Meal Ideas and Other Random Tips

Posted by  | Thursday, May 8, 2008  at 12:00 AM  
Here are a few of our favorite meals! Most of these are very adaptable and I've been known to alter ingredients based on what we have on hand. I included some notes in red about changes I make.

Southwest Chicken Soup

6 cups of chicken broth

1 can black beans

1 can pinto beans

1 can Fiesta corn (or I use frozen corn and some chopped peppers)

2 cans Rotel tomatoes

2 6oz packages of Louis Rick Southwest grilled chicken breast strips (these are pretty pricey, so I use my own chicken breast and season it with some cajun and chili powder and cook it on the stove with some olive oil. You can also use any leftover chicken really...then you would just add the seasonings to the soup.)

1/2 cup uncooked rice (or 1 cup if you use minute rice)

fresh chopped cilantro (sometimes I leave this out if I don't have it)

Combine all ingredients in large pot (or crock pot!). Heat until rice is cooked, about 20-30 minutes. You can serve with crush corn chips or cheese! I usually just serve with cheese toast as we don't usually have corn chips!

Turkey Burritos

1lb ground turkey

1/2 cup chopped onions (did you know you can buy these in the frozen foods section?)

14.5 oz diced tomatoes (one can)

16 oz refried beans with green chiles

2.25 oz sliced olives, drained

1 packet taco seasoning (I use cajun and chili powders here too)

1/4 cup frozen corn

1/4 uncooked instant rice (minute rice)

flour tortillas (about 12)

Brown meat and onions in large saucepan, drain. Add next six ingredients and bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Return to a boil and add rice. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with burrito sized tortillas.

Other Random Tips...

  • Since several have mentioned oatmeal or steel oats, I thought I'd add that we like to add frozen berries to our oatmeal. (We buy plain oatmeal - haven't done steel oats yet. Although Will likes Irish Oatmeal too...any idea on the health content of Irish Oatmeal?) It's great because it helps to cool the oatmeal more quickly and my son loves to eat them. You can either buy the frozen bags of fruit (this is what I do out of season) or freeze some fresh.

  • This may be a DUH for some, but is new to me! Since I've started milling our wheat for flour and trying it in recipes, I often find things too dry. Anytime a batter is too dry looking (which I've found to be common with the whole wheat flour) - I just add some applesauce. I know you can use it to replace oil, but this is in addition to the ingredients. It improved my muffins dramatically! I made strawberry muffins with the recipe from the Breadbecker's recipe collection. Just an easy quick fix I found.

  • I'd also like to add a big AMEN to the idea of meal planning ALL meals (breakfast and lunch included!). This is so helpful and keeping the list for all to see on the refrigerator is even better. I also keep a running list of complete meals we have and not just what is on the schedule for that week. (So I don't forget what is in the freezer!)

  • I also love to make a double batch of waffles or pancakes (usually on Saturday) morning and freeze the leftovers. Put the waffles in the toaster and pancakes in the microwave to reheat for the week! In lieu of syrup, we use honey and sometimes frozen or fresh fruit (berries usually). We love berries around our house, can ya tell??

Thanks everyone! Hope you all are having a great week!


NotesbyNewsome said...

This is a super easy recipe that my family loves (ps. FA girls, this is what I used to bring to potluck...if you can remember it!)

Chicken Tacos:

3-4 chicken breasts

1 jar of salsa (I use the medium sized pace picante, but whatever is fine)

1 small container of sour cream

~Cook chicken and salsa in crock pot (i usually cook 3-4 hours on high)
~Remove chicken and shred
~Put chicken back in crock pot and add sour cream. Cook an additional 30 min-1 hour
~Serve with your favorite taco fixins! Enjoy!!

markandmeg said...

Thanks for the link to Breadbecker's recipes -- that was a huge help!

Anonymous said...

My comment actually goes back to Leah's post about freezing meals. My husband and I do the meal preparation "thing" at either The Mixing Bowl ( or Dinners at Home ( in Wake Forest and it has been working out great! Our kitchen is SUPER TINY on counter and cabinet space and so I don't have a lot of room for groceries. We use a bookcase in the kitchen as our "pantry." By going to these stores, we prepare our meals there and bring them home and throw them in the freezer. The meals are GREAT and it helps me try different things (when I cook I find a recipe I really like and cook it over and over. HA!) Anyway, I can get a month of meals (for the two of us) for right around $200. All I have to do is provide the side dishes (which is the cheap-o part) and dinner is done. We usually have enough to have leftovers. Also, since we have a baby on the way, it is a great way for me to stock up on meals so that I don't have to think- just thaw, cook and serve!

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