While I love to cook (and love to eat), I also love spending a relaxing evening with those who I care enough about to feed. Around my house that means having about two-three frozen entrees waiting to go in case by the time my evening rolls around fruits and vegetables aren’t the highest thing on my list that I want to chop-up.
As someone who also enjoys actually being able to enjoy what’s on my dinner place, pulling something straight from the freezer to the dinner table with a little bit of heating isn’t appealing either. My compromise? Frozen dinner upgrades. Yes, they might add a couple of steps to prep, but the ultimate time savings is well worth the taste a hybrid-homemade dinner yields.
Here are my two of my personal favorite staple freezer upgrades that make for great, quick weeknight dinners (minimal chopping required)…
10-minute Spicy Seafood Burgers & A Wedge Salad (serves two)
- 2 frozen Mahi-Mahi burgers (available at Whole Foods)
- Butter flavored cooking spray
- Two whole wheat buns (I pop mine in the toaster to crisp them up)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil based mayo
- About four dashes of Tabasco’s chipotle sauce
- One head of iceberg lettuce
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Real bacon bits
- blue cheese crumbled
- blue cheese dressing
- One hothouse tomato, sliced
Heat a pan coated in cooking spray over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook as directed. While the burgers are cooking toast the buns, and mix the mayo with the chipotle sauce in a small bowl. Wash and cut the lettuce in half, then quarter one half, leave the rest whole to add to burger. Slice tomatoes. Add blue cheese crumbles, cherry tomato halves, bacon, blue cheese dressing to quarter lettuce wedges. Place the burgers on a bun, add slices of hothouse tomato, lettuce and chipotle mayo. Serve with white white.
Frozen Pizza Upgrade
- One frozen, thin crust pizza (I use a Kashi brand margherita pizza)
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzerella
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- One small can sliced black olives
- Spinkle of Penzy’s Pizza Seasoning
Simply add additional ingredients and bake pizza as directed. You can really add anything to the pizza, if you start with a cheese base the possibilities are endless…spinach and artichokes, roasted veggies, whatever suits your fancy.
In combination with some left-over revivals I have made staples in my dinner repertoire, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your pantry and kitchen to yield great, quick dinner results. Got any favorites of your own? I’d love to try them out!
Image Credit: Frühstück mit Herz, public domain
Melody Meiners is the Founder and Managing Editor of Girls Guide. A freelance writer by trade and passion, she writes for Girls Guide, STLFamilyLife.com, and on her personal blog, Mrs SmartyPants.com as well as a variety of other locations on the web and beyond. You can email her at melody [at] girlsguidetothegalaxy [dot] com, and you can follow her on Twitter– @cosmosgirl.