I mentioned last week that one of my goals for this year is to eat dinner earlier. To make that happen I’ve been planning meals in advance and prepping them on the weekend. What I didn’t tell you is that I started working on my resolution in December. I’ve had a few weeks of new recipes and meal planning under my belt so today I’m going to share some of my favorite dinner ideas.
Let’s be clear — cooking has never really been my thing. I’ve gone through phases when I’m more into it and phases where I am waaay less into it. I’d say the last few years I really have not been in it. I’m not going to say the pendulum won’t swing back in that direction but for now creating and planning healthy meals is one of my top priorities. When I see how easy meal prep makes weeknight meals it makes me think I’ve been pretty lazy about it. It also helps to have some tried and true no fail recipes to rely on. Because one thing that really turns me off cooking is when a recipe fails. I think about all the time I wasted and all the other things I could have been doing with that time.
Here are some of my favorite recipes from the last few weeks. They are all gluten-free and dairy free to boot.
Broccoli Chicken Casserole
recipe borrowed from paleorunningmama.com
This is hands-down my favorite recipe lately. It’s savory, filling and makes you feel like you are eating comfort food — which is what I crave at this time of year — but it really is a healthy dinner packed with protein and veggies. I can’t wait to make it again! The bacon and the broccoli made it a hit with my kids. I recommend making it on a Sunday night because it is slightly more involved than the other recipes that follow but totally worth it! I had enough leftover to eat for lunch for several days too. Dare I say it might even taste better on day two or three.
For the Sauce:
3 Tbsp ghee
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1 3/4 cups chicken bone broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh minced sage leaves
1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary
12 oz cauliflower rice
1 -1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb broccoli florets
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
sea salt and pepper
1/2 lb nitrate-free and sugar-free bacon
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken on a baking sheet and coat with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, flip the chicken midway through cooking time. On another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange broccoli on a pa and toss with 1 2/2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring midway through.
While the chicken and broccoli roasts, cook bacon on a skillet until crisp. Set the bacon aside and use the pan to make the sauce. Prep the ingredients for the sauce because this next part moves fast.
For the sauce, add 3 Tbsp ghee to medium heat. Add the onions, cook until fragrant, then add the garlic and continue to cook until soft. In a separate bowl, whisk the arrowroot starch into the broth and add it to the pan. Immediately add the coconut milk, mustard, and nutritional yeast while whisking. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and stir and cook for another minute until the sauce thickens. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, add the fresh herbs. Stir in the cauliflower rice to soften, then remove from heat.
When the chicken and broccoli is finished roasting, lower the oven temp to 400 degrees. Cut or shred the chicken with two forks and arrange in a casserole dish. Add the roasted broccoli and the sauce/rice mixture. Stir to evenly coat. Crumble the cooked bacon and sprinkle all over. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve hot and enjoy!
Sheet Pan Hoisin Chicken
recipe borrowed from lifemadesweeter.com
I’m new to the sheet pan dinner world but I am a huge fan! So simple. So easy. These are the perfect weeknight meals. On the weekend I chopped my veggies and whipped up the sauce and stored each separately in an airtight container. When it was time to make the dinner I threw everything on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper (for easy clean up) and baked it in the oven. Your family can pick right from the pan on the dinner table.
1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts — thin cutlets work the best
1 cup small Yukon gold or red potatoes, halved or quartered
2 large carrots sliced into rounds (I just bought the pre-cut bag at the grocery store)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (I substituted with coconut aminos for a gluten-free option)
1 Tbsp honey (I used low-glycemic coconut sugar)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon grated or minced ginger
1/2 Tbsp corn starch
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread parchment paper or foil on your sheet pan. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch and set aside. Place chicken and spread potatoes in a single layer on the prepared pan. Season chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sauce. Toss potatoes to coat well. Bake 15 minutes and turn chicken and potatoes. Add remaining vegetables and drizzle with olive oil and sauce. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve right from the pan on the dinner table and enjoy!
Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash
recipe c/o Amanda Nighbert
I’m usually more of a dinner for breakfast kind of girl but I was intrigued by the idea of cooking a breakfast dish for dinner so I tried this recipe. It was a completely different kind of meal and I really loved it. It is loaded with protein and veggies so you don’t have to worry about sides and it’s a one-skillet dish. I prepped by cutting the veggies in advance on the weekend and then on the evening of the dinner it took all of about 20 minutes to cook. You could actually cook the whole thing in advance and just pop it into the microwave on a weeknight. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. So easy!
For the Meat:
1 lb. ground turkey
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon
sea salt, to taste
For the Hash:
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large or 2 small zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups spinach or other green leafy greens
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dried thyme
sea salt, to taste
Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Season with cinnamon, thyme, and a pinch of sea salt. Move to plate.
In the same skillet, drop a tablespoon of coconut oil and sauce onion until softened (about 2-3 minutes). Add pre-cut zucchini, apple, butternut squash, and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are soft. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Stir in cooked turkey, seasonings, and salt, and turn off heat.
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