Easy Weeknight Dinners

This week I made dinner not once, but twice. Big meal cooking for me happens usually on Sunday night and maybe once during the week. Maybe. Usually a weeknight dinner is a sandwich, leftovers, frozen mini-pizza or eggs and toast. Breakfast is always a good option for dinner. 

Trying a new recipe this week, olive oil braised chickpeas. This recipe has everything I love- lemon, olives, chickpeas, cheese AND serve it with bread? Say no more! I did make an alteration and add chopped fresh tomatoes to mine. If you like greek food, savory, salty flavors this is for you. 

Making more of an effort this year to eat veggies this week I made ratatouille. Tomato sauce on the bottom and slices of squash and onion on the top. Served with some brown rice makes a health dinner and leftovers for a few more meals. I don't follow a recipe for this dish, so I'm not wholly sure it's authentic. But I know how to do this by heart and it's dang tastey. 

Ingredients
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 yellow summer squash
- 1/2 red onion, chopped into 1" chunks
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- hefty dash of dried italian seasoning herb mix
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper

  • Open tomatoes and add to med-small saucepan, add garlic and dried herbs
  • Let tomatoes come to a boil, and then simmer while slicing veggies
  • Slice the squash into even wheel slices, place in large bowl
  • Break the onion up into individual slices, add to bowl
  • Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and add salt and pepper, toss
  • OPTIONAL: using an immersion blender or blender, blend tomatoes to be half smooth/half chunky
  • Using pie pan, spoon tomato sauce into the bottom
  • Place veggies at a diagonal one after another until filled the outside edge of the page, then begin the inner row of veg
  • Bake at 400˚ for 30-40 mins until sauce bubbles and veggies are softened and cooked. 
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Frozen Burritos for New Parents

With so many new babies in my life recently I've gotten pretty good at a go-to meal for the exhausted Mom's and Dad's- homemade frozen burritos. A gallon sized ziploc bag full of these guys in a bag with salsa, guac and chips is such an easy and complete meal/snack/munchies savior for late nights, early mornings and everything inbetween. 

I don't have a go-to recipe per say, which is what is great about burritos, whatever I have in the house become fair game. Leftover pulled pork? Pork burritos. Tons of veggies that need to used? Roasted veggies burritos. Went overboard on bacon?  (C'mon we've all been there) Do breakfast burritos! 

Doing it a handful of times now I do have some advice. 

  • Get the HUGE tortillas. The massive ones you see in the store and think there's no way anyone needs a tortilla that size. Get those. 
  • Have everything ready, and roll them all at once. This might seem like a duh, but having ALL your fillings in bowls, with their own spoon in front of your workspace streamlines the whole building and rolling process. 
  • Use less filling than you think. Having everything laid out and using six different components to make you filling the volume can grow before you even realize it. Keep each item to the heaping spoon size- one of beans, one of cheese, one of rice, etc. 
  • Save wet fillings for eating. Don't waste space on salsa, guac or sour cream. They don't reheat well and can make your tortilla soggy. A soggy tortilla also doesn't reheat well.   

The website the Kitchn is a great resource as well. They have a few articles on making frozen burritos, How I Make Burritos to Freeze and Recipe: Freezer-Friendly Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Black Beans and Rice