Raspberry Cream Cheese Danishes
Raspberry Cream Cheese Danishes | Midweek Minimalist

Brunch at a restaurant. Pretty cool, right?

For me, not so much. I can't be the only one that prefers a Sunday that's full of sleeping, lazy breakfast making, and coffee on tap all day long. Honestly, going out to breakfast is usually too much effort.

I typically stick to classic breakfast items like bacon and eggs, but I wanted to change it up with something a little fancier... enter these raspberry cream cheese danishes. Here's the thing though: they're SO EASY. All you need is puff pastry, jam, cream cheese, and sugar. THAT'S IT!

If you ask me, nobody needs to be spending their time making finicky puff pastry when Trader Joe's makes an all-butter version in packs of 2 for $4. I used raspberry jam in this recipe, but feel free to use whichever is your favorite.

A tip: the first time I made these, I put the baking sheet directly on my baking stone to bake. I found that the bottoms got way too crispy and flaked apart too much for my liking. If you typically use a baking stone, I'd skip it for this recipe. Other than that it's smooth sailing!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Danishes | Midweek Minimalist

Raspberry Cream Cheese Danishes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 1 sheet all-butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/4 c. raspberry jam
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar, a pinch of salt, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined.
  3. Roll the thawed puff pastry out onto the prepared baking sheet. Score the puff pastry in a grid to make a total of 12 squares. Scoring the puff pastry allows it to fully puff up. I like to use a ruler to guide my knife as I cut it into squares.
  4. In the center of each square, put 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. Use the back of a spoon to make a small well in each scoop of the cream cheese mixture, then put ½ t. raspberry jam into each well.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Sift powdered sugar over the top of the pastries before serving.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Dill Sour Cream
Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Dill Sour Cream

You know the recipes that you whip out when you're having people over and want to impress them with something that is SO GOOD every time? Yeah, that's this.

Here's what's making this recipe work:

  • Teeny tiny potatoes (yeah, they're literally called that at Trader Joe's). No peeling or chopping. Cool.

  • The Crisp Factor. The edges get so nice and crispy from a little splash of olive oil, then some crunchy salt comes in to seal the deal at the end.

  • Fresh herbs. They pack such a punch of flavor and require zero effort. And look at that dill! Makes you look so fancy, am I right?

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Dill Sour Cream

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Dill Sour Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. tiny new potatoes
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • to taste kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 T. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 T. fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Wash potatoes and put them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes. Add a pinch of salt to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Drain potatoes and while still hot, then place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and shake pan to coat evenly. Use the bottom of a glass to gently press down on the potato until smashed. Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over the tops. Be generous! Potatoes need lots of salt.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
  4. In the meantime, prepare dill sour cream. In a small bowl, mix together sour cream, dill, chives, and salt. Store covered in the fridge until the potatoes are done baking.
  5. When the potatoes are crispy, remove from oven and serve immediately.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Dill Sour Cream
Cinnamon Oatmeal with Salted Maple Butter
Cinnamon Oatmeal with Salted Maple Butter

Oats!

Who loves oatmeal? It's kind of hard to love sometimes, isn't it? Not only is it fugly looking...it's just never going to be as good as a stack of buttery waffles. I was recently inspired by a local restaurant who has oatmeal on the menu...but with a maple BUTTER on top!

I've never thought of putting butter on oatmeal before, but it made for an extra rich winter breakfast treat, especially when paired with a hefty hand of walnuts and cinnamon. You could even throw some of the leftover butter on toast the next day (or...right away).

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Oatmeal with Salted Maple Butter and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 T butter, softened
  • 1 t. maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 c. water or milk
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 2 T walnuts, chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the salted maple butter, combine butter, maple syrup, and salt in a small bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
  2. To make the oats, boil water or milk. Stir in oats, cinnamon, and a dash of salt.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat 8-12 minutes, or until oats are creamy. Top prepared oats with a small dollop of salted maple butter and chopped walnuts. Enjoy while hot.
Ruby Boulevard
Ruby Boulevard - A refreshing whiskey based cocktail enhanced with fresh grapefruit and rosemary  honey simple syrup

Do you make cocktails at home? You should. It's way easy and almost like going out...and even better if you're one of those cool people with good taste and have a living space bursting with ambiance.

