What should I make for dinner today?
I am confident I ask myself this at least 20 times a day. The process of deciding what to cook for dinner can at times be such a rigorous, thorough selection, you’d think I were picking out a car.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You pick up your phone and browse through a million and one recipes, videos, meal blogs. Watching the videos are my favorite but so addicting. How do they make cooking a complicated lasagna look so darn easy??
And then you go down a checklist of items, before you finally come to a decision. Do I have all the ingredients? Can I make it in less than 3o minutes? Is it easy to prep? Will the kids eat it?
All too familiar, isn’t it? This is everyday for me. It never gets easier, and I rarely cook outside my comfort zone. It’s just too risky when you have littles that may or may not appreciate your beautifully stuffed avocado dish.
So here’s a short list of some of my favorite go-to meals for those busy, butt-kicking weeknights.
Salmon and Potatoes Au Gratin
Let’s be clear about something right from the start. I am not one of those women who is ashamed of getting a little bit of help from pre-made, pop-it-in-the-oven kind of meals. Anything that cuts down my cooking time in half, or helps me out a little bit is always welcome. That being said, I love to make Costco’s pre-made Salmon tray. It comes with three filets of beautiful salmon, topped with dill and balls of buttery pesto deliciousness. I just place it in the oven and make a simple, cheesy potato au gratin to go with it. It’s easy, healthy and a hit with the family.
Black Bean Burgers
Perfect dish for Meatless Mondays! Black bean burgers are a great tasting, tummy-filling alternative to a meat burger. Best part is, the only chopping/prep to be done for it is in the food processor! I just dump everything right in, form patties and fry them up. Super easy go-to dish for a vegetarian night.
Red Lentil Soup
This is such an easy dish to make, and full of hearty nutrients. Basically it’s the ultimate comfort food. It meets all the items on my checklist too: ingredients on hand, very little prep and kid approved. Nothing makes me happier than the words, “Mummy, can I have some more?”. My daughter specifically asks for soup and loves to eat it all by herself. I like to make salad, or breadsticks to serve with the soup.
Baked Chicken and Zucchini Lasagna
I know we all struggle to eat our veggies, especially trying to feed more vegetables to our kiddos. I haven’t cracked any magic code to win in that department, so any tips would be great. My usual method to cook veggies like broccoli, beans and asparagus is to lightly fry them with salt and pepper. But I do try different methods sometimes, like this zucchini lasagna which was cheesy and crunchy and served as a nice side dish. I found the recipe in a recipe book I borrowed from the library [see below].
Last but not least, I absolutely love making tacos for dinner. It’s easy, yummy, and I can use really fresh ingredients. Best part is everyone can assemble these for themselves. I don’t know about you, but I love build-your-own meals. I like to make fresh guacamole, and add all the toppings like taco sauce, sour cream and cheese. And it’s easy to swap the filling protein for black beans, beef, fish or shrimp. I usually serve tacos with rice, salad or even simple tortilla chips.
So there you have it, five of my fav dishes to make for weeknights. Maybe one day I’ll be able to actually elevate my cooking, but for now, simplicity is key when it comes to making meals for my family.
What are some of your favorite go-to meals for your family on weeknights?
Leave me a comment below, love to read them 🙂