At the beginning of the year I decided I wanted to start cooking more. I’ve never really been much of a cook. And when I do cook it’s so basic and boring I don’t enjoy it. In 2020 I got into a bad habit of ordering take-out for dinner almost every night. Although I was ordering “healthy” most nights, how healthy is it really? That’s the question I asked myself when I was killing it in the gym and still couldn’t loose weight.
I wanted to take control over all the food I’m eating, be more healthy and loose weight. In the last year and a half I’ve gained about 25 pounds. I can’t stand gaining weight and looking in the mirror and feeling like my body isn’t mine. I didn’t want to do some crazy crash diet. I want to create a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable.
For the last 7 weeks I have cooked healthy and delicious meals. Dinners that are full of flavor that I enjoy eating and look forward to! With the change in cooking my own healthy meals and working out, I have lost 8 pounds. More important than that, I feel so much healthier and stronger!
I want to share a couple of my favorite recipes that I have made. These are recipes that I have sent to my friends and have made multiple times because they are that good! They have tons of flavor, are not boring, and are great left over the next day. I will also share my tweaks and tips that I find helpful for each recipe. If I can make these meals, you can too!
Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
I got this recipe off Eating Bird Food, you can see the entire recipe here. This recipe was a huge surprise to me how amazing it is! When I read the recipe nothing about it seemed like it was be so delicious. But the flavors are all so incredible I enjoy every bite and want to keep eating.
My changes: I always need a protein with every meal. The first time I made this bowl I added steak. The second time I made it I added chicken. Both are equally as delicious. The rest of the recipe I made as is. This recipe is what got me obsessed with roasting my vegetables, especially kale. I now roast kale almost every day and put it with everything. It’s great in a salad to add a crunch.
Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl
This recipe comes from What’s Gaby Cooking. I have been following her on Instagram for years and have baked many of her yummy desserts and they are always so delicious!! (check out her chocolate chip banana bread and snickerdoodle cookies!) This is the first dinner recipe of hers that I have tried and it did not fail me. You can find the recipe here.
My changes: This is the first time I have made shrimp. All I can say is do not be intimidated. It was so simple! The same as grilling chicken. The recipe calls for 1/2 pound of shrimp. I made a whole pound and I was glad I did. The flavor on the shrimp is delicious, but everyone who ate it (except me) said it was a little too spicy. Unless you like very spicy food, I would cut back on the cayenne and chipotle pepper.
The homemade Pico de Gallo is very delicious, but also time consuming. If you are able to make it the day before or earlier in the day it will save a ton of time when cooking dinner. Or if you don’t want to do all that chopping and dicing you can buy one already made at the grocery store.
This dish is incredible left over. I stored all the ingredients separate from each other to keep them fresh. The bowl tasted the same the next day.
Lemon Herb Salmon
I got this recipe from YouTube channel More Seasoning. You can find the recipe here. He shows 3 different versions of how to make salmon, they all look amazing. I have only made the lemon herb salmon and it is delicious!
My changes: I made the salmon just like the recipe and I would not change anything about it. It was so delicious! I absolutely love the tip on how to wrap up each salmon filet individually in foil. It keeps the salmon so tender and there is no mess to clean up.
I made roasted green beans and kale to go with me. As my friend and I ate the salmon and veggies we couldn’t get over the flavor and how good it is! We kept saying it tastes way too good to be completely healthy. And, I made an extra salmon filet and ate it for lunch the next day. So happy I did!
Extra Cooking Tips that Have Helped Me
Make extra of every dinner. My days are very busy and I never want to spend time making lunch. Having healthy leftovers I can grab quickly keeps me on track to being healthy.
Always have cooked chicken in the fridge. I cook chicken 2-3 times a week for dinner. I lightly season it and cook about a pound extra. I cut it up the extra and keep it in my fridge. Chicken is so diverse, I can throw together a salad, mix it with salsa for tacos, etc.
Get a George Forman grill. I purchased one the beginning of January and I use it almost every night!! I purchased this one. It makes grilling soooo quick and easy! Then the grill plates remove and I put them in my dishwasher. I don’t know how I’ve lived without one.
Try new foods, new recipes, don’t be intimidated and have fun! I have began to enjoy cooking and I now look forward to it! I turn on music or my favorite tv show and zone out. It’s also a great time for my kids to come talk to me about their day. And there is great satisfaction in serving my family eating a delicious meal that I cooked!