*Since this was late to post Friday (Blogger down) leaving it up to be sure you have chance to read.

Many of us start the day out strong but then our eating suffers by sundown. I asked our Market Melissa to share some of the information from her “Taming Takeout” Market Foodtraining tours to help us solve the dinner dilemma. Thanks M.

I know how it goes. It’s 7pm and you walk in the door. You are tired, hungry and cranky. What’s for dinner?  That’ll be takeout (again). My clients have been there; I ‘ve been there. It’s a pattern we can all fall into and it isn’t a good one.  While I don’t expect anyone to start dicing, slicing and following a 20-ingredient recipe, making dinner can be quick AND healthy. My 3 “supper secrets” are:
  • Make a menu plan-menu sounds complicated but know what you’ll eat each night of the week and shop for missing ingredients.
  • Be your own sous chef- chop vegetables on Sunday, do as much advance prep as possible.
  • Make extra, I always try and make extra servings when I am cooking so I have leftovers nights during the week when I know I will be working late.

So put away your takeout menu collection and try some of our favorite easy dinners:
  1.  Fajita Omelet – we love breakfast for dinner. Sauté peppers and onions in 1 tsp. olive oil. Add in 1-2 omega 3 eggs and top with salsa and/or avocado.
  2.  Multipurpose Marinade–  this is a great marinade from Clean Eating magazine. I let chicken breasts, cut into strips, marinate over night for more flavor and it’s ready for a  grill pan as soon as I walk in the door. 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, salt and pepper for (4) 4 oz. chicken breasts. Trader Joe’s pre-cooked brown rice is always in my pantry- heat and top with chicken.
  3.  Roasted Shrimp Cocktail – I love this simple and quick Ina Garten recipe for roasted shrimp. Serve over dinosaur kale or pre-washed salad greens.
  4. Easy Oven Roasted Cod from Rosaberry. Preheat the oven to 400º. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Season 1.5 pounds cod fillets with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lemon zest (1 tsp). Place the fillets on the parchment paper. In a bowl mix a pint grape tomatoes, ¼ cup pitted calamata olives, 2 tsp oregano, and  1 Tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato mixture over the cod. Roast 12-15 minutes. Squeeze lemon wedge over cooked fish.
  5.  Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu (teriyaki or savory flavor). This is always in my refrigerator to throw over a salad or quinoa for an instant dinner. Quinoa is a staple on my weekly menu. It is one of the quickest cooking whole grains out there, done in 10 minutes.
  6. Poached chicken – Simmer organic chicken in low sodium broth for 20 minutes or until cooked through. I like to make several servings to have as leftovers. Enjoy with roasted vegetables or wrap it up in a whole wheat or corn tortilla.
  7.  Burger Night –  I love anything Applegate Farms especially their organic turkey burgers . For a Vegetarian option, my go to veggie burger is Sunshine Burgers (I like the falafel flavor) Both can be kept in the freezer and pulled out right before cooking. They are great on their own, topped with avocado, hummus or salsa or with a side of Alexia sweet potato fries. 
  8. Organic Bistro meals – I am not a huge proponent of frozen meals, but they are good to have in a pinch. This line is the best one out there in terms of sodium content and the lack of preservatives. All ingredients are “real food.” My kind of ingredient list. The Wild Alaskan Salmon is a favorite.  
  9. Pasta – I like using brown rice or quinoa pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Sauté your veggie of choice in garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes (optional). Zucchini, asparagus & tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli or kale are some of my favorites. Top pasta with veggies and fresh herbs (flat leaf parsley or basil work for any dish). Think more veggies and less pasta. Total time is less than 20 minutes. 
  10. Portobello Pizza – Lauren told me about this one from the Swanky Dietitian and it has been in my rotation ever since. Super easy and helps satisfy my ever-present pizza cravings.                                                                                                                                      Are you a victim of the take out monster on weekdays? What are your go-to easy dinners? And what are your time-saving tips? To learn more about Melissa’s Market Foodtraining tours click here.


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