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I fry up the chicken, then freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet. The sauce I cook up and put into a baggie and freeze. Then when its time to cook, I thaw them both, pour the sauce on top and just bake it. Wow, thanks for something different. I got through 30 meals, it took four days and my daughter got puke sick during one of course I feel so much more relaxed knowing there is food and I can rest if I need to! That is SO Awesome Christina! The first time you make freezer meals it can take longer, but is so worth it.

I know what you mean about the quick meals, and that totally made me laugh the rice a roni with hot dog surprise…sounds like something I have made.. Enjoy those freezer meals!!! For your Chimichangas do you freeze them in the buritto or add the mix to a fresh buritto when you are ready to eat it?

I love your menu- I have been looking for a good month menu and I found it!

30-Minute Dinners for Two

Hi Dawn, yes, I freeze them in the burrito. And so glad you love my menu!! I am getting down to my last week of freezer meals in my freezer.. My stepmom died in October, leaving my dad alone. I thought I could use some of these ideas to make meals ahead and then put some into containers for him to eat whenever he wants. I saw in the comments above that for the crockpot meals you usually freeze the prepped ingredients so you can put them in the crockpot whenever you want.

Have you tried freezing the meals after they have cooked? Just wondering how well some of these things would reheat. My rule of thumb is only freeze stuff once. I find that it is never as delish if its frozen twice. So you can make it at home without freezing it and then freeze it into smaller portions for his dinners, I used to do this for my grandmother too sometimes.

I made home made frozen pizzas using sauce bought on sale, shredded a cheese blend, a chunk of pepperoni cut into dices and put it all on onion buns. Made 16 frozen pizzas in no time and they taste great…the onion buns work perfect! I would LOVE your pizza crust recipe!! That would be so frugal and easy to add into my freezer meals. I just had a baby less than 2 weeks ago and even though she sleeps a lot I still dont have time to focus on cooking multiple times a day for meals.

Since its just my husband and I, one of your recipies will make 2 meals for us: My kids are grown and I live alone, but I still go freezer cooking every couple of months. I package my meals in these, writing the contents and date prepared on top before putting in freezer. This way I have nutritious meals available for myself — or ready made meals to take to a sick friend, elderly parents, etc. Lasagna, or lasagna rolls work great this way. I also do Tater Tot Casserole, chicken and rice casserole, baked spaghetti, pot pie….

After packaging I do wrap in additional foil or put in ziploc bags just to stave off freezer burn. Good luck to those trying freezer meals for first time — it is fun and a great way to insure your family is getting good meals even with busy schedules! How many servings does each meal serve? I am very interested in giving this a try, you described my life: Most of the recipes in my menu I make sure are enough for my family 2 adults, 2 teens, 2 younger kids. I usually do a double batch of the honey lime chicken per freezer meal, because my kids really eat a ton of it with rice. But the Barley soup recipe is just the right amount for one dinner for my family.

I think it just depends on how big your family is and how they eat. If the freezer meal you make ends up leaving you leftovers, then just take it for lunch the next day or have it again for dinner. The first time you make freezer meals will be a learning experience for you.. Good luck — let me know how it goes!

Can I fix any recipe and freeze it this way and it be safe to eat at the end of the month? Or are there only certain meals that are good for freezing this long? Thank you in advance! Most meals you can freeze, yes! On a separate note, I have recently found out i have numerous food allergies and am having to go on a liquid elimination diet.

Plus the temptation at the grocery store!! This will be a life saver if I can master it. Additionally, I have elderly in-laws that need the additional help. Hello Bridget, yes there are some exceptions to the rules. For example if you make your own cream of soup or purchase it usually it will hold up well in a sauce-type of food like in the pot pie. Jarred alfredo sauces are so processed that they do freeze well. However if you were to use say butter and fresh cream for alfredo, it would not do well it would separate.

