5 easy dinners, most of them tasty!

Yes I am the home cook who tries to prepare tasty meals within the span of two Curious George episodes (or — gah! — Dinosaur Train). This week, I had great success in making a work-week’s worth of easy healthy meals. Unfortunately, they were not all delicious.

Monday: Salmon, chard, beets, biscuits — delicious!
Monday night, I hosted my book club. We meet every six months and have been going since 1999. Unfortunately, this book club has become more of an eating/cooking club with a book theme over the years (since we’ve read Fast Food Nation and Omnivore’s Dilemma, we’ve all become picky as heck). Since I only have to host about once a year, I can’t complain too much. I get a lot of delicious meals out of this book club.

I picked up this super easy salmon recipe from the fish guy at Whole Foods and want to share:

Super Easy Salmon

Beautiful piece of salmon
Olive Oil
Tequila lime spice rub (provided free from Whole Foods for buying $$ salmon)

20 minutes from fridge to table

Heat oven to 350.
Add some olive oil to coat the bottom of baking dish.
Lay the fish on the oil.
Rub with spice rub
Bake 10 to 15 minutes

I added sesame kale (cold) and roasted beet salad (cold) from the Whole Foods deli case as easy no-cook high-nutrition side dishes.

Spoiler alert: I went over the top with the biscuits, but in my own defense the rest of the meal was TOO EASY and I was able to prep my star biscuits several hours in advance. I made from-scratch whole-wheat biscuits using Heidi Swanson’s drop biscuit recipe (from Cook 1.0). I then rolled and stamped them into star shapes with cookie cutters (baked in my toaster oven at 425 for 12 minutes).

Tuesday: Zachary’s pizza, wilted spinach — yummy!

Zachary’s Pizza is the best dang Chicago-style pizza this side of Chicago. If that weren’t good enough news, they also prepare half-baked versions of my two favorite flavors so I can finish baking them at home for an easy weeknight dinner.

Anytime I drive by that place, it seems like two pizzas leap into my car for future consumption.

I heated the toaster oven to 450, popped the pizza in for 15 minutes. Done.

For the side dish, I filled a small glass prep bowl with pre-washed spinach and ran it under the instant-hot water dispenser. Wait 1 minute. Done! Holden likes his wilted spinach with a squirt of lemon juice.

Wednesday: Salmon cakes, corn on the cob, baked beans — tasty but time-intensive!
Though this recipe is in The Best 30 Minute Recipe book that I love, I can it took a little longer to prepare than 30 minutes AND my husband was on-hand to do the dirty hands-in-the-salmon work. We had to play another half show for the kids in order to finish cooking.

Using the leftover salmon as a base, he created patties (get yourself the cookbook; I can’t do it justice) and cooked half on the George Foreman grill and the other half on the stovetop in oil. FYI, the oil version was yummier. Milo (3YO) liked it. Holden (5YO) didn’t.

I cook corn on the cob by putting the cobs in cold water, heating the water to boil, then turning off for 10 minutes with the lid on. It’s the same recipe I use for hard-boiled eggs, so I don’t know if it’s the right way. I got out a little bit of that Tequila lime spice rub to try with the corn on the cob. Excellent.

Thursday: crock pot sirloin tips over buttery noodles — easy but disgusting!
I love using the crock pot because I can set it up in the morning and then forget about it all day. I was craving beef so searched the Internet for “sirloin tips crock pot” and found this god-awful recipe. Boo hoo.

I added frozen peas at the end and that was the best part. Gross, thick, pasty. Do not try at home.

Thursday do-over: Easy frittata, fruit salad, frozen peas — much better!
Since I had committed to the sirloin stew-paste by buying ingredients earlier in the week, I didn’t want to turn back. But my kids like our weekly Frittata Night, so I gave them the choice. Thank goodness! They both asked for seconds but their behavior devolved before they could finish the second helping.

I made a fruit salad of apples, peaches, strawberries (half of which went into their lunchboxes for the next day). I discovered that Milo avoided the apples and Holden avoided the peaches. Hmm.

Yes, our green vegetable was peas. Holden likes frozen peas frozen. Milo likes his cooked (instant-hot to the rescue for fast-cooking peas). They don’t say “easy peasy” for nothing. A handful of still-frozen peas is the best!

Did you prepare any super easy delicious meals recently?