu Vegetable Chinese take-out, which is served like burritos, with the tender veggies wrapped in thin, crepe-like tortillas. My version here is served with Coconut Flour Tortillas to recreate the same look and feel. This recipe is so satisfying!

We are making our own Hoisin Sauce, by blending a handful of flavorful ingredient in the blender, in order to avoid the soy and cane sugar found in store bought hoisin – this homemade version is so much better than the pre-made kind!

**Serving Options** While I really enjoyed serving this Mu Shu Chicken and Veggies over homemade Coconut Flour Tortillas, you could opt to serve it over large lettuce leaves. It would also taste fantastic served over Stir Fried Cauliflower Rice.

Tuesday: Pizza Casserole

If you haven’t yet tried this Pizza Casserole yet then you’re in for a treat! This is one of my favorite quick family dinners. Tender sweet potato noodles and a hearty red sauce bake together in a casserole pan for a simple, flavorful dish. Pair this with a side salad for a meal that’s big on flavor, fiber and protein.

**Time-Saver Tip** You could make double of the Mu Shu on Monday to also serve Tuesday, or you could make a big batch of Pizza Casserole to serve both Monday and Tuesday to save some time. Both recipes are pretty quick, so feel free to do both if you have the time and crave variety!

Wednesday: Honey Mustard Salmon and Apple Roasted Veggies 

Here’s a delicious and quick dinner that pays homage to my home state of WA, with salmon and apples taking center stage! I love how quickly both of these recipes come together, making it perfect for weeknight madness.

This simple-yet-flavorful recipe for Honey Mustard Salmon tastes best when high quality salmon fillets are used. We are dressing up the salmon with a honey mustard spread and then baking it in the oven over kale and shallots. The Apple Roasted Veggies are a combination of chopped veggies and apples that are coated with some natural flavors and roasted in the oven.

**Variation** Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand for the Apple Roasted Veggies. I used cauliflower, apple and red onion, however butternut squash, sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini, beets and other veggies could also be added or swapped in.

Thursday: Perfectly Moist Chicken Breast and Spinach Fruit Salad

Today we utilize the slow cooker once again, by poaching tender chicken breast. I love tender chicken and this is the best way that I know how to ensure that your chicken turns out moist every time. Serve this shredded chicken in place of the turkey in the Spinach and Fruit Salad recipe – crisp spinach, sweet grapes and a simple homemade dressing really turn up the flavor dial!

**Time Savor Tip** Make a double portion of the chicken and save half for Friday’s Chicken Ragu with Marsala. The Ragu calls for 2 cups of cooked chicken, which is about one chicken breast.

Friday: Chicken Ragu with Marsala

Today’s recipe is a hearty ragu filled with roasted, shredded chicken breast. This is a wonderful dinner recipe for those busy weeknights, and it a fantastic method for serving yesterday’s cooked chicken in a brand new flavorful fashion.

A ragu is what the Italian’s call a meat-based sauce that’s simmered with vegetables and wine and served over pasta. I chose to serve my ragu over roasted spaghetti squash, nestled on a bed of fresh arugula. You could do the same, or opt to serve it over zucchini noodles, butternut squash noodles, sweet potato noodles, or simply over some sautéed veggies, cooked quinoa or fresh greens. The key is that you are avoiding those traditional, starchy, grain-based noodles.

​Hope you enjoy the menu this week! Time to get a-cooking!

Never give up on what you truly want. Strive toward it with laser-like focus. Decide what you want and don’t stop working for it. 

You. Can. Do. This.​

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