Simple, Healthy Dinner Recipes | Rental Living

Simple, Healthy Dinner Recipes

If you live in an apartment or on your own, chances are you are working hard all week with your nose to the grindstone to pay the bills too. It's tempting to zip through the McDonald's drive-thru at the end of the day since it's easy and cheap but we're here to tell you to say no to fast food as much as you can. Here are some simple, healthy dinner recipes that are tasty yet won't break the bank:

Orange Glazed Chicken with Carrots and Bulgur

Ingredients - 8 chicken legs (drumsticks, approx 3lbs total), coarse salt and ground pepper, ½ cup orange marmalade, 4 med-sized carrots sliced into ½ inch chunks, 1 cup of bulgur, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon of grated lime zest, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


Directions -


1. First preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken about 10 minutes, then brush with half the marmalade and rotate the sheet. Keep roasting and brush once again with marmalade until chicken is browned and cooked through, 10 and 15 minutes more.

2. While the chicken is roasting, set the stove on medium-high and being to heat oil in a large saucepan. Add carrots and season them with salt and pepper. Cook while stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes until the carrots begin to brown. Add in bulgur and 1 ½ cups of water then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the bulgur is tender (should take about 10-12 minutes). Stir in lime zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with bulger.

**If you’re wondering where to find bulgur, you can locate it along with rice in most groceries. Bulgur is actually a nutty grain made from pre-cooked wheat.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Gingered Salmon with Grilled Corn and Watercress Salad

Ingredients - Four 6oz skin-on salmon fillets, 5 small ears of corn, shucked, ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, 20 small slices of pickled ginger (about 1 oz), salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon honey, 1 bunch of watercress (about 8 oz, discard thick stems)


Directions -


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. While you’re waiting boil ½ cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes until it is reduced to 3 tablespoons. Once reduced, let it cool and stir in 1 tablespoon of canola oil.

  2. Grill corn over high heat in a grill pan. Turn the corn until nicely charred all over (about 5 minutes). Cut kernels from the cobs with a serrated knife once corn cools.

  3. Place salmon fillets skin side down on a cutting board or other work surface.Use the tip of a sharp knife to make five ½ inch-deep slits crosswise in the flesh of each fillet. Stuff 1 slice of ginger into each slit. Thread each fillet lengthwise with a short skewer.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in an ovenproof, nonstick skillet. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper then add seasoned fillets to the skillets, skin-side down. Cooke on moderately high heat until the skin is lightly golden (3 minutes). Transfer skillet to oven and roast salmon for 6 minutes (turn once about halfway through) until the skin is crisp and fish is cooked through

  5. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with mustard and honey in a large bowl. Gradually whisk the remaining ¼ cup of canola into the dressing. Then add watercress and grilled corn kernels to the bowl and toss to coat. Transfer salad to plates and top with skewered salmon. Drizzle the plate with the balsamic vinegar reduction and serve!


Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine.



Greek Pasta with Tomatoes and White Beans


Ingredients - 2 cans of Italian-style diced tomatoes (14.5 oz), 1 can of cannellini beans (19 oz), drained and rinsed, fresh spinach washed and chopped (10 oz), penne pasta (8 oz), crumbled feta chees (½ cup)


Directions -


  1. Boil salt water and cook pasta until al dente.

  2. Combine beans and tomatoes in a skillet (large, non-stick). Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Next, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

  3. Add in spinach to sauce. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring contantly.

  4. Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle feta over the dish.

Recipe courtesy of All Recipes.

Rigatoni with Roasted Sausage and Broccili


Ingredients - ½ lb rigatoni (or ½ box), 1 bunch broccoli (cut into florets), 1 small, sliced red onion, 3 tablespoons olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper, 1 lb Italian sausage links (remove casings and break into 1-in pieces), 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ¼ cup (or 1 oz) grated Parmesan


Directions -


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Boil pasta in water and cook according to package directions. Save ¾ cup of cooking water. Drain pasta and return to the pot.

  2. Toss broccoli and onion with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Place sausage on baking sheet among vegetables.

  3. Roast and toss once until sausage is cooked through and broccoli is tender (18-20 minutes)

  4. Mix in and toss pasta with broccoli and sausage mixture, butter, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water. If pasta remains dry, add in more cooking water.

  5. Sprinkle pasta with parmesan before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple.

Tofu and Veggies in Peanut Sauce


Ingredients - 1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1 small head broccoli (chopped), 1 small red bell pepper (chopped), 5 fresh mushrooms (sliced), 1 lb firm tofu (cubed), ½ cup peanut butter, ½ cup hot water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons molasses, ground cayenne pepper to taste


Directions -


  1. Take a large skillet or wok and heat oil in it over medium-high heat. Saute broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and tofu for 5 minutes.

  2. Combine peanut butter, hot water, soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Pour over veggies and tofu. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until veggies are tender crisp.

Recipe courtesy of All Recipes.


If you enjoyed reading this blog, feel free to check out our other blog entries. Or, if you're looking to make a move into a new apartment throughout Northern and Southern California, check out our California apartment guide.


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