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Hump Day Giveaway: Good Neighbor, Good Eats

February 2, 2011

Pondering the eternal dilemma: What to cook?

My mother, Margaret, is the greatest home-cook. Ever. Her food is incredibly tasty and infused with as much love as flavor. I’m drooling onto my keyboard just thinking about her chicken dijoinaise, made with homemade creme fraiche and served with pine nut-studded orzo and steamed baby carrots. Or her labor-intensive, but oh-so-worth it, panzanella salad loaded with green beans, capers, and roasted tomatoes.

For this picky youngest child, my proverbial salad days were my junior and senior years of high school. My brother and sister were both away at college, leaving just my parents and me at home. I wrote a list of “Foods Sarah Likes” and “Food Sarah Dislikes” (I guess I should add “demanding” to the list of adjectives describing this youngest child…) and tacked it on our kitchen bulletin board. If I was home for dinner, my mom would peruse the Likes list and cook something from it. But if I was sleeping over at a friend’s house, she’d have license to saute some sea scallops or lamb chops. Instead of being indignant, my mother was grateful. With the mouth-watering fragrance of pork loin and scalloped potatoes thick in the kitchen, she told me, “I don’t mind cooking, I just can’t stand deciding what to cook.” At 16, I thought that was absurd; I couldn’t relate.

Nearly three decades later, I so get what my mother was talking about. While I’m no Margaret Bowen at the stove, I hold my own in the kitchen. But as I draw yet another blank about what to make for dinner–“I can’t do Love Pasta again!”–I now know all too well what my mother meant when she said she detests deciding what to cook for din-din. Sigh.

Last week, Dimity asked about your go-to piece of clothing; now I’m wondering what’s your guaranteed-to-please, make-it-blindfolded, fairly healthy entree? Share it with us for a chance to win one of five copies of the hot-off-the-presses The Good Neighbor Cookbook written by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg. This clever cookbook organizes its 125 recipes by occasion–like Block Parties, Book Groups, or New Baby–so you can show you care with delicious, appropriate dish.  Sara Q., former recipe developer for Real Simple magazine, created the recipes, while ever-clever Suzanne wrote the copy. I’m not waiting for a friend to have a baby or new neighbor to move in: Sausage and Lentil Stew, Beans and Greens Soup, and Sweet Potato Torta are mouth-watering answers to the what-to-make-for-dinner debate.

Remind me again: what your favorite dinner entree is to cook?

The winner of last week’s giveaway–cute-and-comfy BornFit Windom Top and Sassy Princeton Pantis Katie R., who told us her go-to clothes are:

Pretty much every day after I get home, I don a pair of gray fuzzy pants and a pink fuzzy hooded sweatshirt. This outfit is warm and comfy.

And now you can kick the warm-and-comfy style quotient up a notch.  E-mail us at runmother at gmail dot com with your address and clothing size, and we’ll get your prize shipped ASAP. Congrats!

190 Comments leave one →
  1. Erin permalink
    February 2, 2011 2:59 am

    My kiddies and hubby (who usually isn’t a fan of the veggie dishes) love quinoa and black beans. Its super easy to make and fast. Quinoa cooks in about 5-10 minutes, add the black beans and some spices like cheyenne pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, or anything else you want to give it some kick . It is also easy add ingredients like bell peppers, corn, kidney beans, or use rice if you don’t have any quiona. Nutritious and fast, what more could a hard working mama want?

  2. February 2, 2011 3:57 am

    My go-to easy meal is “Turkey Stroganoff”. I make it with Turkey instead of beed, whole wheat noodles instead of Egg Noodles and low fat sour cream instead of regular. This is fast and easy. Cooks in about 20 minutes. the longest part is waiting for the pasta to cook. It is even better as leftover and I have totally scarfed it down while driving w/ one hand on my way taking the baby to the COOP at the gym so I could get a workout in. Ideally I don’t eat on the run but hey – you gotta have fuel for your go our your get-up-and-go will fall flat. It’s a good combo of healthy fats, lean proteins and carbs.

  3. Tricia permalink
    February 2, 2011 4:19 am

    I love a good casserole, but my kids aren’t so keen on those. So I will go with brown sugar meat loaf, mashed potatoes and some sort of veggie…always a crowd pleaser and some yummy comfort food for this time of year!

  4. Sara Barnhill permalink
    February 2, 2011 4:23 am

    My go-to quick dinner is breakfast. My family of six easily goes through a dozen scrambled eggs, two packs of bacon, and ten biscuits. To make it healthier, we use turkey bacon and whole grain bread. It’s cheap, fast & easy to make, quick clean up, and a good dose of protein/carbs. I usually make this after an early evening workout. Not one of my four kids ever complains & it always gets gobbled up.

  5. Carrie B permalink
    February 2, 2011 4:49 am

    Spaghetti. My boys and I could live off of it morning, noon and night!

  6. Emily M. permalink
    February 2, 2011 4:52 am

    wow, that’s a hard one. i’m going to say chicken pot pie- i’m always looking for a way to eat more flaky pie crust ( : if no chicken on hand then i like to make pizza or calzones, which the kids prefer to the pot pie.

    • February 2, 2011 9:30 am

      Emily – We have a super yummy Spring Vegetable Chicken Potpie in The Good Neighbor Cookbook – I just made it for a friend who had a baby. Has leeks, carrots, peas and, of course, that flaky crust! Also, our blog has a great homemade pizza recipe if you want to test it out with your kids. Suzanne

  7. February 2, 2011 5:08 am

    I actually have a new favorite! We have a deal in my house, I’ll try new recipes, they’ll try eating new recipes and then they get to rate it…1 thru 10. Anything over 5, I can make it again. Like your mother, I don’t find this annoying–I like to cook, but I do get frustrated if no one eats it!! O.K. favorite dinner is Thai Peanut Noodles–a quick peanut sauce in the food processor, cellophane noodles, shrimp, (Or whatever protein in the freezer), julienned red bell peppers for color and whatever other veggie is on its last leg in the fridge.

  8. Ali permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:33 am

    My newest go to semi healthy recipe is to bread Talapi with Panko crumbs, lemon, and herbs, and bake it, then steam some broccoli and brown rice. Not terribly exciting but it is easy and tasty.

    The other thing we use in our house is Johnny’s Seasoning Salt. It adds a ton of flavor and unlike most Seasoning Salts it doesn’t have sugar in it. Put this on anything and it makes it tasty!

  9. Catrina permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:41 am

    I make stuffed shells ofteb, with homemade sauce and a french bread. My husband actually makes the sauce and bread, he loves to cook. But I can make the shells earlier in the day, and then there is little xlean up after dinner. The kids love them!

  10. karen permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:51 am

    Simple veggie chili… Idon’t even bother adding the “meatless meat” anymore. It’s wonderful and spicy as it is or: to extend it or use as leftovers – it goes over rice or noodles. Hearty and filling every time!

  11. February 2, 2011 5:58 am

    My go-to dinner is always pasta, easy and simple with tomato sauce. The whole family will eat it happily. However….I did just discover that an equally crowd-pleasin’ meal is Christmas dinner…toned down a bit. Baked ham, mashed potatoes, squash and corn. Not a quick and easy one, but everyone eats, even seconds.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      February 2, 2011 2:07 pm

      Love the image of “Christmas dinner anytime”! I’ve found a few recipes that that once seemed fancy and special occasion-y are now staples. Like pork tenderloin with a rub + scalloped potatoes. (SO dang bad for you, but so insanely tasty–and easy!)

  12. February 2, 2011 6:09 am

    Taco “salad”s. Just taco ingredients (meat, beans, cheese, salsa, etc) on top of baked corn tortillas made into chips. My family thinks if they put a little lettuce on it, it’s suddenly a “salad”! They would eat this every day if I’d let them!

  13. February 2, 2011 6:11 am

    My kids (I have 4) love pita pizza night (whole wheat pita topped with sauce, low-fat cheese and their favorite toppings and baked – this is a great meal for them to be ‘hands on’ with).

