What’s For Dinner? And a Call for Help!

Posted: January 28, 2012 in Recipes

'Nough said. Eat REAL food.

I’ve recently been cooking more “real” dinners (read: more than just a big ‘ole salad) thanks to having more dinner guests lately. I’ve hit that wall of “What can I make for dinner that’s healthy, won’t take too long, doesn’t have too many ingredients, doesn’t have a lot of clean-up, and is relatively cheap?” Yeah… there are a lot of conditions there. So I’ve been chatting with friends, family, and clients — and, of course, reading tons of blogs and magazines — and have gathered a few yummy, healthy, cheaper-than-going-out-for-dinner options. PLEASE! Tell me what you think and share your own recipes! Let’s all help each other 🙂

Lentil Tacos (from my sister, Rachel — thanks sista!)
3 cup water
1 cup brown lentils
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp molasses
½ cup green onions, chopped
½ cup green pepper, finely diced
½ tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Cilantro (optional) to add at end

Bring lentils to a boil in water. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) 20-25 minutes. While lentils cook, heat oil in non-stick skillet and saute garlic, peppers, scallions, cumin, and chili powder.  Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, and molasses. Simmer 3-5 minutes. Drain lentils and add to skillet. Heat through. I always add fresh cilantro at this point. Serve with small flour or corn tortillas, lettuce, tomato and cheese.


Baked Chicken Strips (from Gourmet Nutrition)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season chicken evenly with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the egg and water to a mixing bowl, whisk together well and set aside. Mix the breadcrumbs and coconut together in a separate bowl, set aside. Dip the chicken in the egg and toss until coated completely. Remove and allow excess to drip off then place directly into the breadcrumb/coconut mixture. Roll until nicely coated. Place strips on lightly coated cookie sheet. Place in oven. Bake until golden brown or cooked through (about 15 minutes). Cut largest strip in half to check for doneness.


Roasted Butternut Squash (from my friend/client/lawyer, Jessica – thanks, Jess!)
1 medium squash (any squash works)
2 medium onions, cut into small wedges about 1-in. wide
3 Tablespoons canola oil (olive oil works, too)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried, rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craizens without sugar added is a good choice!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, peel squash and cut it in half lengthwise before cutting it into 1-in. cubes. Place in a medium mixing bowl, and add onions, canola oil, salt, nutmeg, sage, and pepper (not the Craizens), and mix until well-coated. Place in a shallow baking pan and roast until golden brown for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The squash should be firm and  not mushy. Remove from oven and add the Craizens, toss lightly, and enjoy!


Now, my call for help. What DVDs have you seen, heard about, tried, etc., that you want me to try and review? It can be a specific DVD, a certain brand, or even more of a specific genre or instructor (dance, kickboxing, Pilates, Kelli Roberts, Bob Harper, etc.). Help me help you!

  1. Ben says:

    Have you reviewed the “insanity” workouts yet?

    Those are starting to get my curious…

    • Funny you should ask! I am in the process of reviewing them as we speak. However, I have some unfriendly neighbors below me who don’t enjoy my jumping, so the reviewing has been put on hold a bit. But, to give you a preview — they were truly are insane. Awesome, hard, wicked insane. I LOVE them so far and can definitely see how and why the program gets results. Better than P90X? Yes, so far.

  2. owenbenj says:

    Noted. Thanks! And I understand the problem with people living under you. I really enjoyed P90X but the food part was tough. However, I’ve given that up and been attending a gym again. But who knows, maybe I’ll give some “insanity” a shot.

    • Ah yes, the food plans that come with the workouts. I can’t honestly say I ever follow those because often the plans are ridiculous — 1200-1400 calories of fresh, low-fat foods. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a lot of the reason they work, but with how much I work out I can’t ever follow them or I’d starve! My rule is always just eat as many whole, fresh, raw foods as possible. It’s not foolproof, but it’s really pretty good and easy once you get used to it. I definitely recommend borrowing or renting Insanity to try it out! Be ready to jump, though… A lot.

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