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Dinner ideas for school year
Old 08-12-2012, 03:49 PM
 
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I am going to compile a list of easy dinners I can make when school starts. It seems as though last year I got in a rut...stopped making some of my family's favorites, etc.

I really want the dinners to take less no more than 20 minutes to prepare, as our nights are hectic.

How about listing some of your favorites? If it is super easy and you have the recipe to share, that would be great!

I figure this thread can help us all out very soon!


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Tortilla soup
Old 08-12-2012, 03:53 PM
 
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This usually takes me 20 minutes now. When I first started, it took 45 minutes. I am not accomplished chef by any means. I think I can burn water if it was possible. This recipe is really easy!


Tortilla Soup

1 T Oil (I usually use canola or veg)
4 Cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 small/medium onion (chopped)
1 T Cumin
1 T chili powder
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 (4.5 oz.) can of diced green chilies
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
4 (14oz) cans of chicken broth
1 lb cooked chicken or turkey (cut up or shredded)
10 oz frozen or canned corn
bunch of cilantro (chopped)

In a large sauce pot brown onion and garlic in oil. Add Cumin, chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper and chilies and stir for a minute. Add tomatoes and broth, cook for 15 minutes. Add chicken and corn and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Add cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over tortilla chips ( or crispies) and shredded cheese.

* I usually don’t use the full amount of chili and cayenne pepper but I do it to taste. I am not a big spicy person.

**Sometimes I use a can of diced tomatoes that has the chilies in it already. Just as good.

***I also add sour cream to make it not so spicy.
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Favorite fast and easy dinners
Old 08-12-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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Scrambled eggs (with veggies and cheese if I feel like it), fruit and toast
Pancakes and sausage or bacon
French toast and sausage or bacon
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Soft tacos (ground turkey, beans, salsa, cheese, shredded lettuce)
Spaghetti and salad
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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shredded chicken tacos

-4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-jar of salsa
-packet of taco seasoning

ingredients in crock pot on low for 8 hours. shred with 2 forks when cooked thru. (I have a mix 'n chop, or something like that from pampered chef, and that's what I use...WAY easier than using 2 forks)


beef and rice casserole

-1 box instant rice (11ish ounces, too lazy to run to the pantry to check) (I use brown)
-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
-1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
-shredded cheese

mix rice, soup, and 2 cans water in 9x13 pan. top with cooked ground beef. bake at 350 for about 30 min. top with cheese and cook a few more minutes until cheese is melted.

***Helpful hint: we buy ground beef in packages with several pounds and brown it all up at once (i buy separate smaller packs if I'm going to make meatloaf or something). Then separate cooked beef into 1 lb. increments and freeze in zipper bags. When I need a lb. for chili, tacos, casserole, etc. I don't have to cook it during dinner prep, just pull it from the freezer and thaw.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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- Meatballs and Spaghetti (I make the meatballs in the crockpot while at school) add spaghetti, garlic bread and salad.
- Fajitas
- Baked Ziti (made on the weekend and frozen) Same with manicotti
- Chicken Parm (I make the chicken breasts a big batch at a time...take it out of the freezer in the AM, put together in the evening)
- Mac and cheese (again made earlier)
- Soup and sandwiches


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Crock pot
Old 08-12-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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My crock pot becomes my school night dinner go to plan. It is so awesome to walk in the door and have dinner ready. Beef stew is a favorite. Other dinners include chili and chicken cacciatore.

Soup and sandwich combos are other go to dinners: tomato soup and grilled cheese, rueben sandwich with veg soup...

Hearty soups with bread: split pea soup and clam chowder are 2 favorites.
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Easy Recipes
Old 08-12-2012, 04:14 PM
 
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I love a lot of Rachel Ray's recipes. Some of my favorites:
  • Sloppy Turkey Joes - Sometimes I serve this in a salad, much the way you do with a taco salad.
  • Apple Cheddar Turkey Burgers - These are especially good with a side of stuffing instead of a bun.
  • Salsa Verde Burgers - Just mix abt. 1/2 cup with a package of ground turkey. Grill the burgers, then top with slices of pepper jack cheese. Add a slice of tomato and avocado (or mashed avocado with a little mayo and garlic). Really tall inside a bun, so I usually eat it without.
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easy dinners
Old 08-12-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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Here are some of our quick meals:

*Chicken Alfredo - canned chicken, jarred sauce (Bertolli Alfredo), and angel hair pasta. While noodles are boiling, put sauce and chicken in a pot and heat. Simple and sooooo good! I serve it with a salad.

*Bean Burritos - soft tortillas, refried beans (canned), shredded lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese. Sometimes I serve with canned black beans (yeah, that's a lot of beans in 1 night! ).

*Breakfast casserole - made the night or morning before, then just popped in the oven. Put a package of crescent rolls in 9x13 pan. Cook 1 lb ground sausage and drain - add to the crescent rolls. Beat 6 eggs, add a splash of milk, salt, pepper, and onion powder - pour over sausage. Sprinkle 2 cups shredded cheddar on top. Bake at 350* for 25 minutes.

