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Help! Have run out of ideas...need recipe ideas for tonight's dinner

Here's the issue...have 1lb. of ground buffalo defrosting but not sure if it will be done in time for tonights dinner. Also don't know what to do with it.... and if not that then there's frozen salmon I could quickly defrost...or I could go out and get a protein...

I want a NICE dinner...cheap, warm, satisfying...here are the things:

1. No oven...house gets too hot with the oven on (stove is ok) even though it's 18 degrees outside (house is small!)
2. No pork, no beef
3. No crazy amounts of cheese (high cholesterol)
4. No ingredients that i either couldn't buy inexpensively or that I wouldn't have in my pantry.

I must sound seriously difficult...anyway besides all that I'm open to anything :) Kind of hoping for a protein, nice veggie and minimal starch...or maybe a one-pot meal?

Help! Thanks! :-)

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  1. Build a fire in the yard and cook up a stew in a dutch oven.
    If you don't have a dutch oven, hang strips of meat vertically on a rack alongside the open fire and roast it there with a few potatoes and some vegetables wrapped in foil tucked into the coals.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      That would be a neat trick, hanging strips of GROUND meat.

    2. When I have ground beef I make stuffed peppers. Brown the meat. Mix in some cooked rice, a little ketchup to moisten, some seasonings, some cheese if you want (I use parmesean or cheddar). Fill steamed pepper halves and top with a little more chez or a breadcrumb/butter topping. Then (since everything is already cooked) I just top brown under broiler. Serve with a salad and slice of bread (I use rye).

      1. Put the ground buff in a ziploc, squeeze out the air, seal, and submerge in cold water. It will defrost quickly. Even if it's still partly frozen, you can brown itand it will be fine.

        Make a nice chili with or without beans (onion and garlic, diced, green pepper (opt.) sweated, buffalo browned, add canned tomatoes, chili powder, canned beans, cayenne (opt.) ) and let it simmer all day or make it in a crockpot.. You don't say how many you have to feed, but this should be enough for up to four. Add a dollop of sour cream and/or sprinkle a little cheese on top. Serve with warm flour tortillas.

        Anything you can do with ground beef, you can do with ground buffalo. Burgers or meat loaf or meatballs would be good too, but remember that buffalo is leaner than beef. Add something to hold moisture.

        1. Put your meat in a ziploc bag and weight it down to submerge it in a pot of cold water - keep the seal above water, just in case. This will defrost your meat quickly and safely.

          Chili is always a good cold-weather meal, with rice or cornbread. My chili is mild and non-authentic, with just ground meat, tomato paste, bell pepper, canned kidney beans, onion, garlic, and chili powder, so I cannot suggest a particular recipe.

          1. First thing that I would make is a checken stew or chicken and dumplings. Easier than you think and in expensive. Also I make a great creamed chicken over rice. Using wildrice makes it much healthier. And you don't need heavy cream. One pot or maybe two but great food. I'll post in two so it isn't that long. First is my chicken stew.

            Chicken Stew

            You can use dark meat, a combo or leftovers from a rotisserie chicken even chopped
            chicken breasts. Whatever you have. Use approximately 3 cups.
            2 Strips of bacon (if you have, optional)
            Veggies, Anything goes in this. My favorites, 5 or so ed potatoes skin on and quartered,
            2-3 carrots, 3 onions quartered, frozen peas, 1 sweet potatoes diced, celery 2 stalks
            chopped, 1 cup peas, 10 or so crimini button mushrooms cut in half, or anything
            else. Green beans, rutabager, parsnips, anything you like.
            1 box of chicken broth
            1 teaspoon garlic minced (or 1 clove)
            2 bay leafs
            Salt and pepper to taste
            1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
            1 tablespoon fresh parsley or dried is ok
            3/4 cup white wine or sherry if you have it if not don't worry
            1 tablespoon olive oil to saute vegetables
            Corn starch, flour or instant potatoes (to thicken slightly)

            First if using bacon, chop and sautee in the olive oil, then add the vegetables. If not using bacon don't worry. It adds a great flavor but not necessary. Then just saute the onions, garlic and celery first in olive oil, then add the carrots, potatoes and any other vegetables. If using peas and beans add them toward the end of cooking. I like my chicken cooked for this but if not. You can either roast it and cut it up, use pre cooked or even just saute the chicken first and set to the side and cut it up. Even do that before the bacon if you want. This is one but, lets do it easy. If you want you can even add whole pieces but I like pieces cut up personally, Just my preference. After all the chicken and vegetables have been added, add the broth, a little water or wine to cover. Add the seasoning, salt and pepper, reduce and cook. Usually about 1- 1/2 hrs stove top. Right at the end I mix a little cornstarch with the broth add add to the pot to thicken the sauce. You can also add instant potatoes they work very well, or mix flour with some of the broth to thicken the sauce. Thicken it as much as you want. Some people add a little cream to this ... I don't think it is necessary. I just like it thick like a stew. Serve in a nice bowl. It is a great simple flavor, hearty. I serve with a simple wedge of iceberg lettuce, some balsamic vinaigrette and some fresh tomatoes or blue cheese is equally as good and a good slice of hearty bread. I like it soft to soak up the juices. It is pretty in expensive, healthy with all the veggies and serves 8 and it wonderful as leftovers for a lunch or dinner.

            Enjoy!

            3 Replies
            1. re: kchurchill5

              Thanks for all the great ideas...think it will be chili...will have to check out past posts to find a good recipie (I need exact everything as I am not quite the best cook yet!) - kchurchill this chicken stew sounds delicious! Will try this during the week after we get a rotissere chicken...could you also post the recipie for your chicken and dumplings? I haven't had that in ages! (as an aside did I see somewhere you just got married? Congrats! :-)

              edit - sorry k - I just read you were going to post it after...

              1. re: lovessushi

                BTW does anyone know if I make chili can I leave out the green peper? I really don't feel like going out anymore! I have a jalepeno, some frozen adobo with chili, onion, garlic and diced tomatoes. Will I miss the pepper? Should I just suck it up and get one? :) Feeding me and my bf by the way...

                1. re: lovessushi

                  I hereby give you permission to leave out the green pepper. Adobo would be a nice addition - but next time you're at the store grab some of those 4 oz. cans of green chiles. They're nice to have on hand.