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hedgewick
04-17-2006, 09:38 AM
Ok ladies and gentleman, I'm sick of eating the same stuff all the time. I feel like all I cook is spaghetti, chicken and Mac & cheese, and those box kit meals that are easy but probably not good for you. So, what are your favorite EASY meals. I've got a 4 year old son who is not terribly picky (LOVES veggies!) but is allergic to nuts so I have to be carefull of that. My husband isn't too picky either.

I'm heading to the grocery soon. Any ideas? Thanks!

aylaanne
04-17-2006, 09:52 AM
I like to make beef stew--it doesn't take long but it lasts in the fridge for a good week (providing it doesn't get eaten by then). I also like to make spinach quiche. Spinach is a great vegetable and it goes well in all kinds of mix-ups.

If you have the time and inclination, learn how to make a cheese sauce from scratch. It doesn't take much longer than a powdered cheese sauce, but it has fewer preservatives and you can use whatever kind of cheese you want. I love making cheese sauces to put over a mix-up of a meat, a starch, and a vegetable--usually spinach or broccoli.

If you want some specific recipes I can send some to you. PM or email me. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Cristy
04-17-2006, 10:01 AM
I know it takes time to do this but check out allrecipes.com sometime. I spend almost as much time there as I do here and I've never found a bad recipe. Almost everything I cook comes from that site.

I make a lot of soups from scratch and I love to make homemade chicken dumplins (you can make a quick version using homestyle canned biscuits as your dumplins). I'm a big fan of salad so I don't have a problem getting in my veggies...We grill a lot of meat since dh has a gas grill on the deck.

Jan in CA
04-17-2006, 10:03 AM
Hmm...we had chicken tacos the other night that were yummy!

bjc1050
04-17-2006, 12:45 PM
Quesadillas (Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches). You can add cooked chicken breast if you like or just use cheese. Serve them with chili or salad.

Some of my favorite recipe sites are:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/
http://www.campbellkitchen.com/default.aspx
http://www.mccormick.com/index.cfm

hedgewick
04-17-2006, 02:00 PM
mmm... this all sounds really great! I love watching the food network but it always looks too time consuming or complex. My son (age 4) loves Rachel Ray! She's his "girlfriend"! I like her too and her show is the only one I can really see using the recipes unless it's a special holiday or something. Of course, I'm a stay at home mom so I don't really have an excuse not to make something good for dinner every night. I like the salad idea. All 3 of us like spinich so we may use that in our meals more.

Hallegold
04-17-2006, 02:32 PM
I love Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals cookbook. The recipes are easy to do and easy to understand. AND they really do take just 30 minutes to prepare.

Her books are well worth the investment. I got my copy at Costco (Sam's Club also has them).

candicane
04-17-2006, 02:43 PM
Check out www.eatingwell.com Look under recipes for Healthy in a Hurry.

I have had a subscription to this magazine for a couple of years and have made many tasty meals. Some call for odd ingredients, but I usually just subsitute something else.

Candice

JLC
04-17-2006, 02:51 PM
I've found a lot of recipes on allrecipes.com and they are all pretty good. My kids eat pasta with butter and parmesan cheese and mac & cheese quite a bit because I have 2 VERY picky eaters. I'm so tired of getting home from work at 4:30, rushing to get a decent meal on the table, just to have them refuse to eat it. If anyone has any recipes for picky kids, I'd love them!!

cheesiesmom
04-17-2006, 02:56 PM
one of my fave receipes (especially with left over chicken or turkey) is a stirfry. I use frozen chopped veggies of any sort (those frozen blends are nice or if I'm so inclined and have stuff around the house use fresh) stir fry them with what ever protein (shellfish, chicken (cooked or fresh), l-o turkey, pork, beef, my DD loves tofu) add a little soy, some canned chicken or beef or vegetable broth thickened with a couple of tbsps of cornstarch, serve over steamed rice. I just make my rice in a pan on the stove. I don't need anymore gadgets; I'm trying to simplify.

