This Saturday at 4:15am I finished my second Recipe Hacker cookbook – filled with 120 new and exciting recipes typed, photographed, and paired with commentary.
As any of you who have done it know, writing a book is no joke. It takes long solitary hours of concentration, late nights that bleed into early mornings, and the total neglect of everything nonessential (which is apparent in the stacks of mails and hoards of emails I just noticed). And when it’s all said and done it feels like a 900 pound gorilla is lifted off of your shoulders! Wheeeew!
Being so busy the past few weeks forced me to dig into my database of quick dinner recipes – cuz the family still gets hungry, publishing deadline or not! Today I put my favorite 7 super fast meal recipes together on one page for you to peruse, enjoy and turn to when your schedule gets tight 🙂
1) Sweet & Sour Italian Chicken
I’m in favor of any dinner recipe that:
1) Only uses one pot
2) Requires that a bottle of red wine be opened
This recipe for Sweet & Sour Italian Chicken scores in both categories. You get to sip on red wine while the tender chicken and veggie combo simmers and bubbles in one easy-to-clean skillet. Oh yeah!
The chicken turns out uber tender with a wonderful sweet and sour flavor. And it passed the kiddo test with flying colors!
Give it a try and let me know what you think… Italian Sweet & Sour Chicken
2) Roasted Red Pepper Soup
When it comes to simple, wholesome meal recipes, nothing is as quick and easy as homemade soup.
There really is no comparison between soups that you reheat from a can (even the organic ones) and soup that you make in your own kitchen with organic vegetables. Not in taste and not in the nutritional benefits. When soup is canned, the vegetables lose some of their nutrients, minerals and vitamins–so even though you’re eating vegetables you’re not gaining the full benefit.
This quick recipe calls for roasted red peppers, which are fun and easy to roast on a grill pan over high heat. Wash the peppers, then place them on the grill pan. Use tongs to rotate the peppers every 3 minutes, until each side is blackened. Place the peppers in a paper bag and fold it closed. Let sit for 15 minutes, then open the bag, peel and seed the peppers. I love how the kitchen smells when peppers are grilling. Yum!
The best part about this wholesome soup is how wonderful it tastes. I never have to nag the kids to eat their veggies when this soup is for dinner…Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
3) Ginger & Lime Salmon
This salmon is the perfect, quick weekday dinner. It’s filled with fantastic, natural flavor and is high in nutrition. You can’t beat the amazing flavor of this dish. By wrapping each fillet up in a little parchment paper parcel, the salmon becomes perfectly flaky and flavor infused.
Click over to watch the step-by-step video below and then scroll down for the full print-able recipe. Enjoy!…Ginger & Lime Salmon.
4) Chopped Salad
It’s time to lose the misconception that salads for dinner are a punishment reserved for dieters. Times are changing, and I’m here to propose that our dinner plate needs to evolve.
The days of having high-carb dinners of pasta, rice and bread are done. We’ve seen where that road leads and we’re sick of the unwanted pounds that come along with that outdated style of eating.
It’s time to make room for a new breed of salad dinner. One that’s filled with wholesome, organic vegetables, quality meat and dressed with a simple, homemade dressing. A salad like this satisfies as it helps you toward your ideal weight.
Enjoy this simple Chopped Chicken Bacon and Avocado Salad.
5) Easy Chicken Nuggets
I wasn’t always interested in making healthy recipes…or even in eating healthy food.
There was an entire decade of my life when I existed largely on refined sugars and processed grains. Gulp, for reals. I still cringe when I think back to the hundreds of Slurpees that I drank back then. At the time I was a long distance runner, and a nutritionally oblivious junk-food-vegetarian. I’d run an average of 9 miles a day and would then fuel up on cereals, bagels, veggie burgers, fries and sugar-laden beverages. My body looked healthy, so I figured I was doing something right.
It wasn’t until my son, Andrew, was born in 2005 that I gave one single thought to nutrition. As he got to the age of eating solid foods I realized that I had to figure out what to feed him (duh!) and I didn’t have a clue where to begin. At the time the statistic came out that our children now had a shorter life expectancy that we do, mainly due to obesity and obesity-related diseases. Whoa, that was scary to hear. Suddenly I had the urge to study nutrition and to figure out what should my son eat to avoid a life of disease?
Andrew is now 9 1/2 years old. He’s a tall, athletic, healthy boy who will try virtually any food at least once (yay!) I continue to repeatedly expose him to wholesome, real food with the hopes that his healthy eating habits will stick for life. And that his life expectancy can outrank mine 🙂
My kids are my reason why I care to make healthy recipes and serve healthy food at home. As an unexpected bonus I discovered a deep love of my own for real food and the change that this way of eating has made in my own life and body.
What’s your reason why you cook and eat healthy? Don’t lose sight of why you started your real food journey. We truly live in a toxic food environment where temptation is literally around every corner. Hold onto your quest for health — you’ve got the power to resist temptation and to eat in the wholesome way that you were designed to eat.
These Easy Chicken Nuggets are perfect for those busy weeknights when the kids (and you!) are starving and in need of some wholesome protein. It’s amazing how few ingredients that you really need to create delicious nuggets that rival the processed, artificially flavored, denatured, fried nuggets that you find on most kid’s menus. Give ’em a try and see what you think!…Easy Chicken Nuggets.
6) Super Kale & Quinoa Salad
Recently a blog reader reached out to me with a request for more salad recipes. I eat salad, promise I do! I think it’s just that salad recipes can feel like less of a challenge, so I skip over posting these for something more groundbreaking…like Real Healthy Snickers Bars or 20 Minute Teriyaki Chicken or Stuffed Meatballs.
My apologies to all you salad lovers. I hereby promise to make a more concentrated effort to post more nutritious, fiber+FLAVOR-filled salads for your herbivorous enjoyment…Super Kale & Quinoa Salad.
7) Easy Teriyaki Chicken
This is one of my all time favorite quick dinner recipes! Best for last 😉 Tender chicken and peppers cooked in sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce!
The teriyaki sauce is quite simple to mix together and simmer while the chicken and peppers cook, and I’ve used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Also rather than the sugar (or cornsyrup – yuk!) in many teriyaki sauces, I’ve used some raw honey. It’s wholesome, delicious, and the kiddos can’t get enough of it Enjoy…Easy Teriyaki Chicken.
Need more quick family recipes? Here ya go…