This Week’s Menu Ideas 9

May 7, 2016 — Leave a Comment

5 great menu ideas for easy weeknight dinners that the whole family will love.

Caramelized Onion, Spinach, & White Cheddar Quiche with fruit and a green salad
These mini quiche are a spin-off of my mom’s quiche recipe, which I think is the best I’ve ever had. I wanted to give that recipe a delicious, vegetarian twist by replacing the crispy bacon in the original recipe with spinach. I also caramelized the onions to make them mellow and sweet. And we loved the results! Since their already individually portioned, they make a perfect brunch course. They’d be great tomorrow morning for Mother’s Day, and are always good for a weeknight dinner. If you don’t have time to caramelize the onions (which is really the only part of the recipe that takes a while), you can just use finely diced onions, or try the original recipe with cheddar, bacon, and diced onions.

Soy-Glazed Chicken with Broccoli-Cashew Fried Rice
We got another Blue Apron meal that we loved: chicken breasts covered with a tasty soy sauce glaze and fried rice with toasted sesame oil, broccoli, and chopped cashews. The rice was good, but the chicken was great! It was a hit with everyone in the family, and it was really easy to make. We don’t get Blue Apron every week, but when it turns out this good, I’m glad we scheduled a delivery.

Homemade Liege Waffles with Nutella and Strawberries
If you want to take your waffle game to the next level, try these buttery, sugary liege waffles! They don’t take much actual work to make, although they are made from a yeast batter, so you have to make sure you give the batter an hour to rise. They are great with toppings like our go-to nutella and sliced strawberries, but they’re also good with maple syrup, and they taste pretty amazing all by themselves. I set up a liege waffle ice cream sundae bar a few years ago, and it would be a fun brunch idea for this weekend! If you click on the liege waffle recipe link above, there are ideas for 8 different flavors of sundaes you could make, and all of the toppings and ingredients you would need for each.

Cilantro-Lime Alfredo Pasta with a Salad and Breadsticks
This yummy pasta with a cilantro-lime alfredo sauce was in one of the very first Menu Idea posts I did a few months ago, and it was such a winner that we had it again. This time, we left the chicken out to keep it meatless, and added a green salad and some breadsticks. It was really easy to make (like, ready in less than 15 minutes!) and very delicious.

Sweet Pork Salad with Pinto Beans and Cilantro-Lime Rice
OK, this meal had a lot of components, but none of them take particularly long or are very hard to do, and it is so good!! If you’ve ever eaten at Cafe Rio, this is a homemade version of their salad with sweet pork. The salad starts with a bed of shredded romaine lettuce topped with shredded sweet pork. The pork cooks all day in the crockpot, and is one of those awesome recipes where you just dump everything in, put the lid on, turn it on, and walk away. Next, make a batch of cilantro-lime rice to add to your salad. Remember when I said I tried a recipe and didn’t like it a few weeks ago? Well, I found a winner! It was really easy to make and super flavorful, and cooked up light and fluffy, not greasy or sticky or any of the other things you wouldn’t want your rice to be. Add pinto beans (just drain and rinse them, and heat them gently on the stove until warmed through), pico de gallo, cotija cheese (or crumbled feta in a pinch), and crushed tortilla chips to your salad. And then top it all off with a yummy tomatillo-ranch dressing. I’ve seen so many way different versions of this dressing, but my sister’s version is amazing and super easy, no weird ingredients, so here it is: In a blender, combine 1 packet of Hidden Valley Buttermilk Recipe Ranch, 1 cup mayo, 1 cup fresh cilantro, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup green taco sauce (however spicy you like!), 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth. It’s delicious!!

It’s a busy weekend for us. We have a big family event today and then everyone is coming over to our house for dinner on Mother’s Day. It’s probably busy for you guys too. Hopefully this series will make planning next week’s dinners super simple; make sure to check past posts in the series to get even more great menu ideas. Have a wonderful weekend!