easy meals

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Happy Memorial Day! I hope you are all having a wonderful long weekend. Mine’s been pretty amazing so far.

The tough thing about summer weekends is, the more fun they are, the less we tend to get done. Suddenly grocery shopping and other chores just seem like a waste of precious time, and the rest of the week ends up a bit more stressful.

That’s why I am doing my best to create really easy meals with healthy ingredients that we can put together in just a few minutes. Welcome, salmon burger tacos.

These salmon burgers from Trader Joe’s are great on a bun with some tartar sauce or dill yogurt, but last week I discovered they make a great, if not traditional taco.

Salmon Burgers

I pan-cooked them in a non-stick skillet until done. These burgers are pretty substantial and all salmon, making them a perfect healthy protein choice.

Once the burgers were done, the sky was the limit. I wrapped ours in Archer Farms whole wheat tortillas. I love the Archer Farms brand, these tortillas are some of the softest and best-tasting I have ever purchased. I layered in guacamole, pre-made by Wholly Guacamole, and topped with shredded romaine lettuce and Archer Farms salsa. Not bad for a meal consisting of pre-made ingredients.

Archer Farms Salsa

I’m trying to avoid grocery shopping today by going through our cabinets to see what I can make, at least until tomorrow, with what we already have. I’d like to start making at least one farmers market part of my weekly rotation and mixing in some of the grains and whole wheat pasta we already have.

What’s your favorite quick and easy summer recipe or meal?

 

If you live in Boston, you may not know that The Shops at Prudential Center has a farmers market – it’s actually year-round and just moved outside.

Vendors include:
Butter Cafe – baked goods
John Crow Farm – grass fed meat
Swiss Bakers – sandwiches, Swiss pastries
When Pigs Fly – artisan and gourmet breads
Cook’s Farm – pies, maple products
Fastachi – gourmet nuts
The Herb Lyceum – herb plants, herbal products, vegetables
Sal’s Gourmet Chips – flavored potato chips
Saluna Garden Farm – flowers and herbs
Still River Winery – iced apple wine
MacArthur Farm – vegetables and fruit

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Tags: easy meals, fish, Food, healthy, salmon, tacos

Anytime I go away for the weekend and get back late on Sunday, my week ends up being a little more hectic. Suddenly there’s all of those weekend things that need to be done on top of long work days, and they just don’t always get done.

I’ve been doing my best cooking up meals with the ingredients we had in the house, but nothing has been very exciting. I had cheese and crackers for lunch yesterday and counted pickles as a vegetable on Tuesday. Yeah, it’s one of those weeks.

As a result, I was doubly, maybe triply delighted when I checked the mail on the way to my afternoon office and found a coupon for a free Willow Tree Poultry Farm chicken pie.

Willow Tree contacted me last week asking if I would be interested in trying a pie, and since I love chicken pot pie, I gladly accepted.

Willow Tree is based in Attleboro, MA and has been around for 60 years. Their products are prepared by hand, and as a local business, they are great in supporting the local community. It was fun to read up on the company’s story.

I literally thought about the chicken pie all day long. I could not wait to run to Shaw’s on my way home to pick one up and to have dinner made for us.

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I popped the chicken pie in the oven and got back to work, eventually having to stop because the aromas of the baking crust and bubbling gravy were filling the house. We eagerly cut into the pie about 10 minutes before it was meant to be done, and it was piping hot.

Look at those chunks of chicken! They  and the veggies were integrated nicely throughout the pie and made it a filling, hearty meal. The gravy is homemade, and you can definitely taste the care and quality ingredients. It was rich and just salty enough, as gravy should be.

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I was most looking forward to the crust, and it did not disappoint. Golden, flaky, and buttery, it made for the comfort food I was craving during the rainy, dreary weather.

My nana made an amazing chicken pot pie when I was younger, and there was definitely a resemblance. This is the stuff of childhood memories and modern day meals all at once.

With zero trans fats and lots of homemade flavor, Willow Tree’s chicken pies are a great option for dinner on a busy weeknight. The 26 ounce pie said that it serves three, but we paired ours with a quick kale salad and got four servings out of the pie, enough for lunch the next day, which made me very happy.

Thank you to Willow Tree for sending me the coupon and allowing me to experience the chicken pie. I will definitely be trying the other varieties on busy work days to come.

Do you have any favorite convenience foods?

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Tags: chicken, chicken pot pie, dinner, easy meals, local food

Simple

When I left my full time job at the end of October, I thought that I would want to cook a gourmet meal every night of the week. While I have spent my fair share of time experimenting in the kitchen, there are definitely those nights where spending hours cooking is the last thing I want to do. Not to mention, eating a big meal every night added to all of the holiday festivities isn’t the healthiest thing for us!

Sunday night, after spending the day volunteering out in the freezing cold and then organizing closets, I was not in the mood to think about food. The result? I made a meal of a bunch of veggie sides. It ended up being fun because of all of the different flavors in one meal, and it was a nice break from eating meat and fish.

The first course: Cherry, Honey Goat Cheese, and Italian Greens

Morello Cherries

I started with jarred Morello Cherries from Trader Joe’s, draining them and rinsing them off before serving. I hate fruit in syrup!

I added several scoops of cherries to some bitter lettuces and a generous portion of Trader Joe’s Chevre with Honey which is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Laughing out loud

Goat Cheese with Honey

cherry and goat cheese salad

The second course: Sweet Potato “Fries” with Sriracha Aioli

sweet potatoes

I simply cut a few sweet potatoes into fries, coated them in olive oil, and roasted them at 425 for about half an hour. Served with a blend of Sriracha and mayo, these truly satisfied my recent fry craving.

sweet potato fries

The third course: Garlicky Green Beans

This is a holiday dish in my sister’s house, and it is a perfect way to get in some green veggies with a kick. Fresh green beans dressed with olive oil, LOTS of ground black pepper, and garlic powder, yep powder, sautéed until they are cooked to your liking. I could eat, and have eaten, a huge bowl of these all by myself. Embarrassed smile I am hoping to see them at Christmas dinner!

garlicky green beans

A dinner of sides was the perfect, simple way to use up some of the food in our fridge, get some much-needed veggie nutrition, and to have some good food on the table without much effort and without ordering takeout! I love eating tapas-style, so I could eat like this everyday.

I am really excited for the blogger event at Whole Foods tonight. See some of you there?

Do you have a favorite side dish? Do you enjoy eating lots of appetizers/small plates, or are you more of a main course with all of the fixings type of eater?

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Tags: dinner, easy meals, Food, healthy eating, healthy recipes, sriracha, sweet potatoes, vegetables, Vegetarian

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