• Mrs. Ortiz

Top Ten Best Dinner Ideas for Newlyweds

February 20, 2021

Even though I grew up in a conservative Christian home, my mom never required that I learn how to cook—so I didn’t. However, she did tell me that I should learn. I was much too caught up in my books, my writing, and my general love for life as a teenager to worry about a skill that I would not need until I was in my mid-twenties. As a teenager, I didn’t even think that I would marry young, either (I did marry young, so now as an adult I reluctantly admit that my mom was right and I did wish I knew a few more things about cooking/baking before I became a wife—but that’s beside the point!).

As far as cooking goes, Alex and I knew about the same amount as each other a year ago when we were figuring out how to feed ourselves by ourselves. I had grown up with an amazing cook for a mom and gone to a college where I only needed to show up at the cafeteria for meals. The few months I lived by myself before Alex and I got married and moved in together, I was so busy with grad school that I normally just grabbed Asian takeout, or drove around the corner to Moe’s Mexican Grill (both my guilty pleasures).

Since he and I both have full-time jobs, we have learned to share the responsibility of cooking. He and I take turns coming up with ideas of what to make for dinner. Often, we will use our crockpot on Monday to make a meal that will last us up through Wednesday. My Thursdays are my Fridays where work is concerned, so I often find something to make us on Thursdays. Weekends are easy—we usually order out, or make breakfast, or have fun making a more complicated dish.

Below, I have listed the top 10 recipes that we have found we super love.

1) White Chicken Chili—The toppings make this homey dish amazing for me. Sour cream, cheese, cilantro. Yum!

2) Slow Cooker Beef Stew—Alex’s personal favorite. He would eat this every day if he could. It’s not mine, but I don’t mind it and whenever we make it with our slow cooker I don’t have to worry about dinner for most of the work week.

3) Garlic Butter Lemon Salmon—This is amazing on a bed of rice. I have both baked the salmon and seared it, and I like it both ways. I think I may like it baked a bit more, as I feel as though it’s a bit less labor intensive. Super easy meal if you have a rice cooker and a bag of frozen salmon. I've also made this with limes if I don't have lemons.

4) Chicken Parmesan—A bit more labor intensive, so we make this one on the weekends. Read my blog about the first time we made it and it turned into a bit of a fiasco. But this is easily one of our favorite dishes.

5) Chicken Empanadas with yucca fries—This takes several hours to make, so we make these maybe every other month. But, my goodness, are they amazing! We have made them enough by now that we have come up with our own preferred recipe more or less. Word of advice: add some fresh garlic, squeeze in a few limes (I prefer Persian, if I can get them), add more tomato paste, and use chicken stock. This gives it loads more flavor! The recipe I included is simply the base recipe we work from. Following the recipe exactly probably won’t get you the flavors you want.

6) Chicken Noodle Soup—This is such a nice, simple crock pot meal. Very good during the cooler weather, and lasts us a few days, which I always like.

7) Breakfast—We have a waffle iron, so I usually make myself a waffle while he makes himself an egg sandwich and some bacon. Sometimes we make pancakes and corned beef hash for dinner as well.

8) Red Lentil Soup—One of my personal favorites. It’s just so simple but so delicious! Even though it doesn’t have meat, he doesn’t mind it. This is a really good meal with crackers and cheese.

9) Chickpea Curry—For both of us, this recipe is among our all-time favorites. Garlic naan bread (that you can find at Publix) pairs amazingly with this! And don’t forget your jasmine rice!

10) Homemade Pizza—We had to stop having this one, unfortunately, because the “lactose-free” cheese we were using on it eventually affected him. But this is a super easy meal! You just grab a pizza crust from the store, some pepperoni (or whatever other toppings that you want), marinara or pizza/tomato sauce, cheese and voila! You have a pizza.

I hope this list helps some newlyweds! After a year, Alex and I are much better at cooking and baking, but it took a lot of trial and error! Let me know of any other recipes that we need to try! We love making new things, even though we know we won’t get it perfect the first time around.

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