What We Eat: Dinner Edition

+J.M.J.+

I shared our favorite breakfasts here, and lunches over here. Now let’s get to some of our most beloved dinners to hopefully give you some inspiration for your own menu plans!

Chicken Piccata

This is the *best* grain/gluten free chicken piccata on page 139 of the Wellness Mama cookbook. I served it here with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus topped with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. (I have a whole post about this particular cookbook found here.)

Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

If you’re looking for a version of stuffed bell peppers that don’t taste like tacos, look no further. These are on page 242 of the first 100 Days of Real Food cookbook. They are made with sausage and a cream sauce, and here we subbed cauliflower rice for the quinoa. We served them with coleslaw found on page 131 of the second 100 Days of Real Food cookbook, and tossed in some coconut cashews as an extra treat.

Cold Caprese Pasta Salad

This is a gluten-free pesto pasta salad found on page 95 of the second 100 Days of Real Food cookbook, and my girls would eat this three times a day for the rest of their lives if you served it. It’s full of pesto, fresh mozzarella chunks, balsamic vinegar, and we add chicken or sausage to it for non-Fridays. It’s nice to have a cold dish for summertime.

Tacos

This is a taco made with beef, beans, cheese, greens, sour cream, and diced tomatoes served with a side of our favorite mayo-free coleslaw found on page 131 of the second 100 Days of Real Food cookbook.

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

This is a favorite rich meal at our house when we want something a little decadent, say for a special feast day! It is a spaghetti squash Alfredo with bacon and diced chicken thighs that I made up myself. I prepare the same sauce and chicken as I list in this post about my homemade lasagna, and add in bacon and spaghetti squash. We served it here with roasted asparagus.

Here it is again below. This time I thawed a bag of broccoli, cut the florets small with my kitchen scissors, and tossed it right in with the rest instead of serving a separate vegetable on the side.

Crispy Pork Chops

Here I made the Crispy Pork with a Cracker Crust from page 210 in the second 100 Days of Real Food cookbook, and served it alongside a loaded baked potato and a bunch of yellow squash that I sautéed in butter, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. (My girls love squash served this way!)

Chili

This is a big bowl of homemade chili topped with diced avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream. I am not one for super strictly following recipes, so this one varies a bit batch by batch, but below is the original that my mom has used for years that I generally follow:

1lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 chopped green bell peppers
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained (always check that the label says “bpa free” or buy in glass if possible)
2 cans of beans (I usually use kidney and pinto beans)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin

Brown the ground beef with the diced onions. Add the chopped garlic in the last minute of browning, drain off the grease, and then add remaining ingredients and simmer at least two hours, but it can cook all day on low, too. This tastes even better the next day, and freezes beautifully!

Chicken Nuggets

This is one of my girls’ *favorite* meals – homemade chicken nuggets from the first 100 Days of Real Food cookbook, page 244. I now sub almond flour for the whole wheat breadcrumbs for a grain/gluten free version and they are to die for. I have never served these to anything but rave reviews. If my girls ever do taste a McDonalds or freezer chicken nugget one day, I guarantee you they will be disappointed in comparison to this homemade version!

(For what it is worth, these homemade nuggets freeze wonderfully, too. I will make a mega batch and freeze them uncooked on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen solid I dump them into a big freezer bag. They can go frozen or thawed into the pan.)

Chicken Tandoori

I feel like this isn’t the most appetizing picture, but this is the most *amazing* chicken tandoori from 100 Days of Real Food. We are using cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joes instead of rice or cauliflower rice in the photo above. You can find the recipe here! Below is when I made it and served it over rice with spinach and cilantro. I like to stir the spinach in at the end of the cooking process to let it wilt some.

This is a great one pot meal that comes together in about 15 minutes!

Tostadas

Here is a favorite meatless meal: tostadas from the first 100 Days of Real Food cookbook on page 156. I just use refried beans instead of mashing black beans like she suggests. I will make either whole wheat tortillas on page 326 of the same cookbook, or for a grain-free option I will make these cassava ones found here. Here we loaded them up with avocado and sour cream, diced bell peppers and tomatoes, and pickled jalapenos, served with a side of buttery green beans.

Roasted Chicken

This is a very simple dinner – roast chicken (I love Samin’s method in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat!), a baked sweet potato smothered in butter, and roasted broccoli topped with parmesan cheese.

Burger-base Pizza

This is Wellness Mama’s grain/gluten free take on pizza: a crust made of ground beef! It sounds weird, but it is so good and really filling. It is on page 147 of her cookbook. Here is sautéed green beans in butter with lots of onions and garlic and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper.

