CJK FOODS BLOG

Convenient, Healthy, & Delicious Meals. We use almost 95% organic ingredients, and local grassfed beef, pastured free range chicken, turkey, and pork. Delivered to your home and partner gyms throughout Chicago. We are the best & healthiest personal chef service in Chicago! www.cjkfoods.com

Strawberry and Pistachio Salad

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When I first met this salad she wore thinly sliced proscuitto, sliced fennel, and a tangy red wine vinegar dressing.  As I’ve gotten to know her over the years shes changed from being raw and tangy to crisp and balanced.  This salad is soooo good and great for a summer day.  

In this salad you will find:

Marinated Granny Smith Apples (salt, lemon, organic extra virgin olive oil)

Season’s Peak Sliced Strawberries

Fresh Farm Greens (From our garden starting in May!)

Baby Spinach

My hopefully famous someday Pistachio Vinaigrette

Slivered Red Onion

Toasted Pistachios

Organic Sliced Chicken

If you’d like to make my Pistachio Vinaigrette here are the details:

1 Cup of Pistachios, shelled

1 TBS Dijon Vinaigrette

1 TBS hemp seeds, you know, for Omega-3’s

4 TBS Agave Nectar

1 Cup Water

3 TBS White Wine Vinegar

1 Garlic Clove

1 TBS Chopped Cilantro

Simply begin by blending the Pistachios, Dijon, Hemp Seeds, Agave Nectar, Water, White Wine Vinegar, Garlic, and Cilantro together until smooth.  Then slowly pour the oil into the blender so that it forms an emulsification.  This dressing is very stable.  It wil keep in the refrigerator for at least a week or two.  It yields about 2 cups!  Each serving (1 TBS) is about 122 Calories and full of nutrients and healthy fats!!  Enjoy!

If you’re in the Chicago area and would like to receive CJK’s Healthy Menu available for pick up or delivery click here.

Mexicali versus Chipotle

Think Chipotle is “healthy Mexican”? Think again. If our Mexicali was a Crossfitter, Chipotle would be a weekend jogger.

 Let’s start with the chicken. Chipotle uses chickens that were not given antibiotics or hormones. 1 point for drug-free chickens. Our Mexicali uses chickens that were not given antibiotics or hormones AND were allowed to see sunlight and run their little chicken legs around outside, doing their Workout of the Day most likely. Plus their diets a supplemented with non-GMO feed.  2 points.

 We’ll move on to the vegetables, in the form of kale, cabbage, broccoli, and avocado (guacamole.) Kale serves 2x the Vitamin A as Romaine used at Chipotle and 10x the Vitamin K. Vitamin A and K are essential for bone health (yes, you need more than calcium for strong bones!) Plus the healthy fat in the avocado helps your body use these fat-soluble vitamins. Then the broccoli adds a significant detoxification boost, supporting your body’s liver and kidneys.  The knockout punch is CJK’s use of organic produce. Winner….Mexicali! 

The Best Meal after Riding a Rollercoaster? And other perks of our Asian Meatballs.

If I told you that Asian Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice would be a really smart choice after riding a rollercoaster, would you believe me? Well you should, because the reason that the dish could help your post-rollercoaster woes is….ginger. Given a bad rap thanks to awkward red heads, ginger can help relieve motion sickness and actually has some insane perks your whole body can benefit from. 

·      Ginger gives you more bang for your nutrition buck. It stimulates digestive juices so you can absorb more nutrients in your food!

·      Perhaps you’ve had ginger ale when going through the flu? Ginger is really nature’s Nyquil, helping us fight the cold, flu, and cough for 1000s of years.

·      It’s time to toss the pain meds. Ginger reduces pain and inflammation working in a similar way to aspirin and ibuprofen.  

Remember, we sprinkled ginger in both the meatballs and the cauliflower rice of this Asian-inspired dish.  You’re welcome.  

Hey Ma…The Meatloaf. We Want It NOW!

Who doesn’t want meatloaf? Clearly our customers do, since the Paleo Grassfed Meatloaf is a favorite on the CJK Foods menu. We put our own twist on meatball’s older brother though. First we use grass-fed beef (the anti-inflammatory version of conventional beef) and packing the ‘loaf with veggies instead of breadcrumbs. Then, we’re topping it with a ridiculous sundried tomato tapenade. (Did you know you get more health-promoting nutrients from cooking a tomato versus eating it raw?) Finally, it’s served with a side of…you guessed it…vegetables! In fact, it is a Mediterranean blend of roasted organic veggies. Mediterranean with meatloaf? Trust in our madness. Trust.  

This is a great recipe to whip together for a post workout lunch or when you’re in a pinch for dinner.  I always keep cooked chicken breasts in my fridge for a quick snack or meal, or if I’m super busy I grab an all-natural rotisserie chicken from the store and keep it in my fridge.  Simply pull the breast from the bone and toss it with the rest of the ingredients for a healthy, Energy Packed lunch.
Nutritionally you’ll be fueling your body with protein packed kale and chicken as well as the super healthy fat of a fresh ripe avocado. Toss in a quickly-chopped jalapeño for a dash of heat.

