This week’s easy dinner menu features a healthier Mac and Cheese recipe, Pork Chile Verde, Pizza Sliders, Tuna Casserole, and lots more! Plus, I dive into my reader survey results to share what you all had to say!
Hello! Since my reader survey ended over a month ago, it’s high time I give you some highlights from the results. After we talk about what you like and don’t like around here, we’ll get to your easy dinner recipes for the week. (Scroll on down if survey results don’t interest you. I won’t take offense.)
There were 356 responses, and I think most respondents were email subscribers. I don’t think this is exactly representative of my entire audience, but it is a good sampling of those of you who are regulars around here. I think the easiest way to go through this is question by question, so let’s go!
- “Which post/email do you most look forward to each week?”
- Almost 60% of you said you like them all equally (thank you!), while 18% said it varies, and 14% chose the weekly dinner menu.
- Only two people chose the Monday bonus recipe as their favorite, so I wonder if I should consider making three dinner recipes some weeks instead of bringing you a breakfast, dessert, appetizer, or other extra recipe on Mondays.
- “If you are an email subscriber, what’s your biggest reason for NOT opening The Weary Chef’s emails?”
- The majority (33%) of you answered that you do open your emails, so thank you for that! Answers like, “I can’t imagine not opening this email” and “I always open the emails when I get them. I can’t wait to see what’s next!” truly warmed my heart.
- 30% of you said you get too much email, and 23% said you aren’t interested based on the subject of the email, both of which are completely understandable. I’m not sure how to combat the too much email problem (I have that problem too!), but I wonder if I could convince those of you who aren’t interested in the subject to open the message if I always linked to other recommended posts in each message. Let me know if that appeals to you!
- “If you are not an email subscriber, how do you usually find out about my recipes?”
- This was pretty evenly split between Pinterest, Facebook, and simply visiting my site occasionally. I’m actually surprised that anyone said they find out about my recipes from Facebook because I feel like no one sees my posts there! If you are a Facebook fan, I can’t tell you how much I would appreciate a thumbs up if you see a post from me in your feed and like it!
- “How much of a Weary Chef post do you usually read?”
- I was seriously expecting the vast majority of you to say you just come here for the recipes, so imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see that it was the opposite! Over 55% said you usually read the whole thing, and 40% at least skim through it. Thank you so much! I’m glad to know I’m not talking to myself!
- “Rank the importance of the following types of recipes: Slow Cooker, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, 30-Minute, and Kid Friendly.”
- It came as no surprise to me that slow cooker and 30-minute recipes were everyone’s favorites. Vegetarian and kid friendly fell in the middle (which was a relief because I am not really an expert at either), and gluten free was last. Again, none of this was surprising, but it was still really helpful to guide the kinds of recipes I focus on around here.
- “What kinds of recipes would you like to see more of?”
- Since this was a free-form answer, it’s hard to summarize. There were lots of nice comments that you like the variety I have now, so thank you!
- Many of you asked for healthy/paleo/clean eating recipes. I always try to make my recipes as healthy as I can, but I can’t say that I will be writing much for special diets like paleo. I just can’t bring myself to give up enough foods to eat that way! I could suggest a few other blogs for those types of recipes: Fake Ginger, Joyful Healthy Eats, Food Faith Fitness.
- Lots of you said you wanted few ingredients, super quick, and super easy. This comment really sums it up: “Back to the basics. No high-falutin’ recipes with weird ingredients.” I do try to keep it pretty simple around here, but maybe things like quinoa and curry paste are pushing the limits for some folks. I would always encourage you to visit my recipe index to find something you like if you aren’t feeling whatever I’m sharing on a particular day! Still, it’s helpful to know that for many of you, the fewer ingredients and steps involved the better. You may have noticed that some of my recipes the past couple of weeks have been even easier than usual. That is in response to your feedback. Thank you!
- “What kinds of recipes would you like to see less of?”
- The answers here were pretty specific and hard to summarize. From what I can tell you’d like to see less kale, vegan, vegetarian, meat, simple dinner recipes (you’re in the wrong place!), kid friendly, complicated recipes, and ingredients you can’t pronounce. This list is a little funny to me because I have very few vegetarian or vegan recipes, and I think all my recipes are pretty easy. Still, you made some good points that I will definitely keep in mind.
