Dinner Slump?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by AZMrs.S, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Do you ever feel like you get in a dinner slump? Where you have like 6-10 recipes or so that you rotate and you have a hard time coming up with something creative and different?

    I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite dinner recipes! That way we can all find some new and exciting things to mix into our dinner routines... Also, the easier the better as many of us are getting ready to head back to school!

    I'll start:
    During the winter especially, I like to make cheese ravoli. I buy the premade ravoli from the store that you just boil like regular pasta. Then I make my own alfredo sauce to go on top:
    Heavy whipping Cream
    Grated parmesian cheese (the finely grated stuff- almost like a powder)

    I heat up some butter in a skillet and then add as much cream as you need. I add in parmesian a little bit at a time stirring constantly with a whisk. The cheese melts in nicely and then I just season with salt, pepper, and sometimes oregano. It is yummy and good comfort food! :)

    Anyone have any recipes they want to share?
     
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 14, 2011

    This isn't a meal, but my recipe for a potsticker appetizer & I promise you, it'll hold it's own against the best restaurants' versions. To me, it tastes better than the restaurants! :)

    a package (1- 1.25 pounds) of ground turkey (or beef)
    chopped shitake mushrooms
    chopped scallions
    1 chopped jalapeno (if you want a little zest)
    oyster flavored sauce
    a few splashes of soy sauce

    Mix the above in a bowl & fill some wonton skins w/ the mixture. Cook them on the stove w/ olive oil, but add in some sesame oil, which will give it great flavor.

    You can easily make egg rolls instead by adding in some bok choy & using egg roll wrappers instead.

    I'm telling you, you'll love it!
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Oh, I soooo need this thread. I am in dinner slumps often. Let me think of a recipe to add.....I will be back.
     
  5. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I've been in a slump for years. Besides 4 things that I know how to make well enough to be eaten I don't know what else to cook. :(
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I keep making this same chicken dish because I love it:

    Chicken breasts, pounded thin

    dip chicken in milk, then seasoned bread crumbs, repeat.

    Saute until brown, then put in 350 degree oven.

    Chicken comes out really moist.
     
  7. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Tonight we are having either gourmet salads (my definition of gourmet means we have lots of various toppings) or chicken wraps with whatever salad toppings you want plus sliced chicken.

    I love kabobs in the summer, I will chop just about anything and stick it on the grill. Last night I marinaded cubes of steak in soy sauce and brown sugar and grilled it with potatoes and onions. We have roasted kale on the side.

    Another summer favorite is chicken or tuna pasta salad.
     
  8. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2011

    mexican cornbread

    made this the other night for the first time... boxes of cornbread mix, a pound of hamburger meat, a package of shredded cheese, a can of rotel, a can of diced potatoes drained and a can of corn drained...takes forever to cook but tastes great
     
  9. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2011

    salad alternative

    chop up a head of cauliflower, some radishes and green onion pretty fine, mix in mayo and sprinkle in some salt
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Caesar salad with grilled chicken or salmon

    Tortilla wraps with grilled steak, Portobella mushrooms or chicken

    Panini sandwiches

    Omelettes

    Pitas with falafel, or chicken

    Stir fried rice...toss in leftover veg and meat
     
  11. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I am totally the same way! That's why I am looking for new recipes! :)

    Thanks for all of the ideas... Keep them coming!
     
  12. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I grill a bunch of vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, onions, red peppers, asparagus, etc.) and then use it for different meals.

    Meals:
    pasta with grilled vegetables (warm)
    pasta salad with grilled vegetables (cold)
    paninis with grilled vegetables

    Other meals:
    pasta with pesto sauce or roasted pepper sauce
    tacos and homemade refried beans
    bread with pesto and tomatoes

    Just a few things we cook up. We try to do a different recipe once a week.
     
  13. iloveschool

    iloveschool Companion

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I stole this from another post!! Sounds great!!

    Summertime Limeade Chicken

    6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
    3 T brown sugar
    1/2 C sriracha

    Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then brown on each side. Set aside. Mix limeade concentrate, brown sugar, and sriracha, then bring to a boil and cook for four minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the limeade mixture over it. Serve over rice.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I tend to happily eat the same few meals. Always been this way...I like routine. :) I'd share anyway but they're not even recipes.
     
  15. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2011

    How about something really quick for summer?
    I like to get fish filets from Captain D's.
    I bring them home and put one in a small tortilla with some tomatillo salsa and lots of lemon and lime juice. Quick, semi-homemade fish taco.
    mmmmmm.
     
  16. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2011

    Try subscribing to a magazine like Real Simple, and pull out any recipes that sound good and put them in an envelope. Pull one out every week and try it. That's what we do, to try something new.

