What's For Dinner? (Deceptively Simple Dishes)

It's time to do some more dinner planning around these parts and here are three dishes that are on my wishlist. My favorite kind of recipe is one that looks impressive but is deceptively easy (take, for example, the cornish game hens from the other day ... I was always intimidated to cook them, but if you can cook a piece of bone-in chicken like a chicken thigh, there's no major difference... promise).

First up, cashew coconut crusted chicken. Since we go lower carb during the weeks, the idea of a nut-crusted chicken tender really works for us. Making the coating mixture would be a weekend task when I would have more time and then I could just store it. I'd skip out on making the mango honey dip for a regular ole Tuesday night, although it does look delicious. Jarred honey mustard would do just fine :)


Secondly, oven roasted cauliflower with parmesan and garlic. Cauliflower goes on sale often but it's not necessarily flavorful enough to always catch my attention. But I think this easy dish (with ingredients I always have on hand) would be tasty and really easy on the wallet, too. I'd chop the cauli over the weekend, store in a big bag or tupperware, and then half the work is done when I'm ready to cook it.

Oven roasted cauliflower with garlic and parmesan

And lastly, grilled skirt steak with mint chimichurri. See what I'm doing here? Choosing recipes that pack a punch because they look oh so fancy -- but are simpler than what you'd think. Let's break this one down. So you buy the meat and mix a marinade. Half of the marinade goes in a ziplock with the steaks. The other half is reserved for drizzling over it after they are grilled. 

In the marinade are these ingredients: mint, parsley, olive oil, dried oregano, cider vinegar, lemon rind, lemon juice, and half a jalapeno. I grow mint and already own the olive oil, dried oregano, vinegar. I would just have to purchase a jalapeno and a lemon and swipe a few sprigs of parsley from my girlfriend's plant outside her back door. All of this could be made beforehand, stored in a jar, and then tossed in the ziplock when it's time to marinate the steaks. Easy.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Mint Chimichurri and Honey-Roasted Sunchokes |

The recipe also calls for honey-roasted sunchokes but I have no earthly idea what those are, so they are getting skipped.

What's a deceptively easy dish you like to serve?


  1. Great ideas for lower carb options! I've been making a yummy low carb breakfast casserole to get us through the work week - so simple to make and super delicious. It's also fast to heat up in the morning (essential).

  2. Roasted cauliflower is one of my all time favorite. I think the key is to get them really brown. I don't add lemon, but do toss in red pepper flakes, gives it a nice kick. I will be making that chicken!

  3. I tried sunchokes for the first time this spring, they're DELICIOUS! They're very similar texture-wise to potatoes but much lighter. So yummy roasted.

    I am with you re: doing a lot of prep over the weekend. Take an hour to just cut things and rinse things and portion them out - saves SO much time day of.

  4. I make that cauliflower recipe all the time and it's really, really tasty! We love lots of garlic though, so I add extra to ours for more flavor.

  5. I love the look of that chicken! Definitely going to give that a go. I usually crumb mine in polenta and ground almonds, but love how crunchy this looks!

    My deceptively easy meal is pesto crumbed fish. Likewise with most of these, if you prepare the pesto ahead of time, when you're ready for it, just spoon it on top of some white fish, bake for 20 minutes and it is AMAZING!!!!


  6. oh those tenders look amazing, I must make these ASAP!

  7. These recipes look great! Years ago I had cream of sunchoke soup at Cafe Balloud (sp) on the Upper East Side and it was amazing. Who knew!

  8. My brother just made this for me while I was visiting him in New York a few weeks ago. He works for The Chew so it may be a Mario Batali recipe?? Not sure, but it's DELICIOUS and easy-easy.

    Two containers of small tomatoes (cherry, pear, yellow sunbursts, heirloom, whatever you like)
    One onion - cut into quarters
    Olive oil

    Put tomatoes and onion on a cookie sheet, drizzle with oilive oil, season with s&p. Roast on 375 until the tomatoes are wrinkly. Place everything into a blender (I actually used my Magic Bullet and it worked perfectly) and blend until it looks creamy. It will actually resemble a pink vodka sauce. That's it!! I added a little teaspoon of sugar to my sauce because my boys like their sauce a little bit sweeter rather than tangy.

    Serve with fresh pasta. Or we had it with spaghetti squash and shrimp last night! So yummy and so easy.

  9. I love chimichurri. So great to make a big batch and then keep it ready to go in a little pint jar in the fridge. Shake and ready to go! Also good dribbled on a sandwich.

    A favorite weeknight dish for me is to use the deli meats and jarred Italian items (artichoke hearts, olives, etc.) as well as related deli cheeses and just plop them all in freshly drained + cooked al dente pasta. Melts altogether and stirs into a delicious carb and protein feast. Antipasti with pasta!

  10. The cauliflower dish looks delicious. I definitely don't cook with cauliflower nearly enough. Thanks for sharing!


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