Sometimes, depending on the veggies I skip the soy, use some white wine, make sure there's a little tomato and mushroom in it and serve it with pasta and sprinkle parmasen cheese. Voila, Italian tonight.

Surprisingly, my kids used to love this; they ate lots a veggies and loved the rice or pasta. With a little inventiveness, you could probably serve it several nights in a row. Just change around the veggies. Obviously, this is better if you have fresh veggies, but the frozen are good too.

aylaanne
04-17-2006, 03:09 PM
I've found a lot of recipes on allrecipes.com and they are all pretty good. My kids eat pasta with butter and parmesan cheese and mac & cheese quite a bit because I have 2 VERY picky eaters. I'm so tired of getting home from work at 4:30, rushing to get a decent meal on the table, just to have them refuse to eat it. If anyone has any recipes for picky kids, I'd love them!!
You could use my mom's recipe for picky kids:

make dinner.
Place in front of children.
Continue to place same plate in front of children at every meal until finished.
Make another meal.

Repeat as necessary.

Eventually, they'll eat it, and you shouldn't have to do it more than twice before the thought of having to eat the same icky thing, just two days old, drives them to stop being picky. :roflhard:

feministmama
04-17-2006, 03:14 PM
My favorite quick, easy meal is this:

Turkey burger
can o baked beans
rice

cook the turkey burger till brown, add beans. Pour over rice, serve.

Mmmmm good.

CateKnits
04-17-2006, 03:17 PM
My dad's solution to me being picky was to make dinner and let me pick what of the stuff he made I wanted to eat. So if he made spaghetti and salad, I could choose to eat my pasta without the sauce and the salad. I'm sure this was totally over-indulgent, but some of my pickiness came from discomfort. If I ate tomatoes, which the rest of my family loved and put in everything, my stomach would feel horrible for hours afterward. Once or twice, my mother tried the just making me eat it thing, and I was so stubborn that I would sit at the table all day and not eat anything. Now if only I could harness that stubbornness for good. :thinking:

silveridger
04-17-2006, 03:26 PM
Probably too late to help you with today's shopping, but...

Last night we had some really great lamb sirloin chops (grilled), with spicy sweet potatoes (2 peeled sweet potatoes chunked and boiled til soft, mashed with a roasted red pepper, salt & pepper, honey, and a pat of butter), and a simple salad from the bag of mixed baby greens tossed with a good salad dressing.

Tonight, pork tenderloin (roasted, easy to do and only 30-40 minutes in the oven), fresh asparagus, salad (greens with tomato, avocado, and one of the diced boiled eggs from last weekend), and applesauce.

Hamburgers on the grill are always good, with lettuce and tomato on the burgers you don't need salad, & oven fries are great with it and not too hard on the calories.

Look for the frozen salmon steaks that are individually packaged... they thaw in a bowl of water in less than a half hour. Put them in foil packets with a little olive oil (I like the flavored ones best) and season as you wish (lemon pepper, dill mixed with a bit of butter, or a dab of purchased pesto are some of our favorites). Great with a green salad and corn bread, corn on the cob, fresh green beans, or a nice big Ceasar salad.

I get in a rut on food occasionally. Since I started Weight Watchers I get lots of ideas from their site. I try to include a lot of fresh produce, minimally processed foods, and avoid sauces. We use the grill a lot (the grill pan in the winter, too cold outside), and I really try to avoid spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

Edited because it was LAMB, not lamp :rofling:

Jan in CA
04-17-2006, 04:11 PM
I don't think that is a problem, Cate. What I don't want to do is become a short order cook and make a dozen different things! :roflhard: What we did with our kids was to make sure there was at least one thing that we knew they'd eat and encouraged them to at least try the other stuff. Both are pretty good eaters now so I guess it worked out okay. ;)

JLC
04-17-2006, 06:25 PM
I've tried the "put the plate in front of them until they eat it" but they absolutely refuse to eat it. I guess I should also say that they eat really good for the person who does their daycare. She makes really good, healthy meals, so I know they are at least getting that.

