Author: Ana Ciorici

Recipes

Baked Chicken Fajita Roll-Ups

Ahh you guys, there is seriously nothing I love more than delicious sizzling chicken fajitas! I could eat them pretty much on any given weeknight, I mean not only are they packed with tons of flavor, but with just a few simple ingredients you can easily make a healthy filling dinner! Being that fajitas are literally one of our favorite go-to meals, I thought it’d be fun to do a little spin on the traditional fajita dish and simply roll the chicken up around the veggies to make one perfect little serving.
My hubby absolutely RAVED about these and has already requested that we add them into our weekly meal rotation. As you know we love to meal prep and these chicken roll-ups make perfect leftovers for lunches or dinner. The chicken is super moist, the peppers are cooked just perfectly inside the roll-ups and the whole dish literally only takes about 30 minutes to throw together (after the chicken has marinated). I went ahead and purchased thin sliced chicken cutlets just to make life a little easier, but you could of course use regular chicken breasts, slice them in half or into thirds (depending on the size) and pound them out until they are about a 1/4-inch thick. Either way will work just fine!

Then comes the fun part – marinating!! Please do not skip this part to save time, the longer the chicken marinates, the more flavor they will have so this is really important. The marinade is super easy to make and is a basic recipe that I use for all my fajita recipes which includes a little olive oil, lime juice and garlic along with a combination of chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and fresh chopped cilantro. I also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce because I like a little heat with my fajitas, but you can leave this out if you don’t like things too spicy. I promise the flavor will still be there!
Oh and don’t let the fact that this recipe requires chicken being rolled up around veggies be a deterrent to you – this couldn’t be easier. Seriously. Any novice home cook (or even your kiddos) could do this! All you need are toothpicks or some kitchen twine, but I personally find that toothpicks are much easier to use annnd I’m sure you already have those lying around your kitchen somewhere. Just roll the chicken up around the slices of bell pepper and secure both sides with a toothpick. Easy and done! Once the chicken bakes and you’re ready to eat you can remove the toothpicks and the chicken will still remain wrapped around the veggies.
Such an easy dish that takes so little time!

Oh and as you can see above (or from my Snapchat yesterday), these were literally SO good that I couldn’t even wait until I was finished taking photos to start devouring them! Don’t judge.
Another reason I really love making my chicken fajitas this way is because this makes such a great low carb option. No tortillas necessary and I don’t know about you, but when I make these in a skillet I always want every bite to include the perfect chicken-to-bell-pepper-ratio (yes I’m weird like that). Well this recipe solves that issue too! Every bite has the perfect amount of chicken along with the perfect amount of veggies for one glorious tasty bite. Plus sometimes you just need to change things up a bit!
Next time I make these I may add a little shredded cheese on the inside too which I think would taste AMAZING, but I wanted to keep this recipe as healthy as possible since a lot of you have been requesting easy healthy dinner ideas. These chicken roll-ups are about as healthy as they come and would be perfect served with a big salad, brown rice or even my Skillet Mexican Quinoa!
I really hope you all enjoy these as much as we did and if you do make them yourself, don’t forget to share your photos on Instagram or Twitter and hashtag #eatyourselfskinnyrecipe so I can see them! Chicken Fajita Roll-Ups Print Serves: 3 Servings Ingredients For the Marinade: 2 Tbsp olive oil Juice of half a lime 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp. chili powder ½ tsp. cumin ½ tsp. dried oregano ½ tsp. salt Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped For the Chicken: 3 chicken breasts or 6 thin sliced chicken cutlets ¼-inch thick ½ red bell pepper, sliced ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced ½ green bell pepper, sliced Instructions In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, cayenne (if using) and cilantro. Set aside. For the chicken breasts, if you purchased pre-sliced chicken cutlets then skip to the next step. If using chicken breasts, slice them longways into 2 even slices and firmly pound the chicken using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer to an even thickness of about ¼ inch. Place chicken cutlets into a large resealable freezer bag and pour marinade over top, making sure they are completely coated. Allow chicken to marinate for a minimum of one hour to overnight. Once chicken has marinated, evenly place 6 bell pepper slices in the middle of the chicken cutlet, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat this step until all the cutlets have been rolled up and place seam side down in a prepared baking dish. Brush tops of chicken with remaining marinade and bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. Serve and enjoy! Nutritional Information Serving Size: 2 chicken roll-ups • Calories: 255 • Fat: 12.7 g • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g • Carbs: 10.9 g • Fiber: 1.4 g • Protein: 27.6 g • Sugars: 2.9 g • WW Points+: 7 • Smart Points: 6 3.5.3208
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Child Development, Recipes