    I also make a mean (but easy) lasagna that I always take for a new baby. (I had someone in my MOPS group threaten to get pregnant just so I would bring her one again;)

  14. Jessica Whittaker permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:16 am

    Our go to meal is homemade pizza for sure. My daughter (4) will eat just about anything, but my son (16 months old) wants nothing but pizza. He only says about 5 words, one of which is pizza! But just like the other said, it is easy on a week night and both kids can stand on chairs on the counter and get flour and sauce all over them as we build the pie.

    • February 2, 2011 5:05 pm

      Hi Jessica! Just FYI, there’s a fun pizza recipe on The Good Neighbor Cookbook blog — the dough is v. delicious!

  15. Carolyn permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:25 am

    Turkey chili, sans the cayenne pepper so that the kids will eat it. They love it! My recipe is packed with lots of healthy ingredients including black bean, green pepper, tomatoes, and ground turkey, to name a few. Let the kids sprinkle some shredded cheese (always a favorite) and a slice of French, Italian, or corn bread and it’s always a hit.

  16. renee permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:28 am

    I am a very simple cook. my go-to is a top sirloin on the grill, baked potato (from the garden) and some sort of veggie. If things look too complicated, I don’t even try.

  17. Amanda permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:58 am

    My great grandmother avoided domestic responsibilities, my grandmother never cooked anything more than burned grilled cheese (she used to ask: what color brown do you want it), and my mom prided herself on eating out every night of the week. And, my kids’ mom is the worst cook of them all. Even the cookies I made yesterday tasted like CRAP. Too crappy for a 3 yo and 5 yo to eat. They were polite children as they tasted them and declined dessert. It’s pretty sad to see your kids refuse to eat your homemade cookies.

    My main dishes aren’t any better, so I keep it simple: raw carrots, raw broccoli, lettuce, maybe some noodles or rice, maybe a hardboiled egg/peanut butter for protein, sometimes a Whole Foods prepared piece of meat, and cheese. There’s no real cooking going on in this house, but we like to try. The 3 yo and I spend many afternoons making recipes, which we eventually throw away. It’s an expensive hobby, but the hope is the kids learn to cook quickly enough to take the responsibility away from me.

    The cookbook is probably wasted on us, but we’d like to try.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      February 2, 2011 2:09 pm

      Amanda–I am laughing my butt off over your response!! The “What color brown do you want it?” and your young kids throwing out cookies!! Wow. I love your spirit. Keep practicing the cooking!

  18. Linda B permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:02 am

    Baked chicken enchiladas… takes 10 minutes to make, super easy and little cleanup… and best of all they taste great.

  19. February 2, 2011 7:07 am

    This family of seven’s go to dinner is homemade pizza. Everyone gets what they want, plus this momma sneaks whole wheat into the crust.

    I struggle all the time with what to plan for dinner. I try to have the next week planned out so that I’m not spending more money at the store.

    • Cheryl permalink
      February 2, 2011 8:20 am

      I’m another Cheryl with a family of seven! Funny coincidence. We suck at the shopping. If there are ingredients, there are plenty of 1/2 hour suppers. The one for tonight is pork tenderloin with mustard and thyme (done in less than 30 mins), roasted potatoes (small chunks for quick cooking) zucchini and carrots, or brown rice if people are not too famished tonight and can wait the extra 15 minutes.

      • bowenshea permalink*
        February 2, 2011 2:10 pm

        I think pork tenderloin is the greatest cooking secret *ever.* So dang tasty–and easy-peasy!

  20. katie permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:14 am

    My go to meal, or at least something I know my kids will eat, is one of two things. We often have breakfast for dinner (my kids love crepes, and I have recently found a couple recepies that omit the butter my traditional recipe calls for, and we have also started making our own homemade blueberry syrup to add). The other is homemade mac and cheese (not sure either of these is super healthy, but both are pretty fast and my kids will eat them).

  21. Laurie A. permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:16 am

    A mexican chicken dish I came up with using ingredients I found in the house: Salt and pepper some boneless skinless chicken breasts and then put them in a hot skillet and turn when brown. Cook another minute or two then reduce the heat on the stove and dump in a can of drained and rinsed black beans and a jar of mild salsa (mild for the kids, my husband adds hot sauce to his). Cover and let simmer until the breasts are cooked. The serve it over brown rice. I usually make it with a mexican salad of greens, roasted corn, green onions and avocado tossed in lime juce mixed with olive oil and a little bit of sugar. Really good!

    *and when you are really in a hurry, cut the chicken up into bit size pieces before you cook them and then throw them in that skillet.

    • Melissa permalink
      February 2, 2011 3:27 pm

      We do something similar, but add corn and instead of cooking in a skillet, we throw it in the crockpot and add one packet of taco seasoning mix for a little extra zip. We cook the brown rice in the rice cooker (appliances, appliances everywhere) and avoid having to actively “cook” during the witching hour for our kids.

  22. Laurie A. permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:18 am

    And the other new favorite (although NOT super healthy) is crock pot mac-n-cheese. Google it with Trisha Yearwood’s name. It is so good!

  23. Tammi permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:20 am

    We all love Asian turkey burgers, a regular turkey burger with some soy sauce, ginger and garlic added. I like to serve them on toasted whole-wheat english muffins. I am lucky that my kids like salad and brown rice. That is definitely one of my go-to quick meals!

  24. Jules permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:20 am

    I hate cooking. Hate hate hate it. I have to say, my go-to dinner would be spaghetti. With 3 teens in the house, it’s the only thing I can make and get zero complaints. But I still hate cooking.

  25. Rose permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:21 am

    I’m a no frills kinda cook and love my Showtime rotisserie! Toss seasoned chicken breast into the basket, steam some veggies, nuke a tater….fast and healthy dinner for the fam 🙂

  26. Lauren Mac permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:25 am

    Taco soup, my hubby hates anything healthy but he loves this.

  27. Katie T permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:41 am

    I love broiled salmon with chili garlic sauce. Add some oven roasted veggies (asparagus/eggplant/cauliflower) and I am in heaven. Easy, healthy, and delicious. Makes me feel like I am treating my body so well.

  28. February 2, 2011 7:43 am

    Easy, delicious pork loin: put a pork loin into the crock pot, pour a jar of salsa verde over it. Throw in some chopped onion if you like. Let it cook on low all day (we throw it in before work and let it cook all day). At dinner time, it’s pull apart good and we have it on tortillas-healthy taco style, with fresh veggies, etc. Super easy, super good. People who taste is ask my “recipe”, ha! 🙂

    • Jen permalink
      February 7, 2011 5:35 pm

      THANK YOU for posting–This recipe is beyond delicious! Made it tonight (in my beloved dutch oven, it’s been cooking all day). I am afraid I will seriously undermine any “healthy” attributes if I eat 2/3 of a pork tenderloin before my husband gets home to eat his share!

  29. Laura permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:44 am

    Turkey Chili made in the crock pot with texas toast. YUM!

  30. February 2, 2011 7:44 am

    Good old Asian chicken has been making an appearance here almost once a week for awhile.
    I can so relate on the ‘what to cook’ conundrum.

  31. Jana permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:44 am

    With two little kids to please, my go-to has to be easy AND kid-friendly. I love to make calzones with store bought pizza crust. I cut the crust into four portions and fill each mini-calzone with whatever sounds good (or I have on hand!) at the moment, ground turkey, peppers and onions…or maybe turkey pepperoni, mushrooms and pizza sauce. Add a little lowfat cheese, fold the crusts over and pop them in the oven. Easy and yummy!

