My dinners at night are not all my own creations. In a typical week I usually make at least one or two dinners from existing recipes. Most of these are from online sites like Cooking Light and various blogs. Some of these I make frequently and others are weeknight adventures. So, in addition to sharing my own original recipes with you, I thought I would also share what else I’m making for dinner in a new series called Cooking Light for Dinner Tonight.
The past month saw birthdays and the beginning of warmer weather, finally. Meals are quickly moving from heavy winter comfort food to lighter fare. Fresh produce is starting to look somewhat seasonal again with strawberries and asparagus readily available (even if not yet local).
Once the Twin’s birthday party was finally over we went into recovery mode–it took days! The fridge was stuffed full of leftovers, but there was no protein to be had. That’s where these sandwiches from Cooking Light came in. They went perfectly with the leftover Herbed Potato Salad and I topped them off with leftover Firecracker Coleslaw (instead of the suggested pickles). I followed the recipe with only a few small changes. Instead of using just chicken thighs, I used a combination of white and dark meat chicken (boneless and skinless). I also added in a pound of crimini mushrooms which I grilled whole, then sliced and tossed in with the shredded chicken. They were tasty and made plenty for multiple meals. We ate them as sliders like in the picture above, and we also enjoyed the chicken days later piled on top of toasted bread rounds as a light tapas style meal with friends.
The Twin’s birthday party was the weekend before their actual birthday. On the actual day, we had a much lower key dinner. I wanted something easy for the little ones to chew and something that we would enjoy as well. I made the recipe as written except that I used only multi-grain spaghetti instead of half whole-wheat and half traditional spaghetti. It was a perfect weeknight meal with a big salad.
I was immediately drawn to this recipe from the March 2013 Cooking Light because I love the combination of butternut squash and Gruyere cheese so much. This was easy for such a complicated looking recipe. I did not use pre-cut squash or kale. Instead, I roasted a small squash that I had peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I then tossed that with half a bunch of kale that I had de-stemmed and chopped. I did that early in the day, so that before dinner, all I had to do was make the Bechamel and layer everything together. I did add a large pinch of rubbed sage to the sauce because when is sage and squash are together its a good thing. This was a great weeknight meal, but I will make this again when I’m entertaining because it’s a great recipe that has a big WOW factor. Yummy!
I loved the lemon zest in this risotto-style pasta. My asparagus was thick; I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed this more with thinner asparagus. It was a fantastic quick weeknight meal. The twins devoured it (Little Guy turned up his nose, but we ignore him as he does this to pretty much EVERYTHING these days).
It doesn’t take much for me to want to start summer-style cooking. That’s what this salad is. The recipe calls for toasting the bread and pan roasting the chicken. I opted for the grill for both, and I was rewarded with a fantastic salad. I’ll be making this again next week!