Companion Meals

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COMPANION MEAL MENU #1  – serves 9 (8 regular and 1 Vibrant Life)

Spicy Boy-Worthy BBQ Chicken Skewers

So, one of the things I’ve been itching to start is what I’m calling “Companion Meals.” No, this does not mean I will companionably eat with you and chat endlessly about politics, which hair product eliminates dry scalp and what to do about your Aunt Hildegard who must be watched because she has almost lit her kitchen on fire twice, mysteriously and repetitively says, “Is that so,” no matter what the topic, and has really gone quite batty. What I mean by that term is recipes that allow for you to make one recipe for your family and a very similar companion meal for yourself that follows the rules of The Vibrant Life Diet, because who has margin for double the creativity, effort and time?! I hope you enjoy this bbq meal which my boys love because the bbq meat and potatoes make it hearty and tasty!

Start preparing the potato side dishes first, then the items to be grilled and, last, the fruit salad.

  • Chicken and Veggie Skewers (bbq sauce for the family and naked for us)
  • Cubed roast potatoes (family)/ sweet potatoes (us)
  • Strawberry, Pineapple and Cinnamon fruit salad for all  

Step 1: Soak the bamboo skewers for a half hour to avoid blackening and fire; also, peel, cut into 2 inch lengths and parboil the carrots listed below for 5 minutes, set aside.

Step 2: Make Sides. Preheat oven to 410 degrees.

SIDES

Roasted Potato Side

  • 25 Medium potatoes 
  • 1 large sweet potato (I eat half)
  • Light olive oil for drizzling
  •  1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to brush on 
  • Spices: red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, pepper, chives, onion powder or a mixed seasoning used for chicken
  • Organic No-Salt Seasoning (Costco)

1. Rinse and cube potatoes, place in a large baking dish, drizzle lightly with light olive oil, flavor with sparing use of red pepper flakes, light sprinkling of each of the following: garlic powder, ground pepper, sea salt, chives and onion powder.

2. Mix well and place into a 410 degree oven. Set timer for 30 minutes and check regularly after that. These usually take 45 minutes, depending on the heat of your oven. If you have a coil heated oven, place in the middle to upper part of the oven and check regularly. They are done when they reach a golden, crispy brown (I always taste test too). You can serve these as they are or with a high fructose free ketchup, which I haven’t shopped for yet. My family likes them plain.

Vibrant Life Followers: Cube sweet potatoes, brush sparingly with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and lightly season with a no salt seasoning, such as the one listed above.

Fruit Salad for All

  • 1 very large pineapple
  • 4 Pounds of Strawberries
  • Cinnamon for lightly sprinkling

Chop a fresh pineapple into small wedges using the tougher center as well, cut 4 pounds of strawberries into slices (I prefer to cut large ones in fours- down the middle both ways and smaller ones in half). Gently mix fruit together and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. The natural sugars in the pineapple make the cinnamon delicious without sugar. Everyone may enjoy this fruit salad!

Step 3: Make Chicken Skewers and Vegetable Kebabs

MAIN

Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers and Vegetable Kebabs 

Amount is for 8 servings for the main meal (2 vegetable kebabs and 1 chicken thigh skewer with 3 thighs per person) and 1 serving for the Vibrant Life companion meal (2 combined cubed chicken and vegetable kebabs).

  • 26 Wooden or metal kabob skewers, pre- soaked
  • Light olive oil (Perhaps, 1/3 Cup to brush on vegetables)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Coconut Oil to brush on Vibrant Life Kebabs
  • Organic No-Salt Seasoning (Costco)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cubed chicken breast 
  • 24 Whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I usually use 3 thighs each per adult)
  • 24 oz. Whole mushrooms
  • 32 oz. Bag of baby squash, leave whole (Costco)
  • 3 Very large onions, cut in large 1.5-2 inch wedges or chunks  (sweet or red)
  • 2 lbs. Baby tomatoes, leave whole (you won’t use this whole amount)
  • 3 Orange and yellow bell peppers, cut in large 2 inch pieces
  • 9 large and fat carrots, prepared earlier- 5 minute parboiled and cut into 2 inch lengths

1. Place all veggies, including parboiled carrots, in a mixed pattern on 16 of the bamboo skewers. Lightly brush on a light olive oil.

2. On 8 skewers, place 3 whole chicken thighs on each, giving a little room between them.

3. On two skewers, place veggies and cubed chicken breast in an alternating pattern. Brush 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil on these two skewers.

4. When the potatoes have 20 minutes left, begin grilling the chicken thigh skewers on medium high. Cook until the chicken juice runs clear when cut and they look a golden brown color, about 20 minutes. The last five minutes of grilling, brush the chicken in a non high fructose corn syrup bbq sauce. We tried a new one sold at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers called The Rib House, Medium, All Natural Gluten Free, A full Bodied, Tangy BBQ Sauce; it had a spicy smokey taste and my boys approved!

5. When the potatoes have 15 minutes left, the x2 Vibrant Life combo chicken breast and vegetable skewers can go on too, lightly seasoned in the last 10 minutes with Organic No-Salt Seasoning 

6. When the potatoes have 8 minutes left, the vegetable skewers can go on and be cooked and watched carefully.

Vibrant Life Followers: 2 cubed chicken and vegetable grilled kebabs

 

Mexican Meal-2

COMPANION MEAL #2

Mexican Bibb Lettuce wraps (serves 9, so most families could halve this)

  • Chicken Tenders (3-4 per person) Grill on lowest heat for 15 minutes (Watch them closely because they can quickly become overdone)
  • One large bundle of green onions, cut in tiny slices
  • Bibb Lettuce, 1.5 heads, carefully torn off as whole leaves, rinsed and laid whole on a platter
  • 3 Avacados scooped in small rounds
  • 2 15 Oz. cans of Organic Black Beans, from Costco, heated up (towards the end of the meal prep)
  • 1.5 pounds of Cheese, grated
  • 2 English style Cucumbers, diced
  • 1 lb. box of Grape style Tomatoes, halved
  • Light Sour Cream (Vibrant Life use Fat free yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fat Free Greek Yoghurt, from Costco
  • 1 batch of homemade salsa, (see recipe below)
  • 1 bundle of Cilantro chopped fine

Assemble all of these items on plates for serving.

Homemade 5-minute Salsa

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bundle of Cilantro, tails cut off
  • 1-2 Jalepenos, topped, leave seeds in (Start with one and add the next one by half after you taste test. Sometimes I use 1, sometimes 1.5, occasionally 2).
  • 1 teaspoon of dry garlic
  • 1 28 Oz. can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, no salt added
  • Salt to taste (usually close to a teaspoon)

Instruct your family to use the Bibb Lettuce leaves like a taco and use all the toppings to fill it, with Sour Cream and Salsa on top.

Vibrant Life Folks: use only 1 total Tablespoon of cheese, use Fat Free Greek Yoghurt instead of Sour Cream, use salsa and beans in a more limited way (because of the salt and the # of carbs in the beans also) and go lighter on avocados too. 

Serve with watermelon on a hot day and you will be a hero. My family LOVED this meal!

Dessert:

  • Quality Vanilla ice-cream
  • Cinnamon

For an easy, Mexican style dessert, reminiscent of Horchata (A vanilla cinnamon rice drink), serve your family a quality Vanilla Ice-Cream sprinkled with Cinnamon.

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