  32. Val permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:58 am

    My easiest no-brainer is Spagetti with whole wheat pasta. I put the extra veggies I like (like zuchinni and olive) in the blender with tomato sauce (suggested to me by a friend because my husband and child turn their noses up to them). My family never even knows they’re in there what with all the other spices etc, and since I serve the spagetti with Greens anyway, they’ll never suspect. When I’m out of ideas, this is something I know never gets old at my table, and it’s relatively easy. 🙂

  33. Megan permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:01 am

    Probably steak fajitas. I always keep the ingredients on hand. My toddler loves it, it keeps the hubs happy, and I get to feel like I am serving a meal that is 50% veggies. It is technically, but the cheese and sour cream toppings don’t help with the healthy appeal, but Oh, well we love it!

  34. February 2, 2011 8:07 am

    Ok, go to dish? Baked chicken with some Lawry’s on it. So boring, I know. I don’t have any fancy go-to dish. I barely have any fancy dishes at all.

  35. Leslie permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:08 am

    My go-to is always pasta. TONS of garlic and red onion, chopped and sauted, a can of diced tomatoes or spaghetti sauce (whatever is around) but alwasy, ALWAYS topped with fresh basil and a sprinkle of really good cheese. Suddenly, I know what we’re having tonight!

  36. canuck_grad permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:10 am

    If I have time to plan ahead – beef stew in the slow cooker. Super easy!
    If last minute, maybe chicken fajitas. My little guy also likes the fresh pasta (Oliviera type) tortellini – he likes it with just a little becel and parmesan cheese, so that’s a super quick and easy meal on nights when it is just the two of us. I’ll usually serve him a little cucumber and dip while I’m getting it ready and have a salad for myself on the side.

  37. ShelleyMM permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:17 am

    This winter my go to has been grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas and tomato soup. My kids and husband love the Amy’s tomato bisque with low sodium, so I keep it “in stock” in my pantry. We also do taco night quite regularly because they are easy and I can get more veggies into my kids when there is ground beef, salsa and cheese involved.

  38. colesbites permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:19 am

    My go-to dish is simple: mixed greens, chop up some vegetables and then add grilled tofu on top of it.

  39. Pam permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:21 am

    I always have shredded chicken or turkey on hand (I cook a large chicken/turkey then freeze it in small meal quantities for days I’m running short on time). So my go to meal is brown rice, pinto beans and chicken or turkey – season to taste. My 2-year old daughter LOVES rice and beans (as does my hubby) so we have this more than I would like just for the sake of not having to argue with a 2 year old!

  40. Julie Fredericks permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:23 am

    Frittata – the one we usually make has frozen hashbrowns, onion, froz spincach, feta cheese and roast red peppers (that I frequently forget). It is super easy and fast and my boys will eat anything if it is contained in eggs.

    • February 2, 2011 5:08 pm

      Hi Julia! If your fam likes frittata, boy does The Good Neighbor Cookbook have an easy one for you! It’s called Zuchini and Parmesan Frittata and has only 5 ingredients: zucchini, eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper. So easy and yummy! We also have a Crustless Spinach Quiche that is super easy and great for egg fans.

  41. Lindsey permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:23 am

    Our easy go to meals in the winter are Hearty Turkey Chili (YUM! but I do pick beans out of my son’s bowl 🙂 and then turkey tacos are always a hit and so simple to add chopped veggies in the meat for extra goodness for kids and no fussing.

  42. Sarah permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:35 am

    We like to bake some sweet potatoes, steam some broccoli, and grill chicken.

  43. Tryna permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:49 am

    My husband is the chef in our house, but on occassion, I cook something called African Chicken. It’s got a lot of protein in it with chicken, peanut butter and garbanzo beans. We usually have it with rice, and I always take too much. It’s on All which I love.

    Hubby makes white chili, but it’s pretty labor intensive, but oooo sooo good on a cold day.

    • JillC permalink
      February 2, 2011 1:56 pm

      This sounds so good! I am going to look it up.

  44. Jessica permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:09 am

    Our favorite go to meal is homemade pizza loaded with lots of veggies on a whole wheat crust with pesto sauce! (the recipe is on the back of the Hodgsen Meal Whole Wheat Flour) After my husband and I got married we started a little tradition that each Friday night was homemade pizza & wine night. Now, it’s homemade pizza & game night with the kids! And a little vino on the side of course too! : ) I can’t take really any credit though my husband likes to be pizza maker!

  45. Kristen permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:14 am

    Our go to meal is fish tacos…the kids do fishsticks and my husband and I do some kind of grilled fish…easy and healthy, and I feel kinda fancy!

  46. Cheryl K permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:15 am

    Until you said healthy, it would be what we call meat candy. Take chicken tenders, wrap them with bacon, bread them and bake. No, not high on the healthy scale, but definitely sure to please the family.

  47. sarah permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:29 am

    Go To meals are homemade mac and cheese (noodles, parm and olive oil) or beef stroganof (i ALWAYS have beef in the freezer and sour cream in the fridge. What works best for us is a weekely schedule… Meatloaf MOnday, Taco Tuesday… the rest haven’t really stuck, still working with other/better options.

    • February 2, 2011 5:11 pm

      Hi Sarah! We have a yummy Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in The Good Neighbor Cookbook. The cauliflower gives it a bit of sweetness — kids won’t even notice. I served it for a Halloween party with a zillion kids and had none left!

  48. Kathy permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:31 am

    I am a full time Ob/gyn, half marathon training mom with 3 boys (10,5&5) . To say I have no time or mental energy to cook is a massive understatement. My go to meal is thinly sliced chicken breasts (no pounding required) in a pyrex dish covered with jar spaghetti sauce (if my hubby’s homemade sauce is all gone) and shredded parmesian cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and away we go. If I have more time I will try to throw in some shredded carrots or spinach without too many complaints. Can also be served over whole wheat spaghetti for a change of pace!

  49. Suzanne M permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:35 am

    My go-to is turkey chili in the crock pot. It’s something I like that my kids will actually eat and it is a protein-packed health food my husband won’t scowl at. And because its in the crock, I just throw everything in mid-morning and don’t have to think about it all day. We have it 2-3 times a month.

  50. JenericFN permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:36 am

    My go-to is tacos: ground turkey breast, light on the cheese, lots of tomatoes, lettuce, onion, avocado.
    I can really relate to hating to decide what to cook. Our solution – hubby makes up a weekly menu. He likes to do it and as long as I don’t have to wonder what he’d like to eat I’m happy. The kids have no say in the matter.

  51. Kate B. permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:51 am

    I make a very tasty chili with 3 types of beans, ground turkey and corn. Everyone loves it and it’s great over tortilla chips or pasta.

  52. Robin permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:53 am

    It is hard to decide on one go-to, but it is probably pasta. One of our favorites, that is actually healthy, is homemade pesto (so, so cheap and easy to do if you grow basil or buy in the summer and then freeze the pesto) on whole-grain pasta with grilled or broiled chicken breasts. Serve with side of veggies.

  53. Lisa permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:56 am

    ‘Barbeque salmon’ with spinach and quinoa. It’s not really barbeque, but marinated ahead of time to take away salmon’s fishiness, and then has a crust of spices. Even people who don’t like salmon like it.

  54. Laurie R. permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:23 am

    Has to be the crunchy baked chicken my mom taught me to do as a teenager. Dip chicken breasts in melted butter, then dip into a mix of crushed whole wheat saltines, parmesan cheese, parsley, sea salt and pepper. Place in pan and bake till not pink! My family LOVES this with brown rice or potatoes and the chicken makes a great sandwich the next day. I make several of these pans up – place in freezer and have for great go to meals.

  55. Tasha permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:25 am

    A great go-to dish is a pasta and pesto dish. I try to make lots of pesto before the basil bites the dust in the cold and freeze it in small containers/bags. Everything tastes great with pasta a pesto – rotisserie chicken, shrimp, sun-dried or fresh tomatoes, pine nuts or pecans — anything lying around that you want to use up. I mix in a little mayo so that the pesto sticks to the pasta. Yum!

