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  • Writer's pictureAshlee, RD, LD

Stress Free Weeknight Dinners

Cooking on the weeknights creates a challenge for many. Between work, children’s schedules, meetings and events, dinner is often one more chore we don’t always have time for. It can be tempting to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave and call it a meal. However, these are expensive and not the best form of nutritious meal. Here’s some easy ways to prepare a quick, budget, week night meal:

  • Plan ahead Always have a game plan. Write out the next week’s menu the Sunday before.  Take inventory of your pantry for foods you have, and then make a list of foods you need at the store.  This helps alleviate daily trips to the grocery store. It’s also easier to cook foods when you have them on hand.

  • Repurpose leftovers Cook enough of a food item so that you can reuse leftovers for another meal in a different form. For instance, turn Sunday night’s chicken breast into chicken fajitas on Tuesday. Or use it again on Wednesday for a chicken casserole.

  • Get the kids involved. Make it a tradition to let the kids help once a week. Let them participate in “make your own pizza night” and set out toppings for them to place on their pizzas.

  • Precook foods the weekend before Cook the meat you need for recipes the weekend before. Cook your chicken on Sunday night so that you have it ready to use during the week.  Freeze the cooked chicken if not used within 2-3 days.

  • Make your own freezer meals Take full advantage of leftovers. Portion leftovers into freezer zip lock bags, label and freeze. This makes for a quick and easy week night meal.

Easy Chicken Fajitas


Time=30 minutes


Description=A simple, healthy solution for weeknight dinner.


- 3 bell peppers (sliced into strips)

- 1 onion (sliced into strips)

- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced into strips

- 1 teaspoon chili powder

- ½ teaspoon cumin

- 2 cans (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chili’s (drained)

- 6 flour tortillas or corn tortillas (gluten free version)


1. Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Add peppers and onions, sauté until tender.

2. Remove peppers and onion mixture from skillet, set aside.

3. Add chicken, chili powder and cumin to skillet.

4. Cook 4-5 minutes.

5. Add peppers and onions to skillet, add drained tomatoes.

6. Cook 4-5 more minutes until peppers and onions are tender and chicken is fully cooked. Serve on tortillas.

7. Garnish with plain greek yogurt or salsa if desired.


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