By Nicole Centeno

Dinner is a meal that we often consider a reward. I think to myself “I made it!” when I get home after confronting (and hopefully solving) the challenges of my day. I used to reward myself for this effort with an indulgent meal out and at least one big glass of wine, or an indulgent delivery meal in and at least one big glass of wine. I came to associate dinner with the phrase: “I deserve it.”

Ironically, my heavy dinners became one motivation for me to launch Splendid Spoon. We offer breakfasts, lunches, and resets: dinner isn’t on the menu. We designed Splendid Spoon this way because small changes earlier in the day create the foundation to form better habits when the sun sets. Our expectations of breakfast and lunch are lower, and thus easier to change. At the same time, more discipline during the day allows us to indulge a bit at dinner. Balance, not restriction, is always our goal.

However, once you’ve mastered daytime balance, an indulgent dinner isn’t as satisfying. You’ll start craving something healthier. While I encourage some freedom and experimentation during your non-Splendid meals, I thought you might be interested in some simple, Splendid-approved dinners, too.

Here are three of my favorite weeknight meals. All contain lots of raw leafy greens, which Splendid Spoon doesn’t ship, but your body certainly needs. I always toss my greens in a citrusy dressing to increase iron absorption, and top them with a generous portion of protein. Enjoy flexing that fork ;)

1. Lemon Mustard Arugula with Tempeh or Wild Salmon

Ingredients
Serves 2
2 6-oz servings of salmon or tempeh, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Sauté salmon or tempeh until cooked. Salmon just needs a dash of olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat, and about 4 minutes skin down. Then put the cover on and allow to cook through over medium heat, about 4 more minutes. Tempeh can be cut into 1/4 inch slices and sautéed in olive oil or coconut oil for 3–4 minutes per side until golden.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Combine arugula with dressing and toasted pine nuts, top with salmon or tempeh.

2. Kimchi Bowl

Ingredients
Serves 2
1/2 cup brown rice , cook according to instructions on package
3 cups kale, sliced thin
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 eggs (optional)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1/2 cup kimchi — chopped
1 cup silken tofu
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Combine kale with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Allow to sit while rice cooks.
  2. Cook eggs as preferred.
  3. Mix cooked rice with sesame seeds, kimchi, silken tofu and lime juice.
  4. Top with kale and eggs.

3. Green Wraps

Ingredients
Serves 2
1/2 cup nuts or seeds such as hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, or sunflower seeds, divided
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon fresh jalapeño, finely chopped (substitute garlic for a less spicy version)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 avocado, flesh scooped out
1 head romaine or butterhead lettuce — ends chopped off, leaves washed and dried
1/2 cup sliced root vegetable such as radishes, salad turnips, beets, or carrots
1 cup protein of choice such as firm tofu, roasted chicken, chickpeas, or wild fish — broken or torn into bite size pieces
1/2 cup fresh herbs such as mint, basil, dill, parsley — finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Soak 1/4 cup nuts in warm water while you wash and chop other ingredients.
  2. Roughly chop remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Toast. Set aside
  3. In a blender, add soaked (and drained) nuts, lime juice, jalapeño or garlic, olive oil, 1/2 avocado, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until very smooth
  4. Create a mini wrap or taco-like shell with each lettuce leaf. Fill with a mix of everything: root vegetables, protein, toasted nuts and herbs. Drizzle with (or dunk into!) dressing.

Want to make your 9 to 5 meals even easier? Check out some of Nicole's Splendid faves here!