greek salad with lemon and oregano

Recently, I attempted to roughly outline the parameters of the gap between the recipes you see here on this site and what I might have made for dinner last night. In the first category, we’ve got words like aspirational and exceptional or unusual and best in category or just seriously we all need to make this right now. It’s fun, noteworthy stuff. Sure, it’s also our dinner, you know, on the days such exciting things come to pass in my kitchen, but it’s the second category — staples, comforts and easy wins, things that miraculously make all three people around the table happy at the same time — that dominate our table the rest of the time.

crisp vegetable matter

Now, I was perfectly content to keep this dull stuff to myself — workaday salads, breaded thigh cutlets, flatbread with whatever vegetable needs to be used up first — but you asked. And while at first I resisted because I just thought you were being polite in a “We’d love to hear every precious new word your kid used incorrectly this week” or “No, please tell me more about how web analytics work,” kind of way, I’ve since concluded that this is silly. Everyone needs dinner inspiration. Maybe something here could be yours. I hope it will be.

an SK weeknight meal, 1an SK weeknight meal, 2an SK weeknight meal, 3an SK weeknight meal, 4

[Clockwise from top-left: Broccoli toasts (a riff on this, sans anchovies and simplified), a cabbage salad I am still fussing with and roasted potatoes. Crispy chicken thighs, broccolini and wild rice, mostly off-stage. Baked Chicken Meatballs, this salad, but with the dreaded romaine lettuce for bulk, green beans and Simplest Potato Gratin (even simpler, recipe needs an update), mostly off-stage. Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe, tomato salad, green beans, an apple that a 3 year-old decided to relocate to the table, and my husband’s iPhone, which I’d encourage us bust him for if I hadn’t taken this photo with my own.]

We make Greek salads a whole lot around here, in part because we are feta junkies, and in part because while my 3 year-old hasn’t exactly taken to the whole mixed-baby-greens-with-a-light-vinaigrette yet, he will usually happily pick away at tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers if they’re put out before him. The Greek salad, in its purest form — no romaine lettuce, red wine vinegar, garlic or Dijon or, heaven forbid, basil — is the ultimate summer dish, and as the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will only get better as the weeks get warmer, a great thing to have in your repertoire. My favorite way to eat them is with a big slice of feta on top (the way I remember having them in Greece, uh, 15 years ago) that I break up with my fork, ensuring that no bite misses out on a crumble. Lemon juice and olive oil are all the dressing you need, and I have been assured by a Greek friend that even the olives are optional (she says it was more common to have them on the table than in the salad growing up) if they’re not your thing. If you can find or grow fresh oregano, I like a sprig of it minced on top above all else. But mostly, my favorite thing about this is that, uncluttered by lettuce and a heavy dressing, it’s all crunch and colors and brightness, and we can get the ingredients from fridge to table in less than ten minutes. Most nights, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

cucumbers are the foundation
everything gets a rough chop
simplest greek salad

Showed you mine, now show me yours: My single favorite question to ask anyone about cooking is “What’s in your dinner rotation? What are your go-to meals, the things you make, again and again?” It’s not a test; I am not here to look down my nose at your (delicious) frozen tortellini and skillet turkey burgers, but shamelessly digging for cooking inspiration. So, now I’m asking you — share away!

One year ago: Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice and Tzatziki Potato Salad
Two years ago: Rhubarb Streusel Muffins and Strawberry Summer Cake
Three years ago: Mushroom Crepe Cake and Braided Lemon Bread
Four years ago: Almond-Raspberry Layer Cake and Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
Five years ago: Cornmeal Cherry Upside-Down Cake and Mushroom Streudels
Six years ago: Baked Eggs, Chive Biscuits and Blood Marys and Homemade Oreos

Greek Salad with Lemon and Oregano

Serves 2 generously, 4 as starter or side

1/2 a large, seedless English cucumber (about 6 to 7 ounces), chopped
1/2 a green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup (about 6 ounces) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup kalamata olives (you can also serve these alongside)
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, halved
2 to 3 ounces feta (Bulgarian or French, if you can find them, are my favorites), in thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig oregano, leaves minced

Toss cucumbers, pepper, tomatoes, olives (if using) and onion in a shallow bowl or deep plate. Squeeze half a lemon over it. Arrange feta slices on top. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Serve with a slice of feta on top of each serving, and the second half of the lemon for those that like their salads punchier.

* If you’re concerned about the pungency of the raw onion, you can squeeze the lemon juice on top of it and let it sit for a while in a dish before adding both to the salad. It will mellow and soften it.

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606 comments on greek salad with lemon and oregano

  1. Anna

    I am a feta addict too so I will be trying SO soon!

    My go to is usually chicken quickly tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, dijon, red pepper flakes and thyme then thrown under the broiler. I may slice some onions to throw on at the last minute to char and make a “sauce” if I have more than minimal energy. Throw together a green salad and you have an easy, yummy meal! =)

  2. Sweet potato enchiladas with black beans and whatever other veggies are laying around – usually we get too lazy to make them into the enchiladas, though, and just make lasagne-esque layers with the corn tortillas, potatoes/beans/veggies, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Sweet potatoes go SO well with chili powder, chipotle, and other Mexican-inspired spices.

  3. Amy

    I make barbecue chicken burgers with gouda and caramelized onions every other week. We live in an apartment with no grilling permitted, so it’s a skillet/grill pan dinner. They come together and cook quickly, which is perfect. Same goes for Mark Bittman’s mustard and thyme broiled tilapia, which is in the regular rotation.

  4. I’ve been on the biggest salad kick lately… And I’m so not bored by it. Especially when you flavor it with such wonderful bright ingredients.

  5. Deanna

    My go to dinner is pasta with a 2 or 3:1 vegetable to pasta ratio. Artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and whatever else I find get sauteed with garlic and lots of olive oil. Then I add a pound or two of spinach or arugula to the vegetables right before the pasta gets drained and dumped on top of it. Toss toss toss and the greens are wilted ala spinach salad, not completely cooked, add some cheese, and it’s ready to eat. Another pasta go to is from a total chain restaurant, but its hard to go wrong with browned butter, broccoli, and mizithra cheese.

  6. I make a roasted broccoli and farro salad, again and again and again. I do the farro in the pressure cooker in 20 minutes, which is how long it takes to roast broccoli. I then take a tablespoon of tomato paste (I keep in a baggie in the freezer) heat a pan, toss in the paste, a chopped clove of garlic, then the farro. I just read somewhere this is the most common way to serve Israeli cous cous to children, so I must have read it somewhere and stashed it away in my head. Then, once the farro is coated with garlic and paste, I toss in the roasted broccoli. Sometimes I eat it three times a week. We’re having it for dinner tonight, in fact.

  7. Kat Wachter

    Caesar salad and ___ (roasted chicken, steak, fish, prety much any protein); roasted chicken with garlic and lemon; pan fried steak (porterhouse or NY strip, fried in a cast iron pan, of course); hummus & tabouleh with pita (the hotter the weather, the more frequently this is in rotation); hamburgers (usually with salad, sometimes with fries and salad); chopped salads (like those David Lebovtiz features from time to time); omlettes with salad; soup (usually minestrone); pesto with soup or pasta. I also get my ideas from awesome bloggers, such as yourself, Jenny from Dinner A Love Story, Luisa from The Wednesday Chef, David Lebovitz, Pinterest, and Every Day Food. We tend to stick to a 1950s pattern of meat-starch-veggie, but I try to up the veggie and shrink the meat and starch.

  8. Eileen

    Lately I’ve started playing around with a vegetable pasta. I use whatever I have, but I try to balance the vegetables between what my son likes and what my daughter likes (generally not at all the same thing). So, I’ll do cauliflower and asparagus, with peas of some sort, for example. Of course, I use onions. The sauce is just the oil/butter the veg are cooked in, with pasta water and parm. cheese thrown in, and maybe lemon juice.

    Another go-to is roast chicken (put cast iron pan in oven; pre-heat to 450 (or is it 425); put chicken in pan, roast 1/2 hour, turn off oven, leave chicken in for another half hour. Almost always works perfectly for a 3ish pound chicken). Then I use leftovers for chicken soup the next day.

    Thanks for sharing your daily meals! And, by the way, I love your cookbook!

  9. I make Pineapple Fried Quinoa about once a week (you can check out my recipe on my blog), and Black Bean Burgers are a favorite because it’s easy to make more than we need and keep the rest in the fridge or freezer for a quick lunch. I normally crumble the leftovers on a salad!

  10. This looks delicious, I’ve been craving Greek salad lately. Taco dinner is my go-to…usually ground turkey, fish, leftover chicken or beef. Sometimes I add sauteed onions and peppers or whatever else I have on hand. Serve with a can of Amy’s organic refried beans and you’ve got a healthy, easy meal! (I also make your black bean soup a lot!)

  11. Black beans and rice with scrambled egg. Throw on some pico de gallo, avocado, and Greek yogurt, and you’ve got yourself a deconstructed huevos rancheros. That or eggs in marinara on toast, and don’t forget the ever popular microwaved baked potatoes with chili on top!

  12. Nuala

    Two of our ‘I’m feeling uninspired and need something quick’ meals:
    Rice & bean bowls – rice, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, poached egg (and really anything else that might be delicious).
    Roasted veg & some sort of grain – I just throw whatever veggies we have in the oven for a while then mix them with cooked quinoa or Israeli couscous. Top with lemon, olive oil, feta, herbs. Ta da!

  13. Abby

    Tuna & white bean salad. Tuna burgers. Pasta with whatever in it. Your garlicky broccoli rabe pasta recipe, 100 different ways. Risotto (your barley risotto was a staple this winter) with whatever I’ve got. Pizza with whatever leftover vegetables I have. Soup in which things are just thrown together and cooked. Anything with beans. Macaroni & cheese, baked.

    Note: I cook for 1, so cooking is unexciting most nights. And I don’t eat much meat, so anything with beans or tuna (or better, both) is a big hit.

  14. Eily

    All summer long, I make a version of this Thai-ish pork salad:

    It comes together in minutes, uses ingredients I usually have on hand, and barely requires the stove. I only use one pound of meat, and ground turkey is almost as good as pork. I double the lime juice, use at least a tablespoon of sriracha, (more to taste), whatever herbs I have on hand (any or all three are delicious), and serve it in cabbage leaves.

  15. Courtney

    Oh my goodness how I love greek salads. One of our favorite weekday dinners is known as “green chile chicken” (chicken seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and the like, sauteed with onions or scallions, and the green chiles you can find in a can (!), then topped with pepper jack cheese). You can put it on sandwiches or serve it with veggies. In recent rotation is a veggie stir fry with Chinese sausage with homemade “brown sauce.”

  16. barley with caramelized onions, dried cranberries, and whatever veggie is around; venison cheesesteaks on pretzel rolls; beer-braised cabbage with mustard and venison ring bologna; pile of greens from the farm share, wilted with something, with some kind of grain and/or bread and/or cheese

  17. Brenna

    Beef enchiladas and spaghetti pie are the true comfort foods at my house. But I love all kinds of soup, especially butternut squash.

  18. Laura Jane

    This looks great! My quick dinner staples include pasta with a super garlicy/red pepper flakey/parsley-ridden olive oil sauce with a big side salad (or a whole bunch of whatever vegetable is lying around tossed in the pasta); hummus (used to be store-bought but now your ethereally smooth hummus recipe!) with whole wheat pita toasted in olive oil and a boatload of vegetables; and soups– particularly lentil– which aren’t super quick but make for a couple of dinners and lunches. In the summer I throw a bunch of garden vegetables on a Trader Joe’s pizza crust using Trader Joe’s sauce, which is actually pretty darn good. Also have been known to eat just brussel sprouts cooked in bacon for dinner…

  19. Amanda

    Chicken & noodles. Make a light roux, add chicken broth plus LOTS of fresh ground pepper. Bring to a boil, add shredded chicken (rotisserie from grocery store!) and a bag of dried amish style noodles (can also add frozen peas and diced onions & carrots, though we prefer our veggies raw and on the side). Not exactly homemade but it makes everyone in my family happy in under 25 minutes, which–considering that we don’t get home from work until 6pm and have a 3 year old–is a win in my book!

    1. heather kirk weir

      We love making a very similar soup here in New Mexico but add chopped green chiles to it at the stage when you sauté the onion, carrots, celery just before adding the flour for the roux.

  20. Kori

    Love Greek salad, especially when the tomatoes and cukes are in season!

    Some of our go-to’s: homemade pizza, with a wide variety of toppings, but usually including marinara and mozzarella; Fish tacos; and chicken thighs about 20 different ways (mainly grilled this time of year). An old Food & Wine recipe called “Midnight Pasta” with tuna and spinach. And pork chops (brined, if I can remember to do it, then grilled).

  21. sarah

    I live by myself, so usually my dinners are a little odd or lazy. I will often have roasted cauliflower (roasted deep and dark and almost charred), or roasted broccoli (with lots of lemon and salt, so much it almost hurts your mouth). I will either have these by themselves (about half a cauliflower about an equivalent amount of broccoli), or I will toss in some kind of protein that can go in the oven with them – i like quorn chicken nuggets.

    Sometimes I will have a microwave-baked potato with a whole lot of cottage cheese and salt and pepper on it.

    I also make the lentil-sausage-kale soup and the red lentil cabbage curry from this site in large, 2x-3x batches and freeze it in individual servings – I have those quite often.

  22. Jen K/

    You asked! My go to dinners: I prep chickpeas, black beans, lentils, and other legumes available in bulk myself and then freeze them in 2-cup ziploc bags. (I also freeze the broth, which sounds ridiculous to do but which is really easy in the end.) I will also do this whenever I make rice/quinoa/farro — I make a ton extra and freeze 1-cup bags in the little snack-sized ziplocs. My go-to dinners tend to be:

    Vegetables — some mix of:
    –cut up zucchini/squash/peppers/whatever fresh I have on hand
    –tomatoes (canned or fresh, chopped)
    –chopped fresh spinach/kale/green leafy thing

    Saute veggies lightly in very little oil, just enough so that part of them browns. Add spices (herbe de provence, crushed red pepper, whatever sounds good, if dried.) Add 2-3 chunks of frozen broth, plus bag of appropriate beans. Cook a bit. Add bag of frozen grain. Top with lots of chopped spinach.

    Cook until spinach is wilted and frozen grain is no longer frozen. Add twist or two of salt and fresh herbes (if using.) Stir. Add splash of acid (varieties of vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice.) Let sit briefly.

    Scoop into bowl, top with crumbled feta (if desired.)

    Super quick, repeated often mixtures include:
    black beans/canned tomatoes/crushed red pepper/quinoa (no oil for cooking) topped with feta, a scant dash of olive oil, and chopped cilantro if available. Avocado is another good garnish.

    red pepper and zuchini saute, with farro or quinoa, using herbes de provence, lots of spinach, and topped with feta and a squeeze of lemon juice

    carrots and green pepper, sauteed with ginger/tumeric, mixed with lentils and spinach and farro and a pat of butter. Topped with cilantro.

    Whole cooking of dinner, start to finish, is about 15 min, and it makes enough for leftovers for lunch the next day!

    Some of this is inspired by things on your site (like the squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar at the end, which I do instead of heavily salting things), so I give you credit. :)

  23. Deborah

    We never get tired of pasta carbonara. With bacon or without, with greens thrown in at the last minute of pasta boil or not, with a squeeze of lemon or white wine. Comes together in a jiffy and the main ingredients seem always to be at hand.

  24. Yay! Greek Salad!!! One of my faves, and this one looks delightful!

    As for go-to’s, they change with the seasons. When it’s cooler, we’ll often roast a chicken with some veggies, a lot of pastas with homemade tomato sauce, and I rotate through Pasta Fagiole, Pappa Pomodoro and Chicken Soup a lot. I’ll occasionally break out the Dutch Oven or the Slow-Cooker for a Pot Roast or Pulled Pork or some kind of stew…

    In the warmer months, we do a lot of salads, many like the one above, or we just cut up some veggies and pita and dip them in hummus and/or tzatziki. Lots of fruit, we’ve also been known to just sit down to crusty bread, cheese, olives and fruit and just call it a day ;)

    Black Bean Tacos with whatever toppings we have on hand are good all year long!

  25. Cyndie

    I will have to make this soon, sans olives ;)

    My favorite easy dinner is to toss chickpeas and cauliflower florets with olive oil and seasonings (usually garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, a touch of cayenne) and then roast until the cauliflower is brown around the edges and the chickpeas are starting to crisp up. That would be a complete meal for me but if I’m feeding others it’s very easy to add some potato chunks to the mix, and put some chicken in the oven to roast as well. Yum!

  26. Erin in PA

    Looks refreshing and delightful on this humid and sticky day in PA. My go to dinner in the cooler months of the year: boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs slathered with a 60/40 mix of dijon mustard and mayo, then heavily sprinkled with a quick mix if panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, some spice blend (italian or a Penzey’s herb mix) and some evoo. Pop that into a 375 oven for 20-30 minutes until done. Before I put the chicken in the oven, I cube some potatoes and other root veggies and toss them with evoo, salt, and sometimes garlic or rosemary (or both). Then dinner can cook while I check homework and clean up other things. I can green beans in the summer with my Dad – that is my “I am TOO busy to cook a veggie side”, but I can easily re-heat up green beans! :)

  27. Your pasta with garlickly broccoli rabe is one of my weeknight go-to meals! (Except I make it with kale and sometimes add pine nuts, or chickpeas, or quick-oven-blasted cherry tomatoes.) Friends and family have even started making that recipe after they’ve tried it at my house, and they always call and tell me, “we’re making one of your recipes tonight!” (this is followed by: “…which one?” “the pasta with kale.” “how many times do I have to tell you… that one’s not mine; it’s smitten kitchen’s!”)

    Our other go-to weeknight meal at my house is to saute some chicken thighs– mostly just with olive oil, salt, and pepper– warm some corn tortillas directly on another burner, smash some fresh avocado onto the tortillas, squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the avocado, and top with the chicken, for the easiest, basic-est chicken avocado tacos. Always a weeknight win!

  28. meredith

    your chopped salad… a great way to use whatever the heck is in the fridge.

    deborah madison’s zucchini basil pasta:

    and her broccoli/capers pasta

    soup! like (sometimes with chicken black beans and corn)
    or something made up with whatever i have

    garlic chicken stir fry (I add tons of veggies in a separate batch too)
    or fried rice with leftover rice

    when i’m really in a rush:

    when i have time to prep in the morning:
    slow cooker chile verde pork with chipotle slaw and sweet potato hash

    other non recipe items: fajitas, tabouleh and hummus and chicken wraps.

  29. When I went to Greece for my honeymoon I was shocked the first time I ordered a Greek salad because I wondered where the salad part of it was (the lettuce). Alas, it was delicious. Now I’m smart enough to realize that it’s best just to get right to the good stuff :)

  30. Jane M

    A 6lb roast chicken! OH yeah! It’s so great. The chickie has my famous celery salad and steamed broccoli as sides. (we don’t eat carbs here very much). This Greek salad is so good too! Make it OFTEN myself!

  31. Laura

    Spaghetti with clams is one of my kids’ favorite quick weeknight dinners. Sautee lots of minced garlic in olive oil. Add white wine, juice from 2 cans minced clams. Simmer while spaghetti cooks. Add clams at last minute, fresh herbs optional if available. Sprinkle with parmesan.
    Another pasta favorite: While you cook 1lb of penne pasta, mix a can of diced tomatoes, can of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed, garlic, and a can of tuna packed in olive oil. Add fresh herbs if available, salt & pepper. Place a bag of baby spinach or arugula in the colander. Drain your pasta over it. Add to bowl and toss. Delish!

  32. Bettina

    In the summer, I make a lot of lentil salad – french lentils, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and whatever crunchy vegetables you have on hand. With some bread it’s totally a main course.

  33. This salad might be making it in to the rotation; but currently tacos or any variation of mexican food; roast chicken with potatoes, green beans, and muchrooms; and of course pizza. Then of course their are the nights that turn in to a week where I don’t feel like cooking and I eat a bowl of cereal for dinner.

  34. Kelsey

    I make my mom’s crockpot chili a lot, because it’s easy and we can use leftovers for lunches. Roast chicken (especially flat roasted from the SK cookbook!!) comes around once a week ish, and then leftovers become tacos. I also like cold noodles with peanut sauce and whatever veggies are leftover from my CSA box. And I don’t cook on Fridays ;)

  35. Kate C

    My go-to dinner is stir-fry, because it’s so adaptable. I can use whatever random bits of vegetables, meat and grains I have left over from other meals and throw them all together in one pan. My favorite version (currently):

    Toast sesame seeds first in a dry pan
    Cook wild rice (Trader Joe’s has a nice blend with daikon radish sprouts)
    Chop and saute veggies – usually lots of greens, garlic and onions, plus whatever else I happen to have
    Scramble a few eggs or chop up some leftover meat

    Pour all this over top:
    Sriracha, sweet jalapeno jelly (, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning spice blend (mustard seeds, black peppercorns, coriander, onion, garlic, paprika and chili peppers)

    The sweet jalapeno jelly adds a nice sweet smokiness that makes this sauce divine.

  36. Angela

    As someone who lives alone, many of my meals count more as snacks, but lately I have been on a chicken enchilada kick: Cook chicken with some cumin and chili powder, then roll in corn tortilla with pepper jack and sliced/chopped onions. Cover with enchilada sauce of choice and bake. Smother w/homemade salsa or pico de gallo and inhale! It takes a little time to throw together, but I always make a big batch and it feeds me for several days.

  37. brooklynite

    I make at least once a week basic Indian food (I grew up on the cuisine.) It’s cheap, healthy, makes for great leftovers. Currently this means brown rice + a basic yellow dal + plain yogurt on the side + shredded brussel sprouts sauteed with a lot of indian spices (cumin seeds, some garam masala, some tumeric, salt, a little chili powder.) I’m getting pretty predictable with a kale salad (I like mine with a lot of paremsean and lemon juice), chicken thighs in some form, feta in some form. Amateur Gourmet has been killing it lately with his posts in my opinion, he’s provided a ton of good weekday ideas.

  38. Janelle

    Once a week, we have been making homemade pizzas w/ whole wheat crust, tacos simple & authentic–some meat, onions, cilantro, avocado, and lime, and our recent favorite that we can’t stop making, your chicken with olives, grapes, & rosemary. YUM! Plus it’s uber-quick to make :)

  39. Billie-Jo J

    Burritos! I usually make them once a week or so, with whatever I’ve got lying around. Swiss chard with chickpeas, peppers, and brown rice, or sweet potatoes and black beans, or a more traditional simmered beans and rice with some onion and cilantro. I always add the usual spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika) to the dish and either some salsa or hot sauce. Maybe not authentically tex-mex, but usually quick to prepare and always delicious!

  40. Kat

    Since my main meals are usually eaten away from home (I work in an ER), I like making big pots of things that last several days, and lately that’s been sweet potato chipotle chili (with black and kidney beans and tons of veggies). My boyfriend makes amazing homemade pizza that we eat a lot, and I love fancy grilled cheeses on weeknights!

  41. Mary K.

    Risotto! I’ve found it to be far more flexible than I used to think — doesn’t need constant stirring, only takes 20 minutes, nicely rounds out the five or six asparagus spears rolling around the crisper drawer. And any kind of rice cooked with the risotto method seems to work just fine for everyday/myself (wouldn’t tell that to my nonna though).

  42. Yet another Anna

    Roasted chicken, either boneless breasts or thighs, lightly sprinkled with a no-salt creole seasoning blend I make myself (equal parts white, black and red (cayenne) pepper, granulated garlic, chili powder, paprika, think that’s it. Fairly simple. Other recipes add herbs, but I don’t.The original blends in a ton of salt, but nowadays I just leave it out and use a lighter hand with the seasoning.). Roast the chicken in a baking dish til just done, then let it cool and shred or slice. If the chicken is particularly greasy (thighs, usually are), I put the juices in a measuring cup to chill and take the fat off the top. Otherwise, I just pour them over the sliced chicken. Easy, tasty way to have a reserve of cooked chicken for sandwiches or salad, or just eating.

    Veggie-wise? I love roasted vegetables. Either roast them whole and serve with a dash of butter and pepper, or toss the diced pieces with a bit of oil and roast. Sweet potato cubes roasted til they look burnt and ruined? Truly delicious. They really are just dark brown, so close your eyes and try one.

    I’ve also been loving Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Vegan potato salad lately. No mayo, just uses a bit of mashed potato to thicken a vinaigrette. So easy and dad adores it.

  43. Emilee

    This salad looks so yum! My go-to is a tomato-chickpea curry over brown rice. I make a big batch and eat it for days (easy when cooking for 1)!

  44. Anna Ruby

    My recent go-to dish in 20 minutes is peanutty stir fry. I saute garlic/green onions/regular onion with mushrooms and a chopped up hot pepper of some kind (optional) in a mix of veg and sesame oil, then add cabbage, carrots and other veg like broccoli or bell peppers and maybe some protein. I then mix 1-2 T of peanut or almond butter with a glug of mirin, the same of soy sauce, a tsp of fish sauce, a tsp of sesame oil, and a T or so of warm water and turn off the heat and stir that mixture in and it is so amazing and everyone is happy. Kids tend to love it minus the spice and whatever vegetables make them grumpy – as a child I thought mushrooms were the WORST and now of course I realize they are delicious.

  45. Lizzi Weyant

    We make this once a week: But we cut down on the fat by using vegetable oil mixed with some dijon mustard as the wet base. We also make these once a week in the summer, with whatever herb are about to die in our fridge: We keep the zucchini on the side, raw and shaved thin with lemon juice and feta. And then on Sundays, it’s the vegetable/leftover-frittata scramble!

  46. Michelle

    Love these real life posts. The usual suspects in our kitchen are pizza with a no-rise crust, fried rice, and frittatas. Easy, delicious, and we usually have all the ingredients on hand!

  47. Grilled cheese! Occasionally try to fancy it up by adding sliced turkey and mustard or a swipe of jam or whatever, but usually just cheddar, bread and butter. If I’ve got time, a roasted vegetable next to it. If i’ve got less time, a chopped salad (a lot like your Greek above) of some sort.

  48. Aarthi

    Deb- if you are ever over in Seattle area again and have not tried it yet-Lola is the place to go to. They serve an amazing Jackie’s greek salad that looks exactly like this and I order all the time even in the dead of winter (That plus the breakfast donuts make a balanced meal). I am going to make it this week(ok lets be honest today) with some grilled flat bread and call it a wonderful dinner.

  49. The slabs of feta cheese on top of the salad called to me as soon as I saw your picture. Love, love, love feta.

    Rice and beans are a go-to dinner for us. We made your roasted eggplant and tomato puree the other night and had it over brown rice and pan fried white beans with spinach- DELICIOUS! Though it seemed strange throwing the veggies in the food processor, I like how chunky it was, and the fresh basil and peppermint were divine. Thanks Deb!

  50. This is lovely! Total feta junkie here, too. Our dinners look roughly like: fried rice and veggies with whatever’s around, tacos of all kinds, and pasta pasta pasta! We are making your Japanese veggie pancakes tonight though – so excited!

  51. Jenny

    We regularly do a chicken pita sandwich. I cook a whole chicken, or buy one ready done, shred the chicken. Then I make a yogurt sauce (plain yogurt, sour cream, cucumber, lemon juice, salt and pepper) . Then I cook up some red pepper and onion. Lastly I purchase hummus to put on the pita as well.
    We also love chicken tiki masala alot!

  52. Monica

    My go-to meals are basically anything I can cook in 1/2 hour or less. I live in a remote northern Canadian town, so if I want things like avocados or even green beans they are always too ripe, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought “fresh” chicken only to open it up at home and catch a whiff of sour milk. So vegetarian pastas and stirfries with “hardier” veggies like peppers and broccoli are a good way to feed the fiance without all the “where’s the meat?!” comments.

  53. Your chicken meatballs top our list. Also, salmon and veggies tucked inside parchment paper or aluminum foil (a la Dinner a Love Story’s “fish presents”); homemade pizza (the broccoli rabe and eggplant/olive varieties on your site are our favorite); huevos rancheros and massive salads (I like them with raw, thinly sliced brussels sprouts for crunch.)

  54. We cook a pretty wide variety of things but is what we have in heavy rotation (I mean, you did ask…)
    1)SALAD. Disclaimer here – we are produce farmers so we eat a ton of salad – my favorite is kale, mizuna and tatsoi tossed in rice wine vinegar and olive oil with fried eggs. (or whatever leftover protein is hanging around)
    2) We call it cheesy chicken – lightly browned chick breasts covered in canned chipped green chilies, covered in swiss, 1/2 cream – bake – over rice.
    3) Kielbasa, sliced onions, halved new potatoes and boneless, skinless chicken thighs – baked 45 min.
    4) SOUP we make our own stock and eat soup at least 2 times a week.
    5) Tacos – the lover of all leftovers. Master a great guacamole and pico and it’s glue for all things delish. Our pièce de résistance is a smoked chipolte pork shoulder.

  55. I totally love salads for dinner especially in the summer time because most times no cooking is required and they are super laidback and easy. I can imagine this greek salad with some grilled chicken, or spice it up with left over grilled veggies or steak too. There are so many ways to get a full and balanced meal from salads. Thanks for the great recipe

  56. Amy

    My go-to is a spicy basil aioli that I first made to go on fish, but which my husband refers to as “everything sauce” since it goes so well on potatoes, vegetables, chicken etc. I’m making it tonight, in fact!

    Basically it’s just mayo, lemon juice (and/or vinegar), garlic, fresh basil (or pesto), and a generous helping of bright green hot sauce. (El Yucateco makes a green hot sauce that has a lovely vivid green color and pairs awesomely with with the basil!) Finish it off with salt, pepper, and/or a pinch of sugar if needed to balance the flavors.

  57. Layla

    Cheese ravioli tossed with butter-sauteed veggies (halved cherry tomatoes thrown in at the end to until they get just a bit soft is a must. Veggie pizza with whatever veggies are on hand, very often including thin onion slices and canned artichoke hearts. Gorgonzola crumbed over it makes it amazing. When we have breakfast for dinner, it’s often a variation of eggs over southwestern seasoned black beans (I’m addicted).