Both of these recipes happen to freeze really well. I think trying new foods to see how they freeze and bake up are the best solutions! One question if you could. For these recipes about how much did you spend? Karrie, Posting to say thank you! One of my closest girlfriends just had a baby. I flew in for the weekend and filled her freezer with your menu plus omelettes, pancakes, french toast casserole, and other breakfast goodies. We taste-tested everything before sealing the food fresh bags, and everything was awesome. My friend says her life has been changed regarding her ability to plan dinners, and I thank you for helping me to help her!

I am sure your friend will totally enjoy having all those freezer meals — and will allow her to enjoy more time with her baby. Thanks so much for your comment, it is so nice to hear you liked my menu! I like to do a bake-a-thon with my bread maker and make a few loaves of bread in one day… Then jellies another day. Most breads and jellies freeze awesome. We also bake extra cupcakes occasionally to put in the freezer, those thaw out super quick in the microwave or on the counter.

We have 6 kids and run a business so fast meals are a must most days. I had to laugh when I read in one of the comments that you made your own pie crust. Kudos to you girlfriend! You really go all out. So happy you did freezer cooking, it is a time saver for sure. Karrie, I am interested in making sandwiches ahead and freezing them for the week. Do you have some insight for this?

Karrie, I love the good ideas. Do you have some insight on making a weeks worth of sandwiches for lunches ahead of time? Usually I take some bread, meat and cheese with no condiments and individually wrap each one in plastic wrap. Then I freeze them. I only have trouble with using condiments because when they thaw it can make your sandwiches kind of soggy.

I wish you lived next door! What a great collection of recipes. I like to freeze favorites that take time in the oven. I usually triple my potato wedge and make 3 flavors Tex mex, italian herbs and Parmesan cheese. I bag them in family serving and then they just need heated. I also make 3 cottage pies.

One with carrots , one with frozen peas and one with frozen sweetcorn. Just a quick question though. Do you freeze your meat dishes after you bake them all? Then when you are ready to use them you just defrost and reheat? Does it come out mushy at all? I like a lot of the recipes but see the link out to other sites that are not freezer meal recipes.

Do you have instructions for freezing some? The Sweet and Sour Chicken for example, do you freeze after adding the sauce? Before and then heat it with sauce? However being pregnant has sapped all the love of cooking right out of me. My poor family has suffered because of it. Boxed meals and frozen store bought dinners! I am so excited to try some of these recipes. My grandsons ages 6 and 3 go commercial fishing with their parents. They live on the boat 5 days a week. I would feel so much better sending the boys out each week with enough meals for Mom to just heat up and not those expensive frozen meals full of unwanted preservatives.

Thanks for some great ideas! When I came home home for a rough recovery with one of my babies some amazing friends took turns bringing me meals and they also brought freezer meals for later on! Best baby present ever! Maybe now I can pass on the gift with some of your yummy recipes! And as nurse, I am too tired to think about food as soon as I come home. Believe it or not, I recently made my own frozen pizzas! We often make homemade pizza nice crisp thin crust , and had enough left over for 2 pizzas.

I thought, why not try it — I assembled the pizzas like normal, only sauce and cheese, and, raw — leaving it on the parchment paper, carefully wrapped them up first in foil, then in cling wrap. One I put on a small cookie sheet, the other I used flattened cereal boxes. To cook, I preheated my pizza stone to about , carefully took it off the parchment paper, and threw it in just like a normal raw pizza.

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The hardest part is making sure a big pizza will fit in the freezer! Figure that part out first, Lol. Do you have a list of ingredients and other helpful info for making these 50 freezer meals? Usually put up bushels. This year I plan on making some apple pie filling too for the first time. Crossing my fingers it works. Just wondering if you had a grocery list for this yet? Do you have your full preparation schedule or even just a list of the order in which you make the meals? I was raised LDS so food storage and I are long-time friends, but I had a large family to help with the task. Any tips or tricks would be so very appreciated.

Thank you so much for the work you have done on this. This is really great!! I will be going in for surgery in september and this is the perfect way of feeding the family and not having to cook or be forced to have what my husband cooks. I will have to wait for school to start before I start cooking. I really want to do this, but I have a question about ingredients. Or would you advise keeping them frozen and putting them in the recipes, then freeze the whole meal? Any thoughts would be much appreciated! Hi Katie, I never like to freeze something and refreeze it again.

