This week I was sick. I managed to make three meals and then spent the rest of the week sucking down hot tea with honey and lemon and inhaling essential oils. I stressed over coming up with extra meals for all of you and then decided the best thing is just to tell it like it is. Let’s face it, we all have weeks like this or weeks where there is just too much going on. When you have weeks like that and manage to get even one meal made and on the table I applaud you! Judgement free zone here.
My job is to search the internet for yummy meals so that you don’t have to and hopefully you can use at least one meal to make your life easier and the rest of the week just do the best you can. The goal is to make the effort and make a little progress at building relationships around your meals while you’re at it. Remember bringing back dinner to your lives doesn’t have to stress you or be an impossible goal, even if you’re sick or busy!
So what did we do? We ate sandwiches, went out to eat and had take out for the rest of our week and we survived. For the take out we still ate it together at the table and that is something. Next week I have some awesome meals planned, but you know what? Life happens if it derails your, or my, plans that’s OK. Try again the next week. Just relax and enjoy meal time. I’m rooting for you!
1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for. I’ll pick so you don’t have to)
2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money
3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)
4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy. Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and strengthen family relationships when gathered around a meal. Even if you mess it all up. So, just relax, experiment, and have fun. Don’t forget to set the table.
Meatless Monday: BBQ Veg Burrito Bowl
Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Low Fat
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour depending upon rice used and cooking method
I am enjoying Meatless Mondays, but find it a challenge to make meals that my meat loving men will enjoy as well. I find if it is hearty and flavorful they usually like it. So, this week we had a filling and tasty burrito bowl. I love a good veg burrito bowl, just pile it high and dig in.
Review: Everyone liked it! Success. This was an easy meal and one where you can set it up like a buffet and give people choices. Suggested items: cooked rice, squash and zucchini, roasted peppers and onions, caramelized onion, black beans, and corn with peppers and chipotle bbq sauce. Recipes for the corn and bbq sauce below:
Corn with Peppers
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup corn
- 1 poblano pepper finely chopped
- ½ -1 jalapeno pepper
- ¼ cup Red onion
- 1 Tbsp Lime juice
- Salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil and add peppers, red onion and corn and cook until lightly toasted in areas and heated through. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and cilantro and toss through. Serve.
Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder or sauté garlic with onions
- 1 tsp onion powder or saute fresh onions to taste
- 1tsp chili powder
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp chocolate
- 1 tbsp chipotle pepper w/sauce (more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Salt & pepper
Heat the vinegar and add in molasses and brown sugar to dissolve, then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer 5 minutes. Done! Easy! If using fresh onions and garlic sauté them in 1 tbsp olive oil prior to adding vinegar and sweeteners.
This sauce is perfect for ribs, porkchops, anything! (for those meatfull other days!)
Rosemary Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole30
Time: 45 Minutes
Preheat oven to 400. I used the Pampered Chef Deep Baking Dish (stoneware), but you could do this in a regular Pyrex dish or other baking dish with sides.
4-5 pieces chicken breasts or thighs
1 small onion cut in rings
4 small sweet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp Olive oil
salt and pepper
Toss the sweet potatoes in enough olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and place in the bottom of baking dish. Coat chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary and brush with olive oil and place over the sweet potatoes. Place onion rings on top of the chicken and pour about 1/4 cup liquid (water or broth) over the chicken and cover. Bake until the chicken is done in the center. About 165 degrees F. Here is a great guide from The Food Network.
Review: This was a simple dish with nice flavors, it sort of reminded me of Thanksgiving. You could serve it with rice, dressing/stuffing, veg etc.
Dijon Salmon – Original Recipe from Trader Joes
Paleo when following omitions, Gluten Free,
Time: 15 Minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (omit & increase olive oil for Paleo)
- 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 1 lb Silverbrite Salmon (frozen or defrosted)
- 1 tbsp honey (use raw, unfiltered for paleo diets)
- 1/8 cup water
Review: This recipe was right on the package from the salmon we bought in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s. I love the frozen food there, if you want convenience, but still want fresh taste and to feel like you are eating at least fairly healthy food, this is the way to go. I found a link online for you to use.
This was very quick and easy meal to make. It would be a great one to make if you have just a little time to make dinner.
Bringing Back Dinner Tip: If it is a crazy week filled with take out try to put the food on the table and eat it together at least once. That little bit of time to connect makes a lasting difference. If you do it or make any of the dinners from Bringing Back Dinner share it with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook use #bringinbackdinner
Photos by lwburbach please feel free to contact me for permission to use photos.