  56. February 2, 2011 10:26 am

    My favourite is Mexican Rice wraps – I found the recipe on the back of an Uncle Ben’s Rice box a year ago, and can now make it blindfolded because it’s one of the rare meals my kids will eat:

  57. Sandi permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:31 am

    I love to have Chicken and Black Bean Salsa soup in the refrigerator to eat for leftovers. I got the recipe from the Make It Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook. The book has awesome crockpot recipes.
    S. Dressel

  58. Kelly K permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:32 am

    I hate having to figure out what’s for dinner tonight. Instead of going through the agony 7 times a week I figure out the week’s menu on Sunday and then go grocery shopping.
    My go to meal that everyone will eat is taco salad. Along with tomatos, olives, lettuce and cheese, I also shred carrots for a topping.
    Bad mom here – if it’s a swim practice night, my kids prefer cereal or microwave Mac & Cheese. It settles well before they swim.

  59. Tori permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:38 am

    My favorite meal that is easy and healthy is grilled chicken salad with either apples or strawberries on it (depending upon which is in season). I use bagged lettuce, pre-cooked & cut chicken, almonds, feta cheese, and sometimes red onion if I have the time. Dressing is homemade, but quick-EVOO, white wine vinegar, little OJ, garlic powder, S&P. Love it, love it, love it and it’s usually on the menu once every week. On this night, the kids refuse the salad of coarse, so they get chicken nuggets and canned green beans.

  60. Karen Falat permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:39 am

    Fish tacos baby. Tortilla crusted tilapia from Costco, corn tortillas-raw in the fridge section at Costco, salsa, ff sr cream, low fat cheese, cabbage, red onion and black beans and brown rice made with chic broth and paprika. Easy peasy and the kiddos love it!

  61. Laura Moir permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:54 am

    I love to cook but I’m all about The Maid, that is, the slow cooker. My favorite dish from The Maid is turkey chili- saute 1 pound all breast meat ground turkey in e.v.o, then throw it in The Maid along with 1 can drained black beans, 2 cans drained kidney beans, 1 can tomato soup (all low sodium versions, of course) and some chopped onion. Season with cumin, chili pepper, pinch nutmeg, S n P, cook on low for 6-8 hours, throw in some frozen corn at the end, top with sliced avocado and YUUUUUUUUUM! Rarely any leftovers! 🙂

  62. Jenny permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:57 am

    I like to make Bolognese Pasta. It is something everyone will eat and I can sneak some extra veggies in undetected! That is an all around win in my book!

  63. Csaf permalink
    February 2, 2011 11:06 am

    I have two: chicken enchiladas or spagehetti and meatballs. I always make a ton of meatballs and keep them frozen in the freezer for emergencies. I also keep pre-cooked chicken breast in the freezer for the enchiladas.

    If all else fails, I pull out the eggs, waffles, and cereal. 🙂

  64. Anne permalink
    February 2, 2011 11:39 am

    We call it beans and rice – but it is more. Saute onions, peppers, garlic and then add can of tomatoes, can or two of black beans and green chiles. Leftover chicken/meat can be added. Cook until you need to eat – serve in tortillas with rice, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce – burrito style. Have admit the kids don’t eat it yet but we are working on that.

  65. islandrunnergirl permalink
    February 2, 2011 11:53 am

    Penne With Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta. I was actually going to share the whole recipe here but no-one else has so now I am afraid I will be breaking some kind of copyright if I do. therefore, I am attaching a link to the recipe instead! 🙂

    Hope that works as it really is yummy!

  66. Megan permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:18 pm

    Fried Quinoa (Think Fried rice) Quinoa is as easy or easier than rice. A splash of oil in the wok with fresh ginger and garlic then feel free to load up on whatever veggies strike you (or in my case we live by the, if my four year old is allowed to pick out our veggies then he will eat them rule, even if he’d turn down those same veggies if I picked them. Add or don’t add any meat or seafood for your preferences. Dump in the quinoa and add soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar to taste. Then crack an egg or two over the whole thing and let the hot rice cook it as you stir. That’s it. Easy, colorful, kid friendly, and for reasons that astound me; impressive to adults.

  67. missusdunlap permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:20 pm

    IMHO, you can never, ever go wrong with lasagna. I make a healthier version of it, “Roasted Vegetable Lasagna” from the Betty Crocker 300 Calorie Cookbook. Everything is from scratch – roasting veggies and homemade sauce takes a bit more time, but *so* worth it! It was painfully good. I wanted to eat the whole pan, but my hubs beat me to it.

  68. otherjulie permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:27 pm

    favorite to cook…lately…quick and easy chicken, edamame, other veggies with rice. Everyone loves it…great for leftovers.

    Or…on a cold day, some soup.

  69. Danielle permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:37 pm

    My family has two favorites. The first is “Pan” pizza. Basically, it’s an unside down pizza baked in a casserole dish. We have that with a nice veggie salad and some fruit and everyone is happy. My second go to is Shepherd’s pie. After a few years I finally perfected the recipe to my family’s liking and I swear it tastes better as leftovers! This year I started a better eating plan for my family and am trying to use as little processed foods as possible and my very picky 8-year-old is loving it! It’s amazing that you can cook Hamburger Helper without the box.

  70. February 2, 2011 12:39 pm

    We’re a taco family. Brown some ground turkey, heat up the whole wheat tortillas and add salsa, guac and cheese and everyone is happy!

  71. Liz permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:44 pm

    My easy go to meal is for sure bean and cheese burritos. I just have to remember to have done the necessary steps of soaking beans overnight and crockpotting them in the am. but my favorite meal to make is homemade calzones. I love to add sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts & sauteed peppers & onions and of course cheese.

  72. February 2, 2011 12:45 pm

    I have to admit straight off that I don’t cook this meal myself. However, I do know my mum loves me very much because we’ve faithfully had it for my birthday dinner since I was about 5… It’s always sesame breaded chicken breasts (baked), Italian rice and peas, and marinated cucumber. Love it! Guess now that I’m in my 30s I should really learn the recipes.

  73. Lauren permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:52 pm

    I like to make honey-mustard chicken thighs. They are cooked with a bunch of carrots and served over brown rice. Yummy and healthy! 🙂

  74. Pam permalink
    February 2, 2011 12:55 pm

    My fave recipe to make is a spinach penne pasta dish. It has spinach, penne, grape tomatoes, garlic, oregano, & topped with feta cheese – Yum! It can be used as a side dish or for the main dish I will add shrimp! My family loves this dish!

  75. Sara permalink
    February 2, 2011 1:00 pm

    Chicken and broccoli with pasta is my go-to meal. Chicken is chopped and sauteed with our fave Italian EVOO and herbs, then tossed with fresh, steamed broccoli and a whole wheat penne. DELISH and super easy!

  76. WendyLD permalink
    February 2, 2011 1:10 pm

    Chicken Pesto Tortellini!

  77. Nancy McM permalink
    February 2, 2011 1:52 pm

    Stir Fry Chicken with broccoli and carrots, brown rice, cranberry sauce. Yum!

  78. Carrie permalink
    February 2, 2011 1:56 pm

    My favorite go to meal is a chicken sausage skillet. I toss sliced smoked chicken sausage, onions, peppers, corn, garlic, salt and pepper, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes in a pan and saute in a little olive oil until the veggies are cooked. Easy and a great way to get in veggies…you can put anything into it!

  79. JillC permalink
    February 2, 2011 2:01 pm

    I love Cooking Light magazine (and Cooks Illustrated-tasty but not always super health conscious!).
    One of our favorites is Baked Peanutty Chicken Cutlets:

    My husband and kids also like Rachel Rays “loose meat sandwiches.”

    I like to cook, but wish I had more time!

  80. February 2, 2011 2:07 pm

    My quick cooking meal is bean burritos. Nuke a can’s worth of black beans (get the Cilantro and Lime flavored kind if you want to make it really tasty). Warm some tortillas in either the microwave or the oven. Have jarred salsa and shredded cheese on hand as toppings. If you’re feeling ambitious, make super-simple guac by mashing one avocado with some lime juice and garlic.

