5 Meals for Busy Weeknights

Ok… I’m going to be straight with you.  At first, I thought…I’m going to research some really delicious fun new recipes.

And then I thought… nope… that’s not the point.
What do I cook frequently?

What do I make that my family actually likes and is healthy?

Busy weeknights are not the time for complicated skills or a million ingredients.   We want delicious… healthy… and generally pleasing for the whole family.

There is an important middle ground between food network level meals and the belief that the only thing you can put together quickly is Frito casserole!  We want the place in the middle!

Fast, simple and healthy.
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Here are 5 easy and delicious recipes that don’t take a ton of work and really really taste amazing.   A few were suggested to me by friends and I love them!


 

#1  BBQ Orange Chicken

Ingredients:

4 Thawed Chicken Breasts (probably could do 6 if you have it)

1 Bottle Spicy BBQ sauce

1/2 jar orange marmalade

2-3 TBSP Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos

 

Sides:  Steamed broccoli and steamed rice

 

Easy Prep:   Put all ingredients (except rice and broccoli) in crockpot or instant pot on slow cooker setting.   I cooked mine for 8 hours on normal setting.   If you will be gone longer, set to low.

Time to Eat:   Throw rice in instant pot or rice steamer and broccoli in a little bit of water and steam.   Shred chicken and serve over rice.  Add leftover sauce as you choose to rice, broccoli and chicken!

Salt and pepper to taste!

 

Thanks to Christa Doran for sharing this one with me!

 


 

Instant Pot Porkchops

Ingredients:

4 Pork Chops (barely thawed)

1 cup chicken broth

1 diced white onion

Bag of petite yellow or red potatoes

Bag of baby carrots

1 Red Apple (diced)

Salt and Pepper

1 TBSP Butter

 

Easy Prep:  Thaw pork chops enough to break apart.  If they are completely thawed that is fine too.  Turn instant pot to Saute and add butter.   Add salt and pepper to pork chops and sear both sides.   Add all of the remaining ingredients.   Close pressure valve on instant pot and set to Manual High for 15 min.

 

Time to Eat: Serve chops with veggies that all cooked together!  Delicious!

 

Note:   I left mine and came back 2 hours later after football practice.  It had already de-pressurized and was just hot and ready.   You could probably do a manual release if you wanted to eat right away.

 

No pressure cooker?  This recipe could easily be done in a slow cooker, but you would need to thaw chops and start them in the morning.

 


Egg Roll in a Bowl

Ingredients

2 pounds ground meat of your choice (I am doing ground turkey mixed with ground beef)

1 bag of diced cabbage (or coleslaw mix without dressing)

1 bag of thinly sliced carrots

Jasmine or Basmati Rice

Sesame Seeds ( I like the trader joes everything but the bagel seasoning)

Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce

Optional: avocado, red bell peppers, pepitas, sprouts etc.

 

Easy Prep

Thaw meat.

 

Time to Eat

Brown ground meat until cooked all the way through.  Season as you prefer.

Build you egg roll in a bowl however you like.  I started with a base of rice, added the cabbage and carrots.  I then added the ground meat and topped with the trader joes seasoning, some pepitas and a couple shakes of coconut aminos.   Everyone can customize the way they like best!

 

Thanks to Lia Martin for suggesting this one!


Russian Soup – The Fast Version

 

Ingredients

Chicken or Pork Sausage (Can also go with ground chicken or turkey if you want extra lean)

1 Large White Onion

1/2 Can Tomato Paste

1 Jar good Saur Kraut (the more flavorful the better)

2 Cartons Chicken Broth  (might need more)

Thinly sliced potatoes (like thicker than a potato chip, but that same shape)

3-6 garlic cloves

Sour Cream

Dried Dill

 

Easy Prep

This recipe was originally intended for a dutch oven and to slow cook, but this week I threw it together in 15 min and it was ready about 30 min later.   It is even better as leftovers.

In instant pot, brown sausage.  I remove from the casing or buy high-quality ground.   Leave in fairly large chunks.   Strain excess fat.

Add diced white onion, garlic, thinly sliced potatoes, 1.5 cartons of broth, jar of saur kraut including juice and tomato paste.  Stir until mixed up.

Put the cover on instant pot, close pressure valve and press soup button.  If you are cooking on the stove, bring to boil, then turn down and cover and leave until potatoes are cooked through.

Time to Eat

Once cooked, remove top to instant pot or top from dutch oven and add dill and remaining broth.   I add a lot of dill, but that is up to you.  Let’s say a minimum of 2 TBSP.   At this point, you can add more broth if necessary.   Season with salt to taste.

Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and enjoy!

 

Thanks to Pelageya Kostenko who taught me the full version of the recipe which has been the base for countless modifications and delicious soups!


Deliciously Simple Salmon

 

I’m not sure this is a recipe as much as it is a quick fix, delicious and healthy meal. You could substitute the fish for different kind if you prefer.

 

Ingredients:

4 Salmon filets (try to get wild caught)

1 Lemon

Dried Dill (optional)

4 Sweet Potatoes

Salt and Pepper

Butter

1 Bunch Asparagus

Olive or Avacado Oil

 

Easy Prep/ Time to Eat

Be sure your fish is thawed!

Preheat Oven to 450.

Put 1 sweet potato the in microwave and set to baked potato (or about 5 min on high). Continue to swap sweet potatoes while fish and asparagus are cooking until all are done.

Place fish skin side down on a non stick cooking sheet or tin foil. Season with salt, pepper and dill.

Put fish in oven at 450 for 12-15 min.

While fish is cooking, chop the bottom off asparagus and lay on another non-stick cooking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil or avacado oil and season with salt and pepper.

When the oven has 8 min remaining add asparagus to oven.

When asparagus and fish are done, squeeze fresh lemon over both.

Serve sweet potatoes with butter, salt and pepper!


Enjoy these recipes and let me know if you try them! Modify as needed for your family’s preferences.