Favorites, Food, Planning

5 Seriously Easy (Healthy) Dinners

July 31, 2013

Hidey ho!

In the spirit of already being tired of eating the same thing every day (hello day 4 of diced baked chicken on top of a huge salad for lunch and baked chicken and steamed veggies for dinner!), I decided to write a post about my favorite, yummy, healthy dinners. They’re all really easy–and the key to it all is prep! I always prep my dinners the night before I make them and I prep the veggie portion of all of my meals on Sunday nights.

#1) Crock pot pulled pork with a fresh salad and 1/2 of a sweet potato

Prep for this meal: Thaw a pork shoulder the night before (or buy a non-frozen one!), dice salad veggies

This mode of making pulled pork is soooooooooooooo easy! All I do is throw a thawed pork shoulder into the crock pot with some salt and pepper, turn the crock pot on low for about 6 hours, then once it “looks done,” I  shred the meat. Mark and I use Organicville BBQ sauce to top the pork. (It’s the only BBQ sauce that I’ve found without soybean or canola oil). I usually buy the individually wrapped, microwaveable sweet potatoes for convenience, so I pop one in the microwave for about 2 minutes or so, then split it between me and Mark’s plates and top it with about 1 tablespoon of Kerrygold butter or coconut oil. While the sweet potato is in the microwave and since  I always dice a bunch of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and carrots in my weekly meal prep, I throw a bit of every pre-prepped veggie into a bowl with some spinach and wa la! Dinner!

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I ran out of sweet potatoes so I did watermelon instead!

#2) Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Prep for this meal: Rice your cauliflower (I used my blender!) until it looks like, you guessed it! Rice! After ricing, you should end up with roughly 2 cups of cauliflower (a medium head of cauliflower should make this happen). Throw your riced cauliflower into a microwavable bowl and into the microwave for 6-7 minutes or until soft. Once soft, let the cauliflower cool.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and preheat oven to 425ºF.

In a bowl separate from your cauliflower, whisk 1 egg, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and pinches of salt and pepper together. Add this mixture to your cauliflower rice and mix evenly. Once combined, pat into a 10-12 inch pan. I then brush the top of my crust with a very light layer of olive oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it resembles a bread-like look and texture.

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All that’s left is the fun part- topping the pizza!

Once your toppings are on, pop your pizza back in the oven until it’s all gooey and melted and bubbly– which should take about 10 minutes.

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#3) Zoodles and Meat Sauce

Prep for this meal: Thaw 1-2 pounds of ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Julienne about 3-4 zucchinis (I find that this is how many it takes to make a meal for both Mark and I)

For the sauce, Mark and I keep it pretty dang simple. We dump an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, a diced white onion, about 3 cloves of garlic, roughly 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, a generous tablespoon of italian seasoning, and a couple pinches each of Oregano, salt, and pepper into a stove top pot (we almost always use our dutch oven for this!). Simultaneously, while the tomato and seasonings are simmering in the pot, we brown our meat. Once brown, we fold in the meat to make a big, evenly-mixed pot of tomatoey, meaty goodness.We let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, I toss my already-julienned zucchini into a stovetop pan on medium heat. I add a little salt and pepper, 1/2 clove of garlic, and about 1/2 tablespoon of Kerrygold butter. I do nothing but toss this around until the “noodles” are an al dente texture (take about 10 minutes).

Top the zoodles with sauce (duh!) and eat up! I love this because, I swear to you, the zucchini does not taste “green” and I bet if I made mine for you, blindfolded you, and asked you to tell me what you were eating, you would say pasta!

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#4) Cheesy Garlic & Herb Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

Prep for this meal: “Shave” your Brussels sprouts. I do this by individually chopping each Brussels sprout. This is one of those things that if you do in advance to making your meal, the cooking time for this dish is about 10 minutes! If you live near a Trader Joe’s, you can purchase a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts. (Note: word on the street for my Jacksonville Beach friends: A Trader Joe’s is coming your way soon!!!)

Click on the link above to be taken to the exact recipe!

I’ve written about this meal before. It’s SO good, so easy, and the only, only, ONLY way that I can stomach the taste of Brussels sprouts. To make this recipe easier than it already is, I buy fully cooked, organic sausage, that way I can throw my Laughing Cow cheese, shaved Brussels sprouts, and sausage in a pan together without having to cook the sausage first. This is the meal that I make when I have zero time in the kitchen between work, workouts, and meetings but want something hot and fulfilling.

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#5) Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers

Prep for this meal: Thaw shrimp (or better, buy fresh ones!) and chop your choice of vegetables. My favorite vegetables for skewers are grape tomatoes, white onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini.

Poke your veggies and shrimp onto a stick (is there a technical name for a skewer stick??) in whatever order you desire, then throw those suckers on the grill. After your skewers are done and the grill is still hot–maybe grill up some pineapple for dessert!??

There you have it!

As an aside, I am, indeed, on day 4 of my week of squeaky clean eating. I’m eating ultra clean this week then going back to my normal 80/20 lifestyle next week–we all need a little week of detox and cleansing every now and then. And speaking of cleansing, I am also on day 4 of my bi-monthly bentonite detox and I committed to drinking 1 gallon of water everyday for the month of August (I just started a couple of days early). After eating whatever I’ve wanted for the last 2 weeks, it feels really good to be back on track!

Have an amazing evening!

xo

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