Week of Weeknight Meals: May 2023

Hey friends. How are you? How was your weekend? Our weekend was dreary, cold and rainy and despite canceled outdoor plans, we made the most of it. We did all the usual rainy weather inside stuff — went to a trampoline park, a local arcade and the movies —  but also enjoyed the simple at home stuff like board games, cooked homemade meals, Legos and time together as a family. I ended up keeping my phone and camera away for most of the weekend so I don’t have much to show for it but I figured that in lieu of a weekend recap, I’d jump right into sharing a peek into last week’s dinners.

This blog post is part of the series I began a while back as a way to highlight everyday dinners and what our real meals look like for one week of every month. Pictures are snapped in real time and no fancy food photography is allowed.

Last week, our dinners included leftovers, an Instant Pot stew, freezer food and a throwback recipe favorite and, as always, every single one was easy to make. Let’s dive right in!

Week of Weeknight Meals

  • Monday: Air Fryer Scallops with Cucumber and Bell Pepper Ginger Salad and Buttered Green Lentil Safari Pasta

Monday night’s dinner was a combination of leftovers, freezer food and fresh food. The scallops came out of our freezer (I swear by ALDI’s jumbo scallops), the buttered green lentil safari pasta was leftover from the weekend (unfortunately it got a thumbs down from all three boys hence why it ended up on our plates) and the fresh food component was the ginger cucumber salad.

I made the salad by following the loose directions that made this salad a viral sensation: Combine diced bell pepper, cucumber, ginger dressing (I used Makoto dressing I bought at Publix) and Everything Bagel seasoning, toss and enjoy! (Note: The viral recipe also calls for chili crunch but we didn’t have any on hand so I just omitted that part.) It was a rather random dinner but a good one!

  • Tuesday: Curried Brown Rice + Green Chickpeas with Chicken

Daily Harvest to the rescue! Ryan had a work dinner on Tuesday night and since I was riding solo and wanted a quick and easy dinner after the boys’ evening swim team practice, I turned to the bag of frozen grains I had in my freezer. My favorite grains combination from Daily Harvest is their Curried Brown Rice + Green Chickpeas grains mix and I added some chicken I prepared earlier in the day in the air fryer to my bowl and dinner was done. Easy, nutritious and delicious!

Wednesday: Shrimp with Cilantro Brown Rice + Black Beans and Baked Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Dinner on Wednesday night was almost identical to the meal I ate for lunch that day. During lunchtime, I prepped a whole bag of Daily Harvest Cilantro Brown Rice + Black Beans grains mix on the stovetop and a bag of frozen shrimp in the air fryer and threw everything together as my mid-day meal. When dinnertime came around, I wasn’t feeling overly creative so I reheated everything and served it with a baked mashed sweet potato on the side to change things up a tiny bit!

Thursday: BBQ Meatloaf with Tomato and Sweet Corn Salad

On Thursday evening, I made a throwback favorite in our house: BBQ Meatloaf! My BBQ meatloaf recipe will forever remind me of our engagement/early married days because it was a recipe I first began making on repeat more than a decade ago. We still love it and I’ve only come to appreciate it even more because it’s one I can throw together in the morning or around lunchtime and then bake in the oven when we’re hungry for dinner while I prep sides.

On Thursday night, we paired the meatloaf with a sweet corn and tomato salad inspired by a recipe I heard about from my friend Merri. On our college friends’ group text we were sharing go-to side dishes for cookouts and Merri’s sounded amazing! She said to just combine sweet corn cut right off the cob in a blender with olive oil, salt, pepper, green onion and lots of fresh basil and toss it with fresh tomatoes. I did just that on Thursday night and it was fabulous!

The weather in our area Friday through Monday was pretty awful. We’re talking constant rain and temperatures around 60 degrees. Ryan deemed it perfect beef stew weather which was one perk of the back-to-back dreary days. He made my Instant Pot butternut squash beef stew but also added a bunch of riced cauliflower to the pot before pressure cooking. We loved this addition because we couldn’t taste the cauliflower at all but are always happy to incorporate more veggies into our dishes when we can.

Questions of the Day

What do weeknight dinners look like in your house? Do you rely on leftovers? Do you meal plan? Do you have certain recipes you make on repeat?