Chopped taco salad

Chopped taco salad
Chopped taco salad

I first made this taco salad for a potluck lunch at work last year — I wanted something that was easy to make and transport. But I liked it so much that it’s become a regular part of our dinner rotation. It’s easy to mix up a large bowlful (I serve the dressing on the side) and have several delicious meals.

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Chef salad

Chef salad
Chef salad

If you look at our meal plans for the last several months, this tasty chef salad is the dinner you’ll find most often. We’ve gotten into the habit of having salad for dinner at least twice a week — and this is my go-to salad.

If you’re looking for quick meals during the week, you can prep the veggies and hard-boil the eggs on the weekend. Then, all you have to do is combine all the ingredients and you’re ready to eat! Another easy option is to use leftover rotisserie chicken in place of the deli ham. Either way, it’s delicious.

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10-minute teriyaki chicken

10-minute teriyaki chicken
10-minute teriyaki chicken (served with broccoli and rice)

If you live in or have visited the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably noticed that there are “teriyaki stops” in pretty much every town. Unfortunately, they’re not very common here in the Twin Cities.

Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own teriyaki chicken at home. The first key is to use chicken thighs, so you don’t end up with dry chicken. The second is to brown the chicken for extra flavor, and the third is to use a good teriyaki sauce. Follow those steps and you’ll have delicious teriyaki chicken in under 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Chilled tofu with kabocha squash

Chilled tofu with kabocha squash
Chilled tofu with kabocha squash

This chilled tofu with kabocha squash is a great, easy Japanese recipe. It can be either a lighter meal on its own (served with rice and miso soup) or served as a side (I like to pair it with sushi). Either way, it’s simple but delicious.

Kabocha squash is a Japanese winter squash that is unique in that you can eat the skin — don’t be afraid, it adds a lot of flavor. This mild, orange squash is one of our favorites.

The chilled tofu (hiyayakko) is topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and soy sauce. Pressing the block of tofu before serving allows it to absorb more of the flavor of the soy sauce. Give it a try — it’s delicious!

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Honey mustard glazed salmon

Honey mustard glazed salmon
Honey mustard glazed salmon

For the past couple years, my go-to salmon recipe has been teriyaki salmon. But lately, I’ve been making this honey mustard glazed salmon recipe as a delicious alternative.

When I’m making a meal with salmon, I usually stick to the same simple formula: oven-baked salmon, a starch (usually rice), and a veggie (like broccoli, zucchini, or a green salad). It’s balanced, simple, and delicious.

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Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)

Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)
Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)

Michael found this recipe last fall when we were going through some old issues of Sunset magazine, and I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve made it a couple times now, and have tweaked the recipe to make it tasty and delicious — we really like the flavors of the lemon and oregano in the marinade. Since we don’t have a grill, I cook them in my grill pan, which works great.

I’ve used this grilled chicken in pita sandwiches, as well as a Greek chicken salad — either way, it’s best served with cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce.

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Cashew chicken

Cashew chicken
Cashew chicken

Tonight, I decided to make cashew chicken for dinner. Although I’d never made it before, I noticed that many recipes use a similar sauce as my beef and rice noodles recipe. So, I simply used that sauce as the base of my recipe. Turns out, it was both easy and delicious, so I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my Chinese food repertoire!

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Vietnamese beef and rice noodles

Vietnamese beef and rice noodles
Vietnamese beef and rice noodles

I made this Vietnamese beef and rice noodle stir fry for dinner tonight, and it was absolutely delicious! Michael and I went to United Noodles in Minneapolis this afternoon and stocked up on some groceries that we can’t easily find, along with some of the ingredients for this dish.

Although the ingredient list looks a little long, this is actually a very quick and easy meal to make. One of the keys to this dish is the paper-thin sliced beef (you could also use pork), because it cooks extremely quickly and has a lot of surface area for the sauce to coat it. If you’re slicing your own meat, you may need to slightly increase the cooking time.

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Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette
Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

I’ve made Cobb salad several times this spring (and finally summer), and it’s a great main dish salad. Wikipedia tells me that the best way to remember the ingredients in Cobb salad is with the mnemonic EAT COBB: eggs, avocado, tomato, chicken, (green) onion, bacon, and blue cheese.  We ended up making a couple changes from that (like ham instead of bacon), but it’s still great!

The salad dressing for this recipe is also delicious. We haven’t been buying salad dressing at the store lately — most of it has high-fructose corn syrup in it, and if it doesn’t it’s simple enough to make myself. The fresh tang of the lemon makes this a great dressing for summer salads.

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Homemade sushi (California roll)

Homemade sushi (California roll)
Homemade sushi (California roll)

Michael and I enjoy eating Japanese food, and one of my favorites is sushi. While sushi may seem intimidating to make, it’s actually not that difficult — it just takes a little time and patience. This recipe is for nori-maki (with the nori wrapped around the outside), which is one of the easiest types of sushi to make.

I usually make California rolls, which is the recipe I’m sharing below, but we’ve also tried other varieties, like the Philly roll made with smoked salmon. The sky’s the limit — you can try any filling combination that you like!

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