Making a weekly menu can help to keep you on track with healthy eating goals. It also takes some of the energy out of what to make for dinner each night.
Because our travel options are also limited these days due to COVID, try experiencing some exotic flavors and take a “tastecation” at home.
“These balanced recipes are full of fiber and flavor – mixing up your meals and eating a variety of foods ensures that you are getting a variety of nutrients,” says Melissa Keeney, the Outpatient Registered Dietitian at the Spine Wellness Center, part of Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neurosciences Institute.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Meatless Monday Mushroom Caps
Portobello mushroom caps are a great ingredient to help you create some meat free meals. I love mushroom pizzas. Super simple and delicious.
I start by gently washing four large portobello mushroom caps. I place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill them with my favorite pasta or pizza sauce and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
You can serve the pizzas along with your favorite quinoa or rice dish. A whole grain garlic bread would also go great. Yum!
Pick your favorite lean ground meat. You can use chicken, turkey, beef or pork. I like to sauté onions and sometimes zucchini for some extra veggies in a little olive oil and then I add meat, a little salsa, a can of black beans (no salt added), a pinch of salt and pepper. I top with a little cheddar cheese and serve in a bowl with some whole grain tortilla chips.
Wonton wrappers, which can be found in the produce section of the grocery store, are so easy to use and can be filled with your favorite, meat, vegetable, cheese or all of the above. I like to a do a spin on spanakopita, a Greek favorite. I thaw some frozen chopped spinach and add 2 ounces of feta cheese, one egg, a chopped scallion, dill, parsley, salt and pepper. Pop two wonton wrappers in muffin tins, fill them up and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Favorite midweek feast.
If you have a bunch of leftovers from the week, throw them all into a big salad, or depending on what you have on hand you can create your very own nourish bowl. Check out Keeney’s nourish bowl guide:
A frittata, which is a close cousin to the omelet is super simple to make, and is a great way to sneak in some extra servings of fruits and veggies. You can even make it simpler by using egg beaters, or a carton of egg whites. Make it a meal by adding some roasted potatoes or a crusty Italian bread.
Here’s the recipe:
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of your milk of choice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
You can use any vegetable/cheese combination you like, but here’s the ingredients for a Caprese frittata:
- 1 small onion, cut into thin slices
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 cup halved mini fresh mozzarella balls
- 1/3 cup sliced basil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Add onion slices and cook until translucent and tender.
- Add the tomatoes and half the basil. Shake gently to distribute egg evenly.
- Add the mozzarella.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until top is lightly golden brown around the edges. Top with the remaining basil.
- Allow to cool slightly before slicing.