We’ve been cooking up a storm these couple of weeks, so I wanted to recap a few meal ideas that you guys have been loving from Instagram! Each of the items on the “menu” in today’s post are not only delicious but also easy enough for beginners to cook, and some of these are freezer-friendly for later.
- Breakfast: Quick 1-Banana Muffins
- Lunch: Shaved brussels sprouts + chicken sausage bowl
- Dinner: Easy & tender turkey meatballs (enjoy leftovers in a meatball sub!)
- Dessert: Chewy oatmeal raisin chocolate chunk cookies
Breakfast: Quick 1-Banana Muffins
In the world of baking these are truly SO easy – a small batch portion, no beater/blender needed, no sifting, and can be done in one bowl. You can dress them up with different mix-ins / toppings, and I love seeing all the snaps y’all have shared of your little ones helping bake these!
We make these muffins with egg for Nori’s egg allergy challenge, as a way to incorporate baked egg into her diet, but let me know if anyone’s made this successfully with an egg substitute. I’ve been doubling this recipe to make breakfast for the week!
QUICK 1-BANANA MUFFINS
- 1 large ripe & soft banana, mashed with a fork until most lumps are gone
- 2 Tablespoons sugar* I do 1 spoon white, 1 brown
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon oil I’ve used vegetable, olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Optional: Sprinkle of cinnamon chopped nuts, or chocolate chips (recommended ; )
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir together the mashed banana, sugar, egg, and oil using a fork or spoon until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir well until combined.
- Pour into a greased or lined muffin pan.
- Bake for approximately 18-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. A couple of you mentioned using mini muffin tins and baking for 11-12 minutes. Cool & enjoy!
Lunch: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Bowl
I was inspired by Helena‘s IG stories to make this very easy but nutritious meal. You can enjoy it vegetarian with an egg, but we indulged a bit with sausage! I wanted to use chicken sausage links found in the refrigerated section, but only these frozen breakfast ones were available. It turned out quite tasty though and I liked the bit of sweetness added from the maple sausage paired with the mustard!
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 bag shaved brussels sprouts (these are from Wholefoods)
- Your favorite mustard(s). We used a combo of dijon and honey!
- Optional but recommended: sausage and/or egg, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- Sauté brussels sprouts with a bit of oil over low-medium heat until they’re as soft as you’d like. I like to cover the pan so the sprouts “steam” for a few minutes in there and get soft.
- If adding in sausage, I just push aside some sprouts to make room to sear the sausage in the same pan simultaneously.
- Stir in mustard + a little vinegar if desired, and taste. I start with a teaspoon of each, and go from there.
- When serving, top with optional egg and a squeeze of lemon. Nick topped his bowl with parmesan cheese and hot honey!
Dinner: Mini turkey meatballs
For a healthier option compared to beef or pork, this recipe is an oldie but goodie from Giada De Laurentiis – I have made this COUNTLESS times over the years and the meatballs always come out nice and tender. Enjoy over zoodles for a lighter dinner, but I can’t resist my carbs with this. Below is the recipe with my modifications / simplifications, after making these so many times:
Mini Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey preferably dark meat
- half a large onion chopped small
- 1 large egg
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- generous handful chopped fresh herbs I love cilantro and use quite a bit
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Using a large spoon, stir together all the ingredients until well mixed.
- Roll and shape into approx. 1″ to 1.25″ meatballs.
- Place on a foil/parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approx. 20 minutes – cut one open to test doneness.
- I’ll simmer these in a pan of marinara sauce for 5 to 10 minutes over low heat before serving. These also freeze well.*
My modifications from the original recipe:
- A full large onion made the mixture a bit watery so I use half, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be grated.
- To simplify, I use all parmesan rather than a mix and reduced the amount from 1/2 cup.
- As a personal preference, I can’t stand parsley but love cilantro so sub that in!
- I bake these instead of pan sear, which I think helps them cook evenly and stay tender.
We also enjoy these on toasted bread with a little melted cheese for meatball “subs”!
Dessert: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Not quite healthy, but see the freezing tip which will allow you to enjoy just a few of these at a time! I’ve used this solid recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction several times. The cookies will seem a little undercooked when you take them out of the oven, but they’ll solidify more once cooled (important not to over-bake to get that chewiness). Here’s a few modifications I make:
- Reduced the sugar by 25% (and still found the cookies to be plenty sweet)
- Used maple syrup instead of molasses since that’s what I had in the pantry.
- Added chocolate chunks by chopped up a chocolate bar into small pieces. Yum!
Freezing Tip: I have no self control so just bake a few at a time, and freeze the rest of the uncooked dough in balls. This makes it easy to pull them out of the freezer and bake up just a couple of fresh, warm cookies whenever my sweet tooth hits!
To prevent the dough balls from sticking together in one frozen clump, I first lay them out on a plate or baking sheet lined in parchment paper, and pop them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once they’ve begun to freeze over, you can then transfer them into one baggie or container (this is also how I freeze dumplings and meatballs without them clumping together). This cookie dough frozen is good for a few months and simply needs 1 extra minute while baking, no thawing necessary.
For more recipes and meal ideas, be sure to check out our Extra (Ap)Petite archives!