Banana Nut Bran Muffins

I can’t tell you how many requests I have had for bran muffins in the past few months so since I’m kind of obsessed with bananas, I thought sharing a recipe for Banana Nut Bran Muffins would be a no-brainer!
You’re welcome.
I know I’ve said this many times before, but I am ALL about grab-and-go breakfast ideas since I will literally relish any extra minute I can get the chance to sleep in during the mornings, however taking the time to make a healthy breakfast is super important too. You guys the struggle is real. So to solve this issue, I like to make a big batch of muffins on Sundays for my husband and I for the entire week and this recipe turned out super delicious! They are also husband approved which is a big thumbs up. #wifegoals

I also really love using mashed bananas when baking (you know like my favorite banana breakfast muffins) because not only do they add a hint of sweetness without adding any refined sugars, bu they are also the perfect substitute in place of butter or oil as a binding agent to hold the muffins together. I did also add a little honey along with some cinnamon and nutmeg because the flavors were just so warm and cozy, but you could always use brown sugar or a little even maple syrup. Back to bananas though – they are really just so universal and I must say are a much healthier fat than oil or butter, not to mention delicious!
If you’ve never made bran muffins before then it’s important that I note how crucial the first step is which is soaking the wheat bran in the milk of your choice (we always have almond milk in our fridge so that’s what I used). This ensures super soft, moist muffins rather than dry ones because yeah no one likes a dry muffin – so make sure you don’t skip this step and just end up mixing the wheat bran in with the rest of the flours. You’ll end up sad with dry muffins and I’ll end up with a nasty comment on how they didn’t turn out. Let’s just all be happy and soak that bran, k!
Hope you all enjoy these muffins! On a side note, is anyone else as excited for Game of Thrones this weekend as I am? Yes I may be a total nerd, but eeeek I can’t wait for Sunday! Banana Nut Bran Muffins Print Serves: 12 Muffins Ingredients 1½ cups wheat bran ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice) 2 medium bananas, mashed 1 egg 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled 1½ tsp. vanilla ½ cup honey 1 cup whole wheat flour 1½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. nutmeg Pinch of salt 3 Tbsp chopped walnuts (optional) Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine wheat bran and milk and let sit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, egg, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey and set aside. In another bowl combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. When the bran mixture is ready, stir it into the banana mixture then add in the flour mixture until just combined. Next fold in the chopped walnuts, if desired. Divide batter into 12 prepared muffin cups and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy! Nutritional Information Serving Size: 1 muffin • Calories: 120 • Fat: 2.1 g • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Fiber: 4.8 g • Protein: 3.1 g • Sugars: 8.2 g • WW Points+: 3 • Smart Points: 5 3.5.3208
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Appetizers, Recipes

Healthy Zucchini Bread

Ohh zucchini bread. Why must I have such a love affair with you?
Seriously making this bread might be one of my favorite things in this world, next to my zucchini noodle addiction of course. Baking with zucchini really is the perfect way to get fresh GREEN veggies into your diet while still enjoying your favorite foods! I mean your kids (er hubby) won’t even notice you’ve added them because zucchini has absolutely no flavor when mixed in with bread and chances are they’re going to ask for seconds. For those of you who have never used zucchini before in your baking, one of the things I love the most is that shredded zucchini really makes your bread (or cake) super moist!! Just make sure to really soak up any excess water first so you don’t end up with soggy bread later on. Trust me, don’t skip this part. Soggy bread = NO bueno.
The way I prefer to remove any extra water is by placing the grated zucchini in a dish cloth or thick paper towel and squeezing until all the water drains out and gets soaked up. Then your zucchini is ready to be mixed into your batter!
And no this certainly isn’t the first time I’ve made baked goods with zucchini. Anyone remember my chocolate zucchini cupcakes (with avocado frosting mmm) or these zucchini cupcakes with Greek yogurt frosting? Oh and you can’t forget these adorable mini loaves of lemon-poppyseed zucchini bread OR my faaaavorite protein breakfast muffins that I had to stop making because I was literally running out of protein powder since I made them so much.
Yeah I might have a problem.

This recipe also freezes really well and can be doubled (or tripled!) to make multiple loaves because why not?? I also really like turning this recipe into muffins which I can easily grab on my way to work in the mornings or even little mini loaves which are great for portion control. I always end up just freezing the rest to enjoy later on. Just make sure to decrease the baking time by about 10 minutes or so if you choose to go this route.
And on a side note, can we talk about how seriously gorgeous this weather has been! I may or may not have gone a little crazy this weekend and filled my house with TONS of fresh blooms because I can finally open my windows and enjoy SPRING. Hello maxi dresses and flip flops, I’ve really missed you. Healthy Zucchini Bread Print Serves: 12 Servings Ingredients 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour ½ cup whole wheat flour 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 1½ tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. nutmeg ½ tsp. salt 1 egg ½ cup plain Greek yogurt ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled ½ cup honey 2 Tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1½ cups grated zucchini, water squeezed out Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 8" x 4" loaf pan with oil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until combined. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, yogurt, coconut oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla then add grated zucchini. Fold in flour mixture until all combined and pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 min to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove bread from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy! Nutritional Information Serving Size: 1 slice • Calories: 161 • Fat: 5 g • Saturated Fat: 4 g • Carbs: 26.2 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Protein: 3.7 g • Sugars: 14.8 g • WW Points+: 4 • Smart Points: 7 3.5.3208 The post Healthy Zucchini Bread appeared first on Eat Yourself Skinny.

