Quick Dinner Ideas







Balsamic Chicken

Pan seared chicken baked with smoked mozzarella, fresh proscuitto, arugala and finished with a balsamic glaze.

Preheat oven to 350.  Take 1 pound of chicken cutlets (these are a thin chicken breast that the butcher cuts ahead of time) and season with salt and pepper.  I like cutlets here because they take a lot less time to cook through.  Sear each side in a heated and oiled pan (basically just brown both sides) then place in a baking pan.  Cover chicken with sliced smoked mozzarella and one slice of prosciutto on each chicken.  Bake until cheese has melted slightly, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  On a plate, make a bed of arugula and place chicken on top.  Drizzle with a balsamic glaze and enjoy!

Pre-cooked and shredded chicken tossed in BBQ sauce is added to a heated and oiled skillet. Let the chicken caramelized in with 1 sliced onion and 6 sliced radishes. Add shredded pepper jack over the top and let it melt. Add in cooked penne, stir to combine and you’re done.

BBQ Chicken Pasta

Lemon Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower

Chicken pan seared then simmered with white wine, lemon juice, butter, italian herbs, black pepper and salt. Roast cauliflower with salt and pepper drizzled with olive oil.

Here’s the breakdown: Preheat the oven to 400. Cut cauliflower into small florets and stir in a little olive oil to coat along with some salt and pepper. Put them in a baking dish and roast them for 20-25 minutes, stirring once. While that cooks, take two chicken breasts and trim the fat. I like to cut mine down the center to make them thinner, or you could put them in a plastic bag and beat the crap out of them for a few minutes with something heavy until they flatten out. It’s a good way to get some aggression out. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and place on a heated and oiled pan. I use about 1 TBS of oil (olive or coconut is fine). Sear both sides (brown on each side), then pour in 1/2 cup of dry white wine, 1 tbs butter, the juice of 2 lemons and a thin slice of lemon to place on each chicken. Sprinkle in some italian herb seasoning, then cover to simmer and cook through.

Sprinkle cauliflower with some fresh parmesan, then serve the chicken and cauliflower with a spoonful of the pan juices.

This is a perfect weekend meal…Throw whatever veggies you have in a pot with 6 cups of low sodium broth, season with salt, pepper and 1 tsp paprika and bring to a simmer. Add in pre-cooked shredded chicken, simmer until veggies are cooked. Make grilled cheese or cheese quesadillas. Done.

Quick Chicken Soup with Grilled Cheese

Quick BBQ Fajitas

Sliced chicken seared until brown on all sides then simmered in BBQ sauce. Add cooked sliced red pepper and onion. Serve over soft tortillas with shredded pepper jack cheese.


Marinate one pound of a lean cut of beef in two cans of light coconut milk and 1 TBS of paprika (mix it together before work if you can, or assemble right when you get home and let it sit until you’re ready to cook – even 20 minutes will do).

In a pan, cook beef simmered in its own sauce with sliced onion and red pepper. While cooking, preheat oven to 450 and roast broccoli florets tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper for 10 minutes. Drizzle broccoli with 1 TBS soy sauce and 1/2 TBS honey (sesame seeds optional).

Coconut Beef

A wonderful way to make beef extra tender in a very little amount of time.

Taco Night

Ground beef seasoned with 1 tsp each cumin, garlic powder, chile powder, black pepper and salt. Served in warm corn tortillas with pico de gallo, guacamole, black beans, cilantro and shredded pepper jack. To save time, I picked up some pico ($2.99) and guacamole ($3.99) from Whole Foods.

In a pan, cook beef then drain the liquid fat. Add in seasonings listed above and stir to combine, adding about 1/4 cup of water to the seasonings, then letting it simmer until the liquid is gone (this will help the seasoning to stick to the meat). Warm up tortillas, drain and rinse the black beans, chop the cilantro and assemble the tacos.


Make sure the shrimp is peeled and deveined and set aside. Boil water and cook pasta, set aside. Heat olive oil and add shallots and garlic. Cook for five minutes over medium heat, then add green beans and cover for five minutes. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, then add in the bean mixture, quartered plum tomatoes, 1/2 C white wine and 1 TBS butter. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes or until tomatoes and beans are soft. Serve over penne.

Tipsy Shrimp

Shrimp simmered in a white wine and butter based broth, with garlic, shallots, haricot verts (french green beans) and chopped tomatoes, served over penne.


Vegetable & Rice Peanut Stir Fry

I love this because you just throw a bunch of veggies in a pan with a little water, oil and peanut sauce, let it steam and your done!

Cook the rice ahead of time for an even faster dinner! I like to use 1 can of baby corn, drained and rinsed, 1 package of sliced baby bella mushrooms, 1 head of broccoli cut into smaller florets, 1 cup of shredded carrots, 1 red bell pepper and 1 onion – both sliced into thin strips. Heat a pan with a little oil (olive, coconut or peanut will work). Add the veggies, pour in about 1/4 cup of water, drizzle your favorite low sodium peanut sauce (I get a freshly made version from Whole Foods, or you can use 2 TBS soy sauce, 1 TBS honey and a dash of red pepper flakes), cover and let it simmer and steam until the veggies are done. This usually takes about 12-18 minutes. I like to sprinkle a little flaked red pepper to add some heat. Serve it over brown rice.


Spaghetti Primavera

Use whatever veggies you have – I had mushrooms, shredded carrots, broccoli and onions. Cut them into bite sized pieces and set aside. In a large pan, simmer 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 TBS olive oil, 1 TBS butter and a 1/2 cup white wine. Add veggies and cover to steam. Once cooked, season with salt and pepper. Serve over spaghetti with parmesan cheese

Pre-cooked and shredded chicken tossed in BBQ sauce is added to a heated and oiled skillet. Let the chicken caramelized in with 1 sliced onion and 6 sliced radishes. Add shredded pepper jack over the top and let it melt. Add in cooked penne, stir to combine and you’re done.

BBQ Chicken Pasta

Pizza Night

Whole wheat thin crust pizza, fresh mozzarella, Rao’s marinara, crushed red pepper and garlic powder…it’s that simple and way better than takeout.

I love those pre-made thin crusts you can find at Whole Foods or Fresh Market in the deli or bread section. There is a wood-fired brand in the freezer that’s amazing too. The trick to a crispy perfect pizza is to rub a little olive oil on the pre-cooked crust, then add only about 1/4-1/3 cup marinara (the BEST is Rao’s). Slice a fresh mozzarella ball into thin slices and arrange around the pizza. Not only is fresh mozzarella lower in sodium than the preshredded versions, but it will also melt better with those yummy “strings” of cheese hanging off your slice.

Add veggies to it if you like. I sprinkle garlic powder and crushed red pepper or add fresh basil leaves to the finished pizza.

Make sure to cook it right on the rack in the middle of the oven and watch it carefully. I never follow the time instructions – it usually takes a few minutes longer to get the perfect crispiness.

Another yummy idea is a white pizza! Just do the olive oil and mozzarella steps (no sauce) and cook until golden and cheese is bubbling. Then add sliced proscuitto and fresh arugula over the top and drizzle with a balsamic glaze. It’s ridiculously good.

Pick up fresh raviolis from your local store and serve over marinara or pesto with parmesan cheese – this is the fastest dinner EVER. Raviolis take under 5 minutes to cook and you can always find some sort of sale on them to make them extremely affordable.

Fresh Ravioli