January 3, 2016

7 Seasonal Dinner Recipes to Kickstart the New Year

Sometimes I'm really good at meal planning. Other times, I'm really bad at it. The biggest reason is that sometimes, I just get lazy but it makes life so much easier and I know that when I do plan my meals, I eat better through the week than when I don't.

One of the things I really want to commit to this year is planning my meals around what's in season and embracing leftovers, rather than trying to plan three separate meals for every day of the week.

The following recipes involve some easy prep work that will make the week go by so much more easily without requiring me to spend the entire day today in the kitchen!

Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce: Pinch of Yum
Santa was very good to me this year and got me the KitchenAid Spiralizer attachment! I couldn't wait to try it out on one of my favorite in-season vegetables - sweet potatoes! I'm spiralizing all of my sweet potatoes in advance and making the cashew sauce ahead of time so that I can quickly pull this recipe together one night this week!

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup: Cooking Classy
It should be a rule that every meal plan should include at least one slow cooker recipe. How wonderful is it to come home from work and have dinner ready for you? I've made this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod a dozen times and it has never steered me wrong. I make my own tomato soup using whole, peeled tomatoes, butter, a rind of parmesan cheese, plus salt and pepper) and just throw everything in the crock pot before work.

Healthy Grilled Sweet Potato Nachos: Pinch of Yum
Who doesn't love nachos? These look like heaven. I would make the sweet potatoes ahead of time so that this comes together quickly on a weeknight!

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese: Popsugar
Nothing says summer like Caprese so since we're in the middle of winter, I'm going to whip this up with sundried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Chickpeas: Two Peas & Their Pod
This is another slow cooker recipe that I love. The Maple Roasted Chickpeas add a really nice crunch to the soup.

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with Rosemary & Red Onion: Two Peas in their Pod
Friday = pizza. You can whip up your own pizza dough or buy a premade one for this yummy pizza. I might spiralize the sweet potatoes just to use my spiralizer again (so fun!) or I'll roast the potatoes and onions in advance and just throw all of my toppings together on Friday night. Serve with your favorite Friday wine and invite a friend to marvel at your homemade skills.

Surf and Turf for Two: Iowa Girl Eats
This is definitely more complicated than the other recipes but I highly recommend this for a date night in. I made this last night and it was so delicious that we were too busy stuffing our faces to even speak through the meal. It was my first time making steak and I was so terrified of messing it up but Kristin walks you through the recipe step by step in her post and it came out great!

What are your favorite weeknight meals?
Do you meal plan? What makes it easy or challenging?

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