Blog Bites: Four ideas for easy weeknight meals

By Karen Petersen

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 15 2012 6:00 a.m. MDT

Honey bourbon chicken doesn't actually use bourbon, and it can be made in the slow cooker.

Laura from realmomkitchen.com

If you’re like many moms, you’re scratching your head at about 5 p.m. each night wondering what in the world to make for dinner. Weeknight dinners don’t have to be such a burden. With a little planning and blog surfing, you can find plenty of delicious (and nutritious) options to keep your sanity intact and your family satisfied. Here are four appetizing dinner ideas:

A delicious $10 meal. Head over to The Hungry Housewife to find a delicious recipe for chicken and zucchini roll-ups. The zucchini is sautéed in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper and then mixed with cheese before it’s rolled up into the chicken. Most of the ingredients are items you can find at your house. Simply serve with some rice and green beans, and, voila, you have a balanced, quick and easy meal — all for $10!

Meatless and mouthwatering. If you’re like me, you include a “meatless” day in your menu planning each week. This helps in the health and budget department. These avocado enchiladas from Sweet Basil are missing meat, but they are full of flavor. They have an ingredient list that includes avocado, garlic, lime, cilantro, green enchilada sauce, heavy cream and pepper jack cheese. The creator of this recipe describes the enchiladas as “cool and spicy, well balanced and flavorful.”

Let the slow cooker make you look amazing. I love the slow cooker. I use it pretty much every day. So when I’m reading blogs and see a slow cooker recipe, I immediately bookmark it. The honey bourbon chicken from Real Mom Kitchen doesn’t actually use bourbon, but the sauce turns out deliciously sweet and thick. Blogger Laura says, “The crock pot makes it a cinch to put this dish together. You end up with tender chicken. Just serve over cooked rice and you are set.”

Top that! The homemade Navajo tacos from Our Recipe Garden may seem a little overwhelming at first glance. But you could actually make them in a matter of minutes. The key is using Rhodes white dinner rolls that have been thawed and rolled out. Then they are simply fried in a minimal amount of canola oil until lightly browned. At that point, it is simply a matter getting out all the toppings: refried beans, kidney beans, seasoned ground beef, lettuce, diced tomatoes, olives, salsa, sour cream and onions. The options are endless.

Karen Petersen is the author of 365 Days of Slow-Cooking. You can find her online at 365daysofcrockpot.com.