So, not my usual fashion content, but you guys said you wanted more lifestyle posts, so here it is. Today I’m sharing some of the meals I like to make for easy dinners on weeknights. I’m not a bad cook by any means — I actually like to think I’m pretty good — but I am a lazy cook. After school, and especially now that I’m taking a class and working full time and blogging part-time, I have no energy to put into elaborate meals. Luckily for me (and now you!) I’ve found some easy meals that taste delicious, but don’t require much energy on my part. I won’t lie to you though, there are some days I cook pasta and jarred sauce and call it a night.
Keep reading for my favorite Pinterest and Trader Joe’s meals along with a few meals I’ve created on my own!
This is one of my favorite 15 minutes or less meals. Just cook the ravioli of your choice (I usually use mushroom ravioli or spinach for this, but also love sausage ravioli) and add in the spinach and mushrooms. I don’t always use the sun-dried tomatoes, but they are a nice touch!
This is one of those recipes that I always think I know off the top of my head and then I end up buying tomato paste instead of sauce… otherwise, very easy to make and to heat up leftovers! As a side note: I usually swap the ground beef for ground turkey and white rice for brown basmati to make it healthier.
Probably my favorite meal to make because I can freeze the extras! This is not a normal opinion, but I hate hamburgers/cheeseburgers — they’re just not for me. But, this is made with turkey, cilantro, jalapeno, and shallots and when you put it on a brioche bun with guacamole on top — nothing better! Plus, it’s pretty much foolproof, just mix all of the ingredients together and shape into four patties and cook! Pro tip: make sweet potato fries as your side, it’s amazing.
I love this meal because not only is it a one-pan meal, but it looks so much more decadent than it is. I’ll be honest, I don’t like olives or feta, so my version is a little more bland, but even without those two ingredients it’s delish. This is a good meal to make if you have friends coming over and want to impress them (with very little effort on your part). I usually heat up a slice of pita bread to go with it — perfect to soak up the sauce!
Trader Joe’s Meals
This is the best meal to make when you have no more than five minutes to spare. It’s simple: buy the Trader Joe’s fully cooked falafel (freezer section) and yellow curry chopped salad kit. Heat up the falafel in the microwave and put as much of the salad into a bowl and you’re done! Zero effort required, but tastes amazing.
Teriyaki Wings + Cauliflower Stir Fry
For this one, all you need is the Trader Joe’s sesame teriyaki wing sections (meat section) and riced cauliflower stir fry (frozen section). Put the wings on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven. While they bake, heat up some oil on a pan and cook the riced cauliflower. Once the wings are done, throw them in the pan with the cauliflower and cook a few minutes longer. After that, it’s time to eat!
Tempura Shrimp + Cauliflower Stir Fry
So I just made this for the first time last week and I’m obsessed! Make the riced cauliflower the same way as above and pop the shrimp tempura in the oven. While it’s cooking, heat up the dipping sauce in the microwave!
So “recipes” is in quotations because I don’t have any exact measurements. But I promise these are hard to screw up! I probably make these three the most because they require the least amount of brain power on my end.
Baked Salmon + Veggies
For this one, it’s all in the marinade. If I remember I try to marinate over night or at least all day, but sometimes it’s only for 20 minutes if we’re being honest… But in the marinade I mix olive oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, honey or brown sugar (whichever is handy), and crushed red pepper flakes. I just pour this all in a soup bowl and fill it about a quarter of the way. Then I put into Tupperware with the salmon (this is for one piece of salmon which feeds me for two nights, but if you’re making more I would double up the marinade).
After it’s marinated for a bit, I put the salmon and sauce into tin foil and cook for about 20-30 minutes on 425. On the same baking sheet I usually add vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or green beans with a little bit of oil and whichever seasoning strikes my fancy!
If I’m feeling extra ambitious, I might also make a side of rice or orzo pasta to have with it. If I make the orzo, I just top with olive oil, sea salt, and red pepper flakes!
P.S. I personally just love salmon, but I’m sure this would still work on other fish!
Once again, I just throw all of my ingredients together, but it usually works out! The hardest part of this recipe is chopping up the peppers, which is step one. I usually buy two bell peppers (red and yellow) and cut them into long strips. In a pan, I heat up olive oil and throw in frozen chicken strips (sometimes I will buy chicken breast and cut them myself and cook, but buying frozen is much faster). Once the chicken is cooked, I add in the bell peppers along with cilantro and cumin. While I let that get nice and cooked, I periodically squeeze lime over the pan.
Meanwhile, I like to heat up corn tortillas in a smaller pan. Just put in a tiny amount of oil and heat on both sides.
To serve, I usually have a side of guacamole (I’m very particular with guacamole, so if I don’t like any of the brands at the store I’ll make my own with avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, a squeeze of lime, and a dash of olive oil). Throw in another lime wedge and you’re good to go! Just make the fajita to your liking.
Last, but not least, is homemade pizza. I personally love to use the Pillsbury brand dough, mostly because it rolls out perfectly onto a baking sheets and doesn’t require a dough roller — which I don’t own. Just follow the instructions for baking the dough, but on top of the pizza I mix olive oil and A LOT of minced garlic as the base. On top I’ll add fresh mozzarella (from the ball, not a bag), tomato, and basil. Depending on the day, I might add mushrooms, spinach, or even chicken sausage. It’s really open to interpretation!
Anyway, thanks for sticking around for a not-quite-typical post on The Dainty Details. I would love to know your go-to meals in the comments below!