Fresh grapefruit is one of my favorite winter fruits so I loved being able to incorporate it into a cocktail. This one is especially good because it uses a rosemary-infused honey simple syrup. If you're like me, you've probably only used rosemary for savory foods but MY GOODNESS does it smell good when simmered with honey.

The base of this cocktail is whiskey...no further explanation needed, right? Because of course it’s going to be good! You can use any mid-level whiskey in this drink, but if you’re feeling extra fancy, opt for a rye whiskey. Rye whiskey is a bit punchier than standard whiskey so it gives the drink an extra level of depth. We did a side by side taste test with the rye whiskey and the regular whiskey and the rye version tasted even cozier and more campfire-esque.

Ruby Boulevard - A refreshing whiskey based cocktail enhanced with fresh grapefruit and rosemary  honey simple syrup

Ruby Boulevard

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 oz. whiskey
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

Cooking Directions

  1. Start by making the rosemary honey simple syrup by combining ¼ c. honey and ¼ c. water into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to combine and add 1 rosemary sprig. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Cool completely and remove rosemary sprig before using. Simple syrup can be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks
  2. To make the cocktails, add ¾ oz rosemary honey simple syrup, whiskey, and grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake 10 seconds.
  3. Serve in a chilled glass and garnish with rosemary sprigs and a small slice of grapefruit if desired.
Nicole FolgateComment
Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
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Look, I'm not really here to tell you what to do but honestly? Get yourself some oyster crackers and settle in. Because winter is here and you definitely want to eat some chicken wild rice soup in front of the fireplace...or you know, in front of your computer screen while you alternate bites of soup with email notifications.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup is probably my favorite soup so this is hard to beat in my book. And living in Minnesota, it kind of just makes me feel like I ~belong.~ Wild rice is pretty spendy, as it should be! The cheapest I've found mine is at Target. It's a 16 oz. bag (and Minnesota cultivated!) for $5. Which doesn't sound that exciting, but I've seen wild rice for up to $16/lb. so it's definitely worth doing your research.

Helpful Tips

  • This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker if you don’t have an Instant Pot. The directions are pretty much the same with a few exceptions: cook everything in the slow cooker on low while you’re away at work, shred the chicken, then make the roux at the end and stir it in right before serving. That’s it!

  • I usually only buy celery when I’m making soup, but I often don’t use the whole bunch. To prevent waste, I usually chop double the carrots, onions, and celery to make a large bowl of mirepoix. I use half in the soup I’m making that day and freeze the other half for a future pot of soup and thank myself later for the timesaver.

  • The easiest way I’ve found to bring leftover soup to work is to divide it into wide mouth quart mason jars. That way, you have enough soup for a few days and only need to carry your lunchbox to work once!

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Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. wild rice
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 c. 2% milk

Cooking Directions

  1. Put all of the ingredients except the butter, flour, and milk into the Instant Pot. Cook for 35 minutes (manual, high pressure), making sure that the valve is set to “seal.” Let the soup sit for 15 minutes before releasing pressure (this helps make sure the chicken is tender).
  2. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred with two forks. Sometimes my chicken is so tender that I can just leave it in the Instant Pot and it falls apart just using tongs.
  3. Next, make the creamy base for the soup. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Let the mixture cook for 3-5 minutes to cook the flour through. Gradually whisk in the milk until the sauce thickens.
  4. Add the creamy sauce to the Instant Pot and stir to combine. Season with a few pinches of salt and a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
Small Batch Brownies
Small Batch Brownies | Midweek Minimalist

I’m not one to tell people what to do...but honestly, just buy a pan and start making your own brownies. I did. I started off strong at 9 years old making my first batch of brownies when I misread the recipe and put 1 cup less sugar in than the recipe called for...then tried to fix it by dumping sugar on top afterwards??? I can’t hate on my former 9 year old self for that problem solving mentality. Since then, I think I’ve got this whole brownie making thing under control...especially with the ones I’m sharing today!

This recipe calls for a smaller odd sized pan of the vintage-Pyrex-at-Goodwill variety, but if you don’t have one feel free to use a standard loaf pan. These are the perfect thing to make when you don’t want a huge pan of brownies staring you in the face but still want a little chocolate indulgence in the middle of the week.

