I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for quick, easy, and Delicious when it comes to dinner. I’m not a meal planner. I’m more like a ‘feel planner’ and mostly I ‘feel’ like a stress-free glass of wine and a hot meal that doesn’t take longer then 20 minutes. When I’m at home I don’t need the fancy schmancy stuff. I’ve surrendered to the fact I’m a mama with two kids under the age of four and a husband with a grueling schedule. Life is crazy and when the time’s right (in 15 years), I can let my true creative juices flow and make recipes from my French Laundry cookbook. I posted the first 25 ways to feed hungry goddess’ on Mother’s Day and here is the rest of that list. Either give the list to your hubby as a “hint-hint” or keep it for you to use when the going gets tough, and the tough get hungry. Enjoy
26. Baked Quesadillas. Cheese, black beans, tomatoes, spinach, fold over the tortilla and put them in the oven. Drizzle with salsa and dollop with sour cream and a sprig of cilantro.
27. Pancakes for dinner. Make them with the kids and dazzle with some fresh fruit on top. Even though I’m not on a gluten-free diet, I just love Pamela’s Gluten- Free Pancake Mix.
28. Make a picnic, even something as simple as PB & J with fresh fruit. Grab a bottle of wine and find a shady spot in the backyard. Remember connecting with your family is sometimes the best meal in and of itself.
29. Have a potluck with the neighbors and make a fruit salad. Sprinkle some fresh mint leaves on top of the fruit salad. This will earn you props from all of your fans. Again, make sure your partner isn’t left with the clean up and you will score big!
30. The Bachelor Burrito. My husband is famous for these. Whatever you find in the pantry or fridge that looks edible, throw it in a tortilla, add some salsa or bbq sauce and the meal is served.
31. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. Add some avocado, roasted red peppers or something in there that says I went a little above and beyond.
32. Stuffed Peppers or Tomatoes. You can use either. All you do is hollow out the insides and add some leftover rice and some readymade pasta sauce. Cover with grated cheese ( I like Tillamook) and bake at 350 degrees, until soft. This dish is a real standout in my book. Fast, easy, healthy and delicious.
33. Make the kids butter noddles and save some for you. Add marinated artichokes, top with pine nuts, fresh basil and some feta and you have a 5 minute-two-for-the-effort-of-one, gourmet meal.
34. Homemade baked chicken tenders. Homemade is so easy HERE is a great recipe. Make your own bbq sauce (ketchup, vinegar, honey, spices) or honey mustard dip (dijon mustard and honey) and serve with some sweet potato fries and you have healthy, fast food.
35. Chicken or Shrimp Kabobs. Serve with some white or brown rice.
36. Chicken Nachos and Margarita night (my personal favorite). You can use some of the leftover chicken from the kabobs and add some fresh tomatoes, onions, avocado and grated cheese. For your margos, I love adding a few sprigs of fresh mint.
37. Stir Fry. Use any goodies from the fridge, sautee up some onions, red peppers, and any other colored object you can find. Add some zucchini, garlic and soy sauce.
38. Spa Dinner. Feed the kids early then let them watch a movie. Turn the lights down low, light a candle, serve some spa water (just throw some sliced cucumbers, lemon and oranges in a caraffe of water) Serve a simple, light dinner like salad and add some fresh corn.
39. Turkey chili with white beans. I like the epicurious recipe HERE
40. Love Shack Pasta. A great friend of mine, Eddie made this for me once. It’s so simple and it looks and tastes gourmet. All you need is shrimp, peas, angel hair pasta, olive oil and a hellava lot of garlic. Boil some water (while you’re boiling the water steam the peas) then cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking sautee the shrimp in drizzle of olive oil, add A TON of garlic. Mix all the ingredients together and top with shaved parm and serve with your favorite white wine. My personal favorite bottle to accompany this dish is La Marca Prosecco Di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (AKA wine sparkling wine). Also, check oursommlife.com for other budget-friendly wine pairings.
42. Go to the store and get a random vegetable that you never cook with, like kale, leeks, or mustard greens. Go home and sautee it with some olive oil and garlic and surprise the family with something green and new.
43. Crab Cakes. Click HERE for a recipe. Serve with saffron rice and a mixed green salad.
44. Upgraded Sloppy Joes. click HERE for Mario Batali’s 11-year-old son Leo’s recipe. If an 11-year-old can make these you can too. Serve with some sweet corn and your favorite slaw.
46. Stuffed Chicken (way easier than you might think). Click HERE for my favorite Rachel Ray recipe.
47. Beets. Roasted. Beets.
48. Try making your own homemade pasta sauce. click HERE for a wonderful recipe.
49. Pork chops and homemade applesauce (this was my husband’s suggestion). Marinate your chops in soy, honey, and a bit of ketchup and bbq on the grill. Try making this simple, homemade, kid-friendly recipe for applesauce HERE.
50. Take out your spouse as soon as you get home. Be spontaneous (even if there’s something on the stove already). Be outrageous. Get everyone, even the kids, dogs and pet fish in the car and go somewhere. Anywhere. I promise the thrill of breaking the ordinary is just what we all need sometimes.
A few ground rules for you beautiful mamas, if you use this list as a “hint-hint” for your partner. If he burns it, please don’t run him over with your minivan. At least he tried. If he doesn’t make it exactly how you would want it, still give him a juicy kiss. If there is a tiny bit of a mess, still give him a huge hug. Honor the thoughtfulness and you might just get some more where it came from. Be sure to communicate in advance that leaving a big mess for you undoes the thoughtfulness of cooking a special meal. Our mates cannot read our minds and they like to know the ground rules before getting in the game.
Be well and if you are what you eat, be Delicious.