Whether you're single and having a guy over or you're just having your family and friends over, here are 7 easy meals for guests that will make the process stress free and delicious. No need in hovering over the stove for long hours of the day, or making everything last minute. Check out these easy meals for guests to cook a delicious option that is high in flavor but low in effort. Unless your guests have dietary preferences or allergens, these meals are made for just about anyone. All of these meals will serve 4 people so adjust quantities as needed.
1. Three Step Salmon and Roasted Veggies with Salad
This meal is one of my favorite easy meals for guests when I'm short on time but need something delicious. It allows your stove to do all the work for you. To make:
First, get your veggies going. Chop 3 sweet potatoes, 1 onion, and 6 whole carrots. Place them in a baking dish lined in foil and drizzle a little melted coconut or olive oil over them. Sprinkle with thyme, pepper, a little sea salt and oregano. Turn the oven to 425 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your salmon. I recommend using wild Alaskan salmon fillets (frozen are fine), for the best taste and quality. Rinse them and, if frozen, thaw in the fridge on a plate. Once thawed or ready to use, place them on a baking pan coated with aluminum foil. Squeeze a little lemon on top, add some black pepper, a tsp. of olive oil to each fillet and a sprinkling of sea salt if you need it. Place in the oven after the root veggies have cooked 30 minutes, but leave the veggies in the oven. They still need to cook about 25 more minutes, which is exactly how long the salmon needs to cook total. Now you don't have to cook both items at once.
Once the salmon and veggies have cooked the 25 minutes, remove them and serve with a large fresh salad with a homemade vinegarette dressing or some simple oil and vinegar. Be sure to add inexpensive and easy to chop cucumbers and tomatoes for a really fresh salad high in flavor.
2. Mushroom and Chicken Stir Fry
If you have a skillet pan, some pan spray and know how to use a knife, you're all set. This is a one dish meal so you don't have to use a lot of equipment. It is high in flavor, nutrition and convenient on busy weeknights but impressive enough to make for guests. To make:
First, sautu00e9 your chicken. To do so, place 4 chicken breasts in a large skillet coated with pan spray on medium high heat. Season with a half tsp. of garlic powder, 1 tsp. black pepper and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt. Cook the chicken about 5-6 minutes on the first side and flip all the breasts with a spatula to cook about 4-5 more minutes on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a plate to cool.
To the same pan, add 1 large chopped yellow onion, 1 package of baby mushrooms (rinsed) and 1 yellow squash cut into slices. Add 1 chopped bell pepper if you like as well. Saute all the veggies with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. water on medium heat for about 7 minutes until they reach a nice brown color.
Place the cooked chicken breasts back in the pan and toss everything just well enough to coat on low heat. You may need to add a bit of water if the pan starts to dry out. Serve this over a simple batch of rice, like brown or wild rice, for an excellent healthy flavor.
3. Grilled Lemon Chicken
Everyone loves lemon chicken, right? Okay, except vegans and vegetarians of course. If you eat meat, definitely try this dish for great flavor that is easy to reach and a pleasure for guests. To make:
Brush some skinless chicken breasts with olive oil and layer some lemon slices on top. Sprinkle with some thyme and grill them on a double-sided grill for about 6-7 minutes. Serve the chicken with a side of fresh spinach and roasted squash on the side, such as butternut.
To roast the squash, place it in the oven for one hour on 400 degrees. Remove it, cut it in half and cut out the seeds. Peel off the skin and chop onto a bed of fresh spinach to serve with the chicken. The combination of flavor here is one that can't be beat.
Your guests will be highly impressed with such a simple meal.
