This Week for Dinner

Hope that everyone had a great weekend!

I spent part of mine in New York with my BFF, our moms and my aunt, for belated birthday/Mother’s Day celebrations. We saw the revival of Evita, which has always been one of my favorite musicals. Evita was one of the first shows I had ever seen way, way back in the day and was part of the reason that I grew up preferring show tunes over most other kinds of music. Yes, I am a dork.

Anyway, as we get back to the work week, here are a few ideas for your upcoming meal plans:

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Sandwich

The chicken, tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich is one of my favorite menu items from Cosi and one that we recreate frequently at home. We wanted something quick on the day we made these sandwiches, so we substituted prosciutto for the chicken. No cooking required.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

From: Simply Love Food

This was one of my favorite Pinterest finds to date. These are made with ground turkey and full of veggies, so they are hearty and healthy at the same time. We substituted yellow zucchini for the corn, since I only enjoy my corn on the cob.

Rigatoni with Roasted Sausage and Broccoli

From: Real Simple

I love roasted broccoli, so this recipe immediately jumped out at me. This was my first time trying a Real Simple recipe, and it actually was pretty simple to make. I added some garlic to the roasting part of the process (we rarely cook without garlic) and that enhanced the flavors a bit more.

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

From: Real Simple

An additional gold star for Real Simple this week. These meatballs were very light and had a nice flavor without needing to be drowned in the teriyaki sauce. We omitted the sugar snap peas, because they are gross. Next time, I would probably double the amount of shelled edamame or add another kind of vegetable to compensate for this.

Till next time!

This Week for Dinner

Happy Easter, Peeps (see what I did there? Just a little holiday humor!). I hope that everyone got their fill of Cadbury Crème Eggs and other assorted goodies. I’ll be at the CVS tomorrow looking to stock up on chocolate at 50 percent off. I just hope I make it there before they start packing it away for next year. That’s what happened with the Valentine’s and Halloween candy. By the time I got there around lunchtime, it was all boxed up. Disappointing.

We usually cook at home for the holidays, but my aunt is still in the hospital, and it wouldn’t have seemed right not to have her there. So, we brought the party to her for a bit at Pennsylvania Hospital and then headed out to dinner afterwards at Spasso Italian Grill in Old City. We went there for my bachelorette dinner two years ago. I remember liking it at the time, but the details of that night are a bit sketchy. After today’s meal, I’m wondering why we haven’t gone there more often. So delicious. You should go. And, get the crab ravioli. Trust me.

If you don’t happen to have any leftover ham from your Easter feast, here are a few good ideas for the week ahead. While I was out crafting my butt off last weekend, Chester picked out some pretty good recipes to make up for our previous lackluster week:

Linguine with Sausage and Peppers

From: Everyday Food

I made this before, but Chester’s attempt was better because he used a thicker pasta. I’m a fan of all of the colors in this dish. It’s so pretty.

Stir-Fried Chicken Salad

From: Cooking Light

This reminds me of the Warm Chicken Salad from Pod, one of my favorite salads ever. The warm chicken wilts the greens ever so slightly and the peanuts add a nice bit of crunch. The marinade from the chicken doubles as a light dressing, but I liked it even better with a squeeze or two of lime.

Open-Faced Hummus Sandwiches

From: Cooking Light

This sandwich has the best combination of ingredients, ever. We added thinly sliced chicken breast to it for a bit of protein, but it would still be pretty substantial without it. This would make a great summer meal—it’s light and if you left out the chicken, there would be no cooking required.

Parmesan and Sage Crusted Pork Chops

From: Cooking Light

This recipe calls for homemade breadcrumbs, which is a good way to use leftover bread. They made for a thicker coating which kept the pork pretty moist. Also, I’m becoming a huge fan of polenta. It’s a nice change of pace from the rice we usually have as a side.

Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken

From: Cooking Light

I like orzo because it’s pretty versatile. You can add some spices and veggies and have a nice side dish, or you can make it into a substantial meal, as in this salad (We’ve made a similar version of this dish with salmon, too). This recipe makes pretty substantial amount of food, so you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Enjoy the week ahead, friends! I’ll be starting my countdown to vacation in Italy as of tomorrow–one month to go!

This Week for Dinner

Back when Chester and I first moved in together, we used to go to the grocery store almost every day after work to pick up ingredients for dinner. That was a pain. Now, we’ve gotten a lot better about planning out a week’s worth of dinners so we can just make one trip a week. Since our local Shop Rite is pretty crazy (actually, I’m pretty sure that all Shop Rites, everywhere, are crazy), one visit a week is really just about all that one person can handle.

On Sundays, we consult our cookbooks and recipes pinned on Pinterest or bookmarked from blogs and magazines that I read and head to the grocery store with our list (which Chester manages to fit onto a single Post-it note each week). We’ve come across a lot of good recipes lately, so I figured I would start sharing them in case you are looking for some things to add to your own meal plans. Plus, I have this cool new 50mm lens that I need to practice using, so taking pictures of what I’ve eaten for dinner this past week seems like a good way to do that.

Sunday: Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Peas

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast, which is one of our most frequently used cookbooks, since it includes more than 200 recipes are pretty easy to prepare after we come home from the gym. The recipes are arranged by season, so you can choose from the heartier dishes in the winter and lighter options at other times of year. Then, there are some, like this pasta, with its bright lemon flavor and sweet peas that work just about anytime of the year.

Monday

I worked late. We had takeout.

Tuesday: Chicken and Broccoli Rice Bowl

I recently started subscribing to Cooking Light since it’s packed pretty much from cover to cover with recipes. The magazine’s website is also a good resource because it breaks down the recipes into several collections, including those that take just 20 to 40 minutes to prepare or that use just five ingredients.

Be aware that some of the recipes do contain canned or processed items, so, you might want to make some substitutions to avoid increasing the sodium content. This rice bowl, for example called for Velveeta Cheese. Eww. We substituted a bit of sharp cheddar and also added garlic, which is pretty much the base for everything when we cook. This recipe would have been kind of bland without it.

Wednesday: Grilled Portobello, Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich

From time to time, I convince Chester to eat a meatless meal. He usually complains that he still feels hungry afterwards. This time was no exception. If you ask me, though, Portobello mushrooms are hearty enough that you don’t need a protein to accompany them. This sandwich is a good one to keep in mind as grilling season gets underway. We couldn’t find basil at the grocery store this past week, and I think that would have been a nice touch in this sandwich and I’ll definitely make sure to add it next time around.

Thursday: Avocado Pasta

Avocados are one of the foods that I just can’t seem to get enough of lately, which is why I was thrilled to come across this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, via Pinterest. The sauce comes together quickly in the food processor, and is so rich that you would think that there is cream or butter included. We added chicken, since one vegetarian meal this week was enough for Chester.

Friday: Arugula Salad with Chicken, Prosciutto and Asiago Cheese

I’ve only recently become a fan of arugula. Now, I love the slightly spicy flavor that it adds to everything—from pizza, to sandwiches, to salads like this one. We added red onions and a bit of Dijon mustard to the simple olive oil based dressing and skipped the croutons. We had a particularly sweet batch of grape tomatoes, which was a nice compliment to the peppery greens.

So, that’s what was for dinner this week. And, if you’ve been reading this blog for the last year, wondering if I ever eat at home, now you know that I do.

What are your go-to sources or favorite recipes for easy weeknight meals?