In Entertaining on
April 27, 2023

Weekday Meals and a Simple Salad

What’s for dinner? Most weeks I contendedly whip up supper, some I’m phoning for takeout. What is ever-present is my voyeuristic curiosity of what others have on their tables each evening. I’m sharing what was on ours last week, I hope you’ll find a recipe or two to try. Bon appétit!

Pear Dijon Salad

I eat this for lunch four or five days in a row, it’s really delicious. I air fry the chicken breasts on Sunday to have that portion ready so my midday meal takes minutes to throw together.

  • Greens
  • 1-1.5 lb chicken breasts
  • Herbes de Provence seasoning
  • Pears
  • Feta cheese, I prefer to crumble my own off a block
  • 1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Season chicken breasts with herbes de Provence and prepare as you like. I prefer crispier, golden chicken so I chop the breasts into one inch pieces, coat them in olive oil before seasoning, and air fry them at 375 for 15-18 minutes.
  • Mix one to two tablespoons of mayonnaise with one to two teaspoons (or more!) of dijon. This will be your dressing.
  • Chop a pear and crumble some feta.
  • Assemble the salad with a bed of greens, chicken, pear, and feta. Drizzle with dijon mixture and salt and pepper to taste.

Simple Side Salad

This is my favorite simple salad ever. Ever. It could not be easier to make and the flavors complement any dish. Think of it as the house salad at your tried and true white-tablecloth restaurant.

  • Lettuce such as Bibb, Red Leaf or Butter
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Shallot, thinly sliced
  • Half of a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Wash and tear lettuce leaves into bite sizes pieces
  • Thinly slice shallot
  • In a medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil and squeezes of lemon until lightly coated. Toss.
  • Generously dust with grated parmesan and salt, incorporate shallot slices
  • Toss once more, plate and season with plenty of pepper

Blackened Grouper

Eating a plain lean protein and steamed vegetables every night would save me a lot of time in the kitchen but I would never look forward to dinner. I try to zhush up a clean meal by playing around with seasoning and preparation. This dish has a kick!

Blackened Grouper Filets
  • 1 lb or less of grouper filets
  • 2-3 Tbsp of these spices mixed together: Paprika, Parsley, Oregano, Chipotle, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Sea Salt, Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Half of a lemon
  • Heat a cast iron pan until very hot, 7-10 minutes
  • Season grouper filets with the spice mixture
  • Add butter to the pan, immediately add seasoned filets and lemon half face down
  • For 1-inch thick filets, sear on each side for 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat slightly if fish is burning.
  • Filets should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees
  • Serve on a bed of greens that have been drizzled with lemon and olive oil
Sweet Potato Fries
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt

Toss sweet potato fries with olive oil, paprika and salt. Air fry at 390 for 15-17 minutes until nice and roasted. Or roast in the oven at 400 for 40ish minutes.

20-Minute Korean Beef

This is such a crowd pleaser and a total cinch to throw together. Grab a head of iceberg, a bag of matchstick carrots and Japanese ginger dressing for an easy side salad.

Korean Beef
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil plus 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped or grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I use coconut sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced green onions, extra for garnish
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (I like jasmine for this recipe)
  • In a pan over medium heat, brown ground beef and 1 Tbsp of sesame oil until meat is cooked through
  • Add garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add ginger, coconut aminos, brown sugar, green onions and 1 Tsp sesame oil. Saute until the sauce is bubbling.
  • Serve over rice or make into lettuce wraps. Garnish with green onion slices.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Turkey Meatloaf

This Goop-y twist on a weeknight classic is a cleaner version and very nostalgic. It yields plenty of leftovers making it a great option to make on a Sunday night before a week of after school sports. My favorite thing about meatloaf is the sandwich the next day—good bread, a swipe of mayo and ketchup, piled high with turkey goodness.

  • 4 oz turkey bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (can be gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 1/2 Tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • Pepper
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Pulse turkey bacon, onion, garlic, and thyme in a food processor until minced, being careful not to turn it into a paste
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • While the onion mixture cools, in a large bowl, combine the oats, milk, Worcestershire, 2 Tbsp of ketchup, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with your hands.
  • Add the sauted onion mixture and the ground turkey and mix until everything is evenly incorporated. The mixture will look and feel soggy but it will become firm once baking.
  • Form the meat into a rounded loaf and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the top with the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Tip: Place a small pan of water in the oven on the bottom rack to ensure the meat loaf stays moist.

Semi-Homemade Empanada Plate

While in Roswell for the Amanda Lindroth sample sale, I popped into a neighboring Venezuelan restaurant (Cylantros) for fresh empanadas. I love a prepared main dish that I can easily add to. Red Clay’s Verde Hot Sauce was just the ticket to drizzle on top. Use code Emily15 for 15% off your Red Clay order.

For fajita style vegetables, chop a green pepper or two and yellow onion. Toss with olive oil and salt or cumin and either air fry at 400 for 20sh minutes or saute in a pan until slightly browned and soft. Serve with thinly chopped iceberg lettuce and sour cream for that extra authentic touch.

Out for Dinner: Howell’s

It’s a real treat when a restaurant has food your children adore and cuisine and drinks you love as well. We enjoy the casualness of Howell’s, it is always in rotation for an early dinner out.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dates

When that sweet tooth hits at about 9 pm, I am armed and ready. These dessert dates are a clean take on a Snickers bar and satiate any sugar cravings, guaranteed.

  • 10 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tsp coconut oil
  • Cut a slit at the top of each date
  • Fill each one with about 1/2 Tsp peanut butter, set aside
  • Add chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 15 second increments. Stir in between. This should take 2 minutes or less.
  • Dip each date into the melted chocolate using a fork or toothpick until completely covered. Place dates on a parchment-lined plate and cool in the refrigerator.
  • Chocolate will set quickly. Dates will keep in refrigeration for up to a week.

Berry Shortcake

This was a dessert request from my daughter—store bought shortcake, whipped cream and berries. Always a simple treat!

Whipped Cream
  • 1 Cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp fine granulated sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • In a cold bowl (stainless steel or glass work best!) begin whipping the cream. This can be done with a whisk, hand mixer or standing mixer. Start at a low speed and increase as the cream thickens.
  • Add the sugar just before soft peaks begin to form. Continue whipping.
  • When you’ve reached your desired consistency, add the vanilla extract

Below you’ll find my favorite kitchen equipment, I like to keep it simple—these are my tried-and-true wares.

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2 Comments

  • Nicole

    This is all fabulous- delicious and achievable! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    April 30, 2023 at 10:02 am Reply
    • Stuffy Muffy

      Thank you Nicole, happy cooking!

      May 11, 2023 at 12:45 pm Reply

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