4. Easy Kale Salad
Kale is the u201citu201d food of the decade and this salad showcases the miraculous flavor behind this nutritious food. To make:
Combine 2 cups of chopped kale with 3 tbsp. olive oil and a little sea salt. Massage it with your hands for about 3 minutes. Let the kale sit. This breaks down the tough stems and makes the kale incredibly soft and sweet. Now, add 1 chopped tomato, 1 avocado, 1 cucumber and u00bd cup raw cashews. Toss with the juice of one lemon, and 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar. Serve with cracked black pepper as a side or add some roasted veggies to it for a heartier salad. Serve it with your favorite vegan or animal protein dishes, or as an appetizer.
5. Honey Ginger Glazed Salmon
Salmon makes another all star appearance. It is usually a huge crowd pleaser, especially for seafood lovers. This dish may even convince those on the fence that salmon is one of the best tasting healthy proteins out there. To make:
Line a broiler pan or a baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place u00bd cup chopped pineapple slices to the pan and place the salmon on top.
Combine the juice from one lime, 2 tsp. honey and u00bd tsp. minced ginger in a small bowl. Drizzle the salmon with this mixture.
Place the pan on the broiler rack (or the very top rack of your oven). Broil the salmon for about 7 minutes. If you don't have a broiling rack, cook it for at least 15 minutes on the top rack. Salmon should be browned and glazed when done. It will be opaque inside.
Serve this with a side salad or coleslaw for a fresh twist on seafood that is high in flavor.
6. Kitchen Sink Frittatas
Who said that eggs had to be for breakfasts? This egg dish is so easy to make, bake and serve. Guests will love the simple flavors behind this dish and it is extremely filling so you don't need any sides. To make:
Combine 6 organic eggs with 1 cup egg whites. To the mixture add 3 cups of chopped vegetables in whatever combinations you like. I like chopped onion, mushrooms, zucchini and celery. Yellow squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes also make excellent additions.
Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to the bowl. Season with a little sea salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp. red pepper flakes and 1 tsp. oregano. Pour the dish into an 8x8 inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
Bake on 350 for about 35 minutes until the top has browned. Serve this alone or with your favorite side, though it needs absolutely nothing to complete the meal.
7. Easy Ice Cream with Ice Cream Topping
You can't forget dessert! Just because this recipe is easy doesn't mean it can't be healthy too. You'll never believe how simple and satisfying this treat is. To make:
The morning of or day before your dinner, peel and slice one entire bunch of ripe bananas, slightly browned. Place the on a plate and into a large Ziploc bag that is freezer safe. Place the in the freezer sealed up.
Now, when you're ready to make the ice cream, remove the banana slices and add them to your blender with 1 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of vanilla. Add u00bc cup almond milk or your choice of nondairy milk. You could also use skim milk if you wish. Blend everything on low, then increase to high in your blender. This works great in a VitaMix because you can use the tamper tool to mash the frozen bananas down in the blender while mixing. If you don't have a VitaMix or high speed blender, then stop the blender every few seconds and scrape down the sides with a spatula, then blend again after removing. Keep blending until this mixture resembles ice cream.
Scoop the mixture equally among bowls, and place it back in the freezer in bowls while you prepare the sauce.
To make the easy hard shell ice cream topping, melt u00bc cup coconut oil over heat. I like to just place mine in a ramekin and place it on the coffee pot burner and turn it on. This heats it evenly, slowly and won't burn it. When it has melted, stir in 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder or raw cacao if you have it. Let it sit for about a minute and then drizzle a little of this mixture over each bowl of u201cice creamu201d in the freezer.
Place the bowls back in the freezer for at least 5 minutes and when you remove you'll have that perfect hard-shell coating and the ice cream will be just like the texture and flavor of real ice cream. This is a real pleaser to guests for its simple, delicious combination.
Making great food doesn't have to be hard, intimidating, or unhealthy. When I was a little girl, no one knew how to cook anything for guests except casseroles, lasagna and spaghetti- boring! Food is so simple in many ways and can also be extremely healthy and satisfying to cook. Impress your guests with these easy meals and gain a little kitchen confidence too. Have you ever cooked for first-time guests? What did you make?