Good Morning. How was your weekend?? What was your high?
Mine was rock climbing at Inner Peaks. We bought a groupon months ago and finally tried it out. It was so much fun, and I’m more of a monkey climber than I realized!
In case you were wondering, rock climbing definitely revs up your metabolism and makes you really hungry. Speaking of food (how’s that for a transition?), despite what people may think about dietitians, we don’t all meal plan every.single.week.
On the way home from work, I’m usually brainstorming dishes I can just mesh together in 20-30 minutes – starring a lean protein, complex carbohydrate, and healthy fats. To do this, I make sure to have some prime protein components on hand that I know I can always work with, and as long as I’ve picked up some vegetables at the grocery store recently, I know I can still get a healthy dinner on the table within 30 minutes after getting home from work.
Excuse my less than stellar pictures here, but these are real life meals, people. Not staged for photography purposes because you only have 30 minutes, remember!?
I’ll let you in on my one big secret – I totally take advantage of and utilize frozen veggies to the max. Pop them in the microwave or if I’m sauteing something, I’ll sneak them on there and they are ready in minutes. And just as nutritious. I also use sweet potatoes alot. Alot alot. I’ll usually just make 6 at once so I gradually add them to any meal.
1. Whole wheat pasta with veggies and ground turkey. While the pasta is boiling, cook veggies and ground turkey together. Top with cheese, marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, olive oil, etc.
Or, a ground turkey stirfry. Stirfries are great because you can throw any veggie you have in there. Go crazy, just create a bed of deliciousness for your meat to blend with. I paired mine with leftover cauliflower rice, sweet potato, frozen broccoli, and topped with kale, arugula and cheese! It’s also pretty common for me to use brown rice, quinoa, lentils or barley.
2. Chicken sausage with veggies, sweet potato and avocado.
3. Shrimp with salad, veggies or rice (I buy frozen, and it takes 10 minutes to heat them up, season them, and throw them over veggies). While the shrimp is cooking, microwave your rice, or put together your salad. Feel free to dress it up however – here I added broccoli and cauliflower bits, a hard boiled egg (from the day before), thawed frozen mango, and chia seeds. I’ll spice that up with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic (This was leftovers for lunch the next day).
4. Eggs with kale, frozen veggies and sweet potato. One-pan meal win!
5. Frozen salmon (though you wouldn’t know it) with veggies. Let salmon thaw overnight with olive oil, soy sauce and desired spices (I like sea salt, pepper, garlic and thyme) and when ready to bake, bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Pair with spinach, veggies, avocado and a 6 minute microwaved sweet potato.
Or, throw it on top of a salad. And since fish has healthy omega 3 fats, you’ll absorb more of the vitamins from your salad and veggies.
6. Stuffed tortellini with veggies (peas, peppers, spinach + feta cheese). If I have a protein on hand, I’ll throw it in, or I’ll add some frozen edamame. When in doubt, always add frozen edamame because it packs a PUNCH of protein and fiber.
7. Black bean bowl with quinoa or brown rice, sweet potatoes, beets+ veggies
8. Turkey mushroom burgers. Thaw your ground turkey the night before. Mix it in a bowl with 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 1 egg and spices and then cook on pan, grill or in oven. Boom. Pair with veggies or any whole grain!
What are your 30 minute meal go-to’s?