March 31, 2014

Station 400 Sarasota

It’s no secret that I’m the cook in our household, and for the most part I really enjoy it. Cooking, for me, isn’t just about getting food on the table–I think of it as a creative process, and whenever I make something that ACS and I both end up liking, it makes me happy. Also–and I don’t say this to toot my own horn, I swear–while I’m not great at coming up with recipes on the fly myself, I’m pretty good at picking recipes that end up turning out well. (My one failure recently was a beef stew that I had really high hopes for, but ended up just being kind of gross.)

And while I have no problem standing over the stove for hours on a Saturday or Sunday, weeknight dinners have to be simple and fairly quick (less than an hour) to prepare. I get home from work between 5:30 and 6, depending on what I have to do after I leave the office, which means I don’t usually start cooking until 6:20-6:30 at the earliest (and later if ACS and I decide to go for a walk or a jog). A long list of ingredients that have to be chopped into oblivion won’t cut it for us; neither will something that needs a couple of hours on the stove or in the oven. Also, I always try to make recipes that will give us at least two nights’ worth of meals. A new dish every night is just impossible for me.

So today I thought I’d share a list of things I’ve been making lately that have been a hit for one or, in most cases, both of us. They all meet my “easy and delicious” requirements, and I hope that if you make any of them, you’ll feel the same.

Herewith, in no particular order, recent weeknight faves:

Chicken and roasted broccoli (a really excellent version, and this comes from someone who does not like broccoli)

Chicken sausage with white beans and kale (a new favorite–for me, at least)

Pasta with peas, yogurt and chile (from the excellent Jerusalem cookbook; I use whatever shape pasta I have on hand and it is always perfect)

Pasta with lemon cream sauce, broccoli and arugula (the arugula part’s just for me in this house)

Buffalo chicken salad (last seen here)

Fancy grilled cheese (every few weeks, when we’re feeling indulgent; served with a big side salad)

Macaroni and cheese (I made this two weeks ago and it was amazing and easy, but so rich–it’s going to be a when-we-have-company-only dish)

The best turkey meatballs ever (although they also have prosciutto and sausage, so…call ’em what you will; we eat them sans spaghetti, with just sauce and grated parmesan on top and a big salad on the side)

Perfect buttermilk pancakes (usually on Sunday mornings, but sometimes for breakfast, served with fruit)

Banana-almond-date smoothies (I’ve made one for breakfast every weekday for the last month–no joke–and I still have not gotten sick of this; it’s so good)

Scrambled eggs with salmon and goat cheese (ACS doesn’t like eggs, so this is one that’s just for me)

Homemade pizza (made using Trader Joe’s dough, jarred marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and parmesan–so easy and delicious)

And once a week, I usually grab a lemon-pepper-seasoned rotisserie chicken from Publix and we have it with a side salad.

On my list to try: Steaks prepared this way (pan-seared then finished in the oven, not necessarily with Bearnaise sauce) this salad (for me, for lunch), this corn and tomato soupthis double chocolate banana bread as a special treat and these fajitas.

Oh, and I should note that I try to buy organic–and, when possible–local ingredients–as much as I can, including eggs, dairy, vegetables and protein.

I should also note that in the coming days and weeks, we’re going to dramatically try to cut back on our gluten intake, which means less pasta (although we don’t actually eat that much of it), less bread (that we eat a lot of) and less…stuff with gluten in it…in general. I’m also going to continue to work on the eat-less-sugar thing I’ve been preaching; a hard week at work and a bad case of the hormones set me back last week. So maybe in a few weeks I’ll update this list with some more recent favorites. And I’ll definitely keep you posted on the less-gluten thing.

What have you been cooking and loving lately? I’m always on the hunt for new recipes.

  • Reply
    Alicia | Jaybird Blog
    March 31, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    That picture looks amazing! I’ve been making a lot of easy stir fries recently. Tonight, I used some fresh squeezed OJ that I bought and hadn’t touched to make an orange ginger chicken…super easy: oj + soy sauce + a squeeze of sriracha + sprinkling of salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger, then sautee chicken in it and then cook the sauce down to thicken. That over cauliflower rice was super yum!

  • Reply
    Sarah | For the Love of Chow
    April 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I’m basically a devout follower of the entree salad. Huge bed of lettuce, some sort of protein (usually beans) and shredded veggies that I don’t know what to do with in my farm share. Then I make the easiest dressing with vinegar, a dash of dijon mustard and salt and pepper. A few tortillas on the side, and I’m set!

  • Reply
    SPRING THINGS. | Pink O'Clock
    April 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

    […] for most of the week. That last part is hard, but I find that it’s also pretty rewarding. (Here’s some of what I’ve been cooking, in case you’re […]

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