A Week of Easy Dinners
What a weekend! We had a birthday celebration Friday, two days of a volleyball tournament inside a convention center, a middle school band concert and family photos for a local magazine article. I’m looking forward to Game of Thrones and an early bedtime! It’s the last push of the school year and everything seems to be going at a breakneck pace. Are you with me? Hang in there!
I’m letting you all in on a dinner hack that’s somewhat embarrassing. Sure I can make a mean homemade bolognese, either Marcella Hazan’s recipe or my weeknight bolognese. But when we need lazy bolognese, this dinner hack is my formula. To make the sauce, warm up one container Trader Joe’s frozen turkey bolognese with 1 cup frozen or fresh riced cauliflower, 1 cup spinach leaves and 1 cup Rao’s marinara. Toss the sauce with cooked pasta, or bake as a casserole dish topped with grated mozzarella and bake at 350.
This lemon vegetable risotto isn’t exactly a lazy dinner, but since it’s made in the Instant Pot it’s a lot faster and easier than regular risotto. There are quite a few ingredients in this, and I’m not quite sure why it calls for fresh garlic and garlic powder, as well as onion, leek and chives. If possible, I’ll simplify the recipe. Follow along on Instagram stories. Salad with super simple salad dressing on the side.
Breaking out the Instant Pot again for these tasty black beans, which my youngest loves. Use dried pinto beans if you prefer. For quick tacos, sauté ground beef or turkey meat with my homemade taco seasoning. Don’t forget the guacamole.
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja to the rescue. I’ll throw everything in the slow cooker mid-morning and it will stay warm until my youngest is finished with a 7pm volleyball game. Watch my YouTube videos for knife skills tips on cutting the onion and bell peppers in this recipe. I’ll have my ropa vieja over spinach greens, but you can also serve it over short grain rice or riced cauliflower.
I’m banking on leftover ropa vieja that I’ll warm up for taco bowls or tucked into quesadillas with green chilies and jack cheese. We might hit the jackpot and have leftover black beans to warm up from Tuesday night.
I’m picking up a pre-made pizza crust from Trader Joe’s and my kids can make dinner for the family. We may top it with Rao’s marinara, mozzarella cheese, pesto, peppers, pickled jalapeños, mushrooms, you name it! I’m sure one will remain cheese only. You could also buy TJs refrigerated pizza dough, which is delicious. Did you catch our Trader Joe’s Love List last Friday? Lots of good ideas and more coming.