How many nights do you cook dinner? Kind of depends on the week, right? I am at about three to four nights right now. That does not count the nights that I am alone with the kids and we have "snack" dinner (hummus, crackers, fruit, hard eggs, salami, etc.) or I just make some spaghetti and cut up fruit (kind of my fave night). The other nights we are out or get take out. Three to four feels good to me, and that usually gets upped as it gets warmer and its easy throwing burgers on the grill and roasting some sweet potato fries.
But making dinner can be hard, even for the most seasoned cooks, even when you have planned it way in advance, even if your kids will eat everything (bless you if they do). So no judgment here if you have eaten leftovers all week or have to throw out food in your fridge you were certain you would cook one night. We are all doing it and it is totally fine.
I am going to try and share more of our simple weeknight meals to hopefully give you some ideas and share timing. You will see these are simply prepared, mostly healthy, and not that adventurous. Because when 5pm rolls around the last thing you want to do is dive into a complicated recipe. That is what Sundays are for. Or your favorite restaurant.
First up is this meal from last night.
Grilled Flank Steak with Cauliflower Rice and Grilled Asparagus
Ingredients you need:
Enough Flank Steak to feed all the mouths in your house
white wine (that old bottle in your fridge is totally fine)
salt & pepper
1 head of cauliflower
Asparagus (1 bunch for every 2-3 people)
Marinate the steak: Whisk together 1/3 cup each wine, mustard, and olive oil. Smash a couple garlic cloves and chop up a shallot if using. Add it to the marinade . Using a small knife, score the very top of steak in a pattern like this ###. Place the steak in a plastic bag, pour the marinade in and seal up attempting to get all the air out. Massage in the marinade and refrigerate. This is enough marinade for up to 2 lbs of steak. If making more, just add more of each ingredient, you cannot really mess it up. You can do this the day before all the way to 20 min before grilling.
Make the "Rice" (if you are over fake rice, just grab a couple of those brown rice packs that cook in 90 seconds and season yourself. Do it all the time): Working in batches, add raw cauliflower to a food processor or Vitamix, or whatever you have that blends things. Pulse until the cauliflower magically turns into the size of rice. Place in a bowl and repeat with the rest of the cauliflower. Can be done in advance, just refrigerate.
Prep the asparagus: Cut the ends off the asparagus and place in a plastic bag. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat them and season with salt and pepper. Close bag and shake it to make sure everything gets seasoned. Toss in the fridge.
Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Take meat out of the fridge.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a few slugs of olive oil. Smash two garlic cloves and add to the hot oil, cook for a minute or so, then add the rice. Sauté for fifteens minutes and season with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic before serving. Set aside and keep warm while you make the other food.
While the rice cooks, put the steak (throw some salt and pepper on it) and asparagus on the grill. The steak should cook about 5-8 minutes on each side depending on thickness and how you like it cooked. The firmer it gets, the more cooked it gets. The asparagus cooks for about 10-15 minutes and just flip once or twice. It is done the it is tender. Let meat rest on your cutting board for ten minutes. Keep asparagus warm in oven or put some foil on it.
Slice the meat in the opposite direction of the grain (those are the lines running across it). Serve up with the rice and asparagus and pour yourself some wine.
Does that feel doable? Do you like the format I am writing this in? Suggestions more than welcome. And share your results with me!
Note: Flank Steak recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa