Thinking Out Loud

Two 30-min Weeknight Dinners

By Keryn Nicolson

Most of us save the really tricky dinners with long prep times for the weekends. I know that quick and easy weeknight dinners (particularly for the working parents) are the “bread and butter” to your week. Here are two easy weeknight dinners that probably won’t take you more than 30 minutes, no matter your skill level.

Crispy Salmon & Potatoes

Serves 4


¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 pound small red potatoes (cut into ¼ inch slices) *I love using my mandolin

1 bunch of asparagus

4 (6 oz) skin-on salmon

½ tsp salt and pepper

*Add lemon juice, oil, garlic and parsley in a large container so it can also hold all the salmon. Whisk all ingredients then place salmon in the marinade skin side up. Cover and refrigerate for about 10 minutes while you heat up your oven.

Move your oven rack so it’s about 6 inches below the broiler and then set your over to broil.

Line your baking sheet with foil, place potatoes and asparagus on sheet and drizzle with remaining oil, salt and pepper. Try placing veggies on the outer edges of the baking sheet. Now add the marinated salmon skin side down onto the sheet and dash a bit more salt a pepper on top.

Broil until the salmon is cooked through completely and flakes. This will probably take 6-10 minutes. If you have a thermometer, the center of the salmon should read 125degrees F.

20-minute Tortellini Soup

Talk about comfort food. Little pastas filled with cheese and surrounded by warm tomato broth? Yes,

Serves 4-6

2 tbsp butter

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 cups veggie or chicken broth (I always use veggie broth. Shocking, I know)

1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)

½ cup heavy cream (or I use a non-dairy milk)

2 bay leaves

1 package tortellini (about 14oz package)

½ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin (save some for the garnish)

*Optional grated parmesan cheese for additional garnish

**Grab your Dutch oven or big soup pot. Melt the butter and add you garlic, onions, salt and pepper and cook until tender (when the onions are translucent). Stir in the vinegar. Add crushed tomatoes, broth, cream (or non-dairy milk) and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until tender (about 5-6 minutes) Remove from heat and be sure to remove the bay leaves! Dish immediately and add your basil. Optional to top with grated parmesan. *One think about tortellini is it will get mushy if cooked too long or if it sits too long. This recipe is best served fresh and eaten the same day. Enjoy!

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