What's for dinner??

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Ever get tired of trying to think of dinner ideas?? If my husband had his way, we'd have tacos EVERY NIGHT!! As women we NEVER stop thinking about food!! What are your no-fail dinner ideas?? What are your last minute ideas?? What are your....save me from dinner boredom ideas??

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Kit - posted on 03/05/2012

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My go to dish is a really simple one too, but it does require a blunt instrument (I use what my Mom jokingly refers to as The Amazing Kitchen Brick--a very very clean brick wrapped in foil, then wrapped in plastic wrap and then wrapped in a large Ziplock bag).



Get four to six chicken breasts (smaller = more of them). Pound flat. Spread one of the following across the breast: cream cheese or flavored cream cheese or flavored spreadable cheese such as Neufchatel, Alouette, Onion & Garlic store brand cream cheese, etc. Roll up the breast and put in a baking dish, then pour spaghetti sauce over the top. Bake at 375º for 30 - 35 minutes.



What's nice is you can vary the cheeses, pick low fat versions, and go really simple (with store bought everything) or more involved with your own sauce. Really tasty, and pretty darned fast, too!

Kaitlin - posted on 03/04/2012

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BEEF. Just kidding.



I can do anything with chicken. My favs are making a mild thai style dish with lots of veggies and a peanut sauce, or enchiladas, or fajitas (kinda like tacos, lol). In a pinch, I can toss some sweet potatoes in some water and mash them up, and then use an egg, some spices and parm cheese and a little panko or bread crumbs, stick it in the oven and BAM dinner done, little work.



All of my meals must be completed in 30 minutes or less- come on now, we're busy- and we're on a strict budget and we are eating healthy- my husband has lost 50 lbs! :D (sorry, brag)



I also make my weekly meal chart and hang it on the fridge. This way I don't have to try to remember what to make, or to take anything out of the freezer, or ask myself that question- what's for dinner- and look around for ingrediants. I always have what i need, when I need it and it almost always goes smoothly.

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Every Monday I sit down with a selection of my cookbooks and recipes (gathered from magazines, the internet, friends etc) and compile a seven day menu. I write it up and display it so everyone in the family can see what we are having for dinner on any given day and then when I shop, I only buy what's on the ingredient list for those meals. It keeps our shopping bills manageable and it helps to maintain variety in our diet. I also don't have to stress each day about what to make for dinner. The rest of the family are welcome to make suggestions for any meal they'd like to see on the menu.

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I have the same issue......I'm not a great cook (hubby is 1 million times better but he sleeps during the day so it is up to me to do breakfast lunch and dinner (SAHM to 3 kids) he will get up and cook every once and awhile but 99% it's me......I don't like too much.....only eat chicken and sometimes London broil but I cut it or slice it up for the kids so I am used to eating it that way and prefer it.....I need to start doing what u ladies do make a chart every week I never know what to cook and I don't want the kids to be like I don't like this (but I don't eat much so if I don't eat it how can I get the kids to eat it lol).....cooking needs to change and I need to start looking at recipes and everything......I need breakfast lunch and dinner suggestions and more on the healthy side lol..

To the Internet & cookbooks I go lol

Cindy May - posted on 03/08/2012

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fish fingers, pasta and a tomatoe based sauce (with what ever other veg we have in the fridge) is a winner with papa and baby alike.

Kirsten - posted on 03/06/2012

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I like getting creative with casseroles. You can fit grains, meat, veggies, and dairy all in one dish that can be really easy to make! I also use a weekly dinner chart and it really helps meal planning and saving money at the grocery store!

Eydie - posted on 03/06/2012

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I do hamburger helper because everyone gose "I don't know, what do you want , I don't know?" I get so tired of it. I get the I don't want that but I don't know what I want either .HOW DO YOU FIX THAT !!!

