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Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Howdy folks, as you know if you follow the blog, times a bit tight round these parts lately. Any great dinner ideas? Doesn't actually have to be quick, per se. Just easy. And are reasonably healthy, like include some kind of veggie, not just grilled cheese (unless there's something interesting thrown in too).
Oh, and tasty.
In other words, the best of the best, your family secrets.
Divulge.
CJ

Tags: Dinner, cooking

Views: 128

Replies to This Discussion

Mountain Bread quiche (Mountain Bread is a type of flat bread sold in Australia... I am sure there are similiar types around the world)

 

Slap Dash Quesadillas (Mexican toasted sandwiches, really, but you can hide all sorts of things in there, like mushroom, cooked sweet potato, grated carrot etc. to make them healthier. We use corn tortillas for a gluten free option).

 

Tortilla pizza, Frittata, Risotto, Stuffed Mushrooms, Rice Paper Rolls...

We open up a jar of "canned-boneless-skinless-chicken-breast", drain the broth (save it to add to rice the next day) and make nearly instant chicken salad using some mayo, canned sweet-relish and a pickled egg (the pickled taste blends in well with the relish) from the canned ones in the jar. Put the chicken salad on a bed of greens and whoo-hoo! I am doing a 4 day three night small boat outing (Florida 120)  in three weeks and will be making this one evening on the beach for the group (30 folks). It's easy to transport the canned stuff & unopened jar of Mayo cause it needs no refridgeration so all I will need to keep in the cooler is the greens. I love making instant meals and meals that can be made easily while camping/boating/travling. I don't live on beanie-weenies and jerky when I go on the road/water!

I make a huge batch of Kale Pesto and freeze, then add to quick veggie stir-fry, pasta with cherry tomatoes, chicken salad and yes, grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

Quick lemon pasta: Saute two minced cloves of garlic in olive oil, add red pepper flakes, juice of one lemon + some grated rind, 1/4 - 1/2 C of pasta cooking liquid and al dente spaghetti or linguine. Finish with shaved parmesan and lots of salt and black pepper.

 

We try to eat as fresh as possible, and what we do not grow, we buy locally at the farmers market. It can get quite pricey as well- so I try to buy things that I can use at least twice in a meal and plan my meals out weekly so I can make sure they are quick and easy, but also healthy. Here are a few of our favs:

 

One of my all time favs is hummus- you can eat it in a salad, eat it on a sandwich or even as a snack! I started making Kale hummus (since we have a major abundance of greens) and even got some garbanzo beans and sprouted them for some sprouted hummus!

 

Another goodie is Eggplant Parmesan- It has all the good stuff and healthy veggies and you just pop it in the oven! I always add in fresh tomatoes and some other veggies we have. And if you have a some left over you can make eggplant parm sandwiches for lunches the next day!

 

We also love our Black bean burgers- I add in some kidney beans too- and chopped up mushrooms and onions- Most of the time I even skip the bun top it with a tomato and greens and eat it with a salad. Or even an alt to ground beef, we do portabello burgers on the grill with some smoked gouda cheese and some olive oil... yum!

 

Anything that can be assembled and thrown in the oven as a casserole would be good- we often make a Zucchini Bake with Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cheese- and you can add any other fresh veggies you have too.

 

If you have an abundace of big leafy greens, you can also make veggie enchalads- using the leaf as the tortilla and stuffing it with cheese and mushrooms even ground beef add some spices to it all and top it with an enchalada sauce- pop in the oven and presto! Dinner, healthy yummie Dinner is served!

 

Stir fries are always good- add your veggies your meat and some rice- quick and easy!

 

 

Well, if you want REALLY easy... and you don't mind "cheating" a bit... I will go to the natural food store and get a whole chicken.  One night is chicken sandwiches with melted cheese, sliced apple, and pesto on good bread... and the next night I'll use the rest of the chicken for chicken and dumplings in my crockpot.  I love making food in the morning that you can eat with no work at night... which is when I get really tired with two little ones..