  81. MelindaK permalink
    February 2, 2011 2:10 pm

    my go to recipe is Black Bean soup, it’s super easy and simple, doesn’t take a lot of prep and usually i have the items in my cabinet.

    black beans, refried beans, broth (veggie or chicken), salsa, corn, green onions, cheese and if i plan ahead cilantro, sometimes sour cream or the awesome mexican white cheese sauce.

  82. Emily Walker permalink
    February 2, 2011 2:14 pm

    I love making Chicken Piccata. Yum! Or grilled fish and couscous 🙂

  83. February 2, 2011 2:33 pm

    You inspired me to pull out an old favorite. Baked steak. Yum! I cut down on the amount of butter that usually goes on it so it’s a bit more healthy. Spaghetti is our usual go-to favorite. One of the only meals that my kids will eat regularly. They have no sense of adventure!

  84. February 2, 2011 2:44 pm

    I like vegetarian enchiladas. This one is SO yummy!

    I also like to make easy shrimp fried rice with frozen vegetables. I seem to always have all of the ingredients in my house, so I don’t have to go to the store!

  85. February 2, 2011 2:51 pm

    Chalupas – so easy and I can load them up with lettuce, tomato, & salsa. I almost always cook ground beef and mix in refried beans. I do use store bought chalupa shells since making them at home makes them higher in calories.

  86. February 2, 2011 2:56 pm

    My “go to” recipe for when I have nothing planned is spaghetti. Boring, I know. We have it at least once a week, but it’s the one thing that my ENTIRE family will eat with few complaints. But I love to try new recipes so I constantly refer to I enter the ingredients I have on hand and usually get a few recipes that will work. Love that website!

  87. Jackie permalink
    February 2, 2011 3:06 pm

    Our go-to on weekends is homemade pizza with a whole-wheat crust. I make the crust using different kinds of flour and Italian seasoning and my husband tops it with whatever veggies/meats we have on hand. I am proud to say that I can count on one hand the number of times that we have ordered pizza since we have been married. (going on 5 years)

  88. Katie White permalink
    February 2, 2011 3:11 pm


  89. February 2, 2011 3:21 pm

    Mustard chicken with squash. Heat the oven to 350. Slice up your squash of choice and toss it in the oven. In an oven proof pan, heat up coconut oil (okay, whatever oil you want), seer chicken breasts on one side until brown. Turn off the stove top, flip the breasts, smear all over with grainy mustard, and dump in the oven until cooked through.


    I made it last night, and ate the rest for lunch today.

  90. February 2, 2011 3:21 pm

    I just found this blog and I’m totally excited to start running–I just had my 3rd boy 2 weeks ago!
    Anyways, my go to meal is taco soup. So so tasty and so easy! I usually make cornbread to go along because it’s just so dang good too.

  91. Gretchen permalink
    February 2, 2011 3:50 pm

    Black bean enchiladas. I take the easy route and just layer everything (corn tortillas, black beans, cheese, Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce) and then top with black beans. Throw it in the oven for 1/2 hour and dinner even my 20 month old will eat is ready.

  92. February 2, 2011 4:53 pm

    okay, so cut up (and cut the skin off of and remove seeds) a butternut squash into 2 inch pieces. Cut a granny smith apple as well. Put them together in a 9 x 12 cake pan, throw some olive oil on top and mix until they’re coated. Add about an inch of water and put in a 350 oven. Roast for about an hour and check—if the squash has softened, you’re done with the roasting. If not, add 10 more minutes.

    When soft, pull out of oven and dump all the stuff into a big saucepan on top of stove. Heat it, blend with a stick blender, add some more water, blend some more, add some cardamom, and you’re pretty much done with an amazing soup. Yum!

  93. February 2, 2011 5:40 pm

    I love to cook. The one thing my family always requests again and again is my turkey chili, so that’s probably my favorite to make. Either that or tortilla soup, just because it’s sooooo good.

  94. February 2, 2011 5:41 pm

    My easy go to that everyone likes is simple breaded chicken breasts sauteed in a little olive oil with capers and a sprinkle of lemon juice. Serve with your favorite side of rice, grits or pasta and a salad, and three out of my four are happy!

  95. February 2, 2011 5:43 pm

    I make Chick Pea pasta.
    1 can rinsed Chick peas, 2 garlic cloves pressed, 2 cups chicken stock simmer for 15 minutes blend pour over 1 pound shell pasta.
    So quick and easy and yummy. the chick peas are creamy and you’ll never guess your eating chick peas.

  96. Jackie permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:44 pm

    Grilled chicken and grilled veggies (potatoes, carrots, onions). Really easy in the summer, but I pull out my George Forman in the winter and then steam the veggies instead of grill.

  97. Beth permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:47 pm

    Lately, in order to get my picky children to eat healthy, I buy the all natural boneless chicken tenders, lightly coat them with bread crumbs and bake them in the oven. Then I give the kids a variety of dips to eat with their chicken (bbq sauce, honey, hummus, ketchup). They love having a bunch of dips to try! I usually serve it with soy beans or corn, and rice!

  98. February 2, 2011 5:47 pm

    I have a wonderful pasta dish which includes white canellini beans, brocolli florets, and crisp cooked diced bacon. An all in one meal, simple to prepare, and my whole family loves it. The recipe is from the “Cooking Light” magazine.

  99. Alison Price permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:47 pm

    My go-to dinner is Easy Chicken Divan. Lean chicken breasts, mayo, cream of chicken soup, lemon juice and lots of broccoli. Bonus: My kids eat the broccoli without fuss because of the sauce! Delicious, somewhat healthy, and easy!!!

  100. Rene Baker permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:48 pm

    Breakfast is my go to meal. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and either toast, pancakes, waffles, or tortillas and we are set!

  101. February 2, 2011 5:48 pm

    Fried Rice! So easy and everyone loves it!

  102. Tobey Schollmeyer permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:50 pm

    My favorite go to meal is sort of generic…spaghetti! I dont need a recipe. I make it from canned tomato sauce, tomatoes and usually some sort of squash (zucchini most likely) and sometimes will add some ground turkey or ground beef. I season it up with some dry italian seasoning (I happen to LOVE the Pampered Chef variety) and with some garlic, salt, maybe some pan sauteed onions, and sometimes I add a few red pepper flakes to spice it up. On occasion I will use sausage instead of ground beef/turkey. We’ll put it over some thin spagetti noodles (whole wheat of course) or some other form of pasta. Super easy, not thinking and something pretty healthy to put on the table! 🙂

  103. Jessica Russell permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:50 pm

    This is my go to recipe – Cooking Light’s Roasted Chicken with Onions, Potatoes and Gravy:

    I try to always have a good, local organic whole chicken in the freezer so I can bust this out any time. If I don’t have time to roast it, I’ll put it in the crock pot. God love the crock pot!

  104. Holly S. permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:52 pm

    I love the black bean and corn stew from Everyday Food. Fast, easy, healthy, delicious!!

  105. Debbie H permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:53 pm

    Veggie and cheese ravioli, spinach salad, a nice marinara sauce!

  106. Robin M. permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:54 pm

    BBQ Chicken on a huge salad!

  107. Kari Butler permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:54 pm

    Our best last minute, healthy dinner is breakfast! Whole grain pancakes, fresh from our chicken eggs, and fresh OJ. Plus my kids love to scramble eggs and flip pancakes, so it makes for a great family cooking night.

  108. akcpa permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:56 pm

    Friday night pizza night for sure. The kids still get excited about it even though we do it EVERY friday night! Although, I have recently discovered that I love cooking Thai food! I’m still working on getting my family to love eating it though 🙂

  109. April permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:56 pm

    santa fe stew because it is so so so easy and one of very few things EVERYONE in my family will eat!