    And this is pretty much how I make my everyday salad, with or without feta. The olive oil/lemon juice/salt/pepper formula is what my (Greek/Ukrainian) mom made growing up, and to this day that’s what a “normal” salad is to me. =)

  58. joanne

    In summer salad of anything we have going(sundried toms,olives,cucumber,some type of onion, beetroot,lettuce,artichoke, eggs, boiled potatoes anything) plus grilled chicken or even easier smoked trout/mackeral or goats cheese. Plus dressing and maybe a sprinkling of grana padano for chicken.
    The other meal I make a lot is slices of chicken/turkey/pork marinated in harissa and tomato pesto, and flash fried. Then couscous, the ultimate fast food. Usually stir in a spoon of tomato pesto but even stock will do. Plus anything in the fridge-herbs,veg,feta etc. Plus tzatziki (ready made or home). Also sometimes lose the coucous and do wraps with salad. Yum.

    Also pasta with tomato sauce, plus any leftover stuff added.Meat/cheese/veg/herb etc
    Or rub chicken thighs with oil,salt and sometimes spices,herbs or garlic into the skin. Roast for 30mins till golden and crispy. Serve with salad,any dips available,maybe a few chips,wedges (fresh or cheated)put in the oven with the chicken or with wraps or something.

  59. Jodi

    Plain old burritos with chopped lettuce, cooked meat or heated beans with sour cream and cheese is a regular around here. Also, homemade whole wheat pizza crust topped with veggies, meat and cheese is almost a constant. Pesto pasta is a big hit with the kids.

  60. Sarah Dunbar

    Love these posts! We are vegetarian, and a staple at our house is beans and rice because both can be made in the pressure cooker in no time. I often soak a giant portion of beans for 24 hours and whateverI don’t use in the pressure cooker I label in a bag and toss in the freezer for another time. I don’t have much time to make a healthy, yummy dinner for all – I usually take 30-45 minutes from start to finish. I typically have a summer rotation of dinner and a winter rotation, but on both lists is:
    1) Easy Enchiladas. Easy means no rolling – its more of an enchilada pie. I roast (grill in the summer!)veggies in the over for 20 minutes @ 450 degrees and while the veggies are doing their thing I assemble ingredients – Corn tortillas, a nice sharp white cheddar, beans, etc. when the veggies are done I make layers of all the ingredients and bake at 450 till nice and bubbly. For quick easy enchilada sauce I turn to Frontera brand – they are very very good and vegetarian friendly. Serve with rice on the side.
    2) My 16 month old daughter will always eat veggies if roasted or grilled with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. – they can easily be added to pasta, served alongside a basic sandwich or wrapped in a tortilla or flatbread.
    3) Pasta. I am not a huge fan (although your Cacio e pepe is a staple at our house – so good!) but its so darn easy. In the latest martha stewart living magazine there is a recipe for one pot pasta where you use raw pasta, a touch of water, garlic, onion, salt, and fresh tomatoes and simmer all together for 9-11 minutes. voila dinner. I have yet to try it, but I am intrigued. As soon as the tomatoes start popping up I am on board.

  61. Emily

    I was racking my mind for a simple, refreshing, and oh so quick recipe to shove in between tonight’s festivities and this is so perfect! As for weekly dinners, last night was a little unusual as we needed to get rid of some fast-expiring stuff, so we made broiled parmesan potatoes with paprika and garlic, cast iron grilled steak that my boyfriend had dug up in the freezer with worchester and dijon (for me) and lots of crumbled blue cheese (for him), and streamed broccoli. Usually it’s chicken and pesto pizza (if I remember to make dough), or chicken tacos with spanish rice, salsa, and pepper jack. We both love your skirt steak salad, and that has become a staple, and chickpeas tend to make at least a weekly appearance in one of our meals, either as hummus or maybe a chana masala? Quick, delicious, and almost completely homemade is the key. I’m even teaching him to cook (the tacos were his creation completely) – bonus!

  62. I love your Greek salad and love that you’re sharing the more everyday type of food. Everyone has to have those recipes, too! I make a big salad of some sorts almost every night for dinner for my family and it’s always nice to see some other good ones to jazz things up a bit!

  63. Pam

    I’m on a fresh spring roll/summer roll kick lately. The thin rice wrappers, soaked in water to soften, filled with lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, shredded carrot, maybe some avocado if I have it, and steamed shrimp or fish (although it’s good without if you want to keep it vegetarian). Dipped in Peanut sauce from a jar. Once you get the wrapping technique down, it’s sooooo easy, yummy, healthy. If I didn’t have a family with opinions on dinner, I would probably eat this twice a week or more.

  64. Even though I’m cooking for one, I made a massive corned beef… Naturally, my latest staple developed from my leftovers: Corned Beef Reuben on pumpernickel bread, with thinly sliced sauteed brussels sprouts in place of sauerkraut, and melted Swiss. I love to make homemade Russian dressing with diced pickles for extra crunch!

  65. tariqata

    My go-to dinner is brown rice, stir-fried Asian greens, and eggs (usually in the form of a chile omelet) or a lentil curry. Simple, healthy, and extremely adaptable to different flavour combinations.

  66. Kathleen

    Since its usually just me, I make polenta with a side of roasted vegetables or sauteed mushrooms. Also chopped salads with grains and balsamic dressing. Right now I’m on a millet kick: toasted millet in salads, hot millet for breakfast or millet muffins (recipe from Heidi Swanson). Martha Stewart’s “Favorite Turkey Burgers” are made frequently too, especially when my teenage son is home. Sundays are usually “clean out the fridge” pizzas.

  67. Rachel

    Roasted chicken thighs or legs with whatever veggies I happen to have in the freezer. Chef Ramsay’s scrambled eggs (look this up, y’all, it is fabulous). Alton Brown’s “ramen radiator” fish and rice-noodle (for GF me) dish. Roast beef, hard salami and cheddar rollups with grapes and sliced cucumbers on the side. “Carrot top” soup, which is a great leftover-slices-of-stuff soup. I have a feeling that I’m going to be getting into a gazpacho kick this summer.

  68. Kris

    I’m currently back in school and taking some night classes, so dinner has leaned towards the quick-and-dirty lately. I make a side dish early in the week, and we eat it for a few days. This week it’s skin-on mashed potatoes with rosemary and garlic. Dice ’em, boil ’em, run them through the Kitchenaid with buttermilk, garlic, and rosemary. We eat a lot of seafood; tonight it’s broiled salmon and a salad. Also, one of my friends turned me on to this recipe: It looks a lot uglier than it does in the picture, honestly, but it tastes wonderful. I make the sauce as a marinade, which takes about 3 minutes. The fish goes in the pan with the marinade, I go out the door, and when I come home it goes straight into the oven. Add a side and a salad, eat while watching cartoons with husband.

  69. Your black bean tacos with feta slaw make it into my dinner rotation surprisingly often. I haven’t made them in three weeks, and I think that’s a record. A white bean “stew” that is more like whatever aromatics I have chopped up and browned, then left to simmer with a liquid (wine, beer, broth, I’ve tried them all) for a while and then I add tomatoes, beans, and typically some greens. When it’s colder, I really like a quick stew I’ve made with caseless chorizo. Brown chorizo, take the meat off, brown some onions in the chorizo’s fat, throw in black beans, corn, and some chopped chipotle in adobo, add the meat back and let it all simmer to a desired stew thickness.

  70. In my “quick week-night meal” rotation, at least the ones I can think of now:
    Peanut sesame noodles (based on the one in the yellow Gourmet Cookbook)
    Miso-dashi broth with soba noodles
    Rice and beans in whatever form
    Quinoa, black beans, sweet potato, feta (and other variations thereof)
    Tuna melts
    Quick-seared salmon with soy-orange glaze, mashed potatoes and a green veg
    Fish tacos
    Fried egg on top of any grain
    Pasta of any kind with tomato and/or parmesan or white beans and greens
    Vegetable soup (boil vegetables in broth and puree)

  71. Erica

    Lately go to meals are various Indian or Thai curries, and beans and rice. Almost always some sort of salad too. I love trying new recipes, so I tend to make different things all the time though. Leftovers are my easy cooking most weeks. I love when I cook something really good, and we can enjoy for 2 nights.

  72. Michelle

    My go to is what my husband lovingly refers to as “slow beef”. I make it at least twice a month and it lasts us a few days in different iterations. It’s usually a hunk of chuck roast that’s been cooked in the dutch oven on 275 for several hours, with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and a little sriracha. I usually just “shred” it with my potato masher (it’s seriously that tender) and then use it for tacos, empanadas, or just a pile of it with some veg if I’m feeling particularly lazy.

  73. Um wow. It’s a little intimidating to comment after alllllll that but we regularly eat pan-fried chicken (flavored with Mrs. Dash), box long grain and wild rice, and frozen spinach with lemon and butter on it… It’s not that I don’t cook homemade unprocessed meals, but my quick go-to ten-minute dinners are usually a lot more boring. Am I the only one or is everyone like me also too intimidated to comment? =)

  74. Kat

    My boyfriend and I have recently taken to cooking fish more than usual. It’s pretty easy to find, and decently affordable; we usually go to Trader Joe’s, Gelsons or Whole Food. I either bake the fish, or throw it in a grill pan. We’ve done everything from salmon with broccolini and quinoa to fish tacos with homemade mango salsa and chipotle sour cream.

    The other delicious-but-lazy go to in our house is a selection of cheeses with a fresh baguette and a bottle of wine. Although, we recently discovered frozen escargots at Whole Foods’ seafood counter — and since they only take 5 mins in the oven to heat up, they’re my new favorite “quick but fancy” meal.

  75. You make the mundane look so lovely! I don’t think my weekday meals photograph quite so well. One of my favorite lazy dinners is roasted zucchini with goat cheese, on toast with a simple arugula salad. Or a clean-out-the-fridge salad. If my husband is in charge of the meal, his go to is refried black beans, arugula, and pico de gallo on a baguette. I make many of your quiches/galettes for dinners too. I guess any combo of veggie, bread, and cheese is my go to!

  76. Eileen

    Sausage and Peppers is a big one because both of my children love sausage. Lots of salads and veggies with various marinated and grilled meats. Greek is always a favorite. Spanokopita, Greek salad… never with lettuce, Chicken with lemon, oregano, a splash of red wine vinegar and dilled crispy green beans.

  77. That salad looks spectacular. Lately my dinners are consisting of whatever vegetables are at the farmers market this week (so far just lettuce, radishes, and asparagus) and of course really, really good feta, supplemented with grocery store peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers–pretty much the healthy vegetable version of my hometown’s garbage plate monstrosity. Alternatively, anything on the grill if it’s not raining–most importantly grilling means almost no dishes to clean up other than my actual dinner plate.

    Though I will say that on nights I actually manage to exercise after work and get home at 7:30 starving, I’m of the “put an egg on it” persuasion (precursor to “put a bird on it”?), usually something along the lines of these flatbreads. Sometimes I’m an overachiever and have the homemade naan ready, sometimes I use store-bought, still tastes good!

  78. Melissa Frank-huff

    Sauteed kale and mushrooms with chicken sausage over handcut pasta with lots of parmesan. We’ve also been making buffalo tacos from the Feed Zone (I’m a triathlete) cookbook a lot lately. Sweet potatoes and peas get added to the meat and greek yogurt really does taste like sour cream on these!

  79. We do a lot of stir-fries with whatever happens to be in the fridge. My favourite salad right now is baby spinach leaves topped with craisins, toasted walnuts and goats cheese plus a dressing of olive oil, shallots and red wine vinegar. Having this with a hunk of baked salmon is wonderful and quick. Tuna salad toasted sandwiches feature often too (with your pickled celery in them).

  80. Emily

    Our biggest go-to is burritos. Usually cumin-y black beans, brown rice, avocado, onion, arugula/spinach, cheese, sriracha, etc etc. Otherwise we’re on the stir-fry team as well, or pesto pasta, or easy miso soup (soba noodles, carrots, greens, tofu, green onions). We make dumplings (your recipe!) and meatballs in big batches to keep in the freezer, so those save us on the most hectic nights.

  81. Carbjunkie

    I grew up on Indian food and like Brooklynite above simple Indian food is my go to as well. Most vegetables end up being made like the Cauliflower version on your site (eggplant is particularly delicious) and we round it out with home made chapatis/roti’s. If I am feeling even more lazy our Indian store carries frozen roti’s.
    My husband is from South India and another go-to in our house is a basic fish curry with rice or dosa’s. Deb, have you had/made dosas? The prep takes forever but once I have the batter it stays in my fridge for atleast a week and makes any curry about a hundred times more awesome.

  82. Marna

    Besides the spaghetti squash tacos from the cookbook, one of my recent favorite go-to recipes is chickpea and artichoke masala from Aarti Sequeira. I make it even easier to have all the ingredients on hand by using canned diced tomatoes. I love the briny flavor of the artichokes with India spices. I like how Aarti uses a spice blend for an American palate (ie not intense). I serve it with rice or a pita. Here’s the link:

  83. barbara lassiter

    Tonight we’re having a vegetable strata which I put together last night. I needed to use up some english muffins that were in the freezer. This is the base for the strata and I like to use the muffins instead of bread slices. I slice them, cut them in half and toast them and then arrange them in the baking dish. I saute whatever veg, are lurking in my refrigertor drawer. I had some asparagus, red pepper and sweet onions. I added cheddar cheese and the veg. to the muffins and poured on the egg, milk mixture to sit over night. I will add more grated cheese and some crumbled crispy bacon(because my husband likes it) to the top before I bake it. I do know that the bacon keeps it from being veg. strata but I call it that anyway!

  84. Suzanne Hochstrasser

    When I lived in Athens as a teen ages ago, all the tavernas (small rustic restaurants) had an alternate salad of finely shredded green cabbage tossed with a lemon juice, olive oil, Greek oregano, and salt & pepper dressing. It is light, crunchy, and tasty! I make it often and call it Greek coleslaw. Brings back lots of memories.

    1. deb

      Suzanne — Given that I consider it my life’s mission to have every format of coleslaw that could exist, that sounds wonderful. (The purple cabbage salad above is an Italian-ish slaw, with parmesan, lemon, walnuts, salt and pepper and a bit of aged soft cheese.)

      Allie — I hope not! I thought that most people’s answers sounded really incredible, like I maybe need to up my game. I should explain that the photos taken are of nights where I’m patting myself on the back for cooking dinner when I really didn’t feel like it. I try to take a quick snapshot so I can remember later how lovely it is when I make an effort even when I’m totally not feeling it. I also have a huuuuge folder of just toddler meal photos (his lunch meals) which are far less fancy because we’re not all sitting down together.

      There’s so much more to unpack here, too, and so many more discussion points. For example, I’m currently aiming for a M-F at-home meal schedule (leftovers are totally fine, just ideally something mostly homemade) because what I really don’t have the desire to do on any nice weekend day is to be home cooking. I want to be at the park or beach! So, knowing that the weekend will include little home-cooking outside the breakfast meal, I’m more motivated to keep our M-F wholesome.

      I’d love to hear other people’s negotiating points too. :)

  85. Lauren

    Best easy satisfying dinner ever: ripe plantains fried in olive oil, over easy egg, black beans out of a can cooked with some red bell peppers, cayenne, onion and a little bbq sauce, with plain yogurt as a topping instead of sour cream. Kimchi fried rice is also good (old rice+whatever vegetables+kimchi+egg+soy sauce). If I have more time I like pasta with a sauce of olive oil heated with red pepper flakes+ cubed genoa salami, deglazed with white wine or vermouth or whatever. You add an egg yolk mixed with a little of the pasta water to the olive oil stuff. I eat steamed or stir fried spinach with everything.

  86. Yum. Feta junkie here, too. Greek salad is a hands down favorite. I Italianate it a little and use leftover sliced roasted red peppers I keep in a jar. And speaking of that, perhaps I was a bit taken by Tamar Adler last year and now I find leftover, roasted veggies in jars, are the keys to dinner inspiration. And I’ll admit that if I didn’t make time, I call it “eggs when I can’t even deal” night. Big frittata, warmed bread, olives, nuts, salad with avocado, wine. And that’s enough!

  87. Dawn

    I love a good Greek salad! Definitely making this soon!
    I make a lot of pasta with simple sauces like butter, garlic, lemon, & thyme, or bacon, tomatoes, basil, balsamic & parmesan; I will add shrimp or chicken for variety; we grill a lot of vegetables with simple vinaigrettes; last night I had chicken breasts and a half bag of nearly stale pretzels so I crushed them, coated the pounded breasts and deep fried them, served with beer cheese sauce & a green salad. Basically I pull random stuff out of the fridge, put it together and pray they eat it! This site has yielded many many family favorites though. My 17 year old requests the buttermilk roasted chicken on the regular!

  88. Ariel

    sweet potato and black bean burritos;
    baked salmon, greens, and grains;
    sausage and grapes in pita (another magical bittman food)
    anything with a fried egg on top.

  89. Ash

    As the CO days start heating up (ah for the day it didn’t get to 90F until July) I Crave cool, non-fussy meals. I think I’ll put this simple dish into summer rotation. Also, it may sound weird but French Sheep’s Milk Feta is totally worth while. I really enjoy a punchy, barnyard-y Feta.

    {The Board and Wire}

  90. Tina

    My two favorite go-to dinners for the summer are mustardy French lentil salad with smoked trout (from the trout guy at Union Square on Wednesdays); or, for the easiest meal EVER, penne with a bag of baby arugula and a pint of marinated mozzarella–just halve/quarter the mozzarella balls and throw them and the marinade in with the arugula while the penne cooks. Drain and add penne, toss, adjust the seasoning and you’re done. It’s the dinner equivalent of the salted browned butter rice crispy treats–ridiculously easy and EVERYONE loves it.

  91. That’s definately the way I remember by beloved Greece: a nice, clean, fresh and crunchy salad with a light dressing and a humongous slice of feta! What more can we wish for in life? :)

  92. mel p.

    Last winter my pressure cooker was on high rotation: curries, ragus, beans, pulled pork. Fantastic deep flavour in no time. Lentil soup – a lot. Beans and chorizo.
    Summer it’s stuff like salads (beans n tuna, with felafel, vietnamese-y noodle, etc), tacos, or pasta with fresh tomatoes, pesto, or somesuch. BBQ tuna on soba noodles. And a big greens ‘n’ tofu stirfry every week, regardless of the season.

  93. Zoey M.

    PORK BURGERS! Four ingredients Deb! It’s ground pork (which I had never considered using to make a burger before, but I’m not sure why because the ground pork is very flavorful and juicy read: plenty of fat), soy sauce, garlic, and Sriracha chili-garlic sauce. That’s it. Grill the burgers in a cast iron skillet or an actual grill. Delicious with or without a bun and topped with spicy ketchup (a mixture of ketchup and Sriracha.) One of our favorite go-to dinners.

  94. Mac n’ cheese (homemade with a really good aged cheddar), quesadillas and french onion soup are all on the winter rotation. Then summer comes and it’s salad upon salad upon salad. You can’t get too much when the produce is fresh and the variety is abundant. Feta is good with it but I always lean towards the blue cheese.

  95. Kate

    Mine is some sort of Mexican chopped salad – black beans, corn (sometimes charred), avocado, romaine, tomatoes, etc. When I have extra time I make a spicy avocado ranch dressing or add some grilled chicken. Always refreshing and perfect for summertime!

  96. ollie

    I am an ashamed Greek, as I really don’t like Feta. Do you think another cheese works well as a substitute? A crumbly goat cheese perhaps? I find Feta too salty and strong.
    As I live in Germany we make a lot of Flammkuchen (the store-bought dough is surprisingly delicious) with Creme Fraiche, Bacon, Onion and leftover veggies – mushrooms, brussels sprouts (heavenly with this). I’ve also started cooking a ton with sweet potatoes and make a delicious salad with mache, roasted sweet potato, grilled chicken breast (grill pan), grilled onions, tomatoes and avocado. Yum! Oh, and when I’m really lazy.. a bowl of quickly boiled frozen peas, olive oil, basil, and parmesan.

  97. Megan2

    I can’t get enough of a similar salad lately. Chickpeas, with all the vegetables chopped to about that size, & eaten with a square of feta also. Chickpeas (2 large cans), sweet onion/red onion, cucumber, orange/yellow paper, black olives. With Ken’s Northern Italian dressing, (add some & let it sit over night to mellow & soak in,) then adjust to taste.

    All winter was soups, corn chowder, black bean & vegetable, chicken noodle. Now that it is turning to summer, we change to sandwiches, turkey & vegetable, virginia ham, roast beast.

  98. Ever since we visited New Orleans last fall and discovered that red beans & rice is a Monday staple there, it has become our Monday night dinner. Much healthier than the winter we ate fondue once a week.

    As summer and tomato season approach, Sunday dinners will be our version of uncooked caprese bruchetta, allowing us to stay outside until all the ambient light fades, but still eat dinner at a reasonable (according to us) hour.

  99. Sarah

    Do you really want my dinner inspiration if I almost exclusively cook from this website? :) The feta black bean tacos have been in the weekly rotation, as well as couscous with golden raisins, kalamatas, feta, lemon, and sliced almonds– sometimes with chicken, sometimes just with spinach. I’m also looking forward to making a more summery dal tonight (lemon lentil soup from 101 cookbooks) and peanut soba noodles sometime next week. But first, memorial day camping with Greek flatbread pizzas grilled over the fire.

  100. Gorgeous, as usual. Those thick slices of feta look incredible. This was the first I’ve even heard of there being feta variations! What a cheese novice (I can’t believe I’m saying that about myself)! Bulgarian and French, oh my!

  101. Linda

    Deb, I use your cookbook or website for inspiration! The Black bean Ragout with crusty bread was fabulous and will be a regular at my house. Always looking for good veggies meals. BTW my sister gave me your book just before a surgery I had, she knew it would give me inspiration to get up and get cooking afterwards. To open that box from Amazon and find your book made me so happy and excited I cried! Thanks for being my inspiration for a long time now.

  102. Cara

    Oh, I have a feeling the comments section will be a gold mine. My current go to meals: chicken salad with feta, corn and blueberries (Pioneer Woman Cooks); skillet porkchops; slow-cooked (not in the slow cooker, just slowly cooked on my stovetop) pole beans and tomatoes; chicken paprikash (I think originally from Simply Recipes); meatloaf (I know you hate meatloaf, but mine is made with homemade barbecue sauce and is fabulous); taco salad; Korean beef tacos (a slow cooker recipe); kufteta.

  103. Melinda

    Our go to starts with a whole roasted chicken, and I just love both the recipes for that in your book. However, I do excel at making the perfect from fridge-to-grill in less than ten minutes, crispy perfect skin and fall off the bone meat in 40 minutes by using the beer butt chicken recipe (indirect grill heat by standing up the chicken on a partially full can). From there we’ve got at least two meals of leftovers, so the rotation goes first into chicken and black bean quesadillas, then into homemade pizza, and snacks for those times when dinner is running too late.

  104. Hillary

    We make a dinner plate summer salad consisting of Romaine lettuce, sliced pears, spoonfuls of avocado, toasted walnuts,slivered red onion, shaved Parm cheese and pitted green olives. This really needs no dressing whatsoever but nothing more than oo & rice vinegar if you like a light dressing.

  105. I’ve been making a lot of egg sandwiches lately as a lighter but healthy and filling dinner. Toast some good bread, spread with jam (a secret I picked up from a former roommate; my favorite is blackberry), a simple omelette with some cheese and maybe some deli meat, and then pack with as many veggies as you can fit. My favorites are spinach, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, and arugula.

  106. Aly

    Thank you for posting this! Greek salad is my favorite kind, because I mostly can’t be bothered with lettuce. It’s dirty and it goes bad quickly and it is basically just crunchy water. :-) I was at the Smithsonian recently and saw a copy of a cookbook called “Salads for Lettuce boycotters” from back in the migrant farmer uprising days. I need to find that book in print!

    Also, this does look just like the Greek salads I ate twice a day during a trip to Greece three years ago. I’ve never made it taste as good since the produce is slightly better in Greece than at my local megamart, but what can you do?

    Our usual rotation includes a big Sunday dinner that gets “leftovered” another night (sometimes transformed, sometimes not). This could be a roasted chicken, a casserole or pasta bake, a pot of chili or chicken mole, etc. Since I’m working more and a lot of times in the evenings I need to leave my husband and 2 year old with easy stuff to eat on the fly. We usually do a “you pick two” night (some combo of salad, soup, sandwiches), sometimes a breakfast for dinner night (big fan of omelettes, fritattas, usually with a home-baked bread product like muffins or scones and some fruit), a pasta (if not as part of the big dinner than another night), and a collection of grain and beans and veggies (or maybe meat)–Quinoa with roasted veg and chicken…stir fry on top of rice…cous cous salad…you get it. :-) Mexican-y stuff is always a favorite too–burritos/tostadas/tacos/enchilada casserole.
    Now that it’s warming up I’m excited for more salads and grilled/smoked stuff and less soup and braised stuff!

  107. Elizabeth

    After 3.5 weeks in Greece last summer (ask me how I can differentiate between my 10,000 photos I took of each horiatiki I ate pretty much every day), Greek salad still hasn’t lost its allure. Sadly with kids, jobs, commitments and such, we do a lot of fast dinners (lemon seared tuna with capers, Dutch baby, P-L-A-I-N pasta or boiled potatoes with sour cream, egg in the hole (my 6 yo ate the equivalent of 4 slices of bread and 4 eggs yesterday), roasted rosemary salmon, quinoa pilaf, loads of kale salads, shakshuka, roasted cauliflower, baked eggplant gratin, baked Israeli turkey schnitzel). And, we try to dress things up with the chutneys and condiments I make…lots of quince/apple/rhubarb stuff depending on the season. OK, and to be clear, it’s the kids who eat the whites and the grown ups who eat the veggies.

  108. ATG

    Would thoroughly enjoy more posts that include dinner updates. I’d also love a post on your approach to feeding kids–force them to try everything, make them eat things they don’t like or else go hungry, allow them to choose what they want to eat (within healthful bounds), etc.

  109. Lisa

    Mmm – Greek Salad – easily my favourite. Thanks for your take on it.

    Feta, tomatoes and basil is my favourite fresh food combo in the whole wide world. I feel they could be put anywhere, but mostly, I serve them up with cold rotini or with scrambled eggs. So good.

  110. My staple is whatever pasta is in the pantry with a tomato sauce basically comprised of a tin of chopped tomatoes, an onion and a clove or two of garlic, not forgetting indecent amounts of grated parmesan. PS: I love that you get your readers so involved in the comments section without having to tempt with a free stand mixerbor something similar – surely the sign of a brilliant blogger! And a kicking readership ;)

  111. Thanks for posting this! It’s so nice to have some dinner inspiration. We are stuck in a rut right now with what feels like only a few rotations. But here is what we normally make: grilled salmon with brown rice and a roasted vegetable; veggie burgers; salad and potatoes; a stir fry of some kind; tortilla soup with black beans that were made in the crockpot.

    I love greek salads because feta is the best. Can’t wait to make this.

  112. Sally

    About 1″ thick pieces of fish baked with a panko-parsley-melted butter-lemon zest-tarragon topping. The topping can be prepared ahead and the fish takes 10 minutes in a hot oven. Bread heated in the same oven for 3 min.

    Original recipe from Fine Cooking magazine called for cod; I use swordfish which I can buy frozen and keep on hand until needed.

  113. Reynaul

    Thank you for this! I am always looking for dinner inspiration! Please keep this up even if you don’t do a whole post, maybe just a picture and a quick description on Facebook sometimes would be great!

  114. Amy K

    We thinly slice yukon gold potatoes (or sweet potatoes, or russets – just prefer the Yukons) and an onion. We layer them with salt, pepper and a homemade vinaigrette, throw on some chicken thighs, and top with a bit more of the vinaigrette. In the oven at 375 for 50 minutes.

    I love greek salads, even with the lettuce. We’re having one tonight in fact!

  115. Jehanara

    I love ‘dinner inspiration posts’. Always fun. I make a lot of Pakistani food (similar to Indian food) during the weekday, it makes for good left overs. The options could be rice and yellow lentils or black/green lentils. I could then use the lentils with couscous. Balti chicken or beef stir fried in a yogurt marinade. Also whichever vegetable I have in the fridge or chickpeas cooked in spicy tomato sauce. Depending on time, aloo tikki (potato cutlets with tuna sneaked in) and yes, I am big on pickles (both oil and vinegar based).Keep up the good work.

  116. A broccoli and macaroni recipe from the Joy of Cooking, that we modified just slightly, over 25 years ago! We probably have it a couple times a month.

  117. Dorothy

    What dinner is in my rotation? This exact salad! Well, except no peppers or onions. Maybe I’ll add them next time. Sometimes I add quinoa, lots so it becomes a grain salad, or sometimes chickpeas. Also, my favorite dressing isn’t just lemon juice and olive oil but rather lemon juice, olive oil, grated garlic, a touch of sugar, and a pinch of salt. I was going to add other dinners that are in my rotation but almost all of them come from you, and I’m guessing you don’t need to hear about while bean stew with chard and other such recipes.

    I love (love LOVE!!!) that you’re going to be including more everyday dinners on your website, but I’d like you to go a step further (farther?). I want to hear about your snacks. You might think they’re simple and too banal to blog about, but all of the reasons you gave for sharing your simple dinners apply equally to snacks. I need some inspiration, especially for snacks or easy lunches that I can give to my four-year old. She’s practically made of peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

    I used to live in Romania and the feta there was to die for. I miss it so much. I’m guessing Bulgarian is similar? Creamy, salty, tangy?

  118. amanda

    I make a lot of what my husband likes to call “stuff in tortillas”! I take whatever meat or beans we might have and make tacos or quesadillas or enchiladas out of it, adding in veggies to match (e.g., for carnitas, corn and avocado; for Korean-marinated grilled chicken, pickled carrots and daikon). There’s an awesome BBQ joint on my way home so sometimes I pick up brisket just for that purpose. If I don’t have a meat on hand, I almost always have spinach and can make spinach enchiladas.

