Food Friday: Easy Weeknight Meals

Most of us work during the week. All of of us are supposed to exercise sometime in the day. Between all this, children and other responsibilities, it is challenging to pull together a good dinner for the family. Here are some suggestions to help you with easy weeknight meals. 

People often suggest “ Make ahead” meals as the solution for busy cooks. However, I am going to assume that you, like me, have trouble thinking ahead and pulling those together. We will tackle those another day. Instead, today's suggestions will apply to “ on the fly” meals you make on the spot. 

  • Keep it simple. 
  • Keep it healthy.
  • Use fresh or frozen. 
  • Cut pieces small for fast cooking. 
  • Combine protein with produce. 
  • Serve three dishes - a protein based main dish, a salad, and an additional fruit or vegetable. 

The protein dish is usually the most challenging for people to devise. Consider meat fish chicken or eggs as a base.  Meat fish or chicken can be fresh or partially defrosted and cut into bite sited pieces and either broiled, sauteed or grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Eggs are quick and can be made any way. Serve your main dish with salsa, or another sauce. 

Vegetables can be washed and cut small and either steamed or sauteed in olive oil or stir fry sauce. Make sure and combine different kinds of vegetables after cooking for good color and varied nutrients. Remember to cook the longest cooking vegetables first. Toss with a healthy salad dressing or sauce and serve in large quantity with your main dish. 

Always have prewashed salad at the ready. Always include some color with the greens, such as tomato, carrot or even strawberry. Throw in some nuts, maybe some cheese, and even some hardboiled egg. 

These are simple preparation guidelines for a main dish, a vegetable side dish and a salad. Provided you have the right groceries in the freezer and fridge, you can whip up this kind of dinner in 25 minutes or less. Key points are the small size of the pieces, which cuts your cooking time, and the healthy sauces, salsas and dressings which you can buy or easily make. 

Have fun with this. See how fast you can get. I’d love to see you post some of your variations of this dinner prep format.