It's a challenge to prepare healthy meals throughout the week, so today we are going to look at ways to save you time and money. Let your oven do the work for you. You'll only need two pieces of equipment to make the recipes listed today, a sheet pan and parchment paper. Sheet pans (cookie sheets) work well because there is a lot of room for your protein and vegetables.
Here are some good combos for you try tonight:
30 MINUTES SHEET PAN CHICKEN WITH VEGGIES
Use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand for this easy roast.
For the sweet/savory sauce
1/3 cup pitted dates softened in hot water* and drained OR 1.5 Tbsp pure maple syrup for a non-Whole30 version
2 tbsp water omit if using maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 tbsp brown mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
On the Sheet Pan
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large Japanese sweet potato or an orange one if you prefer scrubbed or peeled, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 med red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1 med purple onion cut into quarters
1 med broccoli crown cut into florets about 3 cups florets
2 tbsp plus 1/2 tbsp cooking fat for roasting veggies divided
1/2 tsp salt divided plus a sprinkle for chicken
Black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and begin by making the sauce
In a food processor or high speed blender, add the softened dates and 2 Tbsp water and process/blend to a paste. Add the remaining sauce ingredients until combined.
Coat chicken on both sides with the sauce and arrange on parchment or foil lined large baking sheet
Toss potatoes with 1/2 tbsp olive oil or other cooking fat and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, black pepper to taste. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet apart from chicken
Roast the chicken and potatoes in the preheated for 10 mins, meanwhile toss the remaining veggies with 2 tbsp cooking fat and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste
After 10 minutes, arrange these veggies on baking sheet around chicken and potatoes (they'll cook down quickly) and return to oven (near bottom) to roast 10-15 more minutes, turning chicken once to evenly cook and gently stirring the veggies and potatoes.
Put under the broiler for last 2-5 minutes or so to brown chicken and veggies to your preference. Serve and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days
ROASTED SALMON FENNEL AND BOK CHOY
You'll love this flavor combo. Use fresh or frozen salmon or any other fish.
2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and sliced into 1/2″ thick wedges
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2-3 heads bok choy, trimmed and cut into 1″ slivers
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
juice from one organic lemon
4-6 oz. skinless salmon filets
1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup salted shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely organic grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400°.
Use a rimmed baking sheet, you can line with foil for easy clean up.
Place salmon on cutting board and drizzle lemon juice over top of salmon and a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
In a bowl toss fennel, onion, mushrooms, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Spread the vegetables evenly and roast for 15 minutes. Toss bok choy in empty bowl and coat with any remaining oil that is in the bowl.
Remove pan and toss bok choy over top of veggies, cook an additional 6-10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and push vegetables into a pile to make a bed for the salmon.
Place the fillets on top of vegetables, spaced evenly.
Return pan to oven and roast for 10-15 minutes
EASY HEALTHY CASHEW CHICKEN SHEET PAN DINNER
Cashew chicken a new way!
4 cups Cauliflower, cut into florets
2 large Fresh Tomatoes, quartered (like Hot House tomatoes)
1 medium Red Onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1 tablespoon Yellow Curry Powder, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2/3 cup Roasted Cashews, (salted)
1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, (4 small breasts)
1 large Egg White
2 cups Cucumber, thinly sliced and halved
Chopped Fresh Mint, for garnish
Minced Fresh Cilantro, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Place the cauliflower florets, quartered tomatoes and chopped red onion into a large bowl. Toss with the coconut oil and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp of the curry powder, reserving the rest for later, until well combined and the curry powder is evenly dispersed. Place on a large, rimmed baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining curry powder, the cashews and a pinch of salt and pepper into a SMALL food processor (mine is 3 cups) and pulse until broken down
but leaving some cashews a little chunky for texture.
Dry the chicken breasts off and place the egg white into a shallow, sided plate. Additionally, place the cashews into a shallow, sided plate. Dredge a chicken in the egg white, gently shaking off any excess, and then press into the cashews. Flip and press the other side into the cashews, lightly pressing to adhere cashews both sides of the chicken.
Place the chicken breast onto a small cooling rack (one that fits on your sheet pan, and preferably one with legs so it sits over the veggies. This allows both sides of the chicken to cook and get crispy.) Repeat with the remaining breasts.
Place the cooling rack on top of the sheet pan, over top of the veggies, and bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, which takes about 14-15 minutes.
Once cooked, toss the fresh cucumbers onto the pan, and garnish with mint and cilantro.
SWEET POTATO HASH
Here's the veggie meal of the week. You'll get good protein from the mushrooms.
2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch pieces
4 tablespoons melted coconut or avocado oil (or oil of your choice), divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 small or ½ large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium apples (any kind), cored and chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
⅓ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
¼ cup naturally sweetened cranberries
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage (optional)
Heat the oven to 400F.
Place the sweet potatoes on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and toss to coat.
Place the onion, apples, mushrooms and celery on a second large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and toss to coat.