5-Minute Energy Packed Green Salad

650 Calories 
Serves 2….or one hungry chef!
2 Cup Baby Kale
2 Cup Baby Spinach
2 Cup Romaine Lettuce
1 Lime, Juiced
1 Avocado
1 Cup Pulled Rotisserie Chicken
2 TBS Cilantro, Torn
1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
Salt and Pepper to taste
1.  Rinse and chop the romaine lettuce, tear it with your fingers add it to a large bowl with 2 cups of baby spinach and 2 cups of baby kale.
2.  Halve a ripe avocado and remove the pit.  Using a spoon scrape spoonfuls of avocado into the salad bowl, season with a bit of salt and pepper.
3.  Remove the breast from the chicken and shred with a fork to produce 1 cup of flakey pieces.  Using clean hands works well for this too.
4.  Rinse the cilantro and tear the large leaves, removing the stems, and placing them in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.  
5.  Add the shredded carrots to the bowl.
6.  Halve and squeeze the lime over the entire salad, toss to mash the avocado slightly (this will help create a nice creamy dressing!!), season if necessary and serve!

We love kale.

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When it comes to super foods, kale is it.  This is why we try and include  a generous portion in many of our meals CJK.  Kale, part of the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), has three areas it shines in: 

High in antioxidants

Anti-Inflammatory

Anti-Cancer Nutrients

If our bodies are suffering from free radical damage, meaning what we create in our choice in lifestyles (nutrition, sleep, exercise, emotional well-being) or by the environment (pollution, drinking unfiltered water), we increase our risk for inflammation which cannot be fought off without foods rich in anti-oxidants and can lead to various diseases and illnesses, including cancer.  It is a bad cycle to get our bodies into. 

For one cup of kale and only 36 calories, it provides 1367% Vitamin K, 354% of Vitamin A and almost 90% Vitamin C!  In fact, Kale contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin K as most of its fellow  cousins in the cruciferous family.  Vitamin K is known for helping to reduce inflammation and why it is important to get this highly nutritious vegetable into your meals at least 2-3 days per week. 

Now that is nutrient dense!  Let’s not forget important trace minerals such as calcium, copper and manganese, which is important for optimal brain function, muscle relaxation and building skeletal tissues. 

How can you sneak it in?  Add it to meatballs, quiches, marinara sauces, stir-fry’s, brown rice, quinoa or even make your own kale chips!

Why is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet the basis of how we cook?

We are becoming a sicker nation.  When inflammation in the body increases it provides an environment for disease to fester.  One way to reduce this inflammation is to eat healthy, whole foods and rid the foods that increase the internal swelling in the body.  What foods cause this?   Gluten, soy, dairy, conventional meats, unhealthy fats such as (trans fats, corn, soybean, peanut, sunflower and safflower oils) as they promote inflammation because of the way the certain body types digests them.

We and countless others believe that eating a diet that is colorful, lower in carbs, higher in good fats and proteins is key to help reducing pain, fatigue and disease.  This is why we try and pack each dish we create with as many nutrient dense vegetables, grains, and proteins as we can. 

For more information on the types of healthy meals we create please visit our website:  www.cjkfoods.com

We will be offering our Superbowl #Paleo Fajitas for delivery at @RNCROSSFIT. They will be available for pickup next week Friday!  Bring this #Paleo buffet to your party and convert your friends to the caveman lifestyle!

Each Super Bowl Package will contain the following:Free Range Chicken with our legit Mexican MarinadeSpanish Cauliflower RiceFresh GuacamoleFresh Pico De GalloSauteed Latin Veggies

To order, click here!

We will be offering our Superbowl #Paleo Fajitas for delivery at @RNCROSSFIT. They will be available for pickup next week Friday!  Bring this #Paleo buffet to your party and convert your friends to the caveman lifestyle!

  • Each Super Bowl Package will contain the following:

    Free Range Chicken with our legit Mexican Marinade
    Spanish Cauliflower Rice
    Fresh Guacamole
    Fresh Pico De Gallo
    Sauteed Latin Veggies

To order, click here!

We love cooking with Orange foods here in the CJK Kitchen.  The starchy vegetables of the fall, sweet potatoes, carrots, acorn squash, and pumpkin are rich in Vitamin A which helps to boost the immune system to help fight those winter colds while building collagen in preparation for the summer months.  The thing we love most though is their awesome flavor and ability to be used in some many ways.  Here is great dish to serve during the winter months, and a super easy one my family loves!

1 Butternut Squash, Large Dice

5 Cloves of garlic, Minced

1lb of Brussels Sprouts, Halved

1 Bunch of Kale, Chopped Finely

6 TBS Olive Oil

6 TBS Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Pecans

1.  Toss the diced butternut squash with half of the minced garlic, 3 TBS olive oil, and chopped kale.  Bake in a 400F oven on parchment paper for about 15-20.  I love my squash a little caramelized :)  Lastly, the Kale should come out slightly crunchy, almost like kale chips. I love the roasted umami flavor this gives the dish!  If you’d like them a little less crispy, toss the kale with the Brussels Sprouts!

2.  While the squash is roasting toss the Brussels Sprouts, Pecans, Maple syrup, 3 TBS olive oil, half of the garlic, and season well.  Place the brussels sprouts flat side down on a parchment lined sheet tray.  This will help caramelize the flat side of the brussels sprouts perfectly!  Place a piece of foil over the brussels sprouts before placing them in the oven.  Bake in a 400F degree oven for 5 minutes covered with foil.  Remove the foil from the sprouts and finish cooking for another 5 minutes.

3.  Remove both the squash mixture as well as the sprouts mixture from the oven.  Toss them together and season well.  Serve immediately!

The sweetness of the squash and maple syrup offset the funky-ness of the kale and brussels sprouts.