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Need bland dinner meals

Okay, Chowhound cooks, I need some suggestions here. My boyfriend plays ice hockey on Monday nights (like tonight!) but he doesn't like to eat dinner before an early game unless it's easy on the stomach. Anything tomato is automatically out (pizza, marinara, etc). Bland is good (mashed potatoes, plain rice, cold sandwich).

So, what do I make for dinner? Obviously, I'd like it to be somewhat balanced (mashed potatoes are not an entree) and tasty since I'll probably be eating dinner with him (or snagging a corn dog from the food court later). I can think of buttered spaghetti with parm cheese, but that's kind of boring (to me) and I don't think I want that to become a standard Monday-night-meal. Oh! Chicken would be okay, I'm thinking, as long as it's not sauced or spicy.

Because I enjoy spices and sauces, my head just can't merge "bland" with "dinner I want to eat". But I know you, as impartial opinions, will be able to come up with some ideas!

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  1. I recently did the butterflied chicken method from Cook's Illustrated, you end up with a lovely roast bird with potatoes roasted in the drippings. The whole thing took under an hour (except for brining the bird). Tastes great, but nothing that would bug your stomach later.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JGrey

      I thought of another one, we used to eat bierrocks before volleyball games in highschool. Plus they freeze very well, and you can just pull out a few at a time. This recipe looks similar to the one I have at home:
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pams-Bie...

      I dip them in ketchup and mustard.

      And the concept would work for anything. I've also made chicken and cheese turnovers with biscuit dough, just cook up a filling, seal it in the dough, and bake like the biscuit recipe says.

    2. Eggs - they aren't just for breakfast any more! Make him a simple ham and cheese omelette, and make yours a little spicier with whatever you want. Serve with grits or potatoes and veggies or fruit.

      I always had eggs and bananas as a protein/potassium kick before swim meets as a teenager.

      1. I often have "bland" meals when my stomach is upset (a.k.a. my euphemism for a hangover). Cabbage sauteed with a bit of olive oil or bacon grease with s+p and a dash of caraway seeds makes a good side. Roasted meat is a very appropriate side and as long as you go easy on the oil (or bake a chicken without any fat whatsoever a la Thomas keller) you should be good to go. Poached chicken and salad is a lighter choice.

        I also second eggs. There's a noodle frittata that I find very filling and appropriate for most men's palates.

        1. agree with eggs, poached, omelettes, frittata, etc. other breakfast type items like pancakes and waffles are good carb boosters roasted chicken with just lemon salt and pepper, with roasted new potatoes. linguine with ricotta sauce and shredded basil and mint. soups like chicken noodle/rice, or asian inspired like ginger/chicken. corn chowder. white bean/spinach soup. chilled shrimp with lemon aioli and tomato salad. turkey sandwich with green apple and cheddar. chicken or tuna salad and bibb lettuce on baguettes with grapes on the side.

          does he eat fish? mild fish like flounder, cod and halibut simply poached or seared would work.

          it is only one night a week after all... ;)

          1 Reply
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Maybe Mondays will become Breakfast for Dinner night! I like the suggestions for eggs... of course, he likes to eat eggs with ketchup, which is a tomato product, so who knows if that will fly. I think he tends to stay away from dairy, too (like milk, ricotta, yogurt) before games. He's very picky.

            Fish sounds good, though...

            Thanks so far! I've got a good list going to get us through the next few hockey nights. they play year-round, too, so it's not like this is only a seasonal thing!

          2. for veggie sides, how about roasted vegetables? Zucchini or cauliflower are pretty bland, easy to digest, but very good roasted. It's the only way my husband will eat them.