Weeknight meals don’t have to be BLAH.
I love cooking, but I find it a challenge during the week to cook healthy, easy, & yummy meals. By the time I get home from work and get back from walking the dog it’s almost 7pm (I can only imagine what it’s like to throw kids into the mix!), which doesn’t leave much time to prep & cook dinner.
Everyone has busy schedules, but it’s important to eat healthy and enjoy the food you’re eating. Here are a few quick dinners we’ve been enjoying lately that pass the H.E.Y (healthy, easy, yummy) test:
1. Roasted free-from Chicken (from Loblaws/Superstore) with Salad: I know it sounds boring, but over the weekend I discovered a great new salad topping idea from my sister-in-law (in my opinion, she and her husband have mastered the art of making healthy food taste good). She takes 1 medium or large sweet potato and microwaves it for 5-6 minutes (wash, put it on a plate, poke holes in it with a fork & microwave– it peels easily when cooled). Chop and add to your salad. Last night I also added feta, dried cranberries (only a few as they are quite high in sugar), cherry tomatoes and mini cucumbers – delish! The addition of sweet potato also adds dietary fibre & beta-carotene (good for your skin) to your salad. Thanks Chels!
2. Chicken Fajitas: again, I know it sounds boring, but it’s healthy & easy. I’ve also discovered a great way to cut out the carbs & cheese.
Chop up a pepper, half of an onion & garlic. Saute the onions & garlic in a bit of olive oil on med-high heat, add the ground chicken & the spices of your choice (we usually buy a couple packages of free-from, lean ground chicken when they’re on sale, and pop them in the freezer until we’re ready to use). After a few minutes, add in the pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken & veggies are cooked through.
While that’s cooking, chop an avocado and season it with salt & pepper (this is key, it makes it taste so good!). Cut the carbs by using romaine lettuce leaves instead of tortilla wraps (I bought a whole package of pre-washed, pre-cut leaf wraps for $2.99). Line your leaves with the seasoned avocado & salsa; add in the meat/veggie mixture and voila! If you like sour cream, try plain, non-fat Greek yogurt instead. It has the same flavour and texture, but it’s no fat and high in protein. Trust me, with the avocado and flavourful salsa; you won’t even miss the cheese.
3. Frittatas: I just recently started adding these to the weekly menu and I love them because they are so versatile; you can really use any of your favourite ingredients and flavours. One of our faves is the Smoked Salmon Frittata with Asparagus (you can use any green that is in season, ie. broccoli florets or peas). I adapted this recipe from Emeril Live (Remember him? Bang!):
1 bunch of asparagus (trim ends and chop into 1 inch, diagonal pieces)
¼ cup of goat cheese, crumbled
8 ounces or 1 small package of smoked salmon (julienned)
½ a yellow onion (diced)
¼ cup of grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 tbsp of capers for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. After 2 minutes, remove, drain, and add to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After a couple minutes, remove and drain again.
Whisk together the eggs, goat cheese and salt & pepper. Stir in the smoked salmon and asparagus.
In a large frying pan (make sure your pan can transfer into the oven), heat 1 tbsp of butter or oil and sauté the onions until tender. Reduce the heat to low, and add in the egg mixture. Stir so all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover, and cook on low for about
15 10 minutes.
Uncover, and cook in the oven for
13 10 minutes. Remove, and sprinkle the cheese on top, cook for another 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the eggs are set. Remove and let cool on the counter for about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from pan with a rubber spatula onto a cutting board, and cut into wedges. Sprinkle each wedge with some capers and serve with a salad of your choice.
Makes 6 servings (great as a dinner & lunch leftovers for 2!)
This recipe is delicious, and high in protein & omega -3. Enjoy!