/> Clean Convenient Cuisine: A Week's Worth of Dinners

Clean Convenient Cuisine

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Week's Worth of Dinners

The biggest complaint I hear comes at the end of the day, when people are tired and walk through the door, only to ask that dreaded question: "What's for dinner?" If you don't already have a menu or some idea of what to eat, you are setting yourself up for failure. When you have nothing prepped, or you think it's going to take too long, it's too easy to order takeout or just eat something quick and unhealthy. 

Trust me: a little prep goes a long way. The first thing you'll need to do is look at your schedule and see when you can eat in. If you know you're going to eat out, plan around those meals, and if you do go out, remember to ask for NO SALT on dishes and to have food prepared "dry" or with cooking spray. No butter, no extra bread, etc.

We are going to assume that for this week, your eating out night will be Saturday. For shopping purposes, we are going to assume you want to make enough for two people (if it's for one, just reduce the amounts or make enough so you have leftovers).

So, a sample menu could look like the following:

Sunday - chicken stir fry w/ brown rice
Monday - chicken and veggie omelet
Tuesday - salmon/veggies
Wednesday - turkey scramble
Thursday - black bean burger/sweet potato fries
Friday - chicken/salad
Saturday - EAT OUT

Grocery List:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 package chicken breasts
2 6-oz. salmon fillets
1 package 93%-97% lean ground turkey

brown rice
black bean burger (frozen section - look for ones with low salt content)
sweet potatoes (or sweet potato fries in frozen section)
salad dressing (something healthy, organic with lower sodium and sugar - or, just make your own)

(Obviously you can choose your own veggies - enough for some to cook and some to throw on a salad)
romaine lettuce
red bell pepper
fresh corn (2-3 ears)
roma tomatoes
brussel sprouts
red onion
1% cottage cheese

If you know you won't stick to the plan and make dinner every night, only purchase 2-3 days of groceries, so no meat is going to waste. Vegetarian? Stock up on tofu or use black beans as a good source of protein. When you get your veggies, cut and wash them. If you can spend even 20 minutes doing this, arranging them into little containers for the week, you are saving yourself a TON of time. Even if you don't, all of the meals below can be made in 10-20 minutes.


Clean veggies and chop. You can use broccoli, red pepper, asparagus, carrots... the list goes on. Cut chicken breast into small pieces and put a bit of olive oil, water and chopped up garlic into a wok. Heat the oil and add chicken, cooking until done. Cook 10 minute rice in a separate pot. Once the chicken is done, add the veggies, spice them up accordingly and toss around, cooking until veggies are nice and crisp. Pile the rice into a bowl, add chicken and veggies and enjoy! Need some sort of sauce? Skip the soy sauce and go for Cholula instead.

Monday - OMELET

Use any leftovers from Sunday and pile into an omelet. Break 3-4 eggs, and use 3 egg whites and 1 yolk. Pour into a bowl, whisk briefly and pour into a heated omelet pan. Let eggs cook for about a minute and then add veggies, placing a lid on the pan. Let cook for a few minutes then attempt to flip the omelet over to cook evenly on the other side. If your omelet breaks, just serve as a nice scramble instead. Top with fresh avocado, cilantro and a small scoop of cottage cheese.


Peel corn and cut from the ear, along with brussel sprouts, a bell pepper, asparagus and broccoli. Pour 1 teaspoon oil and 1/2 cup water in a large pan, along with any spices you want. Let heat. In another pan, get the salmon going, after having spiced it up (try to avoid salt). Add a little olive oil and a few teaspoons of water in the pan. Cook skin side down first, about 4-5 minutes per side. At the same time, add your veggies to the large pan, tossing occasionally. Scoop veggies onto plate, and add fish once it is done.


Spray a large pan with cooking spray and add turkey. Season it up with spices and cook until brown. Add a few fresh tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, kale (whatever veggies you want). Cook for a few minutes (with a lid) until veggies are done. Serve immediately. Got any leftover rice from Sunday? Heat up and toss it to the mixture. Black beans are a good addition as well.


Bake sweet potato fries according to directions, or make them fresh by peeling, cutting into wedges and placing them in a large container with spices and a little olive oil. Toss and spread on a baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy. Take black bean burger from freezer (or you can make one yourself) when potatoes have about 10 minutes to go and cook according to directions in pan. Serve fries with AlsoSalt ketchup (if you want ketchup) and top the burger with lettuce, tomato and avocado. No bun.


Use leftover chicken or a fresh rotisserie chicken to cut up and serve cold on a salad. Get a pre-made salad or rinse and cut lettuce and add carrots, celery, blueberries, broccoli, peppers and anything else you want (try and skip the cheese). Top with a lower-fat, lower-sodium dressing, a scoop of cottage cheese and fresh chicken.

All of these recipes take little time and little prep and give you a ton of veggies, fiber and protein for minimum fat and calories! If you know WHAT you're making, it makes it easier to stick to clean, healthy eating and treat yourself to a "cheat" meal or two on the weekend or during the middle of the week. Got questions? Send them our way!!