I have a confession to make.
“Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been about twenty plus years since my last confession, and it’s very likely I tried to make a pass at you for no other reason than it felt sassy.”
Just kidding, it’s not that kind of reveal, even though my Catholic school rearing steers me that way. I also picture Madonna belting out Like A Prayer while crosses burn in the background. Talk about a weird dichotomy. I blame my parents; they allowed me to listen to her devil music, which in hindsight explains so very much. P.S. I still love Madonna.
In any event, my earth shattering secret, or not so much, is I don’t like cooking during the work week. Gasp. I know, I know. I’m a food blogger and a healthy living one at that and yet I don’t want to hang out in the kitchen and get my cook on. Quick, somebody report me to the foodie police.
Here’s the thing, I don’t like to do much of anything Monday through Friday night. My brain and body shut down the moment my sneakered shoes step out of the office each day, and I turn into a braless creature who tucks her socks into her sweatpants, and only wants to eat ice cream direct from the carton while watching bad reality television. I wouldn’t mind a gorgeous salad either or a warm bowl of soup with a side of cheesy biscuits.
Actually, the food doesn’t matter so much. Sure, tasting good and being healthy are super important, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the time investment. I’m like a man slut, on the prowl for easy, and I don’t mean McDonalds, Burger King or any of the fast food goliaths. There’s easy, and then there’s dirty, and we’d do well to stay away from the latter.
All this to say today I’m sharing
Seven Simple Dinner Ideas for the Work Week
I recognize I’m giving more options than you’d need for a standard five day work week and it’s because I like flexibility, literally.
Kirsten’s Breakfast Salad: who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? This is a combination of sautéed cabbage, red skinned potatoes and scrambled eggs. It comes together quickly and is incredibly filling.
Shortcut: roast the potatoes ahead of time and reheat them in the oven when you’re ready to eat.
Arman’s Parmesan Pesto Pancakes: despite them being pancakes, these savory babies are not breakfast food. In fact, I top mine with sour cream, tomatoes and chives for additional veggie loving, which pairs wonderfully with the zucchini inside.
Shortcut: use a store-bought pesto and prep the dry ingredients on the weekend so all you have to do is add the liquid and zucchini when it comes time to make them.
Super Stuffed Oven Baked Potato: a giant packed potato is easy and delicious and depending on your toppings, nutritious. It’s everything you want in a meal.
Shortcut: roast the potatoes in the oven on the weekend when you’re doing laundry or watching bad reality television so all you have to do is pop it into the oven for a quick reheat. While the potato is reheating, you can get your toppings ready.
Kirsten’s Fattoush Dip. The Hubby and I have actually shared this very same dip for dinner on more than one occasion. While it has all the pretense of an appetizer, it’s a meal in itself, without even turning on the stove.
Shortcut: sub the homemade hummus for a store-bought one, and from there it’s a few fast minutes of chopping.
Jenn’s Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers: I eat these on a near weekly basis with a quick side of roasted broccoli, green beans, asparagus or even Brussels Sprouts.
Shortcut: make a double or even a triple batch and then freeze them. You’ll happily live off them for months. When it comes time to eat, it’s a simple trip to the oven. While they’re heating away, you can prep your side dish.
Homemade Vegetable Pizza: where sautéed veggies are covered in a pillows of delicious cheese, all on top of a whole wheat crust.
Shortcut: use store-bought pizza dough, and sauté your veggies ahead of time, so all you have to do is assemble when it comes to make it.
A Sexy Salad and Butternut Squash Cheddar Drop Biscuits: is anything but boring. In fact, with the right toppings, a salad can be incredibly satisfying, magically delicious and most importantly, easy. If you’re eating a bowl of greens, make sure to add some protein and fat in the form of cheese, eggs, beans, avocados, and nuts with an olive oil based dressing.
Shortcut: make the biscuits in mass quantities ahead of time and then freeze them. A simple trip to the oven will bring them to life while you focus your efforts on the salad. You can also make the hard-boiled eggs days before and have them at the ready.
At the end of the day, I really do want to eat well, I just don’t want to work for it, which is why these simple dinner ideas with shortcut hacks are week night life savers for me. Plus, it gives me more time to cocoon on the couch or prance around to Madonna.
Are you too tired to cook after work too? What are your simple dinner ideas? If you’ve got a post on this topics, please feel free to link it up in the comments below. The more, the merrier.