  119. amanda

    p.s. I love the continuity of the same placemats being used in each of the photos in the collage. It reminds me of a time-lapse movie.

  120. inauthentically asian dumpling soup is a big lunch for me. i heat up vegetable broth and throw in six frozen veggie dumplings (always six) plus 1/2 C shelled edamame and a squirt of sriracha or korean chile paste. from there it’s all improv–whatever greens/vegetables/udon/mushrooms are lurking around. a little toasted sesame oil on top when i serve.

  121. Elske

    Our rotation over here? any kind of risotto. A favorite is squash with goatscheese and spinach, but tonight we had risotto with tomato, beets, basil and romano cheese. Surprisingly amazing.

    In terms of easy: peanut soup (indonesian), lentil daal, lentil soup with bell pepper, feta, lemon and thyme or a simple tomato tart.

  122. Juliet

    Here in NZ , we’re heading towards cooler weather, so my dinner rotation is a tad heavier -no more crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes until november! So, roasted pumpkin, sage and chilli risotto with either bacon, salami or chorizo thrown in is good, or take that meat and toss it with a smoked paprika and tomato sauce and stir through pasta, or steak with roasted vegetable salad (potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot, carrots and red onions) with feta and baby spinach. I love this for entertaining as it requires no last minute fussing besides mixing everything together, so i can enjoy a glass of wine with people, not be stuck in the kitchen!

  123. Laura

    Oh I love this posting idea! I am going to save this link to favorites and try so many of these ideas! My go to easy meal:
    I love the ol’ cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil roasting trick for fish, veggies, chicken… Roast salmon portions (a la cookie sheet) meanwhile make a pot of sushi rice. Either roast or boil a head of broccoli spears. Place this trifecta in a bowl and add a quick sauce: stir together sesame oil, soy sauce, and mirin or lime juice, and some hot sauce of choice. Voila in 20 minutes! I also top this with my favorite crack addiction: Furikake which is a Japanese shake mixture of sesame seeds and nori. Kinda like Japanese Mrs. Dash. You can find lots of these ingredients at your local Korean or Japanese deli. Enjoy!

  124. Claire

    Two things: Tempeh salad for lunch- tempeh steamed while you chop up- cukes, basil, mint or cilantro, tiny tomatoes, the dreaded romaine or beloved arugula, broccoli shreds. Then dressing- soy, ginger powder, red curry paste, rice vinegar, and a little peanut butter. move that tempeh on to your salad, dress, and sprinkle with peanuts. Dinner- African peanut stew fast track. Saute onion or shallot, toss in minced ginger and garlic, cayenne, and then a can of fire roasted tomatoes, chilis optional. chickpeas and some kale next, then simmer a bit. Stir in two tablespoons of peanut butter and serve over brown rice or a sweet potato.

    Yes, they are both healthy and both have peanut butter, but holy crap fast, easy, and deeply sating.

  125. Like you, empty-the-fridge pizzas. Stir fry is also good for this. Braised greens (typically kale, sometimes chard, sometimes cabbage) and chickpeas. Sweet potato and black bean tacos with pickled onions are always an option, even when there is little else in the fridge. Roasted tofu and vegetable summer rolls (wee ones prefer the tofu on its own, dipped in ketchup). Lemon oregano chicken skewers on the grill. Melissa Clark has an excellent garlicky cashew pork and pineapple skewers that are perfect for hot weather. Quick romesco turns any random protein into dinner, and can be stirred into pasta and a green veg for lunch the next day.

  126. Oh, and tamago gohan. Scramble an egg with some soy, dash of sesame oil, pour into bowl of straight-out-of-the-pot rice, stir stir stir so it cooks/coats the rice. Eat with Japanese pickles. This is typically a breakfast food, but I love it for dinner in the summer, as it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

  127. Ute

    Goto dinner:
    Thick pancakes (egg, flour, water, salt) with vegetables mixed in, onions need prefrying otherwise usually raw and cut up or grated, carrots, tomatoes, courgette, peppers, or anything else that is handy and cooks fast. Fry in sufficient oil with the lid on, turn with the help of a plate and fry second side with without lid. Serve with pepper sprinkled on and natural yogurt.

  128. Shelly

    I work shift work so my daily meals can be some what repetitive but I always have green salad fixings available to me and most days of the week see me tossing mixed greens with chopped veggies, avocado and protein. Lately, because I live on the Wet Coast its been salmon or halibut baked in parchment paper ….. lightly seasoned as I prefer the taste of the fish to the taste of seasonings. Home made vinaigrette, because there is nothing easier, and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds for some crunch. I have also been making lentil recipes of late … craving the simplicity of it for some reason. And I have a wonderful roasted chicken soup recipe that I almost always have in the freezer …. nothing gets you through a night shift like a bowl of home made soup!

  129. My go-to for lunch or a quick dinner is quesadillas — if you add in a few creative ingredients like black beans and spinach alongside the cheese and tortilla then it’s akin to healthy as well and takes all of 10-15 mins to whip together. :)

  130. Stacey

    On Tuesdays (my easiest day of the week), I typically roast a chicken. On Wednesdays (my hardest day of the week), I make chicken and orzo. One cup of orzo is browned in two tablespoons of butter. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until chicken broth is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Add chopped leftover chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, salt (if even needed) and lots of black pepper. You can add fresh spinach too if you want, but otherwise I serve it with a simple salad.

  131. Kiri

    Common dinner in a flat in New Zealand with a tiny stove, no oven and very limited cooking utensils:
    In a pan, sauté whatever veggies we have (usually red pepper, onion or leek, carrot, zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli) until they’re soft with a little bite. Add pasta sauce to veggies and mix it around so the sauce is heated. Turn down the stove to medium low, make four wells in the sauce mixture and crack one egg into each well. Cover the pan and let it cook as long as you want, depending on how you like your eggs. Toast some bread (if we’re lucky, cheese bread). When the eggs are done cooking, ladle sauce and egg on top of toast and top it all off with sharp cheddar. It’s so good on cold nights as we come into winter.

  132. Rachel

    I make homemade burritos probably once a week. My husband loves them, they’re easy, they make a ton of leftovers, and when made at home, they’re healthy. We use fajita-sized tortillas to keep the size small. I make baked plain basmati rice a la Francis Lam’s brilliant recipe (, dried black beans in the slow cooker with chili powder and garlic added, and a super easy chopped red cabbage slaw (it’s just chopped red cabbage and red onion – I pulse the food processor to make it extra fine – with squeezed lemon and lime and a splash of olive oil, and salt and pepper of course). We add cheese and salsa/hot sauce on top as well. For the rest of the week, I eat all the burrito fixings sans tortilla with an egg on top for lunch.

    Probably the most-requested dinner item, though, is a roasted kale and white beans concoction that was inspired by a cookbook my mom gave me: the Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook. Never would have bought it for myself, but it gave me one of my go-to recipes! Process lacinato kale, then slice into ribbons. Toss the kale with a generous amount of garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil, and thrown in a 400-degree oven for approx 7 minutes. Stir and also add one can’s worth of white beans (drained). Keep cooking until the kale is nice and roasted. When you pull it out of the oven, squeeze some lemon over the top (even though it discolors the kale). We always add feta (we’re addicted, too!) and then add the mixture to EVERYTHING. Not kidding. It’s good with egg noodles, on couscous, mixed in with farro, topped with an egg on quinoa – you name it, we’ve done it, and it works every time.

    Sorry for the long comment! I’m sure you’ve got a lot of inspiration between the hundreds of comments this post has already collected. My biggest source of kitchen inspiration is YOU! The other 5 nights of the week that aren’t taken up by kale and white beans or homemade burritos are usually new recipes from your site. Thank you!!!

  133. pareidolia

    Our go-to is what I refer to as kale spaghetti and we have it almost every week: Finely sliced kale, massaged with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. In a large pan, lots and lots of minced garlic and the zest of two lemons and red pepper flakes warmed in olive oil. In a separate pot cook spaghetti. At the last minute, toss everything together for several minutes to heat through, adding a finely diced tomato for extra moisture and the juice of the lemons. Top with toasted pecans and parmesan. (Of course you salt the pasta and add black pepper to taste.)

  134. Rachel

    I should have also mentioned that the red cabbage slaw for the burritos gets 10 million times better overnight or a day after you make it. And it turns bright pink! I love it. It makes all my meals look more like a party.

  135. Kiley

    I make a cilantro-jalapeno pesto and put that over 3 cheese tortellini. A sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese and voila! So easy and ridiculously delicious! I also make, ‘Yumm bowls.’ I use the yellow, spicy, garlicky sauce from Cafe Yumm and put it over rice, beans of choice, salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños and Cholula sauce. It’s amazing and fast. If you don’t have a Cafe Yumm nearby…you could make your own sauce!

  136. Sarah

    Tuna melts (aka grilled cheese with tuna) and baked sweet potato fries happen A LOT in my kitchen, as well as black beans and rice. I also frequently make a potato hash (usually just fried potato cubes with onion though I sometimes do add other veggies like your asparagus one), topped with a fried egg. I also have a pasta recipe I call ‘Pancetta pasta’ which I think I made up (or if I didn’t, I couldn’t tell you the source) that pleases the adults, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Fry some pancetta cubes (or bacon) till crispy, then take them out to drain and cook some onion, garlic and mushrooms in the remaining fat. Add a touch of red pepper flakes if you like. Then dump in some frozen peas or maybe chopped asparagus. Throw in some white wine if feeling fancy. When your pasta is done, add it right to the pan with the veggies, throw in some pasta water and then add the pancetta/bacon back. Garnish with lots of parm and black pepper, and maybe some fresh basil.

  137. Richard Karpinski

    We seem to make risotti a lot as easy one-dish meals. The two that come back again and again on our rotation are “sausage/fennel bulb risotto” and “scallop/sage-leaf risotto”.

    I won’t bore you with how to make risotto, but for 2 people, the first uses 2 links of sweet italian sausage removed from its casing and cooked with a little olive oil in a heavy skillet, broken up into small pieces and moved around until many of the pieces are crisp; then add sliced and roughly-chopped fennel bulb, cooking until it is somewhat softened; then put a lid on the pan over very low heat while the risotto cooks; add it all together (with butter and parmesan) for the last 5 minutes of the risotto process.

    The second is plain risotto. While the risotto is solidifying (the last 5 minutes), sear scallops (seasoned first with lots of salt and pepper) in a dash of olive oil and some butter over high heat. Serve with some large sautéed sage leaves all arranged artfully on the risotto.

  138. Amelia

    I can’t be the only one who lives for whole summers on salads of tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella pearls, toast (or croutons if I have them), olive oil and balsamic – right?

  139. Becca

    I have a go-to pasta dish where I saute onions, garlic, and a couple other veggies (most often bell peppers and spinach) with some thyme and red pepper flakes, then add cooked pasta (my favorite shape is cavatappi) to the skillet, dump in a couple beaten eggs and some grated cheese (usually sharp cheddar), and stir it around to coat evenly until the egg is cooked and cheese is melted.

  140. Kyla

    Your Greek salad is very similar to my basic salad, I just add a bit of the extra green stuff and we often have it with grilled chicken breast that’s been marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and chilli. And my other standby which ticks all the comfort food boxes for me is chilli bacon mascarpone pasta. You fry some chopped bacon and finely chopped chilli in olive oil till the bacon is just crisp then stir it all through some cooked spaghetti. Then stir through some marscapone to coat and finally some shredded basil. My husband always jokes that it has no nutritional value, but it takes no time at all, and is delicious. I’d love if you could do a “toddler meal” post of some of Jacob’s favorites, I’ve got a 3 and a half year old and a 1 year old, and I’m always looking for new inspiration for their meals.

  141. Stef

    LOL – just like I described before in here…. try a small shake of Cayenne or a pinch of red pepper flakes on top if the ‘boy’ isn’t picking or doesn’t like them. I eat this all summer when the tomatoes get ripe and the retsina gets good and chilly!

  142. Adriane

    I’ve been eating greek salad for lunch all week, just added some chickpeas for protein. Our go-to dinner in the summer is a pan full of cherry or grape tomatoes roasted with lots of garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes, then tossed with pasta and topped with generous helpings of fresh basil and shredded Parm.

  143. Joan

    Fresh udon noodles from Costco stir fried with veggies, tofu, or shrimp. I add on either teriyaki or peanut sauce. ready in 10 minutes.

  144. I try to plan meals and cook every weeknight but definitely by Friday I am pretty sick of the dinner prep. One thing I tried to keep going on my sorely neglected blog was a sidebar of menu plans because I enjoyed it so much on other people’s blogs and it gave me inspiration. I feel like I should make a scrapbook of my grocery lists and meal plans as you can definitely tell what state/stage our life is in by looking at them. Yep, me in the retirement home looking over old grocery lists ;) We do a lot of slow cooker beans and homemade cornbread slathered with butter and molasses. Roasted chicken and Parmesan potatoes with broccoli. Tostadas with whatever leftovers need using up. I am an Everyday Food junkie, can’t get enough of their recipes. They have a great watermelon, orange, red onion, feta salad that we eat a lot in the summer.

  145. Cassie Sue

    You asked the kind of stuff in my normal rotation. Slow cooker verde pork shoulder (because it becomes nachos, burritos, tacos with zero effort) which is just a pork shoulder covered with sauteed onions, two jalapenos and a large can of Herdez verda salsa cooked in the crock pot all day until it becomes amazing.

    Barbequed chicken is another easy meal that we make with fresh corn, a salad and a nice dinner roll.

    But the ultimate easy meal is kielbasa chopped up and cooked with whatever veggies we have on hand. Simple, the kids love it, and it’s easy!

  146. Ariel

    When it’s cooler out: soup once a week, pasta at least once a week, chicken marsala/piccata, turkey tacos (sometimes as taco salad), steak salad, roast chicken

    When it’s warmer out: burgers, grilled pizza (probably once a week – always using your crust – tonight it’s with proscuitto and arugula), grilled thighs or wings, pasta still at least once a week (although sometimes cold – I make a pasta salad with fresh mozz, cherry tomatoes, and pesto), your zucchini strand spaghetti, BMT’s – grilled sandwich with basil, mozzarella, and tomato with olive oil and balsamic, grilled eggplant sandwiches from Elise’s website, black bean and goat cheese quesadillas from an ATK magazine

    The bf and I plan our entire meals out every weekend so we only have to go food shopping once a week; it really helps making sure we actually cook every night during the week (and then we don’t feel bad about going out on the weekend). Also helps save major money :-)

  147. Ariel

    Ooh! Also pasta (for whatever reason, it’s always tri-color rotini) with a quick alfredo sauce, swiss chard, and italian sausage

  148. I have to admit as an avid SK reader and a farmers’ market employee, the vast majority of my inspiration comes from those two places! We eat a primarily plant based diet in my household, with meat once a week or less. I like to switch things up a lot (mainly because I have recipe ADD and am constantly on Pinterest, blogs & magazines) but we have a few regulars:
    – black bean burgers & sweet potato fries
    – frankly, any iteration of sweet potatoes and/or beans. kale/bean stuffed sweet potatoes are a perfect effortless meal with some goat cheese.
    – pasta at least once a week with whatever vegetables are in season
    – anything with eggs. anything at all.
    – we love a good sandwich! our favorite is lightly sauteed swiss chard with garlic and red pepper flakes, plus cheddar and mango-habanero aioli (Stonewall Kitchen) on a baguette or ciabatta
    – ANY and ALL tacos! (the Mrs. is an addict.) mushrooms. fish. black beans and butternut squash. bison steak. you name it.
    – spicy peanut noodles from Serious Eats.
    – anything on toast! white bean spread + arugula pesto. hummus + spicy carrots + greek yogurt. ricotta + sauteed kale and leeks. anything goes.
    – roasted vegetables with, in, on, under, throughout absolutely everything. some nights roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts are the base of a meal.

    Tonight it’s salmon with chimichurri and roasted asparagus for the win.

  149. Favorite summer meals include… quinoa salad with chickpeas, tomatoes, feta, basil or cilantro, grilled corn, and maybe a red onion or a cucumber – dress with rice wine vinegar and olive oil… shakshouka… cold dal on toast (no, seriously, with the right dal this is delicious!)… and I keep a lot of dumplings in the freezer so they can be quickly cooked up with fried rice and some stir-fried veggies.

  150. Rebecca

    My mom’s Salisbury steaks–so good! Veggie burgers of all types, our favorite right now is a rice and lentil curry-spiced one. We love the creamy chicken and wild rice casserole from the Weelicious cookbook– and we don’t have kids! We also do tacos a lot and pulled pork in the crock pot! And this time of year, roasted asparagus several times a week! Yum! I’m loving reading all these, thanks for asking and sharing! And we totally do love gushing over your silly, handsome Jacob!

  151. I used to make a lot of heavy southern classics as my go to meals. My fiance is English, and prefers an English diet, so I am trying to combine the two. Not succeeding so far, but the kids and I are eating a lot healthier now.

  152. Shannan

    My favourite quick, stand-by meals are the things i make without a recipe. Orechiette with bought pesto, some chilli flakes, a dash of cream and fresh parmesan. Homemade pizza every Friday night. Steak with roasted broccolli (10 minutes in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper with a squeeze of lemon juice and parmesan before serving). Shredded beef tacos made in the slow cooker. Quinoa salad (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato, red onion, parsley). Schnitzel.

  153. My favorite things lately?

    Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings from Pok Pok here in Portland. But I actually make this recipe with a whole cut up chicken. I usually serve it with a crunchy salad of cabbage, cucumbers, mango, lime juice, soy sauce, scallions, and sesame oil.

    I’ve also been eating the Sprouted Kitchen version of Deborah Madison’s Kale & Slivered Brussels Sprout Salad with Soba Noodles.

    We try to eat vegetarian or vegan three or four nights a week. Various lentil burgers and veggie fritters clutter our rotation, but 101 Cookbooks’ Golden Potstickers, which are stuffed with yellow split peas and topped with the most amazing scallion oil, are my favorite. I have never successfully made enough to freeze. They always, always get eaten.

  154. C

    Go to recipes:
    1. Kale salad (lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil dressing, topped with parm and pepitas) often topped with either a fried egg or fried tofu.
    2. A not very authentic shakshukah using whatever veggies I have around
    3. Pasta with Kale pesto (from 101 cookbooks)
    4. White bean, sage and carrot burgers. I make a batch and then keep them in the freezer.
    5. In the summer, bruschetta or gazpacho with grilled fish.

  155. Charlotte Sophie

    First, I love all of your recipes and the surprise me button. I can’t wait to make your hazelnut (or almond tbd) macaron torte with chocolate ganache for my dad’s birthday.

    Onto favorite staples:

    –Baked tomato, zucchini and onions recipe from William Sonoma:

    –My mom’s recipe for jambalaya, a great one-pot main meal that allows for leftovers for lunch

    –Caprese salad

    –Goat cheese and beets salad

    –Avocados in a variety of ways (I live in CA, so avocados are easy to get)

  156. Carlin

    It is freezing here on Vancouver Island so we’re having our cold weather go-to: rotisserie chicken, kale and butternut squash skillet pot pie (from BA a few months ago). Hopefully next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled BBQed anything…

  157. Aarthi

    These are our dinners- most of them from your site and Heidi’s
    1. Pasta with garlic, red pepper flakes and a side of your broiled mushrooms/broccoli/asparagus or whatever looks good.
    2. Corn Tacos with home made black beans (with garlic and jalapenos), mango salsa, avocado and roasted corn in the summer
    3. Rice with dal and a veggie
    4. Baked feta with tomatoes and crostini.
    5. Simple cream cheese chive cucumber, radish tea sandwiches
    6. Hot Chocolate pudding from David Lebovitz – yes its dinner some days.
    7. Quick veggie fried rice with tons of ginger and garlic with a fried egg and a side of sautéed spinach or an Asian inspired slaw from Shutterbean.
    8. Channa masala and home made rotis
    9. Black bean soup with your jalapeno cheddar scones.

  158. Valerie

    Now that its warmer, our go-to summer dinner is a salad of mixed greens, scallions, fresh sweet corn off the cob, any other veggies from the farmers market that needs to be eatten up, and fresh dressing of garlic, half a lemon and olive oil with salt and pepper (more lemon than oil). Any other night of the week — it better be something we can throw on the grill!

  159. avigail

    We are in a low carb phase so :
    baked eggplant lasagna – without the pasta
    zaatar zucchini sticks and scrambled eggs
    seared tuna with avocado and romaine salad
    tilapia baked with sauteed vegetables
    omelettes with feta and peppers- oven grilled asparagus on the side
    shakshuka- courtesy of SK
    greek yogurt with nuts and fruit, simple isreali salad- tomato, cukes, cilantro, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper
    same salad with chickpeas and feta tossed in.

  160. My ultimate go-to is a quinoa bowl with a ginger-sesame dressing – I just lightly sauté whatever veggies I have on hand, brown some tofu or tempeh or throw in some beans, and toss with a bunch of quinoa and my favourite dressing (roughly equal parts maple syrup, soy sauce, and lime juice to two parts tahini, some grated ginger and garlic, and cayenne to taste).

    In the summer I love your eggplant and tomato pasta sauce, and we always have friday night pizza!

  161. Anna

    Whenever the fiance is traveling for work, I default to a fairly basic formula: starch (potatoes or polenta usually) + a layer of a roasted vegetable or wilted greens, topped with a fried egg. I may have already had it twice this week…

  162. Liz

    Everything sounds delicious! Would love to know where you got those adorable placemats??? They are exactly what I have been looking for!

  163. Carolyn

    Homemade margahrita pizza is in regular rotation. I have pizza dough always at the ready in the fridge. We always have it wtih loads of veggies (salad or steamed) or some soup.

  164. bridgit

    Not all of these are in the most frequent rotation in our house, but… Frittata w/ yellow and sweet potatoes, pizza with Healthy Bread in 5 crust, salmon cakes (you know, like crab, only w/ the canned salmon with the bones), black beans and every thing. We cook up a pound or more of black beans and usually turn most of it into a bit of a mash w/ frozen kale, tomato, onion, garlic and mexican spices, then we either use that for dipping nachos or for gooey black bean quesadillas (we try to freeze one pb jar full for a rainy day). Also: “leek” and potato soup (made w/ reg old white onions cause I’m a bit lazy and frugal), corn chowder, black bean soup,and almost vegetarian chili (adapted from bitman).

  165. Rebecca

    Just about every week, I put either sweet potatoes or white potatoes + carrots in the bottom of a deep cast iron skillet, put a chicken on top of the veggies and roast it all at the same time.

  166. I make all different sorts of curry (simple, delicious, lots of variety of types), these days we’re having Greek salad with fresh bread on a weekly basis (the bread is to sop up the dressing, but who’s going to not love fresh bread and salad?!), General Tso’s chicken (I make a killer version!) and Tofu Parm are weekly/bi-weekly, and every Friday I make pizza/panzerotti for us. Once we’ve got the leaf lettuce ready to harvest in the garden, it’ll be salad and bread almost nightly.

  167. Julien

    I’m so excited to hear what everyone else is eating nightly! My fall-backs are grilled cheese, homemade pizza, salad, homemade burritos with the grilled fajitas veggies from trader joes. I always have cooked beans in the fridge, usually pinto or chickpeas and my lunch almost everyday is this recipe:

    It’s seriously amazing. I make MASSIVE amounts of it in my vitamix and eat it almost everyday for lunch with carrot sticks and cucumbers. The secret to amazing hummus is not peeling the chickpeas, it’s running it through an amazing blender or food possessor.

  168. Pizza and tartines and tacos (can you tell I like bread?). There is nothing that doesn’t work a top warmed bread. For pizza the latest versions involve a ramp pesto with ricotta or a shaved asparagus one (inspired by your own recipe!). As for tartines, I keep extra homemade bread or good bakery bread pre-sliced in the freezer. My current favorite version involves sauteed leeks and spinach, a sprinkle of goat chesse, and a fried egg. I am also addicted to a tartine involving avocado, roasted tomatoes, and burrata. As for tacos we’ve been keeping it vegetarian with sauteed spinach and corn, black beans, avocado, and goat cheese (why aren’t there more vegetarian tacos in this world?). Then you have some seriously wonderful eats.

  169. Aarthi

    Caitlin- why indeed? I love tacos and am a vegetarian and I cannot eat at most Mexican places. I started doing a weekly rotation of my own- either with black beans and mango salsa and avocado or Deb’s zucchini and charred corn ones in the summer. Yum. Granted I eat the Mango salsa by the bowlful but it is healthy right? (Mangoes, jalapenos, red pepper, onion , lime juice and cilantro with cumin powder and salt)

  170. Fritatta! Perhaps the best and most flexible dish I know. I’ve also started to make egg-topped pizza on a semi-regular basis lately. It’s easy if you have the dough premade and frozen – and so addictive!

  171. Sarahb1313

    This was the “chopped salad” of my childhood and I love it. It was always such a fresh part of the meal, light and flavorful. Thanks for this version!

    My “go-to” dinner is a piece of salmon or steelhead trout (whatever BJ’s has fresh in stock) with a tamari-dijon-garlic-ginger-sesame oil coating slapped on a pan, roasted for 16 minutes with a green salad with vinaigrette and whatever fruit is in fridge on top! Walk in the door to table in 30 minutes when I am starving after work!

  172. Sue

    We are empty nesters and both work full-time, so we’ve simplified our cooking since the days when we had teenagers to feed. A standby for us is a fillet of sockeye salmon (can you tell we live in Alaska?), spread with a mixture of minced garlic, grated lemon rind, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-20 minutes (depending on thickness), and serve with rice (white or brown) and a green salad. Another favorite (thank you, Mark Bittman) is chicken parts (usually thighs) roasted on a bed of vegetables (carrots, parsnips, onions and/or celery). We also love roasted broccoli or Brussels sprouts, served with a fried egg (or two) and brown rice or roasted potatoes.

  173. Megan K

    Pounded chicken breasts, herbed and breaded, pan sauteed, with simple green salad and garlic bread.
    Pasta with homemade pasta sauce (made earlier and frozen)
    Homemade pizza– I have a simple sauce recipe and can make and freeze the dough
    Brinner–eggs and bacon and toast
    Rice different ways–Mexican, Indian, Asian–with vegetables and maybe meat
    Baked potatoes with all the toppings
    Sandwiches when all else fails
    Cold cereal when desperate

  174. Ashlee

    Some of my dinner rotation staples: the risotto recipe on the back of the rice jar with some form of frozen vegetable tucked in along with the onion and white wine, done in 30 minutes while catching up on email/phone or loading/unloading the dishwasher. Turkey tacos in the crockpot (turkey breast chops, taco seasoning blend (homemade or packaged), jar of salsa cooked on low for 8 hours then shredded) with sauteed peppers and onions and cheddar cheese (sometimes in a fajita quesadilla). Turkey breast chops cut into nugget size, breaded with panko and whatever shredded cheese is in the fridge, baked on a wire rack over a cookie sheet (so all sides crisp) at 350 until the proper temperature and served with roasted asparagus. Or, you know, as a single female, sometimes just a bowl of plain oatmeal.

  175. Pasta or pizza with homemade dough. I will NEVER tire of any meal that begins or ends with these words. Simple, satisfying perfection. And throwing an egg on top doesn’t hurt a thing :)

  176. aj99isu

    Thanks for all the great ideas! Our go to meals for the summer include:
    Grilled pizzas
    Grilled honey mustard lime chicken
    Chickpea salad with chicken and avocados
    Grilled chicken or steak salads
    Colorful veggie salad

  177. Alex

    I make Gazpacho at least once a week during summer. If I have time, I pulse each ingredient separately in a food processor. If I’m short on time, I just throw it in a high-powered blender for dinner in 3 seconds.

  178. Dawn

    We make shrimp burgers (coarsely grind raw shrimp with sautéed onion, carrot, red bell pepper & celery, add Panko, Old Bay, and beaten egg to bind, form patties and grill), top with roasted red-pepper garlic remoulade; a bacon/ chicken/ leek pasta with parmesan white sauce and fresh tomatoes; and deep fried battered “bring it and mom will fry it, what the hell” (may sound trashy but my kids have requested everything from avocado “fries” to chicken salad balls that were certainly not low fat but were a wonderful splurge. Breakfast for dinner- (deb’s creme brûlée French toast!) is always a huge hit… Maybe I need to borrow some of the healthier ideas being posted!

  179. Dana

    Love ur everyday dinners, keep’em coming. Weekdays its mostly frittata (tonight used shallots, green garlic, spinach, asparagus and ricotta), soup (mushroom barley from 101cookbook, peas fennel soup), chopped salad, baked mediterrenean feta from here, fried rice with veggies. Our lunch is main meal. I usually cook in the evening or do prep work and before we head to work/ school, main dish gets packed with fruit for snack. Easy workday lunches include simple seafood paella, lebanese beef or chicken shawarms with hummus, pasta, fish in parchment with rice and veggies, roast bone in chicken breast covered in pimenton and garlic with potatoes and carrots, quinoa with peas, asparages seasoned with melted butter herbs lemon and dash of tabasco

  180. joy

    * Peanut sesame noodles (from the Gourmet cookbook, though I think you’ve also posted a variation)
    * Saute chopped peppers and onions, add cumin, chile powder, and black beans, and serve over rice. Cheese, avocado, tomato, cilantro all optional depending on what’s on hand.
    * Mediterranean lentil salad from the Moosewood at Home cookbook, mixed with brown rice and feta.
    * random pasta this and that
    * Stir-fry cabbage till it’s starting to brown slightly, then add soy sauce, sriracha, and shredded cooked chicken (or thinly sliced raw chicken, which cooks quickly), serve over rice
    * Red lentil dal with rice
    * Saute onion, garlic, and shredded carrot, season with pepper, cumin, paprika, mix with couscous and chickpeas.

