Simple Meal Ideas Perfect for a Busy Weeknight

Today I’m bringing you two simple meal ideas perfect for a busy weeknight!  Each is protein rich, veggie filled, supplies great macro and micro nutrients and is super speedy to put together!  

Turkey italian sausage has become a regular staple in my menu planning recently.  Read the nutrition labels, because not all are exactly lean!  The sausage gets cooked with chopped onion and garlic and tossed over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash (I make this once a week to have on hand for a variety of dishes) and steamed kale.  And a little grated parmesan cheese sprinkled over top completes the dish! Of course, a side of garlic bread never hurt anyone either.

if the man in your life needs something less frilly and free of squash (speaking from experience) you could easily prepare this dish two ways.  Just toss with spaghetti noodles and light alfredo sauce! Trader Joe’s alfredo sauce is a staple in my pantry.

sausage, kale and squash

Thinly sliced beefsteak is another one of my favorite sources of lean protein.  You might remember seeing the picture below from my post on Cheesesteak Smothered Crispy Hash Browns.  It cooks incredibly fast and  pairs well with all veggies making it an excellent choice for a quick and healthy meal. *updated 3/17…sadly my local grocery stopped carrying this.

thin sliced beef steak package

The beef steak gets seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder then tossed in a pre-heated skillet  over medium-high heat.  A few dashes of worcestershire sauce finishes it off before tossing it with some sautéed zucchini and mushrooms.

Less frilly? Make a bed of hot buttered egg noodles with melted provolone cheese and top with the beef and veggie mixture.  Serve with some cheesy garlic toast and it’s a winner-winner-husband-kind-of-dinner!

And the leftovers? Perfect atop some scrambled eggs and sriracha sauce for breakfast! 

garlic beef and zucchini

The base of these two dishes are perfect as is but yet so versatile to adjust to how you like…hope you’ll try one and let me know what you think! You can never have enough simple meal ideas for busy weeknights! 

Two Simple “Eat-Clean” Meal Ideas


    Italian Sausage, Kale and Spaghetti Squash:
  • Serves 4-5
  • 1 package sweet italian turkey sausage (I use perdue brand, 1 link per person)
  • 1 spaghetti squash, previously cooked
  • 3 cups chopped kale (I use a bag from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Beef, Zucchini, and Mushrooms:
  • Serves 3-4
  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef steak
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into quarters
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a few dashes worcestershire sauce (about 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • a few dashes of smoked paprika (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese


    Italian Sausage and Kale:
  1. Prepare spaghetti squash in advance. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half and rub with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place flesh side down on baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the "noodles" away from the skin.
  3. In a large skillet saute chopped onions and sausage (casings removed) until no longer pink. Add minced garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Remove everything to a serving bowl and set aside.
  4. Add chopped kale and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until it's slightly wilted but still a bit crisp. Remove from heat and add sausage mixture back to skillet. Stir to combine.
  5. Assemble bowls with a serving of spaghetti squash, topped with sausage and kale and finished with some parmesan cheese.
  6. Garlic Beef, Zucchini, and Mushrooms:
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil. Add diced zucchini, mushrooms and season with dried thyme and smoked paprika . Sauté 8-10 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender and mushrooms are softened, stirring frequently. Add chopped garlic during last 2 minutes of cooking, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  8. Remove from heat and set aside in a separate bowl.
  9. Season beef steak with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add beef to the same skillet used for zucchini and cook 3-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add worcestershire sauce before it finishes cooking. Toss zucchini and mushrooms back to bowl and prepare to serve!
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