Five Go-To Meals in the Denfeld House // Part II

We’ve all hit those meal planning lulls where you just feel like you can’t think of ANYTHING to make for dinner that week and if you have to look at one more Pinterest food board your eyes might start bleeding. I love hearing what other people are cooking up for dinner and this post has been one of my most popular, so I thought I’d do another installment with the dinners we’ve been loving lately. These are all recipes we’ve made at least twice and are a hit with the whole family. Hope you love them as much as we do!

Brown Butter Brussels Sprout Pasta with Hazelnuts: Admittedly this isn’t the healthiest dish on the list, but let me assure you it is worth every single calorie. YUM. My kids happen to LOVE Brussels sprouts, so this recipe really works in our house! You could easily add some grilled chicken to it to get some protein in there!Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts Pasta with Hazelnuts Recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com This pasta dish is amazing!

Creamy Chicken and Buttermilk Dumplings: This recipe is so comforting and if you get the Mirepoix from Trader Joe’s already chopped up it is crazyyyy easy and quick to make! This is definitely a fan favorite for the kiddos and perfect for the fall weather upon us.chicken + dumplings I howsweeteats.com

Creamy Polenta Bowl with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini: My kids happen to be obsessed with polenta so this dish is a hit in our house! I either half the butter/Parmesan or omit completely and just sprinkle Parmesan on top at the end. The addition of the pesto really takes this recipe to the next level. It’s a winner!

Stuffed Cypriot Chicken from Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals: Our French friends in Amsterdam made this dish for us when they had us over for dinner one night and it made such an impression on us we looked up the recipe and have been making it ever since. It’s actually a pretty simple dish that seems impressive, so a great one to do when you have guests … But we make it all the time! I highly recommend watching the video if you’re a visual learner. The use of wet wax paper to help the chicken get crisp on the outside but stay soft and juicy on the inside is so easy and was new-to-me!

Perfect Herb-Grilled Chicken: This recipe is out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook (which I highly recommend!) and I love making the seasoning blend in bulk then freezing in individual baggies so we can whip it up easily anytime (and none of the herbs go to waste this way!). Everyone who has tried this when we make it is totally impressed and asks for the recipe. It’s not only easy and incredibly flavorful but also super healthy! Image result for gwyneth paltrow it's all good

Potsticker Stir-Fry: This is an amazing, simple weeknight meal to make! It comes together really quickly and our favorite potstickers to use are the cilantro chicken wontons from Trader Joe’s! Corey is especially a fan of this ones and the kids gobble it up. 

Kid-Approved Healthy Paleo Banana Muffins/Bread

Every time I post about these banana muffins/bread on my Instagram story I get lots of questions about the recipe, which gets a little tricky because I modify one I found online! Before I did Whole30 in January I would make this recipe from Cookie and Kate and it definitely felt healthy enough for us. But once I did Whole30 I wanted to experiment and see if I could make a few easy substitutions to make the recipe paleo and make me feel even better about giving these to the kids. Simply subbing almond flour and nut milk does the trick for the most part! The muffins are sweetened with maple syrup or honey, so they are refined-sugar free and made with coconut oil — a much healthier alternative to all the butter you usually find in banana bread!

You can make this recipe into muffins or banana bread. The muffins tend to be my go-to, even though I’m not sure why because they become way too easy to just grab and scarf in no time at all! The kids are seriously obsessed with these and I end up having to hide the muffins after we make them (out of sight out of mind??) so they aren’t asking for literally seven a day HAHA! We love these as an afternoon snack or something easy to grab on our way out the door in the morning. They are SUPER moist and don’t taste “healthy” at all. Hope you enjoy them in your home as much as we do in ours!

KID-APPROVEDHEALTHY PALEOBANANA MUFFINS

Kid-Approved Healthy Paleo Banana Muffins/Bread
recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate healthy banana bread recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup (we almost always use Trader Joe’s 100% Pure Maple Syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup homemade almond milk (or any unsweetened almond milk or other nut milk) or water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 2 cups almond flour (I use Trader Joe’s Blanched Almond Flour)
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan if baking bread or line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey/maple syrup together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and nut milk or water. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes if baking bread and 22-25 minutes if baking cupcakes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean) Let the bread/muffins cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer  to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Five Go-To Meals in the Denfeld House

Maybe there are people out there who love meal planning… I don’t happen to be one of them. With two young kids running around, by the end of the day I honestly wish someone could just feed our family through an IV and call it good.

Because that’s not possible, and because I love hearing what other family’s go-to meals are, I thought I’d do a round-up of some awesome recipes that we’ve had in our dinner rotation (and that our kids inhale, too!) for years. I would LOVE any new recipe ideas from you, so if you have any you love and want to pass along, leave them in the comments!

Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon
I realize this one doesn’t sound super kid-friendly, but Elodie and James both enthusiastically eat it all up. I usually double the chickpeas, because both the kids love them so much, and throw this over some frozen quinoa from Trader Joe’s. This also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, in case you have dietary restrictions in your house!

Slow-Cooker Mozarella Stuffed Meatballs
This might be one of my favorite recipes everrrr. First off, I’m obsessed with my slow-cooker. Second, is there anything more comforting and delicious than a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs? Mmmm. I don’t eat beef, so I sub in organic mild Italian chicken sausage and hot Italian chicken sausage (so it’s medium spicy and the kids will still eat it). This makes TONS of leftovers, too, which is great for lunches for the week (and somehow I never get sick of eating it!).Image may contain: foodBroccolini, Chicken Sausage, and Orzo Skillet
I’m so glad one pan/pot meals are a thing right now, because that is definitely something I can get behind whole-heartedly. We make this super easy and quick meal once a week. The ingredients are simple, healthy, cheap and this meal comes together super quickly. A win all around!
Seriously, The Best Healthy Turkey Chili
That is the actual name of this recipe — “Seriously, The Best Healthy Turkey Chili” — and, well, it really is!! The whole fam gobbles this up and there’s always tons leftover. My secret tip, thanks to my sister, is to double the meat. Soooo yum! Incredible, perfectly spiced healthy turkey chili made with lean ground turkey, kidney beans and corn. This version is simply the BEST!Soy Glazed Salmon + Crack Broccoli + Rice
I’m going to get to the salmon in a second… We need to talk about this Crack Broccoli. It really is like crack. I am a sucker for practically any roasted vegetable, but when you add in toasted almonds, garlic, lemon juice and pecorino cheese… I mean…. YESSSS… You have to try this one — and again, the kids really eat their brocolli this way!

For the salmon, I mix my own marinade – it’s really easy: soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger if I have it, if not I use ginger powder, a splash of white wine (you can leave this out if you don’t have any around), and a touch of honey (leave out if you have babies under one eating!). I don’t have measurements because I just eyeball everything and add more of whatever it needs to taste. I pour this over the salmon and let it marinate for 15-30 minutes, then cook the salmon in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Voila! Crack Brocoli. Roasted broccoli with toasted almonds, lemon, red pepper flakes, and pecorino. This side dish is so addicting!

So there you have it! These are five dishes we eat at least a couple times a month. What are your go-to dinners?!