I tried a few good new recipes this week! I love when a new recipe ends up being something you’d make again, even better when it’s one you could see putting in the weeknight dinner rotation. Easy clean-eating weeknight dinners are the best!
I would like to remind you here that I am not a chef. I am not a foodie. Cooking does not come naturally to me. When we have a holiday dinner here, my husband cooks. My interest in recipes comes from two places- my interest in health and clean eating, and my desire to make something different for dinner (please for the love of God just tell me what to make for dinner and I’ll make it! oh to not have to decide what to make for dinner again…) I have learned a lot over the last ten years or so, and I’ve gotten better. But these dinners are not fancy. If you are a more gourmet kinda cook, this is not for you!
Sunday- Ginger Cranberry Pork Roast
This was different enough to be a nice, change-of-pace weekend dinner, but easy enough to be a weeknight dinner. And it’s made in a crockpot! The recipe as written was to be used as a make-ahead freezer meal. Those are great to have in for busy weeks!
I bet you could swap out the fresh ginger for ground ginger, too, if fresh ginger isn’t something you usually have in the house. (It’s not something I usually have in the house and you should see the obscene amount of fresh ginger I bought because I wasn’t sure how much I’d need!)
I found this recipe here at mamaandbabylove.
Monday- Turkey Chili
I love making turkey chili on a Monday, because it makes a ton and we always have a bunch of leftovers to use for lunches during the week.
I brown 1 pound lean ground turkey in a big, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. When it’s browned, I season the meat with a generous amount of chili powder. Turn the heat to low. Then I add 1 giant can of dark red kidney beans (drained), 1 bag of frozen mixed peppers, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and 1 can of crushed tomatoes. I mix it up and season again with a lot of chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, basil. Just a very unscientific shake once or twice over the mixture! I also add about a tablespoon of brown sugar. Brown sugar is not clean, but I haven’t tried using turbinado yet (it seems too grainy for something like this) and using coconut sugar doesn’t seem to go. I know logically that brown sugar is not any cleaner than white sugar, but it seems like it should be doesn’t it? I used it anyway!
Let it cook for 30 minutes or so covered. You can leave it on the stove for quite a while on low heat.
You could make this using fresh vegetables and it’s even better. But the ease of this, and the convenience of being able to have all the ingredients in for a list minute dinner, makes it our go-to recipe. I serve it over quinoa or brown rice with a little shredded cheddar to sprinkle on top.
Tuesday- Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry
This was soooooo good! I will definitely make this one again. I found this recipe here at skinnytaste.
This isn’t as simple as other recipes, but it’s worth it. And I imagine the next time I make this it will be even easier and faster.
Wednesday- Baked Cajun Chicken & Cauliflower
I have realized these last few weeks that I don’t make baked chicken nearly often enough. It’s so easy! I always felt like chicken had to be part of a recipe, or at least breaded. Well, this was the easiest chicken ever, and so tasty. All I did was mist a baking sheet with some olive oil, put the chicken on it and season one side with Cajun seasoning, flip it and season the other side. Cook at 400 for 15 minutes; turn the chicken and cook for another 10 or so minutes. You may not even have to turn it!
I made my own Cajun seasoning; it’s very easy and you can make a big batch to have for several dinners. But I think it’s pretty easy to find a “clean” Cajun seasoning too. Just watch out for MSG and other sneaky additives.
Roasted cauliflower is delicious; it’s really like a treat. I cut up the cauliflower, toss it in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan. Spread it on a baking sheet and cook at 400 for about 20-25 minutes. You may want to give it a shake halfway through. My daughter loves this! And it was in place of a carb at dinner:) Serve with a salad and it’s a great healthy meal.
Thursday- Skinny Chicken Alfredo
This was so freaking good, too!! It was comfort food, it felt like an indulgence, but it’s healthy! I even used whole wheat flour when making the sauce. This would be perfect for a chilly day or a day when you want something hearty and savory. I found this recipe here at iowagirleats while looking for another recipe I used to make. This is a definite do-over.
Friday- Tuna Wraps and Salad
Friday afternoons tend to be busy, so we usually have grilled cheese or tuna fish or pizza. Some tuna fish made with homemade mayo and wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla is a nice healthy dinner!
I confess I have not made homemade mayo yet…but I am going to very soon. I will have to do it secretly, because I know my husband (who is so into all health food stuff) will refuse to even try it. He’s loyal to Hellman’s and won’t even talk about the possibility of a healthier alternative.
I don’t even like mayo in anything other than tuna fish. But the store bought stuff isn’t the healthiest and I like tuna fish as a meal option, so I’m going to give it a try. This “Magnificent Mayonnaise” recipe from Dr. Oz has been recommended by a friend.
Saturday- Saucy Susan Pork Chops
My mom often made pork chops in the crockpot with Saucy Susan and it was very tasty. She would use bone-in pork chops and the meat would just fall off the bone. And how easy is that- to just put the pork in and throw in a bottle of Saucy Susan?
Alas, Saucy Susan is not clean. It has high fructose corn syrup and lots of ingredients. So I made my own version, and while it wasn’t as tasty, it was pretty good. I think with some tweaking I could get it even closer.
I used boneless pork chops (only because the bones kind of gross me out- I think the bone-in chops are a little tastier in this kind of recipe). I put them in the crockpot, and added 1 jar of Polaner All-Fruit Apricot jelly, which is only fruit and fruit juices, no sugar added, plus 1 jar full of water. Then I added 2 tablespoons each of vinegar and soy sauce. Next time I would probably add a sweetener like turbinado at this point. Cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. After cooking, you may want to strain the liquid and add it back to the pot with 2 tablespoons or so of corn starch. This made for a nice, thicker sauce. I served it over quinoa with steamed broccoli. Again, could use some tweaking, but pork chops & apricot all-fruit in a crock pot is a good base for an easy crockpot dinner.
I hope my week’s worth of dinners gave you an idea or two! I’d love to hear about your favorite weekday dinners that are quick and easy, too!!