Easy Weekly Dinner Menu #4: Quality over Quantity
17 Feb 2013
When I got the idea for The Weary Chef, I was excited to bring you a menu of easy dinners every week, and I still love that mission. Each of my first three weeks, I brought you seven new recipes. I pulled from my tried and true classics and shared new dishes that I tested and loved. What I’m now realizing is that seven new recipes each week is ambitious, especially for a Weary Chef. Bringing you the best quick, easy, and delicious recipes I can find takes trial and error. Every new dish I try isn’t worth recommending, so if I plan seven recipes for the week and two are flops, that makes it hard to put together your menu.
What I’m getting at is this: Going forward, I will bring you 4-5 fresh, new dinners every week, and the remaining 2-3 will be pulled from my library of past recipes. Not only does this give me time to do recipe testing to find more fabulous, easy dinners for you, those great dinners of menus past shouldn’t be filed away and never seen again!
Now, without further ado, I bring you this week’s weekly menu of quick dinners, including some past favorites.
- Weary Chef’s Catfish Dinner – I’m from Mississippi, and although I have lived in San Francisco for 13 years now, I still miss southern food. This meal reminds me of home, and I hope you will enjoy it. It does take about 40 busy minutes to prepare, but I think it’s well worth it.
- Chicken Tostadas – We used to be nacho or taco people. Tostadas? That’s complicated and messy, right? I’m not sure what possessed me to try tostadas at some point, but they have been a regular guest of Fiesta Night since. You know what goes great with tostadas? Guacamole. Especially when it’s as easy as this 5-minute recipe.
- Potato Corn Chowder – This hearty soup is always a crowd pleaser. It freezes well, makes perfect lunch leftovers, and is born to be dipped. Add diced ham if you want extra protein and flavor, or use vegetable broth for a great vegetarian dinner.
- Lemon Chicken Pasta – A creamy, lemony sauce tossed with pasta makes for a satisfying meal. Add more veggies if you’d like, or serve with a salad.
- Turkeys in Sleeping Bags – I originally posted these as a kid dinner idea, but all the grownups who tried them, including myself, loved them too. If you want something a little more highbrow than hot dogs, try your choice of chicken sausages instead, and maybe upgrade the cheese to provolone. Serve with sweet potato fries (frozen or homemade).
- Greek Salad with Chicken – I need to get a better photo of this salad this week because this one doesn’t do it justice. It has a great balance of chicken, vegetables, and vinegary bite. Serve with garlic bread or a crusty sourdough.
- Creamy Easy Mac and Cheese with tilapia and steamed green beans – As promised, here is another mac and cheese variation, a super easy baked version. Don’t be afraid of the cottage cheese and sour cream. I was skeptical, but it is rich, creamy, and delicious — even with reduced fat ingredients. (Of course you can use their full-fat counterparts if that’s how you roll.) Steam your green beans and toss with a small pat of butter, kosher salt, and pepper for a quick veggie side. Season tilapia with soy sauce and fresh lemon juice. Heat skillet over medium high heat, spray with cooking spray, and cook fish fillets about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. If you can’t find tilapia, use another white fish that is available in your area.