I’ve had a lot of questions about what I cook for my family on busy days, so I thought I would share with you some of my favorites. Most families these days are super busy, but every mom needs at least a few easy go-to dinners. We all want to be good moms and prepare healthy, delicious meals for our family, but we don’t always have the time. Sure you can always whip up something random from all the leftovers in the house, but knowing that you can make a tasty, healthy meal quick and easy with just a few ingredients, makes any stressed out mom feel a whole lot better. Here’s just a few of my favorites, but I plan to post more yummy recipes in this continued series.
In our house, meat is always on the menu. So if you’re a vegan or have a lot of diet restrictions, you probably wouldn’t enjoy eating at my house. We love meat, cheese and we’re not afraid to get creative. I love eating seasonally and locally (which you can read all about here), so my meals may vary, depending on the time of year. I love going to the farmer’s markets every week and finding all sorts of different produce and good stuff.
My family loves spinach. (Yes, even Lucy!) Spinach is a super food, meaning it’s packed with healthy nutrients and antioxidants. It’s rich in beta-carotene, protein, lutein, calcium, folic acid, potassium, iron and vitamins A, C, and E. It can promote overall healing as well as specifically reduce the pain associate with arthritis and the risk of high blood pressure and cancer. Spinach is also an efficient liver cleanser. With that being said, I obviously try to feed my family as much spinach as possible. This dish is so yummy, easy and on the cheaper side. What’s not to love!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Four 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and brown the chicken breasts in the skillet, about 6 minutes per side. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, an garlic, and reduce the the heat to medium.
- Cover the skillet and cook the chicken for about 15 minutes.
- Ad the spinach and cover the skillet again. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. I like to serve it with couscous and a side of vegetables like green beans or brussel sprouts.
Serves 4. Prep time is 10 minutes and cook time is 30 minutes. Each serving is only 336 calories. You can find this recipe in the Clean Eating Made Simple cookbook.
Flank Steak with Salsa Verde
Ever since I got pregnant, I have had a slight obsession with steak. Maybe it’s because I deprived myself from it for almost 6 years, or maybe it’s because it’s just so darn delicious. But whatever the reason, I’m loving it. I love simple recipes where to star of the show is the meat, in itself. You don’t always need some fancy, rich sauce or seasoning. Sometimes more is less. That’s why I love this super simple flank steak with salsa verde recipe. It’s so easy and you usually have most of the ingredients in your pantry anyways, so it’s always an easy go to.
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
- 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
- Kosher Salt
- 1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
- Make the salsa verde: Pulse the parsley, scallions, capers, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, garlic, mustard and olive oil in a food processor until slightly chunky. Pour into a bowl and season with salt.
- Preheat a grill to high or pace a grill pan over high heat. Pierce the steak all over with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill or pan; grill the steak, 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning once. Transfer to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Serve with the tomatoes and salsa verde.
Serves: 4. Prep time is 10 minutes and cook time 20. Each serving is only 465 calories. You can find this recipe on the Food Network.
Classic and Simple Meat Lasagna
I love lasagna. It’s one of my go to comfort foods. And the fact that it’s so simple to make, just makes it all that much better. I won’t lie and say this is a healthy dish, but it’s damn good. So for those special cheat nights, this one’s a favorite for everyone in the family.
- 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles (I cheat and get the pre-cooked noodles from Trader Joe’s, It makes life so much easier! They’re not whole wheat though. Opps.)
- 1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey to make it a little healthier)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or to taste
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 (16 oz) package cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup shredded-Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 (25 oz) jars tomato-basil pasta sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the lasagna noodles a few at a time. and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Remove the noodles to plate. (But if you get the pre-cooked noodles from Trader Joe’s you can skip this step!)
- Place the ground beef into a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Cook the meat, chopping it into small chunks as it cooks, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain excess grease.
- In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, and Parmesan cheese until throughout combined.
- Place 4 noodles side by side into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan; top with a layer of tomato-basil sauce, a layer of ground beef mixture, and a layer of the cottage cheese mixture. Repeat the layers twice more ,ending with a layer of sauce; sprinkle tip with mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese had melted, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until cheese bag begun to brown, about 10 more minutes. Allow to stand at least 10 minutes before serving. I like to serve with some garlic bread and a side of veggies, like eggplant or cauliflower.
Serves 8. Prep time is 25 minutes and cook time is 1 hour. You can find this recipe on allrecipes.com here.
Another option is home delivery meal kits. I love getting Hello Fresh sometimes when I like what’s on the menu. I like that I can pick and choose what I want, skip any week, and all the meals are super quick any easy. Use my code JAYLYNNZ for $40 off your first box!
What are some of your favorite, easy go-to meals you make for your family? What is the most important when it comes to preparing dinner? Health, time, cost? I love hearing from you! Like, comment and share!