Making a healthy meal every single day of the week that suits both little and big people can be a drag. Shopping, chopping, cooking, cleaning up it is a time-consuming chore but if you plan your week’s dinners in advance, you can make the whole process a lot easier.

In this article, I will show you how you can make  3 dinners whereby I use leftovers and prep effectively for the following night. I’m not a big fan of “single” recipes but always like to give a whole sequence of meals that use leftovers or prepared food from previous days.

Domini Kemp, author of the book “Dinners”, is the creator of the 2 first recipes and I tweaked them a little bit.

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1. Roast chicken

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love a roast dinner- apart from vegetarians, of course. Often I make two chickens at the same time because I can use it for my daughter’s lunch box the next day, I make big salads for lunch, an Asian stir fry or give it to the kids as a snack with some home-made mayonnaise.

Usually I make roast chicken at the weekend because I have a bit more time. If you prefer making it during the week, a slow cooker can be a great alternative because you can prepare your dinner in the morning in no time. Let it simmer away during the day and you will come home to a cooked dinner.

Serves 4 (plus leftovers)

Ingredients:

– 2 medium chicken (approx 1.5 kg)
– 2 lemons, cut in half
– 4 sprigs rosemary and a few sprigs of thyme
– Salt, pepper and turmeric
– 4 glasses white wine
– 4 tbsp butter

Vegetables to your liking: garlic, onions, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, celeriac or turnips! Make sure you have 300g of leftover vegetables for dinner the next day.

 Directions:

– Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

– Place the chicken breast-side down (yes, upside down) on a large roasting tin and stuff the lemon halves into them. Place the chopped vegetables around them.

– Pour the wine over and then season generously with salt, pepper and turmeric. Put the sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top of the chicken and add butter flakes at the end.

– Roast for 45 minutes. Take the roasting tin out of the oven, flip the chickens over and season again. Remove the vegetables that you’re going to use for tomorrow’s frittata. Some of the other ones that you’re eating tonight might need a bit more time- it all depends on how firm you like them. Cook the chicken for another 15-20 minutes anyway.

– Take the chicken out and make sure the juices run clear (slice between the leg and the breast to check). Leave them in the oven, which has been turned off, to sit for at least 30 minutes before carving.

– Use the bones to make bone broth- you will need it on day 3.

2. Root vegetable, spinach and feta frittata

This is real winter comfort food but also tasty during the summer when you eat the frittata at room temperature. You already did quite a bit of prep work yesterday by roasting the vegetables, so this won’t take too much time!

For 8 servings you need:

Ingredients:

– 300g roast vegetables (e.g. sweet potato or pumpkin)
– 60g coconut oil
– Sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika
– 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
– 200g baby spinach
– 200g feta cheese
– 12 eggs, beaten3-easy-family-friendly-healthy-dinner-recipes_2.jpgDirections:

– Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

– Sweat the red onion in the coconut oil in a large ovenproof frying pan and season well. Add the spinach, let it wilt slightly and then remove from the heat. Place the vegetables on top along with the feta cheese.

– Add the beaten eggs and then stir the mixture a little bit to make sure the egg is evenly distributed.

– Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until firm. Serve this with a mixed salad for instance.

– While the frittata is in the oven, slice a spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds (put them aside for roasting). Rub the inside of the squash with butter and season with salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin. Place both halves face down onto a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes until the inside is soft.

– Take a fork, “grate” the spaghetti out and place them in a sealed container overnight.

3. Spaghetti bolognaise

My kids’ favourite meal! Sometimes I make some buckwheat or brown rice spaghetti for them and mix in some of the spaghetti squash I prepared the day before. But often I just leave it low carb for them, too.

Reheat the spaghetti squash in a frying pan with a generous amount of butter and/or coconut oil.

For the bolognaise sauce (with a twist) that makes 6 servings you’ll need:

Ingredients:

– 1 tbsp coconut oil
– 600g minced lamb
– 100g finely chopped organic chicken liver
– 2 cups chicken stock (from the first day)
– 3 average sized tomatoes, chopped
– ½ cup red wine
– 2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 2 cups spinach
– 3 sticks celery, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, crushed
– 2 spring onions, bulbs and tops, chopped
– 1 tsp each of rosemary, thyme and oregano
– Salt, pepper, turmeric and smoked paprika to taste

Directions: 

– Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. When hot enough, add the lamb and chicken liver. Fry at high temperature for 2-3 minutes until brown.

– Turn down the heat and add all the vegetables. Add the red wine and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables soften.

– Add the chicken stock and herbs and let simmer until the vegetables reach the desired consistency. Serve on top of the spaghetti squash.

You might cringe at the sight of chicken liver in this recipe but I’d really like to encourage you to use organ meat at a regular basis. It’s an extremely nutrient-dense food, easy to digest and tastes delicious if it’s combined with other nice ingredients. Give it a go, you will be surprised!

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