5 Recipes for Small Victories

Reward yourself after a busy day with a delicious dinner made from scratch. Some recipes are more labor intensive than others so make sure you pick a recipe that fits your mood.

This month, welcome Sara Bir. Sara Bir is the author of two cookbooks, Tasting Ohio and the IACP award-winning The Fruit Forager’s Companion. She also moderates and replies to your comments here on Simply Recipes. Follow her @sausagetarian.

Unfailingly, by the time we make it to dinner, it feels like a small victory. Really, it’s just the march of time, but after jobs and workouts and walking the dog and folding the laundry in between checking emails, getting to sit down to dinner feels like a real reward.

I like having dinner to look forward to. Do you find it’s one of the few times you sit down with no agenda? If so, that’s a small victory you can savor every day. Here are five recipes you can look forward to this week, plus the beloved weekend baking!

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Cauliflower Bolognese on a plate with spaghetti and a fork.

This gets its meatiness from roasted cauliflower and cooked lentils. It’s one of the more time-intensive this week, so plan for the rest of the meal to be simple, like a green salad.

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Side view of a fillet of broiled jerk salmon. The salmon has juices pooled at the bottom of it. A mixed green salad with citrus, two lime wedges and rice are visible on the plate behind the salmon. The plate is on a blue linen.

These salmon filets don’t even need to marinate. Just make the jerk mixture, slap it on, and slide the fish under the broiler. This is tasty with crunchy slaw and coconut rice and beans.

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How to Cook Skirt Steak in a Pan - sliced steak with herbs on top

Skirt steak makes a flexible dinner—it’s a quick flash in the pan and you get crusty, juicy slices to top a salad, a grain bowl, or to tuck into warm tortillas. Or just have it with steamed broccoli and baked potatoes.

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Chopped chicken salad with oranges and miso dressing

A fresh salad is a cheerful sight in the dead of winter. This has all kinds of vibrant flavors: citrus, fennel bulb, and miso. Cook your own chicken breasts or use meat from a rotisserie bird to save time.

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Pork Tenderloin with Apples

Sear tenderloins on the stovetop and finish them in the oven with apple slices and a little wine to make savory drippings. Mashed potatoes and red cabbage make it a meal.

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Weekend Baking

Applesauce cake, frosted and with a piece removed.

This wholesome snack cake is plenty fine as-is, but it’ll get devoured if you slather it with dreamy cream cheese frosting.

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Sara Bir

Sara Bir a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and the author of two cookbooks: The Fruit Forager’s Companion and Tasting Ohio. Past gigs include leading chocolate factory tours, slinging street cart sausages, and writing pop music criticism. Sara skates with her local roller derby team as Carrion the Librarian.

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