Once the weather got nice, I initiated my rituals of being outside as much as possible, from setting up a desk on the front porch to pretending mowing our tiny lawn is a workout.
As the nights get cold and Daylight Savings Time prepares to rear its hateful head, the inevitable shift indoors meets with less resistance. I mean, it’s going to happen anyway, so why not lean in?
When it starts to get frosty, I want dinners that are simmered and soul-satisfying. Besides, I need extra energy to fuel all the strategic layering it takes to comfortably walk the dog.
These dinners make me feel warm from the inside giving me, and hopefully you too, the strength to embrace the seasonal shifts of the weeks to come.
- New to Meal Planning? Start here! 10 Things to Know If You're a First-Time Meal Planner
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Swiss steak is not Swiss. A process supposedly once known as “Swissing” pounds the meat to tenderize it. The recipe itself is a throwback to the 1950s, and though some of us may have negative associations from lunchroom cafeterias, it’s a tasty braise you can toss potatoes, carrots, or green beans in to make a one-pot meal. It takes at least two hours to cook, but make it on a Sunday to serve on a Monday and it’ll feel like it’s an instant dinner.
Lingcod is a fish that’s not related to cod, despite its name. Catfish, haddock, pollock, or cod would work just as well in this dish. As this fish bakes, make the creamy sauce (use white wine if you don’t have dry sherry). This recipe makes plenty of sauce, which you can serve over potatoes and steamed vegetables.
This gets a pleasing crunch from toasted pepitas and a creamy, salty finish from feta. For more flavor layers, roast the squash as the quinoa simmers. If you don’t like wrangling a whole butternut squash, buy it pre-cubed (don’t use frozen, though, which will turn mushy in the oven).
Dirty pans are the hidden cost of recipes that claim to be quick and easy. But lucky us—this pasta dinner cooks all in one skillet, so you save time on both the front and back ends. Long, slender noodles like spaghetti or linguine work best for this recipe.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
This bonanza of succulent pork filling is mostly hands-off. There’s a dry rub that needs to sit on the pork at least an hour (and up to overnight). Then you brown the pork, though lots of people skip that part and are still utterly delighted with the result. It cooks in its own juices for hours in the slow cooker. Serve with basic taco fixings. Leftovers freeze great!