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Dinner planning! What are your top 3 or 4 easy weekly dinners?

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Risotto...a million different ways of cooking it and great for using up whatever goes in the cupboard. I make it simple, I make it complex, I make it full of meat, I make it vegetarian. I make it a lot.


Fritatta. Ditto.


Soup. Tritto (wait is that a word)


Summer Salads: Massive platter sized salads. A meal on one plate. Lots of different ingredients. Again it depends on what is in the fridge. For instance a few days ago I made a mango, caramelised onion and camembert salad. Sometimes it's smoked chicken, or thai beef...etc etc. Yummy.


Winter Stews. Now here I'm simple and boring. Cheap steak cooked slowly in red wine with lots of herbs, onions and garlic. Occasionally I saute some bacon first and add that. Always I add mushrooms near the end.

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I try to include at least one soup/stew and one crock pot meal a week.


Maybe try "theme" nights...









Unfortunately this is an area I struggle in so I am not much of a source of inspiration...sorry. But, I am :bigear:!

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I'm in my pregnancy mode where I have no ideas. If there was some sort of deal I could make with Taco Bell to provide all of my meals throughout pregnancy I would be happy. I crave their crunchy tacos supreme when I'm pregnant.


Our typical easy meal at home that we have very frequently is any kind of burrito:


refried beans and seasoned ground beef

refried beans and seasoned chicken

refried beans and shredded beef (usually leftover crockpot roast)

black beans, Mexican rice, and seasoned chicken

fried potatoes, eggs, and cheese


The first four without or without lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole. The last with sour cream and sometimes left over refried beans. The black bean one is sometimes fried as chimichangas. Sometimes we'll swap soft taco size tortillas for the burrito size ones and add taco shells to make "double decker tacos" like Taco Bells.


ETA: Sometimes we skip the tortillas and add tortilla chips and have Taco Salad instead.

Edited by joannqn
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Beans are my go-to ingredient for quick and easy meals, and luckily my family loves them every which way!


Black bean or cannellini bean soup (a few ingredients and then blender)


Black bean quesadillas (mix beans w/cumin, garlic, whatever) and then fry tortillas w/cheese and beans inside


Veggie chili (beans, diced tomatoes, sauteed onions and peppers, spices)


Bean lasagna (layer tortillas, beans, sauteed veggies, cheese, salsa; bake)

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When I know I need quick or easy, I rely on canned items or prepackaged items. I used to feel guilty, but I realize I am a working mom, too, and it's got to be better for you than eating out every night. Here's some of our favorites.


Cheese quesadillas with pico de gallo, quacamole, etc.

Fiesta Soup: mix salsa (we use Pace Picante), black beans, corn, cilantro, and ground cumin to taste

Chicken Tacos:buy a rotisserie chicken, take off meat, add taco seasoning, black beans, corn, then serve as usual for tacos

Chicken Pot Pie: refrigerated pie crust, canned chicken breast, cream of chicken soup, frozen mixed veggies

Bistro Chicken Pizza: Store bought pizza crust,olive oil brushed on crust, pizza sauce, grilled chicken breast cut in bite size pieces, roma tomatoes thinly sliced, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese with tomato and basil flavor, chopped basil on top

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Sunday nights are quesedilla and smoothie nights

Friday nights are taco nights


I make "Everyday Cassoulet" out of the Betty Crocker cookbook a lot. It's healthy, and quick and yummy.




marinated, broiled chicken breasts with brown rice


roasted chicken and veggies, esp. with sweet potato fries (those are the best!)

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Tacos - I add onions and a can (or two) of beans to the meat. We have this almost every week. Its easy and makes great leftovers.


Spaghetti - My ds taught my dd how to make a great red sauce. We also have a great, easy al Fredo that we make and we make a Carbonara (which I make with bacon or ham and eggs and cheese) All are yummy and easy. We have this once a week, when we get tired of one kind of sause, we make another the next week.


