This lemon pasta may sound weird but it’s ah-mazing! It’s inspired by Giada’s recipe with a YSS twist.
Preheat your grill/grill pan to medium heat. If you’ve never used a mallet to pound chicken breast flat, try it. The chicken cooks more evenly and stays moist. I coat the breasts with olive oil, salt, pepper, & table blend seasoning (like Mrs. Dash/similar). Grill them for 6-8 min per side or until juices run clear. NOTE: Cook extra chicken. We’ll use it tomorrow (& the next day if you like).
While your chicken is grilling, boil 12-16 oz pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta and mix with 1/3 c olive oil, the juice of two large lemons, 2 tbsp lemon zest, black pepper to taste, and 1 cup grated Parmesan. Add a little (1/8-1/4 c) pot/pasta water if needed for the sauce. You can garnish with fresh or dried parsley if you like. NOTE: this makes 4-6 servings, so you can cut the recipe in half if you need to.
Steam fresh or frozen broccoli in a covered dish in the microwave with about 2 tbsp water. Drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. NOTE: Make extra broccoli for tomorrow if you like- just leave the parm off the extra.
Plate up your chicken beside your pasta and broccoli, or slice it and fan it out over your pasta if you’re feeling fancy : )
Chicken Breasts (2 -3 meals)
Pasta of choice – I love fresh egg pasta when I can find it.
Broccoli, fresh or frozen (2 meals)
Spices: Mrs. Dash Table Blend or similar, Parsley, fresh or dried (optional)
Chicken Stir Fry (using leftover chicken) with
Stir-fry veggie blends can be found in the freezer section at your grocery. Of course, you could chop all these veggies yourself, but using frozen is just as nutritious and saves time.
NOTE: Stir Fry bowls make for a really tasty leftover lunch!
Start by cooking your rice package instructions. I use quinoa more because it has more protein.
On to the veggies. In a covered dish in the microwave, steam veggies with 2 tbsp water until desired texture is reached then carefully drain. You could also use leftover broccoli (without parm) if you’d like. Just gently reheat in the microwave.
Chop leftover chicken into cubes. Warm in the microwave covered with a wet paper towel to keep moist.
Mix your rice, veggies, and chicken together with ~1/2 tbsp butter per serving (so if you’ve made a batch for 4 that’s 2 tbsp) and lite soy sauce to taste. (I tend to add ~1/4 c soy sauce for 4 servings.)
Pretty it up if you like. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and chopped green onion. Pretty and tasty!
Stir Fry Veggies, frozen
Sesame Seeds (optional)
Green Onion (optional)
It’s…Taco Tuesday! with
Tomato & Avocado Side Salad
Not feeling like tacos? Turn this into a yummy taco salad with a small cheese quesadilla on the side. This is also a delish leftover lunch.
Cook up ground beef and season with cumin, chili powder, and a little garlic powder to taste (I use ~1/2 tsp of each per pound of meat). OR if you still have leftover chicken you could chop and reheat with a little salsa to keep moist.
Load your tacos with your protein (beef or chicken), salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, etc… I like corn tortillas but use what you prefer.
Place sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and your preferred salad veggies in a large bowl. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette. If you want to make your own, 2 tbsp each lime juice and orange juice plus 1/4 cup olive oil with a little salt & pepper would make a tasty citrus dressing.
Tacos and salad…delicious and nutritious!
Corn Tortillas, small
Salad Veggies like:
Corn, canned/ frozen
Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt
Dressing of choice (or fixings to make your own)
Spices- Cumin, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder
Baked Pork Chops with
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry sweet potatoes and pop them in the oven for 30-45 min (assuming smaller sweet potatoes…you can cut larger ones in half). If you’re in a time crunch you can microwave them. Prick them with a fork, put them in a microwave safe dish, and put in the microwave. Small ones cook in just over 10 minutes. Carefully check their texture. Hot potato!
Season your pork chops with salt & pepper & you guessed it – Mrs. Dash table blend – I use it a lot! It’s so versatile. Place your seasoned chops on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven for about 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your chops. NOTE: Make enough pork chops to use for tomorrow night as well.
