Thursday, September 27, 2007

Advice Forum Friday - Easy Meals?

UPDATE: I've actually installed the Mr. Linky. Sorry; I had a brain fart last night.

Happy Friday, y'all! This week has certainly been up and down, that's for sure! I've thought of at least five things that I wanted to throw out to you for advice. Now to just remember one of them...

Okay, I've got one. I'm having a drought in the kitchen department.

Here's how it usually works with me. I cook something, it's great, and so I cook 10 variations of the same meal for the next month. I love it, but my family...not so much.

For example, we went through a stage where I was making grilled sandwiches (let's just call 'em panini, okay?) at least three nights a week. Reubens, ham and cheese, roast beef and grilled onions...oh, and more cheese. Finally Big Daddy put his foot down and said enough with the sandwiches.

More recently, I made a great little appetizer with bread machine roll dough, and suddenly I can't stop making dough, wrapping it around stuff and baking it. Again with the putting down of the foot.

So what I'd like you to tell me is this: When it's 5:00, and you haven't thought about dinner yet, and you're lazy (which I know you're not, but I am, okay?), what do you cook? What's your go-to meal for easy and quick? Besides Mac and Cheese, cause I've got that one down, too.

Also, if you have something you need advice about, please go ahead and post about it at your blog, being sure to link back to this post and sign Mr. Linky down there. It doesn't have to be domestic; it can be financial, relationships, parenting, spiritual, anything. What's on your mind, Blog Land? Let us help!


Misty Dawn said...

I'll definitely be interested in the comments on this post!

shoeaddict said...

I buy chicken breasts in a big bag and when I need a go-to meal I take however many out and marinate them and stick them in the oven. I always have veggies, too. I try to keep cram of chicken or mushroom soup on hand,too. You can put that in there, raw noodles or rice, water, cheese, veggies, put in the oven and bake.

Amy said...

How about ...

Taco Salad

3 hearts of Romaine lettuce
1 lb ground beef, browned and seasoned with chili powder or a packet of "taco seasoning"
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 green or colored bell pepper, diced
1 large can pitted olives, sliced
1 can dark red kidney beans
1-2 cups shredded cheese (the prepackaged "mexican style" works well)
1 bag of tortilla chips

We usually mix the meat and veggies and serve the chips in a separate container so they don't get soggy.


Fried Rice

2 cups cooked rice
½ lb frozen mixed vegetables (I usually use peas and carrots or something similarly diced)
2 eggs, scrambled and diced, if needed
Chinese five-spice powder (I don't measure spices, but I would guess maybe ¼-½ teaspoon?)
Soy sauce

Stir fry vegetables with five-spice powder in a little olive or peanut oil. Add eggs and rice. Mix well. Add enough soy sauce to turn the whole mess a nice light caramel color.


Wild Rice Casserole


Baked Spaghetti
1 lb spaghetti or other pasta, cooked al dente
1 jar marinara sauce (or homemade, but if you're going for "quick")
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix pasta and vegetables. Stir in sauce. Spoon into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Hmmm, Little Caesar's??? Taco Bueno, Chick-fil-A, Dickey's...

We try to keep breaded chicken patties, hamburger buns, and corn-on-the-cob on hand. We also try to keep spaghetti, sauces, and a bag of frozen meatballs on hand, too.

I'm with Misty Dawn, though - anxious to see other responses!

WendyDarling said...

One Skillet Vegetable Pasta Dish

3-4 C leftover spaghetti (I use wheat, but you use whatever you have)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
½ C of carrots (chopped)
½ C of celery (diced)
½ C of onion (chopped)
1 C of bell pepper (diced. I use all colors, but mostly green because it is cheapest)
3 T of Rotel
¼ C of chopped black olives
¾ C of grated Cheddar cheese
1 T of parsley (either dried or fresh)
1 can of Cream of Celery Soup
1 T. of water
1 T of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add the olive oil and garlic. When garlic is heated turn the heat up to medium and add all of your vegetables and salt and pepper. Cook until they are all tender, but not “mushy”. You want to have a little “crunch” to them. Add the can of Cream of Celery Soup and the water. Stir and let heat through. When heated add your spaghetti and mix it well. Allow to heat for a few minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste and the Rotel. Mix lightly. Remove from the burner and sprinkle on the cheese, olives and parsley. Let stand to allow the cheese to melt.

This recipe came about using leftovers from the fridge, so feel free to use whatever vegetables you wish. If you don’t have any Rotel just use one medium diced tomato. Just wait to add them at the end. This can be used as a side dish, or as a main dish served with a salad.

Also, I know this is a "sandwich" sort of, but I also do

"Not Your Mama's Grilled Cheese".

1 Whole Wheat Tortilla
1/2 C of grated low fat cheese
about 1/4 C of red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 of an avocado, sliced
about 1/4- 1/2 C of greens ( I like to use Spring Mix Salad)
1 t olive oil

Heat your pan and put in the olive oil. Place the whole wheat tortilla in the pan and move around some to spread the oil. Place the cheese around the tortilla. Lay your other ingredients on the cheese and then fold over tortilla using a spatula or tongs. Cook on one side about 1 minute to brown. Flip and brown the other side. I like to pull mine out so the greens are still a little crisp. (Sometimes I put in mushrooms and onions. Really, you can put in whatever you like)

Jennifer said...

Pasta is a big go-to around here. I can do just about anything with it. One of my absolute favorite, super-duper quick and easy pasta dishes? Cook spaghetti noodles. Chop up a tomato or two. Put a little olive oil in the pan, throw in the noodles and tomatoes and add a big plop of pesto sauce. (I always keep some on hand in my fridge.) Heat through and maybe sprinkle with some parmesan - yum! I can even add some chicken to it if I want.

When the time has come around again to go grocery shopping, but I haven't made it there, and there's not much to eat, we have breakfast. I always have eggs and pancake mix on hand, and usually some sausage - makes a great dinner!

I know there are others, but I can't think of any more at the moment.

Oh - and I really always intend to participate in your advice Fridays, but, well - for the past month I wasn't blogging, and seems like I can't ever think of anything worthy of asking. But I'll put my thinking cap on this week and see if I can't come up with something!!!

Shel said...

Okay I tried to think of something easy when you first posted it. Couldn't. I am in such a cooking funk. Then I remembered my kids favorite meal. At the moment we are kinda maxed out on it, but if you haven't had it then no problem. I posted it last year on the blog: Here's the link. I also got a recipe on email today from Everyday Cheapskate on an Alfredo sauce recipe that is supposed to be Olive Garden copycat. Good luck.

Nancy said...

I've found that a lot of the recipes on are really easy go-to recipes. I usually buy Aldi ingredients rather than their name-brand suggestions, but there are always simple, tasty meals there with minimal ingredients and fuss. I really like their One Bag, Five Meals menus - one master shopping list, four meals (one day, you do a frozen pizza) and you're set for a week of nightly meals.

You can sign up on the website to receive their magazine - comes out once a quarter.

Andi said...

I love to make quesadillas. Last night I made pizza quesadillas- whole wheat tortillas, cheese mix, pepperoni & mushrooms. We dipped them in a half empty jar of warmed pizza sauce I already had in the fridge.

And, I always have some quick, easy options in the house for last minute meals. Chicken breasts in the freezer & pasta in the pantry. I'm a big fan of the supermarket rotisseri chicken as well!