- One common request was to see fewer gluten free recipes. While I understand that most of you aren’t on a GF diet, I can’t help it that I can’t eat wheat anymore! I’ve tried to downplay this as much as I can. I do mention it here and there, but I have tried hard not to turn this into a gluten-free blog. Even if I have to use GF pasta or special soy sauce or whatever other little modifications I might mention, the recipes are still great for everyone, wheat eating or not.
- “How do you feel about sponsored posts?”
- I was so nervous to ask this. I wanted to know what you thought but worried you would throw tomatoes and say you hate sponsored posts. Imagine my relief when fewer than 4% of you said you don’t like them. 68% said they are fine as long as the recipe is good, and the remaining 28% said they are OK as long as they aren’t too often.
- I hope your positive response to my sponsored work is due to the fact that you know my sponsored posts are just as genuine as my regular content. I would not promote a product or brand I didn’t honestly like, and I’m happy to make a recipe for you with an ingredient from a sponsor. You get a recipe. I earn a living. It’s a win-win! :)
- “Do you like giveaways?”
- I was surprised that 65% of you love giveaways! I’m so glad to hear it! A handful of you are only interested when the prize is really big, and 33% are not really interested. Based on these results, I will continue to offer giveaways from time to time when the opportunity arises.
- Finally, I asked you for any additional comments. This question is too difficult to summarize, but I did want to address a few comments and questions:
- One reader asked me to include a link to the recipe in my emails, and another said the email formatting is never right. If you are having trouble reading your Weary Chef emails, I encourage you to contact customer support at my email service: firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the messages are sent through their service, I can’t really troubleshoot problems with the emails themselves.
- A few of you said you are annoyed with getting a popup asking you to subscribe because you are already a subscriber. Sorry about that! If you click this link, I think it should go away.
- Some of you complained that it was too slow to scroll through my blog or difficult to find things. I am ALWAYS working to make my site faster and easier to navigate. If you still have problems or complaints now after I’ve undergone my recent redesign, please email me to let me know more details.
- A few people had complaints about giveaways having so many entries. Let me just take a moment to explain how this works. Bloggers chip in their own money to put together the prize for a giveaway. In return, they get an entry in the giveaway (for people to follow them on social media). To come up with a great prize like $500 cash for example, it takes about 25 bloggers pooling their money, which makes for a lot of entries. You never have to do all (or any!) of the entries for a giveaway. It’s completely optional. You can enter once and be done or do every single entry for more chances to win. We’re not trying to use gimmicks; this is just how giveaways work. I’m happy to talk about this more in the comments section if anyone has questions or anything to add.
Finally, I just want to say that I can’t thank you enough for all the extremely nice, appreciative, and encouraging comments you left me in this survey. Many of you seem to understand how hard I work on The Weary Chef, and hearing you tell me how much you like my recipes and stories makes me so, so happy. Thank you! I will definitely use your feedback to bring you more quick and easy recipes you’ll love this year. Also, don’t be a stranger! You don’t need to wait for a survey to give me feedback. I love hearing from you and would like you to leave me comments regularly if you have time!
I’m sort of embarrassed at how long this has been, and I still haven’t even gotten to your dinner recipes for the week. If you are still reading at this point, thank you. Now, let’s eat! (Click on the recipe names to see the full recipes.)
- NEW: Creamy Mac and Cheese with Stovetop BBQ Chicken – This mac and cheese is rich and creamy, but it’s made with a healthier fat than butter and even includes a vegetable!
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Soup – One of my favorites!
- NEW: Pork Chile Verde – You can eat this as a stew, in tacos, or even on nachos! Whichever way you choose, you’ll love how easy and delicious it is.
- Healthy Hamburger Stroganoff – This is made from scratch but is still quick and easy.
- Pizza Sliders – You can’t beat these simple sandwiches for a weeknight dinner.
- Tangy Slow Cooker Beef with Peas – I know this isn’t the prettiest meal, but if you love the tangy taste of sour cream, I know you will enjoy this dinner.
- Easy Tuna Casserole from Scratch – Simple, healthy, and tasty!