So start with fresh chicken breasts if possible. Should I still have her clean up the kitchen? I was wondering if you freeze veggies. It is cheaper to buy fresh veggies and I was going to cut them up and freeze them. I love this idea, I just got a new deep freezer so this was so up my alley, I love to cook for my family, but I never…and I mean never get a day off from it…this is a perfect way to give the kids and hubby the meals they love and me a way to get a day off from being in the kitchen…Thanks a ton! Me and my pal trade freezer meals all the time and have been doing it for a few months.

I was so excited to see your website and get some new ideas for meals that freeze well. I love these suggestions. I am just getting into the who domestic side of things. We live in a country where restaurant life is fairly norm. As an experiment, I will make all the meals minus the pork since we cannot easily get it. Time to start making meals again since I actually love the feeling of cooking for myself and just seemed to have forgotten that for a while. So excited to try everything! I am so excited to start. I have never done freezer meals before and I am just hoping it all fits into my freezer I only have the freezer above my fridge so hopefully it all fits thank you for doing this.

People are asking for a list I used food on the table online and just put in the recipes and then added them to my meal plan the amount of times listed and then when I was done it puts it into a grocery list and I juSt went through and deleted the things off the list that I already had or combined. I love cooking and baking, but doing it while a baby just learning to walk is running around is not on the top of my list.

Thanks for all the great recipes, an if someone has a good pizza crust recipe they could send me that would be amazing, definitely want to make a bunch of mini pizzas. Hi, I love this idea. I freezed a bunch of meals to take camping this summer. One of them was Butter Chicken I use yogurt instead of heavy cream so I did not add it to the chicken until it was warmed to prevent it from separating and another was doing up the taco meat with refried beans so only the sides had to be prepared.

Love your suggestions for meals. I also make a brown rice and lentil main that tastes great after freezing. You only have to brown some onions and serve it with pain yogurt. Then there is good old fashioned mac and cheese. I have been freezer cooking for years! Your menu looks great and even though my kids are grown and gone, I will try some of them. Btw, I always froze individual meatloafs and cassaroles using muffin tins. The kids would pop one or two into the microwave for a quick meal or snack.

I really like the idea of the freezer cooking and hope to try this soon! How many hours does it take to cook all of these meals in a day? I have never done that but a frequent goal when I was first married was to bake 50 loaves of whole wheat bread in a weekend using 3 or four bowls and a standard home oven. It was a great couple experience. The heat made the bread raise faster. At the end of the weekend my arms felt like I had been on a marathon of weight lifting at the gym and I had lost about 10 pounds, likely of water from perspiration but our chest freezer was full with 50 loaves of great bread.

We did this a couple weeks ago and although I was exhausted afterwards it has been so worth it! In fact we had the Honey Lime Chicken last night! Both me and my mom do WW so we also added in the points for each serving on the package! It was nice to start the cooking day w all the chicken cut, pork chops trimmed, etc.

We had both of our crockpots going w the same recipe for chili the whole time we were cooking and then it was for dinner cooking night as well. I am so excited to see some fresh ideas for freezer meals! I started a ministry at our local church to bring meals to people who are in need, i. This takes stress off the family members while going through a hard time. Some of the women in our church got together on a Saturday, and we cooked over 30 meals in 4 hours!

I kept them in my freezer, and when the needs arise, we already have great, homemade tasty meals to offer without having to call a million people to see if they might be able to help cook for someone. We are all busy and when things like emergencies happen, they are not always convenient to help someone out. Doing the freezer meals helps everyone involved, we already have something ready if someone is in need, just pick up a salad and bread and deliver the meals to the family in need.

It has already been a huge blessing to everyone, and all the people who cooked had a great time laughing and getting to know each other better than just Hi in church on Sunday morning. We are planning a get-together in October to do some more, and I am happy to have some more new things to try! Glad I stumbled upon this site!