  110. Danielle permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:56 pm

    The go to at our house for dinner is tacos of some kind–we vary between whole wheat and corn tortillas and fill them with either beans, chicken or shrimp, olives, tomatoes, onion, peppers–really, whatever is on hand. My personal fave are “greek tacos” with hummus, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber and feta. However, I am one of the very lucky ones, in that my husband is stuck with the what to cook for dinner dilemma–and he does the cooking too! Not that I don’t enjoy it, but I work until dinner time and if I were to be in charge of dinner, we wouldn’t eat until 8:00!

  111. joan permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:58 pm

    love this! deciding ‘what to cook’ is such a HUGE roadblock for me, too! i work evening shifts as a nurse, and i feel bad when i leave for work and my husband says ‘what’s for dinner’, and i don’t have an answer! in my fantasies, i always have dinners planned, cooked, food for work, leftovers, etc etc… having said that, though, i love to have homemade spaghetti sauce on hand (much better than jarred for me…). it can be used for any pasta dish: meat, vegetarian,… can be separated into whoever wants what!

  112. February 2, 2011 6:00 pm

    Stir Fry is my easy quick go to. Veggies, meat, rice, easy to make and always a hit.

  113. TerryMason permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:01 pm

    My kids fave go to dinner is nachos. I season the ground turkey or venison with salsa (instead of powdered mix) to cut sodium and sneak in more vegetables. I usually throw some corn in there too. Nachos are whole grain and are served with lettuce, cheese and plenty of avacado. Kids think their eating “junky” but I know they are getting at least 3 veggie servings and whole grains from the chips!
    Afterwards mom enjoys the same dinner but with black beans in place of ground meat 🙂

  114. Denise permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:02 pm

    During the cold months, definitely taco soup. It’s super easy, and we can eat it twice, plus there is usually enough for me to take for my lunch a couple of days.

  115. Anje permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:02 pm

    Love to do meals in a crockpot b/c it is waiting for me when I get home! Also tacos are a good, quick meal on a weeknight. Baked pork chops is also a fave!

  116. February 2, 2011 6:04 pm

    For us it is a Southwest Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. I put the recipe up on my blog last week

  117. February 2, 2011 6:07 pm

    My new favorite is Tyson Grilled and Ready frozen chicken breasts. They’re already fully cooked so they only take about 20 minutes in the oven and they are really grilled! With the grill lines and everything! Tonight I made them with sweet potatoes (also frozen in little “patties”) for my son and I, because my husband was not home. He doesn’t like sweet potatoes, unfortunately. He likes very plain food. So for him I would have cooked rice or something. I wish I had time to be more creative, but it works!

  118. Erica Richards permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:07 pm

    Spaghetti…homemade sauce that my kids won’t eat but that’s ok because at least they eat the pasta with butter and cheese. One night my son asked what we were having for dinner. When I said “pasta”, he said “do we have a race tomorrow?”

  119. Danielle permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:09 pm

    My go to dish to please a small dinner party or to feed the 50+ guests who attend our twins birthday party is chicken chimichangas. Shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, southwestern salsa and very little cheese or none at all on a tortilla. Baked and then served with homemade guacamole. I usually make a few batches of the chimis so I can freeze some for later. The local city paper published this recipe a few yrs ago. Here’s the link . Friends have renamed this dish Whip’s Chimis. Yummy and super easy!

  120. Angie permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:09 pm

    I have two. Spaghetti, of course. Always made with the whole grain spaghetti and the italian seasoned ground turkey in the sauce. The other is a pork loin that I get from the store already marinated. I bake it, put rice in our rice cooker, and heat up a veggie (I love the Steampac veggies from the frozen section). What can I say? I love easy things.

  121. Vickie permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:12 pm

    Miso soup with tofu and green onions, teriyaki chicken tenders, steamed rice and some kind of steamed veggie (broccoli, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower). This gets a 10+ from my kids every time!

  122. Rosalyn S permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:15 pm

    My latest go to recipe is rice and black beans. My son(3) has decided that they are jelly beans and has to eat them ALL!!! My daughter (1) doesnt care as long as she can feed herself, and I feel like a great mom because I feel my kids are eating healthy!!! As for the Mr, I just add some chicken breast and he thinks its great too!!!

  123. Atha permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:16 pm

    Turkey spaghetti with caesar salad. So easy and delicious!

  124. rushartist permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:17 pm

    Tacos, taco soup, chili, enchiladas, nachos…see a theme?? My family LOVES tex-mex. It’s become our go to, and it’s easy to prepare too. After a week of eye rolls at dinner I bust out burritos and my kids think I’m the best cook ever. 🙂

  125. February 2, 2011 6:20 pm

    Tacos (without beans)! It is the one meal that I can usually get everyone (from 5 to 51 years) to eat and cover the food groups. The best part is I almost always have a bit left over so that I can feed a picky eater who snubs his nose at a meal I make later in the week.

  126. Kari H. permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:23 pm

    Listen, if I am going to be in the kitchen cookin’ (which I do love) whatever recipe I am using better have a healthy dose of wine. The cook has to have a little too, right?
    My fav is Chicken Piccata over linguine with whetever veggie I have available on the side.
    fancy looking + easy + tasty=everyone loves! Plus, I get to booze while I cook for my family 😉

  127. Kim V permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:25 pm

    I love making a quick quiche – pilsbury pie crust, then fill it with eggs, spinach, broccoli, cheese, bacon, some salt and pepper, and bake it. Fresh strawberries and OJ – YUM!!!!!

  128. Jessica Stout permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:30 pm

    Baked spaghetti!!!! With yummy cheese bread!!

  129. Alison permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:30 pm

    Build-your-own pasta works for us. I cook some pasta, toss it with a little olive oil, then set out the different toppings: fresh herbs, parmesan, a jar of pesto, black olives, roasted peppers, and a jar of meat sauce (for my husband). A bowl of salad on the side & we’re done. Anytime I try something fancy, it’s dinnertime drama.

  130. rebecca permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:33 pm

    Salmon with a soy/ginger/garlic glaze baked in oven (I use garlic/ginger puree mixed with some low sodium soy, brush on salmon and bake on foil for less clean-up too). I toss thin asparagus with a few sprays of olive oil and a sprinkle of pepper, and throw that in oven as well, until it starts to get toasty- love the nuttiness asparagus gets from browning a bit. Usually I’ll add some brown rice as a side. When I’m short on time I use the microwave in a bag frozen brown rice- not half bad! I so relate to your mom’s comment, I feel like figuring out what to cook is one of my biggest stresses, which sounds redic with everything else we rlam’ers have going on!

  131. realrellim permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:33 pm

    Our go-to is pizza. It’s homemade: dough from the “Artisan Bread” in 5 minutes recipe, pasta sauce (usually also homemade, though sometimes from a can), dairy-free Daiya cheese (neither of my daughters can have dairy), and sausage. It takes me about 20 minutes to roll out the dough and assemble the pizza, it cooks for 10 minutes during which I make a salad (or these days, during which my husband makes a salad while I nurse the baby), and we’re set.

    Before we found the Daiya cheese, our go-to was squash pasta. We’d make a squash-based sauce, pour it over elbow macaroni, add some canned salmon or tuna and then sprinkle ground walnuts on top. Yum!

  132. Heather Hower permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:33 pm

    Breakfast for dinner. Even better because Husband usually makes it and everyone eats it.

  133. Carmen permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:34 pm

    I got a great crockpot recipe from a website a couple of years ago and it is one of my go to….Salsa Chicken… easy….put in the crockpot…chicken, packet of taco seasoning, can of low fat cream of chicken soup and a cup of salsa…cook most of the day on low or a few hours on high….chicken falls apart….I cook some rice and heat of tortillas and we have a feast! Great left over too!
    other than this…we tend to eat the same thing all the time…tacos, hamb helper, baked chicken….i’m not very good with finding new things to cook!

