What's for dinner ?

jokeworm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 29, 2006
1,118
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Tulsa. Ok.
Ok, I'm bored .... actually - to be more precise - I'm bored of eating the same rotation of 9 or 10 meals that are currently my "go-to" meals. My wife works the long hours - I work from home as and when i feel like it ... which means i generally do most of the cooking ... and so by default - i also make out the shopping list ...

We cook at home 5 or even 6 nights a week - but we always seem to fall back on the same old tried and tested "quick and easy but tastes ok" meals. Week in week out.

Pot Roast - mash and Peas.
Spaghetti
Chicken Pasta in cheese sauce.
Curry & rice
(these are some of mine)

Now it's not that I'm not adventurous in the kitchen ... I'll try anything once or twice ... but we all do it. Unless your name is Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray .. we all eventually fall back on our 8-10 favorite "meals"

So i thought - if we shared some of our own go-to meals with each other ... we might be able to add a few "new" ones to our own arsenal of meals.

So again - I ask you ...

What's for dinner tonight ?

Please give me something new to add to my rotation ... its our weekly shop tomorrow - so i want to pull together a few idea's and try and eat a meal each day next week that I've never had before .. or at least something that is not on my current "go-to" meal plan.

What meal do you always seem to fall back on in your house ? Maybe its something that I've never tried or not had in a while. I need inspiration !! I've got a blank shopping list in front of me - and nothing sounds good .. HELP !
 

socalpanman

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Feb 12, 2005
501
2
San Rafael CA
I have a similar situation as you do. Two of my go-to's are:

if you do curry venture into a Chinese basic, Kung Pao Chicken: quick and easy especially if you use Tyson chicken tenders. I get mine at Costco. Some unsalted peanuts, celery, dried chili peppers, green onions, your favorite veggies like, different colored bell peppers, broccoli etc. Make as spicy as you'd like. Served with white or brown rice. I can send the full recipe if it sounds like something you'd like.

Salmon in a foil pouch with chopped/minced garlic, olive oil or quick spray of Pam, salt & pepper topped with a lemon slice, center of oven baked at 400 for about 20 minutes. Serve with a rice dish, or steamed veggies and salad.

I like the Rachel R. style of food prep.
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,475
2,942
Milwaukee, WI
OK, here's what I did tonight. I worked the long hours, but my wife is in no condition to prepare meals. I got home at 7:30.

1. Heat pot of water in spagetti cooker. When boiling, add rottini noodles and cook. (Other noodles are OK. I like rottini because it holds the sauce nicely)

2. Meanwhile, thaw a package of frozen bay scallops. Heat olive oil in frying pan. add the thawed scallops and cook for about 2 minutes until they are not transparent. Don't overcook. Drain the frying pan. Put back on low heat. (the recipe also works well with chicken when diced into 1" cubes.)

3. Add a jar of Alfredo sauce, garlic if you can get it. Otherwise add garlic powder (personally, I add fresh garlic to the scallops when sauteeing, but you can come close with garlic powder). I like to add 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar, but that is purely to your taste.

4. Add 1 cup chopped broccolli and one can of black olives. Cook until bubbling for 4-5 minutes.

5. Pour scallop mix over noodles. grate fresh parmesan or asiago cheese over top. Garnish with chopped tomato.

Total prep time 20 minutes. Total cost $8. Feeds 4.
 

dfergie

Proud Staff Member
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Go to Wally World, buy the Carne Picada (might be regional) meat, dice 3 Hatch green chiles up and mix with add onion if wanted and a diced bell pepper... brown in pot while heating up toritilla's and grating cheese if wanted... Easy Burrito's :)
This meat also works very good instead of stew meat in a crock pot with potatoes and carrots...
 

hendrix04

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 16, 2008
601
0
This may be regional, but if it is in small town alabama, surely it is in other places. I recently found this Thai kit at walmart (sorry forget the name but it is some type of coconut something.) that comes with chicken and sauce, all you have to do is make some rice (might want to throw in some small potatoes to give it a little something extra as well). It is very tasty, the main sauce in it is a sweet chili sauce.
 

rockymtnhigh

Hardly Normal
Supporting Founder
Apr 14, 2006
30,003
757
Normal, IL
Go to Wally World, buy the Carne Picada (might be regional) meat, dice 3 Hatch green chiles up and mix with add onion if wanted and a diced bell pepper... brown in pot while heating up toritilla's and grating cheese if wanted... Easy Burrito's :)
This meat also works very good instead of stew meat in a crock pot with potatoes and carrots...
Good luck finding either the carne picada or the green chilles anywhere except the southwest.

