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What’s for Dinner?


It’s an age-old question, What’s for dinner?

Up until last year, I always struggled with cooking dinner. I never planned ahead of time and I would find myself at the grocery store at 7pm every night, scouring the aisles for an idea. This would mean that we never ate dinner until almost 9pm, and more times than not, it was not a healthy option. This past summer, I really got into planning meals ahead of time. This task was always intimidating to me and I thought it was so much extra work.  Now, I don’t know how I survived without it! Every Saturday or Sunday, I plan out our meals, make a list and hit the grocery store. If I don’t get to the grocery store on the weekend and set a menu for the week, my whole week feels off. I am all about simple, non-processed ingredients and meals that can be ready in under 30 minutes with minimal prep time. Here are 4 of my family’s favorite {healthy} weeknight dinners. These have all been husband and toddler approved {and I have a tough audience}. As a bonus, these are also crowd-pleasers whenever we have company!

simplechickenparm1. Simple Chicken Parmesan

My husband’s favorite meal is chicken parmesan, but it takes so much time to pound and bread the chicken, and not to mention, it’s not that healthy! This is a great alternative to fried or even baked chicken parmesan and my husband LOVES it!

1 package chicken tenderloins
1 jar tomato sauce (clean, simple ingredients, like Trader Joe’s marinara sauce)
Fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced)
1 tsp. EVOO


 Heat up EVOO in pan and brown chicken on both sides. Add sauce. Lower heat to medium and cover.  Let cook for 10 minutes; this time will depend on the thickness of your chicken. Top with cheese and cover until cheese is melted.
Serve with whole-wheat pasta and your favorite veggie {tip: frozen steamer bags are super quick!}.
mexicanlasagna2. Mexican Lasagna
 Pair this with some sour cream or greek yogurt on the side!
2 green bell peppers
1 medium onion
1lb lean ground turkey, chicken or beef
Trader Joe’s taco seasoning packet or your favorite seasonings
2 cups shredded cheese (I like to buy a big block from Costco and shred it when we need it)
1 can (8-12 oz.) fat free refried beans
2 small cans diced chiles
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
12 Corn Tortillas

Dice the peppers and onions. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add diced peppers and onions and cook until tender. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Then brown your ground meat in the skillet until almost done. Add chiles to the meat and finish cooking through. Add cooked onions and peppers to the meat mixture, along with seasoning and about 1/4 cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with 6 tortillas. Spread with one container of the refried beans. Spread 1/2 of the meat and vegetable mixture over the tortillas and beans. Layer the remaining 6 tortillas on top of the meat mixture. Repeat spreading the refried beans and remaining meat and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is hot and bubbly.
3. Chicken Marsala with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
We absolutely love using almond meal to coat the chicken (carb free and delicious), but this is just as good with whole-wheat flour for those with nut allergies!
Chicken Ingredients:
1 package chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup marsala wine
1-2 packages fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup almond meal or whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. EVOO
Chicken Directions:
Mix together the almond meal/flour, garlic powder, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken with the flour mixture. Heat the EVOO in a pan. Cook the chicken in the pan until lightly browned on one side. Turn the chicken over and add mushrooms. Cook until the other side of the chicken is lightly browned. Stir mushrooms so that they cook evenly. Pour marsala wine over the chicken. Cover pan and reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Potato Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. baby red potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
Salt & pepper
Potato Directions:
I always get my potatoes ready and pop them in the oven first. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes, EVOO and rosemary in a 9×13 pan. Season with salt & pepper. Roast, stirring a few times throughout cooking, until potatoes are golden brown, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, about 30 minutes.
turkeymeatballs4. Turkey Meatballs
1 pound ground turkey
2 eggs
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Form the meat mixture into balls about the size of a golf call. Bake for 30 minutes. To make them parmesan, add about a tablespoon of tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese to the top of each at the end and bake for a few extra minutes (or in the broiler) to melt. Eat them on their own or serve with your favorite pasta and veggie side. These are also delicious served with spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
What are your favorite weeknight meals?

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