What’s for Dinner? 5 Meals to Beat the Winter Blues

When the doldrums of winter drag on it’s best to mix up your meal plan with a balance of comfort food classics like hanger steak with lighter meals like salmon to remind you summer isn't too far off.

This week, please welcome Rachel Knecht and her meal plans! Rachel is a recipe tester here on Simply Recipes and the blogger behind Baking with Rachel.

Kids have it too easy these days, right? It seems like every time I turn around my boys are on a school break. I only had a summer break and a two-week holiday break when I was in school.

My kids have both of these breaks plus a week for Spring Break and a week in February called Mid-Winter Break. Granted, school goes through June instead of May as it did for me. It probably all evens out.

After four dark, soggy months in PNW, I’m ready for dry desert heat and bucket loads of SUN. This week we are taking advantage of Mid-Winter Break and heading out of town to Palm Springs. This is our first time going and I am beyond excited. I plan on indulging in date shakes and soft-serve ice cream while there. We’re hoping to be able to hike without too much complaining from our Gen Z kids.

No matter what the coming week brings – rain, sun, snow or clouds – I have you covered with this week’s meals. I have a combination of simple comfort food like Hanger Steak with Shallots as well as Avocado Toasts with Fried Egg, Olives, and Smoked Paprika, which brings a dose of sunshine to the table.

I hope that these meals are a welcome dash of joy and comfort to you this week.

One last thing: We wanted to highlight the ultimate way to save time in your week: having your groceries delivered right to your door. Click on the red “Add to Shopping List” button at the bottom of any recipe (or meal plan) and check it out! We call this feature “Relish” and we’re into it because, really, dinner can be simpler.

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Easy Skillet Chicken - close up of chicken tenders with black beans, corn, and red and green bell peppers

Chicken cutlets and a rainbow of veggies are simmered in a medley of spices to give us a flavorful weeknight option. Freezer friendly, this skillet meal comes together in a snap.

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Spinach-Artichoke Sheet Pan Pizza

Tired of the usual pizza with sauce and pepperoni? Try this sauce-free, vegetarian version. Fresh spinach is tossed with sautéed garlic and layered along with artichokes and mozzarella cheese. Slide the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. No pizza stone required. Genius!

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Stovetop Hanger Steak with shallots on a platter for serving

The steak is pan-seared and coated in a red wine vinegar sauce. Hanger steak is juicy and flavorful, more so than the flank steak it resembles. This meal comes together quickly and is great with Celery Root Mash.

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Avocado Toast with Fried Egg, Olives, and Paprika

This is exactly the type of dinner I want to put together when weekend brunch seems too far away. To serve for dinner, toast bread and set out all the toppings family style. Serve with Autumn Tabbouleh with Cauliflower, Carrots, and Golden Beets.

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Salmon Provencal

Salmon is a great weeknight option. It bakes in less than 15 minutes and is ready for plating. The end result is a light and flaky filet topped with a quick Tuscan salsa. To save even more time, ask the kind people working behind the fish counter to remove the pin bones from the salmon. Serve with Garlic Bread.

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

More from Rachel

2 Comments

No ImageWhat’s for Dinner? 5 Meals to Beat the Winter Blues

  1. Joseph

    Beat da winter blues. , sounds like comfort food would beat these recipes , like a pot roast a stew a hearty soup rustic bread and butter a casserole so many others ,,not a steak ?? pizza ?? skillet close to a comfort food ,but not really ,,,, COMFORT food Winter ?? Winter blues ,,,oat meal cookies and hot chocolate ,, gar broke down in da snow ,walked 3 miles wet cold ,how about a steak ,,,uh don’t think so ,,,oh ya live in Florida ???? no winter blues ??? good recipes ta I guess but not for Winter blues

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