We'll be shipping chilis to us once we head to the food-bland midwest. :)


As far as what's for dinner, I am lucky - my wife loves to cook; and since she is an executive director with the Pampered Chef, I would say that I am pampered when it comes to food.

That said, last night was boring. Leftover ham she baked on Saturday, with a salad. :)
 

Bobby

Publican
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
57,102
10,530
Rohnert Park, CA
Some of the ingredients are local but you can substitute easily. This makes great leftovers as well.

Bob’s Tortellini Chicken

5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Green Pepper, sliced
1 Yellow Pepper, sliced
1 Orange Pepper, sliced
1 Red Pepper, sliced
or 2 Green and 2 Red Peppers, sliced
1 Stalk Celery, chopped
1 Large Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
5 Crimini Mushrooms, quartered
1-6 oz can Lindsay Extra Large Pitted Olives
4 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup White Table Wine
Salt
Pepper
2 tbls Italian Seasoning
¼ tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tbls red pepper flakes
1-6 oz can Contadina Tomato Paste
1-28 oz can Progresso Crushed Tomatoes
1-16 oz package San Francisco Pasta Co. 5 Cheese Tortellini

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the peppers, onion, celery and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds.
Saute about 5 minutes at medium high heat.
Add chicken breasts and brown lightly.
Add garlic, sauté for a minute.
Add wine, raise heat to high and reduce by half.
Add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.
Re-season with salt and pepper.
Add olives.

Simmer for 2 hours

Cook tortellini as directed and drain.

Add tortellini to sauce and serve.
 

Skyhi

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Sep 29, 2007
3,516
18
NE Ohio
Good luck finding either the carne picada or the green chilles anywhere except the southwest.

We'll be shipping chilis to us once we head to the food-bland midwest. :)


As far as what's for dinner, I am lucky - my wife loves to cook; and since she is an executive director with the Pampered Chef, I would say that I am pampered when it comes to food.

That said, last night was boring. Leftover ham she baked on Saturday, with a salad. :)
I can vouch for that....green hatch chiles are nowhere to be found in ohio....they have to be shipped in and they're $$$$$
 

mattopia

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 3, 2005
409
33
Parma, OH
I don't cook. We both work late -- usually not even thinking about dinner until about 9pm.

We have a Sams Club membership, and we're getting a freezer for the basement soon. The wholesale clubs have TONS of frozen foods of all varieties.

I'd personally recommend going with someone other than Sams - such as Costco. Unfortunately we only have Sams nearby.
 

dfergie

Proud Staff Member
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
I can vouch for that....green hatch chiles are nowhere to be found in ohio....they have to be shipped in and they're $$$$$
You can even get them at Wal Mart and have them roasted here... but I bought last years bushel from a roadside vendor, I'll be looking for him again this year as the chiles were hot, but excellent and were roasted just right so they are easy to peel...
 

CDH

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jul 28, 2004
498
0
Greenville, SC
Here's a few suggestions:

1. "German night" - grilled bratwurst with mustard, jarred sauerkraut, kase-spaetzle (see below), and salad (usually spinach salad with walnuts, craisins, a little avocado, perhaps a sliced apple, carrots)
Kase-spaetzle (German cheese noodles) - buy spaetzle noodles (if not available egg-noodles will work fine) and boil in lightly salted water as directed, meanwhile saute an onion in a pan that will go in the oven. Once the onion has started to caramelize add a TB of white sugar and drop the heat to very low. Drain the noodles and toss with the onion mixture in the oven-proof saute pan and add some grated light Jarlsberg cheese. Mix the cheese through, don't just top with it, though a little extra on the top is good too. Cook in the oven until the cheese starts to brown on the top.

2. "Middle Eastern" night - get some boxed Falafel mix and mix with water according to the directions. Make small patties (1.5-2" diameter and 1/2" thick) and lightly spray with olive oil. Cook in the oven pretty hot (425F), flipping as one side starts to brown.
Serve with tabouleh (either reconstituted or pre-made), hummous, sliced cucumber, and some plain yoghurt mixed with chopped fresh mint leaves. You can make sandwiches by using pita bread. I like to heat the pita bread in the oven, wrapped in foil, for about 5-10 minutes.

