Making complicated recipes for dinner isn't in the cards for me now that Casper is mobile and gets into everything when I'm not looking. I've fallen completely in love with meals that come together fast, are relatively healthy and, even better, don't need me to do much. Here are a few of our family favourites lately:
This recipe makes a lot and you can use the leftovers in quesadillas, on a bowl of rice or pizza or pasta, in eggs, on a salad, etc. You'll need 2 packed cups finely chopped veggies, the more brightly coloured the better (spinach, kale, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, butternut squash, beets…), plus 3 diced tomatoes.
- Brown and break up 500g lean ground beef in a heavy skillet. Drain the fat and transfer meat to a bowl.
- In the same skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 small diced onion and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Cook until translucent and starting to brown.
- Add the 2 cups of veggies and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add the meat, tomatoes, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tbsp chili powder and pepper to taste (leave out salt if feeding to a baby). Stir and cook for 5-10 min until tomatoes are cooked through.
Salmon, 2 Ways
Salmon is one of my favourite meals because it's so easy and fast. Casper goes crazy for it, too.
No. 1 — Simple
- Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle. Take your skin-on fillets and pat them dry.
- Drizzle olive oil over the fillets and rub it all over. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place them skin down on a roasting pan covered with foil or parchment.
- Cook 4-6 minutes per half-inch of thickness. It goes fast so start checking after 8 or so minutes.
- Literally, that's it. Check the temp, aiming for 145°F, and you're done. Serve with rice or quinoa or salad or sweet potato fries or all of the above. Play with seasonings next time!
No. 2 — BBQ Simple
- Preheat to 400°F. Sprinkle salt and pepper if you want, then spread 1/2 cup BBQ sauce all over your fillet(s).
- Cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness.
- Wasn't that easy?
A Lazy Mom's Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken (from Weelicious)
- Put 4 chicken breasts in your crockpot and cover them with 1 cup of BBQ sauce. Set to low and come back in 2.5 hours to the easiest dinner you've ever made. (Shred it and combine with sauce and have pulled chicken leftovers for days.)
One-Pot Pasta (from A Beautiful Mess)
13.25 whole wheat rotini or fusilli noodles (one smallish box...the amounts always mess me up in this recipe but you'll figure it out)
14.5 oz diced tomatoes in tomato juice (one can)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 big leaves of basil, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3/4 cups water (or vegetable stock)
salt and pepper
In a big pot, combine the tomatoes with their juices, minced garlic, chopped basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, coconut oil, olive oil, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add in the pasta, giving it a stir so no pieces stick together.
Cover and reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 9 minutes. Remove the lid, stir, making sure nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook for another minute.
We all also love a good turkey (or regular) chili! Another fave for Andy and I is Glory Bowls (that dressing is to die for).
Hope that helps another fellow mama pressed for time with a crazy baby on the loose! What are your favourite fast weeknight recipes? I'd love to hear!