healthy take-out food

Navigating Dinner When Eating Out Every Night of the Week

Hello! I can’t believvvve that it’s almost Thanksgiving! Where has the time gone??

On Sunday I shared with you this week’s grocery list on my Instagram story (you can find it saved under “meal planning”) but what I really want to do is rewind just a bit to last week and share with you that “meal plan” (using this term verrrrry loosely). If you take a close look, you’ll see that it’s quite short. In fact, the only things on it are our weekly staples, some items to throw an easy lunch together and then lots of meals out. Yep, we ate out every night last week and that’s just how some weeks are. I cook because I do love it. I love figuring out how to make simple meals that are delicious, that don’t take a lot of time, and that can feed and fuel a family. However, if there isn’t time in a week, I’m not going to stress about it and try to squeeze it in. Take-out and restaurants are around for a reason and some weeks they are what keep us going!

I wrote this after the fact. I had no idea what I as going to order before I went. We decided one day at a time.

I wrote this after the fact. I had no idea what I as going to order before I went. We decided one day at a time.

Last weekend I was in one of my best friend’s weddings, which was on a Sunday night. That Monday morning Kyle and I got up at the crack of dawn to fly back to Dallas to make it back to work and as soon as we landed the week took off. We both knew what our weeks would look like and, on the plane, made a team decision that this week’s dinners would all be out.

So Monday after work I ran by the store on the way home from work to grab our weekly staples and to have something for lunches that week. That was the extent of my grocery shopping.

I get lot’s of questions from people regarding (a) do I ever eat out and (b) what are my go-to’s when eating out or picking something up. With this in mind I decided I should share last week’s meals with you guys to give you some ideas of places you could go and menu items you could grab when pressed for time. Here is what we did last week!

LUNCHES: Rotisserie Chicken Spinach Salad with different sides

First of all I want to talk lunches. Lunch was the same every day but it worked and, while not glamorous, sometimes that’s just what we need. Would y’all agree? This week I grabbed a rotisserie chicken and mixed greens from Whole Foods along with some carrots, crackers, hummus and Siggi’s yogurts, among a few other items. I knew we already had tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, feta and ingredients for salad dressings at home. On grocery trips like this where I am trying to semi - plan ahead I aim to buy some foods in each of the different foods groups to choose from throughout the week. That means that, while the main lunch item may be the same, the things I pair with it can vary some each day. From this grocery trip I was able to have a spinach salad with rotisserie chicken, feta cheese, tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds pretty much every day. Then I switched up the sides, depending on what I was in the mood for. I paired crackers with hummus, carrots, granola bars, a yogurt, fresh fruit or cottage cheese, which were all available and ready to go in my fridge. This kept lunches easy and decision making at a minimum. Check!

DINNERS: Eating Out Every Night

Then came dinners. I didn’t even attempt to make anything. Fortunately we live around a handful of different options so we could grab something different each night. These are some of our go-to places for easy weeknight dinners and what we chose this week.

MONDAY:

Zoe’s Kitchen - Mediterranean Chicken with Greek Salad

Our first night was Zoe’s. I hope you have already discovered this place because they have so many good options. Most often I end up with the Mediterranean Chicken and rotate the sides that I get. My favorites are the Greek salad, the roasted veggies or the white beans. They also have great family meals that you can pick up. Oh, and they have the BEST ginormous chocolate chip cookies. Let’s be real, sometimes I go because what I really want is that incredible cookie. Definitely give this menu a look!


TUESDAY:

Celebration - Veggie plate with Chicken and Rice Soup

Celebration Veggies.JPG

Tuesday night we found ourselves at Celebration. I love going here with my husband because you can find almost anything you’re looking for and I love their assortment of veggies that seem to take me back to eating around the dinner table with my family. Plus, the environment is warm and the service is friendly and it always feels, to me, like the perfect place to sit down with friends or family, relax and talk about the day. This place is a go-to for me and my husband. We find ourselves sitting in one of the small booths almost weekly, relaxing and eating and talking about our day, what we are looking forward to and whatever is on our mind. Their menu has everything from creamy chicken dishes and fried okra to delicious roasted veggies, grilled rosemary chicken, grilled salmon, pork tenderloin, you name it. It’s like a delicious home-cooked meal whenever you go! Oh, and Thursdays is half-price wine night, if you’re interested…


WEDNSDAY:

East Hampton- Goat cheese & Avocado Sandwich

East Hamptom Veggie Sandwich.JPG

Wednesday night I went to see Ina Garten speak at the McFarlin Auditorium on SMU’s campus. Oh my gosh, I loved it! I bought two tickets as soon as I saw she was coming to Dallas and even that far in advance I couldn’t find two seats directly next to each other. So I bought one seat and then the seat behind it, my challenge then being to find someone who wanted to go badly enough that he / she would not mind sitting behind me during the show, ha. I would 100% have gone on my own if I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. That’s how excited I was for this event. However, fortunately, my dietitian friend, whose name also happens to be Taylor, was super excited to go with me. Before the show we grabbed a bite at East Hampton. I loved this vegetarian goat cheese and avocado sandwich. So scrumptious with homemade potato chips. I also love their Lemon Meyer Chicken sandwich or salad and their Honey Grilled Chicken sandwich or salad (they will turn any sandwich into a salad for you). If you go, go often because their menu changes from time-to-time, I think, with the seasons. I love the flavors and the flexibility here!

THURSDAY:

Eatzi’s - Roasted Salmon + Roasted Mustard Dill Potatoes

Eatzi's Chef's Case.JPG

And then, of course, we found ourselves at Eatzi’s. I think my husband and I probably find ourselves here once a week to once every other week. My go-to’s here are typically their salad station or I go to their pasta station and ask for extra veggies :) . However tonight I chose items from their chef’s case. I usually have salmon at least once a week so this was the night for that. I got their salmon with a tomato relish and paired it with their vegetable salad and roasted mustard dill potatoes (soooo stinkin good!). Kyle and I took it back, heated everything up and watched an episode of Suits (have you seen this show? I now realize that it is so old but I’m never up with the times when it comes to t.v. shows and Kyle and I are loving it right now!). This was a perfectly simple dinner with easy cleanup!

I hope this post has given you some ideas of places to grab a meal for you and your family when time is tight and their is no time to cook at home. Always remember, meals don’t have to be complicated or even homemade to fuel you and your active family.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor