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Cheap dinners for picky eater?

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My husband is a picky eater...meat and potatoes kind of guy. I need meal ideas to please him and sort of change things up a bit. He is not very fancy and therefore anything with wine or those fancy oils doesn't mean anything to him or really me either. Here is a list of things that the meal ideas cannot have in them. He will not eat it. :(
1. Sour cream...makes him physically ill, lol.
2. Seafood...he simply will not eat it.
3. Mayo...same result as sour cream
4. Cream cheese...see above, lol.
5. casseroles...I've gotten him to try them, but he doesn't like his food mixed together.

Those are things that he really doesn't like. He does like mexican food and some chinese food. He also likes "southern food" and he really likes gumbo and jambalaya.

I'm looking for basically anything that I can make that won't cost a fortune. I placed us on a budget of $120 every two weeks for food.

Also...please don't suggest spaghetti. I despise spaghetti because thats all my mom wanted to make when I was a kid. :)

Thanks! Any and ALL help will be appreciated so much.

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  1. Have you looked at junior league cookbooks from your area? They often have meat and potato style foods ( especially the older ones from the 70' and 80's). They are often found in thrift stores.
    You could also take meals you know he likes and change up the flavor profiles. If he likes pork chops, you could try Asian style, Mexican style, BBQ, etc. then serve with sides that combine well - like rice with Asian style, refried beans and rice with Mexican style, etc. kind of branch him out a bit slowly rather than serve him something completely unfamiliar.

    1. Oh I have some ideas for you...I'm on a pretty limited budget too but still turn out some tasty food that my born and raised in Wyoming SO likes :) Also I'm in Colorado so I would guess the prices here are similar to yours in Tulsa.

      Lemon Chicken http://www.inspiredtaste.net/18649/ea... This is made with bone in thighs which go on sale all the time at my store for around a dollar a pound. The other ingredients are pantry staples that are cheap. Serve with a cheap veggie side like roasted broccoli, green beans, and oven roasted potatoes with the same herbs used in the chicken.

      Roast Pork Loin with Bacon and Brown Sugar Glaze http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/20... I served this when my very "meat and potatoes" SO's stepdad was here visiting. He really liked it. Pork Loin (not to be confused with tenderloin) often goes on sale for pretty cheap... maybe 1.99/lb or less. I've also used the same topping/glaze on pork chops. It's good w/ mashed potatoes and again, another cheap veggie side like broccoli.

      Pepper Steak http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/07/pe... I double or triple this recipe, and make it with those London Broils they put on sale for around $3-4/lb. I also omit the rice wine because I couldn't find it at my normal store, and use the low sodium soy sauce.

      Chipotle Glazed Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe... The only thing I would suggest doing different for this recipe is to put the glaze on both sides of the chicken instead of just on top. After opening a can of chipotles, I freeze the ones I don't use in individual baggies so I have them available for later.

      Asian Marinated Baked Chicken http://www.chow.com/recipes/30350-asi... This is very tasty and super easy. I do it with whole cut up chickens when they go on sale, or you could do it with all drumsticks etc. I leave out the sesame oil because the one that is sold at my normal store is super pricey. Serve with rice and steamed veggies.

      Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spicy... This is a super simple and very tasty recipe. Even though it says spicy, I didn't find them to be spicy at all, just good flavor. I've always made w/ boneless but bone-in would work just fine too... would probably even be better. I've also done both in the oven and on the grill. It's great in the summer w/ fresh corn on the cob and grilled asparagus.

      1. Your husband eats just like my 23 year old son, who is a fantastic cook in spite of his food issues.
        Some of his dishes that I love:

        Turkey (or chicken or pork) piccata

        Meatloaf

        Steak Diane

        Some things I like to make:

        Chicago style Italian Beef with pepperoncini and bell peppers on Italian rolls

        Pot Roast with baked sweet potatoes

        Beans and Rice with sausage

        Pork Chops and pirogi

        Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes

        I'm going to check with #2 son and see what he makes these days.

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