I have to make dinner again????


It’s Tuesday . You’re standing in front of your fridge thinking…”what the heck am I going to make for dinner? i just made dinner last night….i have to do it again?” (in my case, that pretty much happens every night of the week. i’ve very quickly mastered the technique of browsing through the take–out binder.

Sometimes a recipe might look good, but too involved, or it’s hard to figure out which foods will taste good together, and that might be exactly what the problem is. Let’s see if we can demystify just a little bit…. Here are 4 easy food groups to look for. Once you identify one in each group, grab it & set it aside.

  1. Protein. Whether its chicken breast, turkey, steak, fish, eggs, beans or tofu – make sure you have some protein ready to cook (or already cooked) in your fridge everyday. Meals should be based around this food group. Chicken & turkey breasts can be cooked in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes and fish for 10-15 minutes. You can also turn on the grill or stovetop to medium-high heat and cook fish for 6-10 minutes or chicken for 12-15 minutes.
  2. Vegetables. Learn to love them & think outside the box! Asparagus, spinach, kale, beets and onions can all be prepared fresh or cooked. Fresh: use as a base for a salad. Cooked: saute’ with a tablespoon of olive oil and fresh chopped garlic over stovetop on medium-heat for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Whole grain. Brown & wild rice, quinoa, couscous and potatoes might be known as carb “no-no’s,” but in small doses they actually help keep you satisfied and full without the bulge! About 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cooked whole grain, 1 small sweet potato, or  2-3 baby red or purple potatoes is the serving size you should be aiming for.
  4. Healthy Fat. Heart-healthy oils, avocados, raw nuts, raw coconut and olives are all wonderful to add to meals in small doses. Whether you’re sauteing with 1-2 tablespoons of heart-healthy oil, combining olive oil & vinegar for dressing, adding 1/4 sliced avocado to salad, or topping your quinoa with 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts – a dose of healthy fat will satisfy any cravings you might have for sweets later & miraculously keep the belly bloat away!
A lot of us are full-time moms, gone all day at work, or just plain food-challenged ( i easily fill this category all by myself! ), but this is a really easy way to learn how to cook and get healthy at home.
Use these 4 points of what to look for next time you peak in your fridge. Then write a list and bring it with you as you hit the grocery store – and fill your fridge with the possibilities once a week.  I’ve found that I cannot convince myself to trek to the grocery store each day when I figure out what we might have for dinner, but If the possibility is already at home, it’s a lot more likely that I’ll be cooking in – not ordering out.
Check out our board on Pinterest: ‘Good Eats’ with lots of good, healthy recipe ideas. We’d love to hear your great recipes too, so feel free to add them in the comments section below.
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