*Chicken Apple Sausage & Rice - slice the sausage and saute in a pan while instant brown rice is cooking in the microwave and broccoli is cooking on the stove. Serve the sausage over the rice.
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Dinner Recipes for School Year
Old 08-12-2012, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
How about listing some of your favorites?
Take-Out! ....but my absolute favorite.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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Here are a few of my favorites; some are side dishes and others are meals-they're all products that take little time and taste so good.

All of these soups are delicious, but this is my favorite (I always add fresh broccoli as suggested on the back): http://www.cuginos.com/products-page...ddar-broccoli/


Knorr has super quick, yummy pasta and rice side dishes that are usually around $1 each: http://www.knorr.com/products/Pasta-Sides.aspx

Trader Joe's has great frozen meals, including these eggplant cutlets. Just bake and add to spaghetti noodles and sauce and viola! http://blog.cookingwithtraderjoes.co...-parmesan.aspx

TJ's Tilapia Filets are also one of my favorites, so crispy and quick baked entree: http://www.traderjoesfan.com/compone...ilapia_filets/

Another staple for colder weather is veggie chili: I cut up an onion, peppers and put 3-4 different kinds of beans in the slow cooker on low when I leave for work and when I come home it's good to go.

Also, tacos are super quick and easy if you cook the meat in the slow cooker (shredded chicken tacos are so yum!)


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Old 08-12-2012, 04:51 PM
 
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This one is great for left overs. I don't chill it the night I make it because I'm too hungry. I also add pasta for my husband.

Italian White Bean Salad
Ingredients
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups large cubes country bread (5 to 6 ounces)
1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
4 ounces provolone cheese in one piece, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Directions
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper.
Add beans, bread, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and cheese. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours. Just before serving, stir in basil.
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Crock pot- EASY!
Old 08-12-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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Put a pork roast in the crock pot, add one large can of cream of mushroom soup with about 2-3 cups of milk (stir), sprinkle pepper on top. Cook on low all day while you are at school. The house will smell scumptious! When you get home, make instant mashed potatoes to go with it (5 minutes). The soup is a gravy that can be spooned on top of the potatoes. The pork will be falling apart and is so tender. My family loves it. I make real mashed potatoes, but since you want it to be fast- instant will work just fine. If you'd prefer real mashed potatoes, you could peel and cube potatoes the night before and leave them in a pot full of water in the frig and just boil them when you get home. ENJOY!!!
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Easy easy
Old 08-12-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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Chicken Gravy over Biscuits—Jar of chicken gravy, can of crm of chicken soup, ½ -1 cup of milk(depending on how thick you want it), a small can of chicken, a little butter, salt and pepper to taste, Grands biscuits (I like the flaky layers). I usually serve with frozen peas and a salad.
Ham, Green Beans and Potatoes—2 cans grn beans, 2 cans potato slices, ham chunks, salt and pepper. I serve with Jiffy brand corn bread.
Turkey Breast in Crock Pot—Put THAWED turkey breast in crock pot, salt and pepper to taste, almost cover with water. Cook all day on low (8-10 hours) Serve with mashed potatoes and noodles/gravy, veggie.
Round Steak a la Crock Pot—Pound a boneless round steak then put sliced veggies on meat (I use potatoes, carrots, but can also use zucchini, mushrooms, etc). Take 3 pieces of string and tie the steak so that the veggies are inside (like a taco) Lay the steak in the crock pot. Pour a jar of spaghetti sauce over the meat and veggies then sprinkle shredded cheese over the sauce. I use cheddar or mozzarella. Cook in crock pot on low 8-10 hours.
**all of the above are great for leftovers too!!
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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Do you do any precooking of the meatballs or just put them in the crockpot?
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Other than the crock pot
Old 08-12-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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Some of my fast favorites include:

Red beans and rice. I use the box mix, follow the microwave directions, and add a can of kidney beans and sliced smoked sausage. Jiffy corn bread with it!

Hamburger and potatoes fried in the pan. I add onions, shredded carrots, or whatever we have around. It's known as "Dad's Delight" since it was first made by my dad when I was a kid.

Smoked sausage, onions and potatoes pan fried.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:21 PM
 
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@ Claire: nope I ball them up and dump right into jarred sauce in the crockpot. This year I am going to try and make my own sauce though.
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These are great...
Old 08-12-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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Keep 'em coming!
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School night meals
Old 08-12-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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Tuna salad paninis with havarti cheese

Crockpot chicken tacos - chicken breasts simmered in 1 can enchilada sauce

Hoisin shredded beef "tacos" - simmer a roast in crockpot with 1/2 jar Hoisin sauce and water or beef broth, serve with flour tortillas, more Hoisin, mandarin oranges, and shredded cabbage

Fast tomato bisque - 2 cans tomato soup, 2 cups half and half, 1 cup sundried tomato not in oil, basil. I serve this with grilled cheese.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:28 PM
 
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I decided that I'm going to use my crockpot more this school year even if it means putting meat in there with just water. It's a start.
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