What’s more important to you during the spring and summer season, spending an hour in the kitchen or enjoying your evening outside?
I’d much rather spend my evenings outside.
Salads are great for those evenings when we want a quick meal that satisfies. But after weeks of eating all variations of salads, we begin to want something else that is simple to prepare.
Quick, easy, nutritious, and not a salad is what you’re looking for.
You don’t want to be in the kitchen any longer than you need to be, so what can you prepare?
Here a few of my quick and easy meals that keep me out of the kitchen, allowing me to spend my evenings outdoors.
Have you tried power bowls for dinner?
You are only limited by your imagination when you begin planning your power bowl.
Start with your favorite Grain for your base:
- Brown Rice
- Wild Rice
Select your favorite protein:
- Black Beans
- Red Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
Add your favorite veggies:
- Bell Pepper
- Summer Squash
Add a healthy fat:
- Nut Butters
Top your bowl off with a healthy dressing:
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Greek Vinaigrette
- Make Your Own
You can meal plan a different power bowl for each day of the week. Prepare your grains on the weekend, prep your veggies and protein, and you’ll have a quick and easy meal in less than fifteen minutes.
Sheet Pan Meals
Sheet pan meals are complete meals that are ready in under thirty minutes.
Prep your veggies and meat to have them ready during the week. When you’re ready to prepare the sheet pan meal, toss the veggies and meat with seasonings and olive oil, place on a sheet pan, roast until meat is done. Not a fan of meat, choose tofu for a healthy substitute.
Leafy Green Wraps
A healthy alternative to regular grain wraps are leafy green wraps.
Choose your leafy green:
- Bibb Lettuce
- Butter Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
Add your protein:
- Black Beans
- Red Beans
Sautee your protein with your favorite onion, bell pepper, spices, and sauce.
Wrap your mixture in your favorite leafy green and enjoy.
One Pan Stir-fry
Open your fridge, grab those veggies you haven’t cooked, any left-over grains, a healthy protein and get ready for a quick one pan stir-fry.
Add your olive oil to your skillet, brown your Sautee your veggies and protein, adding your favorite seasonings and sauce. Serve over your grain of choice.
Keep you spring and summer lunch and dinner menus appetizing and easy to prepare. You can quickly meal prep a week’s worth of meal by adding these four meal ideas to your menu:
- Power Bowls
- Sheet Pan Meals
- Leafy Green Wraps
- One Pan Stir-Fry
Four days, five if you have a salad night, will keep you in the kitchen less allowing to do more of what you enjoy.
Ready to take you meal prepping skills to the next level?
Check out my “Meal Prep Made Simple” E-Course:
Sizzling Chicken Fajitas
Prep time: 20 minutes (+ time to marinate)
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
For an authentic restaurant-style sizzling fajita presentation – heat the cast iron fajita skillets (link above) in a hot oven while preparing the chicken and vegetables. Transfer the cooked ingredients to the hot fajita skillets and serve immediately.
Tip: The chicken can be sliced before cooking, but it has a tendency to dry out when prepared this way. Cooking the whole breasts takes a bit longer, but the chicken will be juicier.
Fajita Marinade Ingredients:
2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. smoked paprika
½ t. onion powder
½ t. garlic powder
¼ t. cayenne pepper
½ t. dried Mexican oregano
½ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 medium white onion, sliced
2 large avocados, sliced
2 large limes, cut into wedges
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken breasts to a large, non-reactive bowl and pour the marinade on top. Turn the breasts to ensure all pieces are equally coated. Allow to marinate at room temperature up to one hour or cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- To prepare the fajitas, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and discard remaining liquid. Place chicken breasts in skillet and cook for 7-8 minutes before turning. Continue cooking another 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Tip: An instant-read thermometer should read 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. The heat will continue to rise another 5 degrees while the meat rests.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add remaining olive oil to skillet. Add the sliced peppers and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp tender and nicely browned, approximately 6-7 minutes.
- To serve, cut the chicken breasts into thin slices and divide among cast iron fajita platters, if using, (see tip above) or individual serving plates. Serve immediately with peppers, onions, sliced avocado, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro, if desired, on the side.