There are some weeknights when dinner has to be fast and familiar. No trying out that new recipe, no dinnertime acrobatics. On those nights, it’s a back-pocket recipe you’re reaching for — one you pretty much make with your eyes closed. The team at Clean Plates is no stranger to that concept — and we all have those recipes we can whip up with our eyes. From a hearty salad Niçoise to a quickie vegetable-packed rice bowl, here’s what we’re noshing on when our Monday night requires a low-effort, low-carb dinner solution.
1. Niçoise Salad
To call a Niçoise salad a salad feels like a disservice. It’s so much more! The traditional ingredients are hard-boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, oil-packed tuna, and Niçoise olives, but no one will know if you swap asparagus for green beans or use soft-boiled eggs. If you want to drop the carb count, add more greens and fewer potatoes. Or just skip the potatoes completely.
2. Burger Salad
We just love a burger salad. Salads, in general, are a great way to use up all the odds and ends of cooked and raw vegetables in the fridge. If you have a dressing in the fridge, use it — or just toss greens with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Opt for grass-fed beef, and cook yourself a burger patty while assembling the salad.
3. Stir Fry with “Rice”
A stir fry is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get your fill of protein and veggies. Choose your meat or plant-based protein, add some veggies, and cook it up with garlic, ginger, and tamari. You don’t need the rice, but if you want a low-carb option, we’re loving this new product RightRice. We’re fans of cauliflower rice, but we always feel it doesn’t have the same texture as actual rice, nor does it have a lot of protein. Right Rice has the texture of real rice, a lot of plant-based protein and fiber, and less carbs than actual rice since it’s made from lentils, chickpeas, peas, and a small amount of white rice.
4. Breakfast-for-Dinner Salad
There is such a thing as a bad salad and those under-seasoned, boring salads might turn you into a person who doesn’t consider them a meal. But what if you married your favorite breakfast foods (eggs, avocado, bacon—you get the idea) with salad? That is a salad worthy of being dinner. Here’s what to do: Thinly chop some romaine and toss it with fresh herbs (just use what you’ve got) and some salt. Then add a fried egg or two and a few strips of bacon. And because this is a meal that’s meant to be easy, go ahead and reach for bottled dressing.
5. Sheet Pan Supper
A sheet pan supper is whatever you want it to be — or whatever protein and veggies you happen to have in the house. It’s infinitely customizable, super-fast to make, and the clean up is a breeze. The secret to keeping your meat juicy and tender and your veggies crisp is high heat. Use the broiler, or crank the oven up to 500°F.