What’s for dinner?

I am on the hunt for easy dinners to make on our Co-op day; Tuesdays.

A friend told me about Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals and to my surprise it was at the library.  WooHoo!  It’s a cool cookbook.  It is full of recipes my family hates (and I don’t care).  She gives you the recipe.  Always a serving of four.  I don’t understand why every stinking cookbook assumes you only have two children.  It’s ok if you have eight people in the family, then you can  just double the recipe.   But what if you have a family that is not divisible by four?  These are question we should all ponder.

Back to the “serves only four” cookbook.  You get the recipe. Then you get “If You’re Stopping Here”  instructions on how to refrigerate, freeze, or serve later in the day.  Cool!  Just what I’m looking for, but for a family of six.  Then you get “When You’re Ready To Eat”,  instructions on how to finish the job just in time for dinner.  Sweet!

Last night I made the family of six, Chicken Enchiladas with Refried Beans

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, because you know why.

Serves 4

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken boobs, but into 1/2 inch strips
  • One 15-oz can of refried beans (I made my own from dried beans)
  • One 4-oz can of green chilies
  • 1/4 cup prepared salsa
  • 2 TB chopped fresh cilantro
  • Four (HA!) 8 inch flour tortilla
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in the refried beans, chilies, and salsa and simmer for 2 minutes to heat through.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Arrange the tortillas on a flat surface. Top each with an equal amount of the chicken mixture. Roll up the tortillas and place side by side in a shallow baking dish. Top the tortillas with the shredded cheese.
If you stop here:
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.  Thaw completely in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to eat:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap (duh) from the baking dish and bake until the cheese is golden and gooey, 15 to 20 minutes.
Family verdict:
Parents:  We had everything in our tortilla.  It was very good and we will serve it again.
Kids:  Had tortillas with no beans or salsa.
  1. Sir Son:  Picked it all apart and only ate the chicken.  He can find and remove any onion that is the size of a bacteria.
  2. The Violinist:  She ate half of it, said nothing, probably hated it. Refused to try the ones with the beans.
  3. Pea #1:  Loved it.  She almost threw up when she tried one with beans and salsa.
  4. Peas #2:  Ate 1/4 of one.  She gave no comment, but loved the mango we served as a side dish.  Refused to try the ones with the beans.
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16 responses to “What’s for dinner?

  1. I am happy/sad this is/isn’t working out for you. 😉 We loved the Smoked Cheddar Burgers and our favorite is the Greek Pita Pockets that goes with them on page 92. We like to add Feta and Kalamata Olives. mmmmmm. The oven fried chicken on page 100 is also good and we love all the recipes that follows it also. Another favorite starts on page 116 the Chicken Parmesan. I think I need to cook from this book this week. I had sorta forgotten about it until we talked.

    • I think we have different editions of this book. The pages are not matching up. The Oven Fried Chicken is on my to-make list and I’ll have to try the burgers. The husband is very particular about his meats, so I’ll have to make them before he gets home from work. If I don’t , he’ll take over dinner and make a huge mess. lol Thanks for the list of recipes! If we (meaning ME) like more of these recipes, I’ll have to buy the book. Dont forget to forward your favs from Allrecipes. 😀

  2. Hey Applie! I am with you on trying to figure out ways of making my school year (particularly co-op days) go more smoothly! Two suggestions for you – One is 30 Day Gourmet (www.30daygourmet.com) which has to do with freezer cooking — great recipes both online and in their Big Book of Freezer Cooking! They have their recipes put onto a grid so that you know how much of what ingredient to use if you are serving ___ people.
    Another great one is Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea — you can probably get this one at your library OR you can get all of her recipes online (FREE) at http://www.crockpot365.blogspot.com. One of the things I love the most about her recipes are her very real reviews of what she has made — from her perspective, her hubby’s, and her kids.
    I love using my slow-cooker – and in the summer when my a/c is having a hard time keeping up, I plug in my slow-cooker and/or bread maker in out on my front porch! Keeps the house cool and the neighbor’s say I “have the best-smelling front porch in the county”. LOL

    • Thanks Judy. I have gotten the Make it Slow book from the library several times. I just requested it again. 🙂 The Big Book of Freezer Cooking, I think I had that once. It’s not at the library, so I can’t get it right now. The problem we have with most of the slow cooked meals is they ask for prepacked soups or seasonings, then I have to search around for recipes to make those things, because we cannot have prepacked anything. If I can find just four crockpot meals, that will take care of Tuesday for a month! Plus I have a bread machine to plug in, if I haven’t made bread by hand. I’ll have to keep everyone posted of what I do. I think I’ll start with making a regular Tuesday’s Meal post. Might keep me accountable. LOL

  3. That books sounds interesting. I might have to check it out. And it will work perfectly with our family of four. Of course, Kelly will be back in a few weeks, but that’s okay, I just won’t feed her.

