5 Easy, Healthy Dinners to Make This Week

Since your pants don't quite fit this time of year.

The holiday baking season is upon us and you've probably been devouring cookies and eggnog more than you'd care to admit. So why not make something reasonably healthy for dinner tonight before your counter is covered in cookies? Here are 5 healthy and easy ideas for dinners this week:

One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Italian salad dressing (I recommend using Kraft light Italian it's the perfect consistency for this and it's what I used)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
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1 1/4 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed of tough ends, chopped into 2-inch pieces (look for thinner stalks. Green beans are another good option)
1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

Directions
In a mixing bowl whisk together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then place chicken evenly in skillet. Cook about 6 - 7 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking, until chicken has cooked through (meanwhile, chop asparagus and tomatoes). Add half the dressing mixture to skillet and rotate chicken to evenly coat. Transfer chicken to a large plate or a serving platter while leaving sauce in skillet. Add asparagus and carrots to skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer veggies to plate or platter with chicken.

Add remaining dressing mixture to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes to chicken and veggies and drizzle dressing mixture in pan over top (or return chicken and veggies to pan and toss to coat).

Recipe courtesy CookingClassy.com

Turkey Taco Zucchini Bites

Ingredients

4 medium (32 ounces) zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup mild salsa
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
4 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions or cilantro, for topping

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish.

Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling, (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

Brown turkey in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When no longer pink add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir and cover, simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Top with scallions and serve with salsa on the side.

Recipe courtesy Skinny Taste.

Crock Pot Cauliflower Chicken Chili

Ingredients

Chili:

½ head of cauliflower, diced
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can organic tomato puree
½ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chili powder
¼ - ½ teaspoon chipotle chile flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in large chunks

Toppings:

1 avocado
1 lime
fresh cilantro

Directions

Add all chili ingredients to crock pot and stir to combine.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Cube avocado, cut lime into wedges and chop fresh cilantro.
Serve chili topped with avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, and cilantro to taste.

Recipe courtesy CookEatPaleo.com

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

Ingredients

6 cups salad (I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, any spring green mix will do)
1 red apple
1 green apple
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (such as Diamond of California)
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

1 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar in a pinch)
2 tablespoons honey
scant ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup oil

Directions

Core and chop apples (thin slices or 1 inch chunks). Toss lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, and cranberries together in a large bowl.


Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss with salad immediately before serving.

Recipe courtesy LeCremeDeLaCrumb.com

Sriracha Turkey Meatball Bowls

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey meat
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 scallion, white part only, minced
1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons oil (olive, vegetable, canola) for frying


For the Sriracha Teriyaki:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons water, divided
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

For the rice:
2 cups instant brown rice, cooked according to package instructions
Scallions, for sprinkling
 
Directions

For the meatballs:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to simmer (you want it very hot) while you prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl combine ground turkey meat, garlic, egg, cilantro, sriracha, soy, ginger, scallion, pepper, and panko. Slowly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into meatballs. Scoop one heaping tablespoon sized round of meat into your palm and roll it into a small ball; repeat until all meat has been rolled into meatballs. Fry meatballs in batches in the hot oil, 1-2 minutes on each side; or just until lightly browned.

Place semi-cooked meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Once all meatballs have been panfried, place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they're cooked though.


While the meatballs bake, make your sriracha teriyaki:
In a small saucepan combine the soy sauce, honey, 1/2 cup of the water, sesame oil, sriracha sauce, and ginger. Heat over a medium-low flame and stir constantly until the honey is dissolved; about 3 minutes. In a small dish combine the cornstarch with the remaining 3 tablespoons of water, then pour it into the glaze, stir well to combine. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook the sauce, stirring constantly, just until thickened. This should only take 2 minutes. Once it's thickened remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds. At this point the meatballs should be ready to come out of the oven! Transfer them from the baking sheet straight into the pot with the sauce; stir to coat.

Assembly:
Place 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Top with a few meatballs, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and some chopped scallions! Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy BakerByNature.com

The Director of Editorial Operations at Livingly Media and lover of all things sprinkles.
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