  181. Tara

    Tacos every week. Also, when I’m on my own for dinner I make a rice bowl with free roasted diced tomatoes, black beans, cumin sautéed peppers and onions, avocado, roasted sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, and of course Cholula.

  182. Cath

    Jeez, y’all are fancy. Our go-to meal is tacos! I buy the big ol’ thing of ground beef at Costco and cook it all at once (a chore I detest) and freeze it in quart-size bags. Then when we’re ready to eat, I grab a bag, run some hot water in, dump it all in a pan with some seasoning, prep toppings while it heats up, and we are eating in fifteen minutes.

    My overall scheme is to take the wall calendar that my realtor sends, and fill out a whole month of dinner ideas, mostly stuff that I usually have the ingredients on hand for. (I leave one day blank for eating out, because…c’mon, eating out only once a week would be a step up for us.) So when we start our hour-long “what do you want for dinner?” song, we can refer to a whole month’s worth of ideas. It isn’t perfect, but it helps.

  183. Olga

    I made this salad last week, and will probably be making it again later this week (my husband and toddler approved of it). It’s a cousin to your moroccan carrot salad (which we love), but it is more filling b/c of the chickpeas and almonds in it (so, I feel okay with it being a “main course” for our dinner, and eat whatever is leftover as a side with some grilled meat the next day).

  184. Gayle

    Oh, my – Greek salad has been calling to me recently as I think about our upcoming trip to Greece next month. But the weather is rainy and raw now in Mn, not really salad weather. But soon, I hope! This will be quite wonderful when summer tomatoes are around!

    Two particularly favorite dinners that I make quite a lot are
    Salisbury Steak
    and Barbecue Roasted Salmon

  185. Ooh, I haven’t had a Greek salad in way too long! Maybe on the next long hot summer afternoon I wil grab a bottle of dry rose and a huge Geek salad and go to town. :)

  186. Loving all of these ideas…and of course your Greek salad, Deb! :)

    Lately I’ve been making the quickest spring pasta (usually orreciette) with lemon, mint, peas, and ricotta salata (though feta works too!)…it’s super fast and really tastes like spring on a plate! Also great for toddler households where we don’t necessarily all eat at once b/c it’s equally good at room temp.

  187. Sandy

    Fajitas regularly appear – kids will eat anything wrapped in a tortilla, and ours include lots of vegies with some cumin, smoked paprika and oregano.
    Thai chicken sausage rolls are good – recipe was originally from a baby club magazine and the kids love them. ( So do adults – recipe includes coriander, sweet chilli sauce and then more sweet chilli for dipping). Served up with rice and vegies.
    Fall back for nights when nothing else has been prepped is oven fish fillets ( yep, the frozen ones) with rice and as many vegies as I can cram on the plates. Or pasta, with homemade bolognaise – often in the slowcooker for swift serving after assorted after school activities.
    Last night was lentil bake… red lentils stewed in passata and a little chilli, layered on assorted stir fried vegies and then topped with cheese and breadcrumbs crisped in the oven. Leftovers for lunch today too!

  188. Em from Oz

    I found with Asian Pork Stew recipe about 10 days ago, and have made it three times since then! Our three kids (aged 7, 6 and 4) love it! I simplified the steps a bit by turning the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander seeds into a paste in my food processor with a few tablespoons of water. I also chop the onion, carrot and celery in the food processor. I use pork that is sold in Australia as “pork scotch fillet”. I find that with the pork I use it doesn’t need a long cook time, so once I col off the vegetables, add the paste and some stock and put the pork in, I add the chunky vegetables straight away and cook for about 45 minutes.

  189. Terri

    My favorite thing to eat at the moment-twice a week, every other week- is Ottolenghi’s cardamom rice with poached eggs and Greek yogurt from his Plenty cookbook (page 240) or here:

    It is truly a lovely meal. I skip the cilantro because I don’t care for it, and I usually skip the parsley because even though I adore flat leaf parsley, I don’t always have it on hand. I use dried, whole curry leaves from a spice store because I’m too lazy to hunt for fresh ones. Besides, I make a point of keeping all the required spices in the pantry so that I can have it whenever I want, without a trip to the grocery store. I also make it especially fragrant by using more cardamom, curry leaves and turmeric than indicated. I use the unrefined, expeller pressed peanut oil from Whole Foods (talk about fragrant!), and I finish the dish with fresh lime zest in addition to how he says to finish it. Oh, and cooking the rice in the oven like he says didn’t work for me the first time, so I always cook it on the stove top. I store the leftover rice in the fridge and the second night is super quick because then all I have to do is nuke it, top it with a bed of Greek yogurt, and poach more eggs. I wish this dish for everyone!

  190. I make greens and beans at least once a week. Saute onion in olive oil and add peppers, cauli, brussel sprouts, sweet potato chunks, and/or any other veg that is around the refrig- cook until softish and then mash a can of rinsed beans, several fistfuls of kale, chard and/or spinach and herbs- my fav is thyme. Add red pepper flakes and some water or veg broth and you have delicious!! I have left overs with a bit of rice, quinoa or couscous- and Louisiana Hot Sauce!

  191. Katie

    My husband and I make a salad with dried cranberries, cucumbers, walnuts/almonds, and blue or goat cheese with either a homemade viniagrette or a bottled raspberry merlot viniagrette pretty much any night we can’t figure out what to eat!

  192. Our go-to is always, always tacos. Chicken tacos, steak tacos, pork tacos… nothing fancy! In semi-rare cases we’ve been known to eat them 4 nights per week. There. I said it :)

  193. Cheri

    This–it’s based on a dish called Andean tabbouli served at Andina’s restaurant in Portland (Oregon) which is amazing. Once the quinoa is cooked (and I make enough to do the salad twice) it’s mostly just chopping. (A trick is to use frozen white corn, and mix it directly into the hot quinoa–it cools it down and thaws the corn at the same time.) The recipe I found online leaves out the corn, but they put it in at the restaurant, and it really makes a difference. Everyone loves it (unless they’re cilantro-phobic).

    2 cups cooked red quinoa, al dente (germination rings just begin to appear, so it still is a little chewy) and chilled
    2 cups cooked white quinoa, ditto
    2 avocados, peeled, seeded, diced
    2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1 English cucumber, diced (don’t peel)
    1/2 sweet onion, diced (or more)
    1 cup frozen white shoepeg corn (or more)
    3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or more)
    ½ cup olive oil
    ¾ cup lime juice
    ¼ tsp. salt or to taste

  194. This looks beautiful! For us, avocado pasta with scallops or shrimp shows up quite a bit. Lentils with hazelnut oil and quickly-grilled vegetables, something like eggplant or zucchini. And of course, eggs. Scrambled or fried, they turn anything into a meal.

  195. candice

    Shrimp in “made up sauce” which is some combination of olive oil, butter, garlic, spicy things (fresh cayenne, chili garlic paste, sriracha), barbecue sauce or tonkatsu, herbs and sometimes green onions and sometimes lemon juice or a teeny bit of white wine. Get this stuff hot in a frying pan and throw in peeled shrimp, cooks in two minutes or less.

    Disclaimers: shrimp is cheap here (nola) and is best fresh w/heads on. Pre-peeled doesn’t soak up seasoning well enough and I have no idea what frozen behaves like.

  196. Lori

    Our most repeated easy dinners are pancakes and fried rice. Before the dreaded egg intolerance, I actually made your shakshuka quite frequently, too.

  197. We do a lot of pizzas and flatbreads (this one,, with a beer crust, was an awesome discovery) and our fair share of roasted or grilled vegetable tacos with a more-than-healthy dose of queso fresco on top.
    Tonight’s dinner happened to be another standby favorite: scatter sushi. Dress still-warm sticky rice with a mix of rice vinegar, salt, and sugar, then toss with all the ingredients of your favorite sushi roll. We like green onions, pickled ginger, finely sliced roasted seaweed, avocado, salmon (smoked, not raw, for the nervous husband), and for an extra kick of protein, some edamame.

  198. Jordan

    I am in love with poached eggs!I eat them over beans on toast, sauteed spinach, you name it! I recently tried your version in tomato sauce, fabulous.

  199. Amy

    What a fun comments section! Every Friday is pizza and movie night at our house – just cheese or cheese & pepperoni for the kids, whatever I feel like on our half. Lately I’m enjoying fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic from the garden (basil and garlic from the garden, it’s too early for tomatoes obviously). A fritatta or scrambled egg omelette makes a frequent appearance in the rotation as does roasted chicken with sweet potatoes and your fabulous celery/goat cheese/cranberry salad on top. Then usually a southwestern-style chicken corn chowder with the leftover chicken. The kids love the tomato/onion/butter pasta sauce recipe you posted a while ago, and I often pair it with frozen turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s when I’m too lazy to make my own (although those chicken meatballs you reference in the post are wonderful!). That reminds me – I promised them I’d make that tomorrow…

  200. Kris

    Love that you posted this – and yes, I often turn to your site for quick inspiration before a meal, so I appreciate these kinds of posts!

  201. ATG

    I’ve recently been making this salad (because our farmers market, until this week, still had sweet potatoes and very minimal spring produce) that includes mixed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and a fried egg. For the dressing I made a honey mustard base that I cut with olive oil and lemon juice. I really love the combo of flavors, and it works as a filling meal.

  202. Oh my! This is the post of my dreams. When the children were toddlers it was so hard but now that I have three teenagers I am enjoying the rewards of all of those homemade family meals. So much more than food happens at the family dinner table. My blog is a journal of our dinners, I post 6 days a week…each post reflecting our dinner, and on occasion our life, the evening before {many dishes are from you!} with weekly menus posted on Sundays. As a Mom working to put together menus for my family I thank you for providing me with so mush inspiration! I won’t outline dinners here but, if you are so inclined, please visit to see what we are having for dinner and if you do stop by, please say hello…it would make my day!

  203. love all the saltiness of the greek olives, the feta and yes the fresh tomatoes. Last week on a quick trip to the grocery and snatched up a package of greek salad makings for snacking. Maybe, just maybe I should add some greens huh?

  204. Katie

    We have three laying hens, so we often have an abundance of eggs, which is basically supper waiting to happen. On a night with lots of time, I’ll make english muffins from scratch. If I have a little less time, biscuits. Even less time: the family is lucky to get toast with their scrambled eggs. We love having chickens — they have a ton of personality! — and I’ve certainly learned how to deal with having lots of eggs around. I’ve had to buy eggs once, but that was because I’d just given a bunch away, and since our eggs are brown and green I bought eggs to dye for Easter.

    My other fallback is pancakes. I’ve made them so often I have the recipe memorized.

  205. Maria

    Pad Thai
    Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chicken Fingers
    Orangette’s Broccoli Parmesan Soup and her oven roasted leeks
    Sloppy Joe’s (Martha Stewart’s lots of bell peppers)
    Pesto Pizza
    Tortilla de Patatas
    Chicken Paillard
    Silver Palate’s Mountain Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Martha Stewart’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
    And for cocktails- a great mojito in the spring

  206. Ashley

    A box of Annie’s shells and cheese with a few bacon crumbles, a head of broccoli, and sautéed garlic or onion mixed in is my favorite quick weeknight meal!

  207. june2

    I eat most of my calories during the day so dinner is usually a giant salad of tender greens, some shaved veggies and a vinaigrette made with the juice of a fresh orange instead of lemon.

  208. Amy O

    The staples my boyfriend and I always return to are the one-pot wonders that pack a lot of flavor and nutrition, and that we can make a big mess of to have leftovers for lunch and/or dinner. Some any-time favorites are mejadra, and chana masala. We also love just piling in seasonal veggies, a bit of cheese, and herbs into a frittata or on top of polenta. That’s my favorite in the spring and summer. Quick, fresh, cheap, and healthy!

  209. Jeff

    1. Red beans and rice made with brown rice and Aidell’s chicken andouille sausages
    2. Roast chicken, thighs legs and wings with roast potatos and salad for one meal, chicken tacos with the breasts for another meal (shredded and warmed up in canned ranchero sauce) w canned refried beans and various raw vegetables for another meal
    3. Pasta with sausage and kale
    4. Pasta puttanesca
    5. Any other improvised pasta, common theme being that the sauce starts cooking when the pasta goes in the boiling water.

  210. Mai

    Yumm, so glad you said olives optional as that’s always been my issue with greek salads. So going to make this this week.

    My go to tends to be just sauteed veggies with some sort of meat or pasta or other veggies or a fried or scrambled egg. So tragically boring which is why I look here.

  211. Dana

    Soup! A pot of soup made weekly, from whatever recipes inspire me or dictated by what I have available at home. It makes a yummy dinner one night and a few days of lunches to follow. They might be light, creamy, comforting, hearty or simple, but they’re always welcome. And as they usually focus on vegetables, they’re good for health and for using up what I have in. Add a salad, sandwich or slices of bread and the variations and combinations are endless.

  212. Nancy

    Shrimp Tostadas
    Butter Curry Chicken
    Rotisserie Chicken
    Thai Curry with roasted Eggplant and Cauliflower
    Salmon Chowder

  213. Ilse

    some of the regulars, also depending on the season:

    I love to put some dukkah and bread on the table.
    When in a hurry, the Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds (or variations) from the latest cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is a real winner.
    White aspargus à la flamande (+ grey shrimps)
    Belgian Endive, Ham, and Cheese au Gratin
    Chicken with preserved lemon & olives

  214. That large hunk of feta! Ah! Our usual dinner almost always consists of rice, a simple stirfried veggie with garlic dish and a meat dish. I take liberties with the meat one and sometimes go crazy. But that’s the fun of it. Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of fish (grilled and steamed). Just feels right.

  215. Lucy

    We have two main faves in our house – this amazing steamed broccoli and cauliflower gratin with a mushroom-chives roux sauce that i could eat until the cows come home (we grind garlic salt on top of the bread crumbs and it’s seriously heaven), and a red-rice beetroot risotto where you stir in crumbled feta while still cooking the rice so that it melts in and goes all creamy and thick! And I can make them when I get home from school, so they’re quick and simple too!

  216. My go-to dinner is a very simple mung lentil curry. So healthy, and tasty! Lightly spiced with a little chilli, turmeric, ground cumin & corriander and garlic then mixed with natural yoghurt. Yum yum! It gets made almost every week :-)

  217. I am a feta cheese junkie too. I love Greek salad as well for the very same reason. This looks like a great recipe for that. I have created a marinated feta cheese apetizer recipe that I’m posted next week that is to die for. :)

  218. Hi Deb! Here in Greece we add some capers in our salad and we usually do not use any lemon juice. Sometimes we just drizzle with red wine vinegar. Since it is my first time to comment, I would like to say that your recipes are more than delicious. Some of them are really very gourmet!! Gongratulations!
    Regarding our favourite dish, over here we like vegetables and legumes a lot for dinner.

  219. Karen

    I married a wonderful Chinese man, so our go to meals are from his part of the world. Our favorite is a chicken/broccoli dish that is assembled like so:

    Chicken thigh fillets cut into thin strips — marinate in chicken stock, tiny bit of lemon juice, tiny bit of sesame oil, and a mixture of corn starch plus a tiny bit of water (just enough to make into a paste). Then you set some water boiling in a large pot — you need just enough water to cover 1 head of chopped broccoli. Add chicken stock to the water generously, then thickly sliced ginger. When the water had reached a rolling boil, boil the chicken for a few minutes until just cooked. Remove the chicken from the water and set aside on a plate. Now add a chopped head of broccoli to the water and boil until cooked to your taste. Remove the broccoli from the water and place in a medium sized bowl. Place cooked chicken on top. Pour some of the hot water you’ve used to cook everything into the bowl — you want the top layer of chicken exposed, not floating in water. Chop up hot red, dried chilies and place on top of chicken (depending on how hot your dried chilies are, you may want to add some other kind of spice to the boiling water at the beginning. We use a Chinese brand of broad bean chili paste, but I think you could use tabasco or whatever spice you prefer). The one special ingredient you need that is hard to source is sichuan peppercorns ( Unfortunately, if you buy these outside of the sichuan province of China, they’re usually not fresh and therefore not at all as potent as they ought to be, but if you can find good ones, it’s the most amazing, addicting flavor (it has a numbing property so your tongue kind of goes a bit numb and allows you to enjoy spicier food than normal). Place ~20 sichuan peppercorns (more if they aren’t fresh) on top of your chopped dried chilies. Heat a small amount of oil in a small pot (just enough to cover the bottom of the pot is usually fine) until smoking. Carefully pour the smoking hot oil onto the pile of chilies/peppercorns on top of your cooked chicken/broccoli. Mix, and pick out the chicken and broccoli with chopsticks around the table.

    I find these sorts of dishes so much easier to make on weeknights than the southern dishes I grew up with. This only dirties 1 pot and 1 knife that have to be washed by hand! So convenient!

  220. My Mom’s Baked Macaroni. This is so easy and anything can be added to it. My mom always used American but I have added everything from Fontina to Bleu and the result is always the same. Delicious! You can add veggies or left over roast chicken. It is the perfect canvas for what ever you have in your fridge.
    Prepare 1/2 pound elbow macaroni according to package and drain. Grease pyrex loaf pan. Alternate layers of macaroni and American cheese starting with the macaroni. Break 3 eggs and pour over macaroni. Fill baking dish with milk to almost cover macaroni. Top with bread crumbs, and parsley. Bake 350 degrees until set, usually about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  221. In current rotation at the moment – baked mince patties. Fry up an onion + garlic, chilli or curry paste if you fancy, add to ground beef with any sort of grated vegetables, seasoning, crumbled cheese (also feta junkie!), an egg – mould into patties, bake 15-20 minutes. Super simple sauce – couple cloves garlic, can crushed tomatoes, s & p, stock cube – pour over patties for last few minutes of baking. Have served with cauliflower couscous or quinoa or pumpkin puree – salad in summer would be good too…
    Also any sort of veges sauteed until tender and delicious!

  222. Grace

    We make a thai chicken broth that changes a little every time we make it but it mostly has chicken mince, ginger, chili, lime, fish sauce, soy sauce, coriander root, coconut cream, chicken stock, whatever vegies we have but generally carrots, asian greens, and bean sprouts. Sometimes we put in some udon noodles too, and garnish with coriander at the end.

    It’s delicious and my boyfriend’s specialty.

  223. DaveS

    There’s some lovely looking stuff on the comments here – I’ll have to take time to read them all properly without a notebook out!

    Our main standbys are probably:
    fagioli all’uccelletto – tuscan bean / tomato / sage stew, basically posh beans on toast, very quick and easy to make from tinned beans
    dal-roti-shaak – any simple dal, a spicy vegetable (often roasted cauliflower or stir-fried cabbage) and frozen parathas (which are amazing), with yoghurt and chutney on the side
    pasta with some sort of veg plus feta, olive oil and lemon. Often the veg are brocolli and fried red onion or roast onion and fennel
    classic tortilla / spanish omlette
    noodle soup – use instant stock cubes but simmer it with star anise, soy, slice of ginger, dried chilli, black cardamon, dried shitake etc for an hour or so before removing the spices and adding the noodles / veg. Minimal effort once you’ve dug out the star anise from the back of the cupboard.

    Hope someone finds some of that interesting!

  224. On rotation right now: pasta (we try to alternate traditional pasta with whole wheat and farro or other grain pasta) with green vegetables, usually whatever is looking the saddest in our fridge (zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower – I know, not green – broccoli rabe, spinach), olive oil, garlic and anchovies and parmigiano at least once a week. Roast chicken or some form of eggs with roasted vegetables (just olive oil and coarse salt) often things the kids can eat with their fingers (like asparagus, string beens, broccoli florets), because it doubles the amount of their intake. Asian inspired salads, made with left overs (chicken, fish?), whatever vegetable is on hand, lots of herbs (mint, cilantro, basil etc), peanuts and asian inspired dressing. Legumes (canned is fine during the week!) in some form: chickpeas or lentils in salad with tomatoes, fennel or cucumbers etc. or soup with Indian spices. And rice, usually basmati.

  225. Amy J

    One of the first “meals” my 18 month old daughter would it is a couscous salad. We take pearl couscous and add sauteed veggies (usually zucchini and red pepper, but whatever else has been hanging around the fridge for a while), sometimes shredded chicken, always feta and dress it with a lemon/oregano vinaigrette. It comes together in about 20 minutes and there are always leftovers for lunch.

  226. Thomas

    I sometimes make a salad consisting of: quinoa (cooked in no sodium chicken broth), add black beans and chickpeas, and grape tomatoes (cut in half), and then i throw in either crumbled goat cheese or feta. Served warm or cold. It’s delicious, simple, and protein-packed.YUM

  227. This is one of the best posts of yours, in my opinion. Thanks for this amazing dinner inspiration, I was so much in need of it! I love Greece and am a real Greek food lover, so this greek salad will be surely made very soon here in my kitchen!

    xo, Elisa

  228. Because I’m a vegetarian we eat a lot dal, rice and one veg but I’ve recently acquired Fushcia Dunlop’s Every Grain of Rice – Simple Chinese Home Cooking and I’ve become mildly obsessed with the frugal simplicity of much of Chinese home cooking so we are going on a bit of tofu and Chinese vegetables bender at the moment. And of course in the winter we eat soup a lot of soup and salads even in the winter we eat salads in Australia.

  229. Kayla

    Have been lurking for years; first time commenting. Love your site (and book!) and use your recipes several times a week, especially now that I have a tiny NYC kitchen of my own.

    Our dinner rotation is usually sauteed seafood of some kind with probably toast one night, some variation of pasta with garlicky rabe another night (adding sausage, using kale or whatever green we have, wuteva), black bean tacos, and salad with all of the leftover veggies and either tuna salad on top or roasted chicken. Every couple of weeks I’ll make soup (switching to more salads now that it’s AC season) and pizza.

  230. Amy

    My go to is a very adulterated, quasi-healthed up, pasta carbonara. Except it’s not a carbonara without the bacon, so it’s just my pasta. I cook up a portion of pasta, ones with lots of curly ridges and convoluted shapes are my favorite. When it’s almost done, I toss in some frozen peas, then drain. Then I mix-in a scrambled egg and let the hot pasta cook it… sometimes I just scramble the egg in with the pasta. Then I top it with copious amounts of peccorino romano cheese and ground black pepper, we’re talking a 1:1 pasta to cheese ratio. That with a salad, and I’m set!

  231. I make the spinach quiche from Gourmet(1981!), the glory bowl: from the Whitewater Cafe, your broccoli salad, all of these are tried and true. If you don’t know about the glory bowl you must try it. And I like to roast a small beef filet and use the left overs for steak salads. Add the beef to greens and veggies, roasted red peppers and crumble blue cheese on top. Yum!

  232. Kimberly

    I have a few go to ideas, many of which I use from this blog! Meatballs of a wide variety, pretty much any vegetable cubed and roasted, pan seared chicken and a pan sauce, and stir fry. We especially love Deb’s method of putting the fried egg on top of the ginger rice, an easy dinner around here at least once a month.

  233. Christine

    A go to rotation… hmmm… now that could be quite large. From insisting on rattatouille style tomatoe’y veg with sausages and mash to chuck it all in pasta / stur-fry. Most weeks we will have either what my father named many years ago “bolg-ish” (spag bol with added veg – carrots, zuccini, anything and everything) or shepherds pie. There is always indian of some form (daal, veg curry, turkey thai green curry, cauli bajii, keema…). Unfortunately my husband has too cook most of the time because he gets in from work first – meaning that when I cook at weekends then I make the exciting things (or just longer like making my own wraps for fajitas/enchiladas/chilli).Summer (that here in England is only playing at arriving) faves are: zuccini and cream cheese pasta with pesto breadcrum topping, your zuccini gratin, salads of all types and a facination with savoury roulades mmmmmmmmmmmm

  234. Christine

    Oh, and a lovely recipe for copious amounts of indian spiced carrot and red kidney bean burgers with pitta and home made mango chutney…

  235. Beth

    One of our favorite go-to dishes is dijon and brown sugar broiled salmon with quinoa and a simple tossed salad. It’s a super fast weeknight dinner that is easy to put together even after a long 10 hour day at work.

  236. Sophie

    Heidi’s frittata from her Super Natural Evryday cookbook. I can make it ahead if time and my kids will eat it cold. I think it’s the only dish I can add spinach to and no one minds!

  237. This salad takes me back to Santorini and the beautiful views and wine I had to accompany my delicious Greek salad several springs ago. As for dinner, lots of fish – mostly salmon or tilapia, or halibut, with fresh vegetables, and soups in the winter.

  238. Iris

    At least once a week I like to whip up sauteed tilapia filets which I first coat lightly in a mixture of fine cornmeal seasoned with paprika, lemon pepper and oregano. I sauté it in either olive or grapeseed oil; just takes a few minutes per side and it’s ready. Way quicker than baking and no oven heating the kitchen. Sometimes I toss halved cherry or grape tomatoes in the pan just til they’re soft and sometimes I might add a handful of leftover vege. Occasionally I’ll just make a sandwich out of them instead – depends on what interesting bread I might have around. If I have leftover rice, farro or another grain, the filets go on top . Tilapia seems to be on sale frequently in my area and it lends itself to just about any seasoning, vegetable or side.
    So versatile!

  239. Rosie

    I thought best add my ‘go-to’ (favourite) weekly dinner to the bombardment already submitted. We have a ‘Gnocchi bake’ without fail weekly – but this term does it no justice.

    It is ever so easy (10 minutes prep, 20 in the oven to do what you please). Onions, peppers and mushrooms softened with some olive oil in a pan, a tbsp of red pesto (generic!) and a tin of tomatoes, simmer for a few minutes and add to cooked gnocchi (I keep pre-made in the freezer, ready to boil) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes – after the obvious covering with mozzerella. What’s a life without mozzerella?! I tend to add chili, nduja, smoked paprika or whatever I have left over vegetable-wise.

    Long story – but I have to share. It’s indulgent, easy and ever-so tasty!

  240. Joy

    My 3 year old son just very suddenly and head-over-heels completely in love with green salads tossed with homemade vinaigrette. Which is a good thing considering salads like that are wonderful, and we will be getting a large basket of fresh veg from a local farmer for the next 22 weeks or so.

    Also, to answer your question, the top repeating recipe I make for supper is this:

    Coconut Rice with Black-eyed Peas and Avocado Salsa

    One cup Jasmine rice, sauteed in a bit of the cream off the top of the can of coconut till colored, then cooked with 2 cups of 1c. coconut milk+water and a pinch of salt. (Mark Bittman’s Lamb Curry makes good use of the rest of the can of coconut milk, but then again you can just use the whole thing in the rice and add very little water to equal the 2 cups.)

    served with a few hearty spoonfuls of heated canned organic black-eyed peas atop a scoop of the rice, peas drained as you plate supper

    sprinkled with some, not too much, shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese

    and the whole thing served with a generous serving of Avocado Salsa, made with chopped avocadoes & tomatoes, diced red onion, maybe cilantro, hearty squeezes of lime or lemon, and plenty of salt and white pepper.
    Black pepper does not give the same results. Neither do chickpeas or black beans, or other cheeses, or different onion. Sounds weird, tastes wonderful.

    Adapted from this recipe:

  241. MarthaD

    Molly, I am Greek and for our Greek salad we always use red wine vinegar rather than lemon. We kind of think that vinegar goes better with tomatoes.
    What is your thinking on that?
    I know that when Turks make the Greek salad they always use lemon.
    I love, love your blog and your recipes. Thanks:)

  242. Katie D

    My husband and I love to make Ina Garten’s goat cheese chicken – it’s ridiculously simple and delicious. Throw in some lightly steamed broccoli and brown rice, and that’s dinner! We also love her chicken piccata, served with roasted onions and a vegetable. Yum!

  243. Marta

    We love skinny bang bang shrimp from ( keep bag of raw frozen shrimp from Costco and we have dinner in 10min. Lately we have been eating Gyro chicken, I just use gyro spice and saute the chicken make quick tzatziki sauce and we have it over pita or lettuce cups…talking about lettuce cups I have been putting anything and everything in lettuce cups.
    Love you blog! thanks for sharing your dinner ideas!

  244. When I need an easy entree for guests, or to bring to new parents, or whatever, I make Olive Chicken. It’s chicken thighs with kalamata olives and spicy green olives and garlic and sundried tomatoes and onions and mushrooms, but any of those things can be left out and it’s still fabulous. I bake it all in one dish and serve it with rice.

    One of my acquaintances is a chef, and for her 50th birthday someone organized a “Pay Back the Chef” party where everyone brought the best dish they knew how to make. I brought Olive Chicken, of course. Someone else brought monkey bread. Oh monkey bread! It’s a good thing I don’t know how to make that, or I’d eat it All The Time.

  245. Liz

    My go to is simply nachos. Not the drowning in American cheese kind (although, that’s mostly to save my thighs…), but rather a can of black beans and a can of green chilies heated together and left simmering while I fry up two eggs. Then it goes like this: Scoop tortilla chips (because they make the best nachos), a high pile of beans, a good sprinkle of sharp cheddar or queso fresco and it all topped off with a runny egg and fresh salsa. Maybe not the most gourmet or clever, but quick, filling and tasty.

    It’s my I-just-got-home-from-work and we’re-both-exhausted, here’s-dinner! meal.

  246. Emily

    Hey Deb, Thank you for all your recipes, including those in your fantastic cookbook! My favorite go-to dish is a baked sweet potato or yam topped with fried Italian kale and veggie sausage. I chop garlic and throw it in some hot olive oil with the veggie sausage and then add the kale. I deglaze the pan with some beer. I put the mixture on top of the sweet potato! It’s filling and done within minutes!

