First of all, thank you so much for the great conversation we had yesterday in the comments of my Food Police post. If you haven’t read through the comments, I really suggest you do. Great conversations about “treats vs. rewards”, the problem of food policing in the entire healthy living blogging community and even some of the science behind weight loss. Some must reads for sure.
Second, I want to send your attention to dear Sarah’s giveaway for vegetarian cookbooks. Even if you don’t want to win a cookbook, check out her recommendations – because she lists some great cookbooks that we all could use. Plant power, y’all!
Okay on to today’s topic. Let’s finish up the Deck conversation from HLS and let me present you with my Dinner Deck today.
For those of you who may have missed it, a deck is simply a list or build of 5-7 recipes that you can make in a pinch when you need a fast meal. It can be left in your car, your purse, on your fridge or wherever and will give you options for fast meals using ingredients you likely have on hand (or could acquire quickly) and can help you eat healthy and avoid eating out in a pinch. This concept was presented to us at HLS by Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner.
I posted my lunch deck a few weeks ago and it got some great feedback from people. Who knew I just need to talk about quick meals more to get more readers?
So here’s my dinner deck. I want to say I could use any of the same recipes from my lunch deck (those are all packable) for late nights on campus, or if I just want to come home and throw something together. For this dinner deck I focused more on quick meals that do require cooking, but can be made very easy.
Laura’s Dinner Deck
Eggs: Eggs are probably the fastest and most satisfying meal out there. Eggs are full of protein and vitamins, including B12. To anyone out there that is cutting back on their meat consumption, make sure you’re eating 2 eggs per week to ensure you get enough B12 and other important vitamins that you will be lacking when you cut back on your meat consumption.
For egg dishes you can make any of the following: fried egg sandwiches, omelets, scrambled, dippy, sunny side up, crustless quiches or even just a plain hard boiled egg. I love eggs for a quick meal.
- Tacos: Let’s be honest, tacos are my favorite meal in the entire world. Don’t believe me when I claim it’s bread or chips or whatever. Tacos is where my heart really lays. Tacos are SO QUICK y’all. So quick and so versatile. You can literally throw any protein (eggs, beans, chicken, turkey, fish, beef, tofu, whatever) on a corn or whole wheat tortilla – or splurge and pick up hard shells.
When I make tacos for a quick dinner, I typically stick to just refried beans, spinach, tomatoes, cheese and hot sauce. But if I’m making proper tacos, I like to sneak my veggies in with the meat to make them super filling. Try my recipe for chicken chorizo tacos and sub the chorizo for any meat or beans you like!
- Salads: Salads can be pretty simple and quick to make, especially when you add leftovers on top! I love to add leftover taco meat, canned beans or pre-cooked chicken.
PLUS, when you eat a salad you get to eat something awesome and carby on the side, like a quesadilla. And quesadillas are basically my favorite food ever (after tacos).
- Sampler platters: These are just a mix of whatever you have on hand. I typically throw some tabouli, veggies, yogurt dip, refried beans, fruit, crackers, whatever.
These are fun to eat and give you a wide variety of foods to munch!
- Flatbread pizza: These are super easy and great if you are craving pizza. Use a flatout wrap or lavash wrap and pre-cook it in the oven or toaster oven brushed with olive oil for about 7 minutes. Then top and bake for another 10ish minutes. Serve with a salad on the side for some veggie action in your life.
My favorite toppers are barbeque sauce, pineapple, canadian bacon, onions and cheddar cheese. Or I love a classic caprese pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
- Grilled cheese + soup: Sometimes I will swap the grilled cheese for just a quesadilla, because they are delicious.
- Tostadas: Like a taco, but flat. Take a corn tortilla and rub it in some melted butter on both sides in a skillet. Top with beans, cheese and hot sauce and throw some avocado, tomatoes and raw onions on top.
This is another one of my favorite meals ever. SO delicious and so easy.
- Hummus Wrap + Kale Chips: This hummus wrap has been a staple for lunch and dinner lately, and I’ve been making kale chips 2-3 days of the week for dinner right now. Can’t get enough! Just looking at this picture of kale chips is making me salivate.
- Quick Pasta Entrée: This recipe is so simple to adapt and change based on what you have on hand. I definitely recommend it!
- Make ahead casseroles: If you have some extra time, make a casserole ahead of time and stick in the fridge. Then just heat it up the next day. Or freeze casseroles and you can defrost and throw into the oven the next day.
If you missed my recent Healthier Baked Ziti recipe, I’d recommend this one!
The word for today is clearly: tacos.
What is on your dinner deck? Have any suggestions for meals for me to add to mine?