As previously noted, I am a professor who started this blog and Instagram (and now YouTube) account to chronicle my culinary adventures. Mondays were the BUSIEST day of my week during the Fall semester. I taught multiple classes, held two blocks of office hours, then had one hour in between my office hours and our Monday night zoom calls with my partner’s family. This has meant quick Monday dinners. I literally spend 80% of Monday looking adorbs in this home office. It is hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Quick dinners for me are not frozen meals or take out. I like to make food because it helps ground me after a long day. However, this does not mean I would like to spend FOREVER making a beef wellington or something. I am hungry. Ha!
My partner and I generally have “bag salad” on Monday evenings. This is a salad kit from HEB- usually the Asian Sesame but occasionally the Chipotle Ranch one. Then I bake and chop air fried chicken nuggets from Tyson to put on top. Preheating the oven takes longer than assembly. But while the oven preheats I usually look at mail or change into sweats (I am teaching online so I dress cute for work even though it is from home). Below you can see how these humble ingredients become a delightful Monday meal:
Soup & Salad
As I have shared in many-a-posts, we get Farmhouse Delivery. I’m obsessed. The produce is amazing and I plan my meals around whatever arrives in their medium sized Best Sellers box. I’ve also dabbled in their ready made items from local small businesses. Below you can see Tomato Bisque from the Steeping Room, paired with a salad full of Farmhouse Delivery delights. I like chopping up their spiced pecans (a holiday addition) and using their dressings. I added some chopped rotisserie chicken I had leftover in the fridge. It could not be any easier- I assemble the salad as the soup heats up on the stove! Check it out:
This quick meal is another Farmhouse delight, enhanced by HEB pickles and munster cheese. I purchase pulled pork and ciabatta rolls from them. I warm up the buns, put munster cheese on them, then put the warm pork on top to melt the cheese. I serve us two sliders each with slaw and pickles. My partner eats the leftover pork with a slice of cheese on top and I freeze the remaining buns for bread pudding or future sliders. I have a picture of my set up, but decided to show how the kit from Farmhouse turns out with the finished product (the right picture is from their website). I did not realize they made this a kit until this week. Great minds, man.
Bowties e fagioli
This is a recipe from Damn Delicious, which I modify by using less beans and ground turkey. I also used bowtie pasta because it is cuter, damn it. Ha!
I would add this tip if you choose to make this recipe: do not cook the noodles in the soup. Cook them separately, then store them in a container with a bit of olive oil so they don’t dry out. The reason I suggest this is two-fold:
1- I usually freeze half. You don’t want frozen, then thawed, already cooked noodles. Gross.
2- If you are game to finish this batch without freezing (we cannot because there’s just two of us and we get bored of repeat meals) the noodles suck up the broth as it sits in the fridge. No bueno. Listen to me, kids.
We had this for dinner and one serving of leftovers a few weeks ago (where we added bowtie noodles before reheating it). I froze the rest and we are having it for dinner tomorrow. We aren’t even adding noodles to the leftovers- which I guess makes it just fagioli? Either way- easy peasy.
I hope you enjoyed this post! What are your quick dinners?