Sometimes it just needs to be easy. In our family we call them “Easy Does it Dinners” because in our busy lives we can’t or don’t always want to spend much time in our kitchen. The challenge is to make it a fresh, colorful and tasty menu so even though we want it quick we can still meet the meal requirement of being satisfying and healthy.
This is particularly true when you have a holiday. So much of our tradition around a holiday is all about food. We usually spend hours, even days, getting the food ready for the occasion. As I have focused my life more and more on being healthy I have tried to de-emphasize food for some holidays. This does not mean we don’t celebrate and still make it special, it just means we do it in a different way.
Take Father’s Day, for instance, it is a great day to spend time with your favorite dad. It can be as easy as fixing him a cup of coffee and giving him the Sunday paper to go sit outside to rest and read while you do the same with him. Or maybe it is going to church together. Then you can gear up for a fun outing like going fishing, boating, golfing or bicycling. Or maybe you want to take a walk around a park. Perhaps your gift can be helping your dad spruce up the garden by weeding and planting or getting the flowerpots ready for the summer months. These activities take time and are the greatest gift you can give your dad–your time.
Since you have filled your day with fun activities it is time to prepare an “easy does it dinner”. The easiest is to cook it all on the grill or “grill it” in your oven. Here is our Easy Does it Dinner Menu:
Grilled Veggie Burger (or beef burger if you prefer)
For Dessert: Cup of mixed berries with a dollop of Greek Yogurt and splash of Vanilla
The Veggies: Have enough yellow and red bell peppers to have one per person. Wash them, seed them and cut them in slices. Have enough Brussels sprouts so there are about 7 or 8 per person (your goal is to have a cup cooked per person). Wash them, trim them and slice them in half. Use two grilling pans or baking sheets (if your are “grilling” in the oven) each sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Keep the veggies separate so you can serve them separately. The Brussels sprouts can be sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkled with herb de Provence and a pinch of sea salt. The bell peppers should also be sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkled with sea salt. After grilling the peppers drizzle them with a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice. Cook on the grill for 5 to 10 minutes (or roast in the over for 10 – 15 minutes at 375 degrees) until they are slightly charred.
For the burger you can buy pre-made veggie or burger patties. I buy the ones in the freezer section so I use them as I need them. They cook in the same amount of time as the veggies so I put them on the grill at the same time and take them off when they are also slightly charred. You can add a bun or eat it as is, as we did.
For dessert just wash your berries and place a cup in each bowl. Place a dollop of Greek yogurt on the top of the berries and then pour one teaspoon of sugar-free vanilla syrup over it. If you have mint, finely shred a few leaves and sprinkle it on top. This adds color and a refreshing taste to the end of your meal.
All in all this meal is super easy to prepare and only takes 20 minutes from start to finish. It is visually appealing to look at, tasty to eat, healthy, and very satisfying. Better yet, it is an Easy Does it Dinner so you can spend your day focused on fun.
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!