How is it that as the days get longer, we have less time! We’d all rather be outside than in the kitchen. That makes getting dinner on the table more challenging but it doesn’t have to be. If ever my motto to cook once, eat thrice is more appropriate, it’s now…and in the summer!

Here are my secrets to simple dinners in 10 minutes!

Once a month, roast or grill protein. A lot of it. We usually grill 3 lbs. of steak and 3 lbs. of chicken thighs on a Saturday or Sunday every month or two. You don’t have to get fancy, in fact, the more simple the marinade/seasoning, the better. After you roast or grill it, freeze the leftover cooked protein into 12-16 oz. packets or whatever size works for your family.

This is nice for me because my husband takes charge of this. (Ask your partner to help with this too!)

The night before you simple dinner, defrost the protein by taking it out of the freezer and placing the container in a bowl of cold water and putting it in the fridge. It also works to leave it submerged in cold water on counter for 1-2 hours.

Once a week, roast 2-3 different types of veggies. Simply cut, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and pop into oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes.  Eat just one for dinner than night and save the rest for later.  Or eat a little of all but save some for later.

Once a week, prepare you grain of choice, if you do grains. Make 1-2 cups of rice, wild rice, quinoa, or millet.

Keep a well-stocked kitchen. Always have fresh salad greens (spring mix, spinach, arugula, or romaine), an assortment of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pinenuts), dried fruit (apricot, dates, or figs) or fresh fruit (apples, pears, oranges, peaches, berries, etc…).

Then you are ready for the week!

Mix and match.

Protein + veggie + fruit (optional) + salad greens + grain (optional) + salad dressing


Dinner in 10 minutes

Here is my current favorite that takes advantage of spring’s best offerings – asparagus and strawberries.

Roasted Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Walnuts and Skirt Steak

8-16oz. grilled skirt steak (grass-fed, organic), cut into 0.5-1 inch cubes (optional)

1 lb. roasted asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 pint fresh strawberries, halved or quartered

½ cup walnuts, lightly roasted and roughly chopped

Chevre goat cheese – optional

Mixed green salad or a spinach and arugula mix


Balsamic vinaigrette

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. honey or maple syrup (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste


Place all ingredients into a large salad bowl and toss.  Add salad dressing, as desired.

For salad dressing: In a small bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey or maple syrup (optional). Add salt and pepper to taste.


P.S.  If you want to learn more tips like this, join me for my Cooking Class: Taste of Paleo Grain-Free Eating Wednesday, May 18th from 6-9pm at Taste Kitchen & Table in Fairfax, CA. Check your calendar now and register here.