Yurena - posted on 03/06/2012

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Sometimes on the run we do fish fingers, broccoli, beans and mash (made with milk, margerine and cheese). But mostly I do homecooked from scratch. Pasta bolognaise is a big for me, the sauce is a mixture of lots of veg (1 red pepper, 1 big carrot, 2 onions, 1 courgette, 6-8 tomatoes, plenty of garlic, salt, pepper), blended to a paste, cooked on a covered pan for 30 min or so with 1tbsp of olive oil, stirring often, then put the mince already cooked AND drained in a give it another 20-30 min, I always add paprika, oregano and a bay leave to the sauce as it cooks. Top up with a passata 500ml carton, the amount you want for the consistency needed. It's a winner, you can do it with pasta, but makes a good lasagne filling or pizza bread topping too. Freeze in small portions and you can have it any day! I also like buying a roasted chicken (here is as cheap as cooking it yourself, so don't bother, if lucky reduced price if dinner time approaching!), kids have the leg with broccoli, sweetcorn, mash and gravy (reduced salt). With the leftover you can make chicken hunter breast or a sandwich club, or chicken mayo wrap, croquetes. Croquetes: softly fry 2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves covered, then blend this with a glass of warm milk and put it back on the frying pan, add the chicken chopped finely and a bit of flour to make it into a bechamel, cook stirring constantly at a low fire till it is quite thick, add more milk or flour as needed making sure flour is cooked throughly. I add also a tbsp of tomato pure, pinch or salt and pepper and oregano (or any herb you like). Let cool down (fridge?) and shape into eggs, 2 spoons make it easier, drop each dollop in whisked egg and then through breadcrubs, done. They are usually fried but I do it on a covered frying pan with a tbsp of oil turning constantly. They freeze well. You can have them with a side of chips, salad, mash, beans, soup, pasta leftovers, anything! I do tuna croquetes using the same recipe with a couple of tuna tins (in oil, drained but use some of this oil in the mixture, yummy). They are hard work easily over an hour for the prep and cooking of the paste but worthy cos you can make about 30 in a go and you can eat 3 or 4 per serving. You will know paste is cooked when it separates from the pan without sticking to it. Also with the bones of the chicken you can make a lovely broth or soup (if you add some meat and even noodles at the end of cooking), veg: 1 tomato, 1 carrot, garlic, parsley, leek, 1.7 l of water, cook for 1-1.30h, sieve, I mash in the veg through the sieve. Hope this helps, I'm budget mum. xxx

Jessica - posted on 03/06/2012

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My husband is also picky but I was sick of he same staples every week...so I bought a cookbook called Saving Dinner...most recipes take less than 30mins and the grocery list is included. Plus it is split into seasons which I love. So far I've made a different meal every night/every other if leftovers, and there has only been one or two that weren't embraced by the hubby and kids. There is always a crockpot recipe, I love my crockpot, and lots of wiggle room to play up or change the recipes for different flavors, sides, etc. I enjoy my time in the kitchen now!

Mother - posted on 03/06/2012

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You ladies are AWESOME!! Ellen, I do a lot of what you do. I always have 'something' on hand. It is the thinking about it. My hubby is a fussy eater. I've seen me freeze or waste food because he'll be like.....I don't feel like that. *insert sad face*. Well then Mister....I suggest you git yer ass in the kitchen and whip me up sumpin special!! LOL

Betty - posted on 03/06/2012

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Try allrecipes.com. People rate the recipes so choose ones that lots of people have rated high. I have gotten a lot of good recipes this way. You can search by name of recipe, ingredients or rating. If I have no idea what to make, I search for the highest rated recipes.

Ellen - posted on 03/06/2012

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I have a crockpot which everyone should own one or two. On weekends I plan partial meals for the week then during the week there is always something to work with.I cook a roast, stew or soup, chicken, pastasause and I even cooK the noodles.In my freezer I have fries, perogis, frozen vegetables,ect which u can throw together with any of these protiens. With this on hand you have something to start with.

Markita - posted on 03/05/2012

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I get tired of having to come up with ideas. I ask my husband and all I get is, "something light" (he's trying to loose weight). Ummm, hello I was looking for something specific. I do have one recipe that is guaranteed to please everyone. It's pretty simple too, Kielbasa sliced and sauteed with red and green peppers, garlic and an onion. Toss in some penne and you're good to go.

Kelina - posted on 03/05/2012

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lol this fat pregnant lady ate tacos for dinner since they were so lovingly mentioned in the original post

Alexandra - posted on 03/05/2012

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there are many sites on the internet with wonderful food ideas. foodnetwork is a wonderful site too! and you can always get a cookbook. I cook in bulk and freeze and then eat it through the week.

