Hello and Happy New Year!
Like probably most of you, Justin & I are determined to start off 2019 on a healthy foot. Half of this plan involves amping up our workouts, and the other half is – you guessed it – eating healthily. In an effort to stick to our plan, we thought it would be a good idea to comprise a list of our favorite, tried-and-true recipes. That way, when it comes time to grocery shop on Sundays, we can quickly select a couple meals from our trusty list that are easy, we already know how to make, and are healthy and delicious. We’ll still try out new recipes here and there (I got the new Chrissy Tiegen cookbook for Christmas, and have yet to dive into it!) but it will be nice to have a good list to use as a base.
Here are some of our all-time favorite, mostly-healthy recipes that will carry us into the new year! Disclaimer: You’ll see we make a LOT of bowls. Mostly because they’re so easy and so versatile. Mix and match any protein (chicken, steak, shrimp, etc.) with any carb (rice, quinoa, orzo), add a vegetable or two, and viola! Dinner is served.
This is probably my absolute favorite bowl that we make. We marinade and prepare the steak bites, and pair them with whatever we have on hand. Usually brown rice, tomato, avocado, beans (warmed on the stove), and a squeeze of lime over top. This is one recipe I’d like to try with cauliflower rice, just to add a veggie element.
This Lemon Basil Shrimp recipe is one we got in a HelloFresh box, and we have been re-creating it AT LEAST once a month since then. We usually just sautee the shrimp on the stove top (because its easier than dealing with skewers) but sometimes we will switch it up and grill them. I love, love, love the lemon-y orzo and vinegar-y tomatoes.
Other Shrimp Bowl Varieties
This one is just sauteed shrimp and steamed broccoli over the Seeds of Change rice & quinoa & brown rice mix. Seriously, so simple.
Sesame Shrimp with Crispy Green Beans – Another delicious HelloFresh recipe!
Justin is not the biggest fan of Salmon, but we have been trying to incorporate it into our diets more often. I loved this recipe but for the most part we kind-of wing it. Justin likes to marinate his salmon filet in a Caribbean Jerk sauce, and I season mine with lemon pepper. They each go into a foil packet in the oven (hello, easy cleanup!), and are then served over rice (this Brown Basmati is our fave!) with steamed broccoli or sauteed asparagus.
If I’m making traditional quinoa, meaning, not from a microwaveable bag, I like to make a big batch in the rice cooker and have it multiple times throughout the week. Here’s another super easy bowl example with just chicken and asparagus (sauteed in a pan with olive oil), and black beans.
Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls
I am a sucker for ahi tuna and will order it any time I see it on a restaurant menu. I believe this “recipe” is one I made up, but I’m sure something I ordered originally inspired it. We just sear the edges of sushi-grade ahi tuna (sometimes rolled in sesame seeds and seasoned with S&P) in olive oil , and then slice. We serve it over that infamous microwaveable brown rice, with mango chunks, avocado, sesame seeds, and a squeeze of lime. Maybe topped with a little soy sauce if I’m feelin’ it.
Another time I added cucumber.
Maybe not the healthiest recipe on the list (hello butter!), but it sure is delicious. It’s the perfect weekend night, splurge-a-little-bit, date night meal. The first time we made this, I couldn’t find arborio rice in the store, so we opted for orzo – still just as delicious!
Turkey Taco Bowls
When I’m being carb-conscious, I like my tacos without the tortilla. Just brown ground turkey (or super lean ground beef) and add low-sodium taco seasoning according to the package directions. Serve over a bed of lettuce, and add beans (I prefer a little scoop of refried beans) tomato, avocado, and a sprinkle of cheese. You could add rice, onions (we are an onion-free household), corn, black olives, guac in place of the avocado, pico or salsa in place of the tomato. Anything goes! I’ve also substituted chicken breast (with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning!) which is yummy as well!
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili
There’s a million of these recipes on Pinterest, but this is the one we made most recently – sans onions! Brown the turkey ahead of time, and then it’s your classic canned ingredients all dumped into a slow cooker, for the most hassle-free dinner ever.
California Chicken Flatbreads
I know what you’re thinking – Finally, something that isn’t served in a bowl! 🙂
These California Chicken flatbreads are TO DIE FOR. Smother a Whole Wheat Naan in juicy chicken, crisp bacon, creamy avocado, cheese and tomato. Justin likes his with ranch (per the recipe) but I’m weird and don’t like ranch, so I prefer a balsamic vinegar drizzle. I added red pepper to the one below. Mushrooms would be great, too!
We have made Naan pizzas as well! A little pizza sauce, cheese, turkey pepperoni and mushrooms for me!
Ground Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
These ground chicken meatballs are my absolute favorite, and turn out so much juicier than turkey meatballs. I like them best served with spaghetti squash – but you can substitute regular pasta, of course. This recipe makes A TON, so I like to make them with spaghetti squash, which also produces large quantity, and eat it for lunch for a couple days following.
This fave was inspired by the Shrimp Tacos I once ate at the downtown Cincinnati restaurant, Nada. It was one of the first meals I ever cooked for Justin, around 6 years ago! Even still – he does most of the cooking in our house. Anywho, a girlfriend and I had dinner at Nada and I knew I just HAD to re-create this recipe. For the sauce: Mix 1 cup plain greek yogurt with the juice of half a lime, 1/4 of an avocado, and a little cilantro in a food processor. Roast frozen or canned sweet corn in the oven (topped with a little olive oil) until browned. Sautee shrimp in olive oil, season with S&P and garlic, and an extra squeeze of lime if you wish. Spoon into street (mini) tortillas with lettuce, tomato, and remaining avocado. Top with the dressing. Serve with a Margarita on the side!
For my readers:
And there you have it, folks! My first dinner recipe idea compilation.
Drop a comment below and let me know if you enjoyed this post, and if you’d like to see a compilation of lunch or breakfast recipe ideas as well.
Do you have a handful of meals you typically stick to? Share with me some of your healthy-ish ideas!