Place both pans in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the sweet potatoes, and stir the onion-apple-mushroom-celery mixture.
Place both pans back in the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until everything is golden and cooked through.
Scrape the onion-apple-mushroom-celery mixture onto the pan with the sweet potatoes. Add the pecans, cranberries, and sprinkle with sage (if using). Toss everything together and serve.
SHEET PAN SALMON
This is a beautiful sheet full of color. The arugula pesto is a fresh touch on this pretty meal. You'll feel great after getting those good Omega'3s.
2 cups tightly packed arugula
1 cup tightly packed Italian parsley
½ cup toasted almond slivers
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 medium garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor or blender, combine the arugula, parsley, almonds, capers, garlic cloves, and lemon juice. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping the sides down if needed.
Then, while the food processor is running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube.
Process until smooth (or your desired chunkiness). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arugula Pesto can be refrigerated for 4 days or frozen in ice cube trays for up to 6 months. (You won’t be sorry if you decide to double the recipe!)
½ cup Arugula Pesto
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
2 large lemons
Grab (or make) some Arugula Pesto. It’ll take just a few minutes!
Heat oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle position. In a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus and cherry tomatoes with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and ¼ cup oil. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer.
Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Place the fillets in the pan and flip them around to coat all sides with the oil.
Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides and arrange the fillets skin-side down among the veggies.
Grab the lemons and cut into ½ -inch slices. Add the lemon slices to the pan, also flipping them over to coat both sides with oil.
Place the pan in the hot oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets, or until salmon is cooked to your desired doneness. (Personally, I like to take the fillets out when the thickest part of the fish measures 135°F on a meat thermometer.)
When the salmon is done, remove the pan from the oven, and dollop the pesto on the salmon and veggies. Squeeze the lemons on everything and dig in!
SHEET PAN FAJITAS
What an easy way to prepare fajitas! Don't skip the avocado crema!
¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips (Step away from the boneless, skinless breasts. They’ll dry out.)
1 medium red bell pepper, deseeded, cored and sliced into ¼-inch strips
1 medium yellow bell pepper, deseeded, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch strips
1 small white onion, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 limes, cut into wedges
Green or butter lettuce leaves (optional)
Grain-free tortillas (optional, omit if on a Whole30)
Avocado Crema (see recipe below)
1 large Hass avocado
¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup chives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat your oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle. Place a stainless steel wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, lime juice, minced garlic, kosher salt, chili powder, and cumin.
Add the chicken thigh strips to the marinade. (Chicken breasts will dry it. Please use thighs.) Toss in the sliced peppers and onions, too. Use your hands to combine well.
Plop the chicken and veggies onto the rimmed baking sheet and spread everything in a single layer.
Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Then, toss the chicken and veggies, and rotate the tray.
Switch to broil and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the peppers and onions are browned in places. Keep your eyes on the fajitas to make sure nothing burns!
While the chicken is cooking, make the Avocado Crema. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender. Add the coconut milk, chives, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
Blitz until smooth. Add some water to thin out the sauce if desired. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, or more lime juice. You can refrigerate the crema in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
Once the chicken and veggies are finished cooking, pull the tray out of the oven. Serve the fajitas with lime wedges, lettuce wraps or grain-free tortillas, and avocado crema.
You can even make a sweet treat with your sheet pan. Try this brownie/cookie recipe today.
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips, dairy free if necessary (Enjoy Life is a good brand)
1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, or good quality butter, melted and slightly cooled (Kerrygold is a good grass-fed butter.)
1 whole Egg
1 whole Egg Yolk, beaten
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup unsweetened Applesauce
1 1/2 cup Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Granulated Stevia
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup Raw Honey, or maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or grease an 11"x7" oven safe pan and set aside. (Using a full cookie sheet will make these brookies thinner.)
Prepare the brownie layer: in a large, microwave-safe bowl, or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil or butter. Stir to combine and cool slightly, so that you can hold your finger in the chocolate for 5 seconds comfortably.
Stir in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and applesauce.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
Transfer the brownie layer into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Set aside.
Make the cookie layer: In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the honey or maple syrup and the coconut oil.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
Use your (clean!) hands to sprinkle the chocolate chip cookie mixture, which will be crumbly, in an even layer over the brownie batter. Pat it down very gently. If you want a more solid layer, you can flatten it more. Make sure you're covering the brownie batter evenly and getting both batters into the corners of the pan so that it will bake evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes until the edges of the cookie dough start to become golden, then place a piece of tinfoil over the top of the pan and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out mostly clean (there will be a bit of brownie residue on it, but that's ok).
Cool completely before slicing into bars. For easiest slicing, chill the entire pan in the fridge.
Healthy dinners do not need to be a chore. These recipes show that you can have full, beautiful meals that are easy to prepare and easy clean up. The possibilities of ingredients are endless. It's a wonderful way to try new veggies, along with using whatever is in your crisper. Give these recipes a try. You'll be glad you did.
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!