Date: February 20th, 2013
Time to table: 30 minutes prep, 6 hours cook time.
Servings: Two dinners
Annie & Luke: Like
Notes: This meal was a case of the kids liking it, but us not so much. This just tasted a little bland to us, and I didn’t really care for the cheesy flavor. I can’t put my finger on it, but it didn’t sit right with me. This was a very easy meal to make and a good week night option if you can spare the time in the morning to get it in the crock pot.
Date: January 1st, 2013
Modifications: We used ground turkey instead of beef, just a personal preference.
Time to table: 30 minutes prep, couple hours cook time
Servings: 4 adults
Notes: This soup is incredibly easy to make and tastes excellent, perfect for winter weekday dinners. We made the rice separate this time, per the update to the original post. Making the rice separately was nice for leftovers as well, as you could make fresh rice to go with the soup for lunch. Annie particularly enjoyed crushing the chips into her soup
Date: August 25th, 2012
Chipotle cilantro lime rice: (I got the recipe from a website, but I cannot remember where, apologies)
Long grain brown rice, cooked according to directions
When the rice is done, add 1 T of butter, 1 T of lime juice, and 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro. Stir to combine.
Burrito bowl filling:
This was an ad-lib on our part, we intended this meal to simply use up some staples we had at home:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cans black beans
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 4 green onions, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- guacamole to taste
- cotija/cheddar cheese to taste
- salsa to taste
- various seasonings
- Saute the chicken in a skillet. Remove and dice into bite sized pieces
- Saute the garlic, onion, green onion until translucent
- Add salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, chili powder, cumin, red pepper to your liking
- Add the black beans, corn, and chicken back to the pan until warmed through
Spoon some rice into a bowl. Top with the black bean mixture. Top with salsa, guacamole, cheese, as desired. Mix it up and enjoy.
Time to table: 1 hour
Servings: 6 adult dinners
Notes: For a meal that was planned last minute, this was amazing. We had our friends Maggie & Pat come over, and Pat made some guacamole for us, which certainly enhanced the meal quite a bit. There was enough leftovers for Erin to bring for two lunches.
Date: August 19th, 2012
Modifications: I used boneless skinless thighs, and only 1 pound. I also didn’t have time to simmer for as long as she indicates, so the first simmer was about 45 minutes, and the second was probably only 20 minutes, but I added a bit less liquid so it would be thicker.
Time to table: Well, as directed, it would take about 3+ hours. For me it still took nearly 2 hours from start to finish since it always seems to take me awhile to chop a bunch of veggies.
Servings: Tons, and she mentions it freezes well. We took leftovers for lunches for a few days.
Notes: I really wanted to try something with okra, since I’d never had it before. This was definitely tasty, but for me was not at all worth the effort it took to make it. I do enjoy a nice long involved meal on a weekend, but when I take the time, I want it to be awesome – perhaps it’s because I didn’t follow all the instructions, but really I think I just don’t like this type of meal as well as one that includes some form of cheese
Modifications: I cooked 3 chicken breasts, but it seemed like FAR too much chicken – I probably only used 1.5 and then we saved the rest for another meal. I also forgot the butter at the end and it still seemed plenty rich and delicious
Time to table: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 adults
Notes: Risotto is one of those meals that is always a hit. How could it not, with all that cheese and butter?? The carmelized onions really put this one over the top for me. It was delicious. Annie (of Annie’s Eats, not my child) says this method is easier, but for the time you save from stirring, I spent shredding chicken, which is one of my most hated tasks in the kitchen. This still seemed plenty involved – wouldn’t be what I would call a “quick dinner” but it was worth it! Luke enjoyed watching me cook – good thing
Annie was well accessorized for this dinner
Modifications: I’ve never heard of, nor could we find, tomato powder, so we substituted tomato paste. We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well so we didn’t have as much meat as the original recipe called for.
Time to table: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 adult servings
Notes: I wasn’t really excited for this recipe but it surprised me, I really liked it a lot. More than that I liked that it’s very adaptable so you can take this same process and make many different variations. Annie claimed she was done after a few bites, but then shockingly found her appetite again when the grapes were brought out.
