With life as busy as it is, sometimes the thought of putting together a whole meal at the end of the day seems daunting. You’re tired, you’re hungry and a long ingredient list is the last thing you want to give your attention to. “I used to be afraid of cooking because it felt like it was a huge, complicated production to make dinner, but then I realized how easy and fun it is when you choose your own ingredients,” says Peloton instructor Jess Sims. Before Jess got into her routine of cooking four nights a week, she would research and start with basic recipes that didn’t overwhelm her. “I looked up easy recipes with no more than 5 ingredients online,” says Jess. “Once I got comfortable with a few recipes, I decided to change up marinades, experimented with different spices and alternated between grilling, roasting and sautéing the veggies!”
Jess’ favorite thing about cooking is that she knows exactly what she’s putting into her body each time. “I used to order out almost every night for dinner (ouch on my bank account!) and I would eat it right out of the container,” says Jess. “Consequently, I didn't know the serving size I was actually eating and I didn't know other important things like what kind of oil was used to cook the food, if fresh or organic ingredients were used, and who prepared the food.” So if you’re looking to spend a little more time feeding body and soul, Jess is here to give you a head start. Follow along below as she dishes on three favorite simple and healthy dinner recipes she loves to make.
Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage
Vegan pesto (no cheese!) Preferred brand: Gotham Greens
Chicken sausage Preferred brand: Bilinski's or Brat Hans
Cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's
Any veggie you want--I like spinach or asparagus!
Put a small amount of olive oil in a pan and turn on the stove to med-high heat
Add the cauliflower gnocchi still frozen in the bag
Be patient and wait until the cauliflower gnocchi turns brown before you flip them individually
In a separate pan, add a little olive oil on medium heat. Add the cut chicken sausage
When you flip the chicken sausage over, add the veggies while the other side cooks
Combine both pan and add the pesto
One Pan Chicken & Veggies
3-4 Chicken breasts
1lb sliced carrots
Fresh garlic minced
Approx. 2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Sesame oil
Soy sauce or coconut aminos if there's an allergy/preference--to taste!
Salt, pepper--to taste!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl
Place the chicken in the center of the pan
Add veggies around the chicken
Cook for 25-30min--until sizzling and brown!
Add more soy/coconut aminos to taste!
Optional - eat as is or add to the top of white rice
Shrimp & Spaghetti Squash
Red marinara sauce--your favorite brand, just check the labels for clean ingredients!
Fresh or frozen shrimp--your choice!
Veggie of your choice--I like spinach and mushrooms!
Salt & pepper--optional!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up
Cut the spaghetti squash in half the long way--though folks have told me that cutting it the other way has major perks, too!
Take a spoon and shovel out the seeds and interior of each half. Drizzle with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper, and put them cut side down to cook
Wait between 40-60min until the sides are brown and the insides are able to be pierced with a fork
Use a fork to scrape out the insides into stringy spaghetti!
While the squash is cooking, prepare the rest by putting a little olive oil in a pan on medium heat
Add your veggies and shrimp--cook until pink!
Add the marinara sauce to the pan
Combine with the spaghetti squash
A note from Jess: keep these recipes simple! To change things up a bit, try swapping veggies (asparagus, spinach, kale, mushrooms are my go-tos), proteins (eggs, chicken, steak, ground turkey are my go-tos) and try different sauces (pesto, marinara, bbq, lemon and garlic, balsamic, honey mustard, and other marinades).