Our Easy/Healthy Weeknight Menu

How is your menu planning coming along? Last week I didn’t really menu plan. I bought a bunch of vegetables, some quality chicken and salmon, and we grilled or baked the meat and roasted vegetables each night. It was nice, until about Wednesday when I wanted something else. Thursday, I sat down and wrote out a menu. Yesterday, after my workout, I’m headed to the grocery store. I’ll be completely honest that this menu is not exactly what I want it to be. There are some items, I’m trying to get away from (processed meat), that are included here. On nights when you are busy (Mondays for us), ground meat is the easiest and quickest way to make food. The answer to this problem is better meal prepping on my part. We will keep making progress towards eating healthier. I will say that I found a brand of ground turkey that I like better than the rest. It’s Diestl. I buy it at Whole Foods. They also have a really great turkey chorizo I sometimes use in breakfast casseroles. Keep following along with our menus and let me know if you see a change!

Thai Chicken Soup – This recipe is from my new cookbook “The Paleo Slowcooker.” It’s a little chilly here today so Thai soup is going to be good at dinnertime. And especially because it will already be done when it’s time to eat so no major prep on my end which is good because I’m planning on watching the Saints game! The recipe is below. You could also throw shrimp in the crock pot for the last 20/30 minutes if you want shrimp instead of chicken. Be sure the check out the cookbook on the right if you are interested in buying it.

3 skinless chicken breasts cubed
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can full fat coconut milk
5 cups chicken broth
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I’m leaving these out)
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
2 Thai peppers, chopped (I’m only using 1/2 of a pepper)
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP fish sauce
Salt and Pepper just before serving
Cilantro (chopped)
Carrots (I’m adding these)
Frozen Peas (I’m adding these)

1. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker
2. Cook on low 5-6 hours
3. Salt and pepper to taste, garnish with cilantro, then serve
Servings: 6

Tex-Mex Turkey Tacos – Mondays are our crazy evening so I’m using my trusty crock pot again. Also, if I’m honest, we are so rushed on Mondays that I hate fighting with the kids over what they are eating so I usually make something that I know they will like. This recipe comes from the newest SkinnyTaste cookbook “One and Done.” All the recipes require one pot.

Taco Filling
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 can black beans
1.5 cups chunky salsa

Guacamole: (or buy your own guacamole)
6 ounces avocado
1/3 cup finely chopped tomato (eh, up to you if you put tomato in your guacamole)
2 TB red onion
1 TB fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I’m going to say you are going to need more salt)

16 6 inch corn tortillas (I’m getting flour because… kids).
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

1. Combine all spices
2. Place the ground turkey in the slow cooker, breaking it up loosely with your hands. Add the beans, top with spice mixture, and pour the salsa over everything
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until the meat is tender. Break up the meat and stir everything until well combined
4. For guacamole, combine all ingredients. Or open your store bought guacamole
5. Assemble your tacos, tell everyone to eat faster, clean the plates off the table and run off to your next activity. Ok, that may just be us.

Honey Mustard Chicken Bake – This is also from the Skinnytaste One and Done Book. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan.

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 lb aspargus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 cups cauliflower florets
1 medium red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 TB olive oil

1. Adjust an oven rack in the center and another 6 inches from the boiler and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Season both sides of the chicken with salt. Transfer to a plate
3. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard and 1 tsp of the thyme
4. In a 9×13 baking dish, toss together the vegetables, olive oi, remaining 1/2 salt and remaining 2 tsp thyme.
5. Roast on the center rack for 10 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven. Toss the vegetables and place the chicken over the vegetables. Spoon or brush half of the honey-mustard sauce over the chicken. Return to center rack and roast for about another 30 minutes
6. Spoon the remaining honey-mustard sauce over the chicken. Switch the oven to broil, move dish to upper rack and broil until chicken begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Pesce Primavera – My kids love fish. They don’t love vegetables, but I will still keep trying. Actually, they each have a few vegetables they eat without complaint so I try to incorporate those when I can. Carrots and sweet potatoes for H and cucumber and broccoli for L. Bet you can guess where this recipe is from! Yes, the SkinnyTaste One and Done cookbook. It might be my favorite of hers so far for quick and healthy weeknight meals.

Olive Oil Spray
2 cups bite sized broccoli florets
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup shredded carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 TB olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless fish fillets (I bought cod)
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
2 TB chopped fresh basil (I’m leaving this off)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil
2. In a large bowl, combine the brocooli, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots and garlic, 1 TB of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and pepper to taste. Transfer the vegetables to the prepared baking dish and roast for about 10 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, season one side of the fish with salt and pepper. Roll up the fillets and place them seam down on a plate. Season the tops with remaining salt and pepper to taste.
4. Toss the vegetables, then place the fish seam side down on top. Drizzle the fish with the remaining 1/2 TB olive oil and lemon juice.
5. Roast until the fish is cooked through in the center and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
6. Top everything with pecorino and fresh basil and serve immediately.

Turkey Cheeseburger Soup – Next week I’m making sure I use recipes that have online links! This again, comes from the One and Done Cookbook. I can’t recommend it enough if your weeknights are busy. And I’m sure they are because most people are dashing around during the week. I like this recipe because you add cauliflower to make it creamy and my kids won’t know! This recipe is also made in an instant pot. Do you have one? I love mine! If you don’t have an instant pot, let me know and I can send you this recipe for a dutch oven.

1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1 TB unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB all purpose flour, wheat or gluten-free
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3.5 cups chicken broth
10 ounces yukon gold potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 wedge cauliflower (about 1/4 of a large head), steam attached
1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 TB chopped scallions

1. Press the saute button on an electric pressure cooker. Add the turkey and brown the meat, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces as it cooks, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the meat and transfer it to a small bowl
2. In the pressure cooker (still on saute), melt the butter. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the four, salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to cook the flour. Return the turkey to the pressure cooker and add the chicken broth, potatoes, and cauliflower and stir.
3. Seal and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Quick release, then open when the pressure subsides.
4. Transfer the cauliflower and 1 cup of liquid to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the puree into the soup and stir well. Add the cheddar and stir until melted. Serve topped with scallions.

Lavash Bread Pizzas – It’s Friday which means… pizza! And probably movie night. I buy Lavash bread from Whole Foods, jarred pizza sauce, mozzarella, and whatever veggies sound good. The kids usually just make a cheese pizza. J and I load ours up with veggies. These are so easy, just be careful to not put on too much sauce because the bread is thin. These “pizzas” only need to be in the oven at about 350, for 10 minutes. The perfect at home “pizza” for a lazy Friday night.

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