A Roundup of Not-Boring Weeknight Dinners

What have you been cooking during the week? Here’s a roundup of what I’ve been making this summer — I’m a big fan of dinners that take less than half an hour to make and pack a punch. Please share your favorite weeknight summer dinners, too!

Asian Flank Steak Skewers with Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Grilled Eggplant. Followed this recipe exactly for the steak, cooked some rice, grilled some eggplant, and made a quick cucumber salad like this one.

Zoodles with Peanut Sauce and Dumplings. (I followed this recipe exactly and pan-fried some Trader Joe’s pork potstickers as a side).

Quick Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup). My all time FAVORITE soup, I love the combination of rich coconut milk, salty fish sauce and tangy lime juice. It’s very, very good, and really hits the spot on a slightly cooler summer night. I followed this recipe.

Burgers and Potato Salad. Because summer, y’all! This is the potato salad recipe I followed (I added a handful of capers and it was delish.

Hoisin Salmon with Rice and Peas. Brushed the salmon with hoisin sauce, a little soy sauce and the juice of half a lime. Grilled it until done, garnished with some cilantro, and served with short grain white rice (I like to add peas, some butter and a tiny splash of soy sauce:).

Pizza on the Grill. Using a ball of dough I picked up at the store, some Trader Joe’s marinara and turkey pepperoni.

Cheater Fish Tacos. Still one of my favorite go-to recipes. Sometimes I cheat even further and pick up a bag of pre-shredded cabbage. I never skip on the quick pickled onions though — they’re key!

Spicy Thai Chicken and Basil with Rice (below). I followed this recipe with only a few tweaks (I used a jalapeño, red onion instead of shallot and 2 teaspoons white sugar) and it’s SO GOOD!

Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Bless you, Trader Joe’s, for always saving the day. This + pickles + hamburger buns + a quick side salad = dinner in 10 minutes with barely any clean up.

Cheesy Tomato Basil Pasta (pictured at the top). You guys. I am NOT above a jar of tomato sauce, and this is kind of a secret recipe of mine: while you boil spaghetti or noodle of your choice, dump some tomato sauce into a saucepan (I always have Trader Joe’s or Rao’s on hand). Add one tablespoon of butter and stir until sauce is heated through and butter is melted. Once pasta is cooked al dente, add it directly with tongs (dragging along some of the starchy pasta water) into the saucepan. Crank the heat and move the pasta around vigorously for a minute or two or until it starts to absorb the sauce. Add a splash of extra pasta water and a generous amount of grated parm (1/2 cup or so — seriously!). Add some torn basil if you’re feeling fancy. Garnish with freshly grated pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and more parm. It tastes like something you’d get at an Italian restaurant!

And 2 dinners I’ll be making this week:

Summer Shrimp Salad

Sesame Noodles with Swiss Chard and Chicken

What have you been cooking? Also, please share if you have any Trader Joe’s meal hacks. I lOVE those!


7 thoughts on “A Roundup of Not-Boring Weeknight Dinners

  1. Your fish taco hack has been such a good go-to for us! I really like using TJ’s healthy veggie mix (8? 12? different odd and ends in the produce section) and making a marinated veggie salad with it. Throw in some chick peas and feta and it makes a great lunch.

    I will also credit TJ’s rosemary balsamic chicken for basically sustaining my family for the last six months. I can’t make chicken better than that.

  2. I constantly struggle with easy weeknight meals, so thank you so much for this!
    I don’t know what I would do without Trader Joe’s either, my favorites: the cold brew coffee concentrate or the new(ish) coconut cold brew coffee concentrate mixed with two parts vanilla almond milk every morning; soy chorizo (we love adding it into pasta sauce after warming it a bit on the stove top and also using it as a filling for tacos); Thai shrimp gyoza (so amazing for a quick, tasty meal); their frozen Belgian waffles that taste even better than the ones I make on lazy Sundays with my waffle iron; and two items that aren’t hacks, but are too good not to mention: frozen chocolate croissants and Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip “ice cream” which tastes even better than my beloved Cherry Garcia, I bow down to the person who created this!

    • The weeknight meal struggle is so real!! I recently discovered the soy chorizo and I was pleasantly surprised!! Added it to some mac and cheese a few days ago and it was delish :). And YES the frozen chocolate croissants are the BOMB!! Such a good way to wake up on a sleepy saturday morning. Thanks for sharing!! Picking up the coconut cold brew coffee on my next trip 🙂 XO

  3. Thank you so much for this can’t wait to try it. Your easy fish taco recipe is a favorite in our house and I shared it with my best friend whose family also LOVED it. Just wanted you to know your content is awesome – please keep sharing your talent 🙂

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