Clean DINNER Recipes

chow down, but not too much in the evenings before bed

Mediterranean Spaghetti recipe

You know how it is when you’ve made all your “good” dinner recipes a thousand times and are bored of them, but also can’t come up with anything new?  That awful stuck-in-a-rut feeling?

That’s how I was feeling a couple months ago… and it just so happened that I found a sale on massive cans of soup and bought like 12 of them for our dinners for a couple weeks- Andrew was NOT happy a couple days into that scheme.

mediterranean spaghetti recipe

Fresh and ready to eat

 

But then we went to Fiji for a week’s holiday, and something about the way these people cooked influenced me to toss together a few fresh morsels when we got home, which resulted in some new creations, one of which is this Mediterranean Spaghetti one.

Here’s what to do and use:

For each serving/plate, toss together

  • a handful of cooked brown rice spaghetti (healthier than normal spaghetti, even the whole wheat kind)
  • 1/2 a tomato, diced
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • a handful of smoked salmon, cut into flakes or cubes (which you buy already cooked)
  • a dribble of extra virgin olive oil
  • a couple shots of lime juice
  • a topping of some freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese

Soooo good, filling, and healthy.  Andrew was pleased that we were outta the soup phase (although one leftover can still lingers in our pantry), and I was glad to be out of my rut.

Also, if you’re making this for dinner, you can chuck a couple extra portions into a container for lunch the next day.  Done and done.

Any other fresh dinner or lunch ideas that you love?  Please share in the comments below… the simpler the better.  🙂

 


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Dal Bhat recipe

By popular demand, here is the Dal Bhat recipe I use for an amazing clean eating dinner that is high in protein and low in fat.  Dal Bhat was a staple when I was trekking the Helambu Circuit in Nepal a few years ago… every place you stayed at would offer you this for dinner since this is what they were eating themselves.  Of course you could order something exotic like spaghetti with tomato sauce (if you wanted to pay triple).

dal bhat recipe

“Dal” is the lentil stew part, and “Bhat” is the rice over which it’s served.  You can eat the Dal alone, or with some brown rice underneath.  I usually just eat it alone and only add the rice if I’m extra hungry or need more carbs.  Anyhoo… here’s the recipe for the Dal:

2 Tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
250g lentils (any kind) or split peas, soaked for 3-4 hours beforehand
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
2-3 tomatos, sliced
3 cups hot water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coriander, chopped

Soak lentils in water for 3-4 hours, then and drain and rinse.
Heat oil in large soup pot (or wok) over medium heat.
Add garlic and onions; saute until translucent, but not browned.
Add lentils and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the spices and lay the tomato slices on top.
Put lid on for a few minutes to allow flavors to soak in.
Add water, bring to a boil, then bring down to a gentle simmer and cook covered until soft- about 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and mash, or use the Bamix blender right in the pot to roughly puree.
Add the salt and cilantro.

dal bhat

Leftover Dal Bhat portions ready for the freezer.

Leftover Dal Bhat freezes super well in individual portions for quick and easy clean eating lunches.

I have a stash of frozen “emergency lunches” in the freezer that I can take to work just in case I’ve got nothing else for some reason.  It happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe

Hey Guys, sorry for the lengthy blogging hiatus, but I promise you there’s a good/mysterious reason, which I’ll post about soon.  But first, by popular demand, here’s the recipe for this delicious Thai Pumpkin Soup I recently stumbled upon somewhere that I totally can’t remember now.

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 25 grams butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 800 grams pumpkin, peeled, then diced (this equals about one average-sized pumpkin/squashy thing)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (this makes the soup mild-medium spicy… +/- a bit of chilli powder to achieve the amount of spice you need in your life)
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced

 

What to do:

  • Melt butter over medium heat and saute onions in the butter
  • Add diced pumpkin, vegetable stock, coconut cream, curry powder, chilli powder, and ginger
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer gently on low heat for about 30 minutes with lid on.  Give the pumpkin a poke to make sure it’s tender/soft.  If not, keep simmering for a few more minutes
  • Load into the blender to puree it all, or insert the Bamix handheld blender straight into the soup pot and puree there (this is much easier)
  • Garnish with plain Greek yogurt if desired (I usually don’t)
All ready for the freezer- lunch when I need it

All ready for the freezer- lunch when I need it

 

This Thai pumpkin soup freezes well in small portions for meals on the go…always a bonus.

When we were in Thailand last year, I took an all-day Thai cooking class, which was amazing, but the recipes were pretty much un-replicateable.  However, this soup tastes bang-on authentic… totally recommend.

 

Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadillas Andrew LOVES these chicken, spinach, and goat cheese quesadillas, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you… they are hungry-man-approved 😉

6 wholegrain tortillas
2 organic/free range chicken breasts, lightly sprayed with olive oil, baked at 350 F/177 C for 35 min, then sliced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 pre-packaged bag (approx. 160g) of baby spinach
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 oz/115g feta/goat cheese, crumbled
1.5 cups low fat shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil spray

 

 

1) Heat the spinach with the garlic and cayenne pepper over medium heat until just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

2) Lightly drizzle grill pan (or regular pan) with olive oil and heat to medium heat.

Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadillas

the assembly line…

3)  Assemble the tortilla like this:

Over half the quessadilla sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese, followed by a few slices of chicken, then the spinach/garlic mixture, then the crumbled goat cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

cooking the Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadillas

the cooking time

4) Fold the tortilla in half, place gently in the grill pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the tortilla over and cook for another minute on the other side. I usually have 2 or 3 pans going at once to speed up the process

Careful when flipping it so you don’t flip half the filling all over your floor (and yourself).

Remove from the pan, cut in half, let sit for 1 minute, then enjoy with the avocado sour cream dip:

 

 

 

Lime Avocado Sour Cream

almost ready to eat…

Avocado Sour Cream for dipping the Quesadillas into:

1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp lite maynnoaise
2 tsp lime juice (or to taste)

 

Directions:

Use a fork to mash the avocado as much as you can.
Combine it with the yogurt, mayo, and lime juice.
(I make mine right in the measuring cup… higher sides prevent big messes)