 

Oh... and beans and rice is my all time favorite base for any veggie you have on hand... with pretty much any flavor you want to put on it.  Put a pile of lettuce, tomato, salsa, avocado, and sour cream and you have a pretty nice variety of foods...

We keep very well stocked pantries.  I have 2.  The basement one is for major storage, mainly home canning and bulks.  The kitchen pantry is for all the day to day stuff.  The freezer is full and I have a fridge for flours, grains, nuts seeds, etc.  It also comes in handy when the vegetable and fruit harvest is fast and furious and I need cool storage until can process.  I keep a running grocery list and I prefer one store over another so I am familiar with the stock , prices, etc.  I trade excess vegetables and will take excess offereings of fruits and vegetable off FREECYCLE.  Our farmers market does not open until June.  Planting season is best not undertaken too soon...Memorial Day weekend is the official start.  We just 6 1/2 inches of snow last week.

 

We are vegetarian so that right away is a big savings.  I work full time in our family business and volunteer parttime.  Often the meal planning is what occurs to me as I drive the 10 miles home.  Just as often I have prepared dinner the night before and it is ready to go in.  We probably eat out only 1 time a month.  We all prefer home made food.  I still have 1 college-going child at home and 1 adult child living temporarily back home.   I pack lunches for them and us everyday.  Another college age child lives on her own in town, but stocks her cupboards and fridge from our house.  She also comes out here to do cooking with me . I cook in large batches with the idea that much will go into the freezer for future meals.  I prefer to make everything from scratch and do not use convenience foods like canned soup, mixes etc., with the exception of Boca burgers.  They love those Boca burgers.

 

MEXICAN RICE is a super easy meal.  It is a basically the same recipe with alterations my mother made for us hundreds of times for meals.   Take a 9x13 baking dish and oil it and heap it 1/2 full with cooked rice...leftover, freshly made, white or brown makes no difference.  Long grain is best.  Add  1 C  each sauteed onions, celery and bell peppers.  Add 3 C cooked black beans or 2- 15oz cans, drained.  Add 3 C corn...fresh, frozen or canned.  Next you need tomatoes.  I usually use 1 quart of homemade juice, which is thicker than store bought kind but not as thick as sauce.  If you use sauce, add some extra water.  I have also used part salsa, part chopped fresh tomatoes.  Mash up some whole canned tomatoes if you like it chunky.  Next season to your family's taste...I use garlic powder, chili powder,  hot sauce, cilantro and parsley.  Mix it well.  If there is still room in the pan add some more rice.  The mixture should be a BIT SOUPY.  Bake uncovered for 40 min in 350 oven.  The rice will absorb the extra liquid and flavor.  Then pull out, top with grated cojack or pepper jack cheese and sliced black and/or green olives.  Return to oven until cheese all melty.  Can be served as main dish with a salad and fruit or as a side dish with enchiladas or quesadillas.  We also like to heat it up over tortilla chips, like nachos.  Pack leftovers into 4 C containers and freeze for future quick meals.  Oh, green chilies are good in it too.

 

This is a good dish to take to potlucks too.  I hope you try it.

How do you do your eggplant for the EGGPLANT PARMESAN?  I use them to make BABA GANOUSH (stewed ) but they always seem bitter when I bake them.

kristin clapper said:

We try to eat as fresh as possible, and what we do not grow, we buy locally at the farmers market. It can get quite pricey as well- so I try to buy things that I can use at least twice in a meal and plan my meals out weekly so I can make sure they are quick and easy, but also healthy. Here are a few of our favs:

 

One of my all time favs is hummus- you can eat it in a salad, eat it on a sandwich or even as a snack! I started making Kale hummus (since we have a major abundance of greens) and even got some garbanzo beans and sprouted them for some sprouted hummus!

 

Another goodie is Eggplant Parmesan- It has all the good stuff and healthy veggies and you just pop it in the oven! I always add in fresh tomatoes and some other veggies we have. And if you have a some left over you can make eggplant parm sandwiches for lunches the next day!