I add chocolate chips to mine before baking and then throw whatever I have sitting around in my kitchen on top after they get done baking. Sprinkles, nuts, caramel, more chocolate, frosting, you name it. I’ve been making this recipe since I’ve been in college and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Small Batch Brownies | Midweek Minimalist

Small Batch Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 T unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/8 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • optional extra toppings like sliced almonds, chocolate chips, caramel, etc.

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6 or 7-inch square baking pan (or a standard size loaf pan) with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir until completely combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and add desired toppings (chocolate chips, nuts, etc.) bake for 15-20 minutes. Start with 15 minutes and go up from there. Do not overcook; the inside will be moist and fudgy, not crumbly or cakey.
Nicole FolgateComment
Easiest Chicken Noodle Soup
Easiest Chicken Noodle Soup

Okay so if you’re sitting there thinking, “I’m never going to waste time making soup because it comes in a can,” THINK AGAIN. Making soup is not difficult, so don’t shy away from it! You can do it on a Sunday afternoon and thank your former self all week long when you have cozy, delicious soup to eat for lunch every day. Soup is as simple as sautéing a few veggies, adding broth, protein, and dry noodles. That’s it! It’s economical, satisfying, and full of veggies.

This chicken noodle soup typically takes me under an hour to make and the combination of sautéed onion, garlic, and thyme smell so good while it cooks. I like to serve mine in big bowls with tons of oyster crackers and fresh cracked pepper. After cooking, I store it in pint-sized mason jars and grab one on my way out the door each morning for a cozy and filling work lunch.

Easiest Chicken Noodle Soup

Easiest Chicken Noodle Soup

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped into coins
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 2 t. parsley
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. uncooked egg noodles

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, add butter and saute onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until the onions are cooked through and translucent.
  2. Add salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and chicken broth; stir to combine. Add chicken breasts, then turn the heat up to high. When the broth reaches a rolling boil, cover and reduce to medium heat, then simmer 20-25 minutes or until the chicken breasts are cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken breasts from the pot and shred each one using two forks. Add shredded chicken back into the pot and turn the heat up to high. When the soup reaches a rolling boil, add the egg noodles and boil for 6-8 minutes. When the egg noodles are al dente, the soup is ready to serve!
Bahn Mi Street Tacos
Bahn Mi Street Tacos

These Bahn Mi Tacos are a direct response to my post-Thanksgiving never-going-to-look-at-mashed-potatoes again feelings. I borrowed my 5 Ingredient Teriyaki Sauce recipe and made a few easy ingredient swaps to get the flavor profile I had in mind: jalapeno instead of green onion and brown sugar instead of white sugar. Easy, right? This spicy-sweet marinade is the perfect complement to crunchy pickled veggies and a sriracha mayo sauce.

I also can’t get enough of how pretty the trio of pickled veggies is! Instead of pickling them in separate jars, I packed them all into the same jar...obviously in ombre order. Quick pickling veggies is super simple and totally elevates the flavor of the tacos with their acidity and crunch.

I like to serve these tacos in the smaller street taco sized shells and serve them alongside spicy beans or rice. Whatever you do, don’t neglect the squeeze lime of lime juice over the top at the end before serving—it totally pulls everything together.

Bahn Mi Street Tacos | Midweek Minimalist

Bahn Mi Tacos

Yield: 8-10 tacos

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 medium orange, juiced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno with ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 package street taco size tortillas
  • 1/4 c. Sriracha mayo
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 4 lime wedges

Cooking Directions

  1. Make the marinade by combining soy sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and pepper. Stir to combine and add to a gallon zip top bag along with the boneless skinless chicken tenderloins. Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prep the quick pickled veggies by adding apple cider vinegar, hot water, sugar, and salt to a small jar. Shake or stir to combine, add chopped veggies, and store covered in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. To cook the chicken, heat a large skillet to medium heat and dump the chicken and marinade into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through. Shred the chicken, then add to the skillet to simmer with the sauce on low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. To serve tacos, set out tortilla shells, cilantro, lime wedges, and pickled veggies. Prep the sriracha mayo by stirring a few squeezes of sriracha into ¼ cup of mayo. Squeeze lime over the top of tacos before eating.
Bahn Mi Street Tacos | Midweek Minimalist
Nicole FolgateComment
Broccoli + Chicken Mac & Cheese
Broccoli + Chicken Mac & Cheese

Broccoli Mac & Cheese is the perfect dinner for nights when you’re feeling like swimming in a pool of cheese...but then kind of being healthy with broccoli and some grilled chicken stirred in. This creamy cheese sauce is super easy to make and can be as fancy or un-fancy as you’d like! I typically go all cheddar, but you could also class it up with some fresh parmesan, gruyere, or fontina. It can be made using pretty much any pasta in the universe, so go all out on that chickpea pasta if you’re feeling super healthy.

