It’s getting cold. December is creeping up, bringing with it crazy schedules. Quick is key this week, as parties are in full swing and public places are becoming frenzied with holiday shoppers. I’m trying to avoid the lure of fast food, an easy sell on me when parkas are in season. We’ll get through the week with a quick one-pan fish dish, easy mac with cheese and tomato sauce, pasta with shredded Brussels sprouts and even a slow cooker Tikka Masala that seems elaborate but is nearly effortless. It’s all real food, fast.
This simple fish dish is utterly virtuous – exactly what I tend to need as party season kicks into high gear. It comes together quickly, in one pan, using under ten ingredients including oil, salt and pepper. The boys love fish, and the zucchini almost passes off as noodles – almost.
Tilapia with Crispy Zucchini Ribbons
Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen
When I learned that this dish was my friend Gwendolyn’s all-time favourite childhood meal, I had to give it a go. It’s easy, kid-friendly, and the name is irresistible. As Gwendolyn puts it, it’s quick, filling and can be assembled during the day and left at the ready to bake closer to dinner time when everyone is home and getting hungry.
Photo Credit: Gwendolyn of Patent and the Pantry
I do adore east Indian food, particularly dishes like this chicken tikka masala, which is reminiscent of butter chicken. The ingredient list looks long and daunting, but it’s a snap to put together, and you can toss it all in the slow cooker in the morning and feel on top of things all day, knowing dinner is already done.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Photo credit: Jaime of Sophistimom
I’m smitten with this recipe, which utilizes Brussels sprouts in a way I’d never seen before. I love shredding them to sauté or turn into a salad of sorts, but I’d never seen them shredded and used in a pasta dish. Brilliant! It may just convince your family to eat Brussels sprouts.
Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Feta
Photo credit: Jan of Family Bites
Sometimes the end of the week needs to be celebrated. When the snow starts to fly, there’s no reason you can’t use your barbecue, but it’s possible to make a perfect steak without putting your boots on. A hot, heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) will do the trick: a quick sear and a few minutes per side will produce the perfect steak in less time it takes to cook the potatoes. A couple great-quality steaks are perfect for a date night in, and are fast and easy enough to cook after you get the kids to bed.