I feel like my pinterest feed is overwhelmed lately with freezer and crockpot meals. That’s awesome (and I’ve got a freezer full of them myself!) But I pull those dinners out when I’m desperate, way overwhelmed, empty on groceries or feeling under the weather. I LOVE to cook and I do almost every night, especially now that our kitchen is mostly functional again even though it’s not quite finished. Brandon grills often, even in the winter (and the spring that sometimes feels like winter). We love to try new recipes and flip through one of my cookbooks and try something that we maybe hadn’t made yet before.
Countertops have finally been ordered! The fridge fit back into that space behind where it is in the picture above by the SKIN OF OUR TEETH thanks to my father in law and Brandon’s hard work. But it’s already so SO nice to be together in this space.
Of course time is never on my hands and I have kids that I won’t pretend are perfect eaters all of the time. They’re getting much more adventurous and for the most part eat a really really huge variety of foods for their age- Lilly will tell anyone who asks that her favorite foods are pork tenderloin, eggplant parmesan, spaghetti squash and more depending on what day of the week it is. The girls eat ethnic food and a large variety of vegetables and grains. We still make chicken nuggets and cheese pizza and quesadillas and such when we need to- we’d rather have the girls go to bed with full tummies eating “kid food” than be hungry, even if they’re simply stubborn, and uncomfortable all night.
I mostly cook right at dinner time, spending a half hour tops over the stove or prepping something for the oven. Sometimes I wait until the kids are in bed if I’m making something more elaborate or particularly delicious that I want to enjoy with Brandon after the kids are in bed. Hopefully these collections of recipes help keep you inspired to cook more and make new things. Sometimes I feel like it’s not that people don’t like to cook, it’s just deciding what to make can be so overwhelming and laborious. What’s good? What doesn’t take too long? What *might* my kids try (and like)?
Here are seven different meal ideas and corresponding recipes links to get you started. I can’t promise I’ll share a meal plan EVERY week but hopefully I can sneak these posts up more often!
Monday : Flounder Milanese with Arugula Salad (below) *TIP* If you are unfamiliar with cooking seafood or aren’t quite sure what to do with it, talk to the fish mongers at your grocer! I’ve found the people at Whole Foods to be super super helpful in recommending good ways to cook various fish and have a ton of knowledge that they are always happy to share.
Tuesday: Jerk Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs
Wednesday: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
- brown ground turkey in a skillet with a little olive oil, minced shallot, minced onion, and minced bell pepper
- add taco seasoning and a 1/4 water
- serve in large bibb lettuce leaves with greek yogurt, sliced avocado, shredded carrots, cillantro, lime wedges and mexican cheese
Thursday: Spaghettie Squash “Carbonara”
- Bake halved squash in a preheated 400 degree oven (cut side down, drizzled with olive oil, salt and papper) for 30-45 minutes or until fork tender
- Shred with a fork and add squash shreds to a frying pan
- add crushed garlic, a cup of parmesan cheese, a splash of heavy cream or greek yogurt, crispy crumbled bacon and chopped fresh parsley
- add an over easy egg on top for those who like the drippy rich yolk!
Friday: Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with roasted Veggies
- purchase a pack of petit filets
- wrap each filet in a THIN slice of bacon and secure with twine or a toothpick
- salt and pepper the top and bottom of each filet
- sear in a hot skillet with olive oil 1 minute on all sides
- transfer filets (still in the skillet if oven proof, or onto a baking stone that’s been preheated in the oven) and bake at 450 for 7 minutes or until cooked to your likeness.
- for the veggies- dice them small and drizzle with olive oil, add crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary. Roast in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes or until crispy.
Saturday: Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans
- Marinate the pork tenderloins in a ziplock bag (this is our favorite favorite marinade ever) – equal parts orange juice and soy sauce- about a cup each. 5 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tbsp. of freshly grated ginger, 2 chopped green onions, a drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper and a few springs of chopped fresh rosemary. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
- Roast in the oven at 400 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- You can reserve the marinade and boil it down to make a delicious glaze or gravy for mashed potatoes! So so delicious.
- My girls love plain old steamed fresh green beans!
Sunday: Lilly’s Master Chef Junior Pizza Kit!
We got Lilly this kit for her birthday MasterChef Junior Pizza Cooking Set
and it’s love. Making pizza together is one of our favorite things to do as a family.
Have a great week!