Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Food boredom

I am officially bored of everything I cook.

Worse, my family is bored of it.  I've started bringing home food for my daughter from the hospital cafeteria because she was so bored of everything I made for her.  You know things are bad when the hospital cafeteria is a treat.

Any easy meal ideas?  I have about 20 minutes to make dinner before I turn into a pumpkin.  (Seriously though, I don't cook anything that takes much longer than 20 minutes.)

24 comments:

  1. It takes some advance planning, but slow cooker pork is my favourite ridiculously easy thing to make. I put a pork shoulder in the slow cooker, pour a can of Coke or root beer on top, and cook it on low for at least 8 hours. After it cooks, I separate the meat from the fat and serve it with coleslaw, buns, and BBQ sauce. Really tasty, and really easy. And makes lots of leftovers that freeze well.

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    1. Just pork and coke? No other seasoning?

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    2. Yes. It sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does. It needs some sort of sauce to be tasty (e.g. BBQ sauce), but because it's minimally seasoned, you can use it in pretty much anything. I also use it in burrito bowls with salsa or hot sauce as a seasoning.

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  2. Have you tried the Emeals app? There's a 30-minute meals option that is fabulous. The app also makes grocery shopping easy by organizing grocery lists for you. We are hooked at my house!

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  3. My husband and I use Home Chef which delivers all the ingredients in the correct proportions. There are options to change some or all of the meals each week. It is significantly cheaper than our usual methods when tired of eating out.

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  4. There are some salmon recipes that literally all you do is put the fish in a Pyrex pan in the oven in some butter for 12 min. Also, quesadillas can be made in <20 min if you use canned beans or precooked meat.

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    1. I was told never to make salmon again after cooking it every Monday for a year.

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    2. I make quesadillas with either refried beans or chicken/peppers and freeze them for quick meals. I'm sure pulled pork would also work!

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  5. Second the slow cooker idea- there are tons of suggestions on pintrest etc and all you do is throw things in there in the morning and come back to a ready made dinner and the house smelling lovely.

    Three other quick meal ideas:
    - Omlettes/ crepes with various fillings; this is great with left overs too.
    - Pasta, either buy the sauce or make a nice one with some veggies and meat.
    - Make your own pizza- always popular with the kids.

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    1. I sometimes get obsessed with my slow cooker but in general I don't have much luck with it.

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  6. I like grabbing a pre-cooked chicken, microwaving a sweet potato and some frozen broccoli. We are a low carb family and we are pretty strict with desserts. Maybe some raspberries or blueberries for dessert. My 6 year old goes straight to her room for a timeout if she complains about dinner that is made for her. It's pretty old school but that's how we do it. And she has always - maybe as a result - eaten very healthfully, eaten her vegetables and lean meats. She knows peanut butter and jelly sandwich, mac and cheese or quasadillas are an unhealthy treat. I am so over the way we feed our kids these days. I think parents need to tolerate and cave to much less complaining from kids. Not how I or my husband were raised. Our parents were busy, we ate what they cooked, we didn't grow up with desserts or sugar cereals. That was more of the standard back then. Now we are outliers. Oh well.

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    1. I get it. After 40 plus years of putting meals on the table, there isn't one thing that appeals to me.

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  7. If you can get a copy of Urvater's Monday to Friday Cookbook, it might be useful to you-- it's a cookbook I got back in undergrad. She has a wide variety of recipes which involve different cooking times, and she breaks out prep time vs. no-work cooking time. She also suggests variations on recipes for kids and makes suggestions about changes to leftovers so that they can be used in a second new meal later in the week. I've been using that cookbook since undergrad and still like it. If you were interested, it looks like you could get a used copy for under $10 on Amazon, including shipping.

    Another option, which would only be useful if you had more time, would be the Mealime app. It creates an organized grocery list and I've liked most of what I've made from them, but I find that all of the recipes take longer than 40 min. I am not a fast chopper/peeler.

    And anon: Let other people do their thing and you do your own. We all make our own choices and it's no skin off your nose what other people do.

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  8. a few years back a student was selling cookbooks door to door and i purchased a 5-ingredient-meals book. It is great for quick meals but also i used it to teach my pre-teens how to cook. our tradition now is that that each teen picks a night of the week and prepares a family dinner of their choosing so i don't have to cook as much.

