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Dinner Ideas

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What's with the ads?

#1 Elizabeth86


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:01 PM

My kids are in a bit of a picky stage right now.  I've tried thinking through what everyone likes and it seems the kids and dh all like the same type of dinner which is opposite of what I like, so I'm thinking of coming up with more dinner ideas that suit the 4 of them because I'm the oddball.  I love casseroles and skillet meals and soups and spaghetti and pasta dishes.  They don't.  They don't like mixed together food.  They like a piece of meat, a pile of potatoes or rice and a vegetable.  I feel uninspired because I really don't like that so much.  So, throw some ideas at me please! 

#2 Excelsior! Academy

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:23 PM

Mexican served bar style.

#3 Zinnia


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:38 AM

Standards here...

Rice and bean bowls
Burritos (meat, refried beans, cheese, flour tortillas)
tacos (meat, cilantro, onions, corn tortillas)
Breakfast for supper
Hamburger steak (Salisbury steak), rice, salad

#4 marbel


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:58 PM

My husband and son are kind of like that - they much prefer meat on its own, not mixed up with other stuff.  Except for taco meat and curries. :-)


So, I cook a lot of meat.  Boneless chicken thighs, rubbed with seasonings and grilled, are delicious.  Pork tenderloin can be grilled or roasted (in the oven or on the stove).  Or it can be cut up and cooked, then served with sauce on the side.  Last night I made something new:  Korean-Style Pork Medallions with Asian Slaw from Fine Cooking magazine.  It calls for serving the meat right on top of the slaw, but I kept them separate and mixed them up on my own plate.  It was a big hit, and very easy.  


I look for more interesting side dishes when I do a plain meat, like sweet potatoes with yogurt and cilantro-chile sauce from the New York Times


And then there's oven-roasted chicken shawarma, also from the NYT, which is fantastic and can be eaten plain or with various accompaniments as noted in the recipe.  So delicious. 


Sometimes though I just make something I like and if they don't want to eat it, oh well.  My husband is very good about eating whatever I make, and when my kid is hungry enough he will also.  I try to balance everyone's likes and dislikes; sometimes people have to compromise. 


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#5 zoobie


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:33 PM

The NYT chicken shawarma is excellent! The pork medallions sound really good too.


I make the items separately since DH and I try to eat lower carb. If it would have been broccoli rice casserole--it is broccoli, rice, and chicken for the kids and broccoli, roasted cauliflower rice, and chicken for me and DH. One thing everyone here loves  that's one dish is roasted potato cubes with chicken. Toss in granulated onion, garlic, salt, and paprika with some oil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, stir, another 15, stir, then add chicken breast cubes tossed in same seasonings and bake another 15. (Check chicken doneness, obviously!). You can top with shredded cheese to melt and bacon pieces. You can use different seasonings (Greek with garlic and lemon, Italian, pesto, Tex-Mex, smoked paprika instead of regular and serve with BBQ sauce, etc.) and use sweet potatoes and other root vegetables. There are lots of one sheet pan dishes that cook in one cooking time without everything becoming a casserole. Search "sheet pan dinners" on google or Pinterest. 

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#6 bookbard


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

I used to do a lot of meatballs - so I'd get mince, some nights chicken mince, some nights beef or lamb - and then add salad, a sauce, a wrap of some sort. They could eat the bits they liked out of that. So it might be a Greek version, with lamb meatballs, yoghurt sauce, greek salad. Or maybe a chicken, cheese and tomato version. 

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#7 Rebel Yell

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:36 PM

I don't have any recipes or plans, but at least 1-2 nights each week, maybe you could have a casserole version of the foods they're eating? Like they have chicken, rice, and broccoli, but you add a cheese sauce and make your portion into a casserole? You should get your preferred meals, too.

Or if you make a casserole for a potluck or community member in need, Double the recipe or if it's for a small family, take out a portion for yourself.

Do you mind eating the same thing for a few days? Make some soup ands joy all week or freeze it in portions for yourself. We have many meals where one person has something different, due to allergies or very strong aversions. It I try to keep it similar- I'll bake a piece of chicken when the rest of us have fish, all other meal parts are the same. But having a casserole or pasta dish might take a little more planning and a bit more work. But even making the plain pasta, chicken, and veggie into a casserole only needs a cheese or sauce, right?

I hope you find some meals for all to enjoy, and some ways for you to enjoy as well.

Bon apetit!
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#8 KungFuPanda


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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:24 AM

It's summer soon. My formula for this season is a grilled meat, a grain in the rice cooker, and salad or grilled veggies. Easy. Once a week make a scrumptious casserole just for yourself and coast on it for days.
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#9 SparklyUnicorn


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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:28 AM

If they did the cooking, they'd understand the allure of one pot meals. 





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#10 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:31 AM

Yes, casseroles have really gone out of style, haven't they?  I loved them as a kid, but kids now won't even touch them.  

The local summer camp had to change its whole menu around because kids just plain wouldn't eat that kind of thing.

When DD went there, she would ask for deconstructed stuff, driving the cook crazy.

#11 HTRMom


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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:29 AM

My husband also loves the meat/starch menu, and my kids are allergic to dairy so casserole is difficult, but I grew up on casserole!

For meat, you can use different coatings like bread crumbs, cracker and corn flakes. You can try different rubs and marinades and sauces and gravies.

If you make roasted chicken, you can use your portion to make a little skillet or whatever you like, especially the next day. Same with steak.

Compromise foods: spaghetti and meatballs. You mix yours, they eat it on the side. Chicken parmesian, same. Fajitas - you eat a fajita or fajita bowl and they eat steak strips with peppers on the side. You could make barbecue and not put sauce on their portion. You can mix your mashed potatoes with your chicken and cheese and they can eat theirs separated.

You can leave their rice/grain/noodles plain and make sauce for yours. Anything can feel like a mixed together meal if you stir your main dish and side dish together in sauce. If you microwave it or put it in the oven that way it helps, even more if you stir in cheese and melt it. I guess get good at sauces?

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#12 Ali in OR

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:19 PM

It's grilling season! That gets old after awhile, but we love it right now because we don't do much grilling between November-March. April was pretty rainy this year too. So, grilled foods (and I try to get 2 dinners out of 1 grill session--either using leftover steak for tacos the next day or grilling two meats, one for the next day. Tonight is hamburgers but I'll also grill chicken for chicken caesar salad tomorrow). And we have one excessively picky eater--casseroles would never fly here.



Grilled chicken breasts (marinade in something like Italian dressing)

Grilled chicken thighs (usually teriyaki marinade here)

Grilled flank steak (another marinade)

Grilled tri-tip steak (just salt and pepper)

Grilled pizza is awesome but best with garden tomatoes and basil--August/September here



Alexia waffle cut fries with hamburgers, fruit or green salad

Orzo or rice with chicken breasts. Or pasta. Salad

rice, pineapple, naan for the girls with anything teriyaki

Orzo or potatoes with either steak, grilled red pepper/onion/mushrooms, salad


Edited by Ali in OR, 20 May 2017 - 12:20 PM.