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life + work + parenthood + COMMUNITY

  • Writer's pictureMorgan Galvez

3 Quick After Work Recipes

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of Lotie Griffiths on Unsplash

Listen… I don't even have children and some nights, the thought of cooking dinner for myself still fills me with dread. Throw in a few screaming toddlers (or worse, moody teenagers) and I can only imagine how difficult it must be to muster up the energy to create a Michelin star meal for you and your family.

So, here are 3 easy midweek meals that sound too easy to be true – but I promise you, the only thing unbelievable is how good they taste!

1- The Infamous TikTok Feta Pasta

By far one of the easiest and most delicious recipes to have come off of the clock app. You've probably heard of it and if you haven't you have. The ingredients are also really simple; all you need is your favorite type of pasta, a block of feta cheese, and some raw cherry tomatoes.

Personally, I like to add some spinach but that's the beauty of this dish! The simplicity allows for endless alterations and personal touches. The hardest part of this meal is waiting for the feta in the oven.

First, oil an oven-safe pan and place the entire block of feta in the center with the cherry tomatoes surrounding it. Season it to your personal preference (I recommend pepper and oregano as a base alongside some light salt because there is already a lot of sodium in the feta). Place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees.

Second, after the feta and tomatoes have been cooking away for about 10 or so minutes, start to prepare your pasta. I like to place my raw spinach directly into my pasta after I drain the water so it wilts before I add the feta and tomatoes.

Finally, when the feta and tomatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and use a fork to start popping the bursting tomatoes and mix up the now-gooey feta cheese into an almost sauce consistency. It should be more solid than a classic sauce. Then, begin to scoop the concoction over the pasta and spinach, stir, and enjoy!

2- Quesadillas and Tacos

This might seem obvious if you grew up in a Latinx household, but I've often found that others don't realize how easy it actually is to make delicious tacos and quesadillas at home! And no, you don't need the El Paso taco kit. Trust me.

The main ingredients are tortillas, cheese, and your choice of protein. The only dishes you need to use are a single frying pan and a spatula to flip it. There aren't many directions I can give you, they're pretty self-explanatory. I just felt I needed to call out how easy they are to make to those who haven't had the fortune of them being a weekly meal. In my house, we kind of combine it with leftover night, too. That grilled chicken from yesterday? Perfect for heating up in a quesadilla!

Photo Courtesy of Sebastian Coman on Unsplash

3- Sriracha Honey Chicken and Brussel Sprouts

I don't know if this has been done before or if my sister is a genius for inventing it, but this is by far my favorite and quickest lazy meal. All you need for this delicious dinner is a bottle of sriracha, a bottle of honey, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (you could cook your own chicken, but it kind of defeats the purpose of a lazy meal), and a pack of Brussel sprouts. It's also all cooked in one pot so there's easy clean-up!

First, cut the Brussel sprouts in half and place them in a deep-dish pan with some cooking oil.

Second, while you wait until they're almost completely roasted, begin to shred the rotisserie chicken into bite-size chunks. When the Brussel sprouts are almost completely cooked through (or however cooked through you like (I personally prefer them a little harder and not completely mushy), place the shredded chicken into the same pot and cover in the honey and sriracha.

There are no exact measurements of how much of each you should put in; it all comes down to personal preference. For reference, I usually put about 1 1/2 cups of honey and 1 cup of sriracha and it still comes out pretty spicy. So, if you don't like spice, keep that in mind.

Third, and entirely optional, I also like to cook some plain white rice on the side as a bed for the chicken and Brussel sprouts to lay on.

And that's it! It tastes like some of the best Chinese takeouts I've ever had with the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. Plus, it tastes really good the next day; I usually take it with me to work as lunch.

And The Moral Is...

The important thing to remember is that dinner doesn't have to be takeout to be fast and it doesn't have to take countless hours to taste good. I understand the pull to just order a pizza when you get home and it's alright if you do it! No judgment here; I just wanted to offer you some more options for when the pizza guy calls you by your first name like you're best friends and you realize you might need a pizza-cation for a little while.

Morgan Galvez is a freelance writer and editor with a BA in English (with a concentration in writing, rhetoric, and publication) from the College of Charleston. She is currently building her freelancing career through positions at Brainfuse and Fiverr.

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