This bright and flavorful 4-ingredient Raspberry Chipotle Salmon is a weeknight lifesaver. Less than 5 minutes of prep and it cooks in just 10 minutes. Plus, if you enjoy broccoli, you can turn this into a complete one-dish meal.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from Page Street Publishing Co. in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone.
This 30-Minute Spicy Italian Sausage & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner is quick weeknight dinner with very few dishes and lots of fresh veggies, making it an awesome option for busy weeknights.
Back to school means quick weeknight dinners are a must. A quick weeknight dinner that also includes veggies and creates very few dirty dishes? It’s a done deal!
Believe it or not, this is our first week back in school, and I’m not going to lie, I’m thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, this summer was filled with lots of fun – various camps, extended vacations for the kids to both grandparents, an anniversary getaway with my hubby… but as summer has wound down, I’ve been missing the routine that the school year brings. Yes, weeknights are busy. Weekends too. But we get into our groove and generally, things run fairly smoothly.
This year, we have after school activities 3 days a week. One of those days isn’t so bad because Miss. Hazelnut stays after school, and we just pick her up a little later. LOVE not having to do extra drop offs or pick ups, or even having to stay for the activity. I always enjoy watching but it makes it hard to finish everything that needs to be done.
So with the start of the new school year, I’m pulling back out my slow cooker and my cookbooks, and flagging old favorites and looking for new, easy recipes (READ: quick with minimal prep) that will not only please everyone in the house, but that will make the evenings a bit easier for me. I won’t share the new recipes with you until I’ve tried them, but some old favorites include:
Today’s recipe is one that I’ve been making various iterations of for a few years now – Spicy Italian Sausage & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner. I tweak it according to what veggies I have in the house, whether someone has a preference for sweet or spicy Italian sausage, but the outcome is usually the same. Sausage + roasted cherry or grape tomatoes (because they’re my fave, when they get all sweet and bursty) + squash. As you see in these photos, I also included sweet Italian peppers (a cousin to the bell pepper) but I’ve also made it with mushrooms in the past. I don’t usually bother with seasoning the sausage and veggies, as the spicy Italian sausage tends to flavor the veggies enough, but you can easily marinate the sausage and veggies or sprinkle with your choice of seasoning. This sheet pan dinner can be served as is, for a lower-carb meal, but I really enjoy it over a bit of brown rice.
So tell me, what are some of your favorite meals for busy weeknights? Leave me a comment and let me know!
This big, bold Taco Shrimp Bowl – easily customizable to your tastes – can be on your table in under 30 minutes. Make it for Cinco de Mayo, Taco Tuesday, or a quick weeknight meal. The shrimp and veggies are cooked on a sheet pan before being served with rice, garlicky black beans and your favorite taco toppings.
The crazy spring is winding down and I’m excited to be ushering in warmer weather, quieter evenings and weekends, and healthier, fresher food. The past 6 weeks have been a real challenge to keep up with life, nevermind blogging. I’m thrilled for what I hope will be a slower pace over the next several weeks.
Despite the hectic season, I didn’t want to let Cinco de Mayo pass by without a nod here on Books n’ Cooks. I didn’t have the time to make the Progressive Menu that I had in mind, but I think I did pretty well for you this year.
I call this dish Shrimp Taco Bowls, primarily because I used taco seasoning – a pantry staple in my house – on the shrimp and the veggies. However, with the onions and peppers, this is also like a Shrimp Fajita Bowl. Call it whichever you choose… and if you prefer? Skip the rice and make fajitas instead. Less dishes!
What I love about this meal:
It’s quick. It’s on the table in under 30 minutes, even with the chopping.
It’s flavorful. Garlicky black beans, spicy shrimp and salsa. Creamy guacamole.
It’s both filling and yet light. Fiber from the beans (and brown rice if you choose to use it), lean shrimp, and a combination of roasted onions and bell peppers with fresh salsa or pico de gallo.
I really have no complaints, although my husband would have preferred fewer dirty dishes. 😉 The shrimp, onions and peppers are roasted on a sheet pan; the beans are warmed in a skillet with a little olive oil and garlic; and the the rice cooked separately. Good thing I have my professional dishwasher!
Recipe Notes: Modifications & References
Modifications: Skip the beans. Make extra beans for a meat-free lunch (your coworkers will thank you for not microwaving seafood in the shared microwave!). Kick up the spice or mellow it out. Throw freshly chopped cilantro in everything.
I’ve made some version of these bowls multiple ways. You can easily keep this to a 30-minute no-fuss version with a lot of store-bought toppings and mixes. Some homemade toppings and mixes are household staples in my home but others I only break out occasionally – i.e. when time permits, when entertaining, or when my garden is overflowing. Here are some of my favorite homemade seasonings, toppings, and accompaniments that you can use in this recipe,should you so choose.
Taco Seasoning: one of my pantry staples, this will keep in an airtight container for a few months.
Restaurant-Style Salsa: made in the food processor, this will keep for a few days, if you can make it last that long! It’s delicious and seriously addictive.
Roasted Tomato Restaurant-Style Salsa: a fresher version of the above, made with garden-fresh tomatoes and veggies, roasted in the oven before being thrown in the food processor. It also keeps for a few days in the fridge.
This big, bold Taco Shrimp Bowl - easily customizable to your tastes - can be on your table in under 30 minutes. Make it for Cinco de Mayo, Taco Tuesday, or a quick weeknight meal. The shrimp and veggies are cooked on a sheet pan before being served with rice, garlicky black beans and your favorite taco toppings.
