Last week was a successful one, in terms of dinner. I enjoyed each and every meal/recipe listed here, so if you’re looking for a good variety of easy and healthy weeknight dinners then I’ve got you covered. Click on the links for the recipes.
Monday: Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad with a Creamy Thai “Peanut” Dressing
I try to have at least one raw dinner, particularly a big salad, every week for a few reasons:
1.) I like to switch it up.
2.) It’s a dinner comprised mostly of vitamin-rich veggies, yet still satisfying.
3.) Most of the food isn’t cooked or denatured, so we get the maximum amount of nutritional benefits.
4.) It’s easy.
Of all the Thai salad dressings variations I’ve tried, this one has to be my favorite. I could have drank it up on its own, it was so good. It’s a flavorful dressing that uses sunflower seed butter as the main ingredient, although I think any nut or seed butter would work well in this. Make it! And when you do, make extra.
My parents gave me a whole bunch of bell peppers from their yard, so I got to use them up in this salad. Raw bell peppers don’t cut it for me, so I sauteed them in a bit of olive oil, salt and smoked paprika and it added a savory bacon-like flavor to it. Smoked paprika has been having a moment in my kitchen lately. I’m loving the strong smokiness and I’ve been using it a ton, mostly on vegetables.
Tips for people who just can’t get behind the idea of salad for dinner: 1.) Start small – add cooked foods to it. Toss in some baked shredded chicken, roasted veggies or a poached egg. It adds texture and loads of flavor, while still keeping it a healthy salad. Steer clear or go light on add-ins like bacon, shredded cheese and processed dressings. Try to stick to veggies, nuts and seeds and find creative ways to make them tastier for you. For example, I like to take raw walnuts with a tbsp. of soy sauce or tamari and a couple pinches of cumin and cayenne and mix them into a ground beef-like texture using a food processor. I sprinkle it over the salad for a meaty, salty bite. It’s awesome! 2.) Use different types of greens for variety and texture. No boring salads here! 3.) A great homemade dressing is key.
Tuesday: Sweet and Spicy Burrito
Again! But this time no sweet potatoes , which is fine because it simplifies the process a bit, yet doesn’t skimp on taste. It’s a starchy meal for sure, but still abundant in fiber, potassium and folate, which are all beneficial for maintaining optimal heart health.
I make Bob brown rice, while I have white. I bought a huge tub of brown rice, but I completely forgot that I loathe brown rice so I’ve been making two batches of rice. This can get blah sometimes but it’s better than letting it go to waste or forcing myself to eat something I don’t like.
Wednesday: Herb Brown Butter Mayo Shrimp Rolls (with a side of not-pictured broccoli)
“Shrimp in hot dog buns?”. Bob was incredulous and so was I, but for different reasons. Shrimp rolls sounded weird to him, but I just couldn’t believe he’d never heard of them before, especially since I made them twice last summer. He gave me his usual “I don’t think I’m going to like this” speech, but that just made me determined to make it extra special. And it was! I’d never made my own mayo before so that was a little daunting. It’s a workout, I will say that, but it’s still very easy. Good arm muscles are recommended, though 😉 And the brown butter? Bonus yum. I normally wouldn’t make something so high in cholesterol, but I thought it was okay to make an exception, especially since the meal is also high in healthy fats, protein and vitamin B12. If I were to give you any tips on this one, it’d be to toast the buns. Makes all the difference!
Bob’s take? “Good. But it’s still weird eating shrimp in a hot dog bun.”
Thursday: Summer Vegetable Chowder
I made very few, small changes to this soup. I substituted the milk for homemade cashew milk, as I tend to do with any recipe that calls for cream or dairy milk. I added more smoked paprika—obviously. I sauteed a few smashed garlic cloves with yellow onion for more flavor. No green onions, so I used chives which I like better anyway. The soup is thick and and hearty enough to stand on its own (love that) but a crusty loaf of bread to dip in is always a good call!
*I can’t seem to recall what we had on Sunday nor do I have the pictures to jog my memory. Fridays and Saturdays are usually “eating out” days.
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