  134. Jen permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:39 pm

    A last-minute change of plans (i.e husband working late) means Annie’s mac & cheese for the kids (their fave). For me, it’s salmon (Costco wild-caught, indivually frozen), edamame (frozen/microwaveable steam bag), and brown rice (also frozen/microwaveable). I season the salmon with lime and dill, and add dried apricots and cardamom to the rice. The whole thing is ready in less than 20 minutes and feels healthy and gourmet!

  135. February 2, 2011 6:40 pm

    I love soup! Right now veggie chili, black bean soup, and split pea soup are my faves.

  136. February 2, 2011 6:40 pm

    Our go to meal is kinds sad…. Frozen pizza. lol! Our favorite thing to cook though is pioneer woman’s favorite burger. YUM!!!

  137. Jennifer Winchell permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:41 pm

    I love roasting a chicken with roasted veggies, lately I have been doing it with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, leeks, etc. So yummy and easy, my kids and I devour it.

  138. Linda Bradley permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:49 pm

    I’d have to say my go-to family favorite is American Chop Suey. It’s a Bradley family recipe that I got from my mother-in-law, but made with healthier ingredients. Brown 1 lb. ground turkey in a large skillet with a medium chopped onion until turkey is no longer pink; drain fat. Add a can of tomato soup mixed with a can of water, and an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, boil 3 qts. water and add approx. 6oz. whole wheat elbow macaroni-until al dente. Add elbows to turkey mixture, stir until pasta is coated with tomato sauce, and top with shredded cheese of your choice-cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, etc. Cover and let cheese melt. Serve with a salad on the side-ENJOY!!

  139. BigDogMom permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:50 pm have to understand that I cook by taste and for an army. I have learned to wing it a lot! Please adjust the recipe for the amount of people you are feeding and to your taste…this whole recipe is a guessing game and can be adjusted to how you are feeling and who you are feeding.

    Italian Sausage Soup

    2 pounds of Sweet Italian sausage.the better the sausage the better the soup(I use homemade from Happy Foods)

    1 large can Crushed tomatoes (I use the ones with Italian Herbs)

    4-5 cans of fat free beef broth (or one large box of broth)

    Water to taste (about 1-3 cups)

    1-2 Tbsp of Olive Oil

    1 onion chopped (I use the bagged frozen onion or Frozen Seasoning Blend with onion and peppers.)

    2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped

    1 can garbanzo beans, drained

    1 can cannelli beans, drained (Italian white beans)

    1 bag of Frozen veggies for soup (at Jewel) REMOVE and DO NOT ADD THE OKRA! EWWW!

    Handful of frozen zucchini

    ¼ brick of frozen chopped spinach

    Handful Frozen Italian flat green beans

    1 package refrigerated or frozen tortellini (I used mini cheese ravioli today from Happy foods freezer)

    Italian Seasoning to taste (you can also just add oregano, basil, and parsley individually)

    1 tsp Red Pepper flakes.don’t add at all or add more if you like things  Spicy!!

    You really can add any veggies you like.

    I cook everything in the same pot clean up!

    Remove casing and brown sausage in Olive Oil. When sausage is browned and crumbly, add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add can of crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring to boil and begin adding frozen veggies. After adding veggies, return to boil. Add pasta. If the soup is too thick, water can be added at this time. Once soup is boiling, add pasta and cook until pasta is cooked thoroughly. Serve with salad and bread.

    This can be made in the crockpot. I brown sausage, onion and garlic then add that to all other ingredients already warming in the crockpot. Cook together until bubbly. About 1.5-2 hours before serving add pasta to crockpot.

  140. Bethany permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:52 pm

    Our go-to dish for dinner, when no planning has been done, is usually something like hamburgers, made with extra lean ground beef, topped with black beans, served with brown rice that has a bit of taco seasoning & salsa mixed in (our homemade, easy version of Spanish rice). If we have a bit of planning, it’s chicken in the crock pot, started that morning, with “baked” sweet potatoes nuked in the microwave.

  141. February 2, 2011 6:56 pm

    I have an AWESOME one. Crock Pot Chicken Tacos!!

    2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
    1 onion, chopped
    1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    1/4 cup of orange juice
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Throw all of these in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 or 7 hours. Before you serve, shred chicken with 2 forks (super easy!), strain liquid out and serve with corn tortillas, shredded cheese, salsa, whatever else you want with tacos. I always use fat free greek yogurt instead of sour cream. You can’t even tell the difference and it’s actually pretty fantastic for you instead of a fat and calorie bomb like sour cream!

  142. Lori permalink
    February 2, 2011 6:56 pm

    Stir-fry has become my go-to. I can throw in whatever veggies I have fresh or frozen, a little protein in one form or another, add some spices and a little sauce. Easy Peasy.

  143. February 2, 2011 7:08 pm

    I’ve got a few go-tos, but you stumped me on the ‘relatively healthy’ part! We do a lot of Dream Dinners around here, though I think that the healthier I try to eat on my own, the less tolerant my gut is of the make-ahead meals. One of my go-tos is a baked chicken, bacon, and cheese sandwich. I use a rotisserie chicken, just a few slices of bacon and cheddar, baked in between two fluffy, biscuit-type layers. I make it healthy by adding a salad or fruit alongside.

  144. February 2, 2011 7:11 pm

    My favorite thing to cook is whatever is thawed or quick I have 4 kids, one whom I homeschool & own a business, so there’s NO time for gourmet meals….they’re lucky they get a home cooked meal as it is! 😉

  145. Kerry permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:17 pm

    Vegetable stir fry with shrimp and tofu (garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil) – DD eats all the shrimp and DS eats the tofu and rice…I get the veges. 🙂 DH gets a portion with all of the ingredients. Squash (butternut, pumpkin, buttercup…shallots or garlic, rosemary, good chicken stock – done in 30 minutes) soup and pannini. A stove-top mostly veg frittata, especially when we get home with the CSA share in spring and early summer…

    During my last mat leave I forced myself to start learning to cook the minimalist (NYT) way using his recipes from the Food Matters book – all of these dinners are taken from his recipes and really lend themselves to cooking with CSA foods and to letting go of the recipe and use what you have. Not anything I was good at before DS’s birth. 🙂

  146. barbara permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:21 pm

    Chicken stroganoff! My family LOVES it and it’s easy to make — put the stuff in the crockpot before I leave for work, and when I get home, it’s almost done!!

  147. Crystal permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:22 pm

    My favorite go-to entree lately is Moroccan flat breads; a recipe I got from Publix, actually. It’s sliced pork loin in a tomato-based sauce served on flat bread. I top mine with a lime yogurt sauce but my husband and 2-year-old love it without the sauce. Great for weeknights bc slicing the pork is thread hardest part.

  148. Julia permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:32 pm

    Stif fry! I make it with skosha meat (get it? Just a skosh of meat) and whatever veggies I have in the fridge. If I have a stir fry sauce I add that otherwise some garlic, ginger and soy sauce and brown rice in the rice cooker. It’s heavy on the veggies and whole grains and pleases the kids and husband what more could I ask for?

  149. Rebecca J. permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:39 pm

    Oven Chimichangas
    1 large can chicken (or you can cook and chop your own, obviously)
    2/3 c. picante sauce
    1 tsp. cumin
    1/2 tsp. oregano
    1 c. cheddar cheese
    1 onion, chopped
    6 “soft taco” size flour tortillas
    olive oil

    Mix all the good stuff together. Put into tortillas. Roll up. Brush tops with olive oil. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Yummy!

    [url=]Baked Chimichangas[/url]

  150. Rebecca J. permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:43 pm

    Baked Chimichangas
    1 large can cooked chicken breasts ( or cook your own, of course)
    2/3 c. picante sauce
    1 tsp. cumin
    1/2 tsp. oregano
    1 c. shredded cheese
    1 small onion, chopped
    6 taco size flour tortillas
    Olive oil

    Mix all the good stuff together. Put into flour tortillas. Roll up. Brush tops with olive oil. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

  151. February 2, 2011 8:03 pm

    I don’t have a specialty, but I do have a favorite go-to cookbook…. “Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World.” We have each recipe that we’ve tried marked with 1-5 stars, so we remember our favorites!