Just before your potatoes and chops are finished, start your spinach. Sauteed spinach is super tasty and nutritious. Heat a large saute pan to medium heat. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil and chopped garlic (about 1 clove/3 large handfuls spinach). Let the garlic infuse the oil about 1-2 minutes and start putting in your prewashed & dry spinach. Start adding your spinach a couple handfuls at a time and mix in to coat with your olive oil. Remember it wilts down a lot, so a large container of fresh spinach turns into not much fast. Once all your spinach has wilted, add salt, pepper, and Parmesan to taste. Just a pinch of red pepper flake is optional but adds a nice kick.
Plate your pork chops, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Add a little butter to the sweet potatoes and you’ve got a winner, winner pork chop dinner : )
Pork Chops (2 meals)
Fresh Spinach, prewashed
Spices: Mrs. Dash Table Blend or similar, Red Pepper Flake (optional)
Cinnamon Apple Pork (using leftover pork chops) with
Buttery Green Beans
Thinly slice apples of your choice (at least 1 per person). Place in a microwave-safe dish with 1/2 tbsp butter per apple and add cinnamon to taste. Cook about 10 minutes stirring 1-2 times or until desired texture is reached. You can cook these on the stove top as well (10-12 minutes on medium heat). It may take a bit longer to saute them, but it will make your kitchen smell wonderful.
I love whole green beans – I steam them in the microwave until they reach my desired texture (about 8 minutes in my microwave), drain, and add butter and salt/pepper to taste.
Heat your dinner rolls.
Thinly slice your pork chops from yesterday and put them on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a wet paper towel to reheat.
Once the pork is reheated, put it on plates and top generously with the apples. Add a side of buttery green beans, a roll, and dinner is done. Nom Nom!
Apples (2 meals)
Green Beans, fresh or frozen
Oven Fish Packets with
Sauteed Asparagus and
This is the fish recipe for people who are scared to cook fish.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay out a 12-inch piece of aluminum foil per fish fillet. Drizzle foil with olive oil. Place fish on foil then drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a little dried parsley as well. Top with sliced lemons (about 2 slices per fish fillet). I really like adding sun-dried tomatoes to this as well (about 1 tbsp per fish). Seal up your pouches making sure to fold up the edges tightly.
Place packets on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The fish should be white and flaky when you take it out. You can leave the fish in the packets and put them right on the plates so it stays warm until you eat. Be very careful opening hot packs… they’re steamy!
Wash and trim the asparagus. Saute over medium heat in a large saute pan with butter or olive oil for 6-8 minutes or until your desired doneness is reached. Add salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash table blend to taste.
For the garlic toast, use your preferred bread/dinner roll. (I love a good grainy roll.) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on a little garlic powder & dried parsley. Broil quickly for 2-3 minutes just before you are ready to eat. Watch closely. This is when garlic toast goes from yum to burned in a flash.
Plate your asparagus and garlic toast with your fish packets and have a fancy Friday feast : )
Fish Fillets (Use any white fish fillet you like such as cod, trout, tilapia, etc.)
NOTE: Leftover potatoes are de-lish reheated & served with eggs at breakfast. Boom! Dinner potatoes just became breakfast potatoes. AND leftover steak can make a boring old lunch salad tasty & satisfying.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and chop small red potatoes into 1/2-1″ cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning to taste (I use about 2 tbsp for a 3 lb bag of potatoes). Spread on a baking sheet and put in the oven. Stir with a spatula after about 20 minutes then cook about 10 more minutes.
Get out your steak and put it on a pan lined with foil for easy cleanup. Drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil, and add salt, pepper, fresh rosemary sprigs (you could sprinkle with dried), and the juice of 1-2 lemons. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Preheat your grill/grill pan (or you could use a large saute pan) to medium-high heat. Grill your steak about 5-7 minutes per side or to your desired level of doneness. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing. After slicing, add a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Chop apples and add to mixed greens. I’m using arugula because I love its peppery flavor with the tart apples. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette – red wine vinaigrette or basic Italian would be great.