Raise your hand if you find it exhausting to constantly have to come up with a game plan for weeknight night dinners… Yup — I knew you’d be part of the club.
It’s hard enough to keep up with busy schedules and which kid decided they don’t like peas this week. Trying to please everyone and not spend three hours in the kitchen? Ugh. Rough.
Don’t worry — you’re not alone.
To all the moms, dads, parents, and caregivers alike — here are a few tasty go-to recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers, even in a pinch!
Margarita Flatbread Pizza
Here’s the thing — people LOVE pizza. But a lot of times pizza is packed with most of the things we try to stay away from on a clean eating diet.
This flatbread recipe is a much healthier alternative that is packed with whole grains and good-for-you veggies. Your family will love it AND it’s one of the quickest on-the-spot meals for a busy night.
1 naan bread
3 pieces fresh mozzarella cheese
1 tomato sliced thin
5-6 leaves basil
3 cloves garlic pressed
1.5 Tbsp Olive oil
1.5 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Press 3 fresh garlic cloves and mix with 1.5 Tbsp oil.
Brush the flatbread with oil & garlic with half the mixture. Place in a preheated oven at 350°F for 5 minutes to crisp up.
Remove from the oven and place 3 slices of cheese on top of the flatbread, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then place thinly sliced tomatoes on top and repeat with a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes, plus extra 2-3 minutes on broil. Watch the bread closely, if it's too dark before 2-3 minutes remove it from the oven immediately.
Meanwhile mix the remaining oil & garlic with 1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, stirring until a smooth emulsion forms.
Chop 5-6 basil leaves.
Once flatbread pizza is baked and the edges are golden in color, remove from the oven, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar mixture, sprinkle with basil leaves, slice and serve and enjoy!
Say YES to pizza night!
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole
How can you really say no to broccoli when there’s cheese involved? Kids LOVE this simple, satisfying meal — and parents love the sneaky veggies with lean meat. Win / Win!
Not to mention this makes for some really good leftovers…
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
10 ounces fresh broccoli
1 cup shredded cheese (separate into 1/2 cup)
4 ounces full fat cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F
Steam broccoli until tender (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
Grate cheese from the block
Cut chicken into chunks and season with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sear just enough to brown. Don't cook it all the way through. It will finish cooking in the oven.
In a small pot add heavy cream and cream cheese. Toss in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and melt down. Then slowly pour in chicken broth. Add seasoning of black pepper to taste.
In a casserole dish add steamed broccoli and chicken. Mix broccoli, chicken and cheese sauce together and spread out evenly in the dish. Top with another 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Place in the oven for 25 minutes until the cheese is melted with a slight crisp.
Pro Tip — throw in some whole wheat noodles or brown rice when you want to add some grains to mix!
Veggie Packed Chicken Nuggets
Who would have thought that chicken nuggets could be good for you?! Alas, they can be.
Funny enough — adults flock to this one almost as much as the kids do. Full of flavor with all the benefits of healthy options.
1 pound ground chicken
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach, loosely packed
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
Oil for cooking
Take shredded zucchini and put it in the middle of a clean dish towel or large piece of paper towel. Wrap up the zucchini with towel squeeze a few times to help drain out some of the zucchini’s moisture.
In a large bowl, combine drained zucchini and remaining ingredients except oil. Using clean hands or a spoon, mix until well combined.
Form into bites and set aside
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook bites until a golden-brown crust starts to form and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side
Enjoy while warm!
Whip these up with a good dipping sauce and you’ve got yourself a meal!
Turkey and Sweet Potato Skillet
Two power-packers when it comes to adding vitamins and nutrients to a meal. But does it actually taste good?
It’s BETTER than good. Topped off with a little mozzarella cheese and you’ll be asking why you haven’t tried this sooner.
3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup mozzarella, shredded
½ cup water
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute and then add ground turkey.
Use a wooden spoon to break apart meat and continue cooking approximately 8 minutes until browned.
Add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir well to incorporate.
Add diced sweet potato and water. Stir and cover with a lid for approximately 6-8 minutes until the sweet potatoes soften. Add additional water during this process if needed to keep the meat from drying out.
Remove the lid and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Top with shredded mozzarella and allow it to melt.
Remove skillet from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.
The family will be asking to add this to the regular rotation after just a few bites!
Vegetable Beef Soup
Some of you might remember this from your own childhood. Cool days paired with a warm meal and toasted whole grain bread… drool worthy!
Soup is a great way to get a good fix of veggies and a ton of flavor all in one. This one has beef — but you can really add anything you want.
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound ground beef
1 cup onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups beef broth
16 oz frozen mixed vegetables
14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
1 teaspoon parsley (dried)
1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried)
Heat oil in a large pot. Add in ground beef and onions and cook and crumble. Add in minced garlic and allow to cook for 30-60 seconds. Drain fat as needed.
Stir in all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25-35 minutes.
Let this one warm you up from the inside out!
Try Them Out
Dinners don’t have to be stressful.
Swap things out and mix things up with recipes you already have. Stick to whole foods and get creative with packing in the protein and veggies. Find ways to shorten up your cooking times.
Plus — a good spice rack helps.
Give it a go!
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