Hi friends, Coach Kendra here. One thing I completely understand is life is busy! And at the end of a busy day, the last thing you want to think about is whipping up a fancy dinner. As a busy mom of three, a wife and a small business owner, I am right there with you. The pressure to be great at cooking is big, I know. In fact, I grew up with a mom that was an amazing cook. She could whip together a meal in no time at all, but it typically involved a 9 x 13 pan with ground beef, tater tots, canned soup and frozen veggies. Oh, and jello with canned fruit on the side! I’ve had to learn how to cook meals that are not just healthy, but are kid friendly and require minimal time in the kitchen.
Want in on my little secrets?
Practice makes perfect
I don’t know of any client or friend who lives a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t learn to enjoy cooking, at least somewhat. You may hate it now, but it’s not as bad as you think. Maybe you just need to start by getting your kitchen more organized and set up for success. For example, do you have enough counter space to assemble meals, chop vegetables and have a great system for all your cooking utensils? Maybe you need to start in the pantry and stock up on staples that you can rely on during busy week nights. Things like canned tomatoes, beans, salsa, marinara sauce, chicken broth and spices.
Do you feel as if you’re in complete disarray when it comes to meal planning systems? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! You just need to find a system that works for YOU. I recommend having a visible meal planning board in the kitchen, so you know that tacos are on Tuesday, skillet night is Wednesday and lettuce wraps are Thursday. I also recommend that you simplify your existing collection of recipes. I’ll admit, I have recipes in my cabinet that I have never even used, or made it and didn’t like it. Get rid of them! You really only need 10-15 great go-to recipes a season. SIMPLIFY!
I can’t spill all the beans but my last tip would be to better utilize your time at night. Mornings for me look like a chicken with its head cut off. It’s just plain nuts. I’m lucky to get my hair up in a pony tail some days. If you have a few minutes at night, use that commercial break or time cleaning up around the house to prep your dinner for the next day. Place chicken breasts in a zip-lock bag and add olive oil, seasoning to marinade over night. Ground turkey up in a skillet with olive oil and chopped onions. Add taco seasoning and you have taco salad, taco soup, taco pizza, taco whatever all week long. And who doesn’t love the handy dandy crock pot? Dump and cover. Now that is my kind of cooking!
Enjoy some of my favorite go-to 10-minute meals below. For a complete list of recipes or to schedule a LIVE cooking workshop at your workplace, email firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also check us out on Pinterest to see some of OUR favorite meals at Allegro!
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 2 chicken breasts pounded very thin and chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup water chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- ½ cup shelled edamame
- ½ white onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ hoisin sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 1 head butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce
Drizzle a large pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients to large pan. Sauté over medium heat 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through. Add remaining ingredients (except for lettuce) to the pan. Stir and sauté about 5 minutes longer. Serve in lettuce leaves and top with additional sriracha sauce.
Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Coconut Curry Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 (6 oz ) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons garam masala (can be found in regular grocery stores)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch
Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute’ for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garam masala, curry powder and chili powder and saute’ for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and add arrowroot powder. Whisk until the lumps are gone, turn off the heat.
Grease the inside of your crock pot bowl with a bit of olive oil. Add chicken chunks, pour the sauce over it and stir to coat. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 hours. Serve over cauliflower rice.
Taco Stuffed Avocados with Adobe Sauce
- 4 avocados, sliced in half and pitted
- 1 package of ground turkey (or 1 lb ground beef)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cook turkey in a skillet until brown (add taco seasoning for extra flavor). Place ground turkey and shredded cheese inside avocados and bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix sour cream with adobo sauce and pepper. Dice tomatoes and cilantro and garnish your avocados with toppings and serve warm!