Broccoli + Chicken Mac & Cheese

Broccoli + Chicken Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (12 oz) package frozen steamable broccoli
  • 2 chicken breasts

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, saute two chicken breasts until cooked through, dice, and set aside. When pasta is done cooking, drain and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and chicken broth and season with pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbling and thickened. Remove from heat and add shredded cheese, whisking constantly until melted.
  3. Steam broccoli according to package directions.
  4. Add the pasta, broccoli, and chicken to the cheese sauce and stir to combine, adding a little extra milk if needed to thin out the sauce.
Cowboy Caviar
Cowboy Caviar | Midweek MInimalist

Cowboy Caviar...could probably use a little bit of a rebrand in the naming department, but nonetheless, it’s an unstoppable recipe to keep in your back pocket. I often reach for this recipe when I’m going to a party and am not sure if this person or that person is vegan? Sensitive to dairy? Grain free? You get the picture.

The winning characteristic of this recipe is that it's fresh, filling, and unbelievably flavorful...especially when you consider that most appetizers are basically a sea of melted cheese. And if you thought cowboy caviar only excelled at parties or for midnight snack rampages, you’re wrong! I’ve used it as a burrito topping, scooped on top of nachos, and more.

Cowboy Caviar | Midweek MInimalist

Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients

  • 1/4 t. fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 small japepeno, finely diced with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 large ripe avocados (diced)
  • 1 bag tortilla chips

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine everything from the fresh cracked pepper to the salt together in a small jar, secure with lid, and shake until completely combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, excluding the tortilla chips. Pour dressing over the top and toss gently so everything is coated in dressing. Chill for an hour before serving. If you plan to make this ahead of time, reserve the avocados and dressing and add them right before serving.
Twice Baked Potato Tater Tot Hotdish
Twice Baked Potato Tater Tot Hotdish

So I’d like to preface this by saying: I’m from Wisconsin. Because today I’m trekking into strictly Minnesotan territory...and that’s hotdish territory.

The thing I’m worried about here is not only am I claiming to be a licensed hotdish person, but I’m also modernizing it (gasp!) with the ever so trendy cauliflower rice. But don’t worry. There’s still an incredible amount of cheese, BACON, and most definitely a golden halo of tots ringing the cast iron pan.

I took everything I love about a twice baked potato and converted it into a one pan hotdish that is prepped on the stove and then slid right into the oven. Easy, right? Also, I’m not sure what I’ve been doing but every hotdish I’ve ever had has been in a pan big enough to serve at least 50 people. I’ve scaled mine back to four well sized servings, cozily tucked into a 10-inch cast iron.

For simplicity and time’s sake, I used canned cream of mushroom soup. I know that there are a lot of horror stories about the mysterious ingredients in canned soup, so I just did a little label reading and picked one that had ingredients I understood. If you ask me, cold weather and the pursuit of an easy hotdish is a good enough excuse to opt for the easy canned soup route!

This hotdish is peppery, crispy, satisfying, and cozy....and it got rave reviews from taste testers. The prep is easy enough that I’ll be throwing it into my weeknight dinner routine, too. Insider tip: for optimum leftover consumption, heat leftovers in microwave until almost heated through and then throw it under the broiler for a few minutes. The extra step is totally worth the crispy tots!

