There’s nothing I love more than cooking a recipe from scratch with a glass of wine (Chardonnay, extra buttery please) and a record spinning in the background (preferably jazz.) Taking it slow, experimenting with new flavors, and taste-testing along the way is by far one of my favorite pastimes, but let’s be real, these moments are usually reserved for leisurely weekends when I have time to enjoy the process of cooking. After a long workday, I’m always on the hunt for easy weeknight dinners that also tick the healthy and delicious boxes.
Enter: Green Chef. If you haven’t tried this affordable, chef-crafted meal kit yet then read our recent Green Chef review to see why we love their healthy recipes. In addition to being delivered fresh, straight to your door, they’re also easy to prepare (meaning they’re ideal for beginner cooks) with certified organic ingredients, and a variety of meal plans to fit every lifestyle and diet from keto to plant-powered, gluten-free, and more. And talk about nutritious, their vegan and vegetarian recipes are high in plant proteins and rich in omega 3’s, while their Keto recipes average only 14 net carbs, so it’s easy to stick to a low-carb lifestyle. We have tried several recipes from all of these categories and we can honestly vouch for how deliciously flavor-packed these recipes are.
Now that it’s summer, we’re all looking for simple, healthy, and quick dinner ideas that don’t require us sweating it out over a hot stove or oven for too long. If that sounds like you too, then keep reading for some of our tips to make weeknight meals faster and easier.
And if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, Green Chef has an exclusive offer for Camille Styles readers. Use code 100CAMILLESTYLES to get a total of $100 off your first four orders, including free shipping on your first box!
This story is in partnership with Green Chef.
Tip #1: Wash and Prep Your Ingredients After Grocery Shopping
It sounds simple enough, but this step is critical if you want to save time on a busy weeknight. As soon as I bring the groceries bags inside from my weekly shop, I wash all of the fruit and vegetables and chop them if needed (truthfully, if I don’t cut the celery and put it in a ziplock or container then it doesn’t get eaten), then my ingredients are all ready to go when I need them. Of course, Green Chef already has their ingredients washed and prepped for you, so all you need to do is chop and go.
Tip #2: Cook Carbs and Proteins in Advance and Store Them in the Fridge or Freezer
Now, this step is a gamechanger. On the weekend, I like to cook a few cups of rice in my rice cooker then put it in a container for the fridge or freezer (you could also just buy frozen rice when you’re shopping, too), steamed potato, roasted sweet potato (so you can make these quick sweet potato toasts in a pinch), and quinoa is also super easy to make in advance (we highly recommend quinoa tabouleh). For quick protein, cook up half a dozen eggs at the top of the week to eat as healthy on-the-go snacks or to create fast fried rice and nutritious salads in record time. You don’t need to make all of these, but a few pre-cooked carbs and proteins will really help you make quick healthy meals in minutes.
Tip #3: Make Double the Batch and Freeze the Rest
Whenever you’re cooking a meal during the week, double the recipe and either refrigerate or freeze what you don’t eat for a quick and easy weeknight dinner (or lunch!) Who doesn’t love a healthy meal in minutes? Simply thaw, reheat, and eat. It couldn’t be easier.
Tip #4: Invest in Pantry Staples
There are so many meals you can whip up in minutes with a simple can of beans or frozen veggies at the ready. Add cannellini beans to a salad or pour a bag of frozen veggies into a stew—the possibilities are endless and it all comes together really fast. Try making our easiest ever black bean soup, or these simple vegetarian tacos that feature beans as the starring ingredient.
Tip #5: Buy Extra Fresh Herbs
Stem, wash, dry, and bag your herbs (or put them in water to keep them fresh in the fridge) and bring any meal (or leftover) to life in an instant. There’s nothing quite like the flavor or a fresh herb garnish—sprinkle dill onto a salad, add basil to a sauce, or thyme to a soup. It’s my go-to secret for making a super quick meal feel elevated and flavor-packed in an instant. I usually like to have basil, mint, and cilantro on hand to suit many different cuisines. Actually, I often use all three to finish a dish–did I mention that I really love herbs?
Bonus Tip: Save Time With Green Chef and Use Our Exclusive Discount Code
If you really want to save on time but still want homemade and healthy easy weeknight dinners, then let Green Chef do the meal planning, grocery shopping, and most of the prep work for you week after week. Take advantage of our exclusive Green Chef offer and use code 100CAMILLESTYLES to get a total of $100 off your first four orders, including free shipping on your first box! Hop over to their site and choose your customized meal plan to suit your dietary needs and preferences.