Recipes

Easy Lightroom Tips and Tricks for Beautiful Food Photos

If you are a food blogger or even just love taking beautiful photos, then you know how important the editing process is to create those delicious, vibrant looking photos that make you want to reach through your computer screen and immediately devour whatever dish you are currently salivating over! Pinterest can definitely be a dangerous place when you are hungry, but as most of you already know, it’s a food blogger’s best friend and having those perfect food photos are important not only to drive traffic to your site, but to enhance your blog and entice people to make those delicious recipes you’ve worked so hard on. Of course it’s important to first try and capture your food photography as best you can first using your camera, but editing programs really have the ability of taking your photos to the next level!
I personally have been using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for over 5 years now and absolutely could not live without these programs! Literally about 95% of all my food photos have been edited using Adobe software and I love both Photoshop and Lightroom for different reasons, but because I’ve been obsessed with Lightroom lately, I really wanted to share my tips and tricks for easily getting those beautiful food photos with just a few simple edits!
First thing’s first, let’s import these photos into Lightroom!

As you can see I’ve uploaded several photos of these beets that I photographed for a delicious hummus recipe that is coming to the blog soon. For this tutorial I only want the beets imported and not ALL of the pictures in my folder so a little trick that I like to do is click the first photo in the section, hold down the shift key and then click the last of the photos that I want to use. This will quickly select ONLY the group of photos that you want to edit and then just simply click import! Once the photos have been imported onto Lightroom you’ll want to create a folder for them so they’ll be nice and organized as well as easy to find.
Editing Photos
Now that your photos have been imported, it’s time to do some editing! I personally like to go through first and delete any photos I know I won’t be using so that I only have my favorites to edit, but this step is of course completely up to you. To do this, just click on the photos you want to delete and hit the backspace button. Lightroom will ask you if you want to delete them from the disk or just remove them from Lightroom. I always hit “remove” and boom done! Easy peasy. Okay so let’s dive into the fun stuff – the editing process!
When I first started editing photos I found that I was almost always using the same edits for all of my food shots so I quickly learned how to create my own saved presets in Lightroom which not only saves me loads of editing time, but it also helps to keep my photos looking consistent on my site. You can literally change your entire photo with just one click! Lightroom allows you to save multiple presets (or even download pre-made ones), but for this tutorial I’ll show you my usual Lightroom workflow and how you can easily save the edits to use on other photos.
Tilting and Cropping

Make sure you are under the “develop” tab now from this point forward as this is where you will be doing all of your editing. The first thing I always do is see if my photo needs to be cropped or tilted in order to remove any outside edges that don’t need to be in the photo or to zoom in on a particular area to enhance whatever look you are trying to achieve. This particular photo doesn’t really need much cropping, but I wanted to show you this super helpful tool anyway!
White Balance

White balance is one of the most important factors in food photography that you want to make sure you understand. Although as much as we try to capture the perfect shot within our camera first, often times the natural lighting is a bit harsh or too dark and we need to go in and adjust the white balance in our editing software. You will find this option under the basic edits tab on the right sidebar and I just love the options Lightroom gives you! Usually I keep the white balance “as shot” since I try to capture the best white balance in my actual camera when taking the photo, but this option is totally worth mentioning. Now there are a few different ways you can adjust the white balance in Lightroom – one way is by using the little dropper which is the white balance selector or you can choose from a list of white balance settings that are similar to the settings in your DSLR camera. Some of these can turn out pretty extreme, but depending on the look you are going for they may be really helpful.
For this particular photo I’m going to keep my white balance on “as shot.”
Basic Edits
Once I’m happy with the white balance in my photo, I then move on to the basic edits. This is where I usually just hit a saved preset (as I mentioned above) which makes this process super fast and easy, but let’s go through my typical workflow so you can try them yourself! Here is a list of all the edits I typically use although they do vary depending on the photo.