Twice Baked Potato Tater Tot Hotdish

Twice Baked Potato Tater Tot Hotdish

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 bag tater tots
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  2. Saute 2 slices of bacon in a cast iron or oven-safe pan* until cooked through. Remove bacon from pan, crumble into bite-sized pieces, and set aside. Drain out all of the bacon fat from the pan except for 1 T. Add ground turkey and diced onion to the pan and cook over medium heat until cooked through. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add the milk and condensed cream of mushroom soup to the skillet and stir until smooth. Add a few turns of fresh cracked pepper. Gently mix in frozen broccoli and cauliflower rice. Remove from heat and smooth the top of the mixture using the back of a spatula. Top the hot dish with a single layer of tater tots.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until tater tots are golden and crispy. In the last 5 minutes of baking, top with shredded cheddar cheese so it has time to melt. Serve hotdish garnished with sour cream and crumbled bacon pieces.
  5. Notes:
  6. If you don’t have an oven safe pan, prep the filling in a skillet, then transfer to a baking dish before topping with tater tots.
Twice Baked Potato Tater Tot Hotdish
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
These buffalo chicken meatballs are a great party appetizer or even served as dinner with a side of veggies!

2018 has been the year of the buffalo for me...buffalo sauce, that is. I can’t get enough of the tangy, spicy goodness! These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a healthier spin on the classic buffalo wing and they’re practically made for football season and fall weather. This recipe only has one finicky step: grating half an onion. But I promise it’s worth it! Using grated onion instead of onion powder is a trick used for classic italian meatballs that makes them more tender, juicy, and flavorful. Onion aside, you can have these whipped up and in the oven in under 30 minutes.

While these are designed to be a party appetizer when paired with a trio of dipping sauces and cut veggies, I’ve been throwing them into my dinner rotation lately. They’re surprisingly good with a big side of roasted veggies for those days you have a craving for buffalo chicken. My go-to dipping sauce is a pool of ranch dressing, but feel free to stick to the classic bleu cheese if you want to keep things traditional.

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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12-14

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. grated onion
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. buffalo sauce

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the buffalo sauce. Mix thoroughly and scoop into 2 T. sized meatballs onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through, flipping once halfway through the cooking process.
  4. Immediately after cooking, transfer meatballs to a large bowl and toss with the ½ cup buffalo sauce to coat completely. Serve immediately. I like to pair mine with bowl of my favorite dipping sauce, but you could also drizzle it over the top of the meatballs if you’re serving them appetizer style.
Autumn Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowls
Autumn Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowls

A few weeks ago I showed you guys my new in season page and this recipe is a direct inspiration from it! This recipe is super filling and cozy...and I love the rich colors of roasted carrots and vibrant purple onions. The chickpeas get kind of crunchy in the oven, which is a great contrast to a creamy tahini based dressing and some sliced avocado.

This prep of recipe is relatively hands off: chop a couple veggies, make some quinoa (could even use the microwaveable kind!), and that’s it. Plenty of time to binge watch some Netflix while you wait for your veggies to finish roasting.

I use storebought dressing in this recipe, which saves a ton of time and prevents me from buying a bunch of ingredients I’ll only use once. It can be tricky to find a flavorful storebought dressing, so I’m really happy I stumbled across the Annie’s goddess dressing. This is not sponsored in any way, it just works perfect for this recipe!

Autumn Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowls

Autumn Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowls

Yield: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chick peas, drained
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (2 cups dry)
  • 1 avocado sliced

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, add carrots, sliced onions, and chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil (approx 3 tablespoons), then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and fresh cracked pepper. Toss the vegetables to coat evenly in the olive oil and seasonings. Roast for 30–45 minutes, or until vegetable are tender, stirring once halfway through the cooking process.
  3. While your vegetables are cooking, prepare quinoa and slice avocado. To assemble: add 1 cup of quinoa to a bowl and top with roasted vegetables, ¼ of the sliced avocado, and a drizzle of the goddess dressing.
Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

Are you into meal planning? I try to meal plan every week but honestly, it can be really exhausting. For those nights that we just can’t bring ourselves to meal plan, I decided to create a new type of recipe on my site: meals that can be made with a quick trip to the grocery store after work…no prep required. This recipe can be on the table in 20 minutes and is really easy to clean up, which is honestly a huge win in my book. If there’s one thing more annoying than meal planning, it HAS to be doing dishes.

I love this recipe because it’s both filling and flavorful, thanks to bright pops of corn and hearty black beans. For extra flavor without a ton of spices like a typical mexican recipe, I opted to use salsa verde and spicy pepper jack cheese. I think pepper jack is totally underrated! It is so flavorful and the texture is made for being melted in a crispy quesadilla. I like to serve mine with a ton of guacamole and a bit of greek yogurt spiced with Cholula.

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas | These can be made with a quick trip to the grocery store after work; no meal plan required!

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

Prep time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 4 8 inch tortillas
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • optional toppings guacamole, greek yogurt

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the diced onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the black beans, corn, and salsa verde to the skillet and cook until heated through. If your salsa is watery, you'll want to let most of the liquid cook off. Once the black beans and corn are heated through, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and remove from heat.
  4. To prepare quesadillas, scoop the black bean and corn mixture onto half of a tortilla. Top with a handful of shredded pepper jack cheese and fold over. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5. To cook quesadillas, heat 1 t. of olive oil in the large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
  6. Serve with desired toppings.
Pico De Gallo
Pico de Gallo | Midweek Minimalist

If you memorize one recipe, it should be this one. Pico de gallo is my favorite shortcut for weeknight cooking because it can replace a bunch of things in one swoop. Topping nachos? Done. Skipping all of the taco toppings and only using this instead? Done. Store it in a jar and use it to top black bean bowls all week? Done. This recipe is only going to set you back 20 minutes, doesn’t use any fancy ingredients, and is simple to use and store throughout the week. Reach for this recipe instead of a jar of remade salsa the next time you need an easy topping and you’ll be sold!

Pico De Gallo | Midweek Minimalist

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 jalepeno, finely diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Toss all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Let sit for approximately an hour so the salt can draw the moisture out of the tomatoes. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
Thai Chicken Larb Lettuce Wraps
Thai Larb Lettuce Wraps | An easy and addictive weeknight dinner filled with fresh Thai flavors #midweekminimalist

As someone who was a little skeptical about lettuce wraps, I can’t believe how much I LOVE this recipe. The spicy sweet chicken mixture is great on its own, but it really comes to life when paired with some fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and some vinegary pickled onions. It’s fresh, vibrant, spicy, and satisfying all in one and I think it will be making a regular appearance in my weeknight rotation.

This recipe gets a little help from sambal oeleek; one of my new favorite pantry ingredients. It’s basically a spicy chili paste that works really well for adding spice to a wide variety of dishes…not to mention it’s super cheap. If you make this, go the extra mile and use butter lettuce. It’s super tender and has the perfect texture for a lettuce wrap. Green leaf or romaine will work in a pinch if you can’t find the butter lettuce at a store near you. I could also see this recipe working well as a bowl: serve over rice, then add the toppings along with chopped lettuce and you’ll have easy lunches for the week!

Thai Larb Chicken Wraps are an easy, low-carb meal that is quick to prepare on weeknights #midweekminimalist

Thai Chicken Larb Lettuce Wraps

Yield: 12 lettuce wraps, depending on the size of your lettuce leaves

Ingredients

1 lb lean ground chicken
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. sambal oeleek
1 T brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
salt and pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced
splash of rice wine vinegar*
1 head butter lettuce leaves
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 lime, sliced

Instructions

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ground chicken, garlic, and green onions, Saute until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, take your sliced red onion and put it in a small jar, then pour enough vinegar over the top to cover the onions. Place onions in the fridge until ready to eat.

After the chicken is done cooking, add the sambal oeleek, brown sugar, and soy sauce to the pan; stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is mostly absorbed. At this point you can taste it and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare each wrap by placing a scoop of the meat mixture into a single lettuce leaf, then top with pickled onion, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

*You can sub regular vinegar for rice wine vinegar if you don’t have it.

dinner, lunchNicole Folgate
15 Quick & Healthy Dinner Ideas
15 Quick & Healthy Dinner Ideas | Go-to recipes using grocery store shortcuts for nights that you don't have time to cook #midweekminmalist
  1. Avocado Toast on Sprouted Grain Bread with a Fried Egg

  2. Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas
    frozen corn, black beans, cheese on a tortilla, grilled on both sides. Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.

  3. Turkey Jack Pitas
    Sliced turkey, tomato, greens, and sliced pepper jack cheese on a whole wheat pita. Add your favorite mustard or mayo to top it off.

  4. Chicken Caesar Salads
    Sliced grilled chicken breast, romaine lettuce, croutons, fresh shaved parmesan cheese, topped with high quality (or preferably homemade) Caesar dressing

  5. Greek Salad with Pita Bread
    Chopped romaine, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, pepperoncinis, feta cheese, and greek vinaigrette; served with warmed pita bread.

