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Favorite "Go-To" Healthy and Easy Home-Cooked Meal?

MIne is broiled chicken breast (marinated lightly in olive oil, lemon, vinegar, garlic, dijon and herbs), sauteed green beans (usually with a touch of honey and other flavoring) and quinoa.

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  1. Mine is a quick boil of shell-on shrimp, liberally dusted with Old Bay Seasoning just after it's drained. Peel and eat, no fat needed.

    1. Recommended by another 'hound, this has been come a recent fav in our house: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...


      1. My go-to easy meal is what I call Kitchen Sink Pasta: Saute onions and garlic, add a can of diced tomatoes, capers, a lot of good-quality oil-packed tuna, red pepper flakes, anchovies, maybe some tomato paste if I want it thicker, and other random bits I have around—sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, olives. Simmer it a bit. I serve it with whole-wheat pasta, because of, y'know, healthy and all.

        1. Any kind of baked chicken pieces (usually bone in, skin on, but feel free to take off that skin if you'd rather). Do 'em plain, toss on whatever breading you want, or throw some kind of sauce on them (crushed tomatoes/Italian dressing/balsamic dressing/parmesan cheese/soup/...) bake at 375 for about an hour. Yum and STUPID easy. You can even toss some sliced onions and other veggies in there too.

          Also, baked shrimp or scallops are really easy and again, you can control the amount and "healthfulness" of the sauce/toppings/etc.

          Salmon cooked in a skillet - very easy and very good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jbsiegel

            Can you please tell me your way of cooking salmon in a skillet?

            1. re: pinehurst

              I usually just salt it, a little bit of oil in the skillet. Then, cook skin side down for about 6-7 minutes (depends how thick your filets are) without moving, flip them over and finish up for another 2-3 minutes. You can check by looking at the sides to see if it's cooked through to your liking.

              You can use dill or other seasonings on the fillets before cooking if you prefer.

              As far as heat - it's usually medium or a little less than that.

          2. Salade Nicoise with grilled (or broiled chicken breast). Hard-boiled eggs, steamed green beans, and potatoes, and sometimes cucumber and/or tomatoes. I make a Caesar-style dressing in my blender w/ Parmesan, and roasted garlic (I typically have the garlic in my fridge). My husband, and I love entree salads.

            5 Replies
            1. re: letsindulge

              +1 on the salad. My whole family loves entrée salads. I use leftovers on salad ALL the time. You can cook up a big batch of shredded chicken and use the leftovers on salads for a couple of days.

              1. re: letsindulge

                +2 Especially in the summer, entree salads are a huge plus in our house.

                1. re: letsindulge

                  +3 ...I love to make a vinaigrette and then throw in whatever I have in the house -- sunflower seeds, cucumber, chick peas, etc.

                  1. re: letsindulge

                    Another +1 on entrée salads. I typically add cut-up warm grilled boneless chicken breasts (marinated in vinaigrette first) or shrimp (just dressed with seasoned olive oil before grilling). In addition to fresh greens, I often add blanched string beans or asparagus cut-up on a bias. Also, I sometimes make "oven-baked" red potatoes on the grill and add them into the salad. I'll try to vary the salad dressing, sometimes replacing the vinegar with lemon juice, or a citrus-mayonnaise dressing that goes especially well with shrimp.

                    1. re: masha

                      Other than omelets. entree salads are my favorite go to quick easy meal. So much versatility, quick, easy and tasty. I just use various ingredients and as you mention there is no end to the variety with the dressing.

                  2. Another one (I should have organized better before posting!)...

                    Kraft's Easy Tomato Baked Chicken (http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/e...) It's my middle kid's birthday choice most years.

                    1. Mine is sauteed greens (could be rabe, swiss chard, dandelions - even spinach) and wild Gulf shrimp. If I could afford the shrimp more often, I'd be happy eating that 3 nights a week!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ChefJune

                        I do the same but with poached eggs instead of the shrimp. I add a few olives or some parmesan shavings if I'm feeling fancy.

                      2. Melissa Clark's baked shrimp and broccoli is pretty easy, too: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/din...

