It’s a classic scenario– you rush home from the office, maybe pick up the kids at school or day care, and you have dwindling minutes to make dinner before hungry meltdowns explode around you. You need dinner in a hurry, and it would be nice it it was healthy and delicious as well! Life on the ranch is not so different for us — except I am usually rushing in from the pastures, not the office. But on days when I have limited time to cook, I have a few secret weapon recipes to help get a healthy dinner on the table in a hurry.
Ground Meat is Your Friend
Burgers, and meatballs, and shepherd’s pie, oh my! Nothing is quicker than a speedy stir fry with some ground veal or goat, or a jar of tomato sauce over ground veal and tender pasta. But our favorite dinner in a hurry must be burgers. We’ve always got burger fixings on hand, so they are easy to throw together. If it’s warm outside then we can fire up the grill, but veal or goat burgers are equally delicious sizzling on a cast iron skillet over the stove.
A Little Morning Prep Can Save the Evening
Stews are often thought of as solely a winter food, but when the fog rolls in thickly off the coast, if doesn’t matter what season it really is– it feels like winter to us out here in west Marin! So stews can be a lifesaver. This recipe calls for two hours in a low oven, but you could easily prepare as directed up until that point, then put it in a slow cooker for six hours. Get that set up in the morning, and you’ve got a hearty, healthy, and delicious dinner waiting for you when you get home. And it is economical to boot!
Scallopini Only Feel Fancy
While it is true that veal scallopini, also known as thin veal cutlets, make elegant dinner party fare, they are also insanely quick to cook. At just one minute of cooking time per side, you can have dinner on the table in a flash. You can serve them in a classic lemony caper sauce like this recipe, or you can be creative and substitute another favorite sauce. A quick creamy mushroom sauce? Some leftover marinara that would otherwise be languishing in the back of your fridge? Anything goes with these scallopini.
Leftovers Are my Secret Weapon
I don’t know about you, but taco night is always a hit in my house– and this goat carnitas recipe is truly a star! Like stew, it does take a few hours in the oven, though you could easily use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker to make the process a bit more hands-off. But the best part about this recipe is that is makes a huge pile of delicious carnitas, which you can plan on using for dinner all week long! Tired of tacos after the second night? Try some carnitas heaped onto a big salad of crisp romaine, seasoned black beans, some fresh tomatoes, a few thick slices of avocado, and a big handful of crushed tortilla chips. Or pile some meat onto a hamburger bun, top with a quick and crunchy slaw and a lashing of barbeque sauce, and you have the best sloppy sandwich of your life! The possibilities are endless, so we always make a large batch and see how many different ways we can enjoy carnitas through the week.
What’s your favorite quick and easy weeknight meal? Drop me a line and maybe we will feature your recipe or idea in one of our upcoming blog posts!