Hello! Today I wanted to share a quick round-up of some of the most successful dinners I have made recently. When I say “successful,” I mean that my husband, toddler and I enjoyed them (sometimes with some swaps, which I’ve noted below) AND they were pretty easy to pull together. Also, most of these are plant-based, which is generally my approach to eating.
Oh, one quick note so I’m not repeating myself: for most of these recipes, I try to chop most of the veggies in advance to make my mornings even smoother (things I don’t usually chop over the weekend: potatoes, onions, garlic).
And PLEASE NOTE: my kid ate a lot of boxed mac and cheese while I was super sick during my first 18 weeks of pregnancy. When I started making and serving real meals again once I felt better, I was shocked that she ate them. Just proof that I didn’t ruin her palette – or her nutrition, okay? – just because she wasn’t always eating perfectly.
Recent Successful Dinners
Crockpot Black Bean Soup / A Healthy Slice of Life
You will see the slow cooker as a recurring theme here. The thing just makes dinnertime run much more smoothly. This is a matter of preference I suppose – I’d rather do the prep work on the weekend/in the morning than when I get home from work.
This recipe makes A TON, which I appreciate. We had it for dinner two nights in a row and then I had a couple lunches from it as well.
Swaps: I left out the chili powder and the cayenne pepper so Vera would eat it. I’m pretty sure I forgot the lime juice, too. But it was still a hit 🙂
I also did not blend the soup at all – we prefer chunkier soups over here – and I think we probably did not want to both washing the immersion blender, LOL.
Kale and Sweet Potato Brown Rice Bowls / Eating Bird Food
This recipe is super simple and easily customizable – so I really use it as more of an inspiration than a recipe. I swapped out the peanut dressing for a homemade mustard vinaigrette, used whatever greens we had instead of kale, and also ate mine with barbeque sauce (a weird pregnancy thing according to Mike, but I say don’t knock it ’til you tried it :)). Also, I do eat mine with the chickpeas but serve with chicken sausage instead for Mike and Vera.
Another note: the first time, I served this with cauliflower rice and it was good, but not substantial enough. So, the second time, I used brown rice AND two sweet potatoes (which also ensured we had leftovers for lunches). Next time, I will probably use a combination of brown and cauliflower rice.
The KEY to this one is meal prep. I roast the sweet potatoes and cook the rice over the weekend.
Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder / Oh My Veggies
This was a good basic recipe, and something a little different for us since we aren’t big creamy soup people. But this one was still light and healthy. However: I halved the amount of corn and also added carrots and celery to up the veggie factor.
In addition to chopping the veggies in advance, in this case, I did chop and saute the onions in advance as well. Cooked onions don’t stink up my fridge the way fresh cut ones do 🙂
I also left out the cayenne pepper and skipped the blending step.
Broccoli Lemon Pasta / Good Health & Great Cheer
This is one Vera still loves every time we make it (and another one I made a lot – but didn’t eat – when I was in my first trimester). I suggest using 2 lemons instead of 1 though for better flavor. 🙂
Hearty Vegetable Bolognese / PBFingers
I felt like an evil genius plotting to take over the world with this one. Undetectable veggies hiding in marinara? Count me in.
Even though Vera usually eats her veggies well, sometimes I prefer to avoid the poking and stalling before she gets there. So, hide them I did.
And the crushed walnuts here? GENIUS.
I left out the mushrooms here on purpose and forgot to add the bell pepper – oops. Also, the only sauce we had on hand was tomato-basil – which was delicious with all these veggies.
I suggest at least chopping everything the night before/over the weekend to make assembling dinner even simpler.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili / PaleOMG
MAKE THIS RECIPE TODAY. Guys, it was so good.
I left out the chili powder and hot sauce; Mike drizzled a little hot sauce on his serving.
If you are vegetarian, I bet this would be good with lentils instead of chicken…but I really like the chicken here.
Mustard-y Lentils & Quinoa / Good Health & Great Cheer
I recently brought this recipe back into our lineup and Vera devoured it. Served with roasted broccoli. Cook the lentils and quinoa over the weekend so you just have to heat them up for dinner.
Slow Cooker Minestrone / Kitchn
I liked that this minestrone did not have any pasta in it but still felt hearty. I did, however, cook up some whole-wheat noodles separately for Vera’s serving – like I said, she eats her veggies well most days, but still sometimes needs a little coaxing (like serving mixed with pasta and/or sprinkled with cheese).
I skipped the croutons here in favor of simplicity, but they would be delicious, I’m sure!
Better Broccoli Casserole / Cookie and Kate: Mike and I loved this recipe. Vera did not, however, and this honestly shocked me: she loves broccoli and cheese, soooooo…
Anyway, I’m going to try it again. But #realtalk, I’m just going to buy some dang breadcrumbs. Sheesh! (Oh, I did everything but bake it during my meal prep so all I had to do was pop it into the oven when I got home from work.)
Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice / Iowa Girl Eats: Mike and Vera inhaled this meal, but I was too sick (pregnancy) to eat it, so I can’t say for sure. BUT it gets 5 stars from me because it was soooooo easy. I should have roasted a veggie to go with it, but again – I wasn’t feeling well. Just watch the kind of salsa verde you buy – a lot of them have high-fructose corn syrup as an ingredient.
Any recipes you want to share?