I really love summer – the warmer temperatures, the longer days, all the fun get togethers. But once I start to hear about people getting their kids back to school, I itch for the reset-button-feeling that the start of a new school year brings. Part of it is probably because I loved school so much, so I get nostalgic. But part of it is definitely craving a routine. I think I’m especially wanting a routine right now since life is nuts. The wedding is two months away (yay!), I’m moving in a few weeks (eek!), and I have a week-long work trip in the middle of all that. Anything to help create routine and ease in our lives is very much needed right now!
One of my favorite routines is to cook a lot of food on Sunday to have for the entire week. It makes our weeknights much less crazy to have food cooked, so we can just reheat it after work and/or Crossfit. And it’s a good excuse to get together with friends over the weekend to prep all of it, which is what we did last Sunday with Adam and Alise.
But, even when we don’t have time to prep for the entire week, what we prepped over the weekend also makes for very quick weeknight dinners: pre-made burgers and wild salmon.
Whole Foods Pre-Made Burgers with grilled red onions
Whole Foods sells pre-made burgers in a bunch of different flavors – bacon and cheddar, ultimate seasoned, blue cheese. It’s so fast to pick up a few after work and have dinner ready quickly since you don’t have to do anything but put them on the grill and let them cook.
If we’re making burgers, I like to throw some red onions on the grill at the same time. The red onions get an amazing flavor when grilled, and take the meal up a notch without much effort.
- To make the grilled red onions, cut in 1/2″ slices, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then, just stick them on the grill at the same time as the burgers until they begin to soften.
I always go sans bun (gluten-free buns just aren’t worth it), but man, burgers look a heck of a lot better with a bun. My friend Alise is a master food stylist! 😉
Wild Coho Salmon with Tomatoes and Capers
I also love cooking fish during the week since it cooks very quickly and doesn’t require much seasoning to make it taste amazing. My recipe for salmon with tomatoes and capers is at the bottom of the post. Tommy quickly declared it the best salmon I’d ever made, but even if you just put salt, pepper and some lemon slices on wild salmon, you’ll be set. 🙂 And if you don’t feel like grilling, you can also stick the salmon foil packets in an oven, preheated to 375º and let cook for 10-12 minutes until it easily flakes.
I supervised getting the meat and fish on the grill 😉 , and then I headed back inside to prep the sides with Alise while the guys manned the grill.
Neither Adam nor Tommy had ever grilled salmon before, but I assured them it was really easy. Just stick the foil packets on the grill and let them sit for 10-12 minutes.
Click here to pin the salmon recipe for later!
Easy Side Dishes
For easy side dishes, I often turn to heirloom tomatoes and seasoned potatoes.
- Heirloom tomatoes have so much flavor that you can just slice them, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Boom, side dish done.
Basil is totally optional but it looks pretty and is easy to sprinkle over the top. (I just use kitchen shears and cut the basil leaves right over the tomatoes).
For easy potatoes, I take a short cut… I love roasted potatoes, but they take a long time once the oven preheats and then the potatoes actually roast. So instead, I “quick cook” and finish in a pan for faux-roasted potatoes. 🙂
- First, I chop the potatoes (any variety) into 1″ pieces and then I microwave them in a large bowl or boil in a large pot of water until they can be pierced with a fork.
- Then, toss the potoates in a sauté pan over medium-high heat with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Let them sit, stirring only occasionally so they can brown on some sides and get a little crispy. Easy! (And much faster.)
Having wine nearby makes it even easier. 😉
I love this Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages red wine. I served it just slightly chilled, which is nice with a grilled meal.
Cheers to getting back on a routine!
And cheers to good friends who make it easier to do so! And a big thank you to Whole Foods for sponsoring this post!
Salmon with Tomatoes & Capers in foil packetsPrint Recipe
- 4 filets of wild salmon, skin removed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons capers
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon
- salt & pepper
1. Combine the cherry tomatoes, capers, garlic and olive oil in a medium bowl. Zest the lemon into the bowl. Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Season to taste to salt and pepper.
2. Tear a long piece of foil (12-14") and place the salmon in the center. Fold the sides up and spoon 1/4 of the tomato mixture over the salmon. Pinch the long ends together and fold over. Fold each end up, forming a packet that's sealed. Repeat with each piece of salmon.
3. Grill over medium heat, 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes burst and the salmon easily flakes.
If you don't feel like grilling, you can also stick the salmon foil packets in an oven, preheated to 375º and let cook for 10-12 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.
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