How many people do your freezer meals serve? I have 4 kiddos who seem to be growing and eating more by the day! I am wondering if you have found that you have plenty to go around? When I portion out my meals I always try to think about how much we will eat. One pot pie is not enough for us anymore, we need 2 of those now as well.

My lasagna can feed us all though. We — a groove of six of us — have been meal swap -ingredients for three years. We could so do this. Any even number of girls works. We could do it every week but things seem to work well for us this way. Nothing fancy or over the top. We all have like children and like busy lives. But the freezer meals sound amazing. I am a retired nurse now but raised 4 kids, including a set of twins and was a foster Mom for many of those years while working at least one full time job and usually two. This was the way I lived. I ran two 25 cubic foot freezers.

Most of my veggies came from pick your own gardens and home frozen. Potatoes were bought in 50 lb bags. I could bake 25 lbs in my oven at once and make up twice baked potatoes in various flavors, freeze loosely on trays and add to bags when solid. Corn was bought in the fall in 20 dozen lots in the fall, cut off the cob and frozen in various preps…. I did plain, some still on the cob, some creamed corn, some mixed with onion , celery and green pepper for a change.

I froze every veggie I could get my hands on. I made pie crusts in bulk, froze them with fruit mixed with sugar, butter and corn starch in a bag so making a fresh pie was a matter of combining and baking. Cookies were made a slice and bake in 12 varieties. Fresh cookies any time an oven was on. Hamburger was processed down into browned 1 lb pack with various seasonings….

Hamburgers were made and barbaqued when ever the grill was on…..

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Ready for that quick meal…already cooked. Soups and stews the same way. I would spend one day making waffles and pancakes in front of the tv… Freeze for popping in the toaster oven. A version of Egg McMuffins made and individually wrapped. I made my own version of instant oatmeal with powdered milk and dried fruit. French toast…and French toast sandwiches with ham and cheese were another fav…frozen for reheating. It is cheaper and saves your sanity to think ahead!

Marilyn Can you elaborate a little more on how you did this?? I am new to your site and completely inspired. I decided to create my own laundry detergent and found your blog to be the most straight-forward and frankly, easy when it came to instructions. We are on a very snug budget but find free and exciting things to do outside of the house.

The expensive part is getting around the high costs of living at home and the necessary supplies to do so, i. I am feverishly seeking ways to save us money so we can enjoy living and not live just to pay bills and survive, if you get my meaning. Maybe one day we can feature you and a bunch of your Happy Money Saving tips in the mag. You didnt even need to blog anything! When I saw those pictures I new this book would be worth the mony!!!!!

I do have a question about the sweet and sour chicken you made and froze. I make it all the time but have never frozen it. How exactly did you do it? Did you freeze after cooking, or before, etc Thanks so much!! Could you perhaps say how much this was in terms of upfront costs? Thank you so much for your fifty frozen meals in a day.

I dont know how you did it but i managed to make three lasanyaz and two enchiladas and one scalloped potatoes and i never had to cook for five days. Thank you so much. Its an incredible idea and great time saver for when you just want some time off. Thank you thank you so much. THank you so much! I came across your idea on Facebook and was excited! I used some of my own recipes and some of yours and all were big hits! I super hate to be that person, but I am a pescavegetarian I eat some seafood, but no other meats and I was wondering what fish would be a good substitutes for the chicken in the chicken dishes?

Or some vegetarian options? This is such a wonderful idea and as a full time college student living with two men, I need all the help I can get! Oh not at all Anna! Actually I am working on my very first freezer meals cookbook right now and there will be quite a few vegetarian options. Sorry, not seafood though. Thanks for your comment, hope you have a great day!

This is such a cool an interesting idea u got. Hi there, thank you so much! I am working on my first cookbook and all recipes will be revealed then! I was wondering, since everything in the lasagna is already cooked and the hr in the oven is only to heat it. Could I just thaw it in the refrigerator and then cut out portions to be warmed in the microwave? I love the idea of freezing meals ahead of time!! My husband and I both work full time and have our first baby on the way due in April!

