Honey, I Shrunk My Rapidly Dwindling Desire To Cook

Look, it's not that Sean and I eat badly: neither of us is partial to fast food (with the exception of the odd In-N-Out burger, of course, otherwise we'd have our California driver's licenses taken away.) On the contrary, we eat pretty well: we both like salads, we both like vegetables, we both understand the direct correlation between butter/cheese/bacon and the sudden inability to wear anything in our closets without wincing uncomfortably.

We're just in a rut. We're bored with what we eat. We're bored with what we buy to cook to eat.

Ehhhhhh, see? Bored.

We need a little bit of help. We need some new recipes. We need some new ideas. We need a spring in our step when we go to the grocery store, the sort of spring that says well man, this ridiculous line is totally worth the very small purchase of this tiny packet of fresh dill.

You can help, can't you? You've got a simple week-night dinner that never fails you, haven't you? A rotation of a few easy-to-manage favorites you wouldn't mind sharing? A tried-and-true winner that's easy enough to throw together even when you had to work late and then came home to find the cat had thrown up on the rug? Oh, please say you do.

There are a few small caveats, of course. We're trying to eat a little more healthfully, a little lighter---or at least the person who just got back from eating her way around Paris is---so I'd rather we steer clear of anything too naughty. I'm also not the biggest fan of seafood (which yes, I realize is a little silly, but you know how the heart wants what the heart wants? Turns out that the tastebuds have kind of a say in that too). We shop mostly at Trader Joe's and Safeway, and we have a good selection of farmer's markets near us too for fresh produce. We own a very small two-person crockpot that we've never used and one of those indoor countertop grills that (supposedly) makes up for the fact that we have no outdoor space in which to grill like normal people. We even have a lemon zester. We are not afraid to use it.

So tell me: what do you make for dinner? Can you please, please, please help pull us out of this rut?

1
Ellie
Apr 09, 2010

Chicken breasts stuffed with mozzarella, wrapped in parma ham/proscuitto/jamon serrano, cooked in honey and soy sauce is our standard, let's-eat-something-a-bit-nicer-tonight dish. And if you're ever in need of inspiration, foodgawker is my absolute favourite website on which to waste a couple of hours looking at food porn...

2
Kayla
Apr 09, 2010

I looove this. We've had it 3 times in 3 weeks.

http://itwasamazing.blogspot.com/2010/03/pasta-bacon-asparagus.html

3
NGS
Apr 09, 2010

-Broccoli and goat cheese frittata (recipe from Rachel Ray's 365 Meals book) is quick and so delicious

-Butternut squash and sage risotto (or we use red pepper when squash is not in season or unavailable because our local grocery store sucks)

-It's not precisely "healthy," but we've been known to do a baked potato meal. Bake potatoes, load it up, including broccoli. Salad on the side and you've got a meal (we somehow convince ourselves that cheese is enough protein).

-We also do a ridiculously easy stir fry dish with chicken, red peppers, asparagus, water chestnuts, and garlic. Rice in the rice cooker and you're good to go.

Any of these recipes are available upon request!

4
Raven
Apr 09, 2010

I have recently gone veggie so I am doing a lot of things differently in my diet.

I rather liked Smitten Kitchen's
Eggs in Tomato Sauce:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/eggs-in-tomato-sauce-contest-winners/

This looks similar just without the bread and more spice:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/shakshuka/

I have fallen in love with Quinoa! It's so versatile and quick! I usually turn mine into a salad type of mixture with spinach, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and balsamic dressing and then stuff it into a La Tortilla Soft Wrap.

I made this Red Lentil Dal the other day with some grilled Naan and it was awesome. (not exactly super easy but not insanely hard either):
http://www.grouprecipes.com/19103/everyday-red-lentil-dal.html

WIth a crock-pot it would be easy to make some black bean soup (or minestrone, or italian wedding soup or white bean soup, etc)

Emily Pie posted this on twitter the other day and I want to try it but haven't yet:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/skillet_gnocchi_with_chard_white_beans...

5
Raven
Apr 09, 2010

Double posting to add: I made my own romesco the other day and have used it as a pizza sauce base (on a flat bread type of pizza) and as a pasta sauce on Quinoa pasta.

6
Kelly H
Apr 09, 2010

I'm not sure if you're a reader of The Kitchn blog but they give me soooo many ideas.

http://www.thekitchn.com/

And they post like 20 times a day with new ideas! And gorgeous photos! And everything I've tried of theirs has been really, really great.

