Ok, so it’s post Thanksgiving and not sure about you, but I’m feeling like now is a good time to make sure I am eating a bit healthier again after the short lapse. So, here were the recipes I made for the week, with the idea in mind of getting myself back into pretty good shape again….just in time for those upcoming holidays (hello delicious potato latkes!).
Monday: Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Roasted Red Potatoes
This night was a tough one for me to figure out because I had to account for timing and prep based on the fact that I pick up my daughter from a class right at 6pm and am not back home until 6:30, i.e. prime dinner making time.
I prepped a bit before I left to get her, including setting my oven on a program so I didn’t have to worry about pre-heating it when I got back home for the potatoes* since I knew their cooking time was long (30-45 minutes) and I wouldn’t have enough time for the oven to pre-heat and for them to cook. My other shortcuts were to use frozen pieces of salmon that I remembered to put in the fridge Sunday night in time to thaw for dinner.
*The potatoes were purchased at our local Giant grocery store. The salt choices were picante salt or chile salt. We went with the chile salt. Our verdict overall was that these were just “eh.” I wouldn’t rush to buy this again except for the complete convenience and next time I would probably cut them in half and maybe add salt to begin with.
I also prepped the brussel sprouts and laid them out on the baking tray before I left so once I got home, all I had to do was throw them in the oven when there were 20 minutes left of the potato cooking time. I just roasted them in olive oil and salt at 425 for 20 minutes (longer if you want them a little crispier).
When I got home, I pre-heated the lower oven for the salmon. The only tweak to the salmon recipe I made was that I halved it and left out the parsley. But, to me, it didn’t matter. This recipe is easy and has really good flavor.
Plan Ahead: I made the quinoa that I was planning to use for the quinoa mac & cheese at the same time I was making my younger daughter’s dinner and preparing the brussel sprouts (before I left to do the pick up).
Tuesday: Quinoa mac & cheese with side of roasted carrots
This recipe is a favorite of mine. It’s healthy, kid friendly and allows you to customize it with whichever vegetables you prefer. Plus, since part of it can be prepared the night (or days) before, it makes the prep quite easy. This night I used broccoli, shallot, garlic and red pepper. Also, the recipe mentions you can use Panko breadcrumbs which I do add since we like the additional flavor and crunch. I also used a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese since I had the Monterey on hand and wanted the mix of flavors.
I carrots were cut into “fingers” and simply roasted (like the brussel sprouts) with salt, olive oil and a smidge of thyme at 425 for 15-20 minutes.
Wednesday: Ground Turkey and Veggie Meatloaf with a side of roasted cauliflower with garlic
This meatloaf recipe is an updated version of a classic meatloaf. The moisture from the carrots and zucchini really add to it, plus the glaze makes it super yummy! The only part of this recipe that takes time is just the grating of the zucchini and carrot. Once that’s done, the rest of the prep is really fast and easy. And once it’s in the oven cooking, you don’t have to do anything again until you add the glaze on top 50 minutes later (give yourself a few minutes to pull together the glaze).
Again, I roasted the cauliflower. However, this time I cut it into really small pieces first. Then, I cut up a bunch of garlic cloves (depending on the size, I’d do 5-6 small ones, and 3-4 big ones for 1 head of cauliflower) and then drop them in a bowl with olive oil. Then I mix in the cauliflower and salt to make sure the cauliflower florets get completely coated before I drop them on the baking sheet. I cook these at 450 first for 15-20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 for another 10-15 minutes. Just check to make sure they’re not burning.
The marinated brown sugar bbq chicken breasts are a favorite of mine and my daughter’s and purchased at our local Wegmans. Ideally, I remember to put the chicken breasts in the fridge the night before so they have time to thaw but if I forget, I quickly defrost them in the microwave before cooking them. These are simply cooked – in the summer, I grill the chicken but in the colder temps I just cook in the oven at 375 for about 40 minutes. Don’t forget to spray your baking dish first with some Pam! 😉 Sorry the pic is funny there – I made 2 chicken breasts, one was super thick so I butterflied it. Then, after I took it out of the oven, my daughter had started eating her piece when I remembered to take the picture.
The kale is a fast and easy side – I just follow this recipe. Since the quantity I make at a time may differ from the amount in the recipe since I often buy a bag of kale vs a bunch. I just approximate quantities of garlic, shallot and broth I add. Totally personal choice.
The rice is brown basmati rice from Trader Joe’s. I follow the directions and cook it in broth and often add some scallions after for a little additional flavor. (There is a quick version of the rice that I just purchased and will try but the version I have been using is the regular version and it can take 30 minutes to cook so plan accordingly).
Friday: Leftover Quinoa Mac & cheese and kale. Whew!
Hope these provide some easy and yummy recipes you can try, too.