1. Cajun Fish and Savory Cheese Grits. Let’s set aside the plain old comfort food factor. The ingredient list is long which makes this seem complicated but it’s remarkably simple to make and oh so good. I’ve made it with both fresh and frozen tilapia and find the latter actually holds up better so it’s a cinch to keep the ingredients on hand. The leftover grits (if you have any) are yummy in the morning with eggs and toast.
2. Glazed Baby Carrots. A super easy side dish. Even your people who hate carrots can be convinced to try ones sautéed in butter and brown sugar.
3. Air Fryer Crispy Potatoes. I’ve been searching for a way to make a potato side without tying up my oven and this is it! The air fryer makes these extra crispy outside and soft inside – so very good!
4. Pan-Roasted Swordfish Steaks with Mixed-Peppercorn Butter. Our grocery store has a great seafood counter so every once in a while I’ll bring home swordfish steaks for a treat. It pairs nicely with steamed broccoli – drizzle any extra seasoned butter sauce over top of the florets and you’ve got a winner.
5. Cheesy Pepper Jack Potato Chowder. A super simple soup. Serve it with crusty bread and a salad and you’ve got an easy dinner in a snap.
6. Parmesan Roasted Broccoli. This one gets tons of play time in our house. Every single one of us loves it so there’s rarely leftovers. Make it on tin foil covered cookie sheets that you’ve sprayed with Pam. Ours turned out best when I decreased the broccoli and slightly increased the cheese; using freshly shredded parmesan makes a big difference. Delicious!
7. Restaurant-Style Salsa from the Pioneer Woman. This cannot under any circumstances be called easy to make. It just isn’t. I mean it’s not challenging as in complicated cooking but it’s a ton of prep work, and sometimes we’ll order salsa from the local Mexican place because I just don’t have it in me to tackle chopping and dicing and mincing until my arms fall off. But boy oh boy is it worth it. This salsa is gold, man.
8. Chicken Tortilla Soup. This is a fantastic soup. Serve with freshly grated cheese, diced jalapeños, sour cream (for me, my fam’s not into it), and crushed tortilla chips.
9. Perfect Fried Rice. I’ve been trying to make at least one vegetarian meal each week and this one nicely fits the bill. The leftovers are perfect for lunch, too. Using toasted sesame oil gives this an authentic Chinese food taste. You can buy a section of ginger root in your produce section then store it in a Ziploc bag in your freezer, using pieces as they’re needed.
10. Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls. I love Chipotle but sometimes I’m looking to enjoy a burrito bowl without dropping ten bucks. When I make this most of us have bowls but if you keep tortillas on hand people can also make a burrito or quesadilla. Sometimes I’ll sub in divas’ Fresh & Easy Guacamole because I love it so but that simple Chipotle guac is also delicious.