7
ScottsdaleGirl
Apr 09, 2010

Great for warm days...
Pasta Salad
Boil one pkg pasta (your choice)
Drain and rinse with cool water
2 chicken breasts (shred)
Grape tomatoes
Sliced black olives
marinated artichoke hearts
Any other veggies you like
Toss with your favorite italian dressing
Parmesan cheese on top

Serve chilled. Delish

8
Bissy
Apr 09, 2010

Two favorite no-cook options (to speed things along):

--Spinach soup (Combine spinach + tomatoes in the blender or food processor. Blend. Add onions and garlic to taste.)
--Avocado and dulse (I like to take pieces of dulse--a salty, delicious, chewy seaweed found next to the nori at the grocery store--and wrap them around small pieces of avocado.)

Neither of these sound too exciting, but they're both very tasty and fast, too.

Oh, and have you ever made cucumber noodles with a julienne peeler? Really good in the spinach soup for an Asian noodle effect.

9
Gretchen
Apr 09, 2010

Tuna salad. Super easy to make a ton of and keep for a week. Light & refreshing.

*1 lb your preferred type of pasta
*1-2 tins tuna
*1 bag frozen peas
*1 red pepper, chopped
*1 green pepper, chopped
*5-6 celery stalks, chopped
*1-2 scallions, chopped
*Any other crunchy, healthy veggie you think sounds tasty, chopped
*Black pepper to taste
*Toss with Miracle Whip (enough to coat but don't go overboard)and refrigerate.

10
Marguerite
Apr 09, 2010

For some reason I'm embarrassed by this recipe. Maybe because most of the ingredients can live on your pantry shelf forever? Regardless, everyone I serve this to gobbles it up (especially the boyfriend).

Taco Soup
½ - 1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 chopped or sliced onion (yellow, white or red)
1 14.5-oz can pinto beans
1 14.5-oz can kidney beans
1 14.5-oz can hominy (white or golden)
2 14.5-oz or 1 28-oz can(s) stewed tomatoes – I like the ones that come with the Mexican seasoning
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing

In a large pot, brown onion and meat. Drain excess fat.

Into the pot add pinto beans, kidney beans, hominy and stewed tomatoes. It sounds strange but, add all of the liquid from the cans -- this becomes the broth of your soup. Add the taco seasoning and ranch packet. Stir until well mixed and let all ingredients heat up.

Even better if topped with shredded cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips.

11
brandi
Apr 09, 2010

Throw some chicken in your crockpot with tomatillo salsa. After it cooks you can shred it with forks and it is SO DELICIOUS. Corn tortillas, some cojita cheese and avacado slices, and you have awesome and super easy tacos.

12
Leslie M.
Apr 09, 2010

Two of my favorite weeknight meals:

1. Frittata with whatever veggies and meat you've got that needs to be used up. Simply saute your meats and veggies in a skillet until cooked, add whisked eggs, and voila, you're done! Let the eggs cook until they're set on the bottom, then stick it under the broiler for a couple minutes. You can even add cheese if you're feeling naughty, but I am dairy free so I go without and it's pretty healthy!

2. Roasted vegetables - potato, onion, peppers, whole cloves of garlic, zucchini, carrots, whatever you have that needs to be used up. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and stick in a 450 degree oven for about half an hour, until everything's caramelized and delicious. Serve with grilled chicken breasts, pasta, steak, whatever floats your boat! I will eat an entire sheet-pan of this because it is just soooo delicious!

13
Jen
Apr 09, 2010

One of our fastest, tastiest go-to dinners is chicken lettuce wraps. You buy a head of butter or bibb lettuce, peel the leaves, wash and spin dry. You buy a package of ground chicken, which you cook in a wok with loads of chopped garlic and diced carrots, followed by freshly grated ginger, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce; let reduce. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, then place heavy spoonfuls into lettuce, add a dollop of hoisin, fold like a burrito, enjoy! We eat these almost every week, sometimes substituting ground turkey, alongside steamed brown jasmine rice on the side. The leftovers, if there are any, are even better the next day.

14
Amy --- Just A Titch
Apr 09, 2010

This broccoli-feta pasta is my favorite: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/main-dish/recipe-velvety-broccoli-and...

I usually serve it with chicken or fish and a big salad.

15
Erica
Apr 09, 2010

Our current weeknight fave:

Naked Burrito Bowls

- 2 servings of minute rice
- 1 can rinsed black beans (or pinto!) and cooked on stove for a few minutes in a bit of water
- leftover chicken/pork/ground turkey if you want
- salsa (I've been doing salsa verde lately))
- a bit of cheese (again, if you want it)
- avocado (or guacamole)

Seriously cheap. Seriously Delicious. Seriously Filling.

