Cook Once and Eat for a Week: Three Fast and Healthy Dinner Ideas

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Over the past few weeks I have been taking some major shortcuts in the kitchen. The daily grind has taken it toll this winter and the running around from activity to activity makes cooking for five seem impossible sometimes.  The last thing I want to do is go through the drive-thru.  So I have come up with a time saving and budget friendly plan I call “Cook once and eat for a week”.  Over the past three Sundays I have been testing out my new plan and recipes.  I shop on Friday and prep and cook on Sundays.  Each week I double my shopping list so I have 6 meals.  I can either eat all 6 meals in that week or I freeze and save three of the meals for another time.  My freezer is getting packed with delicious and easy meal options for this very busy time of year.   These recipes are also kid and hubby approved.

Menu & Shopping List

Double your shopping list if you plan to make 6 meals vs. 3.

1. Nut Crusted Tilapia with Green Beans and Balsamic Tomatoes


  • 4-6 Tilapia Filets
  • Course Ground Mustard
  • Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios (Any variety will work)
  • 3 Tbsps Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 lb Green Beans (Frozen)
  • 1 Pint Grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsps Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Place frozen green beans and tomatoes on one sheet pan.
  3. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil,  2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Place in oven and bake 20-30 minutes.  Tomatoes will burst and green beans will be slightly browned.
  5. Place nuts into a food processor and plus until they are coarsely chopped.
  6. Brush each filet, front and back, with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Place fillets on prepared baking sheet, liberally brush top of fillet with course ground mustard.
  8. Divide nut mixture among fillets, pressing to adhere.
  9. Roast fillets until firm for 12-15 minutes.

2. Pesto Chicken with Arugula and Peppers


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of fresh Italian basil
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup almonds or pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 to 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus extra for coating the chicken
  • Fresh arugula
  • Red & orange pepper
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar & 1 tsp olive oil for dressing.


  1. Follow the direction for Amy’s Pesto recipe here
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Brush each fillet with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place fillets on prepared sheet pan and cover generously with the pesto.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  6. slice up 1/2 or the red pepper and 1/2 of the orange pepper.
  7. Toss arugula with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Garnish with peppers and serve along side of the pesto chicken.

3. Jerk Marinated London Broil with Coconut Sweet Potatoes


  • 1 London Broil
  • 1 Habanero chile (Jalapeno is a milder option)
  • 3-4 scallions
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 (2 inch) piece of ginger
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes. diced
  • Coconut flakes (toasted, unsweetened, natural)


  1. Preheat your grill to low
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  3. Wash and dice your sweet potatoes.  Place them on a prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 -25 minutes (potatoes should be golden brown).
  4. In a food processor, puree: scallions, chile, onion, garlic, ginger, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper.
  5. Pierce steak with a knife and place it in a large baking dish.  Pour the puree over the steak and chill for 2 hours- 1 day.
  6. Grill steak on low for 7-10 minutes on side one.  Shift Steak (for nice grill marks) and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes and flip.
  7. Cook for 5-7 minutes and remove from heat.  Let sit.
  8. Sprinkle potatoes with toasted coconut flakes
  9. Thinly slice steak and serve with roasted sweet potatoes.

Thanks for stopping by~

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  1. I love this idea! I cook roast on Sunday that becomes “Garbage Soup” at least one day in the week, allowing me to move one day’s menu to the next week, which translates into savings at the grocery store on Saturday! Woot! “Garbage Soup” is actually a combination of whatever is left over by about Wednesday or Thursday and fit for soup or stew.

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