Thursday, March 4, 2010

recipe favorites: without a recipe

Sometimes I have to remind myself to make something quick and nourishing but simple, with no recipe. I tend to think I have to make either a completely from scratch meal or , in exasperation, assume "that's it, we're eating out" when I don't have time. But there is a happy medium--quick basics like spaghetti and meatballs. This is all from Trader Joe's--whole wheat spaghetti (it's hard to tell it's whole wheat--this is an easy whole grain sub for white), TJ's tomato-basil marinara from a jar, and their organic ground beef made up into quick meatballs. I just use a basic recipe to make meatballs--ground beef, breadcrumbs, dehydrated minced onions, salt and pepper, an egg, and parmesan cheese. They are quick to make (I use a small cookie scoop) and so very much nicer than the frozen kind. I served this with a green salad. Everyone was happy and there were lots of leftovers for lunches throughout the week.

What's your favorite quick no-recipe dinner?

14 comments:

Amy said...

breakfast...eggs, hasbrowns, bacon or sausage. breakfast is the one meal around here that ALWAYS goes over really well. Baked chicken with steamed veggies are another go to- just not as well recieved by the kids.

Elfin Goddess said...

Grilled veggies & ready-to-cook kebabs! With hard brown bread! Ooo yea!

Milkybeer said...

It's gotta be burritos! I think we have them at least once a week. I don't use the recipe anymore, but here's the one I follow:

http://milkybeercooks.blogspot.com/2009/02/stephs-burritos.html

Amy said...

I wish I could plan the meals for the week but I'm not sure how to get started. I appreciate you sharing our ideas and "keeping it real" by not always having a plan. I don't feel too guilty about buying some ready made stuff at TJs. I sneak in tofu chorizo scramble in corn tortillas for a quick taco dinner. I'm staying tuned for the meal planning secret to success, if you find it let me know. Cheers!

Lila said...

plenty of them.. for example minestronne, lentils soup, cabbage soup, maroccan chick pea soup, spanish rice, pallea, rice pomodore with mozzarella, chicken stroganoff..

Kelly and Kelly said...

I saw the other comment on breakfast and we do that sometimes. Scrambled eggs are so quick and the kids will eat them.

Yesterday I made some mac'n'cheese on the stove and it was super easy and quick and made a ton of food.

Andrea said...

Spaghetti's usually a hit in our home. Fritatta used to be my quick go-to dinner, but I have one kid who acts like I'm poisining him whenever I serve it so I rarely make it anymone.

annie said...

My version of a Croque Madame - ham and cheese panninis topped with a fried egg and served with raspberry or apricot jam.

Marci said...

I love roasting chicken. I buy chicken breasts and drumsticks (bones and skin included), add a little butter or olive oil, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, and squeeze a fresh lemon over it. Roast it in the oven until done. Yum! Pleases the whole family!!

www.colorfunky.etsy.com

likeschocolate said...

I make Taco's when in a hurry!

Redbeet Mama said...

Spaghetti with homemade pasta, Italian bread and butter and a salad is my favorite Sunday night dinner.

We all love it - so it is an easy family favorite.

Nicole

Susan said...

B-fast for dinner is my no-brainer here: eggs (usually poached), toast, grits with cheese, fruit (apple sauce, oranges, apples...whatever's on hand). Another easy fave: Whole wheat spaghetti with red sauce (or butter and parm. cheese), Italian bread (could be as simple as toasted bread with butter and a sprinkling of garlic and salt), and green salad.

lisarenata said...

That would be "sopita de fideos" or Mexican style pasta soup (funny I know, but I can't think of a better way to translate it (tired, sleepy, time for bed). Anyway, it is a soup I grew up eating, my mom made it all the time and now I make it for my little ones. It is made with "fideos" (a very fine pasta like noodle, letters, stars or so on. You really do need to use the special pasta, because if you use regular pasta it just doesn't come close to tasting the same).
To start you slightly saute the pasta, onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Add organic chicken, or beef broth, then some homemade tomato sauce (or 1/2 can of a salt free one), a dash of salt and let it boil until ready. To make it healthier you can add some veggies and if you really want to trick your little ones- you can steam veggies on the side and then puree them and at them into the soup. It blends so nicely they can't tell, hehehe.
We like to eat this yummy soup with corn tortillas, quezo fresco (Mexican style fresh cheese) and avocado slices. Or for a little unexpected change, add banana slices to it. My kids love it!

Mary Beth said...

Thank you Lisa Renata--I'm definitely trying this!