16
melanie
Apr 09, 2010

We recently bought a Moroccan Tagine (we got ours at Sur la Table but you can get inexpensive ones at Overstock too) and I have to say that this has been my favourite cooking purchase EVER! The way that the clay tagine cooks the meat and vegetables is divine! And everything I have made so far has been under 40 minutes, very simple ingredients and you can use many of the same ingredients and spices for all of the recipes.
Highly recommended! And they're really healthy meals as well!

17
Dr. Maureen
Apr 09, 2010

Google "Gourmet Magazine Spiced Chicken." It's truly delicious. And Catherine Newmans asparagus in brown butter sauce: http://family.go.com/blog/catherinewman/headlong-into-spring--i-e--aspar...

18
April
Apr 09, 2010

It's pretty hard to screw up anything in the crockpot (pot roast-brown roast (or don't), add carrots, potatos,other veggies, can of cream of mushroom soup and a packet onion soup mix; roasted chicken- add chicken rub with spices and some olive oil, you can get fancy and add other stuff but it's not necessary). My go to god I can't face cooking meal is ground beef (or turkey), brown it and add then add your favorite salsa put on bread or tortillas,voila grown up sloppy joes.

19
Julie
Apr 09, 2010

Do you cook in a crock pot? If so I have the best and most healthiest recipe.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb (if you have it).
a splash of water.

put the breasts in the bottom of the crock pot, put the Mrs. Dash, salsa and water on top. Close the lid and let it cook on low for 4-5 hours. Done. YUMMY and easy. Eat it on tortilla shells, by itself, with some nachos....just about anything.

20
Kavita
Apr 09, 2010

Ehm, I know, you mentioned healthy.... so, moving on, let's just say that you might find something you like in the 'not-so-healthy' dept. over here.... http://foodandpaints.blogspot.com/

21
sunny
Apr 09, 2010

hmmmm...you said no seafood....but what about salmon? I just made it for dinner last night and had leftovers tonight.

It's "salmon patties" if you ask my mom... and my brother, as a child, once asked what was for dinner. My mom told him salmon patties and my bro exhaled and exclaimed "WHEW! I thought we were having FISH for dinner!" He eventually (as an adult) figured out that salmon is a fish.

Anyway - it's simple. One can of good salmon + two eggs + saltines crushed up. Form some patties out of the salmon (four to six usually) and cook them on medium high in a couple tablespoons of oil for a few minutes on each side until brown.

I usually eat them with some jasmine rice cooked in the rice cooker. yumm. they're even better the 2nd time around as leftovers!

22
sunny
Apr 09, 2010

hmmmm...you said no seafood....but what about salmon? I just made it for dinner last night and had leftovers tonight.

It's "salmon patties" if you ask my mom... and my brother, as a child, once asked what was for dinner. My mom told him salmon patties and my bro exhaled and exclaimed "WHEW! I thought we were having FISH for dinner!" He eventually (as an adult) figured out that salmon is a fish.

Anyway - it's simple. One can of good salmon + two eggs + saltines crushed up. Form some patties out of the salmon (four to six usually) and cook them on medium high in a couple tablespoons of oil for a few minutes on each side until brown.

I usually eat them with some jasmine rice cooked in the rice cooker. yumm. they're even better the 2nd time around as leftovers!

23
sunny
Apr 09, 2010

ps: make patties out of the salmon MIXTURE not just the salmon - in case you were wondering what to do with the eggs and crackers. My mom put cracker crumbs in as a thickener to make the food go further to feed the fam. I used to skip it but it's not the same. I made it with stale bread I toasted and crushed up last night - still not the same. there's something about the saltines that just makes it taste good - even unsalted saltines which would be.... "tines" (without the salt)?

24
Janssen
Apr 09, 2010

This pasta is so freaking delicious. And easy easy easy. http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/penne-with-grape-tomatoes-and-mozzar...

25
Lis
Apr 09, 2010

One of our favorite quick weeknight meals is my turkey and black bean chili... here's a link to my recipe on The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site... http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/soups/turkey-and-black-...

26
b
Apr 09, 2010

Israeli/pearl couscous is my stand by of choice. This recipe: http://cooklikeamorren.blogspot.com/2009/12/pesto-israeli-couscous.html is particularly good.

