Mom, what’s for dinner?: 8 Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas

Baked salmon

I am so thrilled that Deepthi reached out to me and asked if I would like to do a post! How exciting! Boy, I have been so impressed with what I see on ‘Bindi and Jeans’ – I think it is a cool site and has tons of relevant and interesting articles on all the little things in life that make it delightful- fashion, food, travel and fun! Kudos to the team and keep those lovely posts comin!

As I scratched my head for a good topic, ‘Quick n easy dinner ideas’ came to mind since weeknight dinners are what throw off even the most accomplished of all cooks!  They are a challenge since you have to work with what’s in the fridge and pantry for that night and you have to make it quickly and set it on the dinner table before the family starts banging on it!. Being a working mom with two kids, cooking a healthy and balanced meal is also a priority for me. So here I compile a list of easy dinner ideas that I use regularly in my kitchen. A lot of these ideas also lend to ‘easy clean up’ and that scores huge points as well in the weeknight arena!  Having been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis recently, I anticipate that in the next few months I shall come up with even more ideas to make life easier for me and for my family. After all, necessity is the mother of invention! But in the meantime, I hope you like these ideas.

 

  1. Baked Fish and Rice

Fish is always a good choice for dinner since it is a healthier option than meat and cooks pretty fast. And any simple rice dish is a perfect accompaniment to fish!

Some recipes that I make often:

Asian Style Baked Salmon with Spanish Rice:

Baked salmon

 

Tandoori Style Baked Cod

tandoori cod

 

 

  1. The ‘Go To’ Pasta

Pasta is what I resort to whenever I cannot decide what to cook! So easy to cook plus so easy to sneak in a lot of veggies in there as everything tastes fabulous with a little bit (or lots of) cheese! J If you are adding only veggies, then you can add some beans like kidney beans or pinto beans additionally for some protein.

Some of my ‘Go to’ pasta recipes:

Pasta with vegetables

pasta

Shrimp and vegetable linguine

shrimp and vegetable linguini

 

  1. Tacos/Wraps – Chicken/Fish or Beans

When you are really not in a mood to do a lot, tacos is the way to go! Just cook your chicken or fish (or black beans for a vegetarian option) and then shred some lettuce, chop tomatoes, onions etc. Place all the rest of the filling ingredients – cheese, hot sauce and sour cream on the table. Warm some tortillas and then just let everyone make / assemble their own tacos! How easy is that! If you have time and up to it, then you can also make individual chicken wraps as I show below.

Chicken Fajita Wraps

chicken fajita

Fish Tacos

fish tacos

 

 

  1. Soup and Bread

Soups are perfect when you have a little bit of everything in your refrigerator. Just throw everything in a pot – veggies and /beans, add a couple spices (or more) and let the pot do its magic.! You can serve the soup with generous slices of fresh bread bought from your local grocers. In my house, we generally have Monday nights as soup and bread nights since most Sundays I end up baking some kind of bread that I can then serve with soup on Monday! Let your imagination soar and be bold; try combining different legumes, vegetables and /meat together and remember to make a big batch!

A couple of ideas below to get you started!

Black eyed peas and sweet potato soup

blackeyed peas soup

 

Lemongrass and Chicken soup

lemongrass soup

 

 

  1. Vegetable Quesadillas

Mexican food to the rescue once again – Veggies Quesadillas are easy to make and another great way to make kids eat their veggies happily! You can pair it with some simple lentil or bean soup for the proteins if you want but these can be quite filling by themselves too.

Vegetable Quesadillas with a  fiery salsa

quesadillas

 

 

  1. Grilled Chicken/Fish and Salad

A large salad with some grilled fish or chicken to go with it – That’s another easy thing to pull off on a weeknight. Thawing the fish or chicken can also be done in time by just a little bit of planning ahead. As soon as you step home, you get the meat out of the freezer and place in hot water in a pot/in the sink to thaw. Then go and do whatever you need to – soak in the tub, help the kids with their homework or yell at the husband! Then when you are back in 30 minutes your chicken/fish is thawed and ready to be marinated. The most common marinade I prefer is simply some red chili, turmeric and salt. Maybe a dash of lime!

Some other ideas are here below:

Nepalese Style Grilled Chicken

grilled chicken

 

 

Fish Pakoras

fish pakoras

 

  1. One Pot Pulao

One important thing for a weeknight meal is also ‘easy clean up’ and what better than a one pot meal? I usually resort to prawns(shrimp) for making a flavorful pulao. But you could also just do a vegetarian/bean version of this universal favorite dish.

One pot Prawn Pulao

shrimp pulao

 

  1. Everyone’s favorite – Pizza

I was saving the best for the last. Yes indeed it’s possible to make fresh homemade pizza from scratch on a weeknight! I have done it multiple times and so can you! Requires just a little bit of planning to make the dough as soon as you start and then you can get creative with the toppings!

Home-made Pizza with veggies/beans

pizza

 

profileIndu is a busy mom who tries to juggle her 3 passions in life – her family, her career and her passion for cooking while enjoying everything along the way. She started a blog, www.indusinternationalkitchen.com , to blog about Kerala cuisine and her mom’s recipes but soon it evolved to reflect her ‘international’ kitchen. Being a researcher by profession and having young kids at home, she tries to educate herself and others on food related topics whenever she gets a chance. Her food philosophy is “Cook Fresh, Choose Natural (over processed) and Exercise Control(moderation being key)”

 

2 Responses to Mom, what’s for dinner?: 8 Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas

  1. […] fun, fashion, travel, entertainment and pretty much anything that is interesting! Please click here to read my post which is a compilation of my own recipes that I have previously posted on my blog. […]

  2. M.L.Kappa says:

    Good list. Looks a lot like mine, only mine has a more ‘Greek’ twist. To add a recipe, we often make ‘BRIÁM’ which is sliced vegetables (potatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes) baked with olive oil, salt and pepper, and parsley. Serve at room temperature with feta cheese, crusty bread and a few olives. If you want a proper recipe, let me know! X, Marina

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