5 Easy Weeknight Meal Ideas

5 Easy Weeknight Meals Ideas brought to you by Alexia and Crumbs and Chaos

Dinner, supper, time to chow down…whatever you call your last meal of the day, it’s one that has a few requirements. Be relatively simple, who wants to slave away after putting in a full day of work, mothering or whatever else. Be tasty and flavorful, because no one wants to eat boring food. And be different, eating the same things week after week gets a bit boring, don’t ya think?

Pairing simple main dishes with Alexia Smart Classics, sweet potato fries or onion rings make dinner as simple as can be. I like to use them to make a one dish meal, add an interesting twist to a classic or bake them as usual with an enticing dipping sauce. Today I’m sharing 5 easy weeknight meal ideas that make actually making dinner a little bit less of a chore and are delicious and tasty!

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Thai Coconut Curry with Lime Basil Rice

Thai Coconut Curry with Lime Basil Rice | Crumbs and Chaos

 Thanks to Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauces, dinner is only minutes away.

Thai Coconut Curry with Lime Basil Rice is packed with flavor and super simple to make!

Last week I took the kids and visited my family for a while, then we came home and closed on our new house and then we moved.  I’m a lot of things right now…mostly grateful to be sitting still for a few moments before all of the unpacking begins.  All that craziness means time for cooking anything went right out the door.  Putting the kitchen back together is a whole ‘nother story.  That is why I love meals like this one, which starts with a tasty Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauce and is ready without a lot of fuss.

Thai Coconut Curry with Lime Basil Rice | Crumbs and Chaos

 

Conveniently packaged in a 10 oz. pouch, Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauces are made without preservatives, artificial ingredients or MSG and are gluten free and vegetarian.  You can choose from 4 fantastic flavors – Portobello Red Wine, Latin Veracruz, Thai Coconut Curry and Louisiana Creole.  You pick your favorite protein, quickly sear it and add a veggie or two and then the sauce and dinner is ready.  Super simple for any home cook…or a food blogger short on time and energy ;)

I love Thai food and this meal really hit the spot.   I enjoyed all the flavors I love without having to eat out.  Through the end of November, you can enter to win an Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauce prize pack – visit the Imagine® Facebook page to enter!

Imagine Culinary Simmer Sauce

 

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Thai Coconut Curry with Lime Basil Rice
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon CANOLA OIL
  • 1 lb. BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 RED PEPPER, cut into thin strips
  • 1 pkg. IMAGINE® ORGANIC CULINARY SIMMER SAUCE THAI COCONUT CURRY
  • 2 cups INSTANT RICE
  • 1 cup WATER
  • 1 cup COCONUT MILK
  • ¼ cup FINELY CHOPPED FRESH BASIL
  • JUICE of ½ LIME
  • SALT to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in skillet until hot. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring water and coconut milk to boil in a saucepan. Add rice. Stir and remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Add red peppers to skillet with chicken and cook 2 minutes. Add sauce and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir basil and lime juice into rice. Divide into 4 bowls and top with chicken mixture. Serve immediately.


 

  Thai Coconut Curry with Lime Basil Rice | Crumbs and Chaos

 

This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauces.

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Steak and Mushrooms with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Steak and Mushrooms with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes | Crumbs and Chaos

An easy, flavorful dinner can be on the table in minutes with the help of Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauces.  Steak and Mushrooms served on top of Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes is what’s for dinner tonight!

Do you ever feel like you fall short a making dinner?  {Raises hand}  Even food bloggers feel that way more often than they’d like to admit.  I’m a firm believer in having a few tricks up your sleeve when making dinner.  Whether it’s having a favorite quick appetizer, simple dessert or an easy way to make a flavorful meal in no time at all, it’s possible for anyone to feel like a rock star in the kitchen…. 

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Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread

Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

A quick and delicious appetizer or light dinner dish, Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread is a total crowd pleaser!

You guys, we are in the middle of packing our house to move…that means I’m writing this post at my dining room table while sitting next to a juicer, other randomness that came off of the top of the fridge and 3 frothing pitchers, among other things.  I’m doing my best to focus on the prize at the end of the challenge called moving – a new home sweet home for this sweet family of mine.  We’ll get there, heck, I’m optimistic after  yesterday – we actually already cleaned the fridge out completely {that’s never happened in all of our 10 moves – #notmyfavoritetask}.

