#TryItTuesday: From Grillin’ to Chillin’
As much as I love to grill, our weeknight meal cooking needs to be simple. A key to our success is with a little advance planning and an hour on a Sunday, we can enjoy healthy weekly meals during our busy week. For today's try it Tuesday, I'm sharing with you my action steps for grilling a week's worth of meals, along with a few of my favorite recipes.
Action Step 1: Review our upcoming schedule, noting activities of each day/evening. This simple step has increased our ability to stick with our weekly menu plan.
Action Step 2: Take an inventory list of the items on our menu. Purchase any foods needed for this week's menu. On your prep list, make sure to check your propane tank for your grill. Isn’t it just so frustrating when you are halfway through grilling your meal, and the propane tank runs empty?
Action Step 3: Prepare the individual meals. For us this includes: making meatballs, making ground turkey patties, marinating our chicken, slicing veggies. You'll find recipes below.
Action Step 4: Once your food is ready for the grill, preheat it.
Action Step 5: Grill your food. When I grill for my weekly menu, I cook everything at once. On the top rack of my grill, I place my chicken breasts or cutlets. I then divide the bottom rack into four sections. One section for the meatballs, one section for the ground turkey patties, one section for the grilled burgers, one section will be for roasted veggies.
Please note: I do use separate utensils for cooking the various meats, and I also place them on separate platters when I’m finished cooking.
Action Step 6: After I remove the food for grill, and while waiting for it to cool a bit. I’ll cook the rice for Monday’s meal in our instant pot. If time permits, I’ll also use this time to wash and cut up our fresh greens and vegetables for the week.
Acton Step 7: Place individual meals in containers, label and refrigerate.
Action Step 8: Congratulate yourself for setting you and your family up for a week of healthy eating!
Here's a sample of my weekly menu with recipes:
Sunday: Grilled Burgers with Grilled Potatoes and Green Beans
Peel and cut/slice your potatoes. (If you like potato skins like we do, just scrub the skins and cut/slice potatoes.) Place potatoes in large bowl. Add a little light olive oil. Add seasonings to taste. A few of our favorite combinations:
- One minced garlic clove, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper
- Sliced onion (to taste), salt and pepper
- Sliced shallots with lemon pepper seasoning
- Sliced onion (to taste) with smoked paprika
Arrange the potatoes on a large piece of foil. Add an ice cube – this keeps the potatoes from not drying out so much. Enclose the potatoes in the foil and seal edges. Grill potato packets for 30 or so minutes, turning every 5 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Grilled Green Beans: Wash and remove stems of fresh green beans. Place beans in a bowl and sprinkle on some light olive oil. Add your seasonings of choice. Last evening I made these with lemon pepper – yummy, delicious. Arrange the seasoned beans on a piece of foil. And an ice cube to prevent beans drying out. Enclose the beans in the foil and seal edges. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes – cook until beans are tender.
Monday: Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls
My daughter introduced rice bowls to me earlier this summer, and with the unlimited variations possible, rice bowls are now on our weekly menu plan. One of our favorites is our Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowl.
Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls
Note: If I'm running short on time, I skip making this marinade and instead mix ⅓ cup of olive oil and ½ cup of water with a packet of taco seasoning.
- Whisk together all marinade ingredients.
- Place chicken in a large resealable bag, add marinade and seal bag. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
- Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Grill over medium heat 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Cool and refrigerate.
In instant pot, add 15 ounces chicken broth, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoon of lime juice, one teaspoon olive oil, and 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice. Cook rice according to your Instant Pot settings. (If I have time, I'll make this on Sunday and reheat throughout the week.)
Ingredients for Fiesta Rice Bowl (serves 4):
- Fiesta Rice
- Fiesta Chicken
- 1 cup arugula, chopped
- ⅓ cup diced tomatoes, drained
- Four teaspoons chopped red onion
- ¼ cup black beans, drained
- ¼ cup canned corn, drained
- Shredded cheddar for garnish
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- One avocado, sliced
If desired, warm up your rice and chicken. Add ingredients to bowl with rice as your first layer. Enjoy.
Tuesday: BBQ Meatballs on a Hoagie Bun
Using your favorite meatball recipe – or if short on time buy frozen premade meatballs. Grill meatballs until done.
On the morning of the day you are planning on meatballs for dinner, combine pre-made meatballs and 18 ounces of your favorite barbeque sauce. Place in your slow cooker and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
Serve with hoagie buns adding fresh cut up veggies for your side dish and fresh fruit for your dessert.
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with Mixed Greens and Strawberries
You can use any leftover grilled chicken from Monday's evening meal.
Fresh Greens (I often will combine Spring Mix greens with Fresh Spinach.)
Place the desired amount of greens on your plate. On top of greens, place:
- Sliced fresh strawberries (2 or 3 strawberries)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- One slice of chopped red onion
- Grilled chicken
- Shredded fresh parmesan cheese or feta cheese (Your preference)
We prefer our fresh summer salads without a dressing, but if you like dressings on your salad – a fruity balsamic dressing would pair nicely with this.
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
This menu includes ground turkey sausage, eggs and fresh fruit. You can make your own ground turkey sausage, and here's how:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- One tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- ½ to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Mix ingredients together. Shape into patties. I like to chill the patties for 15 to 30 minutes before I grill them. When grilling, I’ve found best success by spraying my foil with a non-stick cooking oil spray. Grill sausages until browned and no longer pink in the middle.
These sausages heat up great and even make a quick snack with any leftovers.
Hopefully, you'll find that like us, with a little prep time and an hour of grilling on Sunday, you'll enjoy healthy meals during your busy work week.