Quick + Easy Anytime Meals

Quick + Easy Weeknight Dinners

Before we came to the Netherlands, my husband and I really enjoyed the occasional night out, going out to eat, having a glass or two of wine, and then not having to do the dishes at the end of the day. It’s much needed sometimes. And we continue to do the same here in Europe. We love trying out new restaurants, going to different cities and just soaking in the experience of living abroad, because why not.

We were out to dinner at a local restaurant in our cute little town, Heeze. We’ve been there for lunch before and loved it so we decided to try it for dinner. We ordered an appetizer to arrive before our meals so our 14-month old Hallie could have something to munch on and keep her entertained while we waited for our food. The appetizer we ordered was an assortment of breads, cheeses, butter, pesto, meats and olives. It was divine! All was well and good until Hallie was getting a little restless and we still hadn’t received our food. People around us were getting there meals, but why weren’t we? We kindly waved the waiter over and he proceeded to tell us that he hadn’t given our order to the chef yet because it didn’t look like we had finished our appetizer! Ahh! I’m not sure if this is a standard at most restaurants here, but at least now we know, right?

Another thing I’ve noticed between the Netherlands and the US is the difference in “fast food” or “fast casual” dining. Dining out here is more of an event where you take your time eating and it’s not just about getting in and out as quick as possible. I love that. That can be tough with a baby though. I’ve been told that places called “cafeterias” are typically more of a fast food dining experience, but we’ve yet to go. We didn’t eat fast food in the States so why do it now?

p.s. French fries are served with everything here!

Overall, since moving to Europe three weeks ago, life has been a little crazy, it’s been a little different, but it’s been great! With all of the changes going on it’s extra important to feed my body well and provide healthy food for my family. And the best way to do that is to make some healthy home cooked meals. It’s been an adjustment having to use all rental kitchen stuff. We don’t have our own pots and pans, utensils, etc. yet, so we’re learning to make due with what we have. Because of that, I’ve been cooking very simply which I actually love doing, and do most of the time anyways! So I decided I’d share some of my super quick, easy and of course healthy dinner ideas with you!

 

Kale + Avocado Grilled Cheese

Kale and Avocado Grilled Cheese

Kale + Avocado Grilled Cheese

servings: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3-4 leaves kale, chopped finely
  • ½ cup shredded or 2 slices of your favorite cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil or ghee, for cooking kale
  • pinch sea salt
  • marinara sauce for dipping, optional [but recommended!]

DIRECTIONS

In a saute pan on medium heat add olive oil or ghee. Once hot, add kale and sea salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes until kale wilts and becomes slightly crispy. Remove kale from pan. Meanwhile, butter one side of each slice of bread. Add one slice of bread to the pan, butter side down. To that slice of bread layer on half of your avocado, cheese and kale. Top with the second slice of bread, butter side up. Cook your sandwich for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes until your bread is crispy and cheese is melted. Do the same for the remaining bread and ingredients. Serve with a side of your favorite organic marinara sauce. Enjoy!

 

Cheesy Sautéed Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini and Kale

Sauteed Veggies with Cheese

Cheesy Sautéed Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini and Kale

servings: 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 3-4 leaves kales, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional for some spice 
  • ½ cup of your favorite shredded cheese
  • fried egg, optional 

DIRECTIONS

In a large saute pan on medium heat, add olive oil or ghee. Once hot add your sweet potatoes, sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes [if using]. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stir and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally until sweet potatoes are almost for tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potato cubes [the smaller your cubes, the faster they will cook]. I like to add a lid to my pan as my potatoes cook to help them steam and soften quicker. Next add zucchini and kale. Cook for 5-7 minutes until zucchini softens slightly and kale wilts. Lastly, add shredded cheese and let cook until melted. Serve as is or top with a fried egg. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic and Onion

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic and Onion

servings: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch steaks
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, cut into halves or quarters
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large baking sheet lay cauliflower steaks out flat and top with garlic and onion. Drizzle olive oil evenly over veggies. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. I usually line by baking sheet with parchment paper but I didn’t have any this time [it makes for easier clean up!]. Add veggies to oven and bake for about 30 minutes until onions start to caramelize and cauliflower begins to brown. Enjoy as is for a light meal or alongside your favorite protein like chicken or salmon for a more hearty dinner.

 

Creamy Tomato-Cauliflower Soup with Whole Grain Garlic + Herb Croutons

Creamy Tomato-Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Tomato-Cauliflower Soup with Whole Grain Garlic + Herb Croutons

servings: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 14.5oz. cans organic whole tomatoes
  • 4 oz. organic tomato purée or 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Roasted cauliflower, onion and garlic [see recipe above]
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup plain yogurt or crème fraîche
  • pinch red pepper flakes, optional for some spice 

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot on medium heat, add tomatoes, tomato puree [or paste], sea salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes [if using]. Bring mixture to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Next, to a blender, add ½ of the tomato mixture and ½ of the roasted cauliflower mixture. Blend on high until it reaches your desired consistency. I like mine to have some texture so I blend for about 30 seconds until everything is combined but the consistency isn’t super smooth. Transfer blended mixture back to pot [with the heat off] and do the same thing for the remaining tomato and cauliflower mixture. Add this to pot as well and lastly stir in yogurt or crème fraîche. Serve as is or top with homemade Whole Grain Garlic + Herb Croutons [see recipe below].

 

Whole Grain Garlic + Herb Croutons

Garlic and Herb Croutons

Whole Grain Garlic + Herb Croutons

servings: 4-6 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slices whole grain bread cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS

You have two options for preparing croutons. See below: 

ON THE STOVE: In a large saute pan on medium heat, add butter and olive oil. Once melted add bread, garlic, sea salt and Italian seasoning. Stir to coat bread and combine ingredients. Lower heat slightly and sauté, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until bread becomes slightly crispy and brown. Remove from heat and serve with Creamy Tomato-Cauliflower Soup [see recipe above].

IN THE OVEN: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, melt butter or ghee and combine with olive oil. To melted fats add bread, sea salt and Italian seasoning. Toss to coat bread evenly. Pour out bread mixture in an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking. Bake until croutons become crispy and brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with Creamy Tomato-Cauliflower Soup [see recipe above].

 

I hope you get the chance to enjoy some of these quick, easy and healthy recipes in the weeks to come!
And as always, thank you for supporting Nutritiously Rooted.

♥,

Ang
psst.. don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages where I keep you up to date on my life, exploring, eating and living in the Netherlands!

 

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Angela Freed

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