Grain-free balsamic mushroom chicken with zucchini pasta

 = Random dinner inspiration that turned out quite well 🙂

Pan fried balsamic mushroom chicken  1 of 1 2

I haven’t been feeling super inspired in the kitchen lately. I’ve been begging my brother to post some recipes on their blog -they’re doing the Whole 30 right now and have been making some delicious and healthy creations- and feel on and off about cooking. I talked to my mom about it and she said, “Sometimes you just get sick of your own cooking.” THAT’S EXACTLY IT. When the Pilot makes food… or a restaurant makes the food… it tastes so good to me right now.

Anyway, I suddenly had my cooking pants on last night! I got home from BODYPUMP, looked in the fridge, and saw the mushrooms and chicken that were originally destined for shish kebobs and thought: “Chicken marsala.” (Side note: my uncle E the cheffer makes chicken marsala so good it will bring tears to your eyes.)

We didn’t have any marsala on hand, but I like to use balsamic and chicken stock to deglaze the pan. With some zucchini noodles and some old-school sweet potato goat cheese rounds, it was an awesome meal.

Pan fried balsamic mushroom chicken  1 of 1

(Sorry for the weird lighting! One day I will figure out white balance on my camera… *monkey covering face emoji*)

Here’s what I did for the chicken:

-Placed two chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag, and used a hammer to flatten them out to about 3/4 inch thickness

-Seasoned them with salt and pepper, and then coated with a mixture of almond meal, salt, pepper and garlic powder

-I added some olive oil to the pan and cooked the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, before transferring to a plate

-In the same pan, I added 2 pieces of chopped turkey bacon, a container’s worth of washed and sliced baby bella mushrooms and cooked for about 5 minutes before seasoning well with salt and pepper

Mushrooms and bacon  1 of 1

-Next, I deglazed the pan with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and about 1/2 cup of chicken stock

-Stirred in about a tablespoon of butter and added the chicken back in to warm through for a minute or so

Chicken and zucchini pasta  1 of 1

For the zucchini noodles, I spiralized them and quickly sautéed while the chicken was cooking:

Spiralized  1 of 1

Such a delicious and simple meal!
Yesterday was also Livi’s half birthday!! After dinner, we sang “Happy Half-Birthday” and let her blow out some candles. 😉 She had the sweetest most surprised smile on her face.

Half birthday girl

We love celebrating her half birthday, and also use it as a chance to focus on giving instead of receiving, so we do a major toy purge. We’ll be donating a lot of items this weekend, and also have a celebration with friends (a low-key BBQ with a jumping castle) to celebrate. 

This morning, I took an awesome spin class


Post spin w the bump

(pic after teaching with the bump on Monday)

and put together some snacks to take to Whitney; she had her baby this past weekend!! I got to meet him today, and he’s absolutely squishy and adorable and perfect. 

Lactation cookies:

Lactation cookies  1 of 1

Paleo bread:

Paleo bread  1 of 1

(I’ve been adding hemp seeds lately and it gives it a great texture)

and some other quick snacks like chocolate, turkey jerky, seaweed snacks and Mother’s Milk tea.

For now, I’m chilling around here and going to start tackling photo project during naptime. Hope you have a wonderful night and I’ll see you in the morning! <3



Recipe swap! Leave a healthy recipe that you’re loving in the comments section if you’d like! We can get some ideas from each other. 

Tips for your next set of squats: as you rise from the squat, think about really pressing the floor away from you. This well help to fully engage your legs. Make sure to keep your chest lifted, core tight and weight in your heels. A barre squat burner for ya is here and 25 ways to squat. 

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  1. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on July 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    This looks fabulous! Some of my favorite things all on the same plate! 😀

  2. Ali on July 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I so hear you! Sometimes only what others make us seems appetizing. You got your mojo back rather fast I’d say 🙂

    Fav recipes: cowboy caviare (sp) yikes, my apologies. Anyway, black beans, corn, avocado cubed, tomato, cilantro, lime, and dash of sea salt and pepper. I love to put it on top of grilled chicken or let’s be honest, dip some chips in it 🙂

    Another great summer recipe I love are lettuce wraps! So delish!