  247. Reynaul

    Oh Deb PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post some pictures of that huuuge folder of your toddler meals! I have a 21 month old that is going thru a stage right now where he will eat something one week and the next week doesn’t want anything to do with it! So I am looking for more ideas instead of the same things over and over and since all of your recipes that I make are deliciious I am sure these would be too! Even if he doesn’t want them, I can eat them! :-)

  248. Laura B.

    Some of the dishes I make often are:

    Beef and kidney bean chili with a little cocoa and cinnamon for depth
    Roasted salmon with gremolata (or with tzatziki, or with a brown sugar and Szechuan pepper rub)
    Homemade quattro stagione pizza (on storebought crust) with salad
    Corn and shrimp chowder
    Chicken sausage with bell peppers, onions, and garlic over parmesan polenta
    Shrimp and grits
    Fish tacos with (sometimes) homemade soft corn tortillas and homemade cilantro-lime slaw
    Chick pea and spinach curry with a coconut milk base and whatever other veggies need eating up, served over rice
    Roast chicken (on weekends), often with roasted root veggies and broccoli
    And my “I REALLY don’t feel like/have time for cooking but want something healthy” dinner is a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, microwave-baked sweet potatoes, and a salad.

  249. melanie

    We eat spaghetti with “meat sauce” (basically: cook an onion and some ground beef, drain, cook some garlic & red pepper flakes in the leftover fat, add a jar or two of tomato sauce – we like Classico because it’s not sweet – toss in parmesan and Italian seasoning, and let it cook while you boil the noodles) “smashed” chicken (what we call chicken that’s been beaten flat with my rolling pin and then cooked in the cast iron pan on really high heat), and homemade pizza pretty much every week.

    Oh, and sausage soup and breadsticks, which is one of the greatest meals ever: and – which are the best breadsticks you will EVER make. Ever.

    For a while we also ate Heidi Swanson’s chipotle giant beans weekly, but that’s fallen off the radar lately. Still awesome and super easy: (I use canned beans and a lot more chipotle peppers, and usually serve with a quesadilla on the side).

  250. I always have feta in my refrigerator to toss into my green salads. It’s just so salty good.
    My go to meal is stir fry. Great way to use leftover veggies and meat. Chili garlic sauce, soy and sesame oil make a quick flavorful sauce and then I throw in some noodles for the kids.

  251. Alana E

    Having been lurking about this site for quite some time, I feel I should throw in my two cents here. I tend to make things like kale and bean stew and minestrone soup during the winter and during summer simple salads like (currently my favourite) tabbouleh filled with gorgeous red peppers and tomatoes from the market.

  252. Caroline

    I’m surprised to see so many different dishes in your meals. Where do you find the time to do all that with a kid? I don’t have children, but I tend to stick to one-dish meals: risotto, fish or vegetable tacos, stir fry, pizza, soup (not so much this time of year), panini, composed salads (my fave is black beans, avocado, and corn), etc.

  253. Jennie

    Deb, I love your blog and cookbook. I come here for inspiration weekly. And since you asked – on the list this week is:
    – Turkey burgers; tabouleh salad; avocado cups (halved avocado with chopped cherry tomatoes in the middle)
    – Grilled sweet-spicy salmon; homemade potato salad; tomato-cucumber salad
    — Shrimp stirfry with mushrooms, onion, snow peas and rice; salad
    — Roasted veggie enchiladas with crumbled goat cheese; sautéed pinto beans with spinach and shallots

    I have a 2.5 year old and a husband and a full-time job, so we try to eat healthy and make simple stuff, but I find it all much easier if I plan out what I want to make for the week and make a big trip to the store on the weekend.

  254. My 3 dinner workhorses are: tacos, breakfast for dinner (aka brinner), and pasta (using some kind of meat/cheese/beans for protein & whatever veggies look good or I need to use up). Shrimp tacos (see my latest blog post) are a current favorite! And I like Liz’s comment about stir-fry–that is quickly becoming a favorite too.

  255. Katie

    Salmon croquettes are my go-to staple for an easy dinner at home. So delicious and can easily be paired with a variety of sides that may or may not involve frozen veggies :)

  256. oh I love Greek salads! Our dinners are pretty varied. Sometimes I will menu plan for the entire week and grocery shop once on Sat or Sun. Other times I make whatever sounds good that day and grocery shop per day. Occasionally there’s takeout. Most of our meals are grilled during summer and early fall. We eat plenty of salads, and lots of soup/stew in the colder months. We’re not vegetarians but I’d say on average we eat meat-free 3-4 days a week. And I’m a fiend for Tex-Mex and Mexican food, so that shows up often.

  257. I have had an overload of lettuce lately, so a salad sans lettuce sounds divine!!

    My go to is Naan Pizzas – whole wheat Naan topped with whatever 3 to 4 ingredients I can find in my fridge. They are perfect because I don’t really have to think ahead to prepare them. Served with a side salad you have a complete meal.

    The other go to is warm grain salad with veggies topped with a poached egg for protein. The meal in which I have pulled odds and ends out of the fridge, mixed them together and served them in a bowl always get the most praise from my husband!!

  258. My go to dinner is pasta with anything that’s in my fridge. When I’m really in need of comfort (hard day at work, cold, rainy night, general cloudy mood), I will make a big bowl of penne pasta tossed with some butter and olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and freshly grated Pecorino. If I’m not totally in a funk, I will add whatever leftover veggies are in my produce drawer – broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes. I might use goat cheese or feta rather than Pecorino. And, if I’m feeling especially inspired, I may melt the butter and the cheese and throw in a splash of sherry, until it resembles some sort of sauce. Another go to dinner comes from my fiance who has approximately three meals in his repertoire. The one he keeps going back to the most (once a week for the past 6 months…) is an almond butter curry. He uses whatever meat is in the fridge or freezer, sautes it up with onions, and then mixes it with a sauce that includes some secret combination of almond butter, ginger, peppers, soy sauce and rice vinegar.

  259. Tara

    Believe it or not, my go-to weeknight dinner staple is borrowed from my mother’s go-to meal when we were kids, just elevated a bit (don’t tell her that!). Every so often, London Broil will go on sale at my local grocery for something obscene, like $1.79/lb. So I buy a whole bunch and stuff them in my freezer (thank you vacuum sealer!). They take maybe 30 minutes to thaw in a bowl of water. I start sauteeing some baby bellas to top the LB in my cast iron skillet. When they’re done I set them aside and then I pan roast the LB using the same skillet, maybe giving it a little arroser with butter and some fresh rosemary, and then finishing in the oven for about 5 minutes. While the meat is resting, I’ll throw some vegetables in a pan- usually brussels sprouts because they are just the best with beef, over high heat to caramelize them on the outside but not break them down too much. I then make a quick balsamic reduction and drizzle it over the whole thing. The trick for me is the order in which everything is made. Each flavor you leave in the pan is picked up by the next item that goes in, and the result is magical. Plus, the whole process from freezer to plate takes less than an hour!

  260. Devora Geller

    I frequently make Greek salad for my boyfriend’s lunch. We also use our crockpot extensively, and make up large batches of carne asada and black beans on a weekly basis. Then we just use the meat and beans as the basis for other dishes–quesadillas, burritos, nachos, taco salads, egg scrambles. In the winter, we make gigantic batches of chili, and in summer, we try not to cook too much (something about those hot summers in Brooklyn apartments …), and make different salads (green bean, horiatiki, tuna pasta, potato) to eat with cold cuts.

  261. Jeannie

    Eggs are so quick and great.. Poached atop rye toast with tomato and avacado…open face sandwich and a simple green salad, or poached egg atop salad or frittata with what ever is leftover… brown rice and grilled salmon, and sugar snaps stir fried or grilled with a bit of soy and rice wine vinegar… if time permits. Love the simplicity of your greek salad .. I like Chevre over traditional feta but there is not a good source of feta where i live. I usually will smoke a pork loin, or chicken, or turkey and morph this into a quick meal.

  262. Danielle

    Go-tos I know my kids will all eat
    1. Baked Ziti (I prefer to add some greens, I also prefer not to hear whining)
    2. Make your own bean burritos (mashed seasoned beans, salsa, avocado, shredded carrots, plain yogurt, cheese, whole wheat tortillas)
    3. “not sloppy joes” (ground meat seasoned with enough ketchup and mustard to hold it together, but not soupy, stuffed in a hamburger bun with the middle pressed in to make a bowl)
    Theses are all SO quick and easy

  263. I love inspiring salad recipes – the photos are beautiful in this post.
    I just wrote about the latest salad I’ve made – Asian inspired with Tempura.
    Thinking I will make a Greek salad tonight!

  264. Deb, do you read all these comments?? On your Info page it says you do, but I can’t even imagine you’d have time to! In any case, I’ve been a huge fan for years and swear by any recipe you throw out there.

    My go-to meals are all kinds of salads:
    – BBQ Grilled (via pan) mango & tofu, with fresh tomatoes, lime & corn
    – Bahn Mi-inspired with cilantro turkey burgers, lime/salt cabbage & carrot mix
    – Bibimbap (julienned carrots, cukes, kale, a fried egg, sriracha)
    I’ve been looking for delicious kale recipes for a while, being not a huge fan of the hard, flavorless leaves. Have you heard of Drew Ramsey’s new book “50 Shades of Kale”? There’s a recipe for chocolate chip kale cookies I’m hoping to try….

    1. deb

      Allison — I always, always do. I tend to catch up on weekend comments on Mondays (sooner if the boys — yes, Alex too — take an epic nap), but I otherwise do everyday. It takes a lot of time but I think it’s worth it. :)

      Caroline — I think it looks more than it actually is. Or maybe more complicated. For the rice, I recently bought a rice cooker (I’ll post about this one day, when I get the hang of it) because he loves rice and I hate making it. That’s hands off, so easy to add to dinner. Vegetables are almost always roasted at a blistering high heat with only olive oil, salt and pepper, so that’s not a lot of work. (Green beans I just simmer for 2 to 3 minutes for the skinny ones.) And the potato gratin looks fancy but is really something I love to make because it provides three days of carby side dishes (it reheats like a champ, and in fact gets better and more crunchy on top). I love casserole-y/gratin-baked dishes because they reheat very well. (Another favorite of ours is the Wild Rice Gratin in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.)

      Handful of Shadows — Just a one-time thing. Flickr rolled out a metric ton of changes on Monday and I couldn’t get the site’s embed code to work for me at all yesterday morning. (I even emailed my tech guy in a panic, begging for help.) Shortly after I posted, all the features were working again. Dislike the new photo pages! Never cared for a black background for photos. It upstages them, imho.

      Michelle — Ha! Sprig. But Spring sounds much lovelier.

      Melanie — Thanks for the link to Heidi’s big beans. I’ve read her since day one, but forget things in the archives and I am obsessed with mega-white beans in all formats.

      Caitlin — I really try not to do this thing where I constantly point people to recipes in my cookbook, because that’s annoying and I already did it above, but! I think you’d really like the spaghetti squash tacos in there. We inhaled them every time I made them.

  265. I just discovered a super fast new go-to which I saw on an old Lidia’s Italy episode: Boil water and put on spaghetti. While cooking, add 1/3 cup toasted almonds, 1 package (ripe) cherry tomatoes, 12 basil leaves and 1 peeled crushed garlic clove in food processor with a little olive oil and chili flake and S&P. Give it a whirl to mix, then drizzle in more olive oil to make it a pesto of sorts. Mix with the pasta when done and add a little fresh-grated parmesan. It’s vegan if you omit the cheese, really tasty and fresh and it tastes sort of creamy the way the almonds/tomato blend together. And you literally only have to boil water to cook it.

  266. Meredith

    I got so tired of trying to figure out what to make for dinner that I made a food calendar. Mondays are soup or salad. There’s Taco Tuesday (we even have a song), Pasta Wednesday, Sandwich Thursday, and Fun Friday (homemade pizza, take-out, whatever). It switches things up and keeps me from getting in a rut. And if I’m not feeling what I’ve planned, I sit here at my computer and hit the “Surprise Me!” button above until something strikes my fancy. :)

  267. SallyO

    I make a super quick summer pasta that is so yummy in its simplicity. I pan sear coarsly chopped zucchini with minced garlic til slightly browned and starting to get tender. I chop fresh tomatoes and leave them raw in a bowl with a sprinkle of sea salt, olive oil, and chopped fresh basil. Once the zucchini is done I toss it with the tomatoes that in turn gets poured over cooked whole wheat angel hair pasta. The whole thing takes like 15 min. start to finish. We love this for a light summer dinner. I have also become adept at throwing together a passable vietnamese “bun” it’s a salad/pasta with warm rice stick noodles on the bottom, lettuce, fresh herbs, chilis, carrot/daikon pickle, & cukes on top and grilled chicken, beef or pork on top of the veggies. It’s all dressed with some nuoc cham. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and is really a flexible meal.

  268. Beth

    You mentioned fussing with your cabbage salad recipe. I have two slaws that I make over and over again, both with red cabbage.
    Everyday Slaw – a good side for many meals and great addition to sandwiches for the crunch.

    head red cabbage shredded
    1-2 carrots shredded, wrapped in towel and squeezed dry
    thinly sliced (use a mandoline) shallot to taste – usually 1 or 2
    Vinaigrette: 2 to 3 proportion of red wine vinegar to mild olive oil; Dijon mustard, lots of Tabasco sauce, pinch sugar, S & P to taste

    Spicy Asian Slaw via Nina Simmonds – We like to assemble rice bowls and add to taste: shredded pork, vinegar-y kale, Asian slaw, spicy broccoli. The slaw makes an unbelievable Bahn Mi sandwich too.

    head red cabbage
    1 tbl salt
    2 tbl sesame oil
    1 tsp chili pepper flakes
    2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
    6 cloves garlic, sliced
    1/4 cup rice vinegar
    3 tbl sugar

    Shred cabbage, sprinkle with salt, put a weight on it and set aside. After 1 hour, rinse and drain (I squeeze it dry in a towel) and place in bowl with dressing ingredients.

    For dressing: heat sesame oil in small pan until hot but not smoking. Add chili pepper flakes and stir for 10 seconds. Remove from heat and cool. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
    Refrigerate slaw with dressing at least overnight before serving.

  269. Catherine

    My go-to, no fuss, always have ingredients on hand 30 minute dinner is a pasta dish. Put on your pot of water. Cube (almost dice) pancetta, cook with some olive oil. Once lightly browned (and rendered) add a chopped onion and diced clove of garlic. Once softened add a 28 oz can of San Marzano’s, or fresh tomatoes if available. Cook about 20 minutes until no longer soupy, add chili flakes if desired and chopped parsley at the end. I can get this dinner on the table in about 30 minutes flat, with salad.

    My other go-to pasta for a side dish is a lemon pasta with arugula I got from one of the bloggers I follow….wait, it was from Smitten Kitchen! Many of your recipes have become go-to, and I thank you for that.

  270. AndreaW

    My husband, who doesn’t cook, found a one pot pasta recipe in the current Martha Stewart Liivng. He reads the mag for the gardening advice–really. Anyway, he made it and I have made it again last night. Throw pasta, water, olive oil, onion, garlic and salt, red pepper flakes and basil all together and boil like crazy until the water evaporates and the pasta is cooked al dente. A 11 minute no brainer. Easiest thing ever and tasty, too!

  271. My regulars are all based around the fact that we’re usually making-do. Unemployment sucks, but I’m lucky to live in a tiny country with relatively cheap produce, so we still eat fairly well.

    Regular dishes include:

    Pasta bakes – Usually some sort of mince, vegetables and complimentary herbs cooked then stirred up with the pasta, stuffed in a baking dish, pour over with a simple sauce, top with cheese and serve with a leafy salad. My favourite (but slightly more expensive) is a riff off my Turkish-Cypriot dad’s cooking. Lamb mince, spinach and onion cooked with lots of garlic. Stir into cooked pasta, add lots of dried mint. Stuff into baking tray. Break an egg into a carton of single cream and pour over. Top with grated cheddar and halloumi.

    Curry. I’m a damn good curry cook, and the great thing about curry is you can make it out of whatever you want. I’ve made lamb curry, chicken curry, sausage and mushroom curry, spinach and cashew nut curry. Mine is usually an Indian-style rather than Asian-style curry, because I love the spices used, but we’ll sometimes have a Thai green curry as a treat. For that I don’t bother with a salad, because I use SO MUCH veg in the main dish that it really isn’t needed.

    Risotto and Paella. My pork and chorizo paella uses no seafood, so is cheap, but great with a big salad on the side. And the leftovers get stuffed into wraps for lunch the next day. My risotto isn’t really a risotto so much as rice cooked in stock and/or milk, with some sort of meat, or vegetable, and/or cheese stirred in.

    I try and do a Sunday roast once a month. Used to be a weekly thing when I lived near family, but then again it was always my nan cooking it anyway! Because it’s just the two of us, I don’t do a big joint of meat. I will make stuffing and yorkshire puds, though, because a roast isn’t a roast without them. The veg might be any combination of potatoes, carrots, squash and onions roasted, with any combination of brussel sprouts, cabbage, brocolli and broad beans either steamed or tossed in melted butter in a pan until they start to blacken. The other half LOVES bubble and squeak, so I always make extra so there’s plenty of leftovers.

    Other than that, we mostly live off of stir fry. My current favourite veg is pak choi – whatever other veg I’m stir frying, I’ll add a whole pak choi for each of us at the end of the cooking time, steam it over the rice or noodles until soft and then quickly toss it in the pan in hot sesame oil and garlic.

    Oh! And I LOVE lamb hearts. But those tend to go with chunky, barley-rich soups and other Wintry dishes. Not the same in Summer.

  272. JoAnn

    This salad sounds amazing and will certainly make it into our rotation – we love feta and I have a huge tomato and cucumber garden this year. Just seeing all the bright colors of fresh veggies on the plate is inspiring!

    During the summer, we often have caprese salad, which gets better as it sits, so always makes a good lunch leftover. We also love Tabbouleh, which I can fill with lots of fresh veggies from my garden. I also love pasta with my home made arrabiata sauce.

    During the colder months, we have 2 dishes I make a lot, one is a farro risotto with butternut squash and sage and the other is a skillet dish with diced chicken breasts, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes (my own), lemon zest, capers and good olive oil, sprinkled with romano. We might add pasta or just eat it as it is. As we move into the spring, I’ll add different veggies from the garden.

  273. Katie

    Great post, Deb! Since I bought the Jerusalem cookbook last year, we’ve had his fattoush on the table almost weekly. We toast some pita in the oven with lots of olive oil and salt, and while that’s going chop up some veggies (whatever I have around), and herbs, then dump the dressing on top. Minimal clean up, insanely satisfying!

  274. Kathryn

    Not only does the Greek Salad look fabulous, but I’m bookmarking this page for all the other dinner rotation comments as well! I really REALLY need some simpler things in the rotation myself.

  275. Alyssa

    We love a salad of mixed greens, toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, grape tomatoes, sliced baby carrots, and blue cheese with a champagne vinaigrette at my house. I’m very picky about salads and this is my favorite.

    We also do tacos in various incarnations from carnitas to chicken to ground turkey (aka gringo tacos). A BLT with an herb-garlic-lemon mayo is also a favorite.

  276. HK

    My go to is a black bean quesadilla with a fried egg on top. My husband ordered this a dish in Vegas a few months back at a steak restaurant, seeing that it was one of the few vegetarian dishes (though he eats eggs). I myself ordered a steak, cooked medium, of course. But I did try his dish and it was phenomenal. When we returned home, later in the week I decided to try my hand at it. I sauteed some garlic, added some red onion, a little bit of diced serranos. Then later added in some finely chopped bell peppers (which ever you have on hand). Then took a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and added them to a pan, with a little bit of water. Add some salt, black pepper, a little sprinkling of garlic powder and definitely some oregano. I let that cook down till the beans are soft. In the meantime, I make an open faced quesadilla (tortilla with some jack cheese) in the oven to crisp around the edge and melt some cheese. I also (in the meantime) fry an egg, sunny side down, with a little bit of pepper, but making sure the middle is still a little runny. Once cooked, I top the tortilla with beans, and top that with a fried egg. To be served with a side of salsa or hot sauce….. its either this.. or Indian food :)

  277. Everyone’s dinner inspiration here is so yummy but fancy! My number one go to meal is Lively it Up Lentil soup from 101 Cookbooks with some extra veggies in it, and a nice batch of hot muffins.

  278. Lately its been a lot of tuna sandwiches and veggies on the side, though summer go to’s are often chickpea tacos, and quinoa with black beans and avocado!

  279. Alison

    I make a version of Jamie Oliver’s tomato bake at least once every couple of weeks during tomato season ( I use whatever tomatoes look the best, and switch up the meat between sausage, chicken sausage, and chicken thighs (the chicken thighs need an extra 45 mins at 350, and the skin gets really crispy on top). Sometimes I use basil from the garden, and sometimes rosemary and thyme. I always go heavy on the crushed red pepper and garlic. Garlic cloves roasted with the tomatoes and meat really gives this dish incredible flavor. I serve it with pasta, polenta, cannellini beans, crusty bread…whatever I have on hand. This dish is SO EASY and never fails to be delicious.

    I also gravitate toward quite a few easy dishes from your site. Your egg salad is incredible, and the pork tacos with pickled red onions make a regular appearance in our house. Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas and recipes!

  280. JP

    I like to read the comments, but at #326, I can not do it all in one sitting so not sure if this has been asked. I am asking for clarification (edit being my middle name), on “which I’d encourage us bust him for if I hadn’t…” Is this some hipster talk I don’t get?
    Interesting to see how few comments include beef…a lot of quinoa, a lot of veg, some chicken and fish. The times they are a changin’!

  281. alyssa

    I’ve got a one pot recipe I use all the time. It couldn’t be simpler, and it lends itself well to substitutions.
    I cook quinoa on the stove (in water, broth, lemon juice, or whatever I have) and when almost all the water is gone and it’s simmering, I add my greens on top with salt (typically kale).
    Then I dump everything in a big mixing bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, almond slivers, goat cheese, and whatever herbs I have on hand, but I have to say I’m partial to loads of pepper and parsley.
    You could do the same with feta and walnuts, or toasted pine nuts and parm, and if you want it for dinner instead of a side dish, I borrowed from you: add a fried egg. :)

  282. Avilene

    Hi Deb,

    I am a college student, so my dinner rotation is not very fancy but I try hard to not eat like a poor college student.
    One of my favorite dishes is orzo with feta and chicken-apple sausage. (I cube & cook/fry the chicken apple sausage, I cook the orzo in chicken broth, and I cut up some tomato and spinach. Once the sausage is browned enough, I mix in the tomato and spinach and a generous amount of sun dried tomato & basil feta cheese and the orzo). The sun dried tomato & basil feta cheese melts away and is like the sauce to this delicious pasta dish.
    Other favorites are spinach-artichoke & alfredo pasta, and honey & dijon mustard panko breaded chicken with broccoli rice. But most of our daily dishes consist of something chicken related.

  283. Linda

    Bibimbap. It’s a Korean dish with leftover rice that I top with whatever veggies and/or meat I have in the fridge. Usually I top it with a sunny side up egg and serve it with a chili pepper paste.

  284. AP

    Fajitas/quesadillas are my go-to meal. If I’ve got the meat prepped already, so much the better – but it basically gets a quick marinade of lime & crushed garlic, plus my custom spice blend. It soaks while I cut & grill the veggies. They come out, the meat goes on, the tortillas get warmed. If I’ve got a ripe avocado it gets crushed. If it’s high summer, pico de gallo gets quickly made. Unless I’m cooking for a huge crowd, it’s usually all done within 20 minutes, and pretty healthy.

  285. Alison

    My husband and I have certainly cut down on midweek dining out by establishing a repertoire of meals that are quick/easy to make but still delicious. The only thing I worry about is sometimes we got overly attached to certain recipes and we eat them to the point that we’re bored. A few of our staples have come from your site!

    We both love Mexican, Greek and Italian food. He was raised on Indian food, and I like it but find a lot of it very rich. I’m mixed on Thai – I prefer thai food that isn’t dominated by coconut milk.

    Our favourite flavour staples include cilantro, lemon, lime, red onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, chili, and feta. It’s amazing what the variations you can come up with using combinations of the above.

    We love spaghetti alio olio y pepperoncini with cherry tomatoes (we’re spice nuts). For variety I also do a version from Donna Hay that includes zucchini matchsticks and lemon zest/juice.

    We frequently make a pork tonkatsu recipe from bon appetit. Vegetable accompaniment varies – sometimes shredded carrots with a french vinaigrette sweetened with a hint of honey, sometimes this amazing green bean recipe from Food 52 that includes feta, red onion, and a squeeze of lemon.

    The roasted carrot/avocado dish you posted a few years ago is one of my absolute fave veggie dishes – sometimes i mix it up by including roast beets (preferably the golden ones)

    We frequently make tortilla soup with added veggies; recent soup faves include your roasted tomato soup with cheddar toasts and a roasted red pepper/leek and potato one.

    My husband can’t eat beef (cultural reasons) or seafood (allergies), and we’re both meh on fish. So that means lots of chicken and pork, with lamb making an occasional appearance. My fave way to up the veggie count is various versions of stirfried meat/veggies and rice. I wish I could say I eat brown rice, but I haven’t been converted. And probably never will be.

    Jamie Oliver’s ‘cracking burger’ recipe made with ground turkey thighs tastes almost as good as beef burgers (to me).

    I’ll also do a kitchen sink orzo salad in which the only “must have” ingredient is macedonian feta – everything else is up for grabs.

    Sorry this was so long!

  286. This looks delicious! Something I make again and again is Italian meatballs. Ingredients for the meatballs are lean minced beef, basil, oregano, parsley (herbs can be fresh or dried), cumin, parmesan cheese, half an onion, breadcrumbs, an egg, salt & pepper. Ingredients for the sauce are chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned), onions, cider vinegar, cinnamon, salt & pepper. I’m sure I don’t need to go into detail on the method but basically make the meatballs, fry them off to brown, have sauce cooking on stove and then transfer it to a casserole dish when meatballs are browned and put the meatballs on top of the sauce, cover and cook in the oven for about 60 to 90 mins.

  287. JP

    The problem with reading all these comments is that I am now hungry and it is 9:30 in the morning and I ate breakfast! You must have the biggest “readership” of great cooks anywhere!

  288. Missy

    Our go-to summer lunch meal is grilled vegetable sandwiches on a toasted baguette with a caper dressing and goat cheese. Yum. In general, I make a ton of stir fry, often with soba noodles. Love Greek salad!

  289. Pamela

    3 words: Bean. Soups. Slow-cooker. Okay, technically 4 words, but I do a different one every Monday and for 20 minutes of prep I have a week’s supply of food! Usually freeze some so I don’t OD on it.

  290. Mira

    A regular for dinner – vegetarian taco salad, especially with homemade goopy beans and quick salsa from fresh heirlooms. Go to winter side dish – roasted broccoli

  291. Ella

    A few regulars for dinners:

    – grilled chicken and rainbow greek salad with rice or bread or potatoes
    – baked maple garlic salmon with rice and some sort of green veggie (kale, broccoli, cucumber salad)
    – homemade burgers from the freezer on the grill (every couple weeks)
    – unfortunately, eating out far too much – so so so busy!

  292. Our family used to be quite into pasta, tomato sauce, and… Its simple, I know, and I’m sure everyone uses it. But we’d throw in shrimp or spicy italian sausage, veal, something, anything, and it was quite quick.

    One of my mothers great inventions are her turkey burgers. She literally just throws vegetables in them. Her secret is a mixture of dark and light meat, and whatever else we have in the kitchen, but especially carrots and cilantro. I’m sure her general skill with meatballs from being Italian helps as well.

    Personally, I’m a fan of French lentils. I like them warm or cold. With caramelized shallots, with reduced balsamic vinegar, with a bunch of chickpeas, under some poached fish, whatever. They are always wonderful.

  293. Nancy from SoCentral PA

    Wow! Gorgeous! I remember my disbelief when I heard REAL Greek salads didn’t have lettuce and the two Greek brothers who own the local steakhouse confirmed it! The brother who cooked promised to make me a real salad when the tomatoes were in season. It was so simple, but what a wonder of flavors! It was sunshine in my mouth! Must have crusty bread to sop the dressing.

    My summertime rotation is an Italian bean salad. Rinse and drain a can of cannellini beans. Toss in a bowl with seeded, chopped tomatoes, some minced garlic, fresh basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar and S&P to taste. Switch it up and use black-eyed peas instead, add avocado, lime juice and whatever fresh herbs you have around in place or in addition to basil. That version is great with some grilled shrimp or flank steak. Also, Cooks Illustrated’s oven-baked brown rice with lemon and herbs. Wonderful hot, but even better chilled with chopped veggies, some ricotta salada or crumbled feta, a bit more lemon juice and whatever leftover protein you’ve got in your fridge. The absolute best meal for 90-degree days.

  294. Nicole Evon

    For summer our go to dinners are breaded chicken cutlets, pan fried in olive oil, over arugala or fresh spinach with capers piled on top & the juice of a lemon & a glug of really good olive oil (and a fresh baguette & some rose’). Also nicoise salad…I’ve started boiling fingerling potatoes & eggs, steaming green beans & making the dressing over the weekend (dressing from the nicoise salad recipe in the Joy of Cooking). I dress the pre-cooked veggies with half the dressing & keep them in the fridge. Then when it’s time to eat I assemble it all on a big platter with some greens underneath, grape tomatoes, good canned italian tuna in olive oil & some capers & kalamata olives on top & the rest of the dressing drizzled over. Planning on working greek salad into the rotation now that I found this recipe :)

  295. Stephanie S

    Hey, I have a question for you. I’m a college student and starting to concentrate on making more meals for myself, but one thing that always stumps me is when recipes call for only a portion of a vegetable, like half a cucumber or 1/4 of an avocado. I don’t really want to scale up a recipe because I’m just cooking for myself, and I don’t want to toss half of the vegetable, so what do I do? Thank you!

    1. deb

      Stephanie S — Great question. I really, really, really do try to make recipes that call for things in the formats they arrive in (or at least neat 1/4 or 1/2-pounds), but still felt that half the pepper was better here. But! It’s not that big of a deal. So, you can use the whole pepper, or, you really can double this salad. The vegetables will stay crisp in a container for several days, and you can just add the lemon/olive oil/feta to each dish you eat.

