Healthy Weeknight Recipes

Who doesn’t love eating a meticulously prepared meal that tastes great and makes you feel great as well? While eating healthy is ideal, what about during the week when you don’t have all the time in the world to prepare the perfect meal? At Garfield Medical Center, we are always striving to help our community enjoy healthy, satisfying lives. We know that food and regular diets play a major role in health! That’s why we’ve compiled our top three favorite healthy, simple recipes for your busiest of weeknights.

1. Pan-Seared Salmon with Kale & Apple Salad

Sounds fancy, but all takes is 10 minutes to cook your salmon to perfection. As a tip, make sure to bring your salmon to room temperature prior to cooking it. This will take about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, you can whip up a delicious salad to pair perfectly with the salmon. While it’s on the skillet, whisk together some lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and just ¼ teaspoon of salt in a large salad bowl. Toss in the kale and mix it good enough for a nice coating. Cut up some dates and apples into thin slivers and add those, along with some cheese and almonds to your kale salad. Feel free to season with a little pepper and set aside.

Sprinkle the salmon with about ½ teaspoon of salt and a little pepper. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick). Set it to medium-low heat. After it begins to warm up, raise it to medium-high. Throw in your salmon skin-side up in the pan. You should cook it until it turns golden brown on one side (4 minutes), then turn it over and cook for about 3 more minutes or until firm to the touch.

Plate your salad and set the salmon on top for a delicious, healthy meal! You can also add a whole wheat dinner roll to top the dish off.

Get the full list of ingredients and instructions here.

2. Chicken Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Have 35 minutes to spare for your next weeknight dinner? Good, because you’ll definitely want to put them towards this delicious chicken stir-fry with tasty peanut sauce served over optional coconut-cilantro rice (add about 20 extra minutes).

Heat up a wok pan or large skillet over high heat. Pour in 1 teaspoon of oil and swirl it around the pan. Add in about 1 pound of chicken cutlets that have been trimmed. Cook for around 1 minute on each side. Remove the chicken and cut into thin slices—set aside shortly. Add in 2 cups of broccoli and 1 sliced bell pepper and stir-fry for around 4 minutes / until lightly browned. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add in 1 teaspoon oil, coconut milk (1/4 cup) and the following flavorings:

  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews

Throw in the chicken and coconut milk mixture and cook for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with cashews and serve!

Coconut-cilantro rice can be started before the stir fry so that it simmers while you are cooking away. Combine 1 cup of light coconut milk and ¼ cup water in medium saucepan. Put on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of long-grain white rice and reduce to low heat. Cover it and let it simmer for about 17 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed). Take off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes before stirring in about ¼ cup of chopped cilantro (serves 4).

Get the full recipe here.

3. Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Ok, so who doesn’t expect a slow-cooker to come out in a weeknight meal? This is a great, light soup recipe that can bring out some delicious flavors with minimal hands-on time, though. In fact, you’ll really only need to spend about 15 minutes of prep time while the slow cooker does the rest (budget out about 8 hours for cook time).

Ingredients include 1 chopped onion, 3 peeled and chopped carrots, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 peeled, seeded, and chopped butternut squash, and 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth.

You can make this soup with three different flavor pairings: apple, ancho chile, or curry, giving you plenty of different flavors to choose from!

Once you know what your taste buds are craving, add in all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours or until the squash is completely tender. Use a blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency. Season lightly with salt and pepper. To make it creamy, add ½ cup of half and half, nonfat evaporated milk, or 4 oz. of reduced fat cream cheese.

Check out the full recipe and fun variations here!

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.