First of all, yes I know there are seven days in a week, but let’s face it–we all go out on the weekend. Maybe not all weekend long, but what I find that we all most need is something we can throw together quick in the time period right after work and between those other “extra-curricular’s” we always seem to have on weeknights; more than that, most of us want healthy. The majority of us are all trying to make little adjustments here and there that will better our health. The problem most times, however, is that we don’t realize just how easy it is. So many times we associate healthy with words like difficult, expensive, too much prep time…and on and on and on. Folks, this is a load of crap. Unfortunately, there was a time where the pendulum swung so far to an almost religious and unrealistic degree that instead of being able to enjoy food the way you were supposed to, food started to become the enemy. Food is not your enemy, it is actually one of your best friends. I could go on forever on the subject of how food actually works, not only with your body, but for your body to do many AMAZING things, but that’s a blog for another time. Bottom line: I love to eat, I love food….HUGE foodie, and I don’t like being put in a box when it comes to eating healthy–and guess what? I don’t have to and you don’t have to. Aside from fake, packaged, processed, greasy, and altered foods, if God made it and it comes from the Earth He made, eat it! So, that being said, you want some great recipes you can feel good about? ORDER UP!
These are recipes I make frequently and are top favorites of mine.
1. Jenny-O 93/7 Turkey burgers with brown rice and usually broccoli.
-Very simple. These thaw in no time. Stick them under some luke warm water while still packaged if you forgot to set them out and they will be thawed in 5 min. Season how you want, cook in a fry pan.
-You can get instant Brown Rice that takes ten min on the stove. Hello! Easy. Might need a little salt cause it is just the rice and can be a little bland. A little salt is good for you, have some.
-Steam your broccoli or eat it raw. Basically just put some veggies on your plate. I try to always have something green with my meals even if it’s just a salad (dark greens like spring mix, kale, spinach, and romaine thought. None of this iceberg AKA water stuff) Really, the choice is up to you…eat up!
2. Tilapia with black beans and asparagus
-Frozen Tilapia thawed and cooked on the stove with some olive oil. Again, season how you like. Everyone has different styles of what they prefer. Sometimes we just do pepper lemon and some Mrs. Dash.
-Can of black beans heated either on the stove or microwave.
-Asparagus in the pan. My husband likes to lightly coat bottom of the pan with olive oil, couple splashes of soy sauce, throw in asparagus, and roll it around to coat it with all the goodness. Salt and pepper to taste, cover and let cook until tender on medium heat.
We stopped eating any kind of enriched pastas or breads a few years ago and it will make a huge difference for you. Why? Well, because enriched anything is not good for you. Not to mention that there is no nutritional benefit in it and it doesn’t sustain you. It bloats you, and that is totally different. You feel really full, but that’s because your body is trying to process a simple carbohydrate: AKA bad. Brown Rice pastas are available everywhere now and I love brown rice anything. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It really doesn’t have a weird taste like you may be thinking and you will feel so much better after you eat it. If you don’t like brown rice pasta then try to get whole grain or whole wheat if you must. It’s still slightly enriched, but not anything near as bad as the bleached stuff.
3. Chicken and Brown Rice Penne Pasta with peppers
-Thaw chicken. Lightly coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Add TBSP of minced garlic, salt and pepper, and add chicken. I like to cut my thawed chicken in medallions before I put them in the pan and my hubby prefers to cut them after they’ve been cooked. Find your style, but you want them as medallions. While they are cooking on medium heat, add onions, little chicken broth, and some white wine. Pour a glass for yourself too while you’re at it.:)
*no white wine if you’re preggie…unfortunately, just chicken broth. 😦
-Cut up a good amount of red and green bell peppers depending on how many you are cooking for, and when chicken is half way done add them in with the chicken. Cover.
-While chicken is covered, start your brown rice penne in a saucepan. When done and drained, set to the side.
-Once chicken mixture is fully cooked, add your noodles in and stir together.
-Serve topped with feta cheese. This MAKES the meal. It won’t taste the same without it. Enjoy!
4. White Chili–can be made in Crockpot or Stovetop
You will need:
-One jar of salsa
-1 can of Rotel (2 if you like spicy)
-1 can of black, great northern, pinto, and kidney beans
-1 Shredded chicken breast (this is mildly meaty and about 6-8oz. Adjust by how many you’re serving and/or how meaty you like it. If you’re in a hurry use canned chicken. Just be sure to read your labels and make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of additives.)
-Onion and Garlic (real or minced)
If you’re making this in the crock pot, everything goes in and stews. This is perfect to do in the morning before work and cook on low and it’s ready to eat when you get home. If you do this on the stovetop in a large pot, add olive oil, sautéed onion and garlic first, then just add all remaining ingredients.
-Stir and enjoy! (If you like, you can top with some mixed cheese and plain, non-fat, greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream.)
You can’t mess this up. Get creative if you want by adding any kind of meat you like. This recipe works great with all kinds of meat. Steak, ground turkey, shrimp, etc. Add other veggies like carrots if you prefer, too. This recipe is one of my favorites. High in protein, veggies, and best of all I like anything I can “dump and sup”. Easy, easy, easy!
Last, but not least, we all need to have breakfast for dinner sometimes. I LOVE breakfast for dinner. Here’s one of my favorites.
5. 3 egg veggie omelet 2 slices whole-grain or gluten free toast topped with nut butter of choice.
-Do three whole eggs (3 eggs=1 serving of your protein for the day), 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites (one of my personal favorites), or go all egg-white.
-If you don’t know how to make and omelet, learn! Just kidding, just kidding–although it’s fun to learn. But if you don’t know how, you can do the same thing scrambled.
-Add in bell peppers (whatever colors you like), a little cheese (optional), and pico.
TIP: If you are watching your cheese intake, but love it as much as I do, you can skip the heavy mixed cheese and sprinkle the finished omelet with parmesan. It’s a little more reduced in its fat content.
-Toast whole grain toast and top with whatever nut butter you prefer (almond, peanut, etc.)
I LOVE peanut butter, but if your peanut butter says “NO NEED TO STIR” you have a problem. The only ingredients you should have in “good for you” PB are peanuts and salt. The end. And you should have to stir it up like your churning butter in the old days (bonus arm workout). The thing with this is it’s not going to taste like the over sweet Jiffy or Skippy you’re used to (seriously those names?), but it is so good, and if you need to cut the bitterness, drizzle a little honey or agave nectar on top. Enjoy!
Please let me know if you made any of these, how they turned out, and if you enjoyed them. I would love to hear your feedback or any questions you might have. Here’s to a little less stress during your week!