Modifications: There were no lentils at the store, so I used the brown lentils I had on hand. I looked in the comments, and the recipe writer suggested adding 1.5 cups more water and only 1/2 cup of brown lentils because they absorb more water, and to make it on the stovetop – so I did all that and it turned out great. I also added chopped kale at the end.
Time to table: Maybe 1.5 hours with simmering time.
Servings: This would feed our family for exactly 2 dinners.
Kids: Annie said she loved it, the boys were fine with it
Notes: We got this from my coworker Emily as a meal swap, and I really loved it so wanted to try it again.
Servings: 3 meals? The kids had it for lunch several days after this dinner.
Kids: They liked it, but got a little tired of it after a couple days in a row 😉
Notes: I loved how easy this is to use a whole chicken; you get the rich broth from the chicken skin and bones, and easily shredded meat. We made the noodles separately so that they wouldn’t get mushy in the fridge.
Modifications: I used half & half, and a bit more spinach
Time to table: About an hour (her estimates are always laughable – she states 20 minutes of cooking, when IN THE RECIPE, it specifies cooking sausage until browned, then cooking veggies for 5 minutes, tomato paste/spices for 5 minutes, simmering for 15, then adding tortellini/cream and spinach and cooking for whatever the package states which is at least 3 minutes. Why!)
Servings: Probably around 8 adult servings
Kids: All really liked this one! (I haven’t used the triple love tag for awhile but this one gets it – obviously quite outdated and should be quintuple love now I guess but I’ll keep it)
Notes: This soup was REALLY quite good – very decadent with the cream, and cheesy pasta and sausage, but also quite a few veggies in there too.
Modifications: I think I followed the instructions pretty closely here.
Time to table: 30-45 minutes or so
Servings: I can’t remember how much leftover we had, but it certainly served us all for dinner.
Kids: All really enjoyed
Notes: This was nothing fancy but pasta + cheese + veggies is a win in our house. I really hate handling raw chicken too much so I think if I made this again I’d cook the chicken separately in the instant pot and mix in at the end.
Modifications: Did not use halloumi cheese, it was $$$$, used feta instead (did not fry it either), used quinoa for the rice. I added some massaged kale in addition to the greens because I had it available. Topped with pumpkin seeds and fried tortilla strips, and fresh basil.
Time to table: Once again, forever. I even had the quinoa pre-cooked!
Servings: I think as written it’d probably be 4-5 adults – I kind of loosely doubled and had 8 women and we had a few lunches worth of leftovers.
Notes: Like the last salad, this really is awesome but it takes awhile to prepare. Certainly more satisfying in the end though!
Modifications: Used pumpkin seeds in the dressing instead of sunflower seeds. I only used one bunch of kale because the one I had was huge. Used frozen corn.
Time to table: A million years. Am I the slowest cook ever? It’s possible. The link said 20 minutes which is a JOKE – it took me about an hour, but I did cook the quinoa (but then continued chopping while it cooked), and then I also fried the tortilla strips but really – 20 minutes?! No.
Servings: 4 adults
Kids: Tolerated the modified version I made for them.
Modified kid version – more quinoa, black beans, red pepper, corn, kale chopped up more than in ours, and avocado kind of mashed up and mixed in instead of left in chunks. Used cheddar cheese in theirs. Omitted the mango (for some reason none of them like it), jalapeno,and didn’t use much of the dressing
Notes: Very hearty and filling salad although there are 50 component parts so it does take quite awhile to prepare.
Modifications: Added pesto to the sauce – probably around 1/2 cup. Used baked salmon instead of smoked.
Time to table: 30 minutes
Servings: 5-6 adults – we had this for one dinner as a whole family and then the kids had it a 2nd time.
Notes: We have a very hard time coming up with meals to make in summer that everyone will enjoy – tried this one to replicate the love of salmon pesto pasta, and it was a decent hit. We all like tuna salad but don’t want it every week. Trying to find different pasta salads because they transport well and work for picnic dinners while Luke is at soccer at the park.
Modifications: I added half an onion and didn’t follow the preparation instructions.
What I did:
Melt butter in dutch oven, saute onions, carrots and mushrooms until soft. Added in maybe a cup of chicken broth, an accidental swig of sweet vermouth (ugh yuck but thankfully didn’t seem to impact the overall flavor, PS why do we even have sweet vermouth), and then about 1/4 cup of dry vermouth. Add in maybe a cup of milk and heat. Add shredded chicken (prepared chicken in Instant Pot using this method: https://www.apinchofhealthy.com/instant-pot-shredded-chicken/)
Cooked pasta separately, then added to everything else. Finally, stir in the cream cheese, parmesan, pesto. Top with parsley.
Time to table: An hour
Servings: 6 adult servings
Kids: All solid likes on this one
Notes: This was a very strange recipe (I don’t know that I’ve had chicken tetrazzini before, but this isn’t a traditional version at all) but I had a bunch of pesto to use up and it sounded decent to me. A very pleasant surprise! I think you could also throw some peas in at the end and that would be a good addition. Was surprised how much the kids liked this one, but their favorite dish ever is salmon pesto pasta so I guess that makes sense.