So about this Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread…it’s the right combination of all of the good stuff – bacon, cheddar cheese and dill pickles all on a thin flatbread crust.  So many things that I love, putting them all together in small amounts on a flatbread is the way to go.  All the goodness of that huge bacon cheeseburger in a smaller dose.  Add a side salad and dinner is served ;)

I’m joining Rachel and the Fabulous Flatbread challenge and so can you!  You can get all of the challenge details on Rachel Cooks, get the deets on prizes and link up your own fabulous flatbread recipe!

Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

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Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread
 
Serves: 4 flatbreads
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. PIZZA DOUGH
  • OLIVE OIL
  • ½ lb. GROUND BEEF
  • ½ Tablespoon KETCHUP
  • ½ Tablespoon YELLOW MUSTARD
  • ½ teaspoon SEASONED SALT
  • ¼ teaspoon PEPPER
  • ¼ teaspoon GRANULATED GARLIC (or garlic powder)
  • 4 pieces CRISP COOKED BACON, chopped
  • 4 oz. SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE, shredded
  • DILL PICKLES, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons MAYONNAISE
  • 2 Tablespoons SOUR CREAM
  • 2 teaspoons HOT SAUCE (I used Frank's Red Hot)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef and drain any grease.
  3. Add ketchup, mustard, seasoned salt, pepper and garlic. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. Divide pizza dough into 4 pieces. Roll out one piece into a oval/rectangle. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Drizzle dough with about a teaspoon of olive oil and brush to the edges. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  5. Divide meat mixture and distribute evenly over each flatbread. Top with chopped bacon and cheddar cheese. Return to the oven for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Cut into pieces. Top with chopped pickles and drizzle with sauce.
To make sauce:
  1. Combine mayo, sour cream and hot sauce.


 

  Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

 

 

Zesty Chicken Taquitos

Zesty Chicken Taquitos | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

An easy weeknight meal or a new game day favorite, today’s recipe is brought to you as part of an ongoing partnership with Kraft.

As we switch gears from summer into fall {my absolute favorite season!}, we’re trading beach towels and swimsuits for socks and sweatshirts.  It’s also time for back to school and football games galore.  I’m always on the look out for fresh, new dinner inspiration – preferably something that’s quick and flavorful.  A great way to add a different spin on a family favorite recipe is to switch out the condiments or spices in a dish.  A.1. Original Sauce is one of those super versatile condiments that complements everything from steak to pork and chicken.

Baked taquitos make a terrific and easy main dish or a super addition to an appetizer spread for any football watching gathering.  The filling in this taquito recipe is creamy, flavorful and comes together quickly.  I love how crispy the outside of the tortilla gets after baking it.  Delicious!  If you’re serving a larger group of people, this recipe is easily multiplied and the filling can be made ahead of time.  So, what are you waiting for?  All you need is about 25 minutes from start to finish and this simple dish will be ready!  Click here for the full recipe: Zesty Chicken Taquitos

Zesty Chicken Taquitos | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net


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Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad

Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

This recipe for Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad is brought to you by Kraft.

Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Main dish salad…it’s what’s for dinner.  Does that go over well at your house?  For my husband, a main dish salad has to include protein, fruits/veggies and be full of flavor or else it may not be considered ‘dinner’.    This is an ideal meal for busy nights because all you’re doing is a little chopping, tossing together and before you know it a nutritious meal is ready…. 

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Cheesy Mexican Rice Skillet

Cheesy Mexican Rice Skillet | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

 This easy, weeknight meal is brought to you by Uncle Ben’s.

I confess…weeknight dinner is sometimes a thorn in my side. My kids are not the most agreeable eaters, but they also know that I do not run a short order kitchen. Our house rule is – you eat what’s on the table for dinner or you can wait until breakfast to eat again. ‘Not liking’ what’s on your plate is not grounds for eating something different. That being said, there are nights that I know everyone will eat what I have planned and I mix up those nights with days where we try new recipes. It all evens out.

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Honey Garlic Chicken Sliders with Asian Slaw

Honey Garlic Chicken Sliders with Asian Slaw | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Sliders topped with Asian Slaw – an easy meal that perfect for any weeknight or football party.

