I present to you – two quick weeknight meals (both doable in 30 minutes or less)! I posted a poll on the Facebook group yesterday asking what sorts of recipes people want to see more of, and by far the winner was quick recipes (though don’t worry – if you voted for any of the others, you’ll see some of those recipes too!). Thanks to all who voted – and to those who haven’t, you still can!
First off is a roasted squash and chickpea couscous salad. I love this meal. Not only is it fast (you can make it in about 30-35 minutes…yes, it sort of stretches that category), you can also choose to modify it and make it a one-pan meal (looking out for all you people who voted for that one, too)! If you omit the couscous and use more greens (I used arugula, but mizuna, massaged kale, or lettuce greens could also work), you still have yourself a hearty and nutritious meal. So it’s a choose your own adventure kind of thing. I added feta, parsley, and a simple lemon dressing to mine, but you could sprinkle in nuts or seeds if you want to make this dairy free/vegan.
Second up is the Fancy Toast with Swiss chard and cannellini beans (of course, Fancy Toast comes in all shapes and sizes, being the Perfect Meal, but here is a good version). There is absolutely nothing fancy about the prep and cooking for this quick meal – it’s all about it’s lovely presentation, and simple, delicious flavour. You can whip up these beauties in about 10 minutes flat. Perfect for a quick dinner, breakfast, or as part of a bigger brunch. The egg can be omitted, or replaced with avocado or portabella mushroom. I garnished mine with parsley and finely minced bits of bright pink chard stem – it was so pretty, and added a subtle crunch.
If you have any favourite quick weeknight recipes, let me know! In the meantime, here’s some more quick weeknight meal ideas…
More Magnificent Meal Musings:
- Pizza with Arugula, Tomato, Red Onion, Pepper, and Feta
- Savoury Swiss Chard Pancakes
- Squash Pasta with Arugula
- Quick Curry with Carrot, Pepper, Onion, Broccoli, and Kale (see last week’s post)
- Roasted Carrot and Squash Soup
- Stir Fry with a Sesame Miso Dressing
PS – you may notice that the banner image does not in fact show Fancy Toast – it was gone before I got around to taking a photo with the couscous! But I had also made a delicious flatbread (another quick meal idea!), so it got to join the party, too.
Roasted Squash and Chickpea Couscous
This can easily be a one-pan meal, simply by omitting the couscous (which I know sounds silly, since it is featured in the title). But really, even without couscous this would be a satisfying meal. The arugula and parsley add freshness, the roasting of the squash and chickpeas enriches their earthy and nutty flavour, and the feta is a perfect salty surprise. If you make this without couscous simply toss in more arugula (or another green, like mizuna, massaged baby kale, or lettuce greens). You can also use any kind of winter squash here – I used butternut, but it could easily be acorn or even delicata.
Roasted Squash and Chickpeas
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, and cubed into small pieces
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2-1 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked couscous (optional)
- arugula, as needed
- salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400. Toss all of the roasting ingredients together in a baking dish, and place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until squash is cooked through and starting to brown. Stir occasionally.
While the squash and chickpeas are roasting, prep the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. I kept the arugula separate, and used it as a "bed" to put the prepared squash and chickpea couscous on top of.
Once the roasting is finished, allow the squash and chickpeas to cool slightly, before tossing in with the couscous (if using), parsley, lemon, olive oil, and seasoning. Mound onto beds of arugula and enjoy!
There is absolutely nothing fancy about the prep and cooking for this toast – it's all about it's lovely presentation, and simple, delicious flavour. You can whip up these beauties in about 10 minutes flat. Perfect for a quick dinner, breakfast, or as part of a bigger brunch. The egg can be omitted, or replaced with avocado or portabella mushroom.
- 1/2 bunch swiss chard, stems* removed and leaves chopped
- 1/2 can cannellini beans
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 4 Tbsp goat cheese (enough for spreading on 3-4 toasts) optional
- 3-4 eggs, poached, or soft boiled
- 3-4 slices sourdough or rye bread
- parsley, salt, and pepper for garnish
Start by melting the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in beans and heat for about 2-4 minutes. Add in Swiss chard leaves and turn the heat down to very low.
While Swiss chard cooks, prepare your eggs. I poached mine, but soft boiling would be just as delicious, and much less fussy. Also, if you prefer your bread to be toasted, do so now (honestly I know this is called Fancy Toast, but I actually just made Fancy Bread).
Once the Swiss chard is gently cooked (you want it to retain its vibrancy), quickly stir in the lemon juice and remove from heat. Grind in some pepper and toss in some salt.
Spread goat cheese on the toast, and top with a heap of the chard and beans. Place the egg on top and garnish* with parsley.
*For an extra fun, colourful garnish, finely mince a couple of the chard stalks and sprinkle on top of the egg. This adds a beautiful pop of colour, and a subtle crunch.
If you don’t use them this way, keep them! There are many other wonderful ways to use the stems.