Marcela Valladolid’s Strategies for Making Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Photo of Marcela Valladolid’s Strategies for Making Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Food Network host Marcella Valladolid believes that making healthy weeknight dinners doesn’t need to be a fussy affair. When it comes to feeding her family of five, her go-to is a hearty protein and flavorful roasted veggies.

“We do two things almost every week — either grilled steaks marinated in herbs or roasted chicken,” the star of The Kitchen tells PEOPLE of what she cooks at home in San Diego. “There’s always a roasted vegetable, like Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes or broccolini — whatever’s in season. I love to shop at the farmer’s market or grab something from the garden and roast that.”

Even if you cook for a living like Valladolid, it can be tough to make every element of every meal from scratch— especially with three kids at home (new baby Anna Carina, 3 months, joins sons Fausto, 12 and David , 2). So, she and her fiancé Phillip Button have found a few creative ways to incorporate fresh ingredients to store-bought staples.

For more about Valladolid’s mealtime routine, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

“We’ll do frozen pizzas and then I’ll get arugula from the garden and do a fresh salad over the top with shaved Parmesan,” says Valladolid, whose book on California-inspired cooking Casa Marcela comes out April 25. “Or we’ll buy a rotisserie chicken already made, and then we’ll make tacos and a fresh salsa and we’ll grill some vegetables to accompany it. We definitely try to make it a little bit homemade if it’s not completely homemade.”

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One of Valladolid’s goals when cooking for her family is to put dishes on the table “that everybody likes,” she says. “The kids eat steak — they might not eat sweet potatoes, but they will eat potatoes. I have to make sure that everybody partakes because I’m not cooking for kids and cooking for adults — there’s only one meal.”

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