5 Low-GI Comfort Food Dinners from Toasted Pine Nut’s Lindsay Grimes Freedman
When it comes to feeding her family of four, Lindsay Grimes Freedman — voice behind The Toasted Pine Nut, author of the upcoming cookbook Cauliflower Power, and part of our freshly launched Kitchn Collective — doesn’t let dietary restrictions or feeding two small kids get in the way of putting dinners on the table that are packed with flavor.
Grimes has had to navigate the dietary restrictions of her husband’s Type 1 Diabetes. She offers low-glycemic and gluten-free recipes and creative dishes that show how simple and flavorful healthy food can be. Here, Lindsay shares a week’s meal plan with us, and tells us how she does it.
Lindsay Grimes Freedman’s Wholesome Comfort Food Dinners
I’m not going to lie: I don’t have the weeknight dinner thing figured out. We have delicious days of easy, healthy meals where everyone happily chows down, followed by days of “clean out the fridge” meals because I can’t get my act together. But I do have a couple of tricks that keep me a bit more sane during the day-to-day shuffle.
First, plan, plan, plan! Every Sunday I try to sit down and plan our dinners for the week. Monday through Friday I write down on my calendar what we’re having and make a grocery list. Then we start off the week with a fridge full of groceries and a plan.
Second (this is for those of you with little mouths to feed), compartmentalize! Compartmentalizing my kids’ food has been revolutionary. I know what you’re thinking: Revolutionary is a strong word, Lindsay. But for real, the only way I can make ONE meal for everyone is to put the different components of the dish in sections on their little kiddie plates. For example, I won’t serve my kids a finished taco. I’ll give them the meat in one compartment, the shell in another, and toppings in another. Then, they have control over how they want to eat it and it makes the meal more approachable for them. I’ll share how I do this with the recipes below.
Monday: Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Chicken lettuce wraps are one of my favorite things to get when I’m out at a restaurant, but this one is loaded with flavor and better-for-you ingredients. My kids love to eat the filling with a fork, but my husband and I roll them up in a lettuce wrap and have sauce dripping to our elbows because it’s the only way we know how!
Get the recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Tuesday: Easy Pumpkin Alfredo
It’s fall, so we’re getting into the spirit with this pumpkin Alfredo! With only seven ingredients, it’s easy to whip together. And it’s such a crowd-pleaser! We love using chickpea pasta, but I’ve put this pumpkin Alfredo sauce on everything from zoodles to traditional fettuccine, so get creative and make it your own!
Get the recipe: Easy Pumpkin Alfredo
Wednesday: Barbecue Chicken Spaghetti Squash Boats
I’m a barbecue-lover. There’s something about that sweet and spicy flavor that I just can’t get enough of! It’s comforting and delicious and oh so indulgent. I thought it would be fun to take the barbecue flavor and lighten it up a bit with an extra serving of veggies. I love eating spaghetti squash this time of year because it’s way easier to prepare than you think and THOSE SPAGHETTI STRANDS! They get me every time! For the kids, place the shredded BBQ chicken in one section, some plain spaghetti squash strands in another (maybe with a little pad of butter), and bring on the yummy noises!
Get the recipe: Barbecue Chicken Spaghetti Squash Boats
Thursday: Spiced Cauliflower + Green Romesco
We’re obsessed with this spiced cauliflower and green romesco for a low-carb and vegetarian weeknight dinner recipe. In true form, my kids love the cauliflower in one section on their plate and the romesco in another. Then, they can dip their little hearts out!
Get the recipe: Spiced Cauliflower + Green Romesco
Friday: One-Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken
So, chicken thighs are where it’s at, in my opinion. I was always a dark-meat girl and may I be so bold as to say that, after this dish, I have no desire to eat white meat again. This lemon butter chicken is my favorite weeknight meal! It’s low-carb and gluten-free, and you’ll be slurping the sauce with a spoon — it’s that good.
Get the recipe: One Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken
Lindsay is a member of the Kitchn Collective as well as the home cook and voice behind The Toasted Pine Nut. When her husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, she went through a series of trials and errors learning how to cook food that fit her husband’s low-glycemic dietary requirements and that she could enjoy too. She found the answer in whole foods and fresh, seasonal ingredients that were naturally gluten-free and didn’t require complex recipes or techniques to taste amazing. Now she equips readers with the knowledge and tricks that she’s learned to help them live and eat well every day.
Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan!