Good Family Meals

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Linds, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    So I'm on the quest to force my family and I to eat better. I may not be able to convince everyone to eat decently throughout the day but I can at least start getting them to eat a better dinner by making it for everyone.

    But, I am really kinda embarrassed by how hard it is to think of good dinners to make. I get stuck on Sweet Potato fries and chicken. Not that those aren't great but that's pretty sad.

    So ideas? I'm not looking for really low fat extremely healthy etc ideas. More just starting to get everyone to start eating more vegetables, more protein and real food rather than premade frozen things (though if you have a really healthy dinner I'm not saying no!) I'm also not limiting it to Dinner dinners. Breakfast for dinner is always a winner here.

    Also, any easier dinners or things that can be made earlier in the day are good. I work until 8 pm three days a week so it's hard to make a whole meal and cook it after I get home.

    So yeah, looking for some variety, some color and ideas please!
     
  2. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    Spaghetti and meat sauce. You can use ground turkey and add in lots of chopped up veggies. (you can do this in the crockpot too)

    Stir fry is a quick easy one and a good one to use up all the random stuff you have in the fridge.
     
  3. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Lasagna and macaroni bakes are simple things you can make ahead of time (you could even make it days ahead and just freeze it), are delicious and you can always add veggies in.

    Easier things like chicken (or really any protein) on rice with side of steamed broccoli/cauliflower/carrots/whatever you like really. When I would mak something like that, I always liked to add either oranges or some kind of melon on the side.

    Stirfry is always delicious. just add the protein you like, the veggies you like, and you're set. You can always cut everything before leaving for work then have it ready to fry then eat.

    Tacos and fajitas are, again, easy to add veggies and the like.
     
  4. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    The oven is your friend, then. Here's a few I do:

    Roast with peppers, potatoes, onion, carrots, and whatever else veggies you want to throw in there. Season the roast with soy sauce, steak seasoning, garlic, and anything else you like. Cover it all up with foil (or dutch oven, if you have one) and stick it in at 325 for 4 or 5 hours...depending on the size of the roast. Definitely colorful because of the bell peppers and carrots.

    Fresh asparagus is nice, especially when wrapped in bacon. Cover in butter, olive oil, and either garlic or steak seasoning...grill, bake, or saute for a few minutes until desired doneness (I like mine a bit crunchy still).

    Garbage potatoes. Pretty much same as above roast, except just veggies and potatoes. They are called "Garbage" because you throw in whatever is around the house. Squash, cucumber, onions, peppers, etc. Butter, seasonings, and wrap it up in foil like a delicious food baby. Bake or grill for the usual time you would bake or grill potatoes. Crispy bits on the foil are my favorites(like potato chips), but most people just like the regular done veggies and potatoes.

    Italian Beef. Can be cooked in stock pot or crock pot. Cheap roasts, garlic, basil, oregano, beef cubes, Mic Ultra beer...throw it all in and cook all day. Makes a delicious hot sammich on French/Italian Bread. This is a family recipe, and it gets requested ALL THE TIME. As in, I've been down south for 3 days and I'm making it today. Lol.

    Whole Roast chicken. Season with poultry, thyme, rosemary, whatever else, and butter. Put it in a baking pan (I use 13x9), cover bottom with water, more butter, and put the chicken in breast down. Cook at 325 for a few hours, last hour flip bird over and remove foil if you want crispy skin. Works well with Cornish Hens, too, only no foil and shorter baking time. If you want to add veggies, do so the last hour when you flip the bird.

    Potatos, Sausage, and Green Beans is easy...throw it all in a pot with water, boil until done, and everyone gets to season their own bowl however they want. DH likes it with pepper and mustard(?!) and I like it with garlic salt.

    Can't think of anything else for the moment.

    Meat is pretty easy to cook, especially on low all day. You can add bacon to just about anything. Same with eggs. Fresh veggies can be inserted anywhere. I'm a lazy cook, though. I throw **** together and call it dinner. No recipe, no waiting, searching, or even fancy name for any of it. I'm also fairly low-carb and processed foods, so many of my dishes reflect that.
     
  5. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Crockpot might be easy for you - you can set it before you go to work and when you come home it'll be ready to eat! Don't freak that some of these say "paleo." I don't eat full on paleo, but I do look at a lot of paleo recipes to give me ideas on how to clean things up and go more natural.

    http://paleopot.com/
    http://mypaleocrockpot.blogspot.com/
    http://hollywouldifshecould.net/2011/11/a-month-of-paleo-crockpot-recipes/
    http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-slow-cooker-recipes/ THIS ONE EVEN HAS CLEAN EATING CROCKPOT BROWNIES ARE YOU KIDDING ME
    http://www.absolutelyclean.org/crock-pot-recipes/crock-pot-recipes

    And just in general:
    http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/Recipes.aspx
    You can probably find a way to search that for "slow cooker" or "crockpot" and see what they have but there's good stuff on there.


    My recommendation would be to check out the ads on Sunday and go wherever has the best meat sale. Buy the cuts of meat that are on sale, then hit the produce section and buy whatever is on sale over there. TONS of produce is delicious on the grill. Zucchini, sliced thin and grilled to crispy... OMG. Eggplant on the grill! Asparagus on the grill. Fruit can also be super yummy grilled if you have a dessert loving family, way healthier than eating cake or brownies or ice cream. Just hit whatever is on sale and then pair up whatever sounds good. If you have eggplant and aren't sure what to do with it, google around and I'm sure you'll come up with some really good ideas.

    This is my whole clean eating board on Pinterest, hopefully you can see it - there's lots of breakfast stuff there if you want to do breakfast for dinner!
    http://pinterest.com/sheltiechick/clean-foods/
     
  6. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    You know, my biggest issue with all this is more me than everyone else. I HATE vegetables cooked (except for a few rare ones like Asparagus and Broccoli) and everyone in my family loves them cooked to mush. I typically end up making two meals, one with vegetables cooked in and another with them on the side raw.

    But, since I started having green smoothies a few weeks back I'm almost completely headache free and that was coming from having a low grade headache almost daily.

    Beanie, that's a ton of great stuff, thanks a lot!

    Bacon is gross and should never be added to anything ever.

    Thanks for the ideas everyone! I think I'm going to make Ground turkey sauce and spaghetti tonight
     
  7. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    DH and I often buy various pasta sauces and noodles and then combine them willynilly with veggies added into the sauces as we feel like it. This also works well if we use the bulk ricotta ravioli we can get at Costco - I <3 ravioli+sugar snap peas+alfredo sauce!
     
  8. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Chicken tacos were a huge hit with the husband and are super easy to make in the crockpot:

    2 boneless chicken breasts
    a jar of salsa
    a packet of taco seasoning
    Set the crockpot on high for 4-5 hours and then tear the chicken apart.

    Slap that on some tortillas, add vegies/cheese/guacamole and BAM! Chicken tacos.
     
  9. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    One of our favorites is Salsa Chicken.

    I used salsa from a jar because I'm lazy lol.

    Boneless skinless chicken breast cubed

    jar of salsa

    dice up green pepper and tomatoes

    mushrooms

    spinach

    onion

    garlic

    beans (I like Kidney beans or black beans... or both lol but you can really use any kind)

    you can pretty much add whatever kind of veggie you like to it.

    seasoning to taste.

    I also like to add a little of the philly cooking creme in whatever flavor I have (creamy pesto is AWESOME)

    just cook it on the stove top. you can serve it over rice or leave it as is and then we usually also have a veggie on the side as well.

    it's fast, easy, one dish meal and it's delicious and not at all bad for you.
     
  10. chaospony

    chaospony New Member

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    Pintrest! Anytime I am looking for dinner ideas I head to pintrest.
     
  11. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    Grilled meat on salad is good for the hot weather. Steak sliced thin on a salad with mustard dressing...

    I also do a lentil curry, two cans of lentels, a can of crushed pineapple (all drained) and carrots, onion, peas, and some fat free sour cream and curry powder etc. on rice.

    Meatloaf in the crock pot - get a big batch of ground beef, do all the mixing before hand and form into loafs/lumps and freeze. Put it in the crock pot in the morning, turn it on and it's done.

    Meatballs, same idea, make a big batch and freeze.

    You can get some good ideas on the once a month cooking sites, things like making a big batch of taco meat (taco salad is fast that way) etc....

    The pizza kits from costco (the crust and sauce) in the bread section are awesome too, load up the veggies!
     
  12. nikkiluvsu15

    nikkiluvsu15 Wild At Heart

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    Okay, so I don't really no how healthy this is (it isn't terrible for you, though?). It is SO delicious though - especially the salad thing, I could have eaten the whole thing. It was just amazing.

    Oh yeah, I used Chicken for myself instead of Salmon (I'm not a big fan of Salmon) and it turned out really good.

    http://www.publix.com/aprons/meals/MainDish/SimpleMeal.do?mealId=1598&mealGroupId=1081

    Seriously, I can't tell you how delicious I found this meal. Publix has some awesomely delicious other recipes too! I have more, but can't think of them.
     
  13. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Souvlaki, greek salad. Veggies, olive oil, grilled meat. Healthier combo there isn't.
     
  14. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    My friend makes meat balls with Teriyaki flavoring. It's just ground turkey with ginger and some onions.

    Usually just the meatballs with a side is pretty filling. It may not be the healthiest but it's pretty filling without needing to eat a ton.
     
  15. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Slow cook boneless skinless chicken breasts, whole tomatoes, finely sliced peppers (we use some hot, some mild but it depends on what you like), finely sliced onions, minced basil/anise/parsley and sliced mushrooms. When it's done, pull apart the chicken and tomatoes with a fork, mix it up and serve it over either pasta or for a healthier option, barley or brown rice and top with cheese (I think romano is best) We make a bunch of this and freeze portions for easy dinners, it's actually best when it's reheated.
     
  16. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    Not sure how healthy this is (my guess is not very) but spaghetti tacos are easy and AMAZING. Mac and cheese tacos are even better.
     
  17. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I usually try to stick to only have a meat + veggie at dinner, no sides or anything. Sometimes I do make a baked or mashed potato. A lot of it though, is portion control (but I am watching calories and I'm not sure that's what you're looking for).

    Crockpot meals are also good. I need to find some more low-calorie recipes to make. I also love having the steamed veggies in a bag. I have no patience of cooking them on the stove and I can just throw them in the microwave and forget about them until they ding lol.
     
  18. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    Just cooked up some onion, carrots with a touch of oil, added curry paste and then frozen peas and about a half cup of frozen pumpkin puree. A cup of chicken stock to help that melt down, then two cans of lentils (drained) and half a can of crushed pineapple. Served on rice.

    You can season as needed and make it how you'd like, just did a big batch and some will be going into the freezer for dinner during the week (working a 40 hour week in 4 days, plus another job...).
     
  19. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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  20. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    dinosaur/dragon tails
    take a ginormous zuchinni and slice into 3-4 in sections. cut out the spongy seeded core. stuff the center. set on end in a baking dish. pour tomato sauce over them all. bake for about 20 min. pull out and add a little shredded cheese to the top of each one. return to oven until cheese bakes into slightly browned crust.

    stuffing is usually rice and some kind of leftover meat ideally shredded beef or pork from making enchiladas. you can add any combination of cheese, chili peppers, sweet peppers, corn, cooked black beans, tomato, spinach, kale, or peas.

    i season the tomato sauce w/ garlic & some combination of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, cilantro & paprika.
     

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