Monday: One of my go to’s lately? Meatballs and salad. Yes, yes, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles are a great replacement for noodles, but sometimes you’re just feeling lazy. Personally, I have been really into meatballs as a main dish. To be honest, that may in part be due to my son’s love for meatballs (do any toddlers NOT love meatballs??). I can trust he will always eat them, so you best believe I make them.
There are several variations on meatballs that I make… sometimes I stuff them with cheese, sometimes I add flavor with pesto, sometimes I use ground chicken instead of turkey (rarely use beef), and I almost always use the “Barefoot Contessa Method” that I learned from her meatloaf. Basically: saute diced onion, bell pepper and garlic with Worcestershire sauce, mix that in with a little breadcrumbs and you are guaranteed flavorful meatballs.
I pair this with a *cough* (bagged) Caesar salad. It would take like 2 whole extra minutes and like 50 more dishes (that’s how I roll) to make it myself, but I choose not to, lately at least. Do what you like! But I swear, the combo is a winner 🙂
Tuesday: Asian Peanut Stir Fry with Couscous- or by itself for the real carb-free-ers. I either skip a starch completely (my mom and aunts always called the “carb” in their meal a starch, is that an out of date term??) or use couscous because, let’s get real, it takes a whole HELL of a lot less time than rice and my boys freaking love couscous.
And yes, I have posted about my stir fry a time or two before, but lately I have SERIOUSLY perfected my peanut sauce. No, I don’t have measurements. If even one person requests it I will test this recipe like crazy until I have the measurements down to a T, but for now, I will just give you the jist of it. Here’s the idea: a little spice, a little bit sweet…a little salty, a little bit peanuty. I saute my veggies/meat in a little chili oil (just a dab will do it), then add in a sauce consisting of a little fish sauce AND oyster sauce (because I can’t make up my mind) oh, and, soy sauce, Truvia, and natural peanut butter. If I want to thicken it up I’ll add a slurry of corn starch and water. And yes, I eyeball it all so it’s slightly different every time, but always amazing.
Wednesday: My son’s fav Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers. Okay, fav as of the other night, but I had to share! Bake your peppers at 350 for 15 minutes covered in foil and brown your ground meat of choice the night before to save time! Saute onions, bell pepper, and garlic then add a can of diced tomatoes. I mixed in some cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper along with some salsa and left over couscous then baked again for 15 more minutes. I added some cheese on top and broiled until browned and voila!
My toddler approved and we will be making this again, but on another note, WHAT KID LIKES BELL PEPPERS?! I always hated them as a kid. He eats them constantly. Weirdo 😉
Thursday: I can’t believe I haven’t already mentioned my Soy Glazed Salmon on the blog. It’s my second favorite way to make salmon (check that one out too). Lately, I have been pairing this with MY FREAKING LOVE: edamame. Frozen edamame, to be exact, because, HELLO. Shortcut. I love the whole “eat real food” thing but this is about as real as I get, I’m all about short cuts when my toddler/sous-chef needs dinner in 3…2……..Plus, my son and I love it and it fills us up with some yummy protein 🙂
As for the salmon, it’s great because fish doesn’t need to be marinated for long and doesn’t take long in the oven at all! Just combine about 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, a little chopped garlic and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Marinate for 10-30 minutes (whatever time allows) and bake at 425 for about 10 minutes per inch.
Friday: As I always say (and my mom taught me), go out to eat, you deserve it! Haha, sorry, but this army wife needs a date night with her current main man, my three, no, almost four year old! Lately, my date has been taking me to Subway. He devours his entire turkey sub before touching his cookie and he loves picking out basically all the veggies himself too (with ranch, of course) so how can I say no? I get a chopped salad with basically every veggie- like mother like son- and tuna.
Disclaimer: Almost all of these are “eyeballed”. Take these for what they are, ideas! I am happy to provide more exact recipes upon request. Just comment below!
What are your go-to weeknight dinners lately?
Do you give yourself a break and go out on Friday nights too?
Do you have any “short cuts” you take like me?