38: Dinner Dilemma Solved with Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN
What’s your biggest dinner dilemma? No plan? Bored with the same thing night after night? At a loss for fresh new ideas? Picky kids? Picky husbands?! To the rescue this week to solve your biggest dinnertime dilemmas is mom, dietitian, and friend, Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN. Jessica is the author of the 52 Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes, and More. Jessica is passionate about creating nutritious and delicious meals that your family will love, and her meal planning tips and tricks are about to make your life easier, healthier, and tastier!
- Jessica’s suburban life in New Rochelle, NY, after many years living in NYC.
- How and why she became a dietitian.
- How her new book helps people get organized with templates for 52 weeks of meal plans, shopping lists, price comparisons, and a place to add your favorite, go-to recipes.
- Jessica’s Crispy Baked Tofu made with cubed, marinated tofu, baked at a high temp to make it crispy outside and tender inside.
- Liz’s Healthy Table survey results: 33% of moms are at a loss for dinner ideas, 25% say they didn’t have time for meal prep/planning, and 16% say picky eaters are their biggest dinner dilemma challenge.
- How to get started with meal planning:
- Take stock of the pantry items you already have on hand.
- Base your menu on what you already have in your kitchen. IE “shop your kitchen.”
- Shop for what’s in season or on sale.
- Where to get good dinner inspiration: Pinterest, cookbooks, Facebook groups.
- Jessica’s favorite Buddha bowl: A bowl filled with a grain, veggies, and assorted protein foods.
- Picky husbands: Start slow with new veggies; use flavor; and keep experimenting.
- Jessica’s #1 tip for dealing with picky eaters: “Keep plugging away and hope that there is at least one thing they will eat. Look at nutrition for the whole week, and don’t stress out over one day.”
- How to spot an EASY recipe that won’t take hours to make … or clean up: Jessica says to read the recipe first in its entirety, and look for healthy convenience foods (like at Trader Joe’s). Shredded Brussels sprouts; cubed tweet potatoes; spiralized veggies.
- With leftovers, use them for lunches, repurpose them for new meals, or freeze them for later meals.
- How to cook and use ingredients over 2 to 3 meals without making the same thing.
- Take advantage of the time you have to plan ahead, especially to prep veggies or salads.
- How to add variety in plant-based meals. If you haven’t listened to my episode on Going Meatless More Often, be sure to tune in.
- Delicious winter squash-based recipes (look for an entire squash episode–coming soon!)
- How to roast spaghetti squash.
- Liz’s NEW recipe for Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash.
- How to use fresh herbs before they go bad: plan meals, freeze them, dry them, make sauces, or add them to salads.
- Liz’s favorite slow cooker go-tos: Pulled pork made with lean pork loin, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and all natural BBQ sauce.
- The miracle of the Instant Pot for meal prep: Liz’s Bean and Barley soup comes together in just 7 minutes vs 6 hours in the slow cooker!
- A Healthy Kitchen Hack for keeping fresh herbs fresher for longer from Teaspoon of Spice.
- Seafood in a pouch. Here’s an idea for cod or haddock with mushrooms and corn kernels and another idea for salmon, carrots, and snow peas in parchment.
- Making interactive meals to get your kids involved in meal prep and planning.
Jessica's website and blog: https://jessicalevinson.com/
Jessica's Crispy Baked Tofu recipe: https://jessicalevinson.com/farro-buddha-bowl/
Spaghetti Squash with Meat-Free Bolognese Sauce
Pulled Pork in the slow cooker: https://www.lizshealthytable.com/2015/03/21/slow-cooker-pulled-pork/
Bean and Barley Soup: https://www.lizshealthytable.com/2015/01/29/slow-cooker-barley-bean-soup/