This series began last year in an effort to share a real-life glimpse into our weeknight dinners one week of every month. The series showcases our dinners photographed in real time (no fancy food photography allowed!) and makes note of any substitutions or alterations I make to the recipes below the photos.
Today’s post highlights last week’s weeknight meals and includes a variety of dishes from Instant Pot recipes and one-pan meals to a shortcut pasta dinner and more.
Week of Weeknight Dinners: February 2020
Monday: Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables, Grains and Green Tahini Sauce
The base of this meal was a mixture of roasted veggies (carrots, onions, cabbage), grains (I used a pouch of ALDI’s Simply Nature organic 90-second seven grains) and baked salmon but the highlight of this meal was the amazing green tahini sauce! My friend Merri sent me the tahini sauce recipe and raved about it so I knew I wanted to give it a try. Oh my gosh you guys, I could put this sauce over everything!
To make the sauce, simply combine the following ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth: 1/2 cup tahini, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 2 cups fresh cilantro, 2 cups fresh parsley, 1/2 cup fresh mint and 1 pitted date. It keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge (I stored our leftovers in a mason jar) and would make the perfect addition to grain bowls made with savory roasted veggies, beans, seafood, lean meats or even sauteed tofu.
Tuesday: Instant Pot Paleo Chicken and Broccoli (via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) with Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Fries
There’s a reason this recipe popped up on my list of 10 Blogger Recipes I Make Again and Again! It’s so, so good and one of my all-time favorite Instant Pot recipes. The recipe is fabulous as-written but every time I make it, I find myself changing two things: I swap chicken thighs for the chicken breasts because chicken thighs are the best and I double the amount of broccoli in the recipe since the recipe makes a lot of sauce and the broccoli cooks down quite a bit. We ate our chicken and broccoli on top of a base of brown rice and paired it with Alexia sweet potato fries I heated in the toaster oven which was rather random but very tasty!
Wednesday: Out with Friends
I met up with some of my girlfriends for dinner on Wednesday night and completely forgot to snap a photo of my meal. Whoops! Since I didn’t take a pic of Wednesday’s meal, I’ve included a pic of Saturday’s dinner below to make up for it.
Thursday: Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Bake
I shared my Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Bake recipe on the blog back in 2017 and it continues to be a staple weeknight recipe in our house. I made two changes to my original recipe for our Tuesday night dinner based solely on the ingredients we had on hand. I used a sweet onion rather than a red onion and used a combination of white and regular sweet potatoes for the potatoes in the recipe. Other than that, I followed this recipe to a tee and it was a hit in our house as always!
Friday: Should-Have-Been Turkey Meatballs + Spaghetti with Shortcut Meat Sauce
On Friday afternoon, I made a batch of turkey meatballs with spinach, cheese and breadcrumbs and ate four the minute they were cool enough to pop into my mouth after I took them out of the oven. I planned to combine them with marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese and pasta for our family for dinner. Well, I made the mistake of leaving the meatballs on the counter when I got Ryder up from his nap and Sadie had her way with them. Gah! You guys, she’s normally so good and very trustworthy around food we leave out on the kitchen counter but I guess these meatballs were too tempting.
Fast forward to Friday evening and I didn’t feel like making anything fancy for dinner so I went with an old standby. I topped whole wheat spaghetti noodles with a marinara meat sauce I prepared with a jar of ALDI’s Simply Nature organic marina sauce and grass-fed ground beef. I also added a bit of pureed butternut squash to the mix since I had some on hand from muffins I made earlier in the week and while we couldn’t taste it, I feel like it gave the sauce a more velvety texture which I liked a lot!
Saturday: Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri (via Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook) with Roasted Vegetables
This chimichurri flank steak is one of those recipes that feels like a special occasion recipe. It’s so incredibly flavorful and delicious (not to mention easy to make) and it’s a recipe Ryan and I love to prepare when we have guests over because we can fire up the grill but the end result feels a little more elevated than burgers or hot dogs. I joke that this recipe alone is worth the purchase of Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook (a cookbook that also made my list of Favorite Cookbooks)! Since the weather was gorgeous on Saturday, we decided to grill out and I marinated a flank steak steak earlier in the day and made a homemade chimichurri sauce that’s a cilantro-lover’s dream. While Ryan grilled the flank steak for dinner, I roasted a combination of carrots, parsnips and leeks in avocado oil and garlic salt and everything was fantastic. We both went back for seconds of this meal because it was so, so good!
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What was the best thing you ate for dinner last week?