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-reci...s/pot-sticker-salad-00000000000671/index.html

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-reci...ean-tuna-panzanella-00000000000706/index.html

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-reci...ad-potatoes-arugula-00000000000655/index.html

    Here are three favorites. These are also excellent for making Sunday night and eating for lunch throughout the week.
     
  17. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Good idea to pull a new recipe a week :)
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Some of my go-tos are...

    Quick hamburger gravy with mashed potatoes
    Saute garlic and onion, then add browned and drained ground beef/turkey. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a can of cream of whatever soup and a splash or two of milk. Heat through. Serve over mashed potatoes.

    Chili
    This can be made on the stove (in about 30 minutes) or in the crockpot. Combine ground beef/turkey, two cans of kidney beans (drained), two cans of pinto or black beans, two cans of diced tomatoes, one or two cans of tomato sauce, two cloves of garlic (minced), half or whole onion (diced), a diced jalapeno (optional), and either a chili seasoning packet or a tablespoon or two of roasted red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt, and 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper. Adjust the seasonings to suit your own preferences--you'll know it's right once it smells right. :) Serve over crushed saltine crackers and top with shredded cheddar, diced raw tomatoes, sour cream, and/or chopped green onion.

    Bagel sandwiches
    Tuna on a toasted bagel. Cooked turkey bacon, tomatoes, half an avocado, and a tiny bit of Miracle Whip on a toasted bagel.

    Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

    Big salads
    Chopped lettuce with your favorite additives: halved grape tomatoes, croutons or seasoned tortilla strips, dried cranberries, almonds, julienned zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots. For more protein, add a julienned grilled chicken breast. Top with your favorite dressing (I prefer homemade ranch dressing).

    Beef roast in the crockpot
    2-3 lb. beef roast (Remember that when you're doing meats, especially beef, in a crockpot, you want to get a lower-quality cut of beef with lots of fatty stuff. The fatty stuff melts and sort of gelatinizes during the cooking process and makes the meat really tender and pull-aparty.)
    Carrots, peeled and cut into finger-length pieces (cut lengthwise also if very thick)
    Red or gold potatoes, cut in half or wedges, peeled or unpeeled
    1 pkg of onion soup mix
    1 can of cream of mushroom soup
    2 C beef broth/stock
    2 T worchestershire sauce

    Put salt and pepper and a little bit of flour on the beef roast and sear it in a little olive oil. Place the seared roast along with the veggies in the crockpot--veggies on the bottom. In a separate dish, combine onion soup mix, cream soup, beef broth, and worchestershire sauce. Pour this mixture over the beef roast.
     
  19. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Yum. I may try this. What sides do you eat with this?
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2011

    I cook about 5 times a week, so of course I go through plenty of slumps. When I simply can't think of something, I will do breakfast for dinner. So yummy!

    Anyway, one dish I love (which is simple) is baked enchilada casserole. You start by coating the baking pan with a fair amount of enchilada sauce, then add a layer of corn tortillas, and then you can really put anything in there you like. Here are some things I put: black beans, corn, cooked ground beef (on one half, since I don't eat beef but DH nd DD do), sliced and sauteed poblano peppers, other veggies if desired, and then cheese, then repeat with another layer of tortillas with sauce on it, and so forth until you have ran out of room.

    There's a lot of variations on this dish, and you can put anything you want in it really. And, because you are baking and not frying, it is much healthier than regular enchiladas which are first dipped into cooking oil.
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Oh, another one!

    Do chicken salad (you know, shredded chicken and veggies in mayo sauce) placed over tostadas. It's yummy.

    Also: You can try different sauces from the Mexican aisle like mole or pipian (although I haven't many low fat versions in the states like we have here) to cook with chicken. To do so, I get about 6 pieces of chicken (usually legs, 2 for each person), and boil it. Then, once it's cooked, I bring it to the pan and cook it in the sauce (long enough to warm the sauce). It's a really easy dish, and quite tasty. I typically make it with a side of dry fideo (not the more soup like fideo), but it would be good with any Mexican rice, and beans, and salad.
     
  22. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Van, If you want a German meal, try hot potato salad and sauerkraut. I also like mashed potatoes, veggie, and homemade gravy.
     
  23. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2011

    One of our faves (and it's easy) is to put a whole cut up chicken in the crock pot with veggies (any that you like...I usually put potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, red pepper, squash) and then pour bloody mary mix over it, sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt. I like things really spicy so I also usually add some hot sauce or green chile.

    Let it do its thing for a few hours, till the chicken is falling off the bone. My hubby likes to take the sauce out and thicken it up a little on the stove, but you don't have to. We throw all of it over brown rice with a side of black beans and salad. It's really good!!

    *Use the low sodium kind if you want to cut down on the salt.
    *I've also made this same dish with V8 and it was awesome, too!
     
  24. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2011

    Oh, and one thing my hubby has just started doing with his tuna salad is adding sliced green grapes. I don't care for tuna, but he LOVES this new twist so I thought I'd pass it on.
     