  6. Weeknight Tortellini: Brown ½ lb ground turkey in a skillet until cooked through, then drain excess fat. Cook one package of tortellini according to package directions and add 1 jar of low sugar red pasta sauce and cooked ground beef. Serve with fresh grated parmesan.

  7. Protein Bento Box
    Sliced hard boiled eggs, cheddar cheese cubes, sliced veggies, hummus, and grapes.

  8. Pesto Flatbread Pizza
    Top store bought naan bread with pesto, followed by grilled chicken pieces, chopped red onion, and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400° F until cheese is melted, approximately 7-10 minutes. Serve with garden salad.

  9. Mediterranean Pita Pocket
    Dice tomato, cucumber, and red onion, then toss together in a small bowl with a splash of olive oil, some oregano, and salt. Fill a pita with sliced deli chicken or turkey, the vegetable mixture, and store bought tzatziki. Serve with in season fruit or sliced veggies.

  10. Fajitas
    Saute a sliced bell pepper and onion in a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil until tender (6-8 minutes). Scoop veggies on a plate and set aside. In the same pan, cook 1 lb. sliced chicken in 1 T olive oil, season with taco seasoning. Serve chicken and veggies in tortillas with your desired toppings.

  11. Chicken Ranch Wraps
    Saute sliced chicken breast in a little bit of olive oil and season with salt, fresh cracked pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Put into a whole wheat tortilla and top with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion, and ranch dressing. Recipe here.

  12. Quinoa Hummus Salads
    In a large salad bowl, add fresh greens, cooked red quinoa, chopped red onion, drained chickpeas, and a dollop of hummus.

  13. Roasted Vegetable Hash
    Slice one turkey kielbasa into coins, place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Cut up whatever vegetables you have into 1 inch pieces and roast at 450° F for 25-35 minutes or until edges begin to caramelize and veggies are cooked though. I recommend using a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, or bell peppers.

  14. Taco Lettuce Wraps
    Cook 1 lb. ground turkey and season with a packet of taco seasoning. Use iceberg or butter lettuce as “taco shells” and add your favorite taco fixings.

  15. BBQ Chicken Flatbread
    Slice a piece of naan bread in half and set aside. Mix shredded rotisserie chicken with a little bit of BBQ sauce, and add one of the naan bread halves. Top with shredded pepper jack cheese and red onion, then grill on both sides. Serve with sliced veggies and hummus.

Nicole Folgate
Chicken Stir Fry with 5 Ingredient Teriyaki Sauce
This Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry is extra delicious thanks to an easy teriyaki sauce that completely makes the dish. The best part? The teriyaki sauce only requires five ingredients! #healthy #midweekminimalist

This Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry is extra delicious thanks to an easy teriyaki sauce and a ton of colorful veggies. The best part? The teriyaki sauce only requires five ingredients! I love the spicy ginger and fresh orange juice paired with a bit of honey, fresh garlic, and soy sauce. Make this with whatever vegetables are in season for an easy dinner any night of the week.

 

Chicken Stir Fry with 5 Ingredient Teriyaki Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1/3 c. low sodium soy sauce
2 T honey
1 large orange
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2  medium-sized carrots, peeled and julienned (cut into thin strips, like matchsticks)
1 lb. snow peas (snap the ends to remove the string from each pod)
3 cups prepared cauliflower rice or brown rice

Instructions

Prepare sauce. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, the juice of one orange, chopped green onion, grated ginger, and minced garlic cloves. Stir to combine and set aside. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan and brown until cooked through, stirring occasionally (approximately 4 minutes). Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. 

Heat a splash of olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and teriyaki sauce. Cook, stirring rapidly until the vegetables begin to soften. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the cooked chicken back into the pan, stir, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Serve with rice of your choice and sprinkle sesame seeds or extra chopped green onion on top for some extra flair!

Notes: 

I made this recipe using cauliflower rice but found that I prefer to mix cauliflower rice half and half with regular rice. If you’re on the fence about cauliflower rice, try that!
 

Chicken Stir Fry with 5 Ingredient Teriyaki Sauce #midweekminimalist
dinner, lunchNicole Folgate