Where do you get your freezer containers to store the food in? And what are some good tips for keeping the food from getting freezer burn? I will either use gallon sized freezer safe bags, my reusable neat-os bags or foil containers I buy at the dollar store. This is definitely something I want to try. Though we are trying to go wheat free so that may make things a little trickier. But having freezer meals made ahead would sure be a help in my organization for this year.

You mention 4 chicken breasts honey lime chicken …. Same goes for your other chicken recipes…. Thanks for the great recipes! I am so excited to try this couple questions, do you find doing a month worth of meals saves you money? Also I see in the picture it is a small freezer pretty close to mine do you normally fit a month of meals in there? Which is really good.

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  6. Directions.
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  8. Plus these meals my family does LOVE which makes it cost effective. If I am not doing freezer meal cooking I am often going out to eat because I am too tired to cook, or I am just giving my kids something not great to eat like cereal. As for the freezer — the smaller freezer can fit about 30 meals — but the other 20 I put in the deep freeze. If you have a small freezer you might want to just do In fact in you are a beginner you might want to do 30 to start with anyways! It should be now! Use the Pin it button on the bottom of the page and it should work!

    Let me know if you have any more problems! Thanks for the tips! This has been the most helpful and informative post for freezer cooking I have thus read yet, I am excited to try this next weekend: I love having dinners in the freezer ready to heat and eat! At this point I am 71 yeas old and tired of cooking everyday. My main question is why do you freeze the sauce separate from the protein, as in the Sweet and Sour Chicken or meatballs?

    Also I am considering using frozen vegetables and possibly? My main objective is ease not health, just those days when I do not have an interest in cooking and do not want to go to a restaurant or fast food place. I was a single parent when my boys were young and so I prepared freezer meals on weekends for a week or two at a time. I also made individual TV dinners from left overs labeling ingredients on each TV dinner. Saved me lots of money plus my boys liked eating right away when I got home.

    Freezer meals were mostly things like spaghetti sauce from scratch, chili, roasts, Swiss steak, hamburger, chicken and tuna casseroles, meat loaves, and other easy recipes. I was called the hamburger queen as I would buy in bulk especially if on sale.

    Homemade Steak Sauce with Michael's Home Cooking

    I also froze fresh veggies when I found them on sale. Example was when I bought ears of corn for 5 cents each. Thank you for compiling a list of homemade, good freezer meals instead of just the typical, unhealthy or unappealing ones I normally find. The only thing that could possibly make this post better is a grocery list … I might send you mine after I make it for my grocery trip this weekend. When you do it in bulk it can be cheaper because you use a lot of the ingredients like chicken for several different meals! Southern Living used to run recipes for this…I raised my son on those!

    When I was a single mom and in college, those recipes saved our lives. There were quite a few that I made in bulk back then. If anyone is interested I can drag them out and send them to Kari? I use the no boil noodles for lasagna now that I have figured out how it works. When I make my meat sauce, I make like a double batch really saucy and as I layer everything, I heap a generous amount of sauce, like super generous and while it is baking, the noodles suck up half the liquid and it turns out perfect.

    If you just put the normal amount of sauce on, it will turn out dry and the edges will be hard…yuck. Also, just layer the noodles in the middle because when they start expanding, they will expand to the edges. I have never tested freezing it before hand though. I always just made it right then. Oh, and thank you you sweet kitchen goddess for all of your hard work in helping the rest of us look like geniuses to our families in our own kitchens.

    It all depends on how much the meat costs, how much you already have in your pantry ect. I was looking at your link to the sweet and sour chicken. Just bake as indicated and freeze afterwards? Thanks for any advice! We will be taking some of our own recipes and using some of yours as well.

    ALSO we will be working some dessert ideas into it for the kids! We are gonna get set up this week and start next tuesday. Will keep you informed! I was just wondering: I think because the ingredients are mixed together before freezing these freeze well. Let me know what you think after you try them! It really depends on the adults you are feeding. These recipes feed my family — 2 adults, 4 kids. Here are some freezer recipes for two! Just discovered this now and am so excited to cook for my pregnant friend! My question- how do you wrap them properly for the freezer?

