speedy simple dinner series

Okay, guys, I have an exciting, new idea for us – the SPEEDY, SIMPLE DINNER SERIES. But, before I can get to that, I have a few FAILS to confess.

Fail #1 – I think I’ve mentioned on here before my insane weakness for anything pumpkin. Pumpkin lattes, muffins, cookies, scones, candles, you name it. I even once tried to make a pumpkin martini, which was a fail in itself (remember that, girls? never.again.). Anyway, so I saw some pumpkin chips the other day and just couldn’t resist their temptation. So intriguing!


The verdict? AWFUL. Like seriously the worst chips I have ever tried in my life. They are a really odd texture; more moist (hate the word, I’m sorry for using it) than crunchy. And they just kind of awkwardly crumble in your hand. I can’t even smell them. I had one chip and then decided to see if any of my co-workers were interested 😉 Nothing like offloading bad snacks onto other people and making it look like you’re “sharing” HAHHA!

Fail #2 – Last night I tried an INTENSE circuit workout from Women’s Health. Guys, it almost killed me! It involved lots of dynamic moves using multiple muscle groups and also lots of sweating, panting and mental cursing. I was a hot mess. I’m also really sore today and don’t really want to move. I wish I had a scooter right about now 😉 hahah. For some reason, side lunges ALWAYS make me sore the next day. I think I’m really bad at them. Anyway, I will be sharing the link to the workout with you shortly!

Fail #3 – This morning, my alarm went off for 45 minutes before waking me up. Seriously. Isn’t that whacky? Granted, I did have some ear plugs in (I’m a light sleeper, okay?!), but I usually still hear my alarm through them! Crazy. I woke up, saw the time, and then proceeded run around like a mad woman to get myself out of the house! I hate mornings like that, though I must say I was very efficient!


OKAY, so now for the “meat” of this post. I’ve been thinking about posting something along these lines for a while now, and decided now was a good time. For lots of us, fall brings back-to-school or back-to-work and is a great time to start re-forming good habits, which includes committing time to making healthy meals. Most of us probably want nothing more than to sit down on the couch and RELAX after a long day of working, commuting, doing laundry, driving kids to school or activities, etc. (moms, I don’t know how you do it! You are ALL superheroes). When dinner time rolls around, it’s so much easier to pop in a frozen, microwavable meal or order in than to chop/bake/sauté/grill. Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with ordering in or having a frozen pizza occasionally. Over time, however, these choices of convenience can negatively affect your health and well-being. In order to prevent these kinds of last minute, convenience choices, I really recommend trying out meal planning (I can post more on this if you’re interested) and arming yourself with a repertoire of quick, easy & healthy dinner ideas. Since this is a personal blog and is meant for sharing ideas and learning from others, I thought I’d launch the speedy, simple dinner series.

Here’s how it works: I’m going to share some quick, simple dinner ideas with you right now and encourage anyone who wants to participate to leave a comment below with their ideas or links to their favourite weekday recipes (if you’re a blogger, feel free to link to your site). Bloggers can also feel free to tweet me (@sweatforsweets) their links by using the hashtag #speedysimpledinner. I will do a link-up at the end of every post I write (as I get responses) and share all of your wonderful suggestions! I will also be “tagging” every post that has a speedy, simple dinner idea so that you if you ever want to refer back to any posts, you can simple click on the “speedy simple dinner” tag on the right-hand side of my blog. Sound good? 🙂

In order to qualify as as a “speed, simple” recipe, I’d like to suggest that our recipes either a) take under 20 minutes to prepare; OR; b) are “hands-off” meals – i.e. something in a slow cooker or that can be baked with little prep or supervision.

So, some ideas to start us off:

  • Whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce + frozen veggies. The veggies require no prep + can be sautéed while the pasta is cooking. TIP – make a double batch + take the leftovers for lunch!
  • A hearty green salad with baked salmon or chicken. Use simple marinades for the protein, like a mix of your favourite herbs + olive oil. The components of the salad (veggies, dressing, etc.) can be prepped while the fish/chicken bakes. Some ideas:
      • Greens (arugula/spinach/mixed greens/romaine) with baked chicken/salmon, cheese (goat/feta/aged cheddar), nuts (walnuts/almonds/praline pecans) + fruit (strawberries/blueberries/raspberries/blueberries/mandarin oranges/pear/apple)
  • Veggie-bean quesadillas (scroll down to see recipe). So delicious & only takes 20 minutes to prep!

Can’t wait to hear your ideas + share more ideas/recipes with you guys over the coming weeks!



A xo


  • What was the latest grocery item you tried that ended up being a fail?

5 thoughts on “speedy simple dinner series

  1. Oh no way!! The pumpkin chip package looks so promising!! I was seriously hoping you would say they are amazing – and then I would rummage through every store in Ottawa to find them! I honestly am all about speedy dinners. I haven’t posted any (cause usually they are not “post worthy” but yet delicious) or can’t think of any at the moment BUT I will from now on and be sure let you know 😉 Such a great idea!

  2. I love this idea of quick dinners!! i can’t wait to hear them all.. Trying to think of some myself right now!!

    As for a major fail.. I just bought Brad’s Raw Sweet Potato chips… Horrible and Expensive to boot!! Major fail on my end 😦

  3. Hi Ashley! I just saw your blog and I love the idea of having simple dinner ideas. With a busy schedule I definitely need to start planning my meals for the week and incorporating some of these great ideas 🙂

    My last grocery item fail… pistachio jello pudding. An interesting recommendation from a friend that was not worth the $1 spent haha.

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