Tomorrow is Labor Day and we have spent the weekend in true tradition, grilling, diving into pools, and eating crabs with friends. But of course, the day after Labor Day is just a plain old Tuesday, which means back to work (and school). But to extend my extended weekend a little longer, I let Michael pick all the meals, with the exception of one new dish that I’m looking forward to trying. It may not seem like much of a reprieve, but it was nice not having to think about “will the kids like this” and “what’s in the pantry” and “what ingredients will work in multiple dishes” etc etc. It’s also interesting to see what his favorite meals are (no surprise – a lot of meat and potato type meals, but at the same time, I was surprised to see the two fish dishes). The first meal listed below is the new one – I found it on a Food & Wine slide show of easy chicken dinners. And since I’m originally a Philly girl, I have to love anything with pretzels, so I think it will be a nice alternative to our standard baked breaded chicken tenders. In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying their time off and transitioning easily back to the real world.
1. Mustard-Baked Chicken with a Pretzel Crust, with Roasted Broccoli and Farro Risotto
To my surprise, the boys really liked the Farro Risotto. Now we’ll see if Michael is on board too.
2. Cheeseburger Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas and carrots
Comfort food at its easiest.
3. Lemon Dill Tilapia with Sabzi Polo (Persian Green Rice) and sauteed spinach
This is very similar to a Persian meal typically eaten on the first day of Spring, but it is easy and healthy and still great to eat during the last stretch of Summer.
4. Turkey Stroganoff
Possibly B & K’s favorite dish out of all of these. Little boys can, luckily, sometimes be really easy to please.
5. Shepherd’s Pie
We ended up not using the frozen dish that I made a few weeks ago, so luckily we have a pre-made dinner ready to go. But even if you don’t make one in advance, this is an easy enough dish that you can throw it together in just over 30 minutes.
6. Pork Tenderloin with Preserves with mashed potatoes and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
The brussel sprouts with apple give just enough of a feeling of fall to feel right at home in early September.
7. Baked Fish Tacos with Rice-Cooker Black Beans and Rice
This fish is so easy to make and can be cooked on the grill or in the oven. My boys love it, and you can spice it up as much (or as little) as you like. And then pick as many fun toppings as you like!
8. Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
This is what I call a “pantry dinner” – with the exception of the cheese (which we always have in the fridge), it is a great dinner to make when you haven’t been to the store in a while. Everything you need is probably in your cabinets already, and if not, it is so easy to substitute whatever you have available.
9. Turkey Chili with Corn Bread
Again, I think I’m feeling the Fall creep up on us, because I’m looking forward to a big bowl of chili. Of course, I’m hoping it’s not 90 degrees the day I make this!