Healthy Weeknight Dinner Ideas #4 For Busy Families

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but as you can see from the title, I have done three before because who doesn’t need weeknight dinner ideas. I feel like we all get in a rut sometimes, present party certainly included. It doesn’t help when your cravings are all over the place during pregnancy!

Pregnancy cravings and third trimester exhaustion aside, I still love cooking for my family. I am so so corny, but despite me being quite an atypical housewife, being able to cook for my husband is one of my favorite things. Plus, when my son compliments the food, it makes it all the more worth it.

Monday: Orange Chicken

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Stir fries of some kind are ALWAYS an easy go to because you can use whatever you want. I probably cook a variation of this once every two weeks. It’s my favorite. This time around, I wanted to try a new sauce to switch things up. I tried The Gunny Sack’s Orange Chicken recipe and served it up with some broccoli. It was easy and yummy, so basically, all I ask for in a weeknight dinner.

Tuesday: Enchiladas with Mexican Style Salad

My husband loves his mom’s enchiladas. It’s one of the few things I haven’t mastered yet and the first of his mom’s recipes I can’t seem to nail, so I try my own versions instead. My own, easier versions, might I add. On a weeknight dinner, I’d forgo the whole “frying” the tortillas in oil before baking that a lot of those fancy, shmancy recipes tell you to do. This time, I tried it with ground beef instead of our usual, chicken.

Photo from because I didn’t photograph one of my meals, oh the shock! 🙂

Here is what I did… heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 1 lb. of beef, drain and add 1/3 of a can of enchilada sauce along with a small can of green chiles. In a baking dish, pour 1/3 of the can of enchilada sauce on the bottom. Take a tortilla, put some of the beef mixture in the middle with a small dab or refried beans and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar. Roll and place seam side down in pan. Repeat! Top with rest of sauce and shredded cheddar cheese, then bake 25 minutes.

Wednesday: Italian Meatloaf & Italian Salad

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I went ahead and splurged on a fancy, shmancy (did I really just use that phrase twice in the same post?) Olive Garden Italian dressing because, well, I was craving it, frankly. I simplified my usual meatloaf where I saute onions, peppers and garlic in a flavorful liquid (this one is a BBQ version where I use this technique) and instead just made the Italian dressing do double duty by adding some of it (half a cup, maybe?) to the ground beef. I also sprinkled in salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. No measuring sorry, just telling you what I did. Bake it for 50-55 minutes at 400 degrees F.

I paired this with the most simple salad that I’ve been craving all pregnancy and I’m going to take myself up on any vegetable craving I have right now.

Thursday: TBM Chicken

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This is a recipe I came up with on my own. That’s not to say it didn’t exist before, I’m sure it did. I just thought of it one day. I simply put some chicken breasts into a baking dish, poured a can of diced tomatoes (with garlic and italian seasoning in it) and baked until no longer pink! Easy enough, I literally opened a can. For the last 5 or so minutes I sprinkled some chopped basil on top of the breasts, topped them with chopped fresh mozzarella and allowed that to melt to perfection.

Friday: As I always say…relax, go out to eat, or better yet, have someone else do the cooking 🙂

What are your go-to weeknight dinner ideas?
Which one of these are you going to try next?

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