Weeknight Cooking – My Favorite Recipes to Learn, Eat & Repeat
My favorite Weeknight Dinners you’ll want to make these over and over again…
Weeknight cooking does not need to be bland, unimaginitive and boring – or take hours to prepare.
Some inspiration if you are out of ideas – and cook the same dishes over and over again!
Here is what I like to stir up in my kitchen…
All the buttery, garlicky and lemony flavor with a sprinkling of fresh herbs in a lighter sauce you can make in minutes!
What’s different about this recipe?
The sauce has been “lightened-up” ~ which means ALL OF THE FLAVOR with less calories and fat; less butter.
How did I accomplish this?
The quick answer is I have added a cornstarch slurry (equal amounts cornstarch and water) to the sauce to thicken – then swirled in a moderate amount, not too much of butter in the last step.
In the style of French “Francaise” and “Piccata” ~ this is an updated version, a recipe every cook should master!
A family favorite, easily gluten free ~ I use rice flour for coating. I love to garnish with blackened lemons (see recipe!) and scatter with fresh cut chives
Quick Fish Entrees:
A quick & tasty meal finished in minutes ~ stir together a Mustard, Herb, Garlic & Mayo Sauce, coat the fish and simply broil… genius!! A little taste of France ~ and updated: Filets de flet à la moutarde for today’s taste. Use the freshest Filet of Sole!
A quick and easy meal with amazing flavor! Make my homemade Hoisin Sauce… a game changer for any cook! Shaved Carrot Slaw is colorful, crunchy and delicious. A wonderful weeknight meal, and special enough for company. (I do make my own Hoisin Sauce… recipe below.)
See: Homemade Hoisin Sauce – Better Than Store-Bought
I’ve created this easy recipe for those who love big flavors – and is finished in minutes. Garlicky, Gingery and loaded with Sesame Seeds… your new family favorite! A weeknight recipe the whole family will enjoy – healthy and simple to prepare.
A Stir-Fry with True Restaurant Quality Flavor! A redux of the Thai dish Pad Krakow Gai – with extra vegetables and totally Gluten Free. Comforting, savory, aromatic, and garlicky – can be as spicy as you like!! Using basil in colder months is a treat for the senses… (and readily available.)
A total Ode to Stanley Tucci’s CNN “Searching for Italy” series which he shed light on this terrific dish in a hotel kitchen on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
I have ROASTED Zucchini instead of fried… and added lots to the final dish! Easy, economical and one you should master!
A Vibrant Green Pesto with non-traditional ingredients but with all the bite and bursting with flavor. A brilliant pesto with a little peppery, spicy and nutty taste. Anytime can be Homemade Pesto Time!
Use the best quality Arugula & Flat Leaf Parsley, I choose organic.
In between toasted Challah Bread lies Creamy Eggs, Shiitake “Bacon”, Sesame Kale Crisps, Cheddar Cheese and a Gochugaru Sauce. Your next favorite Brunch Dish ~ All the elements melt in your mouth surrounded by buttery crispy bread. I could eat this for lunch and dinner…
You’ll slurp up these Gluten Free Sweet Potato Noodles with Vegetables Galore!
Crispy, Crunchy & Chewy with a Soy-Chili-Citrus Sauce – Delish!
Perfectly sliced Roasted Fennel is getting topped with Garlicky Bread Crumbs, Tomato Sauce, Fresh Cut Tomatoes and topped with Shaved Parmesan. A Lightened-Up Veggie Parmesan! It’s one of the most underrated vegetables, and if you’re not already cooking with it, you absolutely should be.
Glorious Flattened Chicken Breasts are bathed in a Zesty & Pungent Peruvian Citrus Marinade and simply grilled. Add lettuces and a raw vegetable salad for a healthy meal.
Cajun Seasoning Enlivens Red Fish – Blackened in Minutes in a Cast Iron Skillet.Glazed with a Browned Butter Pan-Sauce with Garlic and Many Summer Herbs. Many firm fish filets work with this recipe too.
Weeknight delicious! Distinctive Dukkah Seasoning gets a revamp with Lemon Essence. Roast all on one pan. Top with a simple Minted Herb-Yogurt Sauce and Mint Leaves.
TINGA is a Mexican Specialty with pulled chicken in a full- flavored Chipotle-Tomato Sauce.
Moderately spicy and definitely smokey – top warm corn tortillas and add veggies of your choice such as Charred Corn & Onions, Avocado, Radishes and Herbs. Cotija cheese tops them off.
A Healthy, Satisfying Soup with all the flavor to awaken your taste-buds. “Gypsy” ~ a free spirited soup with a rich assortment of ingredients. A Hearty Soup to satisfy your vegan cravings…
Tastes like an apple crumb pie in a bar! Not too sweet with a touch of warm spices. A wonderful weeknight recipe for Fall and Winter. (these freeze well too!) Make my Applesauce too!
Weeknight Cooking does take some planning:
- Write shopping lists – bring home the ingredients so they are readily available
- Get organized – some components of the recipes can be made ahead of time, so the recipes come together quickly
- Think about doubling a recipe for future nights – or if freezer friendly
- Have a strategy for putting a meal on the table every night… well most nights!
- Remember: Cooking for yourself is gratifying, healthier than take-out and more economical!
Enjoy new techniques & flavor to jazz-up you weeknight repertoire!
Karen's Arugula & Parsley Winter Pesto
- 2 cups fresh arugula cleaned and dried
- 2 cups Italian Flat Leaf Parsley cleaned and dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 small anchovy fillets (optional)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts gently toasted
- 1/3 cup Prima Donna Cheese* (aged gouda) coarsely grated (yes, you can use Parmesan Reggiano)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (see method for roasting lemon)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil more if desired
- Add all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Turn on and whirl until chopped, about 20 seconds. Remove top and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place top back on. Measure oil.
- Turn machine on and pour the oil in the feed tube slowly until all incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides to the bowl again - add additional oil if desired, one tablespoon at a time. Taste for salt.
Make Roasted Lemons for lemon juice:
- I like to roast lemon wedges for the lemon juice. Simple cut 1/2 lemon into large wedges and roast in a hot oven until golden, then squeeze juice.
- Pesto should have some texture - not entirely smooth.Store in a clean glass container with a good seal.This pesto does not discolor like basil pesto!