    For desert, I’m a huge fan of homemade peanut butter chocolate banana ice cream: blend 3 frozen bananas, 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder, dash of almond milk (very little), pb2 or 2 tbs peanut butter or nut butter of choice. Blend on low for 2 min, it is to die for! Super thick like a Wendy’s frosty! Top with chopped nuts, shaved coconut and a few dark choc chips 🙂

  3. Shantel on July 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Did you coat the chicken in almond milk or did you mean almond meal? I can’t wait to try this out!!

    Two of our favorite dinners currently in rotation are:

    • Fitnessista on July 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      meal! gah! thanks for catching that 🙂
      those recipes look awesome, too. thank you!

  4. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on July 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Sometimes you just have to wait for the inspiration to come back! Looks like a great dinner.

  5. Emily @ Always Emily H. on July 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I have been in a cooking rut for weeks and now I know why. I am totally sick of my own cooking!

  6. Kayla on July 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I created this recipe in an attempt to recreate a dish from Pita Jungle. It turned out so well that it’s become a regular meal at our house!

    Spicy Mango Shrimp
    ? 2 tsp coconut or olive oil
    ? 1 tsp butter
    ? 1 mango, peeled and diced
    ? 2 medium shallots or 1/2 large red onion, sliced into rings
    ? 2 cloves garlic, minced
    ? 1 lb frozen or fresh shrimp (about 20 large shrimp)
    ? Approx. 1 tbsp grated ginger (use about 1 inch piece and grate on the smallest size grate or with a zester)
    ? 1 tsp salt or to taste
    ? 2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
    ? 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, optional
    1. Melt butter and oil together in a skillet on medium heat. Add onion slices and cook stirring occasionally until just starting to brown.
    2. Add mango and let cook without stirring for about 2 minutes or until it starts to caramelize. Turn down heat to medium-low and cook a few more minutes until both mango and onion are caramelized.
    3. Add garlic and ginger, stir to combine. Add shrimp, salt and cayenne. Cook uncovered until shrimp are just cooked through. If needed, add up to 1 tbsp water to create a saucier dish. Serve over rice noodles or rice and garnish with cilantro.

  7. Cassie p on July 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Not a dinner recipe but I’m totally obsessed with these cookies chocolate chip cookies…

    2 cups almond meal
    1/4 cup coconut oil (softened)
    3 Tbsp maple syrup
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup chocolate chips

    Simply mix and roll into tablespoon balls and bake at 350F for 8-10 mins and let cool on the pan for 5 mins!

  8. Kariann on July 9, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    That recipe looks delicious! Can’t wait to try.

    This rec is rocking my socks off:

    And this one:

    I’m making your tomorrow night, don’t have enough time tonight in between zumba and waking up early tomorrow. So I put a tuna avocado salad together during lunch and am going to eat a sandwich for dinner with roasted asparagus and green beans.

    1 7oz can of tuna, drained
    1 avocado, mashed
    1 celery, chopped
    2 spoonfuls of greek plain yogurt
    1 spoonful of dijon mustard
    salt, pepper, cumin to taste
    –>mix all togetha for dinner with some spinach on a sandwich. try to save some for lunch the next day, self.

    • Kariann on July 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      inspired by anne’s healthy tuna salad and the healthy maven’s tuna avocado salad!

  9. Kim on July 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Gina! Long time reader, first time commenter 🙂 question where does Liv go when you workout? This is probably my biggest challenge as a mommy. Looking forward to hearing your experience!

  10. Katy on July 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    What spiralizer do you use? Looks cool!

  11. Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me on July 9, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I celebrated my half birthday when I was Liv’s age, and my parents got me half a cake. I was not amused by it, but looking back, I find it hilarious!

