Easy Dinner Ideas

Even though I didn’t post for the last three months I was still cooking plenty.  I typically like to take a day off per week, but otherwise I organize myself and make homemade from scratch meals the rest of the days.  Over the last few years my style of cooking has shifted quite a bit but I’m happy with where I’m at.  Nothing too fancy, nothing too complicated, and nothing too long!  Perfect for our family.

My meals all follow the same format – some animal protein with a lot of veggies and not much in the carb department, other than sweet potatoes.  In trying to keep things cost effective I cook large amounts of animal protein at once that can be used for multiple meals.  And I typically cook this protein in my crock pot – whole chickens, chuck roasts, flank steaks, chicken thighs, turkey legs – these are my preferred.  For veggies I use anything and everything, except peppers.  They are the one food that I burp for hours, even days after consuming them and it drives me insane.  So I stay away.  Anyway here are a handful of meal ideas I typically cook following this format.

Whole Chicken, Chicken Thighs, Turkey Legs (crockpot prepared)

  1. served with roasted cumin carrots and roasted brussel sprouts
  2. served with roasted beets, steamed swiss chard, and mashed sweet potato
  3. served in a large green salad with a variety of veggies, olives, and a handful of nuts/seeds
  4. chicken salad served in lettuce wraps
  5. vegetable soup with chicken/turkey
  6. spaghetti squash with pesto or marinara and chicken/turkey
  7. crustless quiche with veggies and chicken/turkey

Chuck Roast, Flank Steak (crockpot prepared)

  1. served with roasted sweet potato, apple, and onion
  2. served with coleslaw
  3. served in lettuce wrap tacos with the fixings
  4. baked sweet potato topped with shredded meat, avocado, cilantro, olives, lettuce, and salsa
  5. ‘Mexican’ salad – greens, plantain guacamole or avocado, carrots, olives, jicama, shredded meat, and salsa

I also use ground bison, beef, turkey, and chicken – either bought in bulk or in sausage form.  Ground protein I cook with each meal and not in advance.

Ground Beef or Turkey (cooked with each meal, not in advance)

  1. served on a baked sweet potato with salsa, jicama, sautéed onion
  2. made and cooked into patties served over baked sweet potato wedges with avocado, bacon, tomato, etc..
  3. minestrone crock pot soup, add browned ground meat 1-2 hours before cooking time is done
  4. bolognese sauce served with spaghetti squash
  5. ‘Mexican’ salad – greens, plantain guacamole or avocado, carrots, jicama, shredded meat, and salsa

Sausage (cooked with each meal, not in advance)

  1. roasted veggies and sausage – my favorite is sweet potato, red onion, apple, fennel, and chicken Italian sausage.  butternut squash, red onion, turnip, rutabaga, and pear with any flavor sausage is a close second.
  2. crustless quiche with veggies and sausage
  3. spaghetti squash with marinara and sausage
  4. minestrone crock pot soup, add browned sausage 1-2 hours before cooking time is done

All of these meals are simple and require few ingredients – mainly all fresh!  Many of the dishes are similar, I just switch up the veggies and/or protein to keep things exciting.  Also I have a large variety of spices in my kitchen allowing me to mix up the flavors for each meal.  Everything from seasoning the protein to then seasoning the veggies.  This keeps it interesting for me as I get bored eating the same foods over and over.  Avocado is a big add on to numerous meals as well as salsa.  For salad dressing I tend to use balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Most store bought bottles are full of crap, but the brand Tessemae’s uses olive oil as the base and most flavors don’t contain any sugar.  A rare find!  I don’t use much dairy but if I do I use pecorino romano to top some soups, spaghetti squash dishes, and quiches.  These meals are pretty much my staples and I add in others to spice it up.

As you can see for the most part we follow a paleo styled diet.  I find I feel the best and have the most energy when I eat this way.

See I told you I still cook :).  Enjoy!

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