I decided to make a list of quick healthy meals that I can throw together at home faster than I can go to a drive-through and pick up dinner, and then I decided to share it with you. 🙂
I have a confession to make: I work from home, homeschool 5 kids, and do it without a second parent around…therefore, I find myself at the drive through more often than I'd like. I know what you're thinking – “Jen, this is a blog about eating HEALTHY food. Why do you feed your kids that processed junk?” Ugh, I know! This is one bad habit that's messing up my budget and teaching my kids to eat unhealthy food!
I have no excuses. When it comes to dinner time, if I'm not prepared and the kids are hungry, I tend to go for the quickest/most convenient meals, and sometimes that includes picking something up. Not that there is anything convenient about loading five kids up in the car, buckling up the car seats, driving to a drive through, ordering one of the two foods on the menu that's supposed to be safe for my daughter with Celiac disease, driving home, unbuckling everyone, and eating yucky food that's way overpriced.
Now, I know that from time to time a little fast food doesn't hurt, but when it's every week, I notice the difference on the scale and in the way I feel.
Here's the deal: to avoid fast food, you really need to have a meal plan. I have tons of meal plan and meal prep ideas here, if you need inspiration. But, because planning isn't perfect…and life isn't perfect…sometimes you need a back-up plan. I'm sharing my back-up plan with you today: 15 quick, healthy meals that I can make at home in less time than it would take me to go out (I was shooting for 20 minutes or less). Even better: Introverted Jen doesn't enjoy leaving the house. Or talking to people she doesn't know. With these quick dinners, introverted Jen gets to stay home. Introverted Jen will stop referring to herself in the third person now. Sorry.
I highly recommend choosing a few of these meals, and always keeping the ingredients in your pantry or freezer for days when time gets away from you.
Anyway, here's the list! If you don't understand why there are letters next to each meal, they go along with the Trim Healthy Mama Diet (which is awesome), but these quick, healthy recipes will work for anyone!
Quick and Easy THM Meals
- Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (S) (there's also a great recipe in the THM Cookbook)
- Poached Eggs over Spinach (S) – I poach an egg (or two) for everyone eating, and sauté spinach with salt and pepper for just a minute or so until just barely wilted. I serve the eggs over the spinach for an easy, quick, protein-packed dinner.
- Breakfast for Dinner (S) – eggs and bacon or sausage with a side of berries
- One Pan Lemon Garlic Baked Salmon & Asparagus (S)
- Flank Steak w/ Salad (S) – flank steak cooks very quickly, so when it's on sale I like to make this with a bag of frozen bell peppers and onions for really quick fajitas!
- Salad Bar (S)
- Avocado Caprese Salad (S)
- Red Bell Pepper Chicken Salad (S)
- Very Berry Salad (S)
- Spicy Bean Soup (E)
- Buffalo Chicken Salad (FP)
- Easy Zucchini Noodles (S) (Single Serve Recipe)
- Peanut Butter Shake (S) or other healthy shakes and smoothies
- Cheeseburgers w/no bun and steamed frozen veggies (S)
- 20 Minute Paleo Shrimp & Sausage (S)
If you have a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken (I always have some chicken frozen in my fridge); or if you can make some quickly in the Instant Pot:
- Black Bean Chicken Salad (E)
- Pioneer Woman's Alfredo Sauce over Baked Chicken Breast and Broccoli – I dice my chicken breasts so that they cook faster, but you could also use pre-cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken.
- Chicken Breasts w/ Quinoa (E) – I cook the quinoa and season it to taste, then heat the chicken and serve it on top of the quinoa. This is a hit with my kids – they add butter and parmesan (I use just 1 tsp butter to keep it a THM “E”)!
- 5 Meals You Can Make with a Rotisserie Chicken (these are super quick and simple!)
If you can have gluten:
Bonus (30 more recipes at the links below!):
If you have an Instant Pot, you can save TONS of time in the kitchen! I use my Instant Pot to make quick 10-20 minute meals at least once a week! If you're new to the Instant Pot, here's a few links to get you started: