cook | sheet pan shrimp scampi.

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Quick but delicious weeknight dinners are my jam. I don’t like to spend more than 40 minutes but I don’t want to be completely boring or entirely routine. I like a bit of variety and I like to have a bunch of strong meals in my rotation.

I recently tried a new sheet pan recipe for shrimp scampi and it was so bomb. Instead of serving it with pasta or some other starch, this recipe called for a pile of veggies like zucchini and summer squash and bulked it up with some delicious parm toasts to serve on the side.

Everything is marinated in the same garlic, butter, hot pepper flake, lemon mixture and its only one pan. Grab the recipe here.

cook | spicy linguine with clams.

I love making linguine with clams–and I like to change it up; sometimes a red sauce, sometimes a white wine one.

This one was made with some leftover tomato sauce I had in the freezer and needed to use up. I added white wine, garlic, spicy red pepper flakes, parm, and a little basil before simmering the clams in it all.

It’s a super quick way to use up leftover sauce and easily transform it. It will be exciting that get back into cooking mode once the weather turns. That’s the only great thing about losing those summer days—new dishes.

cook | orange scented cod.

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I love trying new fish dishes–particularly ones that stand up to cold weather. This orange scented cod with jasmine rice is just the dish. It really sticks to the ribs in a healthy way, and the doc and I really enjoyed it.

Plus, it takes no time at all, so it’s the perfect weeknight dinner. The cod can handle the asian flavors of ginger and soy; what’s more, I always have these ingredients, generally speaking, on hand. and takes only about 6 minutes to braise. Brilliant. I think it would be really delicious with halibut, too, which is also a recommended fish for this dish.

See the recipe here. It’s definitely been added to my weeknight dinner recipes.

cook | saffron pasta with zoodles.

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Man! This dish! A new one I tried twice this late summer and definitely one to go in my regular rotation mostly because zucchini are plentiful and you can get them any season and not notice a lesser quality like tomatoes, for example.

This pasta recipe using a combiation of bucatini and zoodles (that’s zucchini noodles); I invested some years back in a spiralizer, and I love it. I often use it to make other kinds of veggie noodles–like beet strings for a warm salad or curly fries for a dish with mussels. They are an affordable and easy to use investment.

What I like most about this recipe is the combination–not losing that pasta, but getting another texture with the zoodles, which simmer in a sauce of saffron and cream. This recipe gets an extra kick, as well, from some crispy pancetta, which you brown up in the pan prior to cooking the sauce and zoodles, and adds a crunchy bit on top at the end (and some much needed fat and salt). Sprinkle with parm and you have a brilliant, and fast, weeknight dinner.

dinner | prosciutto wrapped sole.

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Some days, my only opportunity to make and produce something creative is in my kitchen. And that’s o.k. because cooking can be as creative or as rigid as you’d like it to be. Often times, I might look in my fridge to see what I might make that I hadn’t planned and come up with something new. Or, I might build off of a simple recipe idea: lemon goes great with white fish but needs fat, as in this case.

Enter this delicious dish I created: prosciutto wrapped lemon sole, baked, and served with lemony spinach and almond Israeli couscous. It was a hit, and so easy to make.

cook | beef ramen.

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This entire spring has been relatively cold and rainy. Day in, day out. We need the rain, but it leaves me is quite a funk. Some of the only creative outlets I’ve had in this weather are in the kitchen.

And so, when it poured and poured last week, and the idea of walking and getting drenched to get a bowl of much needed ramen presented itself, I opted to try to make it at home for the first time. And while it certainly is a bit nontraditional, it tasted amazing and was just what was needed. Dare I say, too, it was one of the easier meals I’ve made in awhile.

Here’s how I did it.

I sauteed some diced onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and fresh ginger in a stock pot with olive oil. I added sriracha and a few tablespoons of miso paste (I feel like this was an essential ingredient) to the mix and then dumped two cups of beef broth and two cups of chicken broth into that mixture. From there, I added a few dashes of soy sauce, and let it simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I boiled some water for two six minute eggs (yes, boil for six minutes and they are perfect for ramen) and salt and pepper two filets for the grill. I wanted super tender beef and I wanted it to be rare, so for me, grilling it off for a few minutes on each side and then slicing it for the top of our ramen made the most sense.

While the eggs were cooking, I added the enoki mushrooms to the simmering broth and a handful of fresh chopped cilantro. I diced up some green onion, more cilantro, and very thinly sliced some jalapenos as fresh toppings. I quickly cooked the ramen noodles (one for each person, discard seasoning packet) in the broth, then spooned it all into ramen bowls and topped with egg, steak, fresh herbs and veggies, and slurped my way to happiness.

Let me know if you try this–and any variations you would suggest.

cook | cod + lemony spinach.

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This is a really simple, healthy weeknight meal. The baked cod, wrapped in prosciutto for a little bit of necessary fat, is smothered in salt, pepper, olive oil and baked until white and flaky, about 10-12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I sauteed some onion, garlic, and spinach in a pan, and squeezed fresh lemon juice and zest all over the top at the end of cooking, then served this entire dish with Israeli couscous scented with garlic and toasted sliced almonds.

Try something like this; you won’t regret it.

weeknight dinner | flank steak tostadas.

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Homemade tostadas are my newest obsession. I’ve always loved them, and I often fry my own tortilla chips, so why wouldn’t I be making tostadas like they are going out of style?

Who knows why not, but now I am.

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These tostadas were topped with mashed black beans, mashed avocado, grilled flank steak (which I marinated in lime juice, chipotle peppers, fresh cilantro and garlic), shredded lettuce, and jack cheese. I also quick pickled some red onions in lime juice and salt, which were amazing, and created a lime crema with sour cream, salt and pepper, to drizzle over the entire mess.

It was one of the best quick dinners I’ve made in awhile.

Serve with an iced cold beer and you’ve got yourself a party.

weeknight dinner | pappardelle with clams.

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This was a simple, quick, but super delicious weeknight dinner. All together, it took about 20 minutes, from start to finish. Little necks, and any other clams for that matter, are readily available and cheap around these parts. Hello, weeknight dinner.

It’s simple, throw tons of garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and olive oil into a pan and soften. Add white wine. Reduce a bit. Add clams, cook until they all pop open, just a few minutes.

Magic.

fried rice | weeknight dinner.

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I’ve been trying to keep my weeknight cooking easy but filled with variety this winter. I hate getting into food ruts.

This shrimp fried rice is the perfect midweek dinner that’s super quick, easy to execute, and definitely filling. Plus, its a fun way to use shrimp and the rice is chock full of fried egg for additional protein and so many veggies (you can add endless veggies) that you don’t need to cook anything else to go with it.

The trick? Make your rice a couple of days before and let it dry out in the fridge. The drier the rice, the better its fried and more authentic it tastes. Rice can be gummy. This meal would not be pleasurable if every grain was stuck together in a big gluey mess. Trust me–its a step you can’t skip.

What’s more, you can just boil your rice one night when you are making another quick dinner, pop it in a container, and then you’ve cut your work down when you finally get around to making this dinner.