    I imagine just a layer of foil would get freezer burn like crazy!?? I havent had any trouble with the foil at all! Make sure and use heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap tightly. However I am wondering if any one has recipes for prepaired ahead meals. Ones that I can bag up and freeze, and then thaw and crockpot the cooking process. I am not to sure what foods I can freeze and which ones do not turn out as well from freezing. A lot of my freezer meals are easy to toss the ingredients in and freeze. Thanks for the new recipes.

    I have been making freezer meals for my parents. These are great for the days they are not feeling up to cooking. They just love them. Thank you for this, but I have problem with defrosting unfreezing. How to defrost different types of food veggies and meat stored in one box? If you click each meal it will give the printable recipe and ingredients that you can use to make your list!

    When you take the meals out to cook them for dinner, how hot should the oven be and how long should you cook them? Does it vary based on each meal? And how long is the longest that I should attempt to freeze something?

    Also when you freeze a casserole in the foil baking pans, do you just cover it in foil or do you use something else to make it more frost resistant? It definitely varies on each meal. To cut down on cooking time it is usually best to thaw it in the fridge during the day and then put it in the oven at night. Some of the recipes you can stick in the crock pot right from the freezer, too. Here are a couple more posts that give more information. I have a question… freezing rice…. Seems like I should add some liquid back in.

    I usually just make a batch of rice fresh with my meal. I like it better. But if you were going to reheat it I would say add in a teaspoon of water for every cup of rice sprinkled on top of the rice. Then check it often to make sure it is not dried out. Is there a secret to freezing these foods?

    In certain recipes it works really well. I always test out a new freezer recipe with those ingredients first and then see how it freezes and cooks up. All of the recipes on my website have been tried, tested and approved! Hi, how do we know that can stay frozen, what needs to be defrosted and how to reheat it, ie. Most of the frozen meals have directions on the recipe card for how to cook it. Can I use a vacuum sealer as opposed to Ziploc bags? Will this help keep the food longer in the freezer by chance? One little mention about chicken cordon Bleu, chicken fried steaks…my local meat shop sells these and several other items individually for a fraction of the cost to make them.

    I love having those readily available without all the mess it entails. Hi, love the ideas here! Been doing freezer meals for ever and love it! I also have a small freezer and a deep chest freezer. One of the best investments we ever made! Our favorites are tamales enchiladas and chimichangas. I have done several types of pasta dishes and all work great! We love our homemade egg mc muffins too. Just seeing you sitting on the porch with a glass of lemonade in your hand makes me want to do freezer meals LOL. I need some down time. I am going to try this next month!

    I add rice, beans, and layer the meat, cheese, sauce and tortillas. Good idea except for the aluminum foil containers. When you heat aluminum, flakes of it come off in your food. Love the fact that I can grab one from the freezer and take it to work for lunch. And the good thing about this idea is the meals are all calorie counted by bye to weight watchers expensive meals. Have fun and enjoy. I have in the past made meals and froze them for a later date Chili, Cabbage Rolls, Baked Beans Your recipes have put a whole new spin on frozen t.

    Thank you for taking the time to blog all about it! Congratulations on your book! I forgot to add that I really enjoy cooking, getting to spend one entire day cooking with someone watching the kids sounds like a treat right now! Especially knowing that the one day will yield sooo many meals, as opposed to just one holiday meal like at Thanksgiving. How do you freeze the sweet and sour chicken recipe? Sorry for sounding a bit silly but I really appreciate it when you put the how to freeze steps on your recipes for the really un-initiated.

    I place the sauce in one bag and the pre cooked chicken in another bag and seal them together. If I make these homemade freezer meals before returning to work I will be so much less stressed! Hi, thank you for sharing. I learned how to meal prep when I had a chef for housemate in my college days. That helped me a lot since I was cooking for 1. He taught me how to portion out my food and freeze them. Add Blistered Tomatoes with Kale on top for a final touch of veg. Salty, savory miso becomes the backbone of this soup; try adding it to dressings and marinades too.

