Friday, February 4, 2011

struggling cook in need of ideas

Ok, blog people. I know there are more of you out there than just the ones who are commenting. Leave me a note and let me know you're there!

Moving on.  I need some help.

I'm sitting here tonite, trying to plan meals for the next 2 weeks.  Now, if you are my friend, you know that I don't cook much. Never really been into it, but I do it when necessity calls for it (i.e. when Joel can't.) He really loves cooking but I try to do simple dinners when time allows. Usually involves beans, rice, chicken or pasta in the simplest, most 7-year-old-could-cook-this kind of form.  I never realized how hard it would be to learn to cook while raising 4 little ones! So, it goes without saying that I know the basics and can throw simple dishes together but I normally only get about 1 hour/day to plan, prepare, and execute the meal.  I mean, I could do some of these things during naptime but uhm, hello, that is my time to sit and breathe for like 2 seconds. 

Here's where you come in:
I need simple, fast meal ideas. That my picky husband will like to eat. He won't eat anything with MSG in it and really prefers not eating things from a box.  And he refuses to touch anything that contains or has been within 63 feet of mushrooms or mayonnaise.

Ok, send the ideas! GO!


Beth said...

Quiche! Can be done in a pie pan. Beat some eggs with a bit of milk, throw in some veggies and/or meat and bake. You can use a butter crust- but pie crust is easier. Bake crust first, then add egg mixture, bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes- until egg mixture is set.

Beth said...

Grilled sandwiches. I know it is pretty much like lunch- but you could use chicken breast (pounded thin) and cooked first (maybe with some caramelized onions) add some cheese, lettuce, maybe tomato and I seem to remember Joel has a bacon press for the cast iron- can use that when grilling them on the stove.

susanna said...

have joel make his sauce..keep it in the frigdge/freezer....and you whip up the spaghetti, noodles...and frozen veggie for whenever!! he will be sure to be happy.....don't forget breakfast for dinner!! pancakes...eggs and toast....i'll be thinking more on this....

Lora said...

you know i'm not gonna be much help. my forte is tacos. :)

Liz Carey said...

I just made Taco Salad last night using frozen grass fed beef we had, but of course any ground beef would work. I didn't want to use packaged taco seasoning, so I found a recipe online:

1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt or 1/2 tsp garlic salt

Stir seasoning and 3/4 cup water into 1 lb browned and drained meat, simmer 10 mins stirring occasionally.

Then just put whatever toppings you'd like. We did tomatoes, corn, onions, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

From Snowflakes To Hotcakes said...

Our go-to cheap and easy meals are: 1. pasta with some sort of sauce
2. fajitas (ALL the time) - cook up the meat all at once and freeze what you don't use, chop up peppers and onions (I think you can buy them already done too) all at once and freeze them too - then just pull them out of the freezer when you need them, throw on the stovetop for 15-20 min and you're done.
3. Enchilada casserole (easy to make and freeze ahead of time, and ingredients are cheap)
4. Chicken Spaghetti Casserole from the Pioneer Woman (ditto to above)
5. soup and grilled sandwiches
6. ANY crockpot meal, but pot roast is my favorite b/c it's cheap and easy.

Most of the above (minus the pasta ones) can be made gluten free, too, if they need to be.

And I second the breakfast for dinner option too.


Anonymous said...

Mini no-pie crust quiche (great for kids)!!!!

Spray muffin tin with cooking spray and pre-heat oven to 350.

Get a steamer bag of spinach in the frozen section and cook as directed.

In bowl, beat 5 eggs. Add milk (a little over 1 teaspoonish), ricotta cheese (1 cup . . . ish), and a handful of shredded mozzarella. Season with Mrs. Dash's no-salt seasoning. Stir in cooked spinach (steamer bag works best because it's not watery).

Scoop into muffin pan (I use an ice cream scoop - two scoops per muffin) and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

My two year old LOVES these. They're super easy and all natural!

I got this idea and many others from this awesome blogger: She has so many creative (and all natural) meal ideas for families! Love it!

Carlaflower said...

we have two dishes we do a lot.
1-buffalo chicken casserole: chop up 2-3 cooked chicken boobs (boneless, skinless) and mix with 2-3 cups cooked macaroni (or pasta of your choice) and then mix with a sauce that consists of 5 ozs of Frank's Red Hot, a block of melted cream cheese, and about a cup of ranch dressing. sprinkle mozzerella and crumbled Ritz on top and bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.
2-we also like "taco pasta", mix taco meat with cooked pasta (garden rotini works the best) and serve hot. make sauce by mixing equal parts salsa and sour cream. sprinkle mozzerella cheese on top and spoon sauce over noodles.

From Snowflakes To Hotcakes said...

Woah - I'm totally stealing Carla's Buffalo chicken casserole.

Jessa said...

Jen- I'm going to add you to a group I'm in on facebook called "what's for dinner." Just other ladies who post what they made for dinner - lots of great easy meals and help! I know how you feel - cooking has never been something I enjoy but I find I have to do it anyways :) bummer!

Melissa said...

Fried rice: Cook up some rice and boil some chicken ahead of time, shredding or chopping the chicken. Fry up some bacon in a pan, take it out, set it aside. If you wanna be healthy, get rid of the bacon fat. If you want more deliciousness, leave it. Fry up some scrambled eggs in the same pan, sprinkle in sesame seeds, add the rice with soy sauce and a little sesame oil if you have it. Heat up some frozen peas and carrots in the micro and mix veggies and crumbled bacon in with rice. Cook for a while on medium heat till it gets as dry/crispy as you want.

Melissa said...

I think I forgot to mention, put the chicken in at the same time as the veggies and bacon.

Anonymous said...

Croc pot chicken (mexican style)
3 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can drained corn
1 can drained black beans
1 jar of salsa (pace tastes the best)
and 1 package of cream cheese

put the frozen chicken breast at the bottom of the croc pot, then put the corn, beans, and salsa on top. cook on high 4-5 hours, till chicken is done. I take the chicken out, put cream cheese in for (20 min or so) a bit while I shred the chicken.. stir it all together! bam. serve over rice and with chips to scoop it up!
p.s. I double the corn, beans, and salsa and 1 1/2 cream cheese for us so we have leftovers! so yumm
Stephanie k.