Grab your simple meal plan and train + extra tips and tricks
In this week’s challenge, clean eating dinner recipes are in the spotlight. From this week on, you will know exactly what to make each day for dinner (at least when it comes to the main ingredients). Again, I will make this challenge so easy for you that you can’t say no.
What to eat for dinner tonight?
If your family is anything like mine, the first question they ask when they come home: “What’s for dinner tonight?” We’ve all been there. With today’s busy schedules, you often do not think about what you be having for dinner until it’s time to eat.
My 7 day clean eating menu will help you gain control, allowing you to spend more time with your family and less time worrying about healthy dinners.
Why does cooking clean eating dinners seem so hard?
Simple dinner ideas promoted by the food industry promise you huge time and money savings. Many comments from you in my survey underline this idea. Here are just a few:
• Processed foods are so easy to grab and quick to prepare (most are already prepared).
• I work 8-10 hours in an office and commute an average of 3 hours a day. I find it difficult to commit to prepare complicated meals.
• I work full-time and have two kids that are very involved in activities so I am very busy. It is very difficult for me in the food department and we often grab quick meals.
Clean Eating Dinner Recipes: Why home cooking is an important habit
First, I’m convinced that there’s some strange thing going on between the food industry and all the crap they put in food; I think the pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing pills to “cure” us from the diseases caused by eating toxic food.
Remaining independent of the food industry and their processed food is the foundation of clean eating and healthy nutrition, but that doesn’t mean that you should eat only self-baked bread and your home grown vegetables. However, it is important that you know how your meals are put together.
The best way to fight against misleading marketing in your kitchen is a home cooked meal. You decide what ends up on the plate. Your body will be grateful, satisfied, and even become leaner. On top of that, the cooking process itself makes you feel more full, meaning you eat less as a result.
I know from your early feedback that the habit of cooking clean eating dinners can be tough to begin and continue. It actually involves many other routines at once. Again, I waited until now to go into this change because it is easier to get in the habit of preparing healthy meals for dinner when you’ve successfully implemented other routines.
9 Clean eating changes that simplify your clean eating dinner meals
- Eating more vegetables – week #3: By now you should hopefully get used to this keystone habit for successful weight management. You’ll seldom find healthy meals for dinner that don’t contain a big portion of vegetables.
- Eat more whole grains – Week #8: Provided you have no gluten allergy or are sensitive to wheat, actively implement whole grain foods in your clean eating dinner recipes.
- Lean Meat – Week #17: Replace your fatty meat options for dinner with leaner cuts.
- Healthy Fish – Week #23: Include one healthy, low risk fish dish in your meal plan once per week. I highly recommend salmon.
- Eat more Legumes – Week #24: Legumes are great components for clean eating dinner recipes. Make it a habit to incorporate lentils or beans in your meal planning once a week.
- Cook a Steamed Dish once per week – Week #33: Cooking with a steamer is the simplest and best cooking method for vegetables, fish, and poultry.
- Clean Eating Casseroles – Week #38: Casseroles are perfect for a clean eating lifestyle. Make it a routine to incorporate casserole recipes in your meal planning once a week.
- Freezer Cooking – Week #39: Most clean eating dinner recipes can easily be frozen.
- Eat Quinoa – Week #47: Include quinoa as side dish or in another recipe once per week.
5 step habit change to make clean eating dinner planning stick
Below is a simple 5-step habit change that will help you automate your dinner planning.
In week 14, I showed you how to make a simple clean eating meal plan by relying on common sense. This week we push the envelope one step further.
Step 1: You want to make it a habit to implement as many above mentioned clean eating foods and components in your weekly meal plan as possible. This is best done when you give each day of the week a special clean eating focus. You will then derive easy, healthy meals for dinner based on your focus of the day. For example:
Monday: meal with legumes, like lentils, beans, peas, etc. (week #24)
Tuesday: Whole grains with vegetable sauce (week #8)
Wednesday: Steamed lean meat with vegetables or salad plate
(Week #17), (Week #33)
Thursday: Egg recipe (Week #17)
Friday: Healthy fish with quinoa side dish (week #23), (week #47)
Saturday: Soup or stew (week #18)
Sunday: Casserole dish (week #38)
Planning your dinner with a special “food or dish focus” takes out much of the guess work – and I love simplified approaches.
Step 2: I’ve already done the work for you and implemented all above mentioned foods and dishes in a simple 7 day menu with easy family dinners.
The words underlined are a link to the recipe on my website.
Monday: Red lentil soup with one slice of whole grain bread
Tuesday: Whole grain pasta with sweet pepper ragout and Greek cheese
Wednesday: Clean Eating Chicken Pan with vegetables
Thursday: Veggie pan with eggs and cheese, and 1 slice of wholegrain bread
Friday: Steamed salmon with quinoa side dish and cucumber salad
Saturday: Cabbage soup with 1 slice of whole grain bread
Sunday: Zucchini potato casserole with Garlic
You can use my simple weekly meal planning template for further planning.
Step 3: Check the recipes and write down any ingredients you need for the dishes that you don’t already have in your home. I suggest you make your own customized shopping list.
Step 4: This week, train and try to stick to this healthy meal plan. If you want, you can adjust it to your preferences.
Plan the following week accordingly and give each day of the week a special clean eating dinner focus using my suggestions above if they suit you. For example: I remember from my childhood, my mother made fish on Fridays – and I love to stick to this old family tradition. Maybe you’ll want to include a family tradition in your meal planning too.
Step 5: When planning your dinner with a special “food focus” for several weeks, reward yourself with safer cookware, like a new ceramic pan – especially if you are still cooking with aluminum or teflon cookware. Ceramic cookware is non-toxic and non-scratch – you cook evenly and it is easy to clean (e.g., Xtrema).
6 extra tips that support your quick clean eating dinner ideas
1) Shine your sink – week #7: If you are serious about cooking clean eating dinner recipes, an organized kitchen is key to success. Develop this little habit: every night, clean off the counters, put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and swab and dry your sink until it’s shiny.
2) Add healthy cooking oils to your kitchen – week #16: Try to consume 1-2 tablespoons of healthy cooking oils per day. This is easily done with your clean eating cooking or the daily routine of eating your salad with homemade salad dressing.
3) Clean eating soup recipes – week #18: If you need to lose some more weight, add a low-calorie, delicious vegetable soup as starter before your dinner for successful weight management.
4) Low sodium foods – week #20: Watch your sodium intake and replace your saltshaker with low- or no-sodium salt. Even better – use a peppermill or a shaker full of herbs instead.
5) Healthy eating schedule – week #28: Develop regular eating patterns and try to have your clean eating dinner with your family always around the same time (e.g., 06:00 p.m. – 07:30 p.m.).
6) Spice up your life – week #32 & week #43: Add the most effective spices and herbs for your health and weight management to your clean eating dinner recipes whenever you can.
Leave comments below and tell me how you feel about the dinner suggestions. What are your favorite clean eating dinner recipes?