Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I am not a gourmet chef like my friend, Johanna, who can whip up a Martha Stewart meal with her eyes closed. Our family survives on basic meals. You know the ones I'm talking about - tacos, spaghetti, chicken casserole, etc. However, I'm bored. I don't have the desire to be a Martha (even though I benefit from Johanna's incredible cooking), but I do need a bit of variety - easy variety.

Here's our basic meals - tacos, spaghetti, chicken casserole, grilled chicken, a few crock pot chicken meals that go with rice or noodles, roast with veggies, pinto beans (if I can remember to soak them overnight), etc.

What are your basic meals that work for you every time that aren't super time consuming, but do the trick for your family?


Casey said...

Amen, sister! I have been really bored with my meal rotation lately, as well. Great post idea. I'll be interested to see what others have to say.

Our basic rotation includes: spaghetti/ziti, tacos, honey/curry chicken, chicken stroganoff, grilling (chicken, burgers, porkchops), Manwich, roast, red beans & rice, stromboli, and a new one is a chicken streudel I got from Melanie O. Also, during the winter, I make lots of soups, but I'm over that now.

During the summer months we do lots of grilling. We love to grill veggies along with our meat!

Esther said...

I'm not a busy mom, but I am a busy working woman and I don't always feel like making a meal when I get home at night. I LOVE my mom's Shepherd's Pie. It's so easy and it is definitely the best comfort food. I'm also a fan of taco soup and salmon and fresh veggies that are cleaned and cooked easily.

Kim said...


What a great post! It is so easy to get into a routine of meals. Getting ideas from other folks is so helpful!

Regulars here include spaghetti, grilled chicken, steak or pork chops with stir-fried broccoli, tacos, baked chicken wings, burritos, chicken tortilla soup, chicken fried rice, various Vietnamese dishes, honey baked chicken, penne pasta with chicken, broccoli, and sun-dried tomatoes.

We love to eat foods from different cultures, so I try and include 1 meal from another country a month. This is so fun to do and you can learn about that country's cuisine and various other facts.

Anonymous said...

Let's see - I have just gotten back into menu planning! Here are some of our staples:

pizza, spaghetti pie, meat pie (seasoned beef, cheese, mashed potatoes, corn all covered with a pie crust and served with gravy), enchiladas (box kit), pork chops (either in mushroom soup or breaded Italian style), alfredo chicken, fish and chips, stroganoff, sloppy joes, burgers

oh - thank you ladies for this blog! it's a huge help!
~Audra Barrick

Happy Hermit ( said...

We make what we call lazy taters , we make sliced potatoes fried with onion pepper and ground beef , we serve it on tortilla's with sour cream. Easy , Good and Quick.

Unknown said...

How about... McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Burger King, White Castle, pizza, Chinese take-out... hehe

No seriously, soup is a good easy one for us - I make one pot soups so there are no dishes to clean... but with summer coming up that's probably not appealing.

We grill a ton during the summer and I grill sliced potatoes with onions, garlic powder, Lawry's and Montreal steak seasoning in foil along with the meat and everyone loves that.

Other easy meals I do are Italian Beef sandwiches, BBQ pork sandwiches, Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Cheese and Good seasons italian dressing mixed together and coated on the breasts, baked, Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, hamburgers (I know... SO basic!).... probably not super helpful but good luck expanding!

Honey said...

I have to admit that we thrive on variety around here. And we are not too picky, so I can try new things alot. I like to try at least one new thing each week. I just keep a folder of recipes. Some I never get to, but that's okay. And I also go by what we have leftover and find out how to re-create it. This way there's little waste. I think a site called "use what you have??" might help with that. As far as meal planning, I have heard some ladies say they have a night for everything. That makes it easy to insure variety. For example: Mon.-casserole Tues.-pizza Wed.-sandwiches/wraps Thurs.-soup/stew/chili
-you get the idea...
But we do have some old favorites. They include spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli with sauce, super nachos, quesadillas, salmon caesar salad, black beans & yellow rice, chicken lettuce wraps, Asian beef and slaw wraps, chili and other crock pot recipes (like bbq, roast, beans&cornbread) hot dogs/coleslaw/baked beans, Mac and cheese with tuna and peas, and a lot of main dish salads, soups and pastas. We have had a lot of hearty fare for winter and I, too, am looking forward to lightening it up a bit. I really like to cook seasonally. Some of these recipes I have posted previously. If you want more info let me know. ***Lets all meet up at Mrs. Worley's house and bring our recipe books for a recipe exchange!:)

Honey said...

Another thought I had was changing your side dishes around. That way you can still enjoy your favorites, but get some new accompaniments.

Honey said...

It's super where you can put ingredients in that you have and it generates recipes.

Julie said...

I am doing a week's worth of Budget Friendly Meals (that aren't boring!) on my blog

We like to do homemade pizza (make dough in bread machine...very easy!), Potato Bar night (top your own w/various veggies, crumbled bacon, salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc...), Swiss Steak (will post in blog this week), Quiche and fruit salad, Beet Tips and Rice plus more! Love to see what others put.

Julie :)

Julie said... last post was supposed to say "Beef Tips and Rice" not "Beet tips"...sorry. ;)