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
- 1 avocado
- 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
- Black pepper
- 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
Serving size: 1 Flatout Artistan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crust
2 Flatout Artistan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crusts
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil OR Pizza Sauce
FOR HIM: (in this order)
- jarred pizza sauce
- pepperoni slices
- banana peppers
- part-skim mozzarella cheese
FOR ME: (in this order)
- jarred pizza sauce or olive oil
- fresh spinach
- 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 Salad is my all-time favourite food. Actually. And I am not afraid to say that mine is the best. Well, maybe second only to that of Galini Greek Kouzina & Grill. My Greek salad recipe is from a book of recipes used on a rafting trip of the Nahanni River when I was a kid, but I substitute Ina Garten’s dressing recipe.
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.
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
- 1 can pitted black olives (I prefer fresh Kalamata from the deli or canned Lindsay brand from Costco. You can get a $1 off coupon on Lindsay’s website.)
- 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.