Fritatta - an italian oven omlette. Many different ingredients possbile. Asparagus and garlic are a favorite here. If we get tired of this, I put it in a shell and make a quiche or add flour and make a crustless quiche.


Rice - my hubby is Korean. We eat a lot of rice. We either have rice with sides of veggies and saute'd meat or fried rice once a week. Again, easy.


Those are things we have every week just about 52 weeks a year. The other days I switch off seasonal things. Right now it is soups and stews and roasted vegetables.

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nacho chicken enchiladas-- very easy, take a few chicken breasts (boneless/skinless) put them in a crock pot and dump in a can or two of enchilada sauce (enough to cover them by about and inch) cook a few hours until it falls apart. Shred meat, place in flour tortilla with a little shredded cheese, roll up. Place in a baking dish when dish is full smother them with nacho cheese dip and bake for about 15 minutes at 350. When done top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream etc.


If I feel lazy I don't bake them, I just place 2 on a plate smother with the nacho cheese and microwave for about a minute.


Another that's easy is to brown some chicken and cut into cubes, then prepare a box of rice a roni (chicken flavor is what we use but you could use whatever flavor you like) when after pouring in the water, throw in the cubed chicken and cook per package directions. You can also throw in some broccoli or peas if you'd like. This is a very easy one pan dinner that my family just loves.

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For instance a few days ago I made a mango, caramelised onion and camembert salad. Sometimes it's smoked chicken, or thai beef...etc etc. Yummy.




Could we please have the recipe for mango, caramelized onion and camembert salad?


Enjoy the summer in the southern half!

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One of my favorites is baked rigatoni.


Boil and drain the rigatoni (or similar pasta).



If I have time I saute minced garlic, then melt some ricotta and grated jack or swiss cheese in the same skillet, season with salt & pepper.


If I don't have time, I just use a tomato sauce.


Mix the sauce with the pasta and any of the following (or choose additions your family enjoys): sundried tomatoes, fresh tomato slices, sliced or ground sausage, grated parmesan, broccoli (slightly steamed), diced chicken. The possibilities are endless.


Pour pasta mixture into a casserole dish. Grate some fresh parmesan, sprinkle over the top and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. It's perfect served with a green salad.


It usually takes 30-35 minutes from start to table.


Other easy meals I like to make: Chicken soup, chicken salad (made with leftover chicken) served on a bed of lettuce with bread and a vegetable on the side, sandwich night, fried rice, tortilla quiche.



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My dc's favorite dinner is pancakes! It's easy and it works. We make them from scratch with whole grain so they're pretty nutritious, too.


Dc also eat eggs for dinner.


My dh likes to make turky curry with rice. Turky meatloaf is easy and good, too, for non-vegetarians.


Pasta of any kind is a given at our house. Dh is Italian.


My speciality is bean and veggie soup. Goes very far, tastes great, and it's cheap.

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Could we please have the recipe for mango, caramelized onion and camembert salad?


Enjoy the summer in the southern half!

Um blushingly I'm not so hot on recipies. We were camping and I just looked in the fridge to see what was there and would go together. But vaguely (DH moans that since I never write anything down we never have the same thing twice LOL) it was

salad greens

diced fresh mango

onions sliced and cooked REAL slow with butter and a touch of brown sugar until they were gorgeously caramel brown

a nice ripe camembert

all tossed together. Crazy easy.


A fave of mine is diced roast beets with feta cheese on greens...you can get posh and add other stuff but those are the basic ingredients.

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We have breakfast night every Thursday night. Pancakes, omelets, french toast, eggs... Easy!!!!


My favorite crock pot recipe is frozen (or not) chicken pieces, 1 cup rice, 1-1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup lemon juice. Just let it go all day. It's delicious. The rice comes out really creamy. Or the same combination baked in the oven with defrosted chicken.