I try to make something that has at least one thing that each kid likes, but it's not easy. My youngest will not eat potatoes...not even french fries, but he will eat rice. My oldest will eat potatoes, cooked any way, but not rice. They both will eat hamburg that we scramble up in a frying pan and put ketchup on, but I can't cook that every night of the week. It's frustrating.

TwoLeftNeedles
04-17-2006, 07:48 PM
I absolutely adore How to Cook Without a Book (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767902793/002-1931296-0280866?v=glance&n=283155)

She teaches you how to make a speedy weeknight dinner without getting stuck in a rut. Once you understand the underlying structure in her master recipes, you can fine tune them to your family's taste and come up with bunches of variations.

Get them down cold and learn how to use a knife like a chef (gourmet stores and cooking schools often offer knife skill classes to the public) and you can have dinner done in no time.

cheesiesmom
04-17-2006, 08:01 PM
My son liked beef (i.e., burger, pot roast, chili, stew); my daugter liked chicken ( breast, stirfry), so i'd put it in front of them and tell them to eat what they wanted and pick out the stuff they didn't like ( onions, mushroom out of spaghetti sauce; celery, beef out of 'chop suey'). My DD still won't eat beef ( unless its filet mignon fixed by the chef at the hotel she works at) but generally, they eat everything. The hardest thing was not fussing about what they would or wouldn't eat. It drove me crasy, but they both eat "normally" now. I know moms whose kids only "chew" meat and never swallow it. That would have drove my Mom crazy. But ya bite your tongue and no snacks after dinner. Nothing till breakfast the next day. Food problems were the pits with my two!. Eventually they grow out of it and don't die of starvation. That was the worst part of raising them. About 7:30 someone would complain about being hungry.

Jeremy
04-17-2006, 08:10 PM
One of our favorites lately is roasted root vegetables from the Weight Watchers cookbook. This is a great recipe for your son especially. Just cut up a few beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, parsnips and onions and throw them in a roasting pan. add some olive oil tomato paste and whatever other spices you like. Toss them to coat them with the olive oil etc. and them roast them at 400. Turn them every once in a while until they are soft and have browned. Don't be afraid of serving the onions because they will be carmelized and sweet. Really good with just a chicken breast and it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. (The only thing I bother peeling is the sweet potatoes)

cheesiesmom
04-17-2006, 08:12 PM
Yum ,Jeremy. We love roasted veggies.

mintdee
04-17-2006, 11:23 PM
I absolutely adore How to Cook Without a Book (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767902793/002-1931296-0280866?v=glance&n=283155)


Well I just ordered it. My dh has been hinting about how in the rut that we really are so we both agreed that this would be a good book to try.

I of course had to check out the knitting books and noticed that EZ's knitters almanac was seven dollars but I refrained from buying it. Although it somehow it was on my checkout reciept :thinking:

kellyjo32
04-18-2006, 06:51 AM
Dh and I always go for pizza and mexican. It sounds terrible, but you can throw anything on a pizza, so it's a good way to use up leftovers too. I just keep the sauce, cheese and Betty Crocker dough packets on hand. It's quick, easy, and always tastes different. And what kid doesn't like pizza. You can easily sneak some veggies in on them that way!
And mexican is the same way. Dh's new favorite is enchiladas! Yummy and so quick and easy to make, with whatever you have laying around if you keep the bare necessities on hand!

That book looks pretty good! I know whenever I ask my family for a recipe, they say, "oh, a little bit of this, and some of that" hmmp, that doesn't help!

I must vote for Allrecipes.com as well. It has great ideas if nothing else. We get one in our email everyday, but I've become overwhelmed by recipes. Dh suggests writing down a list of tried and true recipes that you know you love, and that way when you're thinking "what can I make for dinner" you can consult the list and you know you'll like it! (I've haven't gotten around to it yet though! ;) )

Cristy
04-18-2006, 08:25 AM
I also subscribe to the cooking light magazine...have for years. The recipes are good but sometimes they are a little ingredient heavy...they usually have a section where readers send in their recipes and they "make them over" to be healthier and those recipes aren't too bad. I use their website too...I also love America's Test Kitchen so I pull recipes from their site quite often too.

