Let’s face it, those mid-week meals can be the toughest meals to pull together. By Wednesday, you are now exhausted by the demands of work, and drained from the sporadic loads of laundry that you’ve had to do. The gym has become more of a chore than a release, bedtime can’t come fast enough, and there are still two more days to go before the weekend. No well thought out dinner party menu accompanies Wednesday night’s meal, and more importantly, you don’t have the time to pull something that fancy together.
Honestly, the only goal of the midweek dinner is for it to include at least three of the major food groups in a tasty enough manner to digest successfully. If all else fails, a mixing bowl full of cereal will just have to do.
Or will it? Believe me, I am just as busy as the next person, but most nights – Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the last thing I want to eat for dinner. Neither do I want to spend my entire Sunday afternoon meal prepping, so a happy medium must be found.
Chicken, fish, ground turkey, and steak. On any given day, these are the staples that can be found in my freezer. I am assuming your freezer looks much the same. Rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread. Most of the time, I’ve got these items in my pantry too. Throw in some baby spinach leaves, or broccoli, or corn on the cob, give it an hour (because the reality is, none of us really have more time than that), and let’s see what we can create.
Meals like Beef Wellington Crescent Wrap, or Citrus Glazed salmon with rice pilaf and lemon pepper spinach, or one of my very favorites – Mexican Lasagna Bake should all be added to your mid-week menu board. Add them to your list – right after grilled chicken stuffed baked potatoes, and barbeque links and parmesan corn on the cob.
When the salmon takes a little extra effort to marinate and glaze, don’t be afraid to reach for that box of stove top rice pilaf. Or you can easily substitute the rice for instant mashed potatoes. Is frozen spinach easier for you to make than a fresh bunch? Go for it! Better yet, pick up a prewashed bag of baby spinach leaves on your way home, toss in a few grape tomatoes, and sliced button mushrooms, and have yourself a salad.
So now it’s time. Defrost your meat, set your timer, try these recipes, and create something delicious.
Beef Wellington Crescent Wrap
Thinly sliced sirloin (or cut of choice)
1 cup broccoli florets
½ cup Mozzarella cheese (shredded or thinly sliced)
¼ cup green onions (chopped)
2 cans reduced fat crescent rolls
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add steak and seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce to your pan and saute until brown. Once cooked through, remove the skillet from heat and set aside.
Next you are going to blanch your broccoli. To do this, steam broccoli in a small saucepan. Once broccoli is bright green and fully cooked, remove from heat and submerge in a bath of ice water. Drain, and once again, set aside.
Pop one can of crescents, and unroll them onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Begin to layer the beef, broccoli, green onions and cheese onto the dough, leaving enough room on the sides to make a slight fold. Pop the second can of crescents, pull the sections apart, and set the sections over the top of the dish in a braided pattern. pinch the sides together with the sides from the bottom, even twisting them a little to make sure they stay together and form a pocket. (Some prefer to brush a bit of egg yolk on them as a binding agent). Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted, and crust is a beautiful light golden brown.
Mexican Lasagna Bake
6-8 Lasagna Noodles
½ lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 cup pepper jack cheese (shredded)
1 can black beans
1 can cream of chicken soup
⅓ cup cilantro chopped
¼ cup green onions chopped
1 packet taco seasoning
tomatoes, olives or other veggies of your choice (diced)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add in lasagna noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a saucepan, brown the ground turkey over medium heat, and add taco seasoning, black beans, and 1 small can of cream of chicken soup. Simmer for 7 minutes.
In a deep casserole dish, lay out 3 long lasagna noodles. Top with meat and bean mixture, then layer with cilantro, cheese, onions, lime juice, and veggies covered with 3 more lasagna noodles, layer again, and finally top with cheese. Bake until cheese begins to bubble, and is melted through.