four quick & healthy dinners.

by Janetha on March 2, 2011

in meals

remember how i only blogged about chicago last week? well, i promise i was eating dinner. all week long.

i was extremely busy playing catch up last week, so dinners had to be simple. i refuse to eat fast food, but i like the idea of having my food fast. here are the dinners we ate last week, hopefully they give you some inspiration and ideas!

monday.

tuna sandwiches + popchips.

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i got home from the airport super late monday night. i was exhausted. marshall still insisted i make him dinner.

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for the tuna, i combined albacore tuna, diced dill pickles, diced celery and 1 part light mayo to 2 parts greek yogurt. add as much as you’d like to get the consistency you desire.. some like it more “wet” than others. okay, i shouldn’t be talking about wet tuna on my blog. moving on.

tuesday.

big salad with protein.

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i mentioned that marshall wanted to start eating more healthy & less processed foods. tuesday, after he signed up for a gym membership, he requested a “big salad with protein.”  that is exactly what i made.

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this had spinach, spring mix, black beans, cottage cheese, diced grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, sprouts, bell peppers, carrots and cucumbers.  can you say HUMUNGOUS? we topped it with TJ’s raspberry vinaigrette. which we are almost out of. feel free to mail us some.

wednesday.

simple spaghetti & broccoli.

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this was a quick meal.. and even quicker for me because marshall made it while i did a bodyrock.tv workout! but if you are making it yourself, it is a breeze.

cook the noodles and the broccoli while you prepare the sauce. for the sauce, you simply brown  1/2 of a diced red onion with some ground turkey and then add a can of diced tomatoes (low sodium) and a can of tomato sauce (also low sodium). that’s it!

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quick and healthy.

thursday.

meatloaf muffins + mashed sweet potatoes + green beans.

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this meal takes a little extra time because of how long the meatloaf has to bake, but the prep work is a breeze.

simply combine 3/4 lb ground beef, chicken or turkey (we did beef) with 1/2 cup salsa, 1 packet spinach dip mix, 1 egg, 1/2 cup rolled oats and some salt & pepper. mix it well and portion into 6 muffin tins. bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.

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for the potatoes, i diced them SUPER small before boiling, so they would cook really fast. once they were soft, i simply mashed them (plain) and boiled some green beans.

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mashed sweet potatoes are so good plain. i love that they don’t need anything else.

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aside from the tuna sandwich, each and every dinner became my lunch the next day. we fixed enough so there was a marshall-sized portion and two janetha-sized portions. it worked out perfectly and we had just enough for dinner each evening and my lunch the next day.

with a little bit of planning and one big trip to the grocery store at the beginning of the week, you really can manage to make a quick and healthy dinner for you and/or your spouse and/or your family every night.

don’t sell yourself short or make excuses that you are too busy and HAVE to grab takeout or fast food. save your money for eating out on the weekends or special occasions. your wallet and your waist will thank you.

hope this gave you a few ideas!

Q~

what are some of your favorite quick go-to meals? links welcome!

xo. janetha g.

 

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Erica March 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

GREAT post. This is pretty much how I work our week to week menu too. You had a lot of great dishes last week- my favorite is the meatloaf muffins. These muffins can be eaten so many different ways- they are fabulous! Other favorite quick dishes:

Soups/stews/chilis (one of my favs- Veg Cream of Cauliflower- http://www.itzyskitchen.com/2010/11/e-vegetarian-cream-of-cauliflower-soup.html)
Stir fry
Rice & beans (with or without meat- one of my favs: http://www.itzyskitchen.com/2010/03/product-reviews-and-giveaway-spinach.html)
Sloppy janes (http://www.itzyskitchen.com/2008/08/fast-sloppy-lentils.html)
Stuffed potatoes (http://www.itzyskitchen.com/2008/09/stuffed-potatoes-and-apple-bars.html)
Any mexican dish!!

Erika March 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm

All of your dinners look delicious! I’m definitely making those mini meatloaf muffins soon! :]

Renée March 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

My favourite go-to meal is a Health is Wealth Chik’n Patty. It’s like the one food I don’t get sick of after a while! And 10 minutes or so in the oven and they’re done, a huge plus.

Rose March 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I looooooooooooove tuna sandwiches. If I weren’t worried about turning into a mercury laden tuna myself I’d eat them every night.

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) March 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

You’ve got me craving a tuna sandwich for lunch! Just getting over a tummy bug and something other than banana, pb toast sounds good :D YAY!