Kaitlin - posted on 03/05/2012

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You all stink. Suggestive food and whatnot. Now this fat pregnant lady wants tacos and she wants them NOW. at 8:30pm. After I already made and ate a very healthy dinner. You jerk faces ;) Yo quiero Taco Bell.

Kelina - posted on 03/05/2012

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lol I'm like your hubby at the moment I could eat tacos every night. I'm craving them like crazy, but we also do chicken pot pie. This one can use leftovers and be prepared the night before so all you do is toss it in the oven the night of. Even if you don't it only take about an hour and a half if you make the pie crust from scratch and have to cook the chicken until it's ready to go in the oven. But shepards pie is another good one for preparing the night before or using leftovers for. Make a giant thing of mashed potatoes the one night with dinner and then spoon them onto shepards pie the next night. Stew is a good one for moms on the go stick it in the crock pot in the morning and it's ready at dinner time, very little prep work. Make a big roast one night and then put the leftovers into a pot pie the next night. Beefs dips are a good one. mmmmmm beef dips. good idea, I think i'll eat those tomorrow lol. Homemade subs are a good one if you're pressed for time. We like to make them on multigrain ciabatta buns. Also for roast, if you are home around lunch, toss the roast and some diced veggies into the roasting pan, along with some golden potatoes or something. That's one you can also do in the slow cooker. good luck! WE're eating tacos tonight cause I want them so bad!

Kansas - posted on 03/05/2012

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I am always surfing through the food & drink section of pintrest.com, or punchfork.com and tastespotting.com....all place have wonderful outside of the box ideas. Even for tacos (we just had blackend swai fish tacos!). Make a pintrest account and start pinning recipe ideas to it! I love using it!

Kaitlin - posted on 03/05/2012

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I make a schedule every week. It has the days of the week on the top, and down the left side it says breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert- it's a nice little chart ;) I take about a half hour, usually on Friday nights (my husband is gone Friday nights, and I have the circular from my grocery store) and use sales to help my meal planning. Then we go grocery shopping on monday afternoon (the kids come with me). We started using Body For Life last year and since I've gotten good at cooking healthy I don't need to use their cookbook/online recipes anymore, though I did in the beginning. I also like to cook about a meal and a half at a time, so that we can have leftovers the next day or a few days later on the days we are crunched for time.

Stifler's - posted on 03/05/2012

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If I wasn't conscious abotu my health I'd want tacos every night too!! I make food that lasts 2 or 3 days like large things of spaghetti, corned meat one night and fritters the next or 2 nights of corned meat and veg and then fritters, stews that last 2 or 3 days. It's so bludgey. I hate cooking.

Johnny - posted on 03/04/2012

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I do the same thing with meal planning. I sit down on Sunday nights and come up with the menu for the week. I also go shopping for as much as I can that night too. It is hard enough to commute home, pick up my daughter and get dinner on the table by 6pm without trying to throw a grocery shop in there. I let my husband and my daughter each have a choice of one meal for the week. My daughter invariably picks either chicken souvlaki, spaghetti (which I make with ground turkey) or bratwurst & perogies. My husband thinks about it hard, picks something ridiculously exotic, gets sent back to the drawing board but usually has a different pick each week.



I make a lot of sauces ahead, a basic tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, cheese sauce, barbeque sauce and freeze them or put them in jars. I make sure I have a casserole or something quick like fish ready for nights where we have meetings or activities. I also often do a roast pork, chicken or sometimes beef on weekends for leftovers on another activity night.



The planning ahead really helps to ensure things are healthy, wholesome, and can be accomplished on our schedule. I also take one night a week that is "my night". Usually Saturdays. That is when I cook what I want, don't rush, enjoy the process with a glass of wine, and it isn't always kid-friendly so I make two dinners.

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012

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"I also make my weekly meal chart and hang it on the fridge." -- does your weekly meals change each week or you have the same thing on the same day each week??

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012

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Brag ALL YOU WANT!! You must share. Our meals are getting tiresome.....and the thing you popped in the oven sounds yummy!! What was that?



We're having chicken stir fry tonight with some curry, served over a bed of rice. We love it.

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