Blueberry Hill (http://blueberryhil.wordpress.com/ ) always inspires me with her thrown together salads, soups, and love of spinach.

27
Gretchen
Apr 09, 2010

This broccoli soup with goat cheese & walnuts is fast, easy, and so good. I use the TJ's plain goat cheese that comes in the long silver package.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzJFnu_T4Us

28
melissa
Apr 09, 2010

I love this recipe. The roasted tomatoes make it.

Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto

1 package of Dried Wild Mushrooms -Re-hydrated in 4 cups hot water
1 Tbs Olive Oil
½ Sweet onion diced
2 cloves garlic
1Tbs Better Than Bullion (thx Renee for this recommendation- this stuff rules)
1Tbs Tomato Paste
1 ¼ Cup Pearl Barley
1 Cup Watercress roughly chopped – or any green

Heated the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until brown.
Scoop out the mushrooms from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the onion. Season with salt & pepper. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (2 mins). Add the barley and stir coating the grains. Add the reserved mushroom water to the pan and stir in the “Better than Bullion” and tomato paste. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until most of the liquid is gone and the barley is tender (30-40 mins). Stir in the watercress right before serving.

I served this with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Crispy Steamed Green Beans

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Heat the oven to 400-450. In a baking pan or pie plate toss a bunch of washed grape tomatoes in a single layer with a coating of olive oil and salt. Roast for about 30 mins in the oven.

29
April
Apr 09, 2010

You have to make these two recipes, ASAP. We love them! The pork chop one sound so simple and is sooooo yummy - don't be stingy with the thyme! Pork wrapped in pork doesn't sound that healthy but when you work out the calories it's actually pretty decent!

http://annies-eats.com/2009/10/06/red-chile-chicken-and-rice-with-black-...

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/prosciutto-wrapped-pork-chops

30
beth
Apr 09, 2010

My last post didn't show...
Here's the link...

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/asian-dumpling...

SO GOOD. SO FAST. SO HEALTHY.

Dinner for four in 15min for about $10.

31
greyfavorite
Apr 09, 2010

Black Bean Salsa. My family has made it for years and we don't have a fixed recipe but this is pretty close: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Bean-Salsa/Detail.aspx You can eat it as a snack on chips, as a salad on a bed of spinach, or in a bowl with some melted cheese. Easy, versatile, and delicious.

Also, just about anything from Smitten Kitchen.

32
Marjorie
Apr 09, 2010

Beetroot Risotto, it'll be in heaven. Plus, a salad of any description accompanies it perfectly.

- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 2 raw beetroots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 liberal tbsps olive oil
- 1 medium onion (red or yellow), finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup risotto rice (for two)
- 1 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 100g grated cheddar cheese, or mascarpone
- 3 tbsp butter
- sprinkle of parmesan
- dill or parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
- spring onion for garnishing

1. Bake beetroot chunks with olive oil for 30 mins.
2. Meanwhile, in a pot, heat the stock in a saucepan with onion and garlic, until clear.
3. Add the rice to the pot, turn up the heat a little, and stir until well coated in the stock, adding the butter.
4. Throw in the wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Blend/Whiz beetroot until it's mushy.
6. Add it to the pot along with cheddar cheese, and dill, or parsley.
7. Stir in salt and pepper.
8. Serve with spring onion as a garnish and handful or parmesan.

*NB - for extra yumminess, the risotto can also be baked for 10 minutes.

Bon Appétit!

33
Marjorie
Apr 09, 2010

Salt and pepper was not supposed to be repeated, apologies.

34
Victoria Leigh
Apr 09, 2010

I am the first to admit that I am not a cook, but I am a master 'assembler'. Knowing this, I am a HUGE fan of this Nigella recipe. Full of vegetables AND salty cheese, how can you go wrong? I have had some trouble finding halloumi at Trader Joe's and Safeway myself but Whole Foods never fails to deliver. I must say that the sweet potato and the halloumi make for a delicious combination! I hope you try this out and enjoy it!

35
lisa
Apr 09, 2010

Tonight I made Israeli Spice Chicken, which is so easy and spicy and healthy. I just made some potatoes and asparagus with it.

Mix:
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1-1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Drizzle 2 chicken breasts with olive oil and coat in spices. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Heat pan to med-high heat and cook 5-6 minutes on each side.

My favorite quick evening meal though is curry, which I used to make from scratch until I realized it wasn't that much better than the sauce you can get in jars at World Market. Super Target even has a decent tikka masala sauce now.