Here’re a few quick ‘n easy’s :) -M

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon:
http://whatscookinwithmary.blogspot.com/2011/02/maple-soy-glazed-salmon-5-ingredients.html

Teryaki Chicken Stir Fry:
http://whatscookinwithmary.blogspot.com/2011/01/teriyaki-chicken-stir-fry-5-ingredients.html

Simple tomato Salad:
http://whatscookinwithmary.blogspot.com/2010/09/simple-tomato-salad.html

Mexican Chicken Soup:
http://whatscookinwithmary.blogspot.com/2011/01/mexican-chicken-soup.html

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Mmm… I love all of those meals! Especially the tuna sandwich and salad. YUM YUM!

Sandwiches are always my go-to, quick meals. Or even when I have time they’re still my go-to meal, haha. <3 sandwiches

Kelly March 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

My Sloopy Joses are my new favorite quick meal http://foodiefresh.com/2011/02/13/sampling-baking-and-dancing/

But I have several favorites listed under “quick meals” on my recipe page. http://foodiefresh.com/recipes/

Sarah March 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm

one of my favorite healthy quick dinners is homemade black bean burgers (bonus points if you made the burgers ahead of time!).

i love cutting them up and tossing them with spinach, tomato, and onion and then using ketchup and mustard as “dressing”. easy burgers in salad form. yum!

http://sarahlearns.wordpress.com/tag/black-bean-burger/

Megan Philips March 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The salad and meat loaf muffins looks so good! Bookmarking this :)

lindsay March 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

eggs or big salads are our quick fix meals. Love omelets for dinner! I do need to make those meatloaf muffins though. they look awesome!

Andrea@WellnessNotes March 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Great dinners! Yes, with a little bit of planning you can make easy, quick, and healthy dinners all week long! (Why do I sometimes not plan and in the process stress myself out!!!???!!!)

Never tried TJ’s Raspberry Vinaigrette. I’ll try to look for it next time I’m there. And I’ll try to pick up some extra bottles for you… Keep your fingers crossed that my “old brain” works… :)

Rachel (Olalliberry) March 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I am always looking for new quick dinner ideas! Thank you for sharing yours.

We do a stir-fry once a week or so, and black bean soup shows up pretty often. I like the meatloaf muffin idea!

Ashley @ 365 things March 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Don’t feel bad, there are not TJ’s in Texas OR in Colorado where I’m moving! Grrrr!

Taco’s are always a super easy and quick dinner. Sometimes I cook the meat the day before then all you have to do is heat it up, chop the veggies and bake the shells.

Another good one is salsbury steak. Form ground beef into patties and cook them in a skillet then pour some gravy on top. Make some quick mashed potatoes and serve with green beans.

and lastly….either pizzhut, dominos or papa johns. :)

TheNewHealthy March 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I’m all about quick meals too! I just love to throw a bunch of veggies + a protein + a sauce in a bowl and go to town! haha :)

paijery March 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Pickles in tuna sandwiches are the besssssssssst!!
My go to meals are the salad monsters with protein :D

Tami@nutmegnotebook March 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I just found your blog through your comment on Biz’s blog. I read your story and really enjoyed learning more about you.

I have a list of quick and easy meals to draw from when the need arises. It make life easier if there is something in the pantry or the freezer that can be made quicker.

It’s been a long time since I had a tuna sandwich and it does sound good.

renee@mykitchenadventures March 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Hi I just found your blog! Beautiful pics and great ideas!

Here are a few of my easy go to meals….and for the most part, easy is my middle name…lol must be the lazy in me! haha

http://mykitchenadventures1.blogspot.com/2011/01/egg-sandwich-with-dijonnaise.html

http://mykitchenadventures1.blogspot.com/2010/11/chicken-breasts-in-lemon-butter-caper.html

http://mykitchenadventures1.blogspot.com/2011/02/italian-style-turkey-meatballs.html

Caree @ Fit-Mama March 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

thanks for these ideas! I will be putting them down on my list of easy dinners which is exactly what I live by with two little kids!!!

Jessica @ How Sweet March 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Love these dinners! W also refuse to eat fast food. It’s been YEARS.

Em March 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

What a well-balanced week! To save time, I always have veggies prepped for salads (or steaming or stir-fry), various nutrient dense raw dips and dressings, and a few options in the freezer. There is always homemade tomato sauce, and hub loves some casseroles, which may take some time to prepare initially, but work great as leftovers.

Steph March 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Big Salad with Protein – yes please!!

Favorite quick on the go meal – a bag of frozen vegetables. Sounds lame I know, but when you throw in the rest of the kitchen sink with some seasoning it makes for a great healthy meal (especially if it’s a late night).

Boyfriend and I also cook one batch of grilled chicken and boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week to snack on or throw in salads.

If you really want to get adventurous – overnight oats in the crock-pot (on low or warm setting) makes for a fast breakfast – 1 cup water, 1 cup coconut milk, and 1 cup scottish oats —> 2 servings.

