Hi, there! Welcome to Weeknight Dinner Recap: Volume III! This week featured recipes from one of my favorite IG accounts to follow as well as a couple go-to meals for when we just want something direct and delicious. Closing out this week with a long weekend filled with birthday festivities and a lot of amazing food - I can't wait!
This week's Recap, after the jump!
Sunday: Somewhat recently I saw an incredible photo on the account of The Smitten Kitchen (follow immediately if you don't already) for this summer squash dish and knew it had to be part of our week's plan. Since I was fairly certain it involved some prep, I figured it would be a good Sunday option, when time is far more available before (and after) dinner. We made the summer squash gratin with salsa verde and man, we were blown away! A big cast-iron skillet filled with local summer squash that's been thinly sliced and mixed with a bunch of gruyere cheese, some GF breadcrumbs, and this awesome (easy to create) salsa verde, then topped with even more breadcrumbs, and baked to golden perfection. It was heavenly! My husband and I inhaled multiple portions (with a small scoop leftover) and loved how it came together - so flavorful and filling despite being meatless. We followed the instructions pretty much as written except for subbing out the breadcrumbs for our usual Aleia's GF ones - turned out just as yummy! I'd highly recommend this dish for a main course for a few people, or as an impressive side dish alongside a meat, chicken, or seafood main. I am already excited to make it again, but as the summer is too-soon-to-end, we may be out of luck finding local produce for it. Seriously, The Smitten Kitchen (Deb Perelman) knows what's up and this dish rocked, especially to kick off a busy work week.
Monday: It was a particularly busy day, followed by a workout that proved less successful than I had hoped (it happens), so by the time I got home I just craved something cozy, yummy, and easy: zucchini noodles with chicken and homemade pesto! But, since I like to try something new with a traditional/not new dinner, we made a Parmesan crisp garnish! These crispy additions are a fun and super simple way to brighten up the plate and add a delicious flavor to this pesto-centered meal. All I had to do was sprinkle small piles of shredded Parmesan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 400 degrees for about four minutes! Voilà! I would be careful with the timing as too little yields an unfinished product, and too much gives you a burnt-to-a-crisp circle, pun-intended. But when the timing is right, you get a delicious and pretty addition to your dinner! Another plus to this meal is the abundant pesto-to-zucchini- noodle ratio as my preferred pesto amount is "a lot" and my zucchini noodle about tends to be "just enough." We've made this same dish with shrimp as well, and it's just as awesome. Just depends on your protein preference for the night!
Tuesday: You know those nights when you want to eat something awesome, but timewise you may be better off finding something in the freezer? Well, skip your freezer and get yourself the Crisp and Crunch from Aleia's Gluten Free Foods. This super simple method of preparing chicken creates a great meal that tastes and looks like a lot more effort was involved (the best result, right?). The Crisp and Crunch is a packet of GF breadcrumbs and spices that you use to coat chicken a là the old-fashioned "shake and bake" method. We used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and followed the package instructions, popping the pan of coated chicken in the oven not many minutes later resulting in beautiful, crispy, and super flavorful oven "fried"'chicken! We decided to make both of the suggested dipping sauces - honey mustard and spicy Sriracha - and loved both equally! I may be slightly partial to the spicy one, but mostly due to my preference for spicy food in general. Alongside the chicken we did pan-grilled asparagus which was awesome to dip in those sauces, too. I have to say, for a meal that could be far more complicated, this Crisp and Crunch chicken was a definite weeknight win! Highly recommend it for when you don't have much time, but do want a really delicious dish. :)
Wednesday: Opting for a more relaxed evening as the weekend got closer into sight, we made stuffed portobello mushroom caps with a three-meat blend. This is a very similar recipe to the stuffed peppers from last week, but we used mushrooms! And they were delicious. The cooktime was only 20 minutes and the filling was just as yummy as I remembered. We added in two small Holland peppers, garlic cloves, one onion, and a scoop of tomato paste while it simmered. Once the meat mixture had cooked fully, we mixed that with a ricotta, basil, Parmesan, and GF breadcrumb blend. That really helped the consistency of the filling and made it a lot less crumbly (and watery) when putting it into the mushrooms to bake. The result was a delicious "mound" that baked well and had a lot of flavor! I sprinkled a little extra Parmesan on mine once out of the oven - indulge!
Thursday: Surprise night out! We ditched our plan to cook, the ingredients will be fine (don't worry! No waste!), and decided to try out Oath Pizza in our neighborhood to kick off a long weekend of birthday fun. Not only were the three (!!) pizzas we ordered amazing and full of awesome toppings, but Oath takes several precautions to ensure a successful gluten free pizza experience, which I really appreciate. All of the pizzas are offered on GF crusts and every single other item available is gluten free (toppings, sauces, etc) and that made it even more fun to place our order. As it was post-gym, and pre-long weekend, we ordered three personal-size pizzas to share, and finished them all. OMG. They were so yummy, but I have to say my favorite were the pesto one featuring extra basil and tomatoes, and the truffled mushroom, to which we added pepperoni (living it up). I didn't anticipate that we would finish all of them, and I'm pretty sure you all think we eat way more than necessary (possibly true!), but sometimes you just give in to the joy of GF pizza and all of your favorite toppings in one tidy personal-size pie. Yum. I can't wait to go back!
Friday: Hello, long weekend! And my birthday! Living it up and welcoming turning 32 with open arms, and a lot of delicious food. Check in on stories for all of the yummy events and my favorite birthday dessert (pie!) made by my awesome mother, entirely gluten free and Celiac-safe!
Have a delicious weekend!