3. "Risotto" - slice an onion in half and then in 1/4-1/8" slices, slice mushrooms (at least 1/2 lb). Saute in a chef's pan or other 3+Quart pan using a little olive oil: first the onions, then once they start going translucent add the mushrooms. Then once the mushrooms have cooked down add 1 cup of Arborio (short-grain) rice and stir until coated in olive oil and very lightly toasted (just a couple of minutes). Add 1/2 cup of white wine if desired to deglaze the pan, then some low-fat, low-sodium stock a little at a time, stirring frequently. Medium heat, and let the rice absorb almost all the stock before you add more. I keep the stock warm on a second burner, and then ladel it into the rice. With a cup of rice you'll probably use 2 1/2-3 cups of stock. If you want you can dilute the stock to start. When the rice is cooked you can serve with grated parmesan cheese over the top. I like to have some crusty bread with olive oil, and also salad with this dish, but vegetables work well too. Note: this takes about 30-40 minutes and can't be hurried. Don't turn the heat up too high, and make sure you stir it every minute or two so it doesn't stick to the pan. It just takes time for the rice to absorb the liquid. Good excuse for a couple of glasses for the already-open wine bottle.

4. Fish - works well well for salmon, but other meaty fish works well too. Put a filet of salmon (in pieces or one long slab, either works) on sheet of heavy-duty foil. Add some fresh herbs (dill is good with salmon, but you can be adventurous with others), some fresh ground pepper, and a little lemon juice over the top of the fish, then wrap up tightly. Cook in the oven at 425F until done - but be careful not to over-cook. It takes just a few minutes. Serve with some of the delicious Alexia oven-baked fries (cook the fries about 15 minutes before adding the fish to the oven). Add salad, vegetables, etc. Also, if you like it you can make some fake aioli by adding a little lemon juice and crushed garlic to some mayonaise - that is a common accompaniment to fish in the south of France.

5. Lemon chicken - Get some chicken breasts and hammer them flat and thin (put plastic wrap over them and go at it with an empty wine bottle or a rolling pin!), dredge them in a mixture of flour, oregano, pepper, and a little salt. Heat a pan with a little olive oil in the bottom (not too much or it will spit all over the place!) and then cook the chicken until browned on both sides, remove from pan. Add to the pan 1 cup of low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth, zest from one or two lemons, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Cook until reduced by about a third and then add 2 Tablespoons of capers, return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Good with pasta or with mashed potato.

For lots of other good ideas also try:
Simply Prepared Quick & Easy Recipes, Menus & Meals on Epi

CDH.
 
Last edited:

db2

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 1, 2006
1,585
0
MN
Maybe it's because I live in the midwest but this pot roast recipe is really popular at our house: link

A very easy, "set it and forget it" meal that you can set up before you go to work and it's ready when you get home. I usually cook half of the recipe at a time.
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,475
2,942
Milwaukee, WI
Good luck finding either the carne picada or the green chilles anywhere except the southwest.
You might be surprised. There is a surprisingly large hispanic community here in Rockford. Things were pretty bleak at our local Kroger equivalent, only about 6 ft of shelf space, mostly Pace and Rosarita. However, 2 hispanic supermarkets have opened in the last month and I have confirmed that they have the 'good stuff'.

Now, people look a bit strangely at the gringo buying fresh habenaros, but that's their problem.
 

Skyhi

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Sep 29, 2007
3,516
18
NE Ohio
You can even get them at Wal Mart and have them roasted here... but I bought last years bushel from a roadside vendor, I'll be looking for him again this year as the chiles were hot, but excellent and were roasted just right so they are easy to peel...
I'm jealous.....im considering having some shipped frozen to me. $130 for 10 lbs...
 

Neutron

Founding Supporter
Supporting Founder
Nov 7, 2003
18,718
1,118
Texas
Tonight I am cooking some Zatarans red beans and rice, and mixing it with some ground beef. :)
 

rockymtnhigh

Hardly Normal
Supporting Founder
Apr 14, 2006
30,003
757
Normal, IL
You can even get them at Wal Mart and have them roasted here... but I bought last years bushel from a roadside vendor, I'll be looking for him again this year as the chiles were hot, but excellent and were roasted just right so they are easy to peel...
And I'll be buying HD DVDs for you, so you'll ship them to me ;)
 

Pepper

DVR Addict~Mad Scientist
Supporting Founder
Mar 16, 2004
8,186
1,051
Satsuma, AL
My dinner tonight was spicy deer sausage and some kind of fried potatoes. I had the sausages because I am allergic to the crawfish Mrs Pepper and her parents were eating (even if I weren't allergic I can't get into eating something that looks like an insect).

Courtesy of the in-laws, we don't cook much at all.
 

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