My husband is a picky eater. As an ex-chef, his standards for quality are high; and as a fit guy, his standards for clean eating are high. I will be honest; he cooks at least 5/7 nights a week (we usually eat out once a week), and I am not a chef. And I like a carb every once in a while (like at every meal). This makes feeding him challenging. Note: I am in no way advocating a low-carb or Paleo diet (healthy carbohydrates are part of a balanced diet), just providing some low-carb(ish) options.
Here are My Top 6 Easy Dinners that the low-carb / picky eater in your life, will eat.
#1: Matt’s Beef Burritos/Taco Salad: We eat this meal at least once a week. Usually for dinner, we will have it as burritos in Flatout wraps and then have the leftovers in a salad over lettuce.
ground beef or turkey (We buy from Costco & then break up into meal-sized portions for the week.)
Old El Paso taco seasoning or a mix of: cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder and a bit of white sugar
1 of each: red, yellow and orange pepper
1/2 red onion
2 Tbsp. full-fat plain Greek yogurt
salsa (We prefer Western Family – lots of veggies and not too watery for tortillas.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Julienne onion and peppers and place on baking sheet. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.
Heat a large frying pan or skillet (preferably non-stick). Once the pan is heated, add lean ground beef or turkey and begin browning and draining the fat periodically into a disposable container.
Once the meat is mostly browned, add spices or spice mix and mix in the pan.
Place wraps on plates in the oven for about one minute. Remove from oven.
Smear 1/4 avocado and spread 1 Tbsp. of plain Greek yogurt on each wrap.
Once fully mixed, pour the meat and vegetables onto a wrap.
Top with salsa, wrap, and eat!
#2: Broccoli & Chicken Breast Steamed Broccoli and Baked Chicken Breasts are a clean-eating staple and can honestly be seasoned a million different ways. This recipe is awesome fresh and great re-heated for lunches.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (We always buy fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Costco. Many other boxed and frozen chicken breasts have injected saline (salt).
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash broccoli. Place wet broccoli in a small amount of water in a microwave-safe container. Partially cover and microwave for 4-7 minutes, depending on the amount of broccoli.
Cut any additional white fat from the chicken breasts with a sharp knife.
Season with a spice of your choosing. (Our favourites are Clubhouse LaGrille BBQ Chicken or Chipotle Mango)
In a pre-heated frying pan, add a Tbsp. of olive oil. Sear both sides of breasts until brown.
Place chicken breasts on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Remove and let cool for five minutes before eating.
Serve broccoli and chicken breasts. I like to grind some sea salt (and sometimes a tsp. of butter 🙂 on my broccoli.
#3: Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili: Use this recipe from Primavera Kitchen. Prep time: 10 mins, Cook time: 6 hours, Total time: 6 hours 10 minsServes: 8
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
450g extra-lean ground turkey
⅓ cup celery stalks, chopped
⅔ cup carrot, chopped
2 cups (540ml) Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups (750ml) Diced tomato, canned
3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tbsp (15ml) chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon ground crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Green onions, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, then add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer.
Add extra-lean ground turkey and cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Pour browned, ground turkey, garlic, and onions into slow cooker.
Add celery, carrots, red kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, coriander seed, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper.
Stir mixture, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours.
Top with green onions.
#4: Flatout Bread Personal Pizzas Servings: 2 Serving size: 1 Flatout Artistan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crust
Ingredients: 2 Flatout Artistan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crusts 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil OR Pizza Sauce FOR HIM: (in this order)
jarred pizza sauce
part-skim mozzarella cheese
FOR ME: (in this order)
jarred pizza sauce or olive oil
1 large juicy Roma tomato, sliced
jarred sun-dried tomatoes
black Kalamata olives
2 ounces of feta or goat cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the crusts on a baking sheet.
Brush the olive oil or spread pizza sauce on the crust.
Distribute evenly over the crust all/any ingredients you like.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tomato and cheese are softened and the bread looks lightly browned.
#5: Greek Chicken Kababs & Greek Salad
Greek Chicken Kebabs: I modify this recipe from Cooking Classy: Yield: About 9 kebabs
1 3/4 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for grill
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste. I used 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper.
Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, pour olive oil mixture over chicken and press chicken into marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate 45 minutes to 2 hours (no longer than 2 hours or the chicken will start to get mealy because of the acidic ingredients). If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.
Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Thread chicken pieces on to skewers. Brush grill lightly with olive oil, place skewers on grill and grill until chicken registers 165 degrees in centre, about 7 – 9 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.
Garnish with parsley, serve warm with Tzatziki sauce and Greek salad.
Greek Salad: Yield: will serve four comfortably, but I often double the recipe to have leftovers.
3 large Roma tomatoes
1.5 seedless English cucumbers
1/2 red onion
200 gm. full-fat feta cheese
fresh dill (optional)
Chop cucumbers, red onion, and tomatoes into 1-inch chunks and add to large bowl.
Add salad dressing and gently toss.
Sprinkle dill, feta cheese and olives on top.
Ina Garten’s Greek Salad Dressing: 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup good olive oil
Whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour over salad right before serving.
#6: Steak with Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes
6 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
6 ounces sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into thin half-moons
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (1-lb.) flat iron steak, trimmed
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat broiler, with oven rack 6 inches from heat.
Place Brussels sprouts and potato on a rimmed baking sheet; toss with 1 tablespoon oil, and spread in an even layer. Place a wire rack in pan over vegetables. Rub steak with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and place on rack in pan over vegetables. Sprinkle steak with 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and half of pepper.
Broil 10 minutes. Turn steak over; drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and sprinkle with remaining thyme, salt, and pepper. Broil about 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
Remove steak from pan, and let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin slices. Place vegetables in a bowl; pour in pan juices, and toss to coat.