Ridiculous Tahini Sauce

We often get asked what sauces and condiments can be used to dress up otherwise dull chicken breast, eggs and grilled salmon, so for the next few weeks we’re going to focus on some different recipes that will keep life exciting. They’ll all be easy to make and, better yet, pack a taste punch.

This easy-to-make tahini sauce is completely ridiculous: ridiculously delicious, ridiculously healthy, ridiculously quick. We love it on kale salads, over grilled chicken breast, over vegetables; on pretty much anything. (I’m amazed we haven’t yet drank it straight from the bowl.) If you’re looking to shake things up and get away from salsa, give this a whirl — you’ll be ridiculously happy you did.

Prep Time: 3 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Servings: 8


1/3 cup tahini, stirred
1 garlic clove, minced finely
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne, optional
2 to 6 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon cilantro, optional


Whisk all ingredients, except water and cilantro, in a bowl until combined. The mixture will be very pasty, but that is normal. Add water a couple of tablespoons at a time and whisk until you have the desired consistency. Keep it somewhat thick if making a sauce for chicken or water it down a bit more if you’re using it as a salad dressing.

Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt or lemon juice, as you prefer. Top it with some of the cilantro and dig in! Store covered in the refrigerator up to 7 days.


Mexican Quinoa Salad

It was only a matter of time that we shared a quinoa recipe and we’re surprised it’s taken us this long, especially since it’s so damned good for you. It’s high in protein; gluten-free; a good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese; and contains all nine essential amino acids, which other grains do not.

This recipe is great for week day dinners. Throw some chicken breast or salmon on top and you’re all set!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Servings: 8


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cup quinoa (we like Trader Joe’s organic tri-color quinoa)
1 can (14 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (15-oz) organic black beans
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup corn
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper to taste


1/ Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for an additional minute.

2/ Stir in quinoa until fully mixed. Then add broth, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, beans and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and avocado.

3/ Enjoy!

Tenacious Turkey Chili

It’s snowing like mad outside, but we’ve got a big pot of this going inside, so we’re happy. We’ll be even happier later on when we dive into it. 

Turkey chili is the ultimate easy, healthy, comforting make-ahead meal. You can whip a pot of this up in less than an hour, freeze portions for during the week and know you’re covered. Even better, not only is this version super low-fat and high in protein, it’s off the chart with flavor. Tweak the amount of jalapenos and chili powder to your liking and feel free to throw in any additional vegetables you like — we’ll sometimes add zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower. So good and so easy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30-40 minutes | Servings: 8


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs ground turkey
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeño, minced (use less if you don’t like heat)
1 red pepper, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups kale, chopped
1 package frozen corn
1 can black beans
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
24 oz chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (omit if you don’t like heat)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large heavy pot, heat oil and cook turkey until lightly browned, breaking up turkey into bite-sized pieces.
2. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, red pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powders and basil. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, bay leaves, corn, beans, sweet potato and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
4. Add kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until kale is wilted.
5. Serve with cauliflower rice and low fat sour cream (or plain yogurt). Enjoy!

Red Lentil Soup

Now that it’s gotten crazy-cold out, it’s time to cook something that will help warm up your chilled (and hopefully tired since you’re coming back from working out!) bones. This is it. It takes about 10 minutes to prep, another 30 on the stove and then you’re good to go. A couple of slices of pita, a dollop of yogurt and you can call it a day.

Lentils are high in fiber (you’ll feel full longer), low calorie (about 230 calories per cup) and a great source of plant-based protein. They’re also rich in other vitamins and minerals. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 6-8


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, loosely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
16 oz red lentils
32 oz vegetable broth, preferably organic
32 oz water
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot, add olive oil and onions. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add carrots and garlic. Cook an additional two minutes.
3. Add cumin, coriander and chile powder. Cook for one minute, stirring.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for two minutes.
5. Add the lentils, vegetable broth and water. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 30 minutes until lentils are soft.
6. With a hand blender — or in batches in a regular blender — puree the soup. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
7. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Verde

A slow cooker is a wonderful thing. Fill it up with stuff, turn it on, go to work and then get hit with a blast of “OMFG, THAT SMELLS SO GOOD!” when you come home. If only everything in life was so simple and so thoroughly satisfying. 

Packed with protein and nutrients, this piquant chili verde is great for a night in at home. Have it over quinoa or riced cauliflower and top it with some scallions, avocado and a small dollop of (low fat!) sour cream and you’re good to go.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 4-8 hours | Servings: 6-8


1-1/2 pounds chicken breast
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 fresh jalapeños, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cans green chilis
1 cup salsa verde
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 32-ounce container of chicken stock, preferably low sodium and organic
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place the onion, jalapeño and minced garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add spices and mix.
2. Top with chicken breasts.
3. Add undrained cans of green chills and salsa verde.
4. Add the white beans and chicken broth.
5. Let chili simmer on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
6. Remove the chicken breasts and shred, then add back to the slow cooker for an additional 10 minutes.
7. Enjoy!

