Simple weeknight recipes - Vocalpoint

Simple weeknight recipes

Who has time to spend busy weeknights making elaborate recipes that require a dozen ingredients? Save the fancy chef skills for the weekend, and try these super-easy, five-ingredient recipes this week. Each recipe also includes a vegetarian option!

Sausage and Lentil Stew
A super-easy meal to throw in the slow cooker in the morning, and serve up with crusty bread after a busy day at work. You can substitute vegetarian sausage links if you’d prefer.

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound mild Italian sausage, cut into chunks
2 cups red or green dried lentils, rinsed thoroughly
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted, if you can find it)
8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth or 8 cups of water with 8 tbsp chicken bouillon
1 tbsp. curry powder

Add all ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook covered on low setting for 5 to 7 hours until lentils are soft. 

Tip: If cooking on the stove rather than in a slow cooker, simmer all ingredients together on low for 1 hour or until lentils are soft, stirring occasionally. 

Nutritional info per serving: 373 calories, 24 g fat, 18.7 g carbohydrates, 20.7 g protein, 1,512 mg

Italian Quesadillas
Change up your regular quesadillas with some Mediterranean flavors. Eggplant can be substituted for the pancetta or pepperoni for a vegetarian version. Lightly salt sliced rounds of eggplant, let stand for a few minutes, then pat off the moisture and salt with a paper towel.

Serves 4

8 large soft tortilla wraps
12 slices provolone cheese
12 thin slices pancetta, pepperoni, or thinly-sliced eggplant rounds
2 tomatoes, finely diced
2 tsp dried basil (or 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil)

1. Assemble each of the filler ingredients above on four tortilla shells, using 1/4 of each ingredient per tortilla. Gently press a second tortilla on top of the ingredients.

2. Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully transfer one quesadilla at a time to the skillet and press down firmly with the back of a spatula. When cheese begins to melt and the bottom browns, gently flip the quesadilla to brown the other side. Remove from skillet and prepare the rest of the quesadillas the same way.

3. Cut quesadillas into six pieces and serve with sour cream or marinara sauce. 

Nutritional info per serving: 762 calories, 37.2 g fat, 42.5 g carbohydrates, 55.6 g protein, 1.6 g sodium, 74.8% daily value of calcium. 

Chicken in Garlic Lime Sauce
This is an easy weeknight dish that can be marinated the night before and baked for a nutritious and tasty meal. You can also use the marinade with tofu or tempeh if you’d like a vegetarian option.

Serves 4

5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 4 chicken breasts)
1 fresh lime, zest and juice
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

1. Marinate the chicken thighs in a plastic freezer bag with half of the lime zest and juice, and half of the garlic for 2 to 4 hours. If you need more liquid to cover the chicken, add ½ cup of water.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and add the chicken stock, cornstarch, the rest of the lime zest and juice, and garlic. Whisk vigorously until smooth. 

3. Heat the saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a boil, stirring frequently. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with a nonstick spray and arrange the chicken pieces, then pour the sauce over the chicken thighs. 

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Spoon the sauce over the chicken when serving. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. 

Nutritional info per serving: 155 calories, 4.8 g fat, 4.5 g carbohydrates, 22.1 g protein, 176 mg sodium. 

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