As we’ve reached the new year, perhaps many things come to mind. Another year brings new beginnings and a sense of change, such as new goals, traveling the world, business ventures—the list goes on and on. And for a vast majority of people, focusing on better health is on their list of resolutions. We’re excited to start the new year off with a delicious healthy recipe from the Coon family.
Joy Coon is a full-time working mom who manages her dad’s audiovisual equipment business. When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, she’s no amateur. Joy also teaches a local boot camp and is a Beachbody coach. Her husband is a police officer with MPD, and their children are nine and 13 and attend local magnet schools. Completing their family is a 12-year-old boxer, Sadie, who loves to be in the kitchen while Joy cooks because she scores yummy samples.
Joy prefers home cooking because it ensures the food is healthy and nutritious. She adds, “There are not many restaurants that have healthy options. Plus, I can portion out our plates to ensure everyone gets plenty of veggies with their meals.”
Fresh ingredients are at the top of her list of choices. She rarely uses canned or frozen, as she feels fresh tastes better. In addition, it has less sodium. “You don’t have to worry with nutrition labels when your food is directly from the earth. I’m all about finding recipes that don’t have a lot of ingredients because that usually means less time in the kitchen.”
Joy learned to cook at an early age, watching her mother and grandmother, who both cooked a lot. Her favorite cookware to use in the kitchen is Calphalon. She shares, “If I had someone to do all the chopping and cleanup, I would turn cooking and meal prep into a business.”
While her kiddos are living at home, she wants to get them in the habit of fueling their bodies properly. “While we enjoy our treats, I make sure they eat their veggies too!
I have found letting them pick what vegetables we eat, and even helping prepare them, makes them want to eat it more.”
Here Joy shares one of her favorite Beachbody recipes. And her favorite part is that it’s all done in ONE PAN, which means fewer dishes to clean… ENJOY!
Okra & Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
Parchment paper and nonstick spray
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, dried thyme, ground black pepper, and sea salt
1 dash ground cayenne pepper
2 (6 oz. each) raw chicken breasts,
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
6 cups fresh okra, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise (approx. 60 medium)
Preheat over to 425 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
Add brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder thyme, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper to a small mixing bowl; stir to combine. Rub chicken with half of the spice mixture; set aside.
Place mustard and vinegar in a small mixing bowl; whisk to combine.
Place chicken on the end of the prepared sheet; brush both sides with mustard mixture. Spread okra in an even layer on the remaining spice of prepared sheets; lightly coat with spray. Sprinkle remaining half of spice mixture over okra; using clean hands, mix to fully coat.
Bake, stirring okra halfway through, for 15 to 16 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken breasts reads 165 degrees. Remove chicken to a cutting board; tent with aluminum foil.
Return okra to oven; bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until browned and crispy.
Slice chicken against grain. Evenly divide slices and okra between plates.