  152. Summer permalink
    February 2, 2011 8:11 pm

    Chili on cold days. So easy. Then add different spices and it turns into Lasagna if poured over noodles and cottage cheese and topped with Moz. cheese (yep, I use beans in my Lasagna). Ham in the crock pot with steamed potatoes is eaten once just as is and then turns into a soup the next day. We live on a farm about 45 minutes from town so I don’t go shopping for food but once a week or so. The cookbook sounds great! Would love to try it!!!

  153. February 2, 2011 8:52 pm

    I am a terrible cook, but my wonderful husband went to culinary school and has taught me a few basic recipes. My favorite bulk, eat it for a week recipe, is really simple.
    *Cooked Penne Pasta
    *Cooked Chicken fajita meat
    *A couple cloves of garlic mashed and minced (If you can’t mince fresh garlic, you don’t deserve the flavor- Anthony Bourdain)
    *A little bit of olive oil
    *Some Balsamic Vinegar


    • February 3, 2011 10:00 am

      My husband has corrected me. Just cook the chicken and then cut it up fajita style. Fajita meat is apparently totally different. (See why he’s the cook the in family?)

  154. Tracey Smith permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:02 pm

    My family’s favorite dinner is a roast cooked in the crock pot (organic beef raised by my father-in-law), mashed potatoes and a vegetable. The kids ask for it all the time. Really easy too!

  155. Amber permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:32 pm

    My family loves Do-It-Yourself spring rolls. Use a rotisserie chicken and shred how much you would need to feed your family. Throw in some chopped peanuts, peanut sauce, fresh mint, butter lettuce, green onions, papaya, and rice noodles. Wrap it all up with a rice wrapper and dinner is almost done. Add a side of boiled soybeans and some fruit. Now dinner is done.

  156. Tara Loorz permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:55 pm

    Super simple – Shrimp pasta. I just saute some frozen shrimp with olive oil, paprika, pepper, garlic and salt. Toss that with some cooked thin spaghetti noodles, butter and parmasean cheese. I don’t know how healthy it is, but my kids love it, and it’s something a little different!

  157. Marika permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:05 pm

    My new favorite dinner recipe is Chicken Tortilla Soup… with mounds of cilantro on top. Who am I kidding… and mounds of cheese and sour cream on top of the cilantro!

  158. Steph J permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:49 pm

    Our quick go to meal I’d tacos with low carb high fiber tortillas, lean beef, lettuce, tomato, and reduced fat shredded cheese! Nothing fancy, but the kids gobble it up!

  159. February 2, 2011 11:11 pm

    Inside Out Manicotti or Turkey Sweet Potato Meatloaf. Both seem to go over well with adults and kids alike!

  160. Nikki permalink
    February 3, 2011 7:03 am

    I love love love Eggplant Lasagna. We use super lean ground beef and tons of veggies (and no noodles- just eggplant). My picky 20 month old toddlers ask for seconds on eggplant lasagna night. Mmmm.

  161. Lee permalink
    February 3, 2011 7:05 am

    I like to make risotto if I’m stuck. We usually have some kind of vegetable that will work in it even if I haven’t gone to the store lately.

  162. Addie permalink
    February 3, 2011 8:02 am

    Tacos are the go-to meal at our house. My husband and I are happy because dinner is easy and can have componants with “grown-up” flavors…and kids are happy because they can pick & choose what they want…and can sneak in trying new things without leading their parents to believe they’ve actually “given in” and tried something new!

  163. Kristen F permalink
    February 3, 2011 9:25 am

    breakfast for dinner or homemade chicken soup. Everyone will eat both without a lot of nagging.

  164. February 3, 2011 10:10 am

    my new favorite. spring minestrone soup.

    green peas, snow peas, asparagus chopped.
    a few shallots thinly sliced
    garlic and olive oil
    brown rice and veggie stock

    its actually pretty hearty and soooooooooo yummy – and really easy to make.

  165. molly permalink
    February 3, 2011 10:16 am

    lately it’s been white bean chicken chili – so yummy and perfect for the cold weather!

  166. Wittsle permalink
    February 3, 2011 10:22 am

    Our favs to cook depend on the time of year!
    With the blizzard this week- I knew school was going to be canceled & hit the store so I could make Spinach Lasagna- (recipe from my stepmother- it is delicious!)
    Summer = grill & a staple for us is a recipe that came from Men’s Health. It doesn’t really have a name, but we call it steak salad. We use Iowa top sirloin for the steak, served with soft boiled eggs, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes- but if we have garden tomatoes we use those, sliced avocado, cooked sugar snap peas , crumbled blue cheese, & green goddess dressing.
    also calls for crumbled bacon, but we sometimes skip it (usually because someone grabbed it & cooked it for breakfast already)
    We also make a delicious Spaghetti Carbonara that comes from my mother.
    I better go drink some water- I am hungry now just thinking about these!

  167. Krisi permalink
    February 3, 2011 10:48 am

    Mmmm, homemade spaghetti! Tomato sauce, seasoning, lean ground beef, whole wheat noodles. I can whip it up for 2 in no time, or 200 with just a little advanced planning 🙂 Always a favorite.

  168. Julie Long permalink
    February 3, 2011 11:48 am

    My favorite go-to meal, especially in the winter, is Eggplant Soup. It’s easy and fast, you can even put it in the crock pot in the morning and have it ready for you after a long day. It’s basically browned ground beef and onions, beef broth, diced tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, and any other veggies you’d like to add. All three of my boys and my husband eat it and love it. With a little parm cheese on top- it’s perfect for a cold winter’s night. We also like that it fits the Paleo eating style that we have been moving towards. The original recipe calls for macaroni, but we’ve omitted that and now find that we enjoy it even more without the pasta. Try it, it’s easy, and you’ve got to love a one pot dinner- veggies, protein all included! It was a recipe my mom made for us growing up so it’s also filled with love and memories.

  169. February 3, 2011 3:31 pm

    Tex-Mex Chili Soup…throw browned ground beef, taco seasoning, canned tomatoes, canned corn, canned beans and some water in a crockpot or pan on the stove. Can’t be easier.

  170. CindyAz permalink
    February 3, 2011 5:41 pm

    I love to cook on the grill. Easy Clean-Up.

  171. Julie permalink
    February 3, 2011 9:53 pm

    My family’s favorite winter recipe is homemade chicken pot pie! I could cook it once a week and everyone would be thrilled!!

  172. Judy permalink
    February 4, 2011 6:45 pm

    Pasta with pesto and a big salad. Fast. Easy. And good.

  173. Amy Z permalink
    February 5, 2011 1:41 pm

    mini meatloaf in muffin tins.

  174. February 5, 2011 5:10 pm

    Tacos with Mexican rice… mmmmm!!

  175. Jenny permalink
    February 6, 2011 10:15 am

    Easy spinach, pea, feta and orzo salad. Tastes great, and compliments any main course.
    Cook the orzo(2-3cups cooked) according to package, add the frozen or fresh peas(1-2 cups) the last 5 mins or so. Strain and set aside. Heat olive oil in pan on stove add a few cups of fresh washed spinach, cook until wilted. Add orzo and peas toss and remove from heat. Add about 1 cup of feta crumbles. Can eat warm or cold. Yum!

  176. Jennifer Burke permalink
    February 6, 2011 12:04 pm

    Homemade chicken noodle soup with lots of fresh veggies, everyone loves that every time!

  177. February 8, 2011 1:46 pm

    Mines a super easy Chicken Parmesan. Dip the chicken in fat free italian dressing, roll in spiced breadcrumb and parmesean mixture and bake! My family loves this one. Sometimes I serve with spaghetti, but it’s good enough on its own.


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