Fresh Family Meals Made for Everyday Life

Our Go-To Weeknight Dinners

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I think everyone has that handful of tried-and-true dinner recipes that are always crowd-pleasers and are always at the ready to be made in a hurry when life gets crazy. Maybe it’s something that you always have the ingredients for in your pantry. Maybe it’s something that comes together quickly. Maybe it’s something that everyone in your family always loves. Whatever it is, we seem to all rely on a small repertoire of specific dishes.

It may not seem like it because I post a pretty big variety of recipes, but I have those go-to recipes, too—and we eat them a lot. I thought it might be fun to pull back the curtain of fancied-up recipes and tell you guys about my everyday dishes that seem to be made in our kitchen on a regular basis.

Hash.

hash

I’m under the belief that you can pretty much put anything in a bowl with a runny egg over it and it will be delicious. Hash is no exception. Typically, hash is some combo of potatoes, meat and veggies sautéed together. We hardly ever have the same hash combo twice, but our standard mixture is bacon, potatoes or sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet peppers, and some sort of green. It’s a delicious way to use up veggies and a great quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’m only a little ashamed to admit that we eat hash at least two or three times a week. Never made hash before? I have a bacon and egg hash recipe that’s a good starting point.

Shrimp and Grits.

shrimp and grits

My husband is from the Great White North had never really had grits before he met me, but I schooled him quickly on the joy of creamy, cheesy grits. We almost always have frozen shrimp stashed in the freezer so shrimp and grits comes together in a flash for us. If we happen to be out of shrimp, we’ll sometimes put other toppers on the grits. Roasted Brussels sprouts and onions are killer! Grits are definitely a pantry staple for us.

Carbonara.

carbonara

Are you noticing a theme with our favorites? Bacon and garlic! Between those two items, you can add so much flavor to any dish in a flash.We always make sure to have bacon and garlic on hand. And carbonara is maybe the simplest showcase of the joy of bacon and garlic. Carbonara comes together in less than 15 minutes. I’ll work on the pasta while Craig makes us a side salad and before you know it, we’ve got a nice, well-rounded dinner. The leftovers are also delicious!

Penne Rosa.

penne rosa

Another pasta recipe, but we love Penne Rosa because it’s a really well-rounded one-bowl dinner. You get whole grains, veggies, greens and healthy fats and protein from the Greek yogurt. My original recipe calls for shrimp, but we actually skip the shrimp and leave it as a vegetarian dish most times. It’s the prefect Meatless Monday dish! No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen on Monday evening, and this recipe comes together in about 15 minutes. We eat this guy a few times a month.

What are you go-to dinners?

 

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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22 Responses
  1. Andrea

    Ahhhh love this post! I’m always on the prowl for easy meals since I’ve been known to pour myself a bowl of cereal and call it a day out of the thought of cooking after work and working out. I made penne rosa tonight and the only that thing that was missing was a big ol’ glass of red wine which I forgot to pick up from the store – doh! Thanks for sharing something so easy, delicious, and healthy!!!

  2. I love your ideas! Especially the hash idea – I can see using that for sure. Our go-to’s are made pretty easy by the fact that I have a giant stash of pre-cooked beans and lentils in my freezer at all times. I also make up a big batch of rice and then re-heat it for various meals throughout the week. We typically eat curry (with either paneer or chickpeas and a tomato-based sauce), soup, and an Arabic-style meal (we live in the middle east so it’s easy – it consists of falafel, rice and a tomato/onion/cucumber salad). They’re definitely our weekly eats with a few others variations thrown in to keep things fresh.

  3. Leesa

    Mmmm, thanks for giving me an idea for dinner this week. We’ve got sweet potatoes and spinach languishing, and hash will be the perfect way to cook them.

  4. Emily H.

    Great post, I love getting to take a peek into what go-to dinners other people have on a regular basis! I’ve honestly never made hash, grits, or any sort of cream sauce for pasta…but these pictures make it look so delicious that I’m going to have to try it! Thanks for inspiring me to branch out from our usual weeknight fare (as of late) of tacos, homemade chicken noodle soup and bbq pulled chicken sandwiches.

