I love to cook, and often spend the weekends trying out fun new recipes, but lately I’ve been really lacking inspiration when it comes to dinner during the week. You know I’m in a rut when the menu circulates between mac n cheese, quesadillas, and scrambled eggs. I thought I’d turn to the greatest resource out there for inspiration – other moms – and ask what some of their favorite recipes are. Since I am a fish-eating vegetarian (pescatarian sounds so affected, doesn’t it?), I especially appreciate easy meat recipes I can prepare for my husband and boys. I received so many fantastic ideas that I’m going to highlight some of our family’s favorites as a regular post.
Here’s the first five recipes – all tried and true by the moms who shared them and my very own family.
1) Rachel from Oogiah shares a recipe she grew up eating, Orange Onion Chicken. There are only three ingredients and it’s a perfect way to put a delicious meal on the weeknight dinner table. Simply mix one cup of orange juice with one packet of onion soup mix, pour over one pound of skinless chicken breasts that you have pierced with a fork, and bake for for about 30 min on 350 or until done. I’m a little hesitant when I bake chicken, so I usually cut down the center of the breast to make sure it’s finished, and sometimes end up drying it out too much. This recipe, however, is great because despite my mangling, the chicken remained moist and delicious (says my husband) since there was so much juice around it.
2) Jen from Yummy Healthy Easy‘s favorite go-to recipe for a fast dinner are these Quick & Easy BBQ Cups. They’re delicious and take under thirty minutes to throw together. I also can’t express how much my boys enjoyed each getting their own little cup – you would have thought I gave them a cupcake! I used the Kansas City Style bbq sauce and two cans of the buttermilk biscuits from Trader Joe’s.
3) Marisa, my dear cousin and Pinterest-pinning mama, loves this Meatball Casserole recipe. My boys devoured this ooey-gooey goodness! The only change I made was not to add mayonnaise simply because I didn’t have any, so I added in just a little bit of olive oil to thin it out a bit.
4) Shauna from Best Blog Recipes shares an easy recipe that her kids love called Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets. Shauna tested and perfected this recipe so I followed her instructions to the letter. This is the first time I made “chicken nuggets” at home that didn’t come frozen and I have to say they look and smell so much better – and so much healthier!
5) One of our family’s favorite dinners is the Spinach and Cheese Strata from Martha Stewart. My dear friend brought this to us for a meal after Graham was born, and since then I make a variation of this strata about once a week. It is also great for breakfast or brunch, and very easy to double or triple the recipe for larger groups. I switch it up a lot – I use whatever kind of cheese we have from mozzerella to cheddar, and also try out different breads (I love the asiago loaf from Trader Joe’s). You can add in a meat if you’d like – dots of breakfast sausage make this a great main course for brunch. I have been blessed with one very picky eater, so I love any recipe where I can mix in some healthy greens. I chop the spinach before cooking it so the pieces are very small, and I bake the strata all in one large casserole dish instead of separate ramekins for about 40-45 minutes. Watch the top to make sure it’s nice and browned and poke it in the center to make sure it’s baked through.
There you go – quick, easy, and healthy recipes for your week ahead. Try them out and let me know what you think. And do you have a favorite dinner recipe you’d like to share? Please contact me and let me know – we’d love to feature you.