How To Get Dinner on the Table

A lot of people have asked me how I have the time and energy to put beautiful food on the table every night. First of all, I don’t have kids, so the pace of my life allows for a little more stretch. Second, the reality is I don’t put beautiful food on the table every night. We eat pizza more often than I care to admit  and the tuna melt plays a supporting role in our meal rotation.

Eating healthy is a priority in my life so we do eat at home at least 5-6 days a week. I find it very difficult to find healthy choices when eating out, but that’s a whole other post for another day.

Although we are not strictly vegetarian, the majority of our food is plant-based. I have found that if I start meal planning with the vegetables in mind it helps me avoid the meat-starch-side of veg rut. Just in case I haven’t harped on this enough to you people, it is a myth that you need to serve a protein with every meal as vegetables and grains also have plenty of protein, enough to keep you healthy. We consider meat a delicacy in our home and eat very little of it.

So what the heck do we eat? Below is a list of my go-to recipes that I make over and over again and feel great eating over and over again. I rarely spend more than an hour preparing dinner.

Gwen’s Go-To Dinners

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil from Smitten Kitchen. I like to add avocado, tomato, and asparagus to this pasta as well. You can add whatever veggies you like.

Potato, Orange and Arugula Salad by Giada de Laurentiis.

Tacos. A little beans, a little salsa, a little avocado, a little cabbage, a little sauteed onion and peppers = dinner in less than 15 minutes. Get creative!

Pasta with pesto sauce. I figured out that pesto can be made from virtually any green leafy substance and can be whipped up in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Here are some variations: traditionalarugula, sun-dried tomatokitchen sink pesto.

Multi-grain risotto. Wonderful with squash, kale, chard, or asparagus. Use whatever blend of grains you have that have similar cook times.

Soup. Such an underrated meal and so easy to throw together with whatever you have. Ideas: Sausage, potato, and lima bean, hearty miso soup, curried carrot soup, broccoli soup, split pea.

Last but not least, SALAD. Honestly, this option goes last on my list because more often than not, I prefer a hot meal for dinner. But in a pinch, I’ll toss together whatever greens I have along with some tomatoes, avocado, hard-boild egg, nuts, beans, even some microwaved sweet potato. I always make my own dressing with a little olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt & pepper.

That’s it for now, remember, it’s all about the veggies!

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