  5. Amy

    My first love is chili– during the cold winter months I always always have some in the fridge ready to heat up. I also love anything vegetarian that I can stuff in a burrito and call a meal. If I really want to cook something one night, I have a fantastic one pan gnocchi dish with tomatoes, white beans, and kale. So little cleanup and a 100% guaranteed pleaser if I’m having people over.

    1. Cassie

      Chili is definitely a winner in our house! It’s one of our big freezer meals. I’ll make a triple batch, freeze a bunch and then we eat on it for weeks!

  6. Cosmos

    One of my go to dinners is also hash! I leave the egg off the top, though. Another regular dinner is scrambled eggs with veggies, usually peppers as I always have those on hand. I also get a rotisserie chicken every week or two, and then I use some of the leftover chicken to make a quick stir fry with a peanut sauce. I keep a couple of bags of frozen veggies on hand just for this meal. It wouldn’t win any culinary awards, but it is one of my favs!

    I’m gluten free, and I have to count the carbs I eat per meal. GF pasta is very good, very expensive, and very nearly 100% of the carbs I’m allowed at a meal, so I hardly ever eat pasta. GF pasta is all white, refined flour, too, so it’s not very healthy. It’s the same reason I took GF bread of out the rotation, I’m trying to reduce the white carbs I eat.

    May I humbly make another comment? If these are regular meals for you, I’m surprised your grocery budget is so high!

    1. Cassie

      I’m come to accept that our grocery bill is what it is. 🙂 My Papaw always said that if you want to see what is important in someone’s life, just look at what they spend the most money on. Good, local, organic and healthy food is really, really important to me!

  7. My menu for this week is actually full of go-to dinners – some favorites:
    – meatballs on zucchini noodles
    – steak with sauteed mushrooms and/or kale salad
    – meatloaf and mashed cauliflower
    – chili (I could literally eat this every night, no shame)

  8. Ashley G.

    Hi Cassie! I read your blog frequently but rarely comment! I wanted to delurk today to mention a book I just finished that I think you’d (and readers) would be interested in: “Fat Chance: Beating the odds against sugar, processed foods, obesity and disease” by Dr. Robert Lustig; he’s been getting a lot of press for the book recently (I heard him on NPR), so you may have heard of it, but it’s a fascinating take on the obesity epidemic and how we can live better (without selling products on the side, which I appreciate!). It’s definitely worth reading!

    Our weeknight go to meals are: breakfast (egg sandwiches, bacon & eggs, omlets, pancakes, etc.), tacos/fajitas (chicken, shrimp, fish, vegetarian, etc), and stirfry (esp. with a rice cooker!) Thanks for writing a great blog!

  9. Sarah

    We make something called Asian Beef Noodle Thing on a pretty regular basis. It’s from an old WW magazine and is pretty much just shredded cabbage, green onions, steak strips, and beef Ramen. Our other usual recipe is turkey kielbasa, mixed with sauteed peppers and onions and whole wheat pasta.

    We also do lettuce wraps and some form of Mexican (tacos, enchiladas, quesadilla casserole, etc.), or some sort of stir fry (frozen veggies, chicken or steak). If it can be on the table in 30 minutes or less, I’m a fan. 🙂

  10. I’m from the South and love grits!! I have never tried them with roasted Brussels sprouts and onions! I will be soon though! Ya people are surprised when I tell them I eat leftovers and don’t always cook these “fancy” meals. I love your food photography BTW!

  11. Although I’m not a vegetarian, my go-to dinners in the week are, so spicy chickpea and spinach with poached eggs, lentil and ginger soup, lentils and veg with halloumi, frittata.

    I try and avoid heavy carbs like pasta and potatoes in the evening, I’m more than slightly obsessed with lentils though and always have a pot of cooked lentils in the fridge. If I’m really stuck for inspiration, I’ll saute onion, peppers, mushrooms and whatever other veg is around and add lentils – my version of a hash!

Meet Cassie
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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