This article first appeared in Kidsburgh.org, a media partner of NEXTpittsburgh that focuses on making Pittsburgh a better place to raise kids.
School is back in session. Kids’ after-school activities are happening again. And lots of parents are working in-person at their jobs. That adds up to fewer minutes for dinnertime prep at the end of a tiring day. So we really need easy weeknight recipes.
To prevent all of us from getting hangry and just ordering pizza, we asked a couple of our favorite local chefs to share time-management tips and simple, tasty weeknight dinner recipes.
Chances are you’ve already got all of the necessary ingredients for these dishes in your cupboards and refrigerators right now. Plus, these no-fuss dishes provide an excellent way to introduce kids to the joys of cooking.
So lace up your aprons, kids … let’s eat!
ARROZ TEMPERADO, courtesy of Casa Brasil chef Keyla Nogueira
Nogueira grew up in Juquitiba, São Paulo, Brazil and now she’s giving Pittsburgh a taste of her homeland. In 2019, the self-taught chef and her business partner Tim Guthrie started Casa Brasil as a pop-up in Highland Park. Thanks to the fabulous food – a mix of traditional and modern South American cuisine – it soon became a full-service restaurant. She also offers catering services through Keyla Cooks.
Nogueira, who has a son, says we all have moments of failure in the kitchen. Her recipe for Arroz Temperado (garden vegetable rice) is easy, inclusive (it’s gluten-free and vegan) and delicious. After just 10 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking, you can feed a family of six.
Be creative and add different veggies to the mix, creating whole new meals from this basic recipe.
- 2 cups cooked rice, white or brown (tip: make a big batch each week to keep ready in the fridge)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1 red pepper, sliced thin
- 1 cup fresh green beans cut in half vertically, to be thinner
- 1 1/2 cup of white mushroom, sliced
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (freshly cooked, frozen or canned — up to you)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium pan, heat oil over low to medium-low heat. Add onions, red pepper and green beans, stirring every few minutes until onions are light brown. This can take about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, corn, salt and pepper. Stir well until the mushrooms are cooked (just a few minutes).
- Add cooked rice, stir well to combine.
- Serve warm.
CHEESY EGG BITES, courtesy of Fig & Ash chef Cory Hughes
You may have already dined on Cory Hughes’ dishes: Before opening the farm-to-flame eatery Fig & Ash on the North Side, the chef helmed kitchens at Café at the Frick, Spoon, Eleven and Google at Bakery Square. He has also whipped up gourmet grub for the Steelers training camp and Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid.
So Hughes knows how to keep bellies full and happy — including his son’s. The pair love to put Sriracha or hot sauce on top of these easy Cheesy Egg Bites.
- 12 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 small eggs
- 1/4 cup of cooked, diced bacon (and save the bacon fat!)
- 1/4 cup of minced Spanish onion
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 small potatoes, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 12-cup muffin mold with pan spray.
- Place the shaved potatoes in the bottom of each cup and cover with a teaspoon of bacon fat.
- Mix eggs, Spanish onion and bell pepper in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the egg batter equally into all 12 compartments and then top with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the liquid is set.
- Let cool for five minutes and enjoy!