First I bumped up the exposure just a bit to brighten things up and increase the amount of light in my photo. I love having great light in my photos, but be careful not to increase the exposure too much as highlights and bright spots can get blown out.
Next I boosted the contrast a bit just to make the colors stand out a little more.
For this particular photo I actually decreased the highlights a bit because the light on the beets were pretty bright to begin with. Toning down these highlights shows off more detail and removes that harsh light.
Next we can adjust the shadows which is something I really like to play around with as shadows add so much depth and texture to a photo. I actually really like the way the shadows look in this photo already so I’m going to move on to the next set of adjustments.
The whites and blacks adjustments are another great way of lightning or darkening a photo. In this photo I don’t really have any whites or blacks that I’d like to enhance so I’m going to leave these alone.
Next I adjusted the clarity a bit giving the beets a little more texture and definition. If you were to move the adjustment bar all the way to the left, however, you would notice that the image becomes super soft and a bit fuzzy. Again this all depends on the look you are trying to achieve!
The vibrance and saturation adjustments are next and these are really important for making those colors stand out! I usually don’t mess around with the saturation too much only because I want the colors to look as natural as possible, but for this photo I did bump up the vibrance a little bit.

Let’s take a look at what we have so far!

As you can see the beets have been brightened up and look more defined in some areas. Plus how cool is this trick Lightroom does to show you the side-by-side before and after shots so you can look at your changes! Now let’s take a look at the next set of adjustments that just so happen to be a total favorite of mine.
Specific Color Adjustments
These are by far some of my favorite adjustments when editing photos, specifically when I shoot leafy greens and veggies! This photo of the beets makes a great example because of how gorgeous the purple coloring is next to the pretty green leaves. For these edits I basically just bumped up the greens under the “hue” tab and then adjusted the magenta color under the “saturation” tab. I also noticed that there were a ton of highlights on the beets taking away from the coloring so I toned down the magenta highlights under the “luminance” tab to show off that gorgeous color.
No let’s take a look at what these changes look like!

Do you see the difference in the colors?? I just love how everything looks super fresh and vibrant. I mean there is nothing worse than photos of dull green produce that make you want to never eat a salad again so if you want your images to really stand out this is a great tool to use!
Sharpening
Last, but not least there is the sharpening feature which really helps make the little details stand out. Be careful with this tool because you really don’t want to over-sharpen your image because, as I’ve said before, you really want your photos to look as natural as possible. For this particular photo I did expand the radius a bit and sharpened everything a little bit more. I really wanted to highlight the texture of the beets as well as the ridges on the stems. Photoshop actually has a great sharpening tool as well that I like to use so often times I’ll use both programs when editing photos.
Now there are still SO many other features included in Lightroom that you can use to edit and enhance your photos such as the spot removal feature, the adjustment brush, different filters, etc., but the edits I’ve shown you are really all you need to achieve a beautiful food photo!
Adobe Lightroom Mobile App
Yes it is true!! Adobe Lightroom now has a mobile app where you can easily upload and edit photos right on your phone which I love using when posting photos on Instagram or Facebook. Here are some awesome features worth noting:

You can easily import photos right from your camera roll OR sync collections of photos already saved in Lightroom from your computer.
You can also take photos immediately within the Lightroom app itself by hitting the camera icon.
Lightroom makes editing photos such a breeze with a super user-friendly tool bar where you can crop images, apply presets, or use the adjustment settings to fix the contrast, vibrance, white balance, etc.
Just as Lightroom on your computer can save your edits, the mobile app can also save your edits from previous photos!
You can also share your edited photos on Instagram, Twitter, email and more.

Best part is you can now sign up for the Creative Cloud Photography Plan for only $10 a month! Not only does this give you access to Lightroom and the mobile app, but you will also have access to Adobe Photoshop which is another amazing program!! Seriously I can’t stress enough what an incredible deal this is – when I first started using Adobe they unfortunately didn’t offer this plan so I ended up shelling out hundreds of dollars to use these programs which YES was completely worth the investment because they are absolutely necessary for my food photography, but having access to BOTH Lightroom and Photoshop for only $10 a month is such an incredible steal! Creative Cloud is super affordable, easy to download and is instantly added to your computer. Another great aspect I love about Lightroom is that you can easily access and edit your photos within the software, on any internet browser and from the mobile app! And I mean c’mon, we spend more than $10 a month on Starbucks….am I right??
To get started today with the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, click here!
Giveaway!!
Now get excited because Adobe has generously offered one lucky reader the chance to win a full year of FREE access to the entire Creative Cloud Photography Plan!! This of course includes Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and complete access to the mobile app – a $120 value! Enter below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Best of luck to you all with this incredible giveaway and please let me know in the comments section if you have any questions at all! I have personally used Adobe products for years and find that even though both Photoshop and Lightroom are different programs, they do both help to achieve amazing photos. Let me know if you’d be interested specifically in a Photoshop tutorial because I’d be happy so share one! There are lots of different tips and tricks within Photoshop that you can’t really do in Lightroom, while Lightroom of course has incredible features that Photoshop doesn’t have. This is why I like them each individually and often times use them together!
This post is sponsored by Adobe. As always all opinions are 100% my own.
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