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Jul 30, 2007 03:16 PM

Dinner this week

I usually plan my weeknight dinners in advance. I usually do stuff like:

veggie burgers
taco salad
veggie meatballs and spaghetti
spinach pie
falafel on pita

But I'm bored with these. I need some new super easy/healthy weeknight dinner ideas. Any suggestions?

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  1. maybe you need to get some meat into the dinner options. tonight we are having a salad of black beans, corn, tomatoes, herbs and dressed with lime and olive oil. To accompany that is flat iron steak seasoned with chili, lime and oli and s&p. It will be grilled and sliced thinly and served up with corn tortillas.

    Yeah what you mention seems pretty boring. I'd pass on it all and go out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Yeah, I know it seems boring but it is cheap and easy. I didn't go into much detail, maybe I should have. For example the taco salad, is black beans, corn, slivered carrots, spinach, tomato, jalepenos, purple onion, shredded cheese and topped with a little lime juice and citrius cilantro oil, with a little bit of crumbled tortilla chips on top.

      I'm not a vegetarian, but I try to only eat meat once a week or so. I don't think the lack of meat makes it boring. Just need some new ideas.

      Sure I could go out! The point is the be cheap, easy and made at home.

      1. re: Lemonii

        Oh, you do eat meat! That makes it easier!

        Go buy a bag of quick frozen uncooked shrimp. Defrost them under cold running water, dry, and cook in garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. You can toss these into a salad, burrito, pasta, or just eat with some good bread and cheese.

        Keep your pantry stocked with chicken broth, a couple cans of garbanzo or black beans, diced tomatoes, pasta and rice/barley/some sort of grain. We throw a loaf of sliced bread into the freezer and take out a few slices at a time (we don't always eat sandwiches). Keep eggs, milk, and maybe cheese in the fridge. At the very worst you can make a complete meal out of your pantry if you don't have time to shop.

        Pounded chicken breasts cook in just a few minutes per side and can be topped with just about anything for a sauce.

    2. Make a big pot of black beans and some barley/couscous/quinoa. The beans can be made into soup, combined with some spanish rice and chicken breasts simmered in enchilada sauce, rolled into burritos, mashed into bean cakes, or thrown into a grain salad with cucumbers, tomato, lemon juice, and garlic.

      Cook up some salmon (it's a pretty quick cooking fish) and serve alongside the cooked grains with lemon and salt.

      Buy flap or skirt steak for a quick grill (or broil) and serve with green beans, carrots, spinach, corn, whatever veggies. Huh... I'm guessing you don't eat red meat? Marinated firm tofu makes a good meal, too.

      When I'm super tired I resort to a fried egg on toast with a side salad.

      Zucchini, goat cheese, garlic tossed with pasta.

      4 Replies
      1. re: leanneabe

        THAT'S what I'm looking for! Thank you!

        1. re: leanneabe

          Yes, and wild salmon is in season should be able to find it for under $10 per pound.

          1. re: Val

            You know, you might ask if the person eats salmon. Many many of us find it as disgusting as over cooked liver much to the consternation of salmon lovers. Unless it is lox or going to be gravlax it never leaves the store with me. Shudder, shudder, shudder.

          2. re: leanneabe

            L has a great start and hopefully jfood can advance this path. Please don;t take this the wrong way but the OP's original list is not what jfood would call easy/healthy, stressing not exactly healthy.

            - Salmon is a great idea. probably buy for $6-8/lb. jfood looks for three portions per pound. try different seasonings each night to keep it special.
            - Make a couple of cups of brown rice while your relaxing one night and into the fridge. Jfood has been using this for some quick fried rices (VERY LITTLE oil in a NS pan) with some soy, edemane, scallion and a sqirt of some sesame oil at the end.
            - Corn - currently 8/$2. doesn't get cheeaper than this. 15-20 minutes on the grill while you prepare the main and presto and the corn has been outstandingthis year
            - Chicken breasts - Forget the boneless. With a good knife it takes about 30 seconds to de-bone a whole breast and to pay the extra $3-5/pound for the butcher to do it is nuts. Then pound and use a variety of seasonings. If you have the fried rice side, then some garlic and five spice is nice. Takes about 3 minutes per side on a grill. Want some mid-east flair, go with some garam powder and add a little to the rice.
            - Some nectarine relish - if they are still ~$1/pound take a couple of nectarines, some red onion, red pepper, red wine vinegar and some fresh basil. dice and marinate for a great side
            - roasted veggies. Plan ahead. An onion, whole mushrooms, red/yellow peppers, squash zucchin into a 400 degree oven with some balsamic on top for 60 minutes. Cool and place in the fridge for the next few nights.

            Just a few thoughts.

          3. I made this zucchini fritatta for dinner tonight. Really turned out well, it's not too 'eggy'. I did add at least 1/4 cup of basil instead of the tablespoon called for in the recipe. I'll be having the other half for breakfast tomorrow.

            Servings: 2
            2 tablespoons olive oil
            2 medium zucchini, 6 or 8 inches long, trimmed and sliced into rounds
            1 onion, peeled and diced
            1 tomato, seeded and diced
            1 teaspoon salt
            1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
            1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh
            4 large eggs
            1/2 cup milk
            1/2 cup grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
            Heat oven to 350 degrees.
            Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet. When shimmering, add the zucchini and onion. Cook, stirring, until onion softens and zucchini just starts to brown. Add the chopped tomato. Stir. Add salt, pepper and herbs.
            Break the eggs into a bowl. Add milk. Beat gently until milk, whites and yolks are mixed together. Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetables, tilting the pan so the whole bottom is covered with egg. Lower heat. Cook until bottom is set. (You can use the spatula to lift the bottom and peek underneath.) Sprinkle top with grated cheese.
            Place in oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes more. Frittata is done when it is no longer runny in the middle and the cheese is melted.
            Serves a light supper, with bread and a green salad. Also good for brunch.
            Recipe from Gannett News Service.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mschow

              I make Dave Leiberman's apricot glazed chix all he time. You can leave ou the sage if u want to I usually do (not a big fan) This dish is so tasty. Kinda play with it I usually make it with one roasting chix.


              this dish from cooking light is great also cornish hens. I am making it this week.


              1. re: drewb123

                Another idea with the frozen shrimp:

                Thaw, just under cool running water, pat dry, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Take a pound of spaghetti, and cook as directed. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil, and 3 tbsp. of butter to a non stick skillet. Add two cloves of chopped garlic, and shrimp. Cook on medium for five minutes (or til shrimp have turned pink). Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and 5 oz of white wine. Bring to a simmer, and turn off heat. Drain spaghetti, place in a bowl. Add the shrimp mixture. Toss with juice of lemon, some parmesean cheese, and chopped basil. Delish.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. A couple more ideas -

                "Fajita quesedillas" - saute onions and peppers, season with garlic, chiles, etc as desired. Mix with cheese and black beans and use as quesedilla filling. Serve with any combo of guacamole, sour cream, salsa.

                White beans, spinach, tomatoes and garlic - saute garlic (lots of it) and spinach (can use frozen if leaves not chopped) briefly, add canned, drained and rinsed beans and diced tomatoes (can use canned), add oregano, black pepper and/or any other spice that sounds good. It turns out kind of "stew like" Serve with crusty bread.

                Also - you might want to check out the list of "summer dinners" by Mark Bittman recently published in the NY Times. Not all of them count as healthy and a fair number include meat, but there are definitely a few in there that are meatless and healthy sounding.