Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals
What do fellow chowhounds cook during the week for a quick and easy dinner. If applicable please include recipes.
I feel like we eat the same meals every week:
Tacos & Cornbread or Fajitas
Steak Tips, French Fries and Salad
Grilled Chicken, Rice and a Veggie
Looking to expand on our weekly meals!
I make salmon at least once a week. Shrimp is also fast and can be made many ways - inlcuding tossed with pasta, rice (jambalaya), salads.
You can mix it up and make fish tacos (am making this tonight w/ Red Snapper). I usually just season fish with cumin, S&P and bake till flakey. Serve with sour cream, shredded cabbage (mixed w/ cilantro, lime juice, cumin), avocado, tortillas. As sides, you can make rice and beans. Tonight I'm making a Black Bean & Mango salad as the side dish (from Cooking Light magazine).
Check out this recent post for salmon recipes: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/484379
i used to never make fish b/c my so doesn't like it. but i've found a trick that works with almost everything.
marinate fish (usually salmon) in teriyaki sauce, remove from marinade and coat in seasame seeds. spray pam in pan and grill each side until crisp. serve with broccoli or zuccini and rice. very simple and tasty. i've tried to branch out and make a seasame dressing salad or making some kind of reduction sauce for the veggies.
Living in New Orleans, we eat fish probably 5 nights a week. Hubby goes deep sea fishing about once every couple of months so we are usually stocked with tuna, wahoo, amberjack. Plus all the flats fishing we do bringing in redfish and specled trout. Adding thats its crawfish, oyster and shrimp season and well... seafood is a staple around here. Most of the time I take a filet of redfish (skin intact scales removed) brush the skin side with olive oil and throw it on a grill. Sprinkle salt, pepper and lemon slices and grill it until the fish gets flaky. The redfish skin acts in the same way those ceder planks do for salmon. Or if its a delicate fish I usually wrap the filet in parchment paper, season it, and bake it in the oven. But the easiest is a basic shrimp boil with potatoes, corn, artichokes, garlic, and onions.
It is difficult to prepare dinner from scratch every night during the week. Even though we have downsized from 2 DD to 1, there always seems to be another kid to feed or last minute addition (everyone want to eat at my house - go figure!). I try to prepare BIG food on weekend that can do double duty during the week. Very big on roasting chicken (6-8 lb. range), turkey breast or beef roast that I can turn into casserole, wraps, crepes, salad, etc.
I watch the grocery store ads each and every week and try to plan my meals around what's in season/what's on sale. If beef chuck is on special, will make big pot roast, cube some for beef barley soup (a meal the way I make it), beef stew, etc. If steak is on sale, will buy some for freezer. Likewise, plan ahead and marinate skirt steak for fajitas, or b/s chix breast. Not a personal fan of slow cooker, but many people swear by them.
My project managers skills are showing. I sit down with the grocery store ads, view what's on sale, and plot out a week's worth of meals, make a detailed grocery list and plan to invest an afternoon with all burners and oven going. With a little planning, you will have a "bank" of meals in your freezer or fridge. If you need some inspiration, get out your cookbooks, look up recipes in chowhound or epicurious, try new things.
Spring is around the corner, learn how to roast asparagus with EVOO, lemon juice & kosher salt. Delicious with chicken or beef. Make a little extra and turn it into a frittata or quiche. There is a produce section of veggies I am willing to bet you haven't tried lately - soon artichokes will be in season, delicious steamed and filled with cold seafood salad. Let me know if you want any specific recipes.
The traditional coffee-shop breakfast tastes even better for dinner. I find the fresh, packaged hash browns at the market very good. But not the pre-cooked frozen.
Once the vegetables are chopped, jamabalaya is simple, I chop up the vegetables all at once, put in plastic sandwhich bags (1 bag per serving or recipe) and freeze.
A recent thread praised Swanson canned chicken a la king, I tried it and found it delicious over toast. Couldn't be much simpler.
Shrimp (or other protein) alfredo. Cook up the pasta (7-8 minutes), mix in in bagged, shredded cheese and cream or half-and-half., or just cheese. Simmering or frying, shrimp cook in 5 or 6 minutes,
In summer, salmon salad. Mix together canned red salmon (not the tasteless pink), petit pois and mayo, and if convenient, chopped celery. Serve on greens.
Franks or other sausage with potato salad (make salad ahead on the weekend).
Stir fry Prepare the protein the ceekend, use frozen vegetables.
As others have suggested, you can use seafood the same way you use chicken, For a quick shrimp dipping sauce, mix catsup and horseradish.
For a very acceptable spaghetti, cook hamburg and add to bottled sauce. Make sure to grate plenty of parmesan over the top. Or make meatballs ahead of time.
I love hot roast beef, turkey or chicken sandwiches. Prepare protein on the weekend, You can fix a gravy pretty quickly using canned stock. I use a can of Campbell's beef or chicken stock, 1-1/2 cans of water, 5 Tbs. flour, and a pinch of salt, peppter, sage, thyme, oregano and (and more) parsley, plus Kitchen Bouquet for beef gravy.
Emulate Tex Cobb, using leftover protein and cheese.
If you have a slow cooker, you can do some pretty nice braised meats (i.e. short ribs: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...) and stews.
Stirfries are also a weekday staple of mine..
Quiche (doesn't take much prep time at all, esp. if you buy a pre made pie crust; you can also make a lot of them ahead of time and rewarm for dinner)
Pita bread pizzas
Thai lettuce wraps
Grilled skewers / kebabs with tabouleh
Oven baked fried chicken served with cucumber and tomato salad(http://southernfood.about.comm/od/ove...
)Layered tortilla pie with tomatoes, served with southwestern corn, bean, tomato and onion salad
Microwave smashed potatoes with salmon or meatloaf
Salmon patties with yogurt tahini sauce