Tonight...I think we are having grilled hamburgers with french fries (for the rest of the family) and salad for me. I serve them on a whole wheat bun and make sure to add lettuce and tomato (and cheese of course!).

nicolethegeek
04-18-2006, 06:14 PM
I :heart: :heart: my crock pot. I have several standbys that always get good reviews. My main source of crock pot recipes is from Flylady. I have a chili/sloppy joes recipe that I have yet to try on the second day {never any leftovers}. There's a terry-yukky {teriyaki for those that actually like it!} recipe where you make your own sauce and simply pour it over. I've also got a few soups that I make in it too. The rules in our house is that you eat what is served to you. We know what the kids like and don't like, so if it's something they don't like, they only get a small portion. Since we rotate what's made, there will be days where they decide they aren't eating anything, but the next day they might be begging for thirds!

Rennagayle
04-18-2006, 06:20 PM
Silveridger, how do you prepare your pork tenderloin? I've never cooked one before, but that's what I'm making for tonight's dinner. I love that you can cook them so quickly! We eat late to accommodate my dh and my ds, so I have time yet. :D

Here's (http://www.post-gazette.com/food/20020110count0110fnp1.asp) a recipe I found earlier today, that I plan on using tonight. The recipe is near the bottom of the page.

silveridger
04-18-2006, 07:00 PM
Renna, that recipe looks great, I might try it myself next time! I usually just roast it uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes... the variations are the seasonings. Salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, dill, lemon pepper, or one of the seasoned peppers made for grilling.... just take your pick, season, place in small roasting pan and pop in the oven. Yesterdays had a red pepper/sesame salad dressing doused on, and that was good too!

bjc1050
04-18-2006, 07:22 PM
This evening we had hamburger patties, grilled along with boiled redskin potatoes and green beans. I love redskin potatoes because of their flavor and they don't need peeling. They are great with ham or pork, too. In either case, they make for a quick and easy veggie, although they could be roasted, too. Just add your favorite green veggie, i.e. broccoli, cabbage, spinach, peas, beans, or salad.

I like the Suddenly Salad pasta salads,too; but frequently just use my own pasta such as rotini or penne and my own seasonings plus cucumber and celery and onion. Often these are served with steamed shrimp or grilled chicken and bread sticks.

loveswildflowers
04-18-2006, 07:36 PM
Thanks so much for posting this question. I definitely must have "Cooking without a Book". Thanks for that tip!

My favorite FAST recipe - fajitas. Basically it can be pretty much anything rolled up in a flat round flour tortilla:
e.g. grilled or leftover chicken,
OR
grilled steak strips or leftover beef in any form
OR
grilled or steamed veggies

Add some choices to top the meat (each person can do as many or few as they like). They can build and roll their own.:
e.g. tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, olives, peppers (green, red, hot, whatever), salsa, fresh cilantro, etc.

Depending on whatever I have on hand at home, each fajita meal is unique.

Rennagayle
04-18-2006, 07:50 PM
Thanks, Silveridger! I'll try one of your variations nex time. I just took mine out of the oven to check for doneness, which it was. It's really yummy. I can't believe I've never cooked these before. It's amazing how quickly they cook. :D

gimmesanity
04-18-2006, 07:58 PM
I'm all about throwing stuff together...we eat lots of pasta with veggies (whole wheat pasta, though.)

Tonight, I took:

-a small ham steak, cut it into cubes
-a can of artichoke hearts (not the marinated ones), chopped them up
-a diced tomato
-about a cup of frozen petite peas
- 1/3 c. grated parmesean

I boiled some ziti, saved about a cup of the water. When I strained the pasta, I put the peas in the strainer first, so that the hot water and pasta would thaw the peas. While the pasta was in the strainer, I threw the ham into the pot to heat through, then I threw in the other stuff, minus the cheese. I added the pasta and peas, stirred, added the cheese, added water to make it not so dry...and, voi la! Dinner in under 10 minutes.