  296. Bethany


    This is one of my favorite posts of yours. I love the happy simplicity of the photos and how genuine they are. All of your posts feel that way – honest, happy, with lots of integrity. And also, it is SO much fun reading other people’s go-to recipes. I feel like I’m set for the summer now, since I trust pretty much anyone who reads you religiously to have fun and interesting ideas in the kitchen. Thank you for this post!

    My go-to dinners change based on if I’m cooking for the boyfriend and myself or just for me. He trains horses all day so needs much more fuel than I do after work. In the summer I’ll make salad nicoise, or raw kale salad with red pepper flakes, lemon, oil, and sea salt, or bruschetta with LOTS of basil and garlic, or some pasta with strong hard cheese and summer squash. For him, regular comfort food applies, with slight tweaks: shepherd’s pie with lamb, nachos with local chorizo and goat cheese, moules frites (he LOVES your recipe), lobster bisque, mac and cheese with gruyere and pancetta. Pizza with any and all seasonal things.


  297. Lily

    I go through “mono-eating” phases. A week ago I had curry soup (red curry paste, coconut milk, veggie broth, fried tofu and every vegetable I could find) every single night. Before that, spaghetti salad (cold spaghetti, raw broccoli, scallions, red peppers, carrots, dressing with soy sauce, garlic and peanut butter). Then egg salad sandwiches. And before that black bean chili. And before that German lentil soup (with brown lentils and a ton of vinegar). Pasta with creamed spinach and a poached egg. For at least two weeks it was Geschnetzeltes (made with soy chunks and mushrooms instead of veal) and Spätzle. And right now it’s salad – my standard formula is a green, a vegetable, a fruit, a nut and a protein – most often with a fried egg on toast.

  298. i am a big cold pasta/quinoa salad person for lunch – beans, tomatoes, quinoa, wheat berries whatever other veggies I have with some valentino sauce, salt, pepper, lemon juice I am good to go. However dinner is a different story – I crave comfy warm meals. I do lot of lentil soup mixed in with spinach for extra nutrition, pasta bake, chili. Now that summer is here, probably try to do more salad and recipes that does not require oven.

  299. Kate

    My current favorite is a rice bowl with brown or black rice. While the rice is cooking, I fry up some greens (spinach, kale, etc.) and bake some marinated tofu (soy sauce, garlic, ginger, orange). I then top the rice with the veggies and tofu, a healthy drizzle of sesame oil and topped with scallions.

  300. Casey

    Are those placements the hard kind, rather than fabric? I feel like those are a very east coast thing (my east coast in laws have them) and I can never find them here on the west coast. Where oh where did you find them?

    1. deb

      Casey — You meant placemats, right? I bought them from Dwell’s line from Target eons ago, but they’re not available anymore. They’re totally just sticker-covered board, but I found them brilliant and wish I could buy more and they’ve worn surprisingly well. I dislike floppy placemats, but find wooden ones annoying too.

  301. Lily

    Oh and I’ve only yesterday decided to work more couscous into my rotation. Cause there is nothing simpler and quicker than making couscous, and I could season it whichever way, right? I am dreaming of indian-inspired spinach dishes, or tomato salads, or chinese fried “rice” or maybe I could even find a way to turn it into something risotto-ish.

  302. I loved the snapshot of your weeknight meals!! Things in my weeknight rotation: a sunnyside up egg, sauteed spinach and tomato sauce on toast. Whole Living’s red lentil and sweet potato stew showed up rather frequently this past winter. And breakfast tacos, always breakfast tacos.

    On the subject on questions–what are your most requested recipes by your family/friends?

  303. Didi

    Love the presentation of this classic. On weeknights I like making some polenta slices (regularly changing the seasoning) which I serve with just about anything, from veggies, to cheese or meat.

  304. Sophie

    Two of my go-to recipes:

    Over 1 cup couscous (soaked in lemon juice and olive oil until tender) + 2-3 grated carrots + 1 can chickpeas (I’ve always peeled them, got surprised when I read I’m not the only one) + big bunch of chopped mint + 1 pomegranate + feta + olive oil and harissa dressing.
    Couple of shrimps + 1-2 carrots in ribbon (“peeled” to the end) + 1/2-1 cucumber in ribbon + 2 spoon dry wakame (soaked for 10 minutes and drain) + wasabi/sesame oil/rice vinegar/sugar dressing.
    It’s always a pleasure to read you. Please feed this blog forever!

  305. Richard O

    This looks very good. We will be working on our lawn and garden this weekend and this salad will be a perfect lunch or supper. Thanks so much.

  306. Susan from Pleasanton

    I’m the Lazy and Impatient Cook(self-styled) so I have lots of quick stuff in pantry and refrigerator. Recent find is little frozen packets of calamansi juice found in an Asian grocery. Also hard boiled eggs, Safeway roasted chicken, canned beans, tuna, Frontera jarred salsas, etc. I read a lot of food blogs, so have discovered that mixing a bit of mayonnaise with 0% fat Greek yogurt is really good. I’ve been making this quasi mayo and adding mustard dressing for chopped salads, adding whatever seems needed such as pickle, capers for added brightness. Avocados are plentiful now here in California, so I’ve been serving us each a whole avocado–the calamansi juice is killer on avocado. My husband specializes in melty cheese sandwiches (nuked) which he slathers with various jarred pepper jellies: pineapple jalapeño, etc. I know most of you will turn your noses up at microwaved “grilled” cheese sandwiches, but they really are good. When I make them, I toast the bread first. A shout of Thanks to you, Deb, and these commenters for the great ideas!

  307. We have some type of braised chicken drumsticks or bone-in thighs once a week (cheapest organic chicken!). Brown chicken, then brown whatever veggies you’re using, add herbs, stock and wine, simmer for 40 minutes, bacon is always a welcome addition here.
    We also do a fish taco plate pretty frequently. Grilled mahi, black beans, acocado, and whatever other salad or veggie you like

  308. pasta and cubes of homemade, frozen pesto is always our staple hurry meal. This time of year, our favorite fast meal is cooked pasta, some kind of cooked/roasted asparagus, topped with a runny egg and lots of parmesan and black pepper. Last night, I made a PA Dutch spring staple: potatoes, new peas, and ham cooked together with a white sauce made with the cooking liquid. And we had a green salad from our tiny garden and I opened a jar of homecanned pickled red beets. Oh, and biscuits, because my parents stopped by unexpectedly and I was trying to bulk up the meal.

  309. Alexis

    (Before I launch into my weeknight faves, as someone who considers herself a faux-cook, I cannot tell you what a joytastic feeling it is to see that the kind of things I make on a regular basis, OTHER people make too! Maybe I’m a good fiancé after all!)

    – Spaghetti Squash with Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs (meatballs baked stovetop in a cup of Classico tomato sauce…and I throw in a handful of chopped mushrooms and zucchini. P.S. Deb, MORE SPAGHETTI SQUASH RECIPES, PLEASE!)

    – Mashed Faux-tatoes (mostly cauliflower, a couple of mini Yukon golds, a good helping of salt, Country Crock, half-and-half, chives, all smashed up)

    – Sunday Salad (arugula, shallots, yellow cherry tomatoes, plum, peach, pomegranate seeds, Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette, tossed)

    – Year-Round Autumn-y Chard (saute 1/2 a sliced onion and a whole sliced apple until they’re both golden brown, add half a bag of rainbow chard, toss in a whole lot of cinnamon and dried ginger, salt and pepper, let it wilt…perfect as a side, add shrimp to it for a main)

    – And, of course, this (usually minus the cheddar…I have a wedding dress to fit into) (we usually add mushrooms and chicken to make it a good weekday lunch meal)

  310. Lindsay S.

    Some perennial favorites are
    ~Open faced (Jersey diner style) tuna melts on a baguette with black olives, tomato slices and green onions with sliced avocados and a side salad.
    ~Quinoa and black beans with shredded chicken, red bell peppers, chopped avocados and sour cream
    ~”Veggie wraps” – saute an onion and two colors of bell peppers in a bit of EVOO, a can of stewed tomatoes with juice (smooshed up), a can each of drained/rinsed black beans and kidney beans, and ultra generous amounts of chili powder and garlic. Heated through, and wrapped in a tortilla with sharp cheddar and a bunch of cilantro.
    ~ Italian sausage over a soft Parmesan polenta with (again) sauteed onions and bell peppers, and a side of Kale or spinach
    ~Soup and salad. We like corn and crab bisque (heavy on creole seasonings, served with crusty rolls for dipping), Hungarian style mushroom soup (paprika & sour cream), No-cream-of-broccoli, etc.

    Last night we had chinese-style potstickers (purchased), and triple veggie fried rice (made, with lots of zucchini, carrots, peas).

  311. Leta

    Greek Salad is one of our go to summer salads too! We also love chicken salad croissants w poppy seed, cranberry, and apple. I serve it with a side of fresh cucumber salad (equal parts sugar, water, and white vinegar + salt and pepper). Smoothies are a filling breakfast, and we love granola, yogurt and fresh fruit! Taco stew served on a bed of rice with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, and chips is a nice, easy substitute for nachos.

  312. What an ambitious readership you have! So many good ideas here! A workhorse in our home is a frittata. I always keep a couple dozen eggs on hand (excellent pre- or post-workout fuel), and can add any odds and ends of vegetables that need to be used up. Plus, it comes together so quickly. It can be rather elegant served with a green salad.

    I try to keep meat and processed foods to a minimum; we often eat brown rice, which makes an excellent stir-fry side (or fried rice), or a hearty burrito bowl with yams, black beans, whatever vegetables, homemade hot sauce (actually really simple!).

    Deb this is one of your prettiest posts ever! The overhead shots of your meals look like a magazine spread! (We love those meatballs!) I’ve been reading along for years, many of your recipes have become favorites in our home – thank you. In fact, before I even knew what a food blog was, I read your site and fell in love with the recipes. Ribs, to be specific. When I met you in Portland in November, you made me promise to send you a link to my blog – I never did – so here, you can see the photo of us together :)

  313. Leigh Anne

    5 years ago i realized that it was high time i learned to cook something (the developing human in my body helped make this decision an easy one) – and now I have a very specific form of cantrepeatdinneritis. I make something new and different every night. My husband thinks im psychotic but also adorable b/c my favorite part of every Sunday is pulling recipes for the week and tweaking them for what i have on hand/will or wont buy. He occasionally begs for “that thing you made that one time that turned out so great…” which is when i point him to the bulging accordion file of recipes we all liked. A lot of those success recipes are from this site — so… thanks Deb! :)

  314. Rachael

    I do pasta salads like crazy, with alllllll the vegetables! And tons of pickles. I do a mayo based dressing, because that’s what my mom always did.

    And I do stir fries frequently, with whatever veggies need to be used up, sometimes chicken, sometimes a handful of nuts (peanuts, almonds, or cashews) for crunch.

  315. Wendy

    A go-to dish for me is Liege Salad. There are many ways to make this Belgian salad but they all center around green beans, potatoes, bacon, and onion/shallot with a little vinegar and usually a drop or two of bacon grease (but you can sub an oil of choice instead). You can easily leave off the bacon for a vegetarian alternative. I like to eat mine with a hard boiled egg on the side (for protein) but it’s good to serve with steak (of any cut/quality) if that’s your sort of thing. Left over bacon gets made into BLTs.

  316. A.I.

    Lately, it’s been tacos once a week. Fish, chicken, or shrimp. Sometimes veggie. Whatever we have extra basically goes in. The fish taco recipe here is great. I also love the veggie taco recipe from At Home with Magnolia (a highly underrated and out of print cookbook).

    Quinoa and veggies with toasted pumpkin seeds and sprinkled parm. Again, this one tends to be a mix of whatever is seasonal and/or leftover.

    Frittatas (yay, breakfast for dinner!).

    Vegetable bibimbap (Matha S. recipe).

    Oh and for the childhood standby: Russian “kotleti” and home fried potatoes. Everyone makes these differently, but my family recipe involves ground turkey breast, dill, onions, and lots of breadcrums. My grandmother did a mix of three meats, an egg, and crusty old white bread. Your mother in law will probably have her own recipe. However you do it, the genius of this one is that you can make a batch of these on Sunday and then reheat as needed during the week. They are also surprisingly good cold. Magic food!

  317. Caroline K

    I don’t particularly enjoy cooking, especially not on weeknights. I tend to cook a lot of soups and stews–love to freeze half and “discover” it a few weeks later when I don’t want to cook. One of my favourites is a split pea soup with ham (and home-made ham stock) in a slow cooker. My other “go to” recipes are: fish baked in a salt crust (always juicy and quick to make) or a ma po tofu recipe I found.

  318. Cristy Lee

    My go-to works for breakfast, lunch or dinner (ahem, not that I’ve ever had it for all). Thinly slice a bunch of kale (any variety works), quick sauté it with lots of garlic, fresh ginger, a pinch of red pepper flakes, throw in some quinoa (cooked in one big batch and used throughout the week). Add in some fresh scallions, ramps right now!, jalapeños or bird’s chili, and a bit of coconut milk if on hand, if not, no big deal. Pour it in a bowl and top with a runny egg. (I use a cast iron so there’s hardly any clean up. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, make a well in the veggies and quinoa and put the egg right on in there and scramble it like w/ fried rice.)

    A new go-to will probably be your Japanese veggie pancakes, naturally with an egg on top. DUH-licious (had it last night, so quick and satisfying). Actually, anything in the “throw a runny egg on it” category wins with me. We go through eggs so much, I’d like to own my own chickens, though something tells me that wouldn’t go over well in the Tribeca highrise where we live. Hell, even the dog was a tough sell.

  319. Jess

    I love to make savory oatmeal under the guise of “breakfast for dinner.” Steel cut oats with a little salt and smoked paprika, topped with scrambled eggs, chopped tomatoes, and homemade guacamole. We’ve also done it without the scrambled eggs, and instead served the oatmeal with your scrambled eggs + goat cheese toasts. My husband will usually cook up some bacon and we always pronounce it our favorite meal ever!

  320. ladotyk

    This is so timely! With two kids under 3 and a full time job I’m always looking for something delicious and healthy that can be ready in 45 min. Here are some of my favorites:
    * Veggie burritos (yellow rice, beans, and whatever veggeis)
    * Snack night (cheese, crackers, salami, veggies to dip)
    * Roasted fish, brown rice and broccoli
    * Cheeseburger Salad (from Pioneer Woman)
    * Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese (from Joy the Baker)

    And the rest are yours! Scrambled egg toast, buttermilk chicken, smashed chickpea salad, etc.

    What’s for dinner tonight? Ratatouille subs!

  321. Kelly Culler

    Pasta of course with a quick tomato sauce or just olive oil, garlic,parm. We raise lambs so lamb chops on the grill, roasted potatoes. I’m on a pea kick right now, so peas with everything. Last night I made a chef salad to use up the ham and leftover roasted chicken and of course peas. Tonight we’re ordering pizza my daughter graduates Sunday and I’m making lasagna and fettuccine alfredo for about 150 people.

  322. Leah

    My favorite go-to dinner is cacio e pepe, with a hint of lemon and a glass of wine. Even when made correctly it is simple, satisfying and slightly sophisticated. And I usually always have the ingredients ready in my fridge and pantry.

  323. Rebecca Lucea

    Absolutely adore Greek salads and yours looks perfect!! I can see this recipe entering my kitchen this summer as I am a massive lover of Greek foods

  324. Leah

    My favorite go-to dinner is cacio e pepe, with a hint of lemon and a glass of wine. Even when made correctly it is simple, satisfying and slightly sophisticated. And I usually always have the ingredients ready in my fridge and pantry. It reminds me of being in Rome, so I get to daydream as I eat it. I actually prefer the method on, where you toast the pepper first. So delicious!

  325. Anna

    This looks fantastic! Have you ever tried grilling the feta? There’s a restaurant near me that serves a grilled feta platter (with olives, cucumbers, etc.) that is amazing. I thought of smitten kitchen today because I bought a “salted caramel” cookie at the coffee shop near where I worked and it was terrible! Salty, but dry and no caramel flavor whatsoever–it was more like a salty dry sugar cookie. I thought to myself, “how would Deb try and remake this cookie so it tastes awesome?”

  326. Devon

    This is absolutely one of my favorite areas of food talk. How do you please adults and kids regularly and creatively at dinner time? My friend Patrick Barber started a group on flickr called Dining Table Aerials for just this reason. Check it out! A regular classic around here for real emergencies is the farmer’s market chop and roast. Last night it was new potatoes, beets and rosemary on one tray and zucchini and lamb sausage on another. My girl has hers straight. The adults had theirs over curly escarole, dressed. This morning, my husband turned the leftovers into a tortilla (espanola). :)

  327. Audrey

    Just discovered this community of cooks! What fun to read! And I love reading that so many of you add your own touches to a recipe – as I do frequently. The only problem with that is when somebody asks me for a recipe for something of mine they really enjoyed, I don’t have a real recipe to give them:(

    This Greek salad will be on our dinner (or lunch) table as soon as I can get the grocery shopping lined up.

    Thanks everybody for sharing your cooking ideas –

  328. Dori

    My go to-s are
    –Anything on my little electric patio grill–okra is so good grilled, grilled asparagus with feta chunks, TJ’s frozen mahi, za’atar coated chicken are favorites.
    –Fish tacos with cabbage, mayo spiked with chipotle and lime
    –Chicken cutlets from your book, just arugula on top
    –Eggplant–either the chickpea and tahini yogurt version from your book, or topped with marinara, basil and mozz
    –Ottolenghi’s baked eggs with greens, garlic yogurt, and chili butter drizzle
    –A million versions of a szechuan stir fry with peanuts, meat, chilis
    –Beans and greens! Nothing else needed
    –Parmesan souffle. Call me crazy but I always have stuff for a quick one egg souffle in the fridge. Grocery store avoidance.
    –Farro (TJs quick cooking), roasted mushrooms, parm and parsley or cauliflower instead of mushrooms is good too
    –Dorie Greenspan’s lentil soup is great
    –Aarti’s Everyday red dal, really delicious and a full meal on its own.
    –Tostadas with refried beans, avocado, lettuce and salsa, + leftover meat if I have it

  329. Amanda

    Go-to nobody-really-feels-like-cooking meals: Filipino style chicken adobo, and a really quick smoked sausage stir fry over pasta.

    And thanks for inspiring me to go eat more tomatoes. :)

  330. My go-to meal is fried rice, since I always have rice, soy sauce, eggs, and frozen veggies on hand. The trickiest part is remembering to make the rice in advance if I don’t have any leftovers in the fridge. (Right now my rice is cooling in front of an open window, for example.) Loved this post and loved reading everyone else’s go-to meals!

  331. Amanda

    Spaghetti with meat sauce, big tossed salads, and one-pot dishes are our main go-tos. Lately I’ve been doing a lot with the crockpot, since it’s easier to get going in the afternoon while the littler one is napping.

    I’d love to hear more about what you feed your boy for lunches…my boys aren’t very picky but I just don’t have the gumption to cook twice a day!

  332. jan dash

    A to-go meal means something picked from the garden and eaten raw( where possible.) Raw salads or steamed greens figure on the menu almost every day.
    To fill out the menu I look to food blogs for suggestions.
    It’s winter in Australia now so I can’t use anything from the American web-sites for inspiration for another 6 months!

  333. Deanna

    I have a few go to meals. Spaghetti carbonara with whatever meat I have on hand (my mom even used to make it with hamburger). Ma Po Tofu, again, works with ground turkey instead of the pork or even leave the meat out altogether, over white rice is best. And then, chorizo tacos–no need to bother with meat seasonings if you use chorizo and then it’s easy to chop up whatever fresh veggies are on hand for fillers.

  334. Terri

    This sounds great! Will try it for my 2 year old grandson next week end. Around here, go to dish is fresh green curry (jalapeno, ginger, garlic, cilantro) pureed to a paste then added to lite coconut milk or non fat greek yogurt. That’s the base. Great sauce for baked halibut, or toss in the veggies (zucchini, edamame, snow peas, mushrooms) along with bamboo shoots & water chestnuts, maybe some chicken to add even more protein. Jasmine rice to soak up the juices. For a little more bite, cilantro mint chutney dabbed on top! I make a huge pot of this and we eat on it for days. The flavors just get better. Also, Turkey Chili, tortilla free fajitas, and the above green curry with roasted butternut squash and cauliflower and mushrooms. My vegan/daughter loves it!

  335. Laura

    Things we have over and over again:
    Puttanesca: which is basically diced tomatoes, some kalamatas, some capers, some oregano, some red pepper flake, cooked together 10 minutes while pasta is boiling and then add the pasta to the sauce. And its easy to add pretty much anything to it… spinach, white beans, tuna, different olives, carrots, etc.
    Homemade pizza: The dough is easy to make and the toppings are endless. I normally make my own sauce with some diced canned tomatoes, a clove of garlic and some italian spices simmering for 10 minutes and then blended. Super easy and fresh tasting for the marinara. Our current favorite for toppings is salami, lots of fresh greens and leeks with plenty of mozz and parm sprinkled on top of everything. Eggplant pizza with a little garlic/red pepper flake olive oil sprinkled on top is also divine when the eggplants come.
    Tacos: Endless variety, and it’s easy to use of veggies like radishes, carrots, greens that we always end up having sitting around.
    In the winter I tend to make a lot of varieties of soups that riff on the leeks/potatoes/greens bc we get local in-season veggies & fruits delivered to our door once a week and that is what we always have an abundance of. Right now we are awash in zukes, spring onions, wonderful strawberries and adorable little peaches. For the zukes I like to do just a simple grate (squeeze out the extra liquid with a few paper towels) and then add to some butter in a pan and fry up nice (the German woman I was a nanny for always cooked them this way and its the first time I ate zucchinis and actually liked them). Another great spring onion recipe is a frittata. You saute thinly sliced potatoes in olive oil for 10+ min, add diced spring onions and some fresh rosemary, s&p, saute some more and then add a bunch of eggs, cook til firm and then broil to finish. Super delicious and clean tasting.
    Sorry this was so long but I love to cook and the fresh local, in-season stuff has been such an inspiration the past couple years.

  336. Hi. I don’t really comment very often but I’m a big fan and I recently made your carrot soup with crisped chickpeas (okay, I omitted the chickpeas because the overcooked canned chickpeas I bought were simply a disaster that refused to crisp up) and the greek yogurt panna cotta (but with a blueberry coulis instead) on Sunday night for my sister and her boyfriend, who have been so kind to let me stay at their place for a couple of weeks. However, my go-to meals are two things I am obsessed with. One is a black bean taco (CORN TORTILLA ONLY!) featuring delicious black beans cooked with tons of chipotle in adobo sauce, topped with a fresh pico de gallo, cilantro, greek yogurt mixed with adobo sauce (omg, yum), fresh guacamole and a tiny bit of feta. I got it down to a science these days and it takes me an entire 30 minutes to put it together. The next go-to meal is a salad. I’ve been making this nonstop for the last couple of weeks: salad greens (not iceberg, ugh), chopped red onion, chunks of extra ripe mango, shredded carrots, chopped avocado, sliced cucumbers and feta, drizzled with a bit of a honey + white wine vinegar with the tiniest drop of sriracha and a healthy helping of black pepper. I will be full, but wake up with a small belly. Perfect in my book. I was obsessed with making a greek salad much like yours two months ago. I will bring it back to the permanent salad rotation! I like the lack of lettuce.

  337. Katie

    Anything with made with ground meat means my husband will actually eat the leftovers, so some of my winners include: shepherd’s pie, meatloaf, salisbury steak with mushroom sauce, and sloppy joes. Eggs are so easy, so we eat a lot of frittatas, shakshuka, and omelets. If I have leftover milk about to go bad, I make paneer and then curry it. Oh, and chicken salad, all the time.

    My go-to desserts include pecan pie, a PB & J coffee cake, banana butter cake, rice pudding, and a chocolate semifreddo I saw on Rose Levy Beranbaum’s blog a while back that is sooo easy and soooo delicious.

    For drinks once a week I’ll make sidecars (or a variation based on whatever liquor is in the house) or boozy hot chocolate.

  338. HK

    Also a quick question re: this recipe- would dried oregano work? I always feel bad buying fresh herbs, because most of it goes to waste (since my normal cooking doesn’t require most of these ingredients)

  339. laura

    My go to dinner is actually from your cookbook Deb! Your iron skillet roasted chicken is amazing….I add chunks of zucchini and mushrooms when I’m really lazy and need some extra veggies. the squeeze of lemon at the end brings an amazing zing. thank you once again for your simple and yummy recipes that always work!

  340. This Greek salad looks so vibrant and fresh! I am heading straight to the kitchen to make this for dinner right now! My go-to recipe on rotation these days is taco salad – make it at least once (sometimes twice) a week!

  341. EM-MV

    Love all these comments! I will come back and look through them again but I’ve already saved a copy of Vanessa’s pineapple fried quinoa & basil dish (easy to do because clicking on her name took me to her blog). I will not add my list of easy, regular meals unless I think of something that is missing from the above smorgasbord of greatest hits. Each year in the spring I find that I am a little stumped on how to switch gears from hearty, cozy winter meals to lighter summer fare. Great time to see what everyone else is making.

  342. Tapati

    I read once that most home cooks have ten standard dinners and I tried to quantify what my standards were in a forum I used to run. I started the topic off with my own list and others then posted theirs, so if anyone wants even more ideas here is the topic:

    What I learned to cook first was Indian food as a teenager who joined the Hare Krishna movement in the 70s. From there I branched out to other cuisines and incorporated vegetarian versions of foods I had growing up in Iowa. Then I got into fusions of things and am still experimenting.

  343. On my regular rotation:

    Caramelized onion and sweet potato tart (heavy on the balsamic), with a tucked on top and then flipped over after baking puff pastry crust.

    Spinach salad with strawberries, toasted almonds, and feta, served with garlic buns.

    Frozen perogies, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and baked till crispy (or just heated through if we’re especially hungry).

  344. Becky

    I can see I’m going to have to perk up my rotation!!

    Almost weekly we have a vegetable soup with whatever needs to be used up, calzones (just a super easy pizza dough recipe, mozzarella and pepperoni squished inside), kielbasa and potatoes – usually chopped & tossed together into the oven to roast, chicken breasts marinated in whatever I have with a side of couscous . . . geez, no wonder I love this site!! Now if only my 9 year old would eat something besides a PB&J.

  345. Abbie

    My go-to meals occur in bursts and cycles, where they persist for a few weeks and then fade and then resurface down the line. I cook for just me or my husband and me, and he’s not picky. These meals are always recipe-less. Recent go to meals have been very simple: roasted sweet potato and banana mixed up with steamed greens with some cayenne and raisins sprinkled on, spinach salad with lots of pickled ginger and peanuts with a sesame/soy sauce dressing, and, for the very easiest, an avocado mashed with soy sauce and wasabi and spread on toast with crunchy vegetables thrown on top.

  346. jen

    Chicken piccata tends to show up a lot, as does risotto with lingering vegetables. When I’m really lazy it’s chef salad – I always ask the deli for one quarter inch slice of ham and turkey, hard boil a few eggs, stop by Frisches for a bottle of ranch, and throw on a few of my ever lingering vegetables and we’re good to go.

  347. Elliza

    We do variations on garlic and anchovies softened in generous amount of olive oil, salt, and then addition of any vegetable that needs to be used first from the fridge. Toss it all over pasta.

  348. Taryn

    I’m in vet school, so I often get home late and still have a lot of work to do. My go to dinner is to buy a roast chicken, make some of PW’s restaurant styles salsa, and make super quick burritos when I get home each night: throw a tortilla on a plate, add some pepperjack and chicken, then microwave till hot. Top with some avocado, salsa, and maybe some lettuce.

  349. Gabrielle

    The go to dinner in my house is simple enough: pasta and sauce. Sometimes we plan ahead and saute up some ground beef or turkey; some days, it’s frozen ikea meatballs, because it’s what we have. We always used a jarred sauce (whole foods roasted veggie, or any brand four cheese is a good bet, and occasionally an arrabiatta if we’re feeling ambitious and spicy) but the kicker is to chop up fresh veggies and saute first: zucchini, peppers, carrots, celery even – and then pour the sauce over it to heat it up. It brightens everything up, makes you feel like it might be a little tiny bit healthy, and with some fresh cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan (fresh only!) – it’s awesome.

    Or crock pot chili. Spicy. Invest in McCormick’s Fiery 5-Pepper blend and put it on everything. And then, in the last hour of your chili cooking, grate in cauliflower! It takes on all the spice, absorbs extra liquid, and has a meat-like texture. If you use ground turkey instead of beef you can’t tell too much of a difference! It’s awesome!

  350. Irene

    Luckily, I peeked at my email and saw this mouth-watering post minutes before shopping at the Wed farmers market. Thank you for the fast, beautiful to behold, extremely tasty and handily consumed dinner! Frequent go-to dishes: roast chicken with the back cut out and flattened(cooks faster), Alice Waters French Cream of Cauliflower Soup, any winter squash soup with ginger, garlic, coconut milk…,sweet potato fries in the oven, swiss chard frittata with proscetto bits and aged cheese, chicken marbella, BBQ salmon…wait I’m getting hungry again…

  351. Bracha

    my go to dinner dish is roasted cherry tomatoes. take all different color cherry tomatoes (can also just use an heirloom tomato blend) just top with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and fresh chopped oregano and bake for around a half an hour. it makes a delicious flavorful side dish that goes well with meat, fish, and chicken. and tastes almost as delicious reheated the next day.

  352. Pam P

    My 2 cents: I live alone, so cooking just for myself can be either inspirational or ridiculous: last Sunday I had chips, salsa, a handful of M&M’s and a beer for dinner; tonight I baked a piece of salmon and roasted some asparagus :) I got over myself a long time ago and feel no shame in asking my grocery store fish monger/butcher/high school student for 1 pork chop or 1 5 oz piece of fish. It only took me 25 years to do it, but hey…
    My go to on any day of the week though is OMELETS–I put everything in those suckers! Protein, veggies and every cheese under the sun, including a slice or two of American pasteurized (whatevs…there is no shame in my game) and then toast an English Muffin and dinner is served :)
    I also roast a chicken once or twice a month. The first night I eat the thighs and wings and all of the skin ;) and then turn the rest into soup or enchiladas or chicken salad with almonds and grapes

  353. Helen

    Go to dinners: vegetarian chilli with quinoa, chickpea curry, red lentil tarka daal, pasta with sardines, pasta with lemon and broccoli, pasta with feta and fresh salad veggies, kimchee fried rice. and when i’m feeling lazy, scrambled eggs on toast.

