But I’m Hungry Now!

By: Erin R. Hennessy

I enjoy cooking enough that I am willing to spend an hour or two in the kitchen baking roasted chicken or pork with potatoes, making chicken fried rice, a pot of chili, all the mouth-watering things that are absolutely delicious but also absolutely time-consuming. I’d love to eat like that every day, but like a lot of others, by the time I stumble home from work, greet my cat, put away my bag for the day, sort the mail, I am starving. It’s not the time to start roasting that chicken – it’s time to eat. So today I thought I’d share my top favorite easy-enough meals for weeknight dinners.

1) Soup. It’s so versatile, too. Add a quesadilla, sandwich, crackers, or even a quick salad. There are so many varieties of soup that you could have one each day of the week and probably not get tired of it. I haven’t tried, so don’t take my word for it.

2) Tacos. Even with cooking the ground turkey and adding seasoning, I can whip up a batch of taco meat pretty quickly. Add some cheese, salsa, chopped greens.

3) Shrimp. It’s so simple, yet I rarely think of it. Instead of spending the time cooking fish, just get some pre-cooked shrimp, warm it up with some garlic butter if you like and pair it with rice or quinoa or another grain of your choice (or blue corn tortilla chips if you’re me).

4) Eggs. Nature’s perfect protein, I’ve been hit or miss with eggs in the past. I love eggs but they don’t always love me – so I have to be sure they’re very well cooked. But there are so many easy options – scrambled, poached, toad in a hole/eggs in a basket, hard boiled for sandwiches….

5) Beans. Put them in a quesadilla with cheese! Pair them with rice and vegetables! My current favorite combination is chickpeas, kale, and quinoa drizzled with peanut sauce. The most time-consuming part is the quinoa, but if you start that first, you still have dinner in 20 minutes.

I also try to make a meal on Saturday nights that freezes easily. Then I pop it in the fridge the day before to defrost and then heat it up on the stovetop or toaster oven to enjoy. I got rid of my microwave, but you can do that too. Pasta does not freeze well, but roasted chicken, pork, or fish and potatoes with vegetables, chicken fried rice, even homemade soups!

There you have it, a week’s worth of fairly easy meals made in my kitchen. What kind of things do you like to make during the week?

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