36
Nothing But Bonfires
Apr 09, 2010

Victoria Leigh, I have some halloumi in the fridge right now! Had no idea you could get it at Whole Foods -- we have a Middle Eastern shop in the neighborhood that has it. LOVE halloumi!

37
leslieanne
Apr 09, 2010

I am always inspired by thekitchn.com, smittenkitchen.com or marthastewart.com. I was recently gifted a subscription to Martha's Everyday Food and it is amazing, always gets me out of a rut. (seeing that you make pizza at home AND love brussel sprouts, I am a huge fan of brussel sprout pizza. Top pizza with cheese, garlic, red pepper flakes, then follow with some bacon and thinly sliced brussel sprouts. Amazing)

38
Angela
Apr 09, 2010

Our current quick weeknight fav:

1 bag Asian salad mix (quick check on the back to make sure it's healthy and low fat)
2 chicken breasts - we grill with Asian sauce.

Slice and place on top of salad.

Quick and yummy!

39
c
Apr 09, 2010

So glad you posted this, Holly.

Culinary inspiration has certainly been on the wane in my household. What used to be a fun frolic through TJ's aisles has become a sullen trudge (is it me, Joe, or is it you?)

Anyway, if you like sweet potatoes, black beans and cilantro, you might be interested in trying this Mark Bittman recipe. Healthy, easy and surprisingly tasty, too! (Plus, you can use those pre-peeled, chopped sweet potatoes sold at the Trader's, which makes things far, far easier.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/dining/301mrex.html?ref=dining

40
Amy
Apr 09, 2010

Since you shop at Trader Joes I have to recommend the Chicken Serenada...it is frozen, which we usually don't do but it is so delicious and more than enough for 2 people. I make it with black beans, slices of fresh avocado and plenty of lime. So good & easy!

41
Amy
Apr 09, 2010

Since you shop at Trader Joes I have to recommend the Chicken Serenada...it is frozen, which we usually don't do but it is so delicious and more than enough for 2 people. I make it with black beans, slices of fresh avocado and plenty of lime. So good & easy!

42
CarrieLyn
Apr 10, 2010

I wasn't going to comment as I feel limited in the creativity area myself...but reading through the suggestions made me hungry. And being hungry made me want to contribute!

I stumbled upon the roasted red pepper, brie, arugola combination... on bruschetta, especially. Toast the bread, breifly, add brie and peppers and some (gently) wilted arugola. Minus the carbs, of course is a salad with lots of bitter greens (rumor has it that they're good for the liver) and roasted red peppers with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

43
AZ Colleen
Apr 10, 2010

Ok, so this may not be the healthiest choice, but I don't think it's too bad. You may not want it until fall though... It does have quite a kick so reduce the chili powder if you're a wimp like me.

Chipotle Steak Chili

1.5 lbs flat iron steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 15 oz cans kidney, pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained (I used all black)
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
Chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
½ cup water
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp black pepper

In a large pot brown meat in 1 Tbsp hot oil. Remove meat, then cook onion, pepper and garlic until tender, drain fat. Return meat to pot. Stir in 1 to 2 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and spices (I also added ¼ - ½ tsp cumin, I didn’t measure). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour.

44
Other Holly
Apr 10, 2010

Or how about you give us the asparagus ravioli recipe because I love asparagus and I love ravioli so they must be good together!

45
Rachel
Apr 10, 2010

Asparagus with multi-grain angel hair pasta. Cook pasta. Saute chopped asparagus in a a few tbs of olive oil and minced garlic. Throw in a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Add to pasta and add 1/4 cup of either vegetable or chicken stock. Serve with parm. I think the total time it takes is 15 minutes.

Black Bean & Squash Burrito
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/burritos-with-squash-and-goat-cheese
I love to serve it with spicy salsa.

46
Brittany
Apr 10, 2010

Blue Cheese/Walnut/ Pear Pizza!

Just get a store bought (or homemade) crust use Alfredo sauce for a base. Add some blue cheese, walnuts, and sliced pears (or apples)! It is absolutely amazing!

47
Nic
Apr 10, 2010
48
Robin
Apr 10, 2010

Turkey lasagna made with zucchini sliced lengthwise for noodles is my new favorite. You can take most regular lasagna recipes and modify them to take out the noodles, and put in ground turkey for the meat. You can also use less cheese than most call for to help with the healthy. Leftovers are easy to reheat (and no dried out noodles to deal with).

