Luke and I have a pretty good routine going in terms of keeping our house going. I do the laundry, he takes the trash out, I do the cooking, he does the dishes. We like to eat at home usually, so I am cooking on average six meals a week. When we were first married, I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed going from only cooking once a week or so to cooking every night.
I quickly devised a strategy to help me get through the nightly cooking grind: keep it simple, don’t spend a lot of time on prep, but make it taste delicious. I created an excel spreadsheet with all my go-to meals and collapsed the ingredients for grocery shopping underneath. So when I need to meal plan for the week, I can just reference back to the list and copy/paste the ingredients I need to buy into an email.
Usually for Sunday Supper Series on this blog, I post fancier recipes I make on special occasions (like on Sunday, duh), but I thought it might be beneficial for some of you if I shared my list of easy, go-to, weeknight dinners.
Now keep in mind, we are Paleo (+ dairy), so these recipes lean that way. But even if you’re not Paleo, they’re super yummy. Oh and these are just main dishes. I typically will pair these with a vegetable of choice cooked in grassfed butter and topped with a lot of sea salt.
10 Easy Yet Delicious Weeknight Paleo (+Dairy) Dinners:
1. Pulled Pork Over a Sweet Potato: Cook a pork shoulder in the crock pot overnight and through the next day. “Pull it” apart and top with bbq sauce. Serve over a baked sweet potato.
2. “Spaghetti” and Meat Sauce: Spaghetti squash cut in half and baked for 45 mins at 375. Scrape with a fork to make noodles. Top with ground grassfed beef with your marinara sauce of choice.
3. Salmon with Bacon & Blue Cheese: Pretty self-explanatory, salmon topped with blue cheese and strips of bacon. I will cook the bacon in the microwave under a paper towel for a minute before adding it to the salmon so it crisps in time. Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.
4. Roast Chicken: Place small potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish (that has a lid). Top with whole chicken legs seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary (you can also marinate the chicken in buttermilk for four hours beforehand). Top with lemon slices. Bake for 35 mins with the lid on in a 375 degree oven. Take the lid off, turn the temp up to 425 and bake until the chicken skins are crispy and the lemon is blackened, about 15 more mins.
5. Creamy Shrimp & Asparagus: chopped asparagus cooked in butter until soft. Add thawed frozen shrimp, cook until pink. Add two heaping spoonfuls of store bought pesto (look for a kind in olive oil, not canola oil). Add two tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix and serve over rice.
6. Lamb chops w/ Cherries: lamb chops seasoned with rosemary (fresh or dried). Baked at 350 for 45 mins. Top with frozen cherries cooked in a sauce pot with butter.
7. Skirt Steak Roll Ups: Skirt steak topped with pesto, goat feta cheese, roasted red peppers and red pepper flakes. Rolled up and baked at 350 for 45 mins.
8. Fireside Stew: Put a beef shoulder roast in the crock pot with rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder and some pre-cut butternut squash. Cook overnight and through the day on low. Serve over rice adding some of the juice on top.
9. Pork Chops w/Apples: Pork chops seasoned with paprika, baked at 350 for 35-40 mins. Top with chopped apples cooked in butter with cinnamon.
10. Steak & Onions: Slice an onion and cook it on the stovetop in butter for a hour, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Baste steaks in grassfed butter and minced garlic. Grill or pan-fry your cut of steak (we do the pan-fry method with our cast iron pan). Let the meat rest for 5 mins and serve with onions.
Those are just some of my go-to weeknight meals. I currently have about 50 in my “database,” so I’ll post more later if you want. What are your easy weeknight meals of choice?