                        I like this one chicken, zucchini and prosciutto one from Real Simple: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipe...

                        You can get by with less prosciutto. You need just enough for flavor.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I haven't tried this yet, but Curtis Stone's baked shrimp with asparagus reminds me a lot of Melissa Clark's baked shrimp and broccoli. I suppose the point is that you can bake shrimp with all kinds of vegetables (ha!)



                        2. These Quick Chicken Fajitas are part of our regular rotation. I make it with extra peppers and onions and we skip the avocado. My husband and daughter like some shredded cheese, I usually skip the cheese.

                          Sometimes I make them with shrimp instead of chicken.


                          1. depending on the time of year: crock pot enchiladas, turkey chili, meatloaf with cauliflower mashed potato, gazpacho, barley salad with cucumber, dill, and yogurt, grilled chicken sausage with peppers and onion, white bean salad with red onion, tuna, celery or cuke and a homemade vinaigrette; also i'm sure an entirely inauthentic thai green/red chili plus a protein over brown rice.

                            1. some kind of stir fry...can throw it together with whatever protein and veggies are available, serve with brown rice. It's my sleepwalking (sleepcooking?) meal, just start chopping and "go".

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BeeZee

                                Stirfry is one of my default easy-healthy-minimal planning required meals too. We rarely eat rice, which makes it that much less work - just a pile of vegetables, meat and whatever sauce I can make out of whatever's in the pantry.

                              2. Any kind of egg - omelet - frittata thing. Toss in whatever you happen to have in the fridge.

                                1. Spicy baked whitefish with tahini
                                  Low carb lo mein
                                  Chickpea curry
                                  Turkey keema matar
                                  Chicken karahi or really any stir fry with chicken breast
                                  Pork and vegetables in spicy tamarind broth

                                  1. Just randomly discovered this recipe when I had over 2 lbs. of cooked spaghetti I had no idea what to do with. Great way to get the family to actually eat the leftovers and not stare at them!

                                    Small container of melted, gooey Philly cheese + tsp of garlic (depending on how strong you want the flavor) + cooked spaghetti. Add sour cream for creamier texture + tsp or two of Italian seasoning. Make spaghetti sauce per usual with ground beef. Layer on bottom of pan + mixed spaghetti + soaked it in sauce. Layer on Parmesan cheese. Cook 20-30 mins. SUPER YUM!


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: aslovesfood

                                      I make a similar pasta dish, but my sauce is made of smashed garlic, dill or mint and strained yogurt with Aleppo pepper. I use full fat yogurt, so some people may consider the "healthy" appellation stretching a bit.

                                    2. Either pasta or chicken.

                                      I always have pasta in the house for that I-don't-feel-like-spending-two-hours-in-the-kitchen days. Then I can mix into it whatever I have around: olive oil garlic sauce, broccoli, quick tomato sauce (cook onions in olive oil, add garlic and your choice of herbs, add a can of crushed tomatoes, and whatever else you like), creamy sauce (make a roux and add cream or milk), any veggies I have, etc. If you have sausage, ground meat, etc, you can add it. The possibilities are endless.

                                      Otherwise, I love making pan-seared chicken. I bake it for a while until it's pretty much fully cooked, brush it with cornstarch (promote browning) and butter mixture with some herbs if you want, and pan sear it for a couple minutes. So crunchy and yummy. You can make a pan sauce of out of the fond, too, if you want. Serve with whatever sides you have around -- salad, veggies, potatoes, mac n cheese, etc.

                                      I like this thread. Even for people who love to cook, having easy recipes on hand is so helpful.

                                      1. Fried rice with lots of veggies, maybe meat or tofu. And sauteed veggies (zucchini, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, onion, etc.) in a tortilla with black beans, maybe some cheese, and a splash of mexican crema.