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  9. https://www.amazon.com/500-3-Ingredient-Recipes-Sensational-Everyday/dp/B005Q6BEK8

    I've used this cookbook. The title is a bit deceptive - most recipes have more than 5 ingredients, but the extras are fride/pantry staples.

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  10. Last spring I subscribed to RealPlans. There was a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to do the settings to give our family what we like, but I love it. It plans menus for me and gives me a grocery list (I usually adjust the menu slightly, but it's a good starting point). I can specify that I want simple foods, or crockpot, (or instapot, if you have one), or even chicken on MW, beef on T/Th, fish on F, etc. It's highly customizable. You enter your food preferences, and then the meals are supposed to align with what you want to eat. I think the basic plan is about $6 per month if you subscribe to a full year. More if you go month-to-month or quarterly. I did one quarter first, then another quarter, and last time just paid for a full year. You get to rate recipes, so those you give 5stars show up more often, and those you hate you can archive so you never see them again.

    My favorite quick & easy food is to throw carrots in the bottom of the crockpot, toss a roast on top, sprinkle it generously with salt, and pour a bottle of apple cider over everything. Cook on low all day. Leftovers get turned into soup another day.

    Steak and pork chops both take about 15-20 minutes. Serve with a salad or carrot sticks. Recently I've been serving mashed cauliflower (break the cauliflower into pieces, add some water, cook about 10 minutes until soft; drain off all the water, toss in a stick of butter, and puree with a hand blender. Salt to taste).

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  11. 1)Crockpot before you go to work! Tons of things you can do. Throw chops in add diced sweet potatoes or carrots and thick cut apples and craisins toss a mixture of water brown sugar and pineapple juice over. cook all day, delicious. 2) Cilantro lime mahi mahi or shrimp tacos, use angel hair coleslaw diced with red onion seasoned with salt pepper garlic and lime juice. Top with fresh made pico. 3) Chicken black bean tortilla soup. I use cooked rotisserie chicken pulled from the bone. canned black beans and make a variation of the recipe available on skinny taste.com Its my kids favorite. 4)Breakfast for dinner. Omelets with a side or pancakes and Fresh fruit. 5) Make your own pizza- invest in individual size pizza pans and buy premade dough, everyone makes their own, has family time doing it and eats what they make so cant complain. Good luck

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  12. Cook beef tongue in a pot of water, add onion, carrots, salt, pepper to broth. Remove skin, then use in sandwiches or cold cuts. My children like it with mustard, horse radish.

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  13. i love love love my instant pot- can literally make chicken in 10 minutes in it!
    https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Multi-Use-Programmable-Pressure/dp/B00FLYWNYQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1508026337&sr=1-3&keywords=instant+pot

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  14. Try www.thestonesoup.com -- her claim to fame is 5 ingredient 10 minute meals. Check the recipe archives. I've found most are really good.

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  15. Chicken caprese. Salt and pepper some chicken breasts, then brown them. Once they are about 80% done, pour in a can of chopped tomatoes, or a chopped fresh tomato (or cherry tomatoes, whatver). Simmer for a minute or two, then spoon a jar of prepared pesto over, and simmer for a minute. Lay some sliced fresh mozzarella cheese over top of the chicken, cover so it melts. Serve over pasta or zoodles.
    Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
    Buffalo Chicken Salad
    Sautee some chicken breasts till about 80% done, then pour some buffalo sauce over them, and simmer gently till cooked through. Serve over a green salad with ranch dressing.
    Huevos Rancheros
    Heat some refried beans (we prefer black beans. I chop a small onion and sautee, then add in a can of drained/rinsed black beans, about 1/4 c water, s&p, and cumin. Simmer till the beans are softened, about 10 minutes, then mash. Add more water if too thick.) Meanwhile fry 2 eggs per person. Spread the refried beans (or mashed black beans) on 1/2 of the tortilla, put the fried eggs on the beans, and fold over. Top with heated canned green chile sauce (Hatch brand is the best) and sprinkle with cheese, we prefer queso fresco but whatever you have is fine. This is my family's FAVORITE quick meal, and its protien-packed too.

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  16. Lettuce wraps. It takes less than 20 mins if you are using ground meat.Paninis.

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