    I have used recipes from that 30-Day Gourmet book and there were several good ones.

  4. Sounds good! I’ll look forward to your Tuesday’s Meal post! 🙂 (ahhh, the pressure! LOL)

    What is it that you are avoiding in the prepackaged foods? (curiosity)

    p.s. I know this is TOTALLY unrelated to this blog… LOL… but do you know of anyone who has a fantastic Apologia Chemistry blog that I can stalk this year? Of course, I cannot stop stalking you… just looking for an additional stalkee. 🙂

    • Prepackaged foods are full of preservatives and msg. Both of which Sir Son is allergic to, and Sir Husband is allergic to msg. We tested the son for allergies, and I asked the dr to test for preservatives and he said, “We can’t do that because everyone shows a reaction to the preservatives.”

      Chemistry. I might, but I can’t remember if she is doing Chemistry (2011/2012) or the next. It’s Marty. I am hoping to facilitate Chemistry in (2012/2013). I need to do something else. LOL

  5. My sympathies on the picky eaters. I understand completely.

    Some of my favorite freezer cooking books are Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer; Dream Dinners; and Super Suppers. 30 Day Gourmet was my first freezer cooking book, but it relied a little too heavily on canned soups and processed food to suit me. The others have more real food recipes.

    I don’t use my crock pot as much as I used to, but I’ve found that I can put some meatballs straight from the freezer in around lunchtime and they will be done for dinner. Meatballs are great – spaghetti & meatballs, meatball sandwiches, bbq meatballs…. There is also a recipe on Comfortably Domestic’s blog for Banke Kod (Danish Roast Beef) which I’ve made and found to be delicious.

    (http://comfortablydomestic.com/2011/05/24/banke-kod/)

  6. . I use my crockpot a lot. My family likes to eat boring and simple. They probably wouldn’t have eaten that recipe either if it makes you feel any better.

  7. I like framework meals. That’s not an official term, it is just what I call it.

    A decade later my favorite easy meal is the “Tuna Plate”. It’s more of a framework than a formula- On a plate place
    a serving or less of cheese (usually cheddar),
    a serving of fruit (usually apple),
    a serving of raw vegetable (usually carrot),
    a serving of already prepared meat (usually tuna),
    a bread item (usually crackers) <- I usually don't have this item.
    Other things to add could be nuts and raisins
    That's what we are eating tonight. =}

    And there is the classic "Blue Plate Special" which is another framework meal. "A meat and three"
    A meat
    A green vegetable (cooked or not- ex. green beans or small salad)
    An orange or other colorful vegetable that is not a starch (cooked or not) or a piece of fruit
    A starchy vegetable or bread

    • What tuna brand do you use? Sir Husband only likes the expensive Tuna Steaks. I like the tuna that is packed in water, but the family does not. I don’t force the tuna, because we think Sir Son is allergic to fish. He feels like throwing up and can’t breath right after eating any kind of fish. He loves fish too. 😦 I like the blue plate special. If you were having that tonight, I’d be your guest. 😀 Heck, I’ll be your guest anyway. What time?

      • I get starkist tuna that is packed in bags. The meat on the tuna plate doesn’t have to be tuna, it can be whatever you have on hand that is already cooked (chicken salad or roast beef for instance). Also, the whole point of the tuna plate is that it’s a cold meal- no cooking allowed! lol I’m sorry Sir Son loves fish and can’t have it. =\
        We eat between 5-6, come on over. =D

      • In a bag? That must be lots better than the can.

  8. Hey there, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad I stopped back by your place again because look at all of the cookbook recommendations! This last year was my first homeschooling, and we ate out, ate frozen pizza, and ate chinese take-out WAY too much! I need to take control, but for some reason I get bleary eyed really fast when meal planning!

    • You and me both! Throw in a bunch of picky eaters and a few food allergies, and I’m done! LOL Sir Son had his braces adjusted so he needs something soft. We are having Maverick, all natural, all beef, no preservatives, hot dogs. Store bought potato buns. Fresh green beans. Fresh from south Florida Mango. These mangoes are huge and oh so good. My neighbor brought them from her father’s farm. 😀

  9. Applie – I only have 2 that would eat the beans, hubby and son, I am allergic to legumes and the girl doesn’t like the texture. I would eat just about any other part of your meal as long as it isn’t too spicy. The girl would only want the tortilla and cheese 🙄

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