Healthy, easy weeknight meals from VG Meats

January 9, 2020

New year, same busy life? We hear you – and weeknights can be particularly challenging. How do you find the time (and energy) to cook a good meal when there’s work, life and sometimes kids to plan your days around? Well, we can help with a few tips for easy, healthy, delicious meals you’ll love.

Use the one pan (or one pot) method

If you can cook dinner in one pan (or pot), it saves time AND clean-up. We recently discovered ‘Oven to Table’ recipes by Toronto author Jan Scott. Here’s one she published online, which includes variations for different meats (chicken, sausage, etc). She also has a cookbook full of similar family dinners, if you’re interested. Cooking like this is a great way to include protein, vegetables and great flavour without spending all day in the kitchen.

Another effective way to use the one pan or pot method is to invest in whatever appliance best suits your needs and cooking style. A slow cooker, instant pot, roasting dish or large skillet all make great tools for single-dish meals, and everyone has their favourite. It’s not about doing what’s trendy – it’s about doing what works well for your family!

Use the magic formula

Stuck on meal ideas? Consider this magic formula: protein, vegetables, grain. Now, make at least one of these components super quick and easy – for example, serve a whole wheat baguette or brown rice as your grain element, plus some grilled meat and veg (cooked together, if you want). Or, cook up some pork chops and make the veggie component easy by opting for a salad. It’s all about balance. If you take the time to prep meat in the morning and throw it in the slow cooker all day, save time later by serving it with a five minute salad and bread. Dinner doesn’t need to be complicated to be wonderful!

One meat, many meals

If Mondays are relatively relaxed but Tuesdays are crazy busy, plan ahead and cook double the meat on your slow day. You can use the leftovers to create a new meal that following night. For example, roast a chicken (or some chicken breasts) on Monday, and serve them with potatoes and your favourite salad or steamed veggies. On night two, turn the extra cooked chicken into wraps, tacos or burritos, hearty sandwiches or even a pasta dish. You’ll save time while enjoying a delicious, hearty family meal.

If you’ve got more easy, delicious family dinner ideas, please share them in the comments on our Facebook page – we’d love to know more about your “go to” weeknight recipes!