  12. angie on July 9, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Mmm I love balsamic chicken. 😀 Where did you get your zucchini spiralizer? I have the small hand one and would rather have a large one.

    Don’t feel bad…I wanted nothing to do with cooking when I was preggo. Nothing sounded good to me. Last year all I wanted was homemade smoothies (froz pineapple, mango with 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/4 cup martinellis apple juice, 1/2 cup trop50 oj (calcium), ice and blend)

    Or my fave..2 laughing cow cheese wedges smeared on high fiber tortilla (toufayan), add veggie burger, lettuce, tomato, pickles.

    Aww Happy half-birthday Livi!!!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      it’s from amazon! the joyce chen brand
      that makes me feel better. i’m hot and cold about cooking. some days i love it, other days, give me all the restaurant food

  13. Jessica on July 9, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I made a super random wrap for dinner last night after a late yoga sesh. It wasn’t heavy and it was filling enough to hold me over until morning, with some chocolate for dessert of course.

    Take as Sprouted grain tortilla and hummus spread on one side. Top with arugula, tomato, an egg fried over hard in coconut oil, nutritional yeast and my love, siracha. Roll like a burrito and feast!

  14. Jess on July 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Looks amazing! I had never heard of celebrating a half birthday. It is a cute idea! Lucky Livi! Love the toy purge idea my kids are not big fans of this, although they are getting better. I mostly have to sneak toys out they don’t play with.

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      yeah it’s been hard to teach her about that (she wants to hoard all of her toys) but we’ve talked about it a lot. i’m hoping it will just get easier as time goes on

  15. Diana on July 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    This looks delicious! Sometimes I wish I had my own personal chef to fix my meals for me because I’m totally that girl who doesn’t really like to cook. I mean, I’ll do it but I am hoping I’ll start learning to like the process more now that I’m making the attempt to cook more. My favorite recipes are usually simple, easy and super fast because I am too impatient to deal with too many details. My favorite go to recipe right now (and is husband approved) is: Super yum!

  16. Sagan on July 10, 2015 at 4:59 am

    What are the sweet potato goat cheese rounds???

    That dinner looks super tasty 🙂 Mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients.

  17. on July 10, 2015 at 6:28 am

    That looks delicious! What a great idea for celebrating a half birthday! It is so great to teach kids at an early age that giving is important.

  18. Gina on July 10, 2015 at 6:32 am

    The half birthday idea is great – I’m a 2 days before Christmas birthday – I should do that too. The photo of Livi is so adorable! Gina (from Mass)

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      it’s perfect because more people are around during the summer! hope you’re having a great weekend <3

  19. Cassie on July 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I also love the 1/2 birthday giveaway tradition!

  20. Nicole | Health Nut in Training on July 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Karin B on July 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Have you tried Trader Joe’s Preserved Tunisian Lemon Slices? I bought a jar on a whim, but I’m not sure how I’m going to use them. Any ideas?

  22. Robin on July 13, 2015 at 3:03 am

    The pasta looks amazingly delicious.

  23. Kelly on July 13, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Lately, my husband and I have been loving spaghetti squash pad thai with this sauce:
    I’m pretty sure ANYTHING in this sauce would be amazing.

  24. Sharon H on July 20, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I am STILL looooving the almond meal and hemp crusted chicken you posted a while ago. My husband would even make it for me when I was pregnant and food prep turned my stomach 😉 Now back in full-effect, last night I sauteed some sliced rainbow carrots in the sauce and it was so delicious! Readers: If you haven’t tried this recipe, please do! SOOOO GOOD!

    • Fitnessista on July 20, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      yay, i’m so glad you like it!!!

  25. Nicole on September 9, 2015 at 11:06 am

    We made this last night for dinner (sans the turkey bacon) and it was SO GOOD! Thank you for posting so many amazing recipes!

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      yay, i’m glad you loved it! i need to make this one again 🙂

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