Fish recipe: http://lizscookingblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/sour-cream-halibut.html
Rice recipe: http://ellysaysopa.com/2011/10/07/creamy-cheesy-garlicky-rice-with-spinach/
Time to table: 60 minutes
Modifications: We used cod instead of halibut from the recipe because the halibut was over twice the price of cod and we just don’t care that much.
Servings: 2 adults, with extra rice
Erin: Loved the rice, liked the fish
Notes: Erin and I ate this after Annie went to bed as a stay-home-date-dinner Sure is easy to forget how laid back a meal can be without a toddler to prep, cajole, and clean up after at the same time. Seriously though, the fish was good, but the highlight of the meal for me was the rice. The recipe doesn’t lie when they say it tastes just like risotto without all the work, it was delicious.
Time to table: 45 minutes prep, 30 minutes bake time
Modifications: I steamed the broccoli just using a steamer basket and then chopped it even more because I like tiny pieces of broccoli and it appears Annie does too. Only needed 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. I think our bag of broccoli was maybe 16oz, not 20 but there was still plenty in there.
Servings: This makes a ton – filled a 13×9 pan. I’d say it would easily serve 6-8. We ended up freezing half of it for some other time, and still had enough for a lunch too.
Notes: This was pretty time consuming. Brown rice takes a long time to cook, and making a cheese sauce takes awhile as well. It’s certainly healthier than the original, and wasn’t particularly difficult, but it wasn’t a quick weeknight meal by any means. We did all like it quite a bit, so I found it worth the effort – really any meal that gets Annie to love broccoli is a win in my book.
Any meal that gets this face is a hit with Annie!
- 1.5 cups dry rice (cooked a day ahead and refrigerated)
- 3 T oil
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 1 T soy sauce
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 lb shredded chicken or pork
- 1 c. frozen carrots/peas mix
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
Heat the oil in a skillet and dump in the cold rice. Cook the rice for a few minutes in the oil, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, peas/carrots mix, shredded meat and stir to combine. Drizzle the tablespoon of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce over the rice mixture and stir to combine. Let the rice cook for a few more minutes to cook the peas/carrots and garlic.
Meanwhile, scramble the eggs as you like them in a separate pan. When the eggs are done and the rice mix is hot, stir the eggs into the rice mix.
Time to table: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 adult dinners, 2 adult lunches, 1 toddler dinner
Notes: For some reason, Annie wouldn’t even LOOK at this dish tonight. She was excited to get into her chair, as usual, took one look at the food and looked away in disgust. Ok then, kid. [Note from Erin: Ben seems to forget that the culprit of Annie not liking this MAY have been her puking the day prior and still being a bit wary around food. She's eaten this before just fine - not devouring it but she'll eat it] I like making fried rice because it’s another dish where you can use whatever you happen to have on hand, we’ve used onions, green onions, celery, and sweet potato as some examples. I also used to add some spice to give it some flavor, but since Erin doesn’t like any, I’ve just taken to doctoring mine with sriracha after the fact.
Date: August 5th, 2011
- 0.5 cans of refried black beans
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 0.5 of an onion, diced
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, diced
- handful of spinach
- 0.5 cups shredded cheese
- 0.5 cups water
- 1 cup dried rice
- seasonings to taste (I used red pepper, chili powder, garlic granules, and cumin)
- sour cream to top with
Cook the rice according to directions. While the rice is cooking saute the sweet potato and onion. Add the garlic for another minute or so. Add the refried beans and water and mix it together well until the water has evaporated or mixed in. Turn off the heat and add in the cheese and spinach and continue stirring until the spinach has been mixed in and is wilted.
Spoon some rice into a bowl and top with the black bean mixture and then top with a dallop of sour cream.
Time to table: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 adult lunch, 2 toddler meals
Notes: This was one of the best lunches I ever made while working at home, I think it was the sour cream that put it over the top. I initially wanted to make a taco or quesadilla, but realized that we were out of tortillas, so the rice was a fallback, but this was DAMN good. Annie enjoyed it as well, in spite of the spinach that was hidden the the black beans. I’m going to make this again for dinner so Erin can tell me how awesome I am.