When we get home from work, or finish our list of errands for the day, the last thing we want to do is spend time in the kitchen (not to mention the dreaded cleanup after!). Deciding what to make for dinner, then taking the time to cook it each night expends a lot of our precious energy that could otherwise be spent bonding with family, or getting some quality R and R.
But not every meal has to be complicated and time consuming. If we practice methods like crockpot cooking, or one-pan roasting for example, it’s possible to have a healthy meal prepped and ready in under thirty minutes.
From tacos with a fruity twist, to flavourful one pot chicken curry, we’re going to share five healthy dinner recipes for when you just don’t feel like cooking.
Quick Hawaiian Pork TacosFrom The Taco Tuesday Cookbook by Laura Fuentes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Tacos are a meal that the whole family will be excited about– add a little pork and some sweet pineapple salsa, and they’ll be asking for these quick Hawaiian tacos at least once a week!
Tacos are delicious, yes, but they’re also incredibly easy to whip together quickly, and you only need a few ingredients to make them.
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
- 1 (1 pound / 455g) center-cut pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon (7g) Arriba! Seasoning (see method)
- 1 cup (165g) diced fresh pineapple
- 8 corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade, warmed
- pineapple salsa (in method)
- ½ cup (65g) crumbled Cotija cheese
- 3 tablespoons (23 g) chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons (14 g) ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) paprika
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups (310 g) diced pineapple
- 5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced finely
- ½ large red onion, diced finely
- ½ jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ cup (8g) chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lime, juiced
- ½ teaspoon salt
This recipe is from the Taco Tuesday Cookbook. Inside, you’ll find taco recipes for every week of the year, all of which are made with real-food ingredients—and most of which are ready in thirty minutes or less. The Taco Tuesday Cookbook is the cookbook your family has been dreaming of, because if there’s one thing we all can agree on, it’s that tacos are awesome.
Cheesy Loaded Potato Skins with ChorizoFrom Sheet Pan Magic by Sue Quinn
Cooktime: 30 minutes
These Cheesy Loaded Potato Skins from the Sheet Pan Magic cookbookare a dish everyone can get onboard with: potato, cheese, chorizo– what’s not to love? The best part is these little bites of heaven are so simple to prep, you can get the kids on board to help you scoop, mix, and fill the potatoes.
- 6 medium baking potatoes
- 3 tablespoons sea salt flakes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 3 scallions, finely sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces cooking chorizo, chopped small
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Wet the potatoes, shake off any excess water and sprinkle all over with the sea salt flakes. Place in a 8 x 12 x 2-in sheet pan and bake for 1–1 hour 15 minutes, or until completely cooked through and tender.
- Brush the salt off the potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop the potato flesh into a bowl being careful not to split the skins. Add the butter, cream cheese and half the cheddar to the potatoes and mix until smoothish. Stir in the scallions and season with salt and pepper.
- Fill the skins with the potato mixture and return to the sheet pan. Top each of the filled potato halves with chorizo and sprinkle over the remaining cheddar. Bake for a further 10–15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately.
You can make entire family dinners just in a sheet pan with the Sheet Pan Magic cookbook– everything from risotto to roasted vegetable salads to Mediterranean chicken, and of course, delectable cakes. Sue Quinn is the expert at simple, economical family cooking.
Penne with Roasted Broccoli and Pistachio Gremolata
Cooktime: 25 minutes
ThisPenne with RoastedBroccoliand Pistachio Gremolata dish is ahealthier, slightly fancier spin on your classic pasta. The garlic, lemon, and pistachios pack in loads of flavor that literally makes your mouth water by just smelling it cook.
The kids always seem to love a good pasta dinner, so why not add some greens to make it nutritious, as well as delicious?
- 1/4 cup shelled raw pistachios
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, stems removed (about 1 pound 2-inch florets)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 pound penne
- Preheat an oven to 425°F. Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and just turning brown. Cool, roughly chop, and transfer to a small bowl. Combine with the lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.
- Meanwhile, toss the broccoli with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper and spread out on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until lightly brown and beginning to crisp. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with lemon juice while still very hot.
- While the broccoli is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
- Return the pasta to the pot and add the broccoli, most of the pistachio gremolata, and the remaining olive oil. Toss well to combine, adding pasta water as needed to create a viscous sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and divide among bowls. Top with any remaining gremolata.
In Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks, Dianne Worthington shares over 90 flavourful recipes for everything from Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Creme to Lemon-Lime Pound-cake, that come together in a snap.
Peas in the panFrom Sharing Pugila, by Luca Lorusso
Cooktime: 25 minutes
Peas in the pan is a stellar example of a recipe that’s high in nutrients and super simple to make– not to mention, affordable. With ingredients like peas, veggie stock, and minced meat, you’ll likely already have everything you need in your fridge and pantry to make this dish. Although peas don’t typically make our children’s list of favorite vegetables, they are high in fibre and iron, so it’s important to get them into your family's diet when you can.
- 500g fresh peas
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic close, crushed
- 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
- 100ml olive oil
- 500 g minced meat, such as pork or chicken
- 15 g butter
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- handful of mint leaves for garnish
- Cook the peas until tender in boiling salted water, then drain.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in the olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Add the peas to the meat mixture, stirring well. Stir the butter through and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the stock and briefly cook the mixture for 5 –7 minutes, mashing the peas roughly with a potato masher (leave some of the peas intact).
- Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with mint leaves and serve.
With Sharing Pugila's collection of the quintessential culinary delights of Puglia designed for sharing and entertaining and that celebrate seasonal produce, you'll be able to imagine you are sitting by the shores of the Mediterranean, listening to the soothing sounds of the sea
Really Easy Chicken CurryFrom Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods, by Julie and Charles Mayfeild
Cooktime: 17 minutes
This Chicken Curry is a great option for quick and easy week-day dinner. Curries typically consist of a protein, like chickpeas or chicken, vegetables, broth, and loads of spices– all of which are thrown into one pot to cook.
Because of the variety of pungent spices, like ginger and garam masala, this flavorful curry tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen perfecting it, when in reality it only takes 17 minutes to cook! It doesn’t get much more simple or flavourful than curry.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 onions peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 cloves
- 2 pounds (1.1 kg) skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 14.5 ounces (411g) finely chopped tomatoes
- 13.5 ounces (400ml) full fat coconut milk divide the coconut water and the coconut cream
- Chilli optional and to taste
- Sauté the onion, cinnamon stick and cloves in a frying pan for 5-7 minutes. You can add 2 tablespoons of water to avoid burning the onion.
- Add the chicken pieces and brown them for a couple of minutes.
- Mix in the garlic ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chopped tomatoes, the water from the coconut milk, salt and chilli (if using) and switch of the heat.
- Transfer the chicken curry mix into your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- When done, stir in the coconut cream, adjust seasonings, let cook for a few more minutes until warmed through and serve.
Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods includes tips and recipes to help you transform favorite dishes and go-to comfort foods into healthy, gluten-free meals every day.