By Contributor Caylin Harris
We’ve all been eating at home a lot more, and while it has its benefits (less expensive, typically healthier) it can be easy to get into a recipe rut. I’ve said it at least once before, but I get stressed during the week struggling to answer the dreaded what’s for dinner question. It’s not that I don’t like to cook, I do and I’m pretty good at it. It’s the repetition, figuring out what to make, and planning that gets me. I need to figure out what needs to be made at least the morning of, in case any components need to be defrosted or if I need to run to the store.
So during the quarantine lockdown I started a note on my phone of recipes that I’ve seen and want to try. Anytime I’m at a loss for what to cook, I scroll through my list of inspiration and I’m set. Here’s what I’ve been cooking over the last few months:
Summer Recipe Round-Up
This chicken and kimchi stir fry is one of my all time favorite weeknight meals because it’s light on ingredients and is so fast and easy to make. If you’ve never had kimchi before, it’s cabbage that’s been fermented with a ton of delicious spices. Here it combines with coconut aminos (I add a little more than the recipe calls for) to make the most delicious and flavorful sauce. I could make this once a week, every week it’s so good.
I have issues with certain types of squash. It grosses me out when the consistency gets too mushy. But the solution seems to be slicing them really thin and not overcooking. These zucchini ribbon skewers with a lemon butter are a perfect summer side dish and can be made right on the grill.
I love an interesting salad.
This lentil salad with roasted cauliflower is delicious and while it doesn’t call for it, in the post she mentions adding broccoli. Do it! It tastes great, can be roasted with the cauliflower, and uses up any leftovers I have.
I’m super picky about meatballs, and these brisket meatballs in tomato passata are downright impressive. You don’t need as much breadcrumb as the recipe recommends either. More of a weekend meal, they’re still not too complicated to make.
Hot oatmeal in the summer, no thanks. These banana bread overnight oats taste great, I doubled the recipe to get more than one meal out of it.
Anyone that tries these sambal chicken skewers immediately wants the recipe. It can be a little spicy, so I pair it with a creamy cucumber salad to dial down some of the heat.
Here’s another interesting salad
This beet and carrot salad with a curry dressing tastes very unique and makes enough where you’ll have leftovers. Thanks to the crunch of the carrots it holds up well for a few days in the fridge. I added a touch of sweetness by drizzling a balsamic glaze on it as well, I also added some burrata that I needed to use and it was very good.
The slow cooker isn’t just for winter! When you don’t want to turn on the oven, it’s an easy solution for getting a meal on the table. Tacos are a quick and delicious weeknight meal (again a once a week staple at my house) but these slow cooker chipotle honey chicken tacos are a way to shake up the type of taco you make.
So these berry crumbs bars are super tasty but not too sweet, meaning you can totally pair a bar with some yogurt for breakfast. I made them per the recipe the first time, but modified it to strawberry crumble the second time around. Both were tasty! It also tastes better cold/cooler.
These key lime popsicles aren’t just for kids. With like five total ingredients it tastes like the dessert without all the work.
A few recipe recommendations from Jess:
We’ve been grilling tempeh a lot and this recipe is delicious (we skip the steaming part and just go right to the grilling.
Summer in a salad right here. We skip the cheese but I bet it would be good with Violife vegan feta. Craig doesn’t love chickpeas so I usually do butter lettuce instead or finely chopped cabbage instead.
This peanut noodle recipe makes a great beach lunch if you have leftovers.