Liz's Life Hacks

Here's Some Recipes to 'Hack' Your Way To Healthy

Grilled Chicken Salad


¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 ears shucked corn
2 (1/2-inch-thick) red onion slices (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
Cooking spray
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 cups baby arugula
1 head Romaine lettuce, sliced into (1/2-inch-thick) strips
1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
½ ripe avocado, cut into thin wedges
⅓ cup small basil leaves

How to Make It:
Step 1:
Preheat oven to 300°. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup oil in a slow, steady stream.
Step 2:
Toss Roma tomatoes in remaining 2 table­spoons oil; arrange on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast 1 hour or until tomatoes are slightly browned and skins begin to pull away; let cool. Remove tomato skins, and cut tomatoes in half horizontally; discard skins.
Step 3:
Preheat grill to high heat (450° to 500°). Coat corn and red onion slices with cooking spray. Place on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook 12 minutes or until charred, turning occasionally. Remove from grill. Cut kernels from corn; discard cobs.
Step 4:
Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Grill chicken 12 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally; let stand 5 minutes. Thinly slice chicken across the grain.
Step 5:
Combine arugula and lettuce in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons dressing; toss to coat. Top with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, chicken, corn, roasted tomato halves, and avocado. Sprinkle salad evenly with basil leaves, and serve with remaining dressing.

Spaghetti Bolognese


1 tbsp olive oil
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, trimmed and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2-3 sprigs rosemary leaves picked and finely chopped
500g beef mince

For the bolognese sauce

2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
small pack basil leaves picked, ¾ finely chopped and the rest left whole for garnish
1 tsp dried oregano
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 beef stock cube
1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
125ml red wine
6 cherry tomatoes sliced in half

To season and serve

75g parmesan grated, plus extra to serve
400g spaghetti
crusty bread to serve (optional)

How to Make It:
Step 1:
Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
Step 2:
Add 4 finely chopped bacon rashers and fry for 10 mins until golden and crisp.
Step 3:
Reduce the heat and add the 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs rosemary, all finely chopped, then fry for 10 mins. Stir the veg often until it softens.
Step 4:
Increase the heat to medium-high, add 500g beef mince and cook stirring for 3-4 mins until the meat is browned all over.
Step 5:
Add 2 tins plum tomatoes, the finely chopped leaves from ¾ small pack basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 1 beef stock cube, 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli (if using), 125ml red wine and 6 halved cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the plum tomatoes.
Step 6:
Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hr 15 mins stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce.
Step 7:
Add the 75g grated parmesan, check the seasoning and stir.
Step 8:
When the bolognese is nearly finished, cook 400g spaghetti following the pack instructions.
Step 9:
Drain the spaghetti and either stir into the bolognese sauce, or serve the sauce on top. Serve with more grated parmesan, the remaining basil leaves and crusty bread, if you like.

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff


160g/5¾oz dried pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
1 tsp olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
180g/6⅓oz mixed mushrooms (such as oyster, shiitake, maitake, eryngii) or brown mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tbsp vegan ‘butter’
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp tamari
125ml/4fl oz vegetable stock
125ml/4fl oz plant-based crème fraîche or single cream alternative
½ lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish

How to Make It:
Step 1:
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
Step 2:
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
Step 3:
Add the mushrooms and butter and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the smoked paprika, mustard and tamari. Pour in the stock and cook for a few minutes, then turn the heat down as low as possible.
Step 4:
Mix the crème fraîche with the lemon juice, then spoon into the mushroom mixture and slowly stir through (the heat should be at the absolute minimum to prevent the cream from separating). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5:
Drain the pasta and serve in two bowls. Top with the mushroom stroganoff and garnish with thyme

Protein Balls


150g porridge oats
50g protein powder of your choice (we used vanilla whey)
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
150g nut butter of your choice (we used peanut)
4 tbsp plant milk
25g chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

How to Make It:
Step 1:
Combine the oats, protein powder, flaxseed and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla extract, nut butter, milk and chocolate chips.
Step 2:
Stir well to combine the mixture, then, using damp hands, roll it into 15 balls (they should be about 30g each). Arrange on a plate and chill for 30 mins until firm, then serve.

Chocolate Chia Pudding


60g chia seeds
400ml unsweetened almond milk or hazelnut milk
3 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
cacao nibs, mixed
frozen berries, to serve

How to Make It:
Step 1:
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl with a generous pinch of sea salt and whisk to combine. Cover with cling film then leave to thicken in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Step 2:
Spoon the pudding into four glasses, then top with the frozen berries and cacao nibs.
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