Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1 week of healthy meals for 2 in 1 day

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A week's worth of ingredients!
Lately I've finally been able to get my act together on Sundays, and I've been preparing our whole week's worth of meals in one afternoon. It gives me a lot more free time during the week. It also assures us that we get to eat healthy meals during the week and avoid spending a lot of money on takeout. And...since I've no longer really had time to prepare meals everyday, I have found myself missing cooking which I had previously claimed that I did not enjoy. Oops...

Anyway, my mom thought that I should post my menu and recipes for preparing 1 week's worth of healthy dinners for 2 in 1 afternoon. I typically take leftovers for lunch the next day, and then we usually end up eating leftovers one day in order to avoid throwing food away. I also usually only make 4 meals for the week because I do like to go out to dinner on Saturday nights for our date night! Here are the recipes--I will work on updating this post with nutrition information later this week: 
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Day 1: Roasted chicken with Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots
 Day 1: Roasted Chicken (recipe adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow, found via my friend Rebecca)
Serves 4
  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds washed and dried
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled
Gwyneth's recipe calls for slow-roasting this chicken for 9 1/2 hours. When I say I have my act together on Sundays, I do not mean that I give myself 9 1/2 hours to roast a chicken. This is where my "adaptation" comes into play.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the chicken in a rectangular roasting dish breast side down. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken in the pan. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper all over, front and back, inside and out. Tuck the thyme and the lemon halves and 5-6 cloves of garlic in the cavity. Place the remaining garlic cloves around the pan. Wrap the roasting dish tightly with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until a meat thermometer reaches 180°.

Let the chicken cool slightly, then carve and serve with all of its lovely juices.

Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots (recipe from Family Style Food, found via my M-I-L)
Serves 2-4

  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and fresh grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 t. agave nectar
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. ground coriander
  • 1/4 t. smoked paprika
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss carrots on a baking sheet with the olive oil, lime juice and zest, agave, salt and spices.

Roast about 20 minutes, depending on size, until the carrots are just tender. Transfer to a plate and serve.
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Day 2: BBQ Chicken with Grilled Asparagus
Day 2: BBQ Chicken with Grilled Asparagus (this one is pretty straightforward--let me know if you have any grilling questions for me!) 
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Day Three: Cajun Salmon Tacos
 Day 3: Cajun Salmon Tacos

Serves 2-4
  • 1 lb. salmon filet, skin-on preferred 
  • Emeril's Essence
  • corn tortillas
  • ripe avocado
  • shredded cabbage
  • cheese
  • Pico Pica hot sauce 
  • lime
Heat grill on high heat. Sprinkle Emeril's Essence on the salmon filet to taste and pat to form a sort of crust with the spices. Reduce the grill heat to low and place the salmon filet on the grill, then close the lid. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until salmon is done but not over-cooked. Remove salmon from heat, then grill the tortillas until warm and slightly "toasted." Place 1 oz. of salmon in each tortilla and add other toppings as desired. Squeeze a lime wedge over the tacos and enjoy!
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Day 4: Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Day 4: Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
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Day 5: Chicken Curry with Vegetables
Day 5: Chicken Curry with Vegetables (one of my easiest and favorite recipes!)
Serves 4
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, large florets cut in half
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 4 whole carrots, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • 2 cups Trader Joe's Thai Red or Yellow Curry Sauce
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over med-low heat. Place the chicken pieces in the pan and cook thoroughly. Transfer the cooked chicken to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over med-low heat. Place the broccoli and carrots in the pan and cook until the color of the vegetables begins to look rich. Add the snow peas and the bell pepper and saute until all of the vegetables can be pierced with a fork. Add the Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour the vegetables/sauce mixture over the chicken, mix, and serve over the cooked brown rice. Wasn't that easy?

If you made it to the end of this post, let me know if you'd be interested in seeing me post these weekly menus on a regular basis. I will be sure to add the nutrition information for each recipe over the course of this week!

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