Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Easy, Breezy, Flavorful

Easy, breezy, weeknight dinners are something everyone is always looking for. I try to make dinners that are quick, healthy and have good left overs. Since I am cooking most nights of the week I also don't want to have to think too hard to do this.

The secret I have found is a simple formula, meat + vegetable + salad. As long as I have the ingredients at home, this never fails to give me something quick and easy to cook.


I try to have a variety of meats in the fridge or freezer at all times (chicken, beef, pork, fish, chicken sausage, etc.) Then, each night I can pick one I want to make and all I have to do is figure out how I want to cook it. Since moving to Boston, I generally throw on a marinade and send JR out to grill it up, but baking and broiling are also good.

Using different maridanes is an easy way to change up the meal and keep things interesting. The McCormick Grill mixes are great and work on anything. Most larger grocery stores will have 5 or 7 types in the spice aisle. I also use salad dressings which are really good on fishes and chicken and BBQ sauces (of which there are millions of different kinds).

+ Vegetables

Every week when I go shopping, I get 3 or 4 different types of vegetables to cook (asparagus, brocolli, green beans, peppers and onions, brussel sprouts, etc.) Vegetables are one of my favorite ways in which to experiment and try new things. There are a million different amazing sounding recipes and if I have some time I will plan ahead and give one a shot. If I am looking for speed or simplicity I frequently steam or sauté them, but grilling and roasting are super yummy options.

+ Salad

I love making salads because there are so many great options. I keep my pantry stocked with lots of easy and interesting choices so that every night the salad can be different. I keep a variety of dried fruits and nuts in the pantry (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cherries, cranberries, apricots) and easy to keep and use vegetables in the freezer (shelled edememe, corn, peas). Then I mix it up with some shallots, red onions, tomatoes or cucumbers and a variety of salad dressings. Every night is a different salad and we never get bored.

= a easy, breezy, flavorful and healthy meal!

I don't use this every night, 2 weeknights per week I make something creative and 3 nights I use my formula. I will also throw in a box of rice or couscous everyone once in awhile to keep JR on his toes. We are always eating dinner between 8 and 9, so I try to stay away from the carbs that late, but if I need something different some Near East Mexican rice always hits the spot. JR hasn't complained yet that I am a boring cook so for the time being this is my secret to being easy, breezy and flavorful!

P.S. Whose tagline did I borrow in this article? The first person to guess gets a prize!


anonymouscoward said...


K said...

Well done Anonymouscoward! I will bring your present when I see you next.