 

We also love our Black bean burgers- I add in some kidney beans too- and chopped up mushrooms and onions- Most of the time I even skip the bun top it with a tomato and greens and eat it with a salad. Or even an alt to ground beef, we do portabello burgers on the grill with some smoked gouda cheese and some olive oil... yum!

 

Anything that can be assembled and thrown in the oven as a casserole would be good- we often make a Zucchini Bake with Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cheese- and you can add any other fresh veggies you have too.

 

If you have an abundace of big leafy greens, you can also make veggie enchalads- using the leaf as the tortilla and stuffing it with cheese and mushrooms even ground beef add some spices to it all and top it with an enchalada sauce- pop in the oven and presto! Dinner, healthy yummie Dinner is served!

 

Stir fries are always good- add your veggies your meat and some rice- quick and easy!

 

 


For the eggplant parm I peel the skin off and cut them into slices (either long ways or circular, depending on the size and shape baking dish I will use) Then I sprinkle a tad bit of salt on to the eggplant and let it sit while I make the sauce. Then start layering- sauce, eggplant, cheese, and whatever else you want to add- bake at 375 for about 35-40 mins.

 

I have never made Baba Ganoush, so started looking it up- sounds delicious! With all the recipes I looked up they all vary on how to cook the eggplant haha- how do you do yours? I am working on perfecting my "pita bread" and would love to accompany it with some Baba Ganoush!


fishea52 said:
How do you do your eggplant for the EGGPLANT PARMESAN?  I use them to make BABA GANOUSH (stewed ) but they always seem bitter when I bake them.

kristin clapper said:

We try to eat as fresh as possible, and what we do not grow, we buy locally at the farmers market. It can get quite pricey as well- so I try to buy things that I can use at least twice in a meal and plan my meals out weekly so I can make sure they are quick and easy, but also healthy. Here are a few of our favs:

 

One of my all time favs is hummus- you can eat it in a salad, eat it on a sandwich or even as a snack! I started making Kale hummus (since we have a major abundance of greens) and even got some garbanzo beans and sprouted them for some sprouted hummus!

 

Another goodie is Eggplant Parmesan- It has all the good stuff and healthy veggies and you just pop it in the oven! I always add in fresh tomatoes and some other veggies we have. And if you have a some left over you can make eggplant parm sandwiches for lunches the next day!

 

We also love our Black bean burgers- I add in some kidney beans too- and chopped up mushrooms and onions- Most of the time I even skip the bun top it with a tomato and greens and eat it with a salad. Or even an alt to ground beef, we do portabello burgers on the grill with some smoked gouda cheese and some olive oil... yum!

 

Anything that can be assembled and thrown in the oven as a casserole would be good- we often make a Zucchini Bake with Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cheese- and you can add any other fresh veggies you have too.

 

If you have an abundace of big leafy greens, you can also make veggie enchalads- using the leaf as the tortilla and stuffing it with cheese and mushrooms even ground beef add some spices to it all and top it with an enchalada sauce- pop in the oven and presto! Dinner, healthy yummie Dinner is served!

 

Stir fries are always good- add your veggies your meat and some rice- quick and easy!

 

 

The eggplant , take a large one about a pound, is supposed to be roasted or grilled.  I peel and dice and stew with 2 T minced garlic in small amount of vegetable broth until very soft.  Micro works good.   Then put in blender or processor with 1/4 C finely minced flat leaf parsley, 1/4 C tahini, 2-4 T lemon juice to taste, pinch of cumin (optional), dash of salt and a small drizzle of olive oil.  

 

It is very similar to hummus.  Serve w/ pita chips or vegetables or on baguette slices.  After you make it, store in fridge overnight to let flavors mingle.

kristin clapper said:


For the eggplant parm I peel the skin off and cut them into slices (either long ways or circular, depending on the size and shape baking dish I will use) Then I sprinkle a tad bit of salt on to the eggplant and let it sit while I make the sauce. Then start layering- sauce, eggplant, cheese, and whatever else you want to add- bake at 375 for about 35-40 mins.

