With the onset of the end of summer, I’ve been doing everything I can to extend the season just a little bit longer. Hiking, walking, sitting by the lake, just wishing the days would stay lighter longer like they did in late June. But alas, that certainly won’t happen; already it’s darker when I get up in the morning, gets darker earlier in the evening, and the fields have their late-summer scent. I always feel a bit excited when the seasons change, and with fall being one of my favorites, I already am dreaming of warming the house with roasts, soups, and bread. I know in a months’ time I will be making my weekly trek to the apple orchard to pick up my week’s supply of apples for snacks and pies.
Since I’ve been outside not inside the kitchen, cooking has taken a back seat these past few weeks. With lawn mowing or long walks after work, dinner is unusually later than normal, so speediness and quickness is the key! Here are five dinners that take little to no time to whip up for those late nights!
1. This make this dish at least once a week and it takes roughly 15 minutes from start to finish. Take whatever veggies you have in the fridge, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, and saute in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and garlic and onions, if you like. When the veggies are done cooking, remove them from the pan, and add a little bit more olive oil. Add some cut up chicken, chicken sausages, pork, tofu, you name it. Sauté until the protein is done cooking, add to the veggies, and voila! Dinner is served!
2. I recently saw a Panini on a restaurant dinner menu and I just shuddered. Call me traditional, but I am one of those people who believes sandwiches are for lunch, not dinner. But that doesn’t stop me from mixing up a batch of tuna salad and serving over fresh lettuce greens. I add some chopped celery and a little bit of diced onion with some mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Add some avocado to the salad greens along with any other veggies you’d like. If you have leftovers, then you can make a sandwich!
3. I made these a few weeks ago and they were delicious. And no, I don’t believe they constitute a sandwich! Take a clove of garlic and cut it in half. Slice a baguette into the number of slices you would like. Rub the garlic over the bread, and add a slice of fresh tomato, a basil leaf, and top with olive oil and salt and pepper. Other alternatives are to add some ricotta or fresh mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar. If you are gluten or dairy intolerant, take away the bread and cheese and just fix up the tomatoes. If they are fresh, any way you make this it will be delicious!
4. A frittata takes a little bit more time, but it’s very delicious! Here is a recipe for one I made a couple of summers ago, and it reminds me I should make it again!
Farmer’s Market Frittata
4-5 new baby potatoes, thinly sliced
A couple of cups of chopped broccoli
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
A splash of milk
About ¼ cup of feta cheese, or to taste
Fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper
In a saucepan of boiling water, add the potatoes and boil a few minutes until tender. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the broccoli to the water and blanch, just a minute or two in the water, and add to the potatoes. Add the minced garlic and salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the four eggs, milk, dill, and cheese. Add to the vegetable mixture and place in a greased pie pan. Cook at 425 degrees for ten minutes, then 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or bake at 350 for about half an hour or until the middle is set.
5. Take some fresh shrimp and poach it in a skillet with a little bit of white wine and garlic. While the shrimp is cooking, boil a pot of water for some linguine. In a large bowl, add the pasta, shrimp, some olive oil, crushed red pepper if you like it hot, some parmesan cheese, and a squirt of lemon juice.