49
Nicole
Apr 10, 2010

Eggplant parmesan, I eat it ALL THE TIME. Cut up a large-ish eggplant in 1/2 inch slices, season with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil (eggplant is a sponge for olive oil, so this is the best way to control the oil intake) either roast in the oven or pan-fry for a couple minutes on each side. It doesn't have to be fully cooked, just softer. Grab a jar of your favorite pasta sauce. Put a thin layer at the bottom of a casserole dish, layer eggplant slices, more tomato sauce, mozzarella (or muenster or provolone), parmesan, italian seasoning (i know, I'm a college student), salt and pepper, then eggplant, etc. Repeat until you're out of eggplant, making sure you end with the cheese. Stick it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 until the top is bubbly and browned.

Another meal I eat a lot is Spaghetti (or linguini or angel hair or whatever floats your boat) and Meatballs with steamed broccoli or sauteed zucchini. Most difficult step: grab the bag of Trader Joe's frozen Turkey Meatballs (really surprisingly good) and heat them in a small pot with the tomato sauce. I put the veggies in the sauce as well. Embrace the Italian-American food!

50
MT
Apr 10, 2010

These are not terribly exciting, but here are some super-fast (vegetarian) dinners we do:
* Roast a couple of sweet potatoes (start 'em in the microwave or they'll take forever). Cut them in half and scoop out the centres. Mix sweet potato flesh with a glop of salsa, some canned black beans, and some cheese. Put back in the potato skins and into the oven for a bit until everything is warm.
*Big dinner salads with bagged greens. Cucumber, red pepper, sunflower sprouts, hard boiled eggs...whatever you like. We also do a blue cheese, walnut, and apple/pear one.
*Sautee some broccoli, onion, and mushroom a bit. Mix with cooked orzo (along with a ton of garlic, olive oil, and parmesan).
*Poor man/woman's 'tapas'. Cook some canned white beans with garlic, rosemary, s&p, and a splash of vinegar, sort of like refried beans. Spread on bread. Cook some eggplant with tomatoes, capers, and herbs until it's really soft (this is a Jamie Oliver recipe). Spread on bread. With a big loaf of crusty bread and a couple of spreads like these, it's a filling dinner. Oh all right, and a salad if you want.
*We also eat omlettes and stir fries a fair bit.

51
Victoria Leigh
Apr 10, 2010

Halloumi is fantastic, isn't it? You'll love that Nigella recipe then for sure. Plus, with all those vegetables you don't feel guilty at all. Enjoy!

52
Moose
Apr 10, 2010

My favorite go-to dinner is a spinach salad (dump in some Herb Salad mix from Trader Joe's if you want to be all fancy-like) with baked fingerling potatoes. Cut the weeny potatoes in half, throw on some olive oil and pepper (and truffle salt if you want to jump from fancy-like to fancy-pants), and bake until they're brown. Dump on the greens and toss. Don't even need dressing.

53
Nothing But Bonfires
Apr 10, 2010

Thank you so much, everyone! These are all just wonderful. I'll never be hungry again!

54
lucy
Apr 10, 2010

i have been making couscous a lot lately since it is so quick and easy to put anything into it.

this is my favorite combo:
couscous
goat cheese
shallots
fresh parsley/cilantro
toasted pine nuts.

55
melaniejennifer
Apr 10, 2010

Such a great post and so many great comments! I love the idea of a menu board in the kitchen! Brilliant!!

56
Erika
Apr 10, 2010

My favorite meal to cook right now is a casserole. Ground turkey, 1 bag of frozen broccoli (or fresh broccoli), brown rice ( I use one pound), minced garlic, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 stalk celery finely chopped, a big heap of sour cream (sorry I can't be more accurate), one can of french onion soup. I cook for a family of five so you may not want to use this much. :)

Preheat oven to 375 F.Cook rice according to package and pour it into a 9x13 dish or pan, brown turkey in a deep skillet and drain. Add all other ingredients to turkey on stove. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Pour turkey-broccoli mixture over rice and bake for about 20 minutes. I crush Ritz crackers and put it on top with a few dollops of butter. You can top it with cheese.

57
Erika
Apr 10, 2010

I add the crackers before I put it in the oven. Not sure if that was clear.