  25. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I only have about 5 recipes! I'm in such a slump that I don't even get excited about dinner anymore!
     
  26. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    These are great! :) I am going to have to try some and see if I can spice things up a bit!
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Last night I made my version of pasta primavera:

    Put two tablespoons of olive oil and a whole clove of garlic into a skillet on medium heat. When garlic is softened and slightly browned, remove it and add it to a separate sauce pan with 4 cups of chicken broth. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Once boiling, add a box (12 oz) of farfalle pasta and cook until almost al dente.

    While you've got the chicken broth/pasta going, add a head of broccoli florets (sliced) and three carrots (julienned) to the skillet with the olive oil. Saute until slightly softened.

    Remove the garlic clove and pour the pasta and broth into the skillet with the broccoli and carrots. Cook on low heat for 5 or 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have a whole bottle of spicy V8 in the fridge that I don't know what to do with, so I think I'm going to make this recipe today! :)
     
  29. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Yay, Caesar! Hope you like it. I forgot to add that I usually pull the chicken off the bone and kind of shred it a little and then let it sit another 30 minutes or so, just so that more of the meat gets to sit in the juices.

    Maybe I need to make this too...it's been a while!! :lol:
     
  30. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Lazy Baked Ziti.

    I usually keep bolognese in the freezer for "dinner emergencies."
    Chop up about 1/4 - 1/2 yellow onion; fry in a small amount of olive oil. Add about 2 tsp minced garlic; fry till browned. Add a jar of Ragu Old World Style spaghetti sauce. Add spices (basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper, rosemary, parsley... whatever Italian-y things you like) and a splash of grated parm/romano. You can also add a small can of diced tomatoes if you like it chunky.

    Brown about 1/2 lb ground chuck/round/whatevs. Drain WELL; add to sauce. Bring to a boil. I usually make a LOT so I can freeze it in smaller containers.

    For the ziti, cook up some ziti or penne. Coat a pan with crisco or Pam. In a separate bowl, mix pasta, sauce, and shredded mozz*. Pour into pan; top with additional mozz; bake at 350 till cheese is melted.

    *Some people prefer ricotta... a smallish jar mixed in should do nicely.
     
  31. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2011

    Taco Dip
    - brown 1 pound ground beef or turkey and drain fat
    - to the browned meat stir in 1 pack of taco seasoning and about one-half cup of water
    - to the meat mixture, stir in one can of refried beans
    - spread the meat/bean mixture in a baking dish (about 9 x 12)
    - cover the mixture with a layer (I use a thick layer!) of picante sauce
    - spread some cream cheese and grated cheddar cheese on top of the picante sauce
    - bake for approx. 25 minutes at 350 degrees
    - serve with multi-grain tostito chips
     
  32. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Yum! Missy yours sounds so good and easy! Can't wait to try some of these!
     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This sounded so good that it's what I'm making for dinner tonight. Yay!
     
  34. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Anyone have a good recipe for bone-in chicken breasts? I got a really good deal on them, but I'm not sure what I want to do with them...
     
  35. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Caesar, I hope you like it as much as we do. I am trying 2 new recipes tonight from WW. One is cole slaw, and the other is chicken in a caper sauce.
     
  36. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Blue- I LOVE WW recipes! Do you subscribe to the eTools? If so, try the cheesy chicken enchiladas!
     
  37. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Love capers!

    Our easy recipe that is in our slump list is:
    Chicken Middle Eastern and Basmati Rice with Saffron
    Put chicken breasts in ziploc bag with the juice of one lemon.
    Pound the chicken until it is thin.
    Cook in pan.
    Cook basmati rice in rice cooker with a pinch of saffron strands in it.
    that's it! Easy and really zesty. Tonight we're having broccoli and zucchini with it.
     
  38. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2011

    K, I just ran off the enchilada recipe. It looks great. I will have to pick up a few things before I try it.
     
  39. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 19, 2011

    For people that have a hard time cooking/generally don't cook, I highly recommend Devin Alexander's cookbooks. She has a biggest loser one, and an "I can't believe it's not fattening" one which I have both of, and several others as well. They're very cheap on amazon.

    I don't really like to cook and I'm a really picky eater. These cookbooks were made for me- they take typical "junky" foods a lot of the times and make them into healthy meals. If you like the typical meat and potatos home cooking, this may not be for you. Personally, I never liked meals like those. The recipes are also really quick and very easy to follow. If you're not trying to lose weight, you can simply use full fat/full sugar etc. ingredients instead of the low cal options they suggest and you'd still be getting the nutrition.

    I never cooked before I started looking at her recipes and now I cook almost every meal, and I have a huge variety of things that I can make.

    Again, these are for people that don't normally cook. If you're a regular kitchen aficianado, this stuff will be way too easy for you.
     

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