Five Minute Marinara

We understand… there are those late nights you get home and just open a jar of red sauce for over your pasta or, preferably, spaghetti squash. The problem is that many of those jarred sauces contain a ton of sugar. You’d be just as well off melting down your kids’ remaining Halloween candy and pouring it over. 

This great recipe contains no sugar, tastes great and takes about five minutes of your time. Throw in some vegetables if you want or some cut up chicken to amp it up. And you can freeze individual portions for use later, so you’ll never have to have Spaghetti alla Butterfinger ever again.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 45 mins | Servings: 4-8


1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
5 or 6 basil leaves, torn up
salt and pepper to taste


1. Over medium/high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook for one minute more.
2. Add chopped tomatoes and sauce, and cover pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Add basil and serve hot. Enjoy! And don’t forget to freeze leftover sauce for future use.

Real People | Why did you decide to start training?

Why do we go to the gym and spend hours each week lifting heavy things, sweating and pushing ourselves to exhaustion? Why do we go back… over and over? Meet some of the IronPlate family in our latest series “Real People” and learn what motivated each of them to begin working out. 

Interested in trying out IronPlate Studios? Try our New Client Special!

Baked Garlic Carrots

We admit it — carrots generally kind of suck. Boiled to ruin, over-buttered, bland, unappreciated. But the thing is, they don’t have to. With just a little love (or some balsamic vinegar and garlic), they can be rockstars. And it takes all of about five minutes of your time.

They’re also so good for you. They’re loaded with beta carotene, which is good for your vision. They help your skin, lower your risk of heart disease, cleanse your body, act as a natural toothbrush, and are packed with other vitamins and nutrients. Win win.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 30-45 mins | Servings: 4-6


1 lb organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic, garlic and thyme
3. Put carrots in baking dish and cover with olive oil and balsamic mixture. Make sure they’re all coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes. We like to pull them out when they’re still a little hard, around 30 mins, but keep them in for about 45 mins if you want them more tender.
5. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Dressing

A few months ago, we vowed to not eat another spoonful of riced cauliflower until at least 2017, maybe even 2018. We’re that sick of it. But, being the cauliflower lovers we are, we had to figure something else out since it’s not only delicious, but good for you — and this is it. Charred, smoky, flavorful and easy to make, we might not see the riced version again in our lifetimes.

Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous family, which includes other great foods likes broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale. Like those, it has virtually no calories or fat; is high in fiber, vitamins, folate and minerals; increases brain health; and so much more. It’s also gotten a lot of press for fighting cancer.

Let’s go!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10-20 mins | Servings: 2


1 head organic cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you wish)
salt and pepper to taste


1. Cut two thick "steaks" from the head of cauliflower slicing from top to bottom near the center. Each will be held together by the core. Save remaining pieces for tomorrow’s salad or a snack.
2. In an iron pan, heat olive oil on medium-high. Cook steaks for about 5 minutes on each side, until nicely browned and smoking slightly. Be careful not to burn, but don’t be afraid to give them some good char. 
3. While steaks are cooking, mix tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, coriander and cayenne in a bowl. If consistency is too thick, add additional water one teaspoon at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Remove steaks from pan, drizzle with tahini dressing and enjoy!

Tip: The tahini dressing is not only good on cauliflower, but also as a salad dressing or over chicken. Make double the amount for a rainy day!

Beet Chips with Herbes de Provence

Love potato chips, but hate them because they’re so bad for you? Hate beets but want to love them because they’re so good for you? Here’s your solution — beet chips. All of the crunch and flavor of potato chips with none of the funk and weirdness of roasted beets.

Beets are an excellent source of iron; have no trans- or saturated fats; are a great source of vitamins and minerals; and are helpful in preventing cancer and heart disease.

Let’s go!

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 12-20 mins | Servings: 4-8


2-3 medium beets, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Herbes de Provence (or rosemary)


1.Pre-heat oven to 375°. 
2.Thinly slice beets. If you have a mandolin, this is the time to put it to work. Toss beets in a bowl with olive oil.
3.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place beets evenly on sheets. Sprinkle sea salt and herbes de Provence on beets.
4.Bake for 12-20 minutes until chips are crisp. Check after 10 minutes because the thickness of the chips will dictate how long they need to bake.

You can store these in an airtight container for a couple of days, but they’re best eaten fresh.