OT - What's for dinner?

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!

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:

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.

Hmm…we had chicken tacos the other night that were yummy!

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:

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.

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).

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.


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!!

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.

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:

My favorite quick, easy meal is this:

Turkey burger
can o baked beans

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

Mmmmm good.

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:

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:

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. :wink:

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.

I absolutely adore How to Cook Without a Book

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.

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.

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)

Yum ,Jeremy. We love roasted veggies.