Tacos. I make a gigantic batch of refried beans every few months and keep it in quart-sized bags in the freezer.


roasted veggie quesadillas


pizza (I make crusts and keep in the freezer; I also pre-grate and freeze the cheese; sauce is just tomato paste, hot water, spices, and garlic)


chicken baked w/garlic salt and carrots/potatoes


egg drop soup (chicken broth, eggs, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil)


taco salad (beans, lettuce, cheese, veggies, chips, dressing (equal parts sugar, ketchup, oil, vinegar)


smoothies - we have them for breakfast most days, and occasionally for dinner


that's what comes to mind......

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Ok, we have inventoried our freezers and come up with the following menus for the week:

Sunday - Roast chicken, baked potatoes, something green

Monday - spaghetti carbonara, salad

Tuesday - fajitas, rice of some sort

Wednesday - "mystery marinated chicken" fried rice (we can't remember what, exactly the marinade is)

Thursday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas

Friday - Corn chowder

Saturday - Swedish meatballs, potato cakes, green beans


Those will give us good leftovers to use for lunches and I'll either double things (like the rice and mashed potatoes) or set things aside (like the veggies) as they come up, for other meals.


(my, don't we eat a lot of beef! Really, only this week. )

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Roast chicken. In fact, I just now popped one in the oven - I will chill it when done and pull it out later tonight after I pick up hubby and dd from airport. My teens can start a pot of water for pasta to go with it (or peel taters to cook and mash).


Roast anything. Popping lumps of meat in the oven is my fav. meal prep!


Burritos with either hamburger cooked up OR leftover roasted meat.


Pasta. Several times a week - either as a side or the main dish if I have thawed some sausage to cook.


Kielbasa or a ham slice. A quick fry in a skillet and the meat is ready.


Besides pasta we often have rice or couscous or taters as a side.

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Chicken Chili

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Taco Soup

Meatless Lasagna

Macaroni and Cheese (usually with frozen veggies stirred in and/or tuna)

Bean, beef or chicken burritos



Baked Potatoes


Any pasta w/ red sauce (can add frozen veggies if you like)

Any pasta tossed w/ olive oil, parmasean, fresh herbs and black olives (can add sliced chicken breast and/or steamed broccoli or frozen veggie)

Thin spaghetti tossed w/ drained canned tomatoes, black olives, garlic, olive oil and ground beef or meatballs


Salad w/ sliced chicken breast, some seeds or nuts, raisins, bacon...whatever you have on hand

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Pasta Night 2 times a week. One is a quick stove top and the other an easy oven bake. Any dish baked in the oven has the noodles going in raw with extra sauce for quick prep. Served with garlic bread and salad. Favorites are regular spaghetti with a veggie tomato sauce, spinach lasagna, baked ziti and penne pasta topped with garlic, butter and fresh Parmesan cheese.


Rice Night. Egg rolls, fried rice or a stir fry.


Mexican Night. Burritos, tacos, baked or a Tex Mex baked dish usually served with a rice dish and fresh veggies.


Pizza Night


Black Beans or Red Beans and Rice


Fresh baked bread and Soup


Baked potato, pick your own toppings night. Veggie chili goes with this and satisfies my guys.


Hearty Chili served with cornbread and corn. (We are in the Midwest, corn goes with everything here.)


Big, big homemade pot-pie served with fresh bread.


Breakfast....when all else fails.

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I thought it was a complicated Food Network type dish! What am I missing? Is there an easy recipe?


One of my fave easy meals is this-put a pot roast in a roaster pan, dump a bottle of ketchup and a can of beer and a packet of onion soup mix over it, cover and bake 3 hours. You can even throw cut up potatoes, carrots and onions in with it. So easy and SO good! The sugar in the ketchup gets caramelized and the sauce is yummy!


Crock pot pork roast-put saurkraut on the bottom of the crock, pork roast on top, cut an onion and throw it in, rub the top of the roast with garlic, S+P. Cook on high 5-6 hours. Bake some sweet potatoes to go with it, or cut a squash in half and throw it cut side down on a baking sheet in the oven-super easy.

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