58
Sarah
Apr 11, 2010

My three favorite meals right now:

1) Naan bread pizzza
Buy a package of naan bread, one jar of Trader Joe's pizza sauce, some mozz cheese. I brush the naan bread with olive oil, spread the pizza sauce on, sprinkle on dried basil, oregano and garlic powder, top with shredded mozz cheese and a few extra dollops of pizza sauce on top. For toppings you could do anything you like, of course - red onions, mushrooms, peppers

2) Easiest (and TASTIEST) chicken tacos ever! Make it in the crock pot - literally dump everything in and then enjoy when you get home from work:
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/chili-chicken-tacos

3) Smitten Kitchen's mushroom marsala pasta -- great meat-free recipe! And it makes a ton so I make a big batch and freeze the extras to pull out on a day when I don't feel like cooking:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/12/mushroom-marsala-pasta-with-artichokes/

59
Bouldin2242
Apr 11, 2010

Very nice, I really liked it. Is there somewhere I can read more about it?

60
Meagan
Apr 11, 2010

This is an amazing food blog. He is a married gay dad with a new baby cooking up a storm in LA. www.bloghungry.com

Its my inspiration on those "I hate everything we already eat" days. Good luck!!

Also, check out a couple of cook books at the library. They always have a TON and usually have some new ideas.

61
jennifer in sf
Apr 11, 2010

I rely heavily on Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, 101 Cookbooks, and my Mark Bittman "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" (there's a non-vegetarian version too). One of them always has something I'm dying to try.

62
Leslie
Apr 11, 2010

Are you inundated with recipes yet? Here's an especially good one that went over well with my fella!

http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/fasteasyfresh/2009/10/panko_crusted_c...

It's easy, quick, and tasty. I also really like http://orangette.blogspot.com/ as well as that author's book: A Homemade Life. The recipes are slightly more complicated but also really yummy.

63
Leslie
Apr 11, 2010

Oh! And here is my go-to cake that always gets rave reviews:

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/plum-upside-do...

It's not exactly a dinner recipe, but it could be if you're feeling decadent!

64
Melissa
Apr 11, 2010

For the indoor "grill"...pork loin or chicken breast with mustard sauce

plain yellow mustard, your favorite brown/spicy/dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard seeds...put the first four ingredients in a sauce pan until it tastes right to you, heat it a few minutes and let it thicken, add mustard seed and let it warm a bit more...put it on top of the meat and die happy. Also good on top of most any veggie as a side dish. It takes fewer minutes to cook on the stove than it will to thoroughly cook the meat.

65
Melissa
Apr 11, 2010

For the crock pot...2 frozen chicken breasts, black beans, salsa (or diced tomatoes and seasoning if you prefer to go fresh), frozen corn (if you like that sort of thing) and enough water to half cover the mix. Leave it on low while you're at work, break out the tortillas and cheese when you get home and you're good to go.

66
SuzyinDC
Apr 12, 2010

relishrelish.com - changed our lives! great recipes, food that is good for you, and simple to make. the site creates a shopping list once you have picked your recipes for the week, and it pretty much is the best thing ever!

67
kris
Apr 12, 2010

This? Is amazing:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/barley-risotto-with-beans-and-greens/

I've actually never used escarole - spinach works fine, as did a braising greens mix from the farmer's market. You can mix it up with the beans as well - I used adzuki last time which was delightful. :)

68
kris
Apr 12, 2010

Oh! And these:
http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/10/sweet-potato-black-bean-en...

I don't think I've ever made them exactly as written, but it's a good jumping off point.

69
Kimberly
Apr 12, 2010

I love this website. Delicious, healthy vegetarian seasonal recipes... http://www.fresh365online.com/

70
FunnyGal KAT
Apr 12, 2010

Our go-to meal is taco salad-- rice, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese and ground turkey or ground chicken seasoned with taco seasoning. I also sometimes crush up tortilla chips and put them on top for an additional texture. It's quick and easy to make, is fairly light and is delicious.

I also highly recommend making chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot although I don't have a specific recipe for it.

71
Fiona
Apr 12, 2010

Someone already mentioned the smittenkitchen website.... I can't recommend it enough, she's fabulous!

As for what we cook, I'm a big fan of easy, quick meals.

Butterflied Pork Chops sprinkled with a little soy sauce and a little Worcester sauce, some black pepper and a little Mrs. Dash (I like garlic and Herb) - Grill it. That's it.

Another is Chicken breast stuffed with basil and feta. I then dip it in egg and then some wholewheat breadcrumb seasoned with paprika, black pepper, oregano and whatever else moves me, then it's baked.

I realize this is just the meat, but I've always found that the hardest part. No seafood, sorry, raised in the Caribbean and still can't cook flying fish. *hangs head in shame*

72
RA
Apr 12, 2010

Our new go-to for a fast dinner is this mushroom sandwich:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/09/eat-for-eight-bucks-hot-mushr...