    Want to get ahead on tomorrow's dinner? Double the meatball mixture, shape half into patties, and sear for Asian-style sliders. Consider this light dinner an antidote to a season of rich stews, braises, and roasts. The tart, bright citrus topper cuts through the natural fattiness of the salmon; it would overwhelm lighter fish like cod or flounder. After freeing the citrus sections, squeeze the membranes over a bowl and make a quick vinaigrette for enjoying during the week.

    This salad holds up beautifully for several days, so feel free to double the recipe and have lunch in the bag for nearly the whole week. Look for sustainable yellowfin tuna caught off the U. Look for rice paper wrappers on the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store; if you can't find them, turn the rolls into lettuce wraps. Use pineapple preserves as a glaze for pork, add to a grilled jam and cheese sandwich, or dollop over coconut ice cream. Sub fresh summer fruit like blueberries or nectarines for the raspberries. Grill the chicken and make the spiced pecans in advance.

    Change up the greens, fruit, and dressing for fast lunches. Here, the yolk of the fried egg serves as a dressing without you having to do anything extra to coat nutrient-dense quinoa. Pancetta adds a snap of savory satisfaction to earthy kale, while all-season cherry tomatoes, meaning you can make it whenever, lend a fresh pop of bright flavor. Sub steel-cut oats, bulgur, or leftover brown rice for quinoa. The hot sauce gives this simple dish a kick in the pants.

    Mahimahi has a sturdy, dense texture that holds up to the marinade more delicate fish like snapper or tilapia would cure in the the lime juice. If using a lighter fish, skip the marinade and squeeze lime wedge over the fish after cooking instead. These crab cakes hold together best with dry, finely ground whole-wheat breadcrumbs; if you use whole-wheat panko, they may fall apart in the pan.

    Chives have a delicate onion flavor that won't overpower the crab. A very hot oven quickly roasts the potatoes and finishes the chicken without overcooking. You can substitute fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise, for the small Yukon gold potatoes. Tarragon and mustard are a perfect pair—the herb's slightly sweet anise notes balance the mustard's pungency. Serve with Chile and Lime Roasted Carrots. This simple, Tuscan-inspired stew is the perfect casual supper for two, though it can easily be doubled. Enjoy leftovers with a piece of whole-grain French bread baguette for dunking.

    Chop the fresh fennel fronds and stir a little into the shrimp mixture, top a fresh salad, or make a peso. Lamb loin chops look like minature T-bone steaks and are much leaner than lamb shoulder chops. If you can't find them, you can substitute 2 4-ounce beef tenderloin steaks. Whole cumin seeds retain their flavor longer than ground cumin.

    Crush with a small heavy skillet. Serve with Carrot and Cumin Salad. White wine and Dijon mustard are a classic bistro-style pair for chicken. Carrots add body and a touch of sweetness to the pan sauce, but you can leave them out, if you like. Slice the tomatoes horizontally to have a sturdier base and more surface area for the crispy topping. Simple, fresh, and perfectly portioned for two, this main dish salad is great for a quiet weeknight. Say hello to next-level breakfast for dinner.

    Inspired by a traditional crispy, potato-studded Spanish tortilla, our quick-fix fluffy omelet is topped with potato chips for a touch of crunch. Make sure the cast-iron skillet is hot before adding the steaks so that they get a nicely browned crust on both sides. We like both red and orange peppers, though just one color will work. In place of tenderloin steaks, you can also use top blade steaks or petite tenders. The fragrant orange glaze caramelizes as the salmon quickly cooks under the broiler.

    This week, 29-year-old Ciara shares her recent kitchen highlights.

    Speed up prep time by having all of the ingredients ready in small bowls before assembling. Mirin has a sweet, slightly acidic flavor that rounds out the dipping sauce. Dry sherry will also work.