2018-01-24 / Featured / Taste

Nourishment now: Healthy meals on the go


With the excess of the holidays behind us, most of us are embracing the new year with some healthy changes to our diet. Or trying to, at least. But when the days are short and our lives are busy, too often it seems we must choose between eating what’s healthy and eating what’s convenient.

Breakfast is a tough meal for me. I vacillate between being too rushed to sit down, and wanting a four-course pancake and bacon extravaganza – which is definitely not the most nutrient-dense option. I need something I can grab and run out the door with, so I’m not famished by 10 a.m.

My solution is homemade energy balls. The great thing about them is they’re easy to make, easy to store, easy to take with you. I put both flax and chia seeds in. These two powerhouse ingredients bring fiber, protein, omega-3’s and vitamin B1 to the recipe.

No-bake energy balls with chia and flax seed are a powerful, pocket-sized breakfast. JENNY McQUEENNo-bake energy balls with chia and flax seed are a powerful, pocket-sized breakfast. JENNY McQUEENNo-bake energy balls

Yield 24 balls
½ cup peanut butter – I like crunchy peanut butter but creamy works just as well
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
. teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup ground flax seed
¼ cup chia seeds
½ cup chocolate chips, raisins or dried cranberries (or a combination)

In a medium bowl combine peanut butter, honey, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and roll into bite-sized balls. Store in the fridge and consume throughout the week to feel like a healthy-living superhero.

While energy balls are a great way to start the day, or an excellent pick-me-up during the afternoon slump, one cannot survive solely on peanut butter and flaxseed. A hearty, flavorful lunch is a must. If I don’t plan ahead, I frequently struggle to figure out what I want for lunch, let alone find the time to make it. Not wanting to end up with fast food (or no lunch at all), here is my ace in the hole: roasted garlic chicken breasts. So easy, so portable, so versatile. Weather you slice it over a salad, chop it up in a wrap with some hummus and baby spinach, or eat it alongside a baked potato and broccoli – it is delicious.

Roasted garlic chicken breastsVersatile roasted garlic chicken breasts lend themselves to easy lunches. JENNY MCQUEEN Versatile roasted garlic chicken breasts lend themselves to easy lunches. JENNY MCQUEEN

Yield 6 chicken breasts
1 entire bulb garlic, peeled and minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 chicken breasts

Select a large skillet or other pan that is oven save and can fit all of your chicken breasts without overlapping.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the pan on your stovetop and combine garlic, onion and olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute until golden brown and onions are translucent. Add the water to the hot pan and scrape all of the brown bits off the bottom. Lay the chicken breasts in the pan on top of the onions and garlic and sprinkle everything with the salt and pepper. Place pan in oven and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Remove pan from oven, place the chicken on a plate. The pan will still contain water and roasted garlic and onions. Place back on the burner over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the water is nearly gone. Drizzle over the roasted chicken. Store in an airtight container and use throughout the week.

My weekday go-to for roasted garlic chicken is a jar salad.

7 easy steps:
• Select a large glass jar with a tight-fitting
• Pour 2 Tablespoons of dressing in the
bottom of the jar.
• Put diced carrots or broccoli in the jar
first (they won’t get soggy in the
• Fill the jar halfway with lettuce.
• Add toppings of your choice (nuts, dried
fruit, cheese, avocado, tomato, mushrooms, delicious homemade sliced
chicken breasts…).
• Screw on the lid and store in the fridge
for up to 2 days.
• Remove from fridge, shake, enjoy!

Happy healthy eating! ¦

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