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Healthier Comfort Dinners
It’s the last week of February, and we are welcoming March with a new menu plan! Because everyone is over winter by now, these dinners are designed to warm your heart. Even better, I’ve taken these delicious classics and make them healthier. And, I promise you won’t notice the difference.
Let’s kick the week off with a Meatloaf Monday. How can we make meatloaf healthier? With ground turkey, of course! Are you thinking it’s going to be bland? Well, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it isn’t!
Get the recipe in this post: https://thefeatherednester.com/weeks-poultry-seafood-recipes/.
Serve this meatloaf with a side of steamed broccoli or a broccoli salad.
If you are pressed for time in the evenings, prepare this meatloaf the night prior and put it in the fridge. I find the best time to prep ahead is while I’m already making a mess. Usually it’s while I’m baking or cooking something else.
As most of you know, I love me some Taco Tuesday. It doesn’t have to be an actual taco dinner, though. Usually as long as it involves a tortilla we’re good.
How about some healthy Black Bean tostadas? These tostadas combine a little of everything: whole grains, protein, fiber, and veggies.
To make them: Use baked tostadas (Guerrero brand uses heart healthy yellow corn tortillas), layer them with low- or non-fat, refried black beans, lots of shredded green or romaine lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, and sprinkle a little reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese on top.
Taking a detour to rich, comfort dinners, how about a healthy Macaroni and Cheese? My Chili Cheese Mac checks all the healthy boxes. It has lots of vegetables, thanks to canned tomatoes (look for no-salt), bell pepper, and onions. You can substitute ground turkey for the ground beef, or use 95% lean ground beef. And, reduced-fat cheese shouldn’t impact the creamy goodness of this dish.
The recipe is here: https://thefeatherednester.com/instant-pot-chili-cheese-mac/
This recipe uses an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker, but you can easily modify it for the slow cooker or stove top preparation.
Thursday just might be the perfect night to have a buffet-style leftovers night. Sometimes tasty leftovers make the best dinners!
On Fridays, I love nothing more than a good pizza! If you need it quick and easy the options for take-and-bake pizza are endless. There are even grocery stores that sell pre-made pizza dough. If you’re the ambitious type, though, I have a homemade pizza dough recipe. It’s literally foolproof and can be made ahead.
The best thing about pizza is that you can make it as healthy as you’d like. Vegetables always taste so good on pizza, so load them up! For the best results, slice them as thinly as possible. Some other tips for good pizza, bake the pizza at a high temperature. Place it over a pizza stone or cast iron (you can flip over a skillet and bake the pizza on top) that’s been preheated for at least 30-45 minutes.
One of my favorite weekend dinners is a roasted chicken. The prep is minimal. Clean out the inside of the chicken, rub the skin with oil, throw in a little lemon and onion, and roast it in the oven. Soon the whole house smells like Sunday dinner.
The recipe is in this post: https://thefeatherednester.com/meals/
Serve this chicken with potatoes or rice, a nice side salad, and maybe some crusty French bread. If you want to make it fancy, light some candles, set the table, and use cloth napkins.
And there you have it! All your meals for the coming week.
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Read more on meal planning here: https://thefeatherednester.com/meal-planning-tips/
Here’s another weekly menu to inspire you: