Dinners: Stepping Outside the Box Again

by Nicole on January 14, 2014

I feel like this new year has sparked something inside of me. I probably shouldn’t say it (or write it) out loud, but I feel like I kind of coasted the past 10ish months and I’m ready to get back out there.

When I say get back out there I’m talking about things like new recipes in the kitchen, work more, making a more consistent blogging schedule….and being better about laundry. I don’t know how the “work more” is going to pan out yet because I don’t have any sort of child care, but we’re going to figure it out. I’ll possibly get someone to watch Liv a couple hours a week so I can work. We have zero details planned out. I just feel like I’m ready.

Last week I started doing a little meal prep. I’m not going to make a strict schedule, but I just want to have some ideas of meals at the start of the week. I make dinner every night, but I was relying on staple recipes and not branching out at all. Last week it finally changed…and it was delicious.

I thought it would be fun to share our dinners with you. Dinners have to be fast here. I have to be able to prep meals in 20 minutes or less. Most meals I make happen within 10-15 minutes. (Not including cooking time of course.)

Last week we had:


PaleOMG Almost 5 ingredient spaghetti pie:  I used bacon instead of sausage and added kale into it. I also left out onion because I didn’t have any. I also made this, this weekend using corn pasta instead of spaghetti squash. Both are amazingly delicious.

Soy dijon glazed split chicken breasts:  In a small bowl I combined 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 3 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. I generously brushed it over the split chicken. Then I baked it for about 50 minutes at 400 degrees, uncovered.


How Sweet Eats honey chipotle chicken bowl: I used green chilis instead of adobo (couldn’t find this), left out honey mustard and added a squirt of honey to the marinade. I also added shredded cheese to the bowls.

Lemon Rosemary Salmon: I make this semi-frequently. It’s super easy and reliable. I served this with mushrooms & asparagus and a big salad.

Flank steak, goat cheese/avocado salad and homemade whole wheat sourdough bread: I marinated the steak in equal parts soy sauce, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I also added 3 cloves of chopped garlic, salt & pepper.

What I plan on doing is sitting down and looking around the internet and cookbooks on Thursday. This past week I made a list of meals and ingredients, so when I went food shopping Friday it was already planned for me. There’s always room for change, but having a loosely structured plan is great.

Don’t forget to enter my Best Body Bootcamp giveaway! Enter until Friday!

Any suggestions for recipes or meal planning? What are your favorite meals to cook?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. January 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Obsessed with my crockpot – makes meals so simple for me! ANd makes SO much of it!


Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Food prep on Sunday helps me SO much. Never heard that before have you?;) I also use nap time to prep ingredients for dinner. Makes the evenings go smoothly!


Holly @ The Cooper Family January 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I’m with you- I finally WANT to be back in the kitchen. I think it helps that the girl are a little older too :) I think the bigget thing that I try to do with my cooking/meal planning is to choose recipes that can be prepped (in part) ahead of time. Like Brittany, I like to prep in the mornings (or during nap) and then cook later. Also, we tend to double most recipes so that we can get dinner + lunch for all of us (husband packs his lunch) + a little bit of extra leftovers (for Adeline to snack on or for another lunch). It really doesn’t take that much time to make a few extra servings, and I’m always happy to have something delicious waiting for me in the fridge!


Robert M January 15, 2014 at 7:18 am

I like to make broiled salmon. I just put a little olive oil, kosher salt and dried thyme on top and then broil it in the oven or toaster oven on the broil setting until it is dark brown on top and flaky.


char eats greens January 15, 2014 at 11:46 pm

I’ve been back in the kitchen too and loving it. I still need to work on my meal prep skills; such as, looking in my fridge and cupboards to get inspiration and make sure nothing gets wasted!!! Sounds like you’ve had some good meals!!

I honestly just google with the ingredients I have on hand to find a very specific recipe for what I’m looking for haha. Don’t know how effective it is, but it gets the job done!


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