I’ll cut to the chase- when it comes to cooking, who has time for that?! It’s 6 pm, your family is suffering from a severe case of hangry, and you’re whipped from a long day of adulting! As much as I enjoy cooking, I rarely have the energy for a fancy meal- or the dishes that follow. BUT before resorting to take-out or a pre-packaged, processed options, you CAN throw together a meal that is both quick AND healthy! Here are some of my absolute favorites- I hope you enjoy!
One Pot Sweet Potato & Chicken Dish
This dish was a life saver right after Aria was born! Cube up as many sweet potatoes, chicken breasts and onions as you want, toss some salt and pepper (or those 50 cent packets of Italian seasoning- yum!) over it, pour some water or chicken broth over it to cover the bottom of the pan and cook it in the oven at 450 degrees for 28 minutes! Make life even easier during the week by pre-cubing the veggies at the start of the week!
Greek Yogurt Cheese Quesadilla
This is my all time go to for lunch when Aria is sick of peanut butter and jelly! Spread some greek yogurt onto a tortilla, sprinkle cheese (you can always add veggies or meat if you’d like!) melt for 30 seconds in the microwave and put some salsa on it for added veggies. Fold, cut and serve! This dish has the protein and the nutrients to get your little ones to supper time!
Noodles & Veggies
This is a super healthy and super simple go to supper! Cook up some spaghetti noodles in a pot. While they’re cooking, throw together your choice of protein and veggies. (I like to use cod, finely chopped sweet potatoes, garlic, and beet or zucchini veggie spirals that you get from the frozen section at the store.) Season with garlic salt, pepper, lemon juice and any Italian seasonings you have like basil or oregano. Saute the veggies and meat in olive oil until veggies are tender. Put olive oil on the noodles and season the same way – use extra lemon juice and garlic powder. Toss together and eat up! This one is great for getting Aria to eat her veggies and it is super quick to put together!
Burger & Veggie Casserole
This is just a healthier and simpler take on hamburger and rice casserole! Brown your ground beef in a pot. Put ground beef and frozen ground cauliflower in a dish. Season with salt, pepper, and Lawry’s salt. Pour beef broth (I prefer to use beef bone broth for added nutrients and protein) and plain greek yogurt over it and mix until the yogurt is blended in. Pour uncooked elbow noodles into the mixture. Cook in oven at 400 degrees for 45 mins or until noodles are tender. You can put peas in it as well for added veggies!
Roasted Chicken & Veggies
This can be about anything you want it to be! Lay your choice of meat on one half of a cookie sheet (I like to cut chicken breasts into strips). Cube your choice of veggies and lay on the other half of the cookie sheet (I prefer sweet potatoes and onions). Pour olive oil over everything and Season to taste (salt and pepper work for anything!). Cook in oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until meat and veggies are done. We love going to the farmers market in the summer and getting some fresh veggies to roast for supper that night! It’s a great way to try a variety of foods in your diet and switch up your meals so the kids don’t get sick of it!
Tips for Making Cooking Faster
Cut and store veggies before the week begins, that way you simply have to grab a handful and throw it in a pot when it’s supper time!
Cutting your meat into strips verses cooking an entire chicken breast whole makes cooking times shorter!
Keep base items on hand. (Beef or chicken broth, noodles, olive oil- whatever you notice you use most in cooking! I almost always use broth and greek yogurt.) You can always switch veggies and protein around, but this is a great way to make sure you always have the right items to make a flavorful meal!
I hope this gives you some healthy meal ideas that work easily into your life! Cooking isn’t always my favorite thing to do at the end of a long day, but I do love the satisfaction I feel from knowing I provided my family with healthy, nutritious food options that will help them in so many ways, and that doesn’t have to be difficult! I’d love to hear what some of your favorite recipes are!