 

I have never made Baba Ganoush, so started looking it up- sounds delicious! With all the recipes I looked up they all vary on how to cook the eggplant haha- how do you do yours? I am working on perfecting my "pita bread" and would love to accompany it with some Baba Ganoush!


fishea52 said:
How do you do your eggplant for the EGGPLANT PARMESAN?  I use them to make BABA GANOUSH (stewed ) but they always seem bitter when I bake them.

kristin clapper said:

We try to eat as fresh as possible, and what we do not grow, we buy locally at the farmers market. It can get quite pricey as well- so I try to buy things that I can use at least twice in a meal and plan my meals out weekly so I can make sure they are quick and easy, but also healthy. Here are a few of our favs:

 

One of my all time favs is hummus- you can eat it in a salad, eat it on a sandwich or even as a snack! I started making Kale hummus (since we have a major abundance of greens) and even got some garbanzo beans and sprouted them for some sprouted hummus!

 

Another goodie is Eggplant Parmesan- It has all the good stuff and healthy veggies and you just pop it in the oven! I always add in fresh tomatoes and some other veggies we have. And if you have a some left over you can make eggplant parm sandwiches for lunches the next day!

 

We also love our Black bean burgers- I add in some kidney beans too- and chopped up mushrooms and onions- Most of the time I even skip the bun top it with a tomato and greens and eat it with a salad. Or even an alt to ground beef, we do portabello burgers on the grill with some smoked gouda cheese and some olive oil... yum!

 

Anything that can be assembled and thrown in the oven as a casserole would be good- we often make a Zucchini Bake with Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cheese- and you can add any other fresh veggies you have too.

 

If you have an abundace of big leafy greens, you can also make veggie enchalads- using the leaf as the tortilla and stuffing it with cheese and mushrooms even ground beef add some spices to it all and top it with an enchalada sauce- pop in the oven and presto! Dinner, healthy yummie Dinner is served!

 

Stir fries are always good- add your veggies your meat and some rice- quick and easy!

 

 

Roasted beets and sweet potatoes with italian sausage links. Roast in olive oil one hour.  Slip off beet skins.  Meanwhile cook italian sausage, dice everything up and sprinkle parmesan cheese.  This is what we had last night.  Beets store bought, sweet potatoes dumpstered, italian sausage of pastured pork from OK Food Co-op.  Gwen likes all these things so very simple.   Here are some habits I've gotten into that make meal planning easier, even though I too am kind of a "what needs used up" kind of cook.  Every night I take out meat for next evening's meal.  I don't worry too much about the meat and the veggies going together, like tonight will be ground beef mixed with broccoli raab greens, onions and rice.  Another thing cost-wise is to use all the veggie parts up.  Like the beet greens from last night are going into lunch or breakfast.  The woodier parts from my co-op asparagus are going to be pan roasted then pureed for sandwich spread.

I usually have some kind of eggs for breakfast, as my husband won't eat cereal, and we've had dozens of dumpstered eggs lately.  Once in a while I make pancakes and make a whole bunch to freeze.   Lunch is usually leftovers, or ramen noodles with veggies added.  Or canned soup with something fresh added.  I know not the greatest for lunch but it's quick and every meal can't be a big production.  We've also been noshing on hard-boiled eggs leftover from easter egg dyeing.

So these are things I do.

 

 

I just thought of a really quick one I did for a party last year.  Take a can of white beans such as great northern or cannelini, drain and rinse well.  While they are draining, halve cherry tomatoes, dice red onion, and add fresh herb, we used basil that time.  Dress with olive oil and parmesan (but any cheese would do).   Very quick and perfect for a hot summer night meal.
Tabouleh is very quick, easy and nutritious.   I just made it for Easter.  There are plenty of recipes for it so I will not include one.  I just throw it together, myself.  You need bulgur wheat, chopped cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, lots of lemon juice, a little olive oil.  For seasonings I like mint, parsley, onion, garlic,  and a bit of cumin.  We add garbanzo beans when serving as a main dish, rather that just a side, and we top with thick non-fat plain yogurt.  One of my daughters likes fresh corn stirred in.

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