Easy Weeknight Dinners

Often times when I don’t know what I want to eat for dinner, or I haven’t planned ahead, I struggle to find something yummy that can be made right then. After our Gastric Bypass the lack of planning is less and less, mostly because we are laser focused on those goals! But some nights you just want something EASY!! Having to ask Rob to run to the store for one miscellaneous item or another just makes me dream of our Door Dash (all food and ordering apps have been deleted at the time of this post so that we are not tempted back into bad habits!). But what I have been doing lately to help minimize that stress is simplifying our meals.

Disclaimer, this is on my smallest dessert plate! 2 oz of chicken cooked with low fat Italian dressing.

For example, I start with my protein. What protein (Chicken, turkey, tofu, ground beef etc…) do I want? I keep a decent selection in the freezer, so I have a range of options. Then I pick something to go along with it. Do I want steamed veggies? Sliced tomato? Roasted or air fried zucchini? Most vegetables I also keep in the freezer! I do try to have some fresh options on hand, but by the end of the week those are gone from previous meals, and having options that I know wont go bad has been a blessing. I much prefer frozen veggies to canned!

Finally I season it all! Whether I use a low calorie dressing to marinate the meat, or throw some taco seasoning in the pan as it all cooks, I do something to jazz it up and make my house smell amazing. This is also where I try to think about what I have on hand, and what I want to use before it goes bad. Since surgery our meals are smaller than ever, and even though I am cooking for two, I have half empty jars from things I had been making all week! So I normally pull from those just to limit the amount of food waste I am dealing with week to week. In the last few weeks we have put together some really delicious last minute meals. Here are just a few that we LOVE!

I brought the whole container of leftovers to work as I was running out the door. I will probably only eat one third of this?

Steamed broccoli and cauliflower with leftover pizza sauce and turkey pepperoni. topped with mozzarella and parmesan. I microwaved this on a plate, and not only was it yummy, but it had almost NO DISHES! I was also thrilled to be able to finish the pack of turkey pepperoni and the last half of a pizza sauce jar! Win Win!

Rotisserie Chicken and Cauliflower Thins from Trader Joe’s, with a small dab of garlic hummus. This tasted like a chicken shawarma wrap, and Rob and I were in heaven. So yummy! We decided to try this after our fourth rotisserie chicken meal in a week… we were running low on ideas, and wanted something other than chicken and broccoli. One chicken seriously goes a long way in our house. The cauliflower thins were purchased on a whim, but since they can be frozen, we grabbed two packs and its been really great to have something that while not perfect for our plan (a little high in fat) its delicious, and it makes us feel less restricted from things like tacos and wraps.

Salmon burgers and Tzatziki sauce with some sliced cucumber. We have a whole pack of frozen salmon patties from Costco that are a life saver when we need something in a pinch. I also make home made Tzatziki on the regular! We have a lemon tree in the back yard, and the tangy Greek yogurt dill sauce is a Coe family favorite! If you would prefer to buy it, Trader Joe’s has the best Tzatziki!

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