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Pork

Quick-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

A twenty-minute soaking in a salt brine makes grilled pork chops tender, juicy, and flavorful. Serve with grilled baby bok choy.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 40 minutes
Breakfasts

Sunny Side-Up Eggs

Eggs have to be done just right for Leo to eat them. He’s perfectly happy with scrambled eggs or egg ribbons, where the yolk is incorporated in with the whites. Forget about a dry, crumbly hard-boiled egg yolk. I was surprised when he asked for, and then devoured sunny side up eggs, but I’m happy to oblige.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 10 minutes
Poultry

Crispy, Juicy Chicken Thighs

This is a simple, perfect way to cook crispy, juicy, bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. Dice sweet potatoes in 1/2″ cubes, season, and roast 20 to 25 minutes in the same oven for a simple side.

Total time: 45 minutes
Pork

Cast Iron Pork Chops

Brining pork chops keep them juicy, and this is a great alternative to cooking them on a grill.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings Total time: 2 hours
Breakfasts

Fluffy Pancakes

After years of using the pancake recipe from the red plaid Better Homes & Gardens cookbook I got in college, I decided to look for a recipe that was a little more special. These pancakes are truly fluffy and delicious. The recipe makes a big batch, which is great if you have houseguests, or you can refrigerate leftovers and heat them in the toaster later in the week.

Yield: 12 pancakes Total time: 30 minutes
Pork

Pressure Cooker Pork Tenderloin

A great strategy for getting dinner on the table fast is to prepare part of the meal in a pressure cooker, leaving your hands free to make one of the other dishes. This well-seasoned pork dish is quick to get into the pressure cooker. While it’s cooking, make some garlic broccolini and rice.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, try these grilled pork tenderloins.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 45 minutes
Vegetables

Easy Skillet Kale with Lemon & Garlic

I’m late to the kale party, but have been looking for healthy vegetable recipes to serve as side dishes. This is a super easy (you tear the leaves with your hands, rather than chop them, and you don’t even have to dry the leaves after you rinse them) and quick side for a weeknight dinner.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 20 minutes
Vegetables

Garlic Broccolini

This broccolini, sautéed until the edges are crispy, seasoned with salt and garlic, and then steamed until just tender, is so, so good. It’s done on the stovetop in less than 20 minutes, making it an easy weeknight veggie.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes
Poultry

Pressure Cooker Chicken Breasts

Packing school lunches was a new challenge last year when Leo began Kindergarten. I settled into a routine of packing a simple bento box lunch of one protein, one veggie, one fruit, and one cheese. These chicken breasts are easy to prepare in the pressure cooker while you’re making dinner the night before, and they always come out perfectly. Half of one chicken breast, cubed, serves as the protein for one school lunch.

This is also the perfect way to prepare diced or sliced chicken breast to top salads, and the original recipe on The Kitchn includes modified instructions for making shredded chicken for tacos and other dishes.

Yield: 3 chicken breasts Total time: 25 minutes
Seafood

Broiled Frozen Shrimp

Being able to pull a main course out of the freezer after work some days is the only way to save your sanity. This cajun shrimp is hot and juicy 25 minutes from start to finish. It’s hard to get better than that.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 25 minutes