I know it sounds weird (English muffins? Dijon mustard?), but somehow it just works. You can add soup or salad to make it more filling, but, ah, we usually eat two sandwiches each.

73
Rebecca
Apr 12, 2010

Dude, this book is exactly what you need: http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Food-Great-Fast/dp/0307354164

It is AWESOME. Everything I have ever made from it has been delicious, and so, so, easy and quick. Might I suggest in particular the chicken with mustard cream sauce?

74
Chris
Apr 12, 2010

I will advise you purchase Vegetarian Meals: Good Housekeeping Favorite Recipes. Every, and I mean, every meal in here that we have made is wonderful and they are easy to tweek based on ingredients you have in hand and flavorings you prefer. Our favorites include the black bean and sweet potato chili and the garbonzo bean and spinach pasta.

75
Lindsay
Apr 12, 2010

THIS is nothing short of amazing. Lots of veggies, but also prosciutto so OBVS it's good.

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/pasta-roasted-cauliflower-arugula-tom...

76
bec
Apr 12, 2010

We've had really good luck with all of the recipes we've tried from the NY Times "Recipes For Health" series. All relatively quick, tasty and organized by ingredient so you can use pantry items or focus on something yummy that's in season at the farmer's market.
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/inde...

77
Courtney
Apr 12, 2010

This might be totally obvious, but do you have a subscription to Cooking Light? My mom has been sending me hers and I always find a few recipes in each issue that sound delicious (the ones I've tried always are). They have good tips, too - the last issue had a 25 Most Common Cooking Mistakes feature, as well as some great tips on filling out your pantry.

Anyway, as to the immediate question: one meal my husband and I always love is a salad we tried in Italy. Arugula, shaved parmesan, bresaola (it's an air-dried aged beef, and they have it at Trader Joe's), plus olive oil and lemon and/or balsamic. It's simple and light, but filling. Great with a pinot grigio. Yum.

78
lori
Apr 12, 2010

prepackaged gnocchi (cooks in 3min), tossed with pesto (perhaps with a soupçon of cream) and sauteed red peppers and chorizo

79
marymuses
Apr 12, 2010

I'm a big fan of pasta with a bit of olive oil, pepper, and fresh parmesan. It's so simple, yet still feels light and satisfying with a nice green salad. I often add random vegetables, lightly sauteed while the pasta cooks, if I need to get something out of the fridge. Spinach and mushrooms are my favorite add-ins, with the spinach just barely wilted.

I also love a good meat loaf--so easy to make ahead and pop in the oven as soon as I get home. With that I often just roast asparagus at the same time. It's a bit heavy if you're planning to, say, work out shortly after, but good if you're settling in for the evening.

80
Sheila
Apr 13, 2010

I just got back from a trip and am feeling a bit jet lagged myself, and I totally thought you had Red Army on your list. I was wondering how much chicken you needed to defrost to feed the whole battalion.

81
charise
Apr 13, 2010

It seems our styles of at-home eating are pretty similar. Two of my go-to meals that are easy to make, filling but healthy, and light on the meat:

http://breadandcheeseplease.blogspot.com/2008/04/chicken-orzo-salad-with...

http://breadandcheeseplease.blogspot.com/2009/04/another-healthy-one.html

82
soulfusion
Apr 13, 2010

I'm a bit late to the party but these are a couple of my favorite salads - which I start craving in the spring and summer!

Mexican Salad:
http://10019musings.blogspot.com/2009/09/make-this-salad.html

Steak and Arugula Salad (bonus, you can use your indoor grill which is what I do!)
http://10019musings.blogspot.com/2009/05/steak-and-arugula-salad.html

83
Megan
Apr 13, 2010

I'm a little late too, but I second the relishrelish.com recommendation. It's amazing!!
Also, could please give us your recipe for the butternut squash/sage pasta? That sounds heavenly.
My favorite quick & easy go-to recipe is Cavatappi pasta with spinach, beans, and parmesan cheese:
http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/from-the-editors/all-time-best-...
Even my meat-loving husband loves it.

84
Camels & Chocolate
Apr 15, 2010

Bookmarking this, as we get into this rut all the time!

85
Annie
Apr 15, 2010
86
jenniferc
Jun 13, 2010

spaghetti squash w/ feta,garlic,salt, pepper & a dash of olive oil

87
Ellie
May 18, 2016

Great ariclte, thank you again for writing.

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