You can do this with pretty much anything...other favorite combos:

- cod, black olives, sauteed spinach, and sauteed shallots (just poach the cod while the noodles boil, then flake it.) Mix in some cooked pasta.
- chicken, artichoke hearts, tomato...add a dash of white wine while the chicken is cooking....yumm. This is good on it's own, too.


Another favorite:

-roasted veggies, especially asparagus, brussel sprouts, and carrots. (We have a 1-year old and she LOVES roasted veggies.)
- couscous: it cooks in like 5 minutes. How can you beat that? Add whatever you want to it. I sautee garlic and spinach, or you can add peas and carrots. Make it up as you go along.
-turkey breasts...they cook up in about 45 minutes, if you have the time. They're yummy, and it's hard to mess them up.
- mini meatloafs...just make your favorite meatloaf recipe and put them in muffin tins. They'll cook in about 20 minutes or so. Add some roasted brussels sprouts and some mashed potatoes...mmm.

DH and I believe in feeding DD what we eat, and we don't skimp on the flavors, either. Granted, she's one and can't really complain about food yet, but we plan to keep this up. We eat a ton of veggies and whole grains, and our dessert is almost always fresh fruit. DD has tried everything from beets to asparagus to roasted garlic. She eats it all.

dang, now I'm hungry....

Rennagayle
04-18-2006, 08:03 PM
Jeremy,

One of our favorites lately is roasted root vegetables from the Weight Watchers cookbook. This is a great recipe for your son especially. Just cut up a few beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, parsnips and onions and throw them in a roasting pan. add some olive oil tomato paste and whatever other spices you like. Toss them to coat them with the olive oil etc. and them roast them at 400. Turn them every once in a while until they are soft and have browned. Don't be afraid of serving the onions because they will be carmelized and sweet. Really good with just a chicken breast and it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. (The only thing I bother peeling is the sweet potatoes)

That roasted root veggie dish sounds positively yummy! I can't wait to try it. I even have a WW cookbook I picked up recently at a thrift store. I guess I should drag it off the shelf and see what other goodies are in there. :D

bjc1050
04-23-2006, 04:18 PM
The easiest meal to prepare: keilbasa and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes, apple pie or apple crisp or gingerbread for dessert.

Pixywhispers
04-23-2006, 04:41 PM
Easy Crockpot Recipe- Cut two links of sausage in 1 1/2 inch sections,cut in 1/4 or 1/8 sections 8 potatoes, also cut in 1/4 or 1/8 sections two onions. More or less to your taste. Throw in crockpot. Dont add water (I know sounds crazy, but the steam cooks it all. High half a day, or low all day.

Don't forget to cook a extra meat when you have the grill going, then freeze it. Try different meats. Last year I learned I could cook smoked Turkey Breasts very well.

Not sure if it was mentioned, but don't forget breakfast for dinner.

Interesting side, corn kernals with a chopped onion and a handfull of cheese, microwave. Easy and yummy!

Tomatoe Mozarella Salad. Slice tomatoes, slice ball of mozarella, drizzle with olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Its even better the second day, can also be served with large black olives. Reminds me of Vegas.

bjc1050
04-23-2006, 05:37 PM
Pixie,

Sounds good, however you can just do the sausage and sauerkraut in a pot on top of the stove in about 20 - 30 minutes. Skip the mashed potatoes, use redskins or new potatoes...no peeling necessary...diners can mash their own with their forks. It's GOT to be the EASIEST meal EVER to prepare and good for stepping out of the dinner rut.

bjc1050
04-26-2006, 06:31 PM
I :heart: this recipe. I sometimes use chicken base or bullion to make the broth instead of using the canned broth. Frequently use a half cup of converted rice instead of the noodles. It's the easiest and best chicken soup recipe I've ever tried.

Sensational Chicken Noodle Soup
From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep/Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


Ingredients:

4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (regular, Natural Goodness™ or Certified Organic)
Generous dash ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup uncooked medium egg noodles
1 cup cubed cooked chicken OR turkey

Directions:

MIX broth, black pepper, carrot and celery in saucepan. Heat to a boil.

STIR in noodles and chicken. Cook over medium heat 10 min. or until noodles are done.