  354. Beth

    Mmmm I adore Greek salad! I eat homemade pizza, salad nicoise, turkey chili, spaghetti with meat sauce, pork tenderloin with bacon and rosemary, salmon any which way, grilled cheese, and black bean burritos. When I’m really depressed I will admit that I make French Toast for dinner.

  355. my favorite go-to is a rice-quinoa bowl i make. i load it up with lots of veggies, and some sunflower and sesame seeds. i top it off with smashed avocado that has been mixed with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. while the veggies take a little while to cut, it’s a dish that lasts all week for leftovers, or as lunch. plus, the flavors only get better as they sit in the refrigerator and marinate together.

  356. Wow, I love to cook (ok mostly bake), but this post makes me realize just how slack I’ve become! I guess I can blame working full time, studying for a degree part time, living alone, and having a once-a-week helper who cooks enough food for 3-4 single dinners. And a high tolerance for monotony to eat those 3-4 identical meals in a week!

    Some things I have done in phases and pull out as needed:

    Tonkatsu sauce (for the Japanese fried noodle dish yakitori) along with a bit of soy sauce cooked into a wok of whatever veg I’ve got/grabbed on the way home and some rehydrated noodles or leftover rice.

    A stir-fry with tomatoes, eggplant, big chunks of green bean (the mammoth Asian ones), whatever other veg, maybe meat, with oyster sauce among other things (soy, broth) over rice

    Tuna casserole (soup packet, pasta, tinned tuna, frozen veg, milk – simple and always on hand)

    Someday I’d love to cook more! It’s just not a priority for me on a daily basis. Now breakfast on the other hand… I’ve almost always got homemade granola on the counter, homemade bagels in the freezer, or homemade English muffins from time to time also frozen – comes of living in a land were breakfast food is wildly different from my own but placing a high priority on a good start to the day

  357. Beth

    My husband’s current favorite, which is in heavy rotation at the moment:

    Cook onions and garlic in a bit of coconut oil, with a hot pepper if the kids aren’t going to eat it. Add some cumin seeds, coriander, salt and pepper. Add chopped bits of whatever leftover meat needs to get used up, throw in a chopped tomato, avocado, and handful of whatever cheese we have on hand. Sometimes I add a bit of dried coconut. Roll it up in a tortilla and fry in coconut oil on 2-3 sides. Serve with sour cream or guacamole. It’s delicious! A pound or so of meat will make enough to fill a package of 10 tortillas. I make more than we need because it reheats well in the toaster.

  358. Mia

    Our go-to weeknight dinner is popcorn with sea salt and parmesan cheese, with steamed brocolli on the side. I put a basic tahini sauce on my brocolli, my husband uses lemon juice, sriracha, and soy sauce. Popcorn is a whole grain!

  359. Anita S

    I read somewhere that the average family eats the same 10 things over and over. To me that just sounds boring! I plan my menus out for a month (given the schedules of the two senior citizens for whom we are responsible) and try not to repeat within the month. Some of our favorites that appear regularly are your 3 Bean Chili, your Shells and Peas from the cookbook, your Buttermilk Roasted Chicken and something we call “Mommy’s Non-Sucky Dinner”. When my daughter was 11 or so (you know “that age”) I made this sausage skillet supper and she said “that doesn’t suck”. High praise at that age. She’s 29 and I still make it regularly.

  360. Ari

    Now that the CSA has started up again for the spring – our home late after Karate, running out again for a meeting go to dinners are:
    Egg burritos with a side of beans and greens
    Clean the fridge salad with grilled cheese on whole wheat
    Spaghetti and Meatballs (from the freezer)
    Mac’N’Cheese (from the box with extra cheese and noodles) with a side of frozen peas and corn (not thawed) for the kids, leftovers for the adults

  361. We honeymooned our way around Greece eating Greek salad everywhere! No olives except on the side. Crunchy bread with each resturant’s own twist. Feta omletts are good too. That was 34 years ago! Still a favorite including our 5 kiddos too. Going to try the lemon juice / olive oil only later today. Have a good one!

  362. Anna

    Oh, I forgot! Amateur Gourmets Brocolli and Shrimp is the EASIEST, most delicious dinner that is loved by all – including my toddler.

  363. Greer

    Pasta with homemade basil and pecorino pesto (made with either pine nuts or cashews), this curry ( that I’ve made so many times that I no longer need a recipe, potato and red pepper frittata, roasted tomato and red pepper soup with smoked paprika, veggie burgers with homemade chickpea chips, lots of meal-sized salads (vegetarian), stirfried veg (sometimes with tofu puffs) and peanut sauce on mung bean noodles, dahl and basmati, haloumi salad wraps, veg green/red curry…….

    My partner is vegetarian – so I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone in the past seven years. It’s been pretty exciting!

  364. Sherry

    The “go to” for us is ground turkey, garlic, onions, mushrooms, tons of powdered sage- browned, then dump in a carton of sour cream (I’ve been using Greek Yogurt lately) toss with cooked pasta, salt & pepper and top with parmesan.

  365. Stephanie

    This salad looks beautiful. Funny, though, my kids mostly eat romaine with Italian dressing. None of this fancy stuff. I make an Israeli salad variation cutting the peppers and cukes and maybe tomatoes very small, same with the feta, chop 1-2 sour pickles into it, and a bunch of dill. As summer comes, we’ll definitely vary it with the herbs–my oregano is taking over the world!

    We make tacos weekly. Soft corn tortillas, cheddar (habanero cheddar for the grownups), beans from the freezer, and whatever veg we have on hand. I’ll make salsa/slaw from tomatoes & peppers or from cabbage, depending on what we have.

    Last summer, my CSA fare got me started on roasting almost any vegetable. Hubby dislikes eggplant, but if I make a roasted copanata (sp?) he’ll eat every drop. Okra tossed in olive oil and salt and roasted in a cast iron pan creates “okra fries” that are a french fry analog the way kale chips are to potato chips.

    Too much cabbage? I saute onion, cabbage and whatever vegetables are in the fridge to be used. Then 2 choices: (1) Nathan’s mustard, crumbled tofu, caraway seeds and swiss cheese; (2) Trader Joe’s soy chorizo and some cheddar or jack. Eat it in a bowl.

    Thanks for sharing your simple nights and giving us the chance to be inspired & inspire each other!

  366. Hagit

    One of the easy go-to dinner at our house is homemade chicken shawarma. Its a big hit with my young boys and hubby. Found the receipt on another blog (mybissim by Hilla Kariv) and been making it about one a week since. Its easy, it fast and goes well with pita pocket and some homemade tahini and salad. Best thing is that I can make some extra and boys would eat this for lunch at school next day as well..
    Its my first comment here, and just wanted to say that I am (quietly) following your blog for the last five years now and its definitely my favorite. Receipts are very accurate and easy to follow, and the pictures are beautiful. Oh, and the book is one of my favorite cooking books too.

  367. Lori

    I love the simplicity of this greek salad! Our go-to meal in the fall and winter is pan seared chicken breast with caper and sun dried tomatoes: my husband can’t get enough of those flavors. In the summer, it’s Mahi Mahi any and every way, but popcorn encrusted is a fav.

  368. Susan

    I don’t really have a dinner rotation anymore. I tend to go on seasonal food benders these days. I’ll find something at a restaurant that I like and try to recreate it at home. I’ll go to the farmers mkt and buy the vegetable that’s most in season then see how my favorite online cooks are preparing them and glean ideas from there. My husband always let’s me know when he’s getting tired of my latest obsessions! I let my vegetable choices dictate what my entrée will be if I haven’t managed to make said veg into the main course! It’s really hit or miss around here! (mostly hit!)

  369. Christina

    Taco salad is our go-to, just about every week. Some ground meat (chicken, turkey, bison, beef) with the right seasoning (we cheat and use a packet but I’ve been meaning to mix some up to keep on hand) and a choose-your-own toppings salad with the best greens I can find; chopped sweet pepper, onion, tomato, and avocado; my husband’s favorite salsa; and optional shredded cheese or sour cream. My husband adds chips to his and we’ve been known to make a side of rice as well. Easy peasy and ready in 15 minutes!

  370. sillygirl

    This is also one of our easy meals since making a tour of Greece a few years ago. I was so happy to have Greek salad everywhere we went – otherwise I miss my veggies. We went to Turkey two months ago and I was thrilled in some hotels to see tomatoes, cukes, onions, feta cheese (or something close to it), olive oil and vinegar on the breakfast table along with arugula – I had salad for breakfast every day!

  371. Mariah

    – I make your ginger fried rice at least once a week;
    – I also love fish/chicken picatta;
    – Brown rice pasta with spicy Italian turkey sausage with broccoli (or any veggie in season), garlic, parm, red pepper flake;
    – Mussels in white wine and garlic with either bread or linguini;
    – Linguini and clam sauce;
    – Homemade falafel – super easy – everything (chickpeas, cumin, garlic, onion, dill, egg, panko, lemon juice/zest ) in the food processor over a salad or with pita with tzatziki and tahini dressing
    – Fajitas;
    – When i am feeling ultra lazy cheese, bread, wine with fruit (i call it the my parisian dinner)

    Basically anything really cheap, easy and healthy that can be made in 30mins or under.

  372. Mandy

    Oh goodness, so excited to see this post and can’t wait to read everyone’s comments. Our go to’s are usually gluten, yeast, and sugar free – your post for crispy black bean tacos w cabbage slaw, or refried beans (pintos sauteed with onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes). Last night’s was leftover quinoa (with lemon, cilantro, and olive oil) and sauteed haricots verts with a sauce of equal parts miso paste, tahini, and a splash of lime juice. Then gaucamole with sardines (sounds weird, but is surprisingly good) for protein and omegas. We also love pasta with roasted asparagus and goat cheese, or with homemade marinara sauce (san marzanos simmered with onion, garlic and olive oil or butter), I throw all my leftover spinach/arugula into the pasta water at the end to use it up and give us a portion of greens.
    I also try to make a double batch of soup/chicken or whatever we eat on the weekend for leftovers during the week. At this point, we both work and don’t have a dishwasher (in our tiny BK kitchen), so our main goal is often to make the most food with the least dishes!

  373. Danica

    We make “kitchen sink pasta” regularly, mainly because we always have something that needs to be used up. We boil some shaped pasta, reserve about 1 c pasta water, then saute up whatever veggies/mushrooms we have around with chicken sausage, a little olive oil, garlic, basil (trader Joes cubes often enough), and then finish it with some goat cheese and pasta water to thin out the cheese. I also will throw in veggies I’ve frozen because they weren’t going to be eaten before rotting.

    Or microwave risotto with some form of protein or mushrooms.

  374. Microwave a sweet potato, open a can of black beans, scavenge for whatever other taco-type ingredients might be in the fridge (greens, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, avocado – usually it is only one or two of the above list). Pull frozen corn tortillas out and heat them on the stovetop (try not to set off the smoke alarm). Put all ingredients on the table and assemble the tacos as I go. I probably make these at least 1-2x/week on average. I see other people are quick-taco fans, although I’m vegetarian so depend on the beans for the protein.

  375. I make spaghetti and home made meatballs almost every single week. We never get sick of it! I will make twice as many meatballs as I need and freeze half, to make things easier the next time around.

  376. Oh, also lately I have been making and freezing burritos according to this:
    …and they have been THE BESTEST. They are more snack-sized than dinner-sized, but they can easily be dinner when combined with something else (yogurt, a fruit salad or green salad, etc.) and being able to grab a burrito from the freezer turns out to be a great idea in all kinds of situations. Also, there’s some kind of strange feeling of wealth that comes from having a WHOLE BAG of burritos in your freezer.

  377. Sara

    I like to pick two recipes that I want to try and devote time on Sunday to making them up for the week. That way I can rotate between them and not get bored! But it takes practice to learn what gets better with a few days in the fridge and what gets mushy and gross. That said, my go-to meals often involve roasted veggies of whatever sort looks good that week (green beans are a huge favorite-especially when crisped!) paired with a marinated chicken or fish with a spice rub. And I’m not above a giant caprese salad for dinner…

  378. Allie

    My favorite, and fastest, go-to meal is to cook whole wheat pasta and eat it with fried zucchini, pesto (bought fresh at the market), fresh parmesan, and toasted pine nuts. For a true fall back I do poached eggs on toast.

  379. Julie

    The greek salad is also my go to. I like to change it up by adding different proteins to the base salad. Just last night I had it with chicken breasts and cannelini beans. Sometimes I’ll toss it with some shrimp. Definitely a favorite of mine.

  380. Nora

    Deb, I’m sure you’re not eager to write another cookbook right now, but I think a book of easy, quick recipes would be amazing! The simpler the better but with that Smitten Kitchen touch of greatness that we all know and love. Think about it :)

  381. Erin

    At least twice a week we have a store bought rotisserie chicken (crisped up under the broiler) and roasted lima beans (from freezer to baking sheet, olive oil and salt, roast until a bit brown). We always have a second side dish, whatever is on hand, with my favorite being sweet potato cut into fry shapes and baking, roasted cherry tomatoes, pinto beans with lots of chili powder…

  382. Tapati

    Lots of great ideas and sites to explore mentioned here. I am bookmarking this so I can come back to it again and again. Thanks, everyone!

  383. Erin

    Can I also say Deb that I LOVE your chicken with olives and grapes from your cookbook? That is so easy to make and tastes like it took forever but it takes about 30 mins including prep time!

  384. Cynthia

    I’ve been making a crustless quiche with greek yogurt tomatoes, onion, garlic and chard or kale. I can fit the pie pan in my toaster oven and I don’t have to turn on the oven and heat up the house. It’s already too hot in Texas.

  385. Claire

    Saute onions and garlic, maybe with sliced sausage if I have some, then add chicken broth, canned petite diced tomatoes, halved green pimento olives, frozen corn and peas, a can of kidney beans, some Sazon seasoning (the yellow stuff – though I use one that doesn’t have MSG) and then a cup of white rice. If you want to be decadent you can melt a little shredded montery/pepper jack cheese on top before serving. Shredded leftover roast chicken would be a good addition too.

    Another goodie: Brown a pound of ground beef with oil and chopped onion and garlic. Add a bunch of canned tomato or whole tomatoes mashed up, a lot of chili powder, some italian seasoning, a can of kidney beans and some frozen corn. Simmer a bit, then add cooked macaroni elbows. Top with shredded jack cheese and melt. So comforting.

  386. JensCooks

    We cook a large variety of dinners, but two of our go-tos are:

    Oven fried chicken – rinse chicken thighs, shake them in a bag of seasoned flour (we use salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, but you can use what you like), put them on an oiled, foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 450, flipping once. We make this with GF flour, but it works with any flour. Crispy and yummy!

    Grilled sausage with pasta amatriciana: saute pancetta, remove from pan, saute onions in same pan. Add crushed garlic. Add tomatoes, stock, red wine, cooked pancetta, red pepper flakes, oregano. Cook until done. (20 minutes?) Serve over pasta with grilled sausage.

  387. Petra

    Made this for lunch today for my college daughter who just came home until she leaves for a summer internship in NYC! Lucky girl and I just found your Deb’s NY blog! It was this budding foodie who turned me on to you when she asked for your book for Christmas! I have so enjoyed so many of your recipes since early Jan. Thank you both! This salad was simple, faboo and reminded me of my childhood. Growing up in Ohio, my Macedonian/Greek parents had a huge backyard vegetable garden of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions. I loved coming home from school smelling roasted red peppers- mom canned everything we didn’t eat in the fall. When harvested, there was nothing like a home grown fresh salad of these veggies. Olives were on the table usually not in the salad and they always bought Bulgarian feta (today I prefer the French feta) and they used red wine vinegar instead of lemons. But I must say, your version hit it out of the park today and rivaled my memories of tasty heaven. Thank you again for another winner.

  388. I make a lot of “bowl” foods that require little to no cooking. Ideally, they include things that are leftover so we can use up what’s in our fridge and pantry before it goes out. One of my favorites is a bowl dinner with brown rice (or rice noodles), shaved carrots, broccoli, sprouts of some kind, black beans, cilantro and a peanut sauce. It’s so easy and if I make the rice and sauce ahead of time, it takes no time to prepare. Plus, I can make enough for lunch the next day and it’s also easy to adjust the ingredients to make different flavor profiles.

  389. maija

    My dinner rotation in winter:
    *chili – black bean/sweet potato, turkey/pumpkin/white bean, veggie
    *soup – minestrone, mushroom barley, Shutterbean’s black bean/sweet potato/veg
    *enchiladas – chicken or black bean/sweet potato (see a theme here?)
    *baked potatoes usually topped w/broccoli & cheese. I usually do extras to make twice-baked the next day.

    My dinner rotation in summer:
    *white bean/green bean/potato salad w/vinegar/oil/basil dressing
    *salads with cheese (caprese, Greek etc)
    *my pasta formula: pasta w/sauteed sausages, some kind of veg, and goat cheese w/pasta water to thin it. Lots of lemon squeezed over.

    All year long:
    *Baked Tofu Trio: 1) slathered in BBQ sauce + baked beans + sauteed kale/greens/broccoli or 2)TJ’s teriyaki sauce + rice/quinoa + roasted broccoli
    *Easy Fish: Dip fish in 1)a mix of equal parts lemon juice + honey +mustard then 2)panko or bread crumbs + thyme + s&p. Bake at 400 till done. Usually serve with sweet potato fries.
    *tacos, of course!

  390. We have a weekly rotation (hope it will change a bit now that we can get some better veggies–and soon my little gardenette will be producing). We have a very tight budget, so we eat a lot of Mexican-style foods. We make a chicken once a week, and it goes straight the first night with potatoes and veggies; next it’s in tortillas with a wonderful tomatillo sauce and melted jack; then it’s in tacos. We also make a small roast once a week, and that gets eaten with a conventional veggie or two or a salad, and it appears again in stir fries and tortillas. Leftovers make for sandwiches on rye with Russian dressing (a leftover from my NY days). There’s usually a “you’re on your own tonight” night, with grilled cheese and Calimari-tomato sandwiches, homemade choc chip cookies, maybe a sliced mango or some strawberries. Boring, but still very, very tasty food. Well, soon we’ll have our own tomatoes, squash, peppers, and herbs to change it all up.

  391. This is so in-line with my week! It started with a Greek salad in a restaurant on Friday, and morphed into consecutive days of Greek salad. I have go-to breakfasts and lunches, but not dinners. Those are an adventure!

  392. Ash

    I totally made a variation on this Greek salad twice this week. I did warn the Guy that this was going into heavy rotation.
    Though second on that list of weekly standards is my Friday night favorite, the standard charcuterie + cheese board. A bit of bresaola (i’m hooked. those who aren’t must try it), maybe some speck, a hunk or three of whatever cheese is my favorite that week, seasonal fruit or veg, quick homemade jam, and the crustiest loaf of bread I can get. So love.

    {The Board and Wire}

  393. I love to make homemade pizzas! I use a mixture of whole wheat and bread flour for the dough, and my favorite toppings lately are, in fact, Greek style! Feta, zucchini, artichokes, olives, onions, garlic – all on top!

  394. Klara

    I live on my own and have to get by on a pretty tight budget, but I still like to get creative in the kitchen and eat healthy (mostly vegetarian), and most importantly: not the same thing over and over again. This past week’s dinners have included:
    *an absolutely divine omelette with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and parmesan
    *your lentil and tomato stew (love that one because it’s delicious, cheap, uses only one pot and reheats really well)
    *lemon pasta (melt a spoonful of butter, add some olive oil, lemon zest + juice, thyme or fresh basil and mix with cooked pasta – awesomeness!)
    *mushroom toast (slice and stir-fry onions + mushrooms of your choice, add herbs, salt + pepper, put on toast, top with a mix of sour cream and grated cheese, bake in the oven until golden)

    My home country’s cuisine (Austria) also has some nice quick meals that I like to make when money is tight, like cabbage & square pasta (, Kaiserschmarrn (, Strudels (my favorite is zucchini & cheese & ham, close second is potato & spinach & feta) or Käsespätzle (

    also brazilian chicken in sweet corn sauce (try that if you haven’t – it’s amazing and easy!), red lentil pasta sauce, different kinds of curries, and when i have the time: vegetable lasagna or tortilla española.

  395. Richie

    I was fortunate to live in Britain for a year some time ago. Walking home from the store one day I noticed a cookbook tossed out with the trash. It was Madhur Jaffrey’s “Indian Cookery.” I’ve since looked at other cookbooks by this author but this was most approachable in terms of ease of prep and flavors. In here is a recipe for ‘spicy baked chicken’ which is basically a rub with lemon juice. I usually use chix thighs and the results are just so good! There is a bit of juice when the chicken is done which, depending on the chicken parts used, could be a few tablespoons or more which I then add to a non-stick pan with whatever vegetables I have on hand coarsely chopped and then steamed til moisture evaps. and then it sort of stir fries in the remaining rendered chix fat and juices. This is my go to dish and one I have no trouble dressing up for company.

  396. Holly

    Our easy but yummy favorites take very little time, mostly because I buy frozen chicken tenderloins that I quickly steam and then brown in my trusty cast iron skillet. We have hot chicken sandwiches (Frank’s hot sauce on the chicken, LOTS of bleu cheese on toasted whatever-bread-I-have-on-hand, lettuce and tomato), chicken alfredo (I just add a bit of pressed garlic and pepper to the pan when the chicken is almost done, throw in some cream, let it simmer and reduce, then add a bunch of finely grated parm, asiago, pecorino romano, or whatever I have), and then an absolute favorite: lemon pepper chicken on Greek Salad. It is actually really similar to this, except we do red pepper instead of green and usually black olives. We also love fresh oregano, and luckily have it perennially growing in our garden (except for one month when the cold wilts it–oh yes, CA is nice that way). The other thing we make often are carnitas, because what is easier than using a crockpot to do most of the work?

  397. JanetP

    In the winter, I make “roast” a lot — roasted potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms with sausage or something on top, all cooked together for hours. Spaghetti with meat sauce (homemade with canned tomatoes) is my husband’s comfort food. In tomato season, spaghetti with tomatoes, mozzarella and garlic all marinated together in olive oil. My real go-to food, however, is rice.

  398. Dawn

    We have your Tomato and Sausage Risotto almost every week. So easy to make, filling to eat, and leftovers reheat wonderfully in a skillet with a bit of tomato juice. Chili and a healthier and lighter version of tuna casserole my mom made growing up are also in the regular rotation. As are eggs. Because they are delicious and so versatile.

  399. Sarah H.

    When I lived in St. Paul and was broke, the closest walkable stores were Asian markets with 99 cent produce sections. I’d eat the following about 3 times per week: Boil lemongrass with chicken broth or smoked fish in water. Put in whole okra and sliced eggplants, a bunch of mild greens, or any kind of squash to simmer – yum! Also, sardines in tomato sauce (spicy and plain both work) are marvelous when cooked with two or three times as much broccoli or mild greens and maybe more tomatoes. I eat it over rice or on toast with black pepper and a slice of cheddar cheese.

  400. K

    Now that I’ve bookmarked this for inspiration, my contribution is this: I make sassyradish’s version of harissa roasted chicken every week. Every. single. week. I make it with double the amount of chickpeas and onions and serve it with a salad with dressing of equal parts pomegranate molasses and olive oil and a big hand full of sliced almonds and goat cheese or feta crumbles. The roasted chicken is very easy to make and is ridiculously delicious. I just strip the spicy spicy delicious skin from the breasts at the table and serve the unseasoned meat to my kids (2 and 5). Of course, the spicy crispy skin is too delicious to waste, so the grownups might eat that, but we aren’t fessing up. When local carrots are around, I add in your Moroccan carrot salad with mint. Yum!

  401. Rachel

    Inspired by this recipe to make it lunch. Added bulgar,chickpeas and avocado. Now having it as written with dinner. Lovely and fresh.
    Go tos include tacos with lots of options for kids and adults. Stuffed shells which the kids devour.

  402. Bryan

    Beans and greens. It has a thousand faces–many of them cheap and satisfying. Works in a stock, red sauce, miso, anything. You can put a fried egg on it. Or cashews. Or both!

    I think what makes it such a go-to for me, however, is that I can do it high or low–produce aisle hard greens wilted with a can of white beans in a hurry; or soaked dry cranberry beans cooked in a roasted vegetable stock with mixed farmer’s market goods for a slower-paced Sunday dinner. Always the same but but quite the same.

  403. Kim

    Thank you always, Deb, for the wit and wisdom (and great recipes) and thank you to Erin in PA whose go-to dinner, after a long week and long day and an empty brain while staring at naked boneless chicken breasts, was the perfect solution!

  404. Annmarie

    I knew that would be a link to the Lot 2 broccoli toast recipe before clicking it! I make that all the time as a pasta dish – boil the broccoli, remove with slotted spoon, cook the pasta in the same water while you finish the broccoli.

    I do put in the anchovies but in the form of anchovy paste, which is subtler and doesn’t have little hairs or bones in it.

  405. Fiona

    Recently I’ve often been eating a soup and “Schmarrn” which is an Austrian dish made of pancakes as dessert along with some compote. As an everyday dessert I reduce the eggs and use milk instead of cream but sometimes I splurge :-) My mum used to prepare this a lot when I was a kid coming home from school.

  406. I currently live in a country where the available ingredients are extremely limited: plenty of milk meat, rice, and root vegetables, but not a whole lot in the way of beans, nuts, or fresh fruit. And not much cheese variety, so sadly, no feta. Also my cooking appliances are limited to a toaster oven, a tea kettle, a rice cooker, a hotplate, and an over-enthusiastic electric wok (and only one of these can be plugged in at a time without being relocated, or fuses will blow).
    As a result, my go-tos here tend to be simpler than at home. But I eat a lot of eggs, stir-fried vegetables, dumplings, rice, mashed potatoes, and slaws. And soup: Mexican chicken soup, carrot and ginger soup, potato and leek soup. This recipe would be sadly bereft without the feta, but the vegetable pancakes you posted will be a welcome addition!

  407. Cait

    As the somewhat-newly-single 28-year-old in a group if friends who are all married or in serious relationships – and having grown accustomed to cooking dinner nightly to aforementioned ex-boyfriend – it’s been an adjustment to make a “real” dinner with regularity. That said, my new go-to is something the ex never would have eaten: maple-balsamic Brussels sprouts. Smells like hell, tastes like Heaven.

    (And, my new kitchen is a Smitten Kitchen: tiny, tiny city kitchen, maybe 1.5 sq ft of counter space.)

  408. Go-to dinners in our house: basic ground beef tacos jazzed up with whatever we have around that’s suitable (though during CSA season this becomes the charred corn tacos we learned from you). Chopped salad much like this one bulked up with some tortellini and/or chick peas. Spinach wilted in basic tomato sauce (like start with a can of diced tomatoes basic) with some chicken and maybe some white beans or pasta. Chili in the fall, New Mexico style, over mashed potatoes. Roast chicken with vegetables. We have room for a grill, so we grill burgers and veg a lot.

  409. Stephanie

    My go-to roast chicken is the most used because of the ingredient simplicity. Large yellow onion sliced into a casserole or roaster, whole chicken placed on top, olive oil salt and pepper then roast. Onions do burn a little and that mixed with chicken juice makes the most amazing “sauce” over white rice. Since I’ve made chicken this way I can’t bother with anything else more complex. Another fave is turkey bolognese (jarred sauce plus ground turkey, add grated carrots to fortify for youngsters) over roasted spaghetti squash. Add fresh grated parm and that’s it. This was a fun post and reading the comments, even better!

  410. Julie

    Thank you so much for this post, ( I too love Greek salads), especially for the question you asked. I too am always desperately searching for winners in my dinner making line up. This list is incredible. The other holy grail I am searching for is winning lunches to pack for my kids! Thanks again.

  411. This looks delicious! My favorite Greek salad comes from a fantastic Mediterranean deli & restaurant just down the road from my house. On week nights I’m usually cooking for my honey and myself after 5pm. I cook pretty much everything from scratch. Some of my favorite dinners are; taco soup, enchiladas made with left over taco soup, cast iron skillet shepherds pie, chili with cast iron skillet cornbread, chorizo egg scramble burritos, crock pot sausage meatballs and spaghetti, mac (aka any pasta) and cheese sauce with shredded chicken and bacon… It’s a total love affair!

  412. Meals that are in my general ‘rotation’:
    – Lots of poached eggs. I toss these on top of some wilted greens, risotto, slices of avocado, or (if it’s a Sunday) buttered toast
    – Your carrot/harissa salad, with feta and mint, or some variation of shredded veggies and this same general dressing (broccoli stems, cabbage, etc)
    – Lots of salads with lemon/garlic/olive oil vinaigrette, feta, almonds or nuts. Sometimes I pan sear some tofu until it’s crispy and toss this on top (great with toasted walnuts, shredded apples + cabbage), sometimes some chicken I’ve grilled. Usually with greens like mesclun or argula.
    – Some variation of Heidi Swanson’s ‘Heather’s Quinoa’ ( One skillet meals made with quinoa, greens, tofu and some kind of pesto tossed through.
    – Your sweet pea pesto is something I make often. It’s great as a simple dinner tossed with some linguine. I use freezer peas, but as long as the cheese is good it always comes out fine. Bonus leftover pesto smeared on crostini = heavenly, as well
    – Soups. Lots of soups. Sometimes I will even just simmer some thai curry paste, coconut milk, broth and chopped cilantro stems, then throw in a handful of noodles, chop some additional cilantro and scallion over top and make really fast ‘laksa’. I’ve also got making lentil soup down to a science. I make lots and keep the freezer full.
    – Hummus. I make this every week, and try to make different varieties. Sometimes I make sundried tomato, sometimes roasted red pepper, sometimes kalamata olive…I try to change it up a bit. It’s just really easy to put into a quick wrap with some veggies, or just to scoop up with veggies or some pita.
    – Once per week I try to make something new. Often I skim through my favourite blogs (this one,,, etc) and find something new to make. So many of my ‘to go recipes’ came to me this way and now I can riff on them depending on what’s on hand. The bestest recipes are the ones that inspire you to go off script a bit :)

  413. shoshana

    Hey Deb,

    Thank you, Deb, for the inspiration to share, and thanks to everyone who posted awesome ideas :)

    I am usually cooking for two. We are mostly vegetarian (picky carnivores). Ever since I read a post from this website several years ago about poached eggs, these have changed my life. Your line was something like “a poached egg can turn boring letovers into a meal” and ever since then my life has changed for the better. We eat a lot of farm eggs and go thru most of them poached. The other few end up in pancakes, brownies, or quiche.

