Easy Weeknight Dinners

The past couple of weeks have been busy for me with the release of my book.  I had a guest post on the amazing Cynsations blog.

And the other day, I was interviewed by Mindy Thomas on the Kids Place Live channel on Sirius Satellite Radio about Soup Day.


Copyright Melissa Iwai 2006 from B is for Bulldozer by June Sobel


If you have kids and satellite radio, check out her show on weekdays, 3-6 pm.  She’s really funny and loves having kids call in with their wacky inventive take on anything from “What is the coolest roller coaster you can think of?” to “If babies could do anything, what would they do…?”

On the day I was on, she asked them to call in ideas of “What is the craziest soup you can think of?”  Some were Hippo Soup, Whale Blubber Soup, etc. We talked about Soup Day and cooking with kids.  She asked about a quick and easy dinner idea I could give her listeners.  I offered my frittata recipe.

This is an easy go-to dish for me when I am pressed for time and have nothing prepared.  I usually have roasted veggies on hand because I often cook them as a side dish.  If you don’t have any on hand, though, you can either sauté some veggies or just open a can of artichoke hearts and/or a bottle of sun dried tomatoes and call it a day.

You can also add more cheese, such as shredded mozzarella, crumbled goat cheese, etc.  You could add dollops of pesto or fresh herbs.  Use whatever is in your fridge.

Frittata is great served warm or at room temperature.  It can actually be served as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish – it’s that versatile.

The interview got me thinking of the other “quick-fix-I-have-no-dinner-plan-weeknight-dinner” meals I also do, and so I thought I’d share these here on my blog.

Mini Pizzas

This is the easiest dish ever, and my son loves it.  All you do is take a whole wheat pita, spread spaghetti or marinara sauce on it, and top with favorite toppings and cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees in a toaster oven.

I always have homemade or Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce on hand.  My husband likes his with sautéd caramelized sweet onions and mozzarella.  I ran out of it, so I threw on some American cheese, as that’s the only other cheese we had.

Another easy no-brainer dinner is quesadillas.  Again, you can use whatever leftovers you have for the filling.

This is one I made for myself.  It’s a multigrain tortilla  filled with roasted acorn squash, sautéd onions, some creamy avocado dip and shredded cheese. I can’t eat sour cream, so I had it with plain yogurt and salsa, and it was SO delicious.  Very autumnal with the acorn squash.  I highly recommend it!

Here are the recipes — use them only as a guide.  Have fun improvising and experimenting with different combinations of flavors!  Serve with a side salad or other veggies, and you have a quick, nutritious meal. 🙂


Oil or non-stick spray

Whatever vegetables you have on hand to equal about 1 cup cooked

6 eggs

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Any other ingredient you might want to add on top (e.g. goat cheese, pesto, herbs)

  1. Beat eggs with parmesan in a bowl – kids can do this too.  Set aside.
  1. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet.  Either sauté veggies here or warm up leftover veggies or canned artichoke hearts or sun-dried tomatoes, etc.
  1. Pour eggs over veggies in skillet.  Push around with a spatula so egg gets underneath.  Add any other cheese, pesto, herbs, etc. you want here.  Cover and cook on low for 8 minutes.
  1. Flip frittata over by loosening bottom with a spatula and covering pan with a large plate.  Turn over so that frittata comes out onto plate.  Slide uncooked side back into pan.  Cover and cook on low for 2 minutes.
  1. Uncover, transfer to serving platter and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Mini Pizzas

Whole wheat pitas

Spaghetti/Marinara Sauce (about 2-3 tablespoons per pita)

Whatever toppings you like

Shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread sauce on pitas.
  3. Top with favorite toppings (kids can help here)
  4. Cover with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until “crust” is crispy.
  6. Slice and serve.


Non-stick spray

Multigrain tortillas

Whatever filling you like

Shredded cheese

  1. Heat a 10-inch skillet on stove and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat one side of a tortilla.  Flip and heat other side.  Set aside on a plate.
  3. Heat the other tortilla on one side, flip and leave in skillet.  (If you are making a one tortilla quesadilla, skip this step.)
  4. Cover tortilla with filling.  (If you are using only one tortilla, spread filling on only one half and fold over.)
  5. Cover filling with other tortilla that was set aside.
  6. Cover pan with a lid and turn down to low.  Let cook for about 1 minute.
  7. Flip using a plate (see Frittata directions for flipping.)  Then slide uncooked side down back into skillet.
  8. Cover and cook for about a minute or until cheese is melted and fuses tortillas together.
  9. Slice into wedges using a pizza cutter (Note: Pizza cutter is a common theme in these recipes!)


Filed under Dinner

6 responses to “Easy Weeknight Dinners

  1. We are huge fans of quesadillas and I too use them as a vehicle for leftovers. Have to try the pita pizzas!

  2. congratulations on your book!! wow, I didn’t know, and the radio show must have been so much fun!!
    thanks for sharing the great images and recipes with us….kid friendly food is near and dear to my heart!

  3. Everything sounds great for quick and easy dinners…really love the frittata 🙂
    Boy you have been busy, I will check out the guest post 🙂

  4. All of those look so good!

  5. Pingback: Epicurious, I Love Mark Bittman, and Weeknight Baked Pasta « The Hungry Artist

  6. Pingback: Easy Weeknight Panini | The Hungry Artist

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