I do have a link too – it’s on excuses :)
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/no-excuse-diet-success.htm

MelissaNibbles March 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

My fave quick dinner is oatmeal or just rice with veggies and hummus.

Um…Marshall “insisted” you make him dinner? Tell him to get his ass out of the 1950’s and make his own!

janetha March 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

ha. it was more of a joke. i sent him a text that i landed (my plane) and he wrote back “good! make me dinner”.

Errign March 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I LOL’d at the wet tuna comment..I am five.

I like tortilla pizzas, annies mac & cheese, sandwiches and salads with protein (chicken, fish or falafel usually).

Naomi(onefitfoodie) March 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

lovin the quick dinner ideas! i LOVE prepping ahead of time like my turkey meatloaf which i seriously have not gotten sick of! I make it once a week and it makes about 7 servings. Since I just cook for myself thats a whole lotta meals!

I also love defrosting some frozen fish in the morning and night time just throw it in an aluminum foil packet with some veggies and done!

protein packed salads are so easy and simple as well!

Another good option is oatmeal for dinner! easy, healthy, quick and delicious!

Julia March 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

sometimes I make gigantor protein shakes as meals; like JUST now I finished drinking my dinner (I work out late in the day and head straight off to night class so this works perfect with my schedule)
it contained banana, strawberries, tofu, spinach, milk, protein powder, cocoa powder and some coconut extract. SO filling and quick to make!
I also like to mix a can of tuna with BBQ sauce and hummus and eat with carrots and broc and other veggies. Takes less than 3 minutes
Also, cant go wrong with a big egg scramble; you can basically toss anything in and make it taste good ;)

Allison @ Food For Healing March 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

nice post. we love to make paninis when we dont have much planned, they are so good.

katshealthcorner March 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Your dinner Wednesday Night sounds AMAZING!!!! I love pasta! Pasta would probably be my go-to dinner. :D That and Peanut Butter Oats. :)

xoxo
Kathleen

rebecca lustig March 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

i love the addition of pickles in the tuna mix! i generally put pickles on my sandwiches anyways, but this makes it easier!

Amanda March 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I love quick and easy meals! I make Annie’s Mac & cheese with veggies a lot. I also try to grill chicken for salads.

Wet tuna LOL!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Fave quick go-to meals…that is my middle name. The only thing I know how to make is quick, cheap, and makes planned leftovers.

I have a ton on my site but anyone who’s ever made this always tells me they love it. One pot, 20 mins, vegan & GF. And makes leftovers
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2010/11/caribbean-coconut-rice-with-garbanzos.html

Love your eats this week!

Melissa @ Chocolate & Kisses March 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Those look like some yummy go to meals! I don’t have links to mine yet, BUT when we are hungry and crunched for time and with no patience to wait for a longer meal, we turn to pasta, turkey joes, salad & soup, and the yummy variations of grilled cheese!

Lee March 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm

My go-to easy meal is a scoop of refried beans, topped with some sauteed frozen peppers and onions and salsa. In fact, I had it tonight. I also like to do a tortilla or pita pizza for a quick meal.

cbrady3 March 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm

My favorite is a microwaved sweet potato with black beans and salsa. Often with a side of steamed frozen veggies!

Christin@purplebirdblog March 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Wet tuna, mmhmm. Seriously though, that tuna sandwich has me craving one big time, and we don’t have any damn tuna! *sadface*

Maxine March 3, 2011 at 4:42 am

Thank you for posting these Janetha! These ideas are very helpful for meal planning.

withasideofhope March 3, 2011 at 6:16 am

I love your dinner ideas! That meatloaf looks great! I am definitely going to have to try that recipe. :)

cardiopizza March 3, 2011 at 6:42 am

I love simple dishes, like slow cooked BBQ chicken (that just cooks itself in the crock pot..gotta love that!) I make a BBQ chicken recipe from the “Hungry Girl” cookbook, it’s amazing. I’ll pair that with some roasted potatoes and a veggie of choice.

Other simple meals I enjoy are any type of pasta combination, breakfast for dinner, slow cooked chicken to make tacos, and soup and sandwiches!

Kathie March 3, 2011 at 6:56 am

all of those dinners look so delicious!

Kristen March 3, 2011 at 8:38 am

I love all of your dinner ideas. I also love breakfast for dinner (sorry to post about today’s blog in yesterdays blog…I’m confusing myself- ha!) French Toast FTW!

I have a Trader Joe’s about 5 minutes from my house that I visit so often, the staff knows me by name. If you don’t already have a care package headed your way, feel free to send me an email with some things you’d like sent to you, and your address or PO Box and I’ll get them out to you next time I go (probably this weekend).

Kristen
Indianapolis

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