I don’t know about your household, but in our house between the hours of 5-7pm is absolute chaos. I have a toddler who is over-stimulated from daycare and thus hangry, and a baby who is not too content to sit in her exersaucer, aka “circle of neglect,” while I make dinner.
That’s why as a millennial working mom, weeknight dinners need to not only be relatively quick (and easy) to throw together but also delicious to eat. Seriously, is there anything worse than sitting to down to a less-than-satisfying dinner after a long day? Talk about a letdown.
And, dinnertime is something I look forward to—well, let me clarify: dinnertime without talkback and food throwing. I have tried implementing a “family dinner” every night but with the battles and tears that often ensue with a toddler, I decided to reclaim that time on select nights for my husband and me. It’s our time to decompress with a nice glass of wine, enjoy some adult conversation, and not have to scarf down our meals like wild dogs.
Don’t get me wrong—I love my girls, but this arrangement seems to work well for us right now. My toddler is much happier to eat at 5:30pm and then watch one of her shows before bath, during which time I prep our “adult dinner” or plan ahead for the next night’s meal.
Ina Garten’s Roasted Shrimp with Feta is one of those meals that you can easily prep the night before, and then toss into the oven to bake while you get your kids to bed. It’s also a one-dish recipe, which is always a win in my books because who actually wants a boatload of dishes to do at 8pm on a weeknight?
This recipe is easy on prep but high on flavour, consisting of lemon, fennel, and garlic in a chunky tomato sauce. Toss in plump shrimp topped with crumbled feta and lemon zest and parsley-infused breadcrumbs, and you have a little taste of the Mediterranean on your plate. Serve with a side salad and warm, crusty bread to sop up all the sauce. It’s an effortlessly elegant meal you can serve on weeknights or while entertaining on a Saturday night.
I’m really looking forward to the numerous family dinners in my future, but for now, I’m going to relish in the bliss of an uninterrupted meal every now-and-then without the guilt.