Looking for a simple low carb meal for the summer? This is it! Marinade your chicken and chop the veggies the night before and dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes!
We’re on our third week of a low-carb lifestyle and it’s not easy, my friends! I love all carbs and I want them 24/7. Don’t worry, I allow myself to splurge once a week. This won’t be a permanent change, but I do want to get better about what I’m eating.
When it comes to low-carb eating, I totally can nail the protein, but finding sides that are satisfying (and NOT POTATO) can be tricky. This Mojo chicken meal is a one pan meal, you cook the veggies in the cast iron right after cooking the chicken.
Marinading chicken in citrus makes it turn out super juicy and it adds so much flavor. Since citrus is acidic, you can’t marinade it too long, or it will start to “cook” the meat–24 hours is maximum for this one.
The combination of grapefruit and lemon give this marinade a nice kick, while the cumin and cilantro add a great pop of flavor. If you’re a cilantro hater, sub in fresh parsley instead.
Since this marinade is so popular in our house, I usually do a whole bag of chicken at a time. We have used leftovers for lettuce wraps, in salads with avocado and fresh tomato or just even to snack on. It’s that.good.
Since we’re in prime farmer’s market season, the veggie side can contain whatever you have on hand! I love the combination of zucchini, carrots and onions, but also consider cabbage, mushrooms, broccoli or peppers. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge drawer, too!
Looking for a low carb meal for the summer? This easy Mojo chicken marinade can't be beat! Use the grilled chicken for salads, snacks or a filling meal. Try the cheesy charred veggies as a new go-to low carb side!
- 2.5 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts about 5-6 breasts
- 1 whole grapefruit cut in half, to juice
- 1 whole lime cut in half, to juice
- 1 whole lemon cut in half, to juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 whole shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Roasted garlic red wine vinegar
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
In a 9x13 pan, juice grapefruit, lemon and lime. No need to worry about any seeds! Stir to combine. Add shallot, oregano and cumin, plus salt and pepper. Whisk. Finally add mint and cilantro.
Add chicken to the marinade dish (it's okay if it's frozen!). Coat in marinade and cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, maximum 24 hours.
To cook: heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add EVOO. Remove chicken from marinade and slowly add 4 pieces of chicken to the hot pan. (Discard marinade!!). Cook on 4 minutes each side, or until fully cooked. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Remove all chicken from pan and add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Allow to melt, then add chopped veggies. Allow the veggies to char in the pan, stirring frequently--about 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Turn off heat.
Top the veggies with cheese allow to melt. Serve with chicken. Garnish with extra lime wedges and chopped cilantro, if desired.
Any 3 cups of veggies are delish--try mushrooms, cabbage, peppers or broccoli!
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used, too. Also try bone in thighs or salmon!
Some tips for starting out on low-carb:
- It gets easier. I promise! Yes, I still complain sometimes, but finding substitutions has been super helpful. The pork rinds from Aldi are a lifesaver! Also making tortillas from baked shredded cheese has been a fun find–makes taco night delish! Instead of being negative about what I can’t have, I’ve been trying to be adventurous and find fun swaps to try.
- Find affordable swaps. If you go on Pinterest, there are so many recipes with hard to find, expensive ingredients. It can be done cheaply! Try Aldi for great staples like butter, cheese, almond milk and aforementioned pork rinds. I also got some great deals at Thrive Market. Costco has almond flour SUPER cheap! For produce, hit up farmers markets or the great sales on produce this time of year. Frozen veggies can be your friend, too. Tip: I do NOT like the frozen cauliflower rice. Yeesh.
- Drink lots of water. Also, take your vitamins! When I feel like I’m dragging a bit, I’ll drink more water and also watermelon with a sprinkle of salt helps, too!
- You can still drink. Summertime means fun patio drinks and events. There are plenty of swap-outs that will keep you on track. Did you know most of my InBooze infusions are low-carb friendly? Try the Strawberry Margarita with soda water and lime wedges. TO DIE FOR! Also try hard seltzer waters, we’re loving the Bon + Viv ones!
Have you gone low-carb? What are your favorite meals? I WANT TO KNOW!