I’m always on the lookout for simple recipes that work for weeknights in our house — the kind of thing you can pick up in five minutes at the grocery store, without roaming the aisles for esoteric ingredients. Dishes that are healthy and delicious, but above all easy.
I love to cook, but once the baby is in bed, I’d rather sit on the couch and have a cup of tea than spend an hour dicing vegetables.
So, I make a lot of meals in our slow cooker — twice a week at least. This started before Bear was born, when I made meals ahead of time to freeze for those early weeks. (Well-intentioned, but ultimately a wasted effort. We got sick of them fast and wound up eating take-out. Eh.)
But the slow cooker was a true life-saver was after Bear was born — on rough nights, Chad and I would eat dinner in five-minute shifts and then resume frantically trying to calm the baby down. Cooking wasn’t a priority, and meals from the slow cooker don’t burn. So that was all we ate for, oh, about six months.
But lately… things have gotten a little easier. Our son is about nine months old now, so this was a long time coming. But most nights, now, he reliably goes to bed by 7pm, and Chad and I actually have a few hours of calm in the evenings. We’ve even watched a little TV. (Yes, this is a big deal. Watching an uninterrupted television program is something that has been missing from my life for almost a year, and the return is glorious.)
And with that extra time, I’ve been making some slightly more ambitious dinners.
Emphasis on the slightly.
Like this one. Four ingredients, one pan. It takes maybe five minutes of prep and 20 minutes or so of cooking. Not exactly Julia Child-worthy, but it’s a big step up — and it’s delicious.
Maybe in a few months I’ll be back up to baking cakes from scratch, but for now, this is easy, healthy, and good. And that’s pretty much all we need.
Simple Weeknight Salmon
4 salmon fillets
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread olive oil over each salmon fillet, and then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the salmon. Slice the other lemon and place two small slices on each portion. Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.