3c.white or brown ricecooked according to package
Ingredients for the Black Beans:
1Tbs.extra virgin olive oil
1-15 oz.canblack beansdrained and rinsed
pinch coarsely ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Shrimp & Veggies:
1 red onionsliced
1lb.extra-large shrimppeeled, deveined and pat dry
salsa or pico de gallo
freshly chopped cilantro
Make the Black Beans:
Heat olive oil in a small skillet set over medium-low heat. When hot, add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Make the Shrimp & Veggies
Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread the veggies on one half of the baking sheet and the shrimp on the other. Sprinkle baking sheet with 1 Tbs. of the taco seasoning. With clean hands, toss veggies and shrimp to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbs. taco seasoning and toss again. Spread shrimp and veggies into a single layer. Mist again with cooking spray and bake in preheated oven for 9-10 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through.
Assemble your bowl.
One serving is 3/4 c. of rice and 1/4 of the shrimp and beans. Add additional toppings as desired.
Nutrition calculated using brown rice and 2 bell peppers without any additional toppings. Adding toppings will change the nutrition info.
Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
There are some days where brunch is breakfast – pancakes and waffles, omelets and frittatas, bacon and breakfast sausages.
And there are other days when I want lunch. A burger or a really bright and tasty chicken sandwich. Maybe a salad. Or if I’m eating at home? A quick and easy quesadilla.
I’ve been making quesadillas at home for years – for a while in a quesadilla maker, but later on the stove top or in the oven. I love that they are versatile and easily modified to whatever I’m craving, or whatever is in the fridge.
I was particularly excited to create this recipe, using a mix of two Cabot shredded cheeses – the bold 4 Cheese Mexican blend and the milder mozzarella. Mixing the two gave just the right amount of bold cheesy goodness while still allowing the smokey bacon and tart Granny Smith apple pieces to shine through.
I devoured this quesadilla, after allowing my husband a slice to taste it (while initially doubtful, he enjoyed it!). One note: while I served this quesadilla with both guacamole and salsa, I personally loved it with just guacamole, and would skip the salsa next time. That being said, feel free to experiment with favorite toppings. And be sure to leave a comment if you find a combination that you love!
Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes!
1/2c.Cabot 4-Cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese
2Tbs.crumbled bacon bits
1/4Granny Smith applefinely chopped
1/2c.Cabot shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place a 10-12 inch piece of aluminum foil on a clean counter. Place one tortilla in the center of the foil.
Then, evenly spread Mexican cheese, crumbled bacon pieces, and chopped apple over top of tortilla. Finally, sprinkle with mozzarella.
Top with second tortilla and another 10-12 inch piece of aluminum foil. Curl edges of foil all of the way around, creating a sealed packed.
Place directly on a rack in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until cheese is totally melted.
Slice and serve hot, with your favorite toppings.
I used Mission Carb Balance Tortillas. If you use a larger tortilla, you may need more cheese and fixings.
Stove top directions: Place assembled quesadilla (assembled as directed above) in a 10-inch or larger non-stick skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook until bottom is starting to brown and cheese is melting. Flip and continue cooking until cheese is completely melted.
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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Joyjolt, Sweets & Treats, Torani, Sarcastic Cooking, Dessert for Two, Sweet Phi, and The Little Ferraro Kitchen for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Winners have 48 hours to respond once chosen, or they forfeit the prize and another winner(s) will be chosen. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.
Packed with flavor, Rosemary Walnut Baked Chicken is a quick and easy (and light!) weeknight meal.
I found this recipe a few years ago and went through a phase of making it all of the time. I had forgotten about it until recently. I quickly added this old favorite back into our regular dinner rotation and vowed not to forget about it again. This baked, crispy chicken is healthy, flavorful, and an easy 30 minute meal for a weeknight dinner. Can’t beat that!
Recipe Notes & Tips:
I always slice my chicken cutlets thinly, so they tend to cook a little faster. I’ve also taken to prepping a bunch of chicken ahead of time, portioning it into our ideal cooking portions (enough for dinner + leftovers for lunch), and freezing. The chicken defrosts quickly and removes one step from my weeknight dinner prep.
While the original recipe calls for buttermilk, I don’t typically have buttermilk on hand. I’ve used whole milk, half-and-half, or whatever cream I have in the fridge. I’ve also made my own buttermilk with milk and a little lemon juice. Take your pick on what you’d like to do.
I’ve made this recipe using both unseasoned breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs. Comes out great both ways. Again, just depends on what I have in the house.
I keep “fresh” rosemary in my freezer. At the end of every summer, rosemary plants are trimmed back. Leaves are removed from the stems, washed, given a rough chop, and frozen in an airtight container. This gives me “fresh” rosemary all year round, without having to purchase the costly containers at the grocery store.
This recipe is easily multiplied. I like to make a big batch of the panko-walnut breading and store it in the freezer to shave time off of weeknight dinner prep.
Packed with flavor, Rosemary Walnut Baked Chicken is a quick and easy (and light!) weeknight meal.
Ingredients for the Crust:
2Tbs.finely grated Parmigiano-Reggianofreshly grated, if you have it
1generous tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4tsp.freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Chicken:
1/4c.buttermilk, milk, or half-and-half
4chicken cutletstrimmed of fat
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Make Rosemary Walnut Crust:
In a small skillet over low heat, toast panko breadcrumbs until golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place panko breadcrumbs and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5-10 times, until finely chopped. (You can skip this step if you can chop your walnuts small enough, but I found the finer consistency from a brief whirl in the food processor made for easier coating.)
Combine panko, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, rosemary, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. (If making a large batch to freeze extra, portion out some for immediate use and store extra in an airtight container or ziplock bag.)
Assemble and Bake the Chicken:
In a shallow bowl, whisk together buttermilk and mustard until combined. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. Dredge chicken through panko-walnut mixture, ensuring that both sides are evenly coated.
Place chicken on prepared baking sheet/wire rack. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 13 minutes (less time for thinner slices, more for thicker), or until chicken is cooked through.