    OK, here are some favorites we’ve been cooking up at my place:
    -vegetable curry (grind my own whole spices, use whatever veggies we get in our weekly CSA share; radishes/beets, eggplant, squash, greens, etc)
    -quick kale (sauteed with coconut oil, chili flakes, garlic, [lemon grass], soy sauce, lemon juice)
    -pac choi w/sauteed mushrooms “chinese” style (with fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, jalepeno/chili, soy sauce, etc)
    -roasted radishes w/poached eggs
    -“teamwork pasta” – this is your recipe for pepper and cheese pasta, but it helps having two sets of hands to make it in our house…we put an egg on this too of course
    -tuna pasta (chopped onion, garlic, lemon zest, chili flakes, tuna, olives – easily adaptable to what you already have in the house and like)
    -roast chicken on friday
    -roasted sweet potatoes
    -challa french toast

    In addition, I try to pick one special recipe that I’ll buy extra/non traditional ingredients for from a blog or cookbook and make that one night. This week it was saag paneer. I used kale and spinach but did not have time to make my own paneer (i know, i know….) so I found a great frozen substitute at the indian market and it worked great. the recipe was adapted from cooks illustrated a few months back….

  414. Priscilla

    Most of my regular fall-backs are Indian food — no matter how much you like experimenting with an international cuisine, I guess you still rely on the familiar stuff your grew up with for daily weeknight dinners.

    1. Roti and sabji — I work afternoons and evenings, so I tend to make simple yellow dal (in the pressure cooker, it’s a five minute process) or fry up some vegetable with masala (eggplant, cauliflower and ladies-fingers are probably my favourites) and mix chapathi dough before I leave for work. In the evenings, it’s a quick ten minutes to heat up the dal or veggie dish and fry rotis (that’s the dry north Indian flatbread). If I didn’t even have time to make the veggies, or if I want a quick meat component, I fry up kebabs and season with a bit of lime and onion.

    2. Dosas — Have you tried this? It’s south India’s version of the crepe, made with ground rice and urad dal. Keeping dosa batter in the fridge is a favourite fall-back. (I do grind my own batter, but many people just buy packets of batter these days.) It will last forever and taste good with anything, and takes just minutes to make. (Idlis, which are steamed cakes made with the same batter, are even faster to make.) Even if I have no sambar, chutney or any other traditional side dish, it can always be eaten with bottled idli podi, often called gunpowder — a mix of ground spices and lentils made into a paste with oil.

    3. Tamarind rice — I make the mix ahead of time and keep bottled in the fridge (nowadays, this is readily available in the supermarket too). Then it’s just a matter of steaming rice and mixing it in for a ready-to-eat meal, accompanied maybe by boiled egg, appalam (that’s Indian-style chips) or a salad if you’re feeling healthy.

    Absolute fall-backs when I do not feel like cooking at all are a fried egg sandwich or rice with yoghurt and bottled mango pickles. Neither of these will work on my husband though!

  415. Priscilla

    After posting my comment, I read through other people’s. There is a fascinating variety of what people call routine, week-a-day dinners out there!

    So many of the other comments featured dinners that I would feel are complicated or intimidating, partly because they are from a cuisine I didn’t grow up with, so they feel like “special” or “exotic” meals to me. Then I re-read my own comment, and wondered if people would feel like that about my choices too?!?

    I guess it takes all kinds, and I’m so glad that the world is still diverse enough that despite the uniformity of a MacDonalds in every major city around the world, the food we each put on our dinner tables every night is still so different. And yet, because the world is a smaller place, I can hope to buy the ingredients and try out the meals that other people have posted, maybe not in a regular dinner rotation, but as a “special” meal for me and my family. Thanks for sparking off this stream of ideas, Deb!

  416. Olga

    In Greece we put vinegar instead of lemon juice, although some say that it’s best only with pure greek olive oil. And from now till late October, the most juicy tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers are sold in every corner in Greece! Enjoy Deb!

  417. Sandra

    Wednesdays are my “pasta night” and unless I have encountered some new and inspiring dish to try, my fall-back is a simple orechiette with grape tomatoes, swiss chard, spinach, garbanzo beans and ricotta salata cheese. Now that my local Sendik’s carries the RS cheese, it’s even simpler to pull together. I always feel good about getting my quota of healthy greens/tomatoes and the cheese and garlic oil it’s cooked in make it so yummy!PS-found the recipe in one of my Giada cookbooks.
    BTW-Deb, your avocado/cucumber toasts are now in my regular rotation of lunch foods-usually on a Saturday.

  418. AlisonAlcoba

    We’re in the Pacific NW, so salmon features often–either salmon teriyaki with rice and a cucumber salad or the Asian Salmon Bowl with Lime Drizzle on Epicurious. On even more rushed nights I fling together canned tuna, bagged spinach and pasta. Boneless chicken breasts get marinated in buttermilk and then dredged in a cornmeal/panko/dried herb mix for oven-fried chicken, halibut or cod get a sprinkle of Molokai Spice Rub and grilled. All the previous get paired with a veg and/or salad. My husband makes a great turkey burger with roasted poblanos and cheddar, also a tuna burger and (of course!) a salmon burger–those all usually get a side of whatever fruit is in season. Winter weather lends itself to quick weeknight soups like lima bean and bacon, curried cauliflower, or your mushroom-farro soup. Whatever we have for dinner is going to be lunch the next day, so we portion for that. Sunday night cooking is usually a little more time consuming, but I usually try to incorporate it into a second dinner of some sort, such as roasting two chickens instead of one, or steaming twice the amount of asparagus so the leftovers can become a frittata. Since today is a holiday and we have a luxury of time, my husband has your Sweet & Smokey Oven Spareribs going and I’ll do collards with red onion and bacon (Epicurious) and we will be off the hook for dinner tomorrow night!

  419. Amanda

    Thank you for your simple suggestion! We love Greek food, and I was trying to figure out a way to get simple Greek into our family menu!

    Our weekly rotation consists of:

    Medi/Mexi Couscous with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, marinated artichoke hearts (simmered with red wine vinegar and thyme).

    Stir Fry with whatever is in the fridge – that’s my husband’s go-to meal.
    Chopped veggie salads with balsamic and feta and cracked pepper.

    Fish or Chicken Tacos, And Broiled Fish with roasted veg and rice. We’re heavy on the Italian and Mexican style foods, and my kids only will eat really flavorful food.

  420. my fallback recipes are homemade stir-fry (soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, cornstarch sauce), homemade pizza (we eat this at least once per week), quickie fajitas (use salsa as a sauce at the last minute before taking the chicken and veggies out of the skillet) and a little something we like to call tuna slop (it is not pretty, but it is pure comfort food :))

  421. I love how you pointed me in the direction of your spaghetti squash tacos but that was completely unnecessary since I already made them. Three times. (I’m not addicted or anything. We didn’t inhale them exactly as you predicted. I didn’t show up at work trying to convince people that spaghetti squash is even better the chorizo in a taco only to get blank stares back at me.) Those tacos are what gave me the idea for other vegetarian tacos! This week I plan on trying a swiss chard version because my new goal in life is to see how many farmer’s market vegetables I can cram into a corn tortilla. Thankfully my boyfriend humors me and my dinner creations.

  422. Candice

    I love the Circassian Chicken from The only change I make is upping the garlic and adding it to the paprika oil because I don’t like it raw. I usually omit the bread too because I make it for gluten free friends. But at home we eat it with na’an.

    My other favorite is ground turkey browned with sautéed chopped peppers, onions, (lots of) garlic, thyme. Served on na’an with feta and sour cream.

  423. Molly’s (remedial eating) bento pork in a taco with broccoli slaw or fried rice (bon appetit – Jenny R) , your baked rice gratin with kale, roasted veggie pizza, baked eggs with veggies, baked potatoes stuffed with sausage, mushrooms, spinach and cheese.

  424. Rachel Anne

    Love these quick & easy ideas! Your recipes are my go-to for inspiration or for challenging myself in the kitchen, so thank you for sharing! Been following for over 4 years now and I like to think you’ve made me more creative in my own cooking. I adapted your masala recipe for my bff’s Indian-inspired wedding shower over a year ago, and now Ive simplified it until it’s become a staple of mine, and usually in my laziest state bec of how easy it is! I just sauté sweet potatoes, chick peas & carrots in paprika and cumin w a lil veggie stock to soften in, then add coconut milk and curry powder to desired level of heat! I’ll throw in red peppers, raises or peas whenever available. Would love even more Indian inspired dishes! Cheers~

  425. Sarah

    Chicken with yogurt, almond, cardamom sauce, from a copy of a newspaper clipping my Mom cut out years ago.
    Pasta with pesto. (I freeze it all summer, and then eat it all year.

  426. Alex

    Salads. Salads are what is for dinner 80% of the time I cook (or so it seems now that it is summer). Taco-y salad with black beans, corn, brown rice dressed up with lime and cilantro, and verde chicken (crockpotted chicken breasts with a homemade tomatillo sauce, portioned and frozen,) or Laura Beefs 98% fat free beef with Alton Brown’s taco seasoning recipe on a bed of romaine hearts.

    Or Morningstar Buffalo Wings (a secret guilty, or not so guilty I suppose, pleasure of mine,) hard boiled egg, avocado, and tomatoes, with romaine hearts.

    Or a greek salad with grilled chicken and romaine hearts.

    Can you tell I get romaine hearts at Costco a lot?

    Otherwise risotto primavera (saute a bunch of fresh veggies that I bought thinking I was going to cook about a week ago and just that night realized were about 3 hours from going bad, usually spinach, zucchini, and summer squash, cook risotto with butter and minced onion until translucent, risotto-fy it with a broth of white wine, umami paste, and chicken broth, slowly, then throw the veg back in with some diced tomatoes.)

    Or pasta + vegetable + (usually frozen, either precooked by me or raw) protein. Or baked potato (microwaved for 6 minutes first because I am impatient and don’t want the oven on long,) and protein with mixed greens.

  427. Gretchen N

    Grilled teriyaki flank steak, Roast beef and roast beef hash (made with the leftovers), chili, pastas, lots of salads, and now that I’ve joined my first CSA, hopefully many lovely grilled and roasted veggies. :) Love your site Deb. I have lost count of how many of your recipes I have tried and absolutely loved. Thank you!!

  428. This is definitely something I will add to my rotation. Of course, feta is supposedly one of the things I’m supposed to be avoiding right now, but pretty much all cheese is pasteurized here so I will ignore it in favor of deliciousness!

    My go to meal is actually veggie burgers. I make a batch ideally on the weekend and I have enough veggie burgers for 1-2 weeks depending on how many times “burgers” become my easy food. The latest batch was great northern beans, oatmeal, carrots and homemade barbeque sauce (both in the mix and brushed on). I base mine on the recipe from Angry Chicken.

  429. Carol

    I live on the coast and ALWAYS have fresh shrimp or shrimp that I have frozen straight from the boat. Shrimp and grits is something I can just make without thinking. However, if I want something a little more special, I make shrimp with tomatoes and feta. So Yummmy! I use a resipe from Charleston Receipts Repeats.

  430. Thanks for sharing your everyday meals. I think it’s really inspiring to see what people cook and eat with their families on a daily basis. Particularly those meals that were not intended for a public audience. I post about our family dinner every night, regardless of whether the meals are wonderful, good, bad, mediocre or complete failures. It’s fun and it keeps our family healthy and together.

  431. Hello from Sparta, Greece. I really would like to hear where did you find this recipe with lemon. I have never eat this, nowhere in Greece. Of course i don’t know everything for greek recipes but as far as i know we use vinegar, (any type works). For children we don’t use any, but lemons?…. And about lettuce i believe that Greeks in other countries (Australia, States…) put it in. I don’t find it in Greek salads in Greece. By the way we call it xoriatiki wich means rustic. No garlic and no dijon for us also. In different areas you find different herbs fresh or dry, like oregano, thyme, marjoram… And sometimes they put big pieces of dry bread we call paximadia in to absorb the oil (ONLY OLIVE OIL) and tomato juices.

  432. Dimitra

    Another Greek who doesn’t like feta much here, but I have to agree, it’s a killer in a Greek salad!
    Like Aspasia, I have never heard of Greek salad with lemon juice before, but that’s not to say it won’t taste great. My personal preference would actually be with just a touch of balsamic vinegar (although plain vinegar is more commonly used) and ground pepper fresh off the mill. Instead of olives I often include capers, they go wonderfully with the tomatoes, or another kind of Greek pickle made from a plant for which the English translation I find appears to be “sea fennel” – a bit of an acquired taste but absolutely worth trying. And I agree with Aspasia on another point, rusks (preferably made with barley flour) are great for absorbing all those wonderful juices and make this salad even more filling for days when, over here, it is simply too hot to consume anything else! Actually, speaking of go-to dishes, in the Summer this is ours.

  433. For a lunch side dish, I often make Near East’s Pine Nut Rice Pilaf and mix in Gorgonzola crumbles and a handful of dried cranberries. Fresh basil or mint if I have it. It’s surprisingly good and cooks so fast. A dinner standard is homemade marinara and meatballs with pasta. Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, the ingredients prepped in little bowls, and everyone assembles their own at the table. I always make Jaime Oliver’s chick pea, potato and leek soup. So good and easy.

  434. mariel

    i always have a standard red sauce on hand, if not already made at least the ingredients so it can be thrown together in a pinch. leftover sauce can turn into pasta e fagioli- add an equal amount of water to sauce (this is peasant food after all), and a can of roman or cannellini beans. simmer for a bit and add pasta. potato and onion fritatta is also a favorite. asparagus baked with seasoned bread crumbs and parmigiano cheese. roasted potatoes, chipotle roasted cauliflour, giada’s orzo stuffed peppers, nigella’s turkey meatballs, and then there is my original (i hope) sriracha chicken which is pretty awesome.

  435. Gina

    Cooks Illustrated Chicken Adobo–YUM! and easy yum. and basically everything/anything off this site that has never done me wrong

  436. Karen White

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it with your tzatziki and crispy-skinned seared salmon. Wow! Glad I doubled it so I can eat it again tomorrow :)

  437. Renee

    Among our staple weeknight dinners:
    – Your pasta with chickpea sauce
    – Ina’s weeknight bolognese
    – Chicken gyros with lots of tzatziki
    – Various stirfries
    – “Big salads” – my husband likes them more than me, but our most common version is a southwestern style, with black beans, avocado, tomato, greens, a little leftover chicken. It’s best with a cumin vinaigrette.
    – Red beans with brown rice and lots of hot sauce
    – I just recently found a great slow-cooker simple chicken mole recipe, and I anticipate pulling that one out a lot

  438. Katerina

    It’s really disappointing for someone Greek to see all those versions of “greek” salad around the internet, drowned up in mayo, or with weird, needless additions.
    Your salad looks great, but it would be 100% authentic if:
    1) you used real wine vinegar instead of lemon juice – Greeks dont’t mix tomatoes with lemon
    2) you chose REAL G-R-E-E-K feta. The french and bulgarian stuff are made of cow’s milk and have nothing to do with the traditional feta: the name is legally protected (at least in EU) and can only be used for the type of white cheese made only in GREECE, from sheep’s milk (or a mix of sheep and goat’s milk), using a certain procedure. And, OF COURSE, regarding the taste there is just no comparison between feta and “feta”. I may sound like a know-it-all, but actually I’m Greek, I ‘ve lived in Greece my whole life and I know what I ‘m talking about.

    oh, and , we have nothing against cucumber seeds but, hey, that’s your food:)

  439. Gustav

    I don’t want to be a killjoy, but the fact that the feta is from Greece shouldn’t actually be an important factor. The real point should be that the cheese is made from the right type of milk and with the right technique. It would be better (for the environment) if the feta was made closer to the consumer instead of shipped halfway around the world.

    There are a few things I return to again and again. In the autumn and winter I find myself making a lot of Minestrone and Clam Chowder. Otherwise I find myself making a lot of chicken stew/sauce. No particular recipe, just chicken + whatever vegetables I feel like + dairy or tomato + whatever spices I feel like. Served with pasta or rice. Oh, I make a lot of wraps to, filled with whatever I feel like/have available.

  440. my go to meals are either chinese or japanese style clear broth soup with vegetables and meat thrown in, simplest one pot meals :)
    my daughter and i love udon noodles so sometimes i’l boil that in also, i also use soba and somen noodles.
    when i don’t boil noodles, i made some stove top rice in a ceramic pot, the cermaic pot retains heat and keeps cooking rice after i turn the heat off, resulting in nicely steamed rice beautifully cooking in earthenware. if i remember to soak the rice for half an our (or more, sometimes i’l soak it and leave for errands, then come back after an hour or two), all i have to do is wait for the water to boil, and then turn off the heat, and the rice will cook perfectly.
    i recently made a very rich tasting soup with chicken broth (from making drunken chicken). it was water from boiling a whole chicken, to which i added shitake mushrooms, some kelp/konbu, and some chopped spinach-like greens. this has a rich chicken flavor which is not as noticeable in other soups which i put ginger and garlic in.

    drunken chicken is my easy go to meat (i don’t cook meat much cuz i think vegetables are easier), i bring the water to a strong boil, then put the whole chicken in there and lower the heat to medium, i let it simmer for 20 min, then turn off the heat while keeping the lid on and let the chicken sit in there for half an hour. Then after taking the chicken out i immediately pour a chinese rice cooking wine and salt mixture all over it. then i stick the whole thing in the fridge covered, sitting in the marinade juice and leave it till the whole thing is Cold, which usually takes a day. when it’s cold, i take it out and cut up the chicken in regular chicken pieces.

    i love your website! thank you so much for making this wonderful site and allowing us to take a glimpse into your daily kitchen life :3

    i hope you enjoy our fun recipes :)

  441. Christine

    Tostadas or fish tacos are my go to meals! We always have tilapia or frozen shrimp in the freezer and if no fresh beans have been made for the tostadas then a can will have to do (but, not the refried kind, we use whole pinto beans and season/mash ourselves). Love coming here for inspiration and greek salad will be made this week!

  442. Cindy

    I made the Greek Salad recipe last week. I added marinated boneless, skinless chicken thighs and my husband went crazy! He loved it so much he asked me to make again tonight. Thank you!

  443. wendy

    sautéed fresh vegetables over whole wheat pasta. good bread in olive oil with rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper. wine

    egg rolls filled with packaged broccoli slaw, fried in small amount of oil, brown rice. dip in (or drown in) equal-ish parts soy sauce and hot pepper jelly.

    phyllo dough pizza, spread with ff ricotta (or cottage) cheese pureed with sundried tomatoes and red peppers, topped with caramelized onion, wine

  444. Lydia

    I guess our “emergency” dinners are carb-based, and/or cheesy, comfort food, since those ingredients are usually around. We roast potato and sweet potato wedges (favorite flavor is herbes de provence) and have eggs of some kind. Or pasta with greens (the pasta variation of your creamed chard and spring onions was a hit this spring). We frequently have pizza with whatever veggies are in the fridge or garden, and have been using my boyfriend’s leftover grain from brewing beer in the crust. In summer, we like simple tomato salads with garlic and olive oil, and also sauteed zucchini. Stir fry with odds and ends from the garden and tofu will be back frequently, I’m sure.

  445. I adore Greek Salad, love the idea of having the slabs of feta on top rather than mixing it all in.

    My go to dishes? Chicken, peppers and tomatoes marinaded in Harissa paste and served with couscous or a quick curry, I could eat curry for every dish!

  446. Kristin

    Simple kid-friendly meals – spaghetti with meat sauce, ‘chicken with the red sauce’ which is a dumbed-down cacciatore, chicken breaded with parmesan and breadbrumbs, pan seared salmon (with salsa or a mustard sauce or just plain), steak with McCormick’s steak seasoning. If we’re at the shore seared tuna and steamed clams. Chinese egg noodles with soy sauce and rice vinegar are a favorite side. Otherwise rice or couscous, always a green vedge (most often broccoli but we’re working on the others) and salad or fruit, because my momma taught me to eat ‘square meals’ :).

  447. Cathy

    My current quick-to-fix dinner… combine a can of black beans, rinsed and drained with a half a bottle of tomatilla salsa (I am from Canada and use the President’s Choice brand) and heat through. Spoon into warmed corn tortillas and add cubed feta, grated red cabbage and chopped cilantro. Really good.

  448. Leah

    Recently my house transitioned off of carbs, this eliminating many go tos we had had for years (lasagna, spaghetti, salad pizza, other deliciousness). We don’t eat a lot of meat and also keep a kosher kitchen, so here are my go to’s these days: three bean veggie chili (inspired by whole foods–GREAT leftover food); roast chicken (Ina’s); stir fries with tofu or chicken (super into cabbage and you can get it to taste like moo shoo with the proper sauces); roasted brussel sprouts with barley, cranberries, walnuts, and some goat cheese depending on who you are; grilled chicken (breasts…I know they’re not your thing). All of these dishes always have roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and brussel sprouts as sides. We always have a salad, as well. But let’s be real, grilled cheese with mustard and TJ’s tomato and roasted pepper soup? Def happens some nights

    And we always look to you for

  449. Lena

    I have never, ever gone wrong with your recipes. Thank you for writing this blog and that cookbook!

    Our go-to meals are:
    –polenta with sauteed arugula (or spinach or chard) and a runny egg on top.
    –cous cous with chopped chick peas, lemon, parsley, sauteed zucchini, and parm.
    –orecchiette with spinach and ricotta puree.

  450. Nanette Stoll

    I just wanted to thank you for the marvelous recipe for the bourbon peach hand pies. The recipe was clear and easy to follow. The dough rolled out like a charm and the pies look photo ready. A billion thanks!!! I love your site and cookbook.

  451. Kait

    When I worked overseas at a fine dining Greek restaurant (belive that oxymoron or not) they used lemon juice and high quality dried oregano. They would cut the cucumbers by peeling, halving and hollowing out the seeds then rustic chopping them into chunky shapes. I still do that when I make Horiatiki, and some guests can’t guess what the vegetable is..heheh. It also cuts down on the liquid that gets released in the salad and extends the shelf life so you can pre-prepare the cucumber part.
    I had a Greek coworker tell me about the crusty multigrain toast thing to put at the bottom of the bowl to soak up all the tomato juices and dressing (which is awesome!) and the red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice thing (which I just can’t vibe with – maybe the vinegar over there is less overwhelming or maybe I just love lemons)

    I have a 3 month old right now, so I barely get to cook..and when I do now its turbo fast meals that I can make in between nursing sessions and/or while carrying a baby.
    Recurring meals lately:

    Dirty Rice –
    a box of zatarain’s MSG/salty rice mix made slightly fancy by smashing a clove of garlic into the leftover ground beef pan and wilting some kale in it..served with a big dollop of full fat greek yogurt

    Ham, Pea & Feta Scramble –
    regular scrambled eggs, but before they are almost set I throw in minced red onion, diced ham, (frozen green giant) summer sweet peas and crumbled goat feta
    pro-tip: microwave steam the peas, drain and use the heat to warm up the ham so you won’t need to overcook the eggs/eat cold ham

    Banana Oatmeal –
    5 minute oats, half milk, half water, a big pinch of cinnamon and an overripe banana (or a ‘i will make banana bread’ freezer banana) mashed in..sometimes I will add a diced up pear or apple or some raisins – but part way through so they don’t lose their shape.
    Its no dinner, but this is seriously sometimes the only ‘meal’ I get. Also I feel like a genius for not needing to add any refined sugar to it to make it more palatable/less depressing.

  452. Emily Wilson Heldt

    We roast thinly sliced eggplant and some kind of squash in fresh basil and roasted almond pesto, then serve it with black beans, or salad or both!

    Loving everyone’s ideas, thanks for sharing everyone!!

  453. Ruth

    I’m currently a student, and this past school year I’ve made a large, luxurious pot of pinto beans roughly every two weeks based on the Amateur Gourmet (and commenters) recommendation of simmering with whole onion, whole head of garlic, bay leaves, and some olive oil. Then my go-to meal at the end of a long day in the stacks is a piping hot bowl of beans lovingly topped with a little fruity olive oil and some sea salt, accompanied by whatever greens or green veggies are handy and some buttered toast, all in one bowl. (Breakfast in a pinch is a fried egg over some beans, also usually plus toast.)

  454. Abby

    I’ve been on a lentil kick recently–salads, mostly, this time of year. Other rotations: broth with pot stickers, green salads with leftover roasted veggies, pasta with ricotta and herbs and spring veggies, turkey burgers and meatballs (yum to the scallion meatballs you features sometime back!), and a blended gazpacho.

  455. USinCA

    On regular rotation: Porcupine Meatballs with brown rice; Spaghetti Carbonara; and “Vesper” (that’s southern German for platters of cold meat & veg & bread & cheese deliciousness on the table that everyone picks at until they’re full…)

  456. Laura

    Ten-minute dinner: farfalle with Italian tuna, frozen peas swished through the pasta water, minced red onion, fresh black pepper, a swirl of olive oil and, if available, a handful of chopped parsley and chive.

  457. Thank you for this amazing recipe which you presented so well. It was really easy to assemble and more importantly fast to prepare. Definitely keeping this one on the menu for those salad days.

  458. Jodie

    Go to meals are spaghetti with tomato sugo and chopped basil (sometimes feta or mozzarella if I happen to have any on hand), pasta with homemade pesto, rice with curry, and oven potatoes with a dip made of basil, parsley, feta, sour cream and chilis (it’s the best, honestly). :)

  459. MJ

    In winter, simple roast chicken over root vegetables.

    In summer, ratatouille or chicken breasts browned and simmered in a can of diced tomatoes with wine, broth, anchovy paste, onion, garlic, basil, olives and whatever else works served with a side of zucchini sauteed in lots of herbs.

  460. Hannah

    Calzones are probably served for dinner at our house more than any other dish. We love them because they’re both quick and versatile.
    I have a recipe for a fast, yeast-less, delicious, thin-crust pizza dough that works wonderfully for calzones. We stuff them with whatever vegetables we have in the house. In the summer, the calzones usually include some kale; in the winter, eggplant works great. Then we just use whatever sauce and cheese we have on hand. What I love about the recipe is that it never requires a trip to the store, it uses whatever vegetables need to be used, and it’s different every time we make it. Plus, it’s easy (and cheap!) to make large batches of for dinner parties and what-not.

  461. Thomas

    Bulgarian and French feta are your favorite? Ouch. As a Greek I am offended. Also, as someone who loves salty, flavorful feta, I am offended.

  462. Libby

    I have made this at least 4 times since you posted. It is so unbelievably light and refreshing and yummy. We use Greek feta from the wonderful Greek restaurant and marketplace down the street. Lots of compliments and requests for the recipe every time!

  463. Caroline

    I made this for dinner with some slight variations– olives from a can, grilled Haloumi instead of feta– and I didn’t pay much attention to quantities of ingredients. It was delicious (also, beautiful)!

  464. Boomer

    I am a follower of your blog who lives in Greece. A couple of local tips…. I have never ever had a Greek salad with lemon or vinegar on it – only olive oil, salt (sea salt preferably) and a good pinch of dried (not fresh) oregano – rubbing while you sprinkle to release the aroma…. Bulgarian feta?!?! shudder – go to a Greek shop where you live and find the real stuff….. you need more than 2 tbs of olive oil (a good glug or two) so that all the good stuff can get mopped up with fresh crusty bread (called papparra in Greek). This salad is all about quality of ingredients since there is nothing else to hide behind.

  465. Belinda

    Amen Boomer!!! I have visited Greece to many times and spent my share of evenings in the Plaka devouring the wonderful local Greek salad. Simplicity is “so” the key to making this salad over the top. Like everyone else I, too, am a feta junkie – and will go miles out of my way to find the imported from Greece variety!

  466. Yum! Our go-to dinner (when I’m all out of ideas) is usually some variation of pasta. If the pantry’s well-stocked, it’s with tomato sauce and if it’s bare than oil, garlic, seaweed and soy sauce.

  467. Angela

    My go to is quinoa and…whatever is lying around the house.

    This Greek Salad was delicious. I made it tonight with a side of grilled chicken for my carnivore husband and orzo for my picky girls. I then packaged up the leftovers in one container for lunch tomorrow.

    Thanks for sharing this one! It may be *my* new go to!

  468. Libbie

    We make an asian flavored stir-fry once a week, sometimes with large pieces of pan fried tofu and sometimes with very small pieces. We like to cut the vegetables long and skinny. There is always a lot of garlic, onions and some ginger; we find lightly saucing to be ideal but have not yet mastered the sauce combination. I would love to see a recipe on here for a really fresh lightly sauced stir-fry. (We serve it with brown rice normally.)

  469. Oh my goodness, this looks so amazing! I was searching for a Greek salad recipe online to go with the marinated feta I just made and this came up. It looks SO delicious. Wondering if I can just put the feta right on top in its olive-oily state? There’s only one way to find out …

  470. Barbara

    My go to meal – Poorman’s Jambalaya from Paul Prudhomme’s first cookbook. Uses up lots of veggies, any kind of protein can work, can go easy on the oil/butter. Oh so flavorful, one pot cooking.

  471. Fred H

    Lately I’ve been doing fish tacos… four dusted fish (tilapia, mahi, cod) sauteed in a hot pan, small tort