Cheesy Pasta Bake

This is a favorite meal of Ethan’s from his childhood that I have tried to recreate (I know it is never going to be as good as his mom makes it – family recipes just seem to go that way!). I saute a chopped onion and four cloves of garlic with a pound of ground beef, drain the grease, and then add a can of diced tomatoes to it with lots of onion powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. I boil a couple cups of gluten-free pasta and add that to the meat mixture, top it all with cheese in a baking dish, and bake at 400 degrees until the top is golden brown. I served it here with roasted beets.

Quick Bean Nachos

This is a Friday-night-in-a-pinch favorite. I take a can of organic pinto beans and heat them up with a half teaspoon or so each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. I put a layer of organic tortilla chips on the bottom, then greens, the beans, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, hummus, and pickled jalapeños on top.

Burgers

We love a good homemade burger! To make my patty I mix the ground beef with almond flour or a ripped up piece of sourdough bread, a couple spoonfuls of whole milk yogurt (it makes it so moist!), garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. I cook them on the stovetop in some butter. Sometimes I serve them on homemade sourdough buns from the Sourdough School House 101 Course (affiliate link), like pictured above. Other times I put it on a salad with mayo, barbecue sauce, avocado, bagel seasoning, and fermented sauerkraut like you see below.

The potatoes are just any potatoes diced, tossed in avocado oil, and then sprinkled with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and paprika and baked in a 425 degree oven until crispy.

Sourdough Crust Pizza

This is another Sourdough School House 101 Course recipe – pizza crust! We like to use a bunch of diced bell peppers and tomatoes with cheese and Italian seasoning for Fridays. Ethan loves a good meaty pizza with fresh basil as pictured below, too!

We usually serve pizza with a big salad, some roasted veggies, or bell peppers and hummus.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are not a common meal in our home because quality ones are very expensive, but on occasion we will enjoy them! We like the organic, grass fed hot dogs from Trader Joes the best, Applegate Farms is next in taste and the same price, and finally Aldi has some too, although they have some refined sugar in them. I am serving it here on a traditionally prepared sourdough hot dog bun from that Sourdough School House 101 Course found here, coleslaw, and sautéed squash.

Beef Enchiladas

These are homemade enchiladas. I chop half of a large onion and sauté it with a pound of ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.

I don’t buy actual enchilada sauce usually because there are lots of junk ingredients in most versions, and I don’t usually spend the money for a clean version at the natural grocers. Instead I take organic tomato sauce and stir in cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and a little beef broth if I have any.

I stir most of the sauce in with the beef mixture, and just reserve about 1/2 cup to pour over the enchiladas at the end. For the filling I mix 3/4 cup shredded cheese with an equal part of sour cream. I’ll add in some salt, pepper, and parsley and stir well. We take our tortilla of choice and add a large spoonful of the beef mixture with a large spoonful of the cheese and sour cream mixture. I roll it up and lay seam side down on in the baking dish. I pour the reserved sauce over them, sprinkle a little more of the shredded cheese, and bake until the cheese is bubbly. We love to serve with a bunch of roasted veggies.

Emergency Box Mac ‘n Cheese

You know those days when everything that could possible go wrong has gone wrong? You just have to have something, and this is what we make when we’re having one of those nights. I keep a few boxes of organic box macaroni and cheese tucked in the back of the pantry, and a package of quality hot dogs in the freezer. We always have various frozen veggies like broccoli, peas, and bell peppers that we can toss in the boiling macaroni in the last couple minutes to heat through. It is not perfect, but it gets the job done when it is all you can do!

Real Food Sloppy Joes

This is a batch of 100 Days of Real food sloppy joes found on page 223 of the second cookbook. These actually have a bunch of finely chopped carrots, celery, and onion in them, which you would never know unless the cook told you! So you get the benefit of a lot of cooked veggies hidden in a classic comfort food. This also manages to capture the sloppy joe flavor that you are expecting from a packet or can, but using real food ingredients! We serve them on our sourdough buns.

Coconut Crusted Shrimp and Quinoa ‘n Cheese

These shrimp come from page 176 in the second 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook. (The trick to get that lovely coconut coating to stay on is to bread them in advance and let them chill in the refrigerator before pan frying them in a hot pan with coconut oil. The quinoa recipe is on I got years ago from a Real Plans subscription. You can find similar ones by googling.

French Onion Soup

Wellness Mama’s french onion soup from page 302 in her cookbook is. to. die. for. We like to do some crusty sourdough and gruyere cheese on top.

Swedish Meatballs

You can find my Swedish meatball recipe in this post here. I usually serve the meatballs and sauce with a bunch of chopped broccoli and rice, but for this picnic I switched it up and used green beans and cauliflower gnocchi. It is fantastic either way! The carrot salad is from page 99 in the Wellness Mama cookbook.

That’s a wrap! I will add to this post again in the future, but this covers a lot of our favorites. Remember you can find our favorite breakfasts here, and lunches over here. Bon appetite!

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