If I had to venture an educated guess, I would say that chicken breast is the most popular dinner choice for busy households. My thought is that it's affordability and familiarity are what make it such a reliable dinner option. But, while it may be popular, it can also be boring. As a personal chef, I have to think of lots of different ways to make this (in my opinion) benign protein exciting. My favorite way to dress up chicken breast, or anything for that matter, is to coat it in panko breadcrumbs and pan fry it. I mean, who doesn't love a crispy, golden brown crust?!? Yep! That'll do it! To further boost the wow factor in this [winner, winner] chicken dinner, I pair it with a springy arborio rice salad. If you just thought "risotto" you are correct! Same rice, but instead of the painstaking stirring method, we are just going to boil it like pasta, then toss it with a few favorite ingredients. It's surprisingly simple and delightful. As promised, together we will keep dinner, even chicken dinners, interesting! Enjoy!
Here is a recipe I like to whip up when I want to cook something fast and simple, using only ingredients I already have on hand in my pantry. Further proof that a well-stocked pantry can make dinner effortless! (More on investing in your pantry to come in a future post!)
While the pasta and the peanut butter are more common, every-household items (most likely) the Asian ingredients may be a bit more uncommon, but the beauty of buying them once is that you can get multiple meals out of that initial investment. In fact, if you cooked my Hoisin Salmon meal I shared back in February, you just might have a few of these ingredients on hand already! How cool is that?!
My other favorite thing about this recipe, aside from it's speed and ingredients, is it's flexibility. You can switch up the toppings based on what you already have or what you are willing to stop at the grocery store for. I include a bunch of suggestions in the ingredient list, but ultimately the choice is yours. While I prefer this dish vegetarian for a perfect Meatless Monday treat, if you want to top it off with shredded chicken or seared shrimp, by all means, have your way with it! And if you are cooking for a family, make the toppings a "build-your-own" option for customization that will make every diner happy.
When it comes to weekly meals, I'm a big fan of pork tenderloin. Not only is it a lean and inexpensive protein, but it cooks quickly, too. It also takes on bold flavors very easily, like in this recipe where I simply mix a few spices together and rub it all over the tenderloin to give it a slightly charred, kicked-up coating. Paired with a curried-coconut chickpea and sweet potato side dish, this meal is easy, nutrient-rich, and just exotic enough to keep dinner interesting. So forget the same ol' same ol' this week, and cook this instead!
Um, I love tacos. Don't you? Who doesn't!? This meal offers a healthy twist, with honey and spice and freshly flavorful cabbage slaw. The enchilada squash is one of my favorite recipes with an unexpected prepartion and it packs a ton of rich, "cooked-all-day" flavor in a dish that really takes less than 20 minutes. I mean, those are the best kind of recipes, don't you agree?
Dinner is best when it's quick and easy. Bonus points if it is also nutritious. This meal delivers on all three counts. I especially enjoy the fact that you can easily double the batch of pea pesto and toss the leftovers in the freezer for a fast meal solution in the future. Keep an eye out for good pricing on frozen shrimp and buy it in bulk. You can store it in the freezer and defrost what you need in less 5 minutes - making shrimp one of the most convenient dinner solutions you can keep on hand at all times. I also always try to have frozen peas on hand, which is why this meal is particularly great for nights when you really have no idea what's for dinner. Enjoy!
Hi! I'm Emily, and this is the official blog of Guest Chef, my personal chef and catering business serving Metro Detroit. As much as I love to cook for people, I also love inspiring others to cook great food for themselves and their friends and family. Which is why I share recipes, tips and inspiration here. Follow along and let's cook something great together!