                                        1. "Steamed rice with garden fresh vegetables and housemade fried egg"

                                          - Cook rice in rice cooker

                                          - as rice cooks chop vegetables of choice (eg broccoli, carrots, yams, asparagus, etc)

                                          - when rice is done, toss veggies into rice cooker, cover and let vegetables steam in the rice cooker on the "keep warm" setting for about 5 min

                                          - in the meantime, fry an egg

                                          - plate the rice and top with the vegetables (pref in a deep bowl), then place fried egg on top of everything and garnish with some soy sauce, sesame oil and Sriracha.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Yes! :-)

                                            This is my go-to as well. So easy to change up the veggies, or even the rice (brown, wehani, mixed with other grains).
                                            Also, change up condiments for different variations too.
                                            I have this several times a week and rarely ever tire of it.

                                          2. Roasted fish. Tonight, I made a whole red snapper. Just delicious. Had frozen peas as a veg, plus a salad.

                                            Sometimes it's sauteed BSCBs with a wine/lemon reduction sauce. Plus broccoli or green beans. I'm not as inclined to make a salad when I'm eating something else that's citrusy or vinegary.

                                            1. Pancit Canton with tons of cabbage

                                              Chicken picatta or marsala. I finish the sauce with about 2t of butter (for 4+servings), but the rest of it is fat free chicken stock and veggies/capers/lemons.

                                              salmon (simple marinade of soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil), quinoa, and a veggie, usually broccoli. Quinoa and broccoli get cooked together with the rice cooker, and the salmon is fast to thaw, throw together, and cook at the last minute.

                                              Taco salad. Extra lean ground beef, lots of greens, a few corn chips crushed into tiny pieces, a bit of ff sour cream and salsa.

                                              Quinoa, goat cheese, and swiss chard one-pot dish.

                                              WW Pasta with lots of asparagus, tons of mushrooms, and prosciutto. A little pasta water, a little balsamic vinegar, a splash of white wine to de-glaze the pan and make a light sauce. A few shavings of Parmesan. Yum.

                                              Hmm, nearly everything I make falls into the "easy" and "fast" category of home cooking. ;-) A lot of it is healthy, too. If only we'd cook at home more!

                                              1. Chana masala (from the Smitten Kitchen recipe) -- the ingredients list looks long, but once you have all the spices, this is so easy and fast to prepare when you cheat by using canned garbanzos like I do.

                                                Madhur Jaffrey's lentil and onions recipe.

                                                Quinoa with black beans and corn, with a red wine vinegar sauce, or quinoa with toasted nori and other lightly sauteed veggies, drizzled with some sesame oil and ponzu, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

                                                I seem to like legumes and grains...

                                                When I really do not want to make any effort, sometimes a light, relatively healthy meal will be brown rice with a fried egg and some steamed veggies. Or cereal with milk and an apple/orange on the side.

                                                1. my go-to's when we get home late and OH needs food ASAP:

                                                  -grain salad : quick cooking farro, bulgur, barley, or a quinoa blend, cooked and mixed with chopped marinated artichoke hearts, chopped roasted red peppers, halved black or green olives, a sprinkling of diced sundried tomatoes, a sprinkle of onion powder, crumbles of cheese (whatever we have - fresh mozzarella balls torn, goat cheese, feta, etc.) tossed with a lemon white white vinaigrette that i make and keep in a squeeze bottle.

                                                  -turkey and sweet potato shepherd's pie

                                                  -broiled/roasted fish (love my magic chef countertop convection oven!) with a steamed or grilled veggie side

                                                  -roasted chipotle corn soup

                                                  1. Sauteed greens 'n' eggs
                                                    Instant ramen with amendments -- broccoli or other veg, poached egg, shredded cabbage, mushrooms, tuna, oregano, cooked chicken or sausage from the freezer.
                                                    Small steak and veg; cooked in the same pan.

                                                    1. Two of mine:
                                                      - Broccoli and pasta with garlic and oil--with or without chicken sausage
                                                      - BLT salad

                                                      1. I think tonights dinner is going to be a go-to dish from now on...super yummy, all using things I had on hand and needed to use up...
                                                        Brown rice pasta (from Trader Joes)
                                                        sauteed kale and halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil
                                                        Carmelized red onion, sliced very thin
                                                        1 chicken and sweet basil sausage, browned and sliced (again from Trader Joes)

                                                        Just made everything separately and tossed together, no additional oil or salt, just what I used to cook everything. Seriously, it was so good.