Tried and True Needs a Stretch

I just finished reading a NYT article called “Mom Puts Family on her Meal Plan.”  While the author had some great ideas and lots of wit, I wish she had made a chart or spelled out her techniques for meal planning in an organized list accompanied by recipes.  When it comes to cooking, as I’ve made clear before, I am quite the blockhead.

I am trying REALLY hard to come up with a “tried and true” list of things to make for dinner during the week.  So far, my requirements are:

  • not too many ingredients
  • can be made ahead (like during naptime)
  • can be frozen and served again
  • not too fattening
  • something my husband would consider getting a second helping of, and not just because he didn’t have breakfast or lunch
  • requires little time from prep to finish
  • my two-year-old may devour it on her one out of the three days she decides to eat more than two bites

The above is probably a pretty typical wish list.  I included it so that if anyone out there in Blogging Land has any ideas to fit my bullets you might pass them on.  Here are the entrees that I make often and fairly well:

  1. meatloaf
  2. pot roast
  3. oven fried chicken
  4. spaghetti (with store-bought sauce)
  5. chili
  6. pork stew
  7. homemade pizza

Looking at this list, I am depressed.  I really need to branch out!  I did just buy ingredients for the mac and cheese listed on the sidebar and cannot wait to make it this week.  I don’t make it often because any dish without meat is not a meal, according to Hubby.  And making mac and cheese is so involved that I run out of steam when it comes to making an accompanying entree.  Anyhow, below is this week’s star in my kitchen.  I am thinking of making my family eat some tilapia filets with it.  (That’s easy, right?)  

Don’t forget to make some suggestions, folks!  I need help!

Courtesy of Today Show at

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2 Responses to Tried and True Needs a Stretch

  1. Ok, a super easy one is Chicken Pasta – see here:

    it is for a gluten free diet, so you can simply swap in regular pasta.

    We also like sloppy joes (when you’re tired of chili – use a little more ketchup, less chili powder, and about 1/2 a soup can of water. Serve with buns or bread)

    Shepherd’s Pie – brown ground beef, season to taste. Mix with about 1/3 – 1/2 cup ketchup. Dump can of creamed corn & second can of kernel corn on top. Top with (hopefully) leftover mashed potatoes. Top this with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for an hour or so. Heats up beautifully. You could use other veggies too, just want to ensure it stays moist.

    There’s 3 ideas. (2.5 maybe? but hey, sloppy joes are their own ‘thing’)

  2. abbebusoni says:

    I don’t have my menu from last month, but easy meals include:

    Breakfast for dinner
    -pancakes, eggs, bacon/sausage
    -a breakfast “skillet”
    Pork and rice
    -sort of arroz con pollo, can use pork or chicken
    -chicken tortilla soup
    -French onion soup
    -clam chowder
    Grilled chicken salad (do you have a “grill pan”)

    I dunno, but I’ll be thinking and passing them on.

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