5 "clean" recipe ideas for the busy family
Guess what?! I have officially completed my 8 week cleanse and finally got to introduce berries this last week! If you do not know what cleanse I am talking about, you can catch up here. I am not going to go into the ins and outs of my cleanse just yet, because I still have some healing to do. However, I was asked several times what dinner on the cleanse, or simply clean eating meals may look like for a family, or for any busy person for that matter.
Since we are always on the go and super busy, I have crafted a super simple dinner schedule for my family. I don't know about you, but not everyone in my family likes to eat the same thing, and I am ok with that. However, I do not go to great lengths for my family to eat gourmet foods for each meal. I believe that as my kids grow, their taste buds will grow and change as well. One thing I always love about choosing healthier food for myself, is that my kids ask questions and even try foods that I eat. They may not love it, but I always encourage them to try new things and sometimes they are even pleasantly surprised.
Now, are you ready for my secret to making super easy dinners for the busy family?
Here it is. Grill a 4 lb pack of chicken at the beginning of the week, and simply incorporate it into your meals the rest of the week! Want to know what that looks like? Im glad you asked, here are my go-to meals.
Day 1: Grilled chicken with grilled veggies
Summer is the season for grilling! This is super easy, especially if it is a joint effort and your husband pitches in and does the grilling. ;) We love asparagus, squash, zucchini, and my most favorite may be brussel sprouts. I love to bake them in the oven with avocado oil and sea salt drizzled over them. Delicious!
Day 2: Burrito bowl (Taco Tuesday option?)
I LOVE this meal and will eat it several times throughout the week. So simple. This can also be adapted into an easy kid friendly burrito bowl. I will sometimes make a batch of rice for my kiddos so they can have their own chicken and rice with chips, salsa and guacamole.
- Cook some pre-packaged cauliflower rice on the stove in EVOO.
- Prepare some black beans (not if you are on Whole30 though)
- Throw on some grilled chicken
- Add some homemade guacamole (avocado, lime juice and pink himalayan sea salt)
- Approved cheese (I found some almond cheese at Trader Joe's that works perfect)
- Approved salsa (I was able to find some verde salsa that I could have, but pico works great for Whole30/Paleo as well)
- To top it off, dip some plantains in all that yummy goodness!
Day 3: Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice
This one is incredibly simple and perfect for the middle of the week rush. Also, adaptable for kiddos who will each sushi rice with chicken.
- Cook some cauliflower rice with mixed veggies (I found this pre-packaged at the store, which I prefer because it take time off from doing all that chopping myself).
- Cook a couple eggs on the stove in coconut oil.
- Throw everything in a bowl with some left over grilled chicken.
- Top with coconut aminos.
Day 4: Chicken Salad
- Throw in chopped spinach and kale.
- Add shredded carrots, diced cucumbers and avocados.
- Throw in some grilled chicken.
- Top with whole cashews and walnuts.
- Add your dressing.
If you need a dressing that is sugar free, healthy and super easy to make, my cousin and health coach passed this recipe on to me and I really like it!
- 1 cup organic cold pressed olive oil
- 1/4 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 organic shallot minced
- 1 tbs organic Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- combine and shake
Day 5: Spaghetti squash chicken marinara
This has easily become another favorite of mine. Super easy and yummy and it satisfies that pasta desire that I did not even know I had. I have not been able to get my kids to eat spaghetti squash yet, but it is just as easy to boil some gluten free noodles for them and then use my homemade marinara sauce to top it.
- To prepare your spaghetti squash: slice both ends off, then slice it right down the middle and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon.
- Place foil on a baking sheet, drizzle some EVOO or avocado oil on the pan with some pink himalayan salt and place the squash sliced side down.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
- Place some shredded grilled chicken in a pan with organic tomato sauce and some minced garlic.
- When the squash is done, take a fork and comb out all the meat into a bowl, then place your marinara mixture on top.
How is that for simple?
I hope that gives you all a little bit of inspiration if you are on a clean eating journey to better health for one reason or another. Honestly, because I have eaten this way for so long, I truly have no desire to eat any of the heavy or "normal" foods I used to eat. I can very easily pass up my most favorite go-to foods or treats that I once thought I could not live without.
I keep some pretty simple kid friendly foods on hand for nights like salad night or if I make Salmon or anything they think they may not like. Back ups such as cereal, macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets (all gluten free options) may not be ideal, but I want them to eat and I have confidence in the fact that they will grow up to eat well rounded foods as adults. I have found when I bring out a veggie tray with some hummus or ranch dressing, they dig right in, so I know they are not completely nutrient deprived.
Baby steps. Even if you start with 1 clean meal a day and then work up to 2 full days of clean meals a week, it will be worth it in the long run. Your body deserves to be fed nutrient dense foods and you deserve to feel your absolute best! I know there is at least one person in your life who counts on you to feel your best. ;)
Please please share some super easy meals you have enjoyed on Whole30/Paleo or AIP. I am always looking for something easy to throw into the mix! Hmmm...maybe next I will have perfected some of my favorite clean eating, sugar-free treats to share with you all. Sometimes I post sneak peaks on IG (@happylittlemessblog) so don't forget to follow me over there!
Have a great week friends. Happy health!