Honey Garlic Chicken Sliders with Asian Slaw | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Genius marketing…Lay’s Potato Chips has it figured out.  Opening up a contest where people suggest flavors for new chips and then creating them and narrowing it down to four finalists…is a super idea.  I then I ‘have‘ to buy 4 bags of chips to ‘see‘ what I like the best.  Well, except for Cappucino (could that actually be a serious contender?!)…my personal favorite are definitely the kettle cooked Wasabi Ginger. #notsponsored

If you’re looking for an easy and flavorful meal that makes dinner easy or game day delicious, these sliders are it.  The work is minimal and the results are intensely flavorful.  I served them alongside my favorite new chips and cucumber slices, but they’d be tasty with Potatoes Au Gratin too!… 

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Pulled Pork: 1 Ingredient, 5 Ways

BBQ Pork Pizza | Crumbs and Chaos

Leftovers…let’s discuss.  I LOVE them – it’s one less dinner to actually cook from start to finish.  But I know people who aren’t big fans of any kind of leftovers, I seriously can’t understand that because I love them all.  I do think 4 days of the same exact meal gets a little boring, so I try to make leftovers into a ‘new’ meal when I can.  It keeps things exciting and cuts back on waste.  It takes a little planning initially, but you’ll be rewarded with a tasty dish several nights in a row without much effort.

Last month I mentioned Project Sunlight and a Summer Sunlight Activity, we chose to do One Ingredient, Five Ways.  Decreasing food waste is an important part of Project Sunlight and it’s easily done with a little planning ahead…even better when you find a great sale on meat and you’re able to stock up :) While completing this activity, my kids were able to see all that goes into creating a meal plan and how 1 main ingredient can be made into 5 delectable dishes.

Tips for creating a meal plan around 1 main ingredient…

  • choose meals that use similar garnish (i.e. cilantro, green onion, etc.) that way you’ll end up using it all instead of just a little bit
  • choose a protein that freezes well (like pulled pork), that way if you’re not feeding as big of a crowd you can freeze some for a meal later in the month
  • include pizza night and taco night – both are super kid friendly and you can put almost anything in a taco ;)

Pulled Pork - 1 Ingredient, 5 Ways on crumbsandchaos.net

Start with slow cooked pork shoulder (recipes for slow cooker or stove top)

Then make…

BBQ Pork Pizza (pictured at the top of this post) – Top pita bread or pizza dough with BBQ sauce, shredded pork, shredded cheese (monterrey or pepper jack, cheddar) and sauteed mushrooms.  Bake at 400° until cheese is melted.  Top with chopped green onions and cilantro.

BBQ Pork Sandwiches – Serve shredded and sauced pork on a hearty bun with cheesy potatoes and coleslaw.

Crispy Pork Tacos – Nestle crispy pieces of pork inside flour or corn tortillas and top with your fave taco toppings.

Twice Baked Potatoes - Combine pork with baked potato chunks and cheese.  Bake again and drizzle with BBQ sauce before serving.

Pork Chili Verde – This soup is so full of flavor, you’ll be fighting over the leftover pork so you can make this!  Serve with cornbread.

*While this post is part of a sponsored campaign by Unilever Project Sunlight, all opinions and experiences expressed are entirely my own.

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

That’s right, THE Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, you only need 3 ingredients to make this mouthwatering meat for sandwiches, tacos and more!

I cook pork shoulder at least once a month.  It’s super versatile and a main dish that our family loves.  I own a smoker, which I love, but I don’t always have time to babysit the meat while it cooks.  But I have finally found a pulled pork recipe that is made in the slow cooker that tastes like it was made in the oven or maybe even the smoker.  My husband is partial to the smoked meat – who wouldn’t be?!  So the first time I made this, I didn’t tell him it I made it in the crock pot because I didn’t want him to judge the taste based on that.  He really liked it and gave it a thumbs up.  I think I’ve made it twice since then.

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

There’s a tiny bit of science behind the prep to this recipe.  When I smoke meat in the smoker, I brine it in a salt water brine to add flavor and make the meat more tender.  Since we’re cooking this in the crock pot, we don’t have to worry about losing moisture, but we want to enhance the flavor.  To do that, we’re going to salt the entire piece of meat and wrap it up for several hours before we cook it.  I know, I know – it takes a little bit of planning ahead, but nothing is difficult about the actual process.  After it’s been salted and sits awhile, throw it in the slow cooker with a little more salt and liquid smoke and your work is done.  8 to 10 hours later, you’re ready to pull the pork and serve it with BBQ sauce on buns, in a taco or however you like…. 

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