Easy Weeknight Dinners

Burrito

Burritos are easy to make for a quick weeknight dinner.

It’s late, you’re tired, and the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen. There’s just one problem? You’re really hungry.

Have no fear, FreshDirect staffers have been in your very situation, many-a-times. And being a sharing bunch, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite easy week night dinner tips, for when you just want to eat something good, tasty, and in the nick of time. Grab your spatula and get ready to outpace your timer.

Here goes:… 

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3 Different Meal Ideas for our Marinated Roasted Half Chicken

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

With the temperature rising, one way that I beat the heat is order our ready-made Marinated Roasted Half Chicken and microwave it when I’m ready for dinner.  (During the hot summer months, the steamy oven is not my friend!)

What I love about roasted chicken is that it’s so versatile that I can make several different dishes with it.

One way is to serve the roasted chicken as is with a nice side dish. Our Facebook fans had some great suggestions (click here to read them all!) including:… 

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Father’s Day Burger Inspiration

Burgers and Dad

Burgers and Dad

When I visit my family in Upstate, NY, I love when my dad fires up the grill and makes my favorites.

There’s his famous lemon steak (extra-thin slices of steak marinated in lots of lemon juice and oregano, and charred perfectly on the grill), and on my most recent visit, I had my perfect burger—a soft bun, gooey cheese, a juicy beef patty, ketchup, and mayo.

Back at my apartment in Brooklyn, I used a grill pan to replicate the burger, but since I can’t get that same grill flavor, I tried different proteins and added fun toppings that remind me of home. Here are my burger creations in honor of Father’s Day:… 

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Weeknight Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Wings

Making Chicken Parmesan at home was a snap with FD's pre-breaded cutlets!

In winter (even warm ones), I like making meals that remind me of home, especially classic favorites like chicken Parmesan. Is there anything better than hearty sauce and fresh mozzarella on a cold winter’s night? (If your answer is “yes,” please let me in on your secret immediately!)

When I’m cooking for friends, I pull out all the stops—no jarred sauces. But when cooking for myself I don’t always have the already-made sauce in the freezer (or the hours to spend over the stove).

Now that I work at FreshDirect, I’ve been cutting a lot of corners to save time on weeknight meals, mostly in the form of precooked items. So this time I wanted to try combining some of our ready-to-cook/precooked components to make an easy, healthier version of one of my favorite meals…. 

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‘Tis the season for unexpected guests!

Veggies and Dip

A tray of pre-cut veggies and dip is easy to put together at the last minute!

If you have a sneaky suspicion that you might have a few additional guests over the holidays, stock up your freezer with some crowd pleasing favorites and some classic staples.

A tradition in and of themselves, warm bundles of puff pastry and beef franks are delicious dipped in whole grain or yellow mustard. Make your own (to freeze ahead of time) or have these frozen pigs in a blanket available in your freeze for last minute guests. The best part? Pop them in the oven and they’re ready in as little as 10-minutes.

Cute as a button and tasty too, our mini beef burger sliders come tucked in teeny tiny sesame buns with a slice of dill pickle and cheddar cheese. Total time from freezer to table is less than 20-minutes…. 

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Spooky and Fun Halloween Food Ideas

shrimp

Shrimp look eerie hanging on a black pot filled with ice.

What’s your Halloween ritual? Do you take your kids out trick-or-treating? Or do you dress up and have everyone over for a costume party?

Whichever way you decide to spend your Halloween night, there’s sure to be good food around! Here are a few easy ways to add some ‘chills’ to your Halloween spread:
… 

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Easy Weekday Meal Ideas from Chef Tina Bourbeau

Fruit and Yogurt

Easy weekday meals for a family can be made by adding protein to just one of our 4-minute meals.

I have three requirements when I make dinner for myself at the end of a busy day (already spent in the kitchen!). 1) Preparations must be fast 2) It should be pretty healthy 3) Ingredients must be great.

It’s the last requirement which really allows me to keep things simple. If you have great ingredients, less is more. And I don’t like leftovers but also hate wasting food, so rarely do I over-produce, which allows me to keep portions manageable.

Normally I’ll make a salad or some mixed grain and greens and then top up with a cooked protein – which I cook à la minute. So where most of the components are a quick mix, a chop or a stir, the only real cooking is a simple hunk of protein. From my recently launched line of vegetarian meals, I frequently use their components within them in broader and newly combined ways, particularly the grains. Let me explain….

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5 Back to School Snack Ideas

Dumplings

For hungrier kids, our new Kids Meals (like our Chicken Teriyaki Dunk-Lings) can be enjoyed as a meal or shared as a snack.

Back to school means back to snacking… Hungry kids home from school tend to head straight to the refrigerator. Preempting their eating habits with a few fun and delicious snacks is an easy way to get them on the path to healthy eating this calendar year. But when stomach growls drown out patience, you’ll have to have key ingredients front-and-center.

Below are some foods that require next-to-no waiting, no real cooking, and usually no convincing. Find out your child’s food preference then make it easy to snack-and-go…. 

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Step Away from the Stove! No-Cook Quickies

It’s officially hot — which means I need to officially avoid turning on my stove-top or oven to get dinner on the table.

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Platter

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Platter

For some reason, I’ve been clinging to the idea that I can handle cooking in my small-ish Brooklyn kitchen when it’s 80° outside — but the only things coming out of that kitchen right now are rushed, mediocre dinners and a very grumpy, sweaty me.

Well, I say “no more.”

I liberate myself from the need to personally poach, boil or broil the goodies that go on my dinner plate. I give myself the go-ahead to splurge on items that have been sautéed and roasted for me. I embrace the cold, the chilled and the room temperature. I love NOT cooking dinner! … 

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Emma’s Saucy Secrets

Want to know my not-so-secret secret? I often over-commit myself.

Last week, for example, I offered to host a dinner for seven people in honor of a friend who was visiting from out of town.

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce

I immediately started polling the FreshDirect Research & Development team on what I should make (admittedly, I’m lucky enough to have insider access to their professional advice!), and they came up with the idea of using our own Marsala Wine & Mushroom Sauce — which is truly to die for.

The party was scheduled for Wednesday, and while I was sure it would take me all night Tuesday to prepare for our dinner party — instead, I just took their advice… and it was brilliant. I was able to prepare everything in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how I did it:… 

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