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A Weeknight Healthy Dinner Roster

written by Eugene Mburu 7th January 2015

We all know we added a few too many extra kilos this past holiday. I mean the whole reasoning behind Christmas festivities is eating anything and everything that is bad for you. Oh! that and Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ. Back to food. With January here, we all have hundreds of resolutions written out on scrolls but truth be told come March all of them will be out the window with the bath water.

But if you are like me and are hoping to have a healthy start into the new year, then join me in my plight to eat healthy and try shed off some of the pounds we unapologetically gained during the month long December festivities with this Weeknight Dinner Food Roster. Here’s how it works; every night on weekdays I have a healthy dinner recipe that is easy and quick to make and still hella tasty.

Monday: Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

Soup is like Religion, we all need more of it in our lives. This mismatched but tantalizing soup is the cure to Monday blues. Combine chicken breast, carrots, bay leaf and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Add 3 cups broth and bring to a boil; immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is just firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in another saucepan over medium-low heat. Add an onion, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and the remaining 3 cups broth. Increase the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the rice falls apart, 15 to 20 minutes. Then serve.

Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

Tuesday: This is one of the most unnecessary days of the week. So treat yourself to a Baked Tilapia and Stir Fry vegetables meal. Save yourself the fancy it’s Tuesday.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a large cast iron pan with a nonstick butter spray. Rinse fish and pat dry; place on the cast iron pan. Season each fillet with salt, cracked pepper, lime zest and lime juice. Add fish to the pan. Place a pat of butter on each fillet and cook in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes. For the vegetables, just throw in a few of your favorite greens in a really hot and lightly oiled pan and flash fry for like 4 minutes. I like baby corn, carrot, capsicum, chillies, and brocholli in mine.

tilapia veg

Wednesday: Happy Hump Day Noodles

Go that extra mile. Make the most healthy meal that ever existed but tasted so good. Peel ginger and garlic and finely grate into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and a pinch of pepper, then mix to make a dressing. Trim and shred the cabbage and put it into a large pan of boiling salted water with the broccoli (cut into florets first, if using fresh) and noodles to cook for around 3 minutes, then add the mangetout for a final minute. Drain it all well, then toss in the bowl of dressing.

noodles

Hump Day Noodles

Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with a lug of olive oil until cooked to your liking (I like mine with a runny yolk). Serve the noodles then top with the egg and drizzle with some chilli and soy sauce for that extra kick.

Thursday: The weekend is neigh. Direct all this excitement in the kitchen with this healthily sinful creamy tomato risotto.

Tip 400g of chopped tomatoes and 500ml vegetable stock into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into a saucepan with the remaining 500ml stock, bring to a gentle simmer and keep over a low heat.Meanwhile, place  butter and oil in the base of a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Add 1 chopped onion and gently cook for 6-8 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and rosemary, then cook for 1 min more. Add 250g rice and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Start adding the hot stock and tomato mixture about a quarter at a time. Let the risotto cook, stirring often, adding more stock as it is absorbed. After you have added half the stock, add 300g halved cherry tomatoes. After 20-25 mins, the rice should be creamy and tender, the cherry tomatoes softened and all of the stock should be used up.Cover and leave for 1 min, then stir in the basil. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper.

creamy risotto

Tomato Risotto

 

Friday: Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Grapes
You know what’s lazier than a fatass on a couch with a beer? Me on Fridays after midday. So in my quest to stay healthy, I need the Holy Grail of healthy meals and what better than this pork main that practically cooks itself then serves itself on plate with a finishing of itis then tucks you into bed.
Preheat oven to 400. Arrange the grapes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a Tbs. or two of oil. Sprinkle thyme sprigs over the grapes, along with a small pinch of salt. Roast the grapes for 20 minutes, or until they’re slightly wilted and bursting. In the meantime, heat the remaining oil in a cast iron (or regular non-stick) skillet over medium-high. Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper and sear for 4-5 minutes per side. They’re pretty thin, so they won’t need too long. Arrange the pork on a serving plate; sprinkle the roasted grapes over the pork and drizzle with any remaining grape juice.
Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Grapes

Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Grapes

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