Meal Planning: Simple Dinners
Sometimes I just need something simple for dinner. I really love to cook but there are times when simplicity is key. Even on the weekends - when I have more time to cook something fancy or creative that can easily be reheated during the week - simple, delicious dinners are all I crave. So this weeks meal plan is dedicate to simple dishes.
Simple doesn't have to be boring. A dinner that uses helpful ingredients such as frozen or canned veggies, prepared salad mixes or sauces, still provides a balanced, healthy meal but without a lot of prep needed. Simple can also be really handy during the week when schedules can be crazy with work and trying to maintain a household no matter how big or small.
Let's get to it! Below are 5 simple dinners that I hope makes your week easier. If you try any of the below, please let me know how you liked them. Follow my blog on Bloglovin.
Broiled Salmon, broccoli and rice. It doesn't get much simpler than a nice piece of salmon that can easily cook under the broiler in the oven. Then I pair it with frozen broccoli and white rice. I know - white rice is not that nutritious but my life partner can't stand brown rice. Sometimes I'll make myself brown rice and him white rice. But other times, especially during a busy week, I just give in and eat white rice. It is all about balance after all! Click here for a simple broiled salmon recipe from Primavera Kitchen.
Tuesday night is all about spaghetti & meatballs - with a twist! Turkey meatballs! A lean and usually inexpensive meat that works well in spaghetti and meatballs. I'll pair this with a nice salad of mixed greens. For the spaghetti you can easily use wheat pasta or pasta made from chickpeas. There are so many healthy pastas available now it is easy to have pasta for dinner and not feel guilty. The meatballs can be made on the weekend and then reheated either in the oven or in a microwave. Click here for a recipe from Lauren Greutman. Manga!
Here is one dish that needs to be made over the weekend if you have a busy week ahead. Staying true to my flextarian lifestyle, this recipe is for a Veggie Rice Casserole. My favorite phrase is Veg it Up! Anytime I can add a variety of veggies to a recipe - I do. I don't hold back. Interestingly enough, if I make a rice casserole with brown rice, my life partner eats it! Go figure! So this recipe calls for brown rice and I use brown rice. Click here for the recipe from the Smelly Vegetarian.
OK - so there have been a lot of carbs for dinner in this week's meal plan so on Thursday I am making pork chops with two vegetables to accompany the pork chops. I'll saute the pork chops in a pan with olive oil and a seasoning blend such as Mrs. Dash. We like spicy food in our house and I like Mrs. Dash's Extra Spicy seasoning blend. I like the Mrs. Dash blends because I follow a low sodium diet so I don't use salt when I cook. Mrs. Dash doesn't contain salt so it is perfect for me. In about 20 minutes the pork chops are done and using canned or frozen veggies makes this dish quick & simple.
TGIF! Finally, the weekend is almost here. I don't know about you but at the end of the week I am exhausted. So Friday's dinner is a simple Kale & Quinoa soup and veggie sandwiches. There is a brand of soup I love called Frontier Soups. They make soup mixes that do not have salt and are so easy to make. You can follow the directions to a tee or you can modify.
Since I am flextarian, I do not add chicken like the directions say but you can if you have leftover cooked chicken to use up. Also, the Kale & Quinoa soup calls for butternut squash to be added but I will leave that out if I am making this for dinner. But if you have frozen butternut squash around by all means toss it in! I also don't heat up the broth ahead of time. I simply put the broth & soup into a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes.
The veggie sandwiches will consist of whatever veggies I have in the house. I always have hummus, zucchini, mushrooms and jarred roasted red peppers in the house. I'll simply spread the hummus on a roll or sandwich thin, then layer the veggies. BOOM! A quick and easy meal that is veggie focused. You can buy Frontier Soups on amazon. The below link is for a 4 pack.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks meal plan inspires you to create simple dinners that are healthy & delicious. If you try any of the above, please leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it! Happy Eating!