Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Food Week: Top 10 "No Cook" or "Barely Cook" J-M Dinners

For better or for worse, these cycle through as regulars around here...

For this I'm only including dinners that:
A] involve barely any actual real cooking. Thus, if it takes longer than a couple of minutes to assemble then it is automatically out of the running for this Top Ten List.
B] all four of the fully-solid-food-eating-J-M's (i.e., Meera not included) find edible. Thus, anything that Braydon and I might enjoy eating for dinner but that the boys don't particularly enjoy (i.e., steak, baked potato, salad -or- tuna nicoise), or anything that the boys enjoy eating for dinner but Braydon and I don't particularly enjoy (i.e., mac-n-cheese -or- tortellini) is automatically out of the running for this Top Ten List.

Top Ten "No Cook" or "Barely Cook" J-M Dinners
[not in any particular order] ~~~

  1. Hot Dogs and Beans. Hot Dogs, grilled; baked beans, from the can; a bag of pre-made salad (our current favorite is one of the Dole Salad Kits called "Perfect Harvest") or... Keilbasa -- same as above, but substitute kielbasa for the hot dogs.
  2. Bean and Cheese Quessadillas. Spread refried beans (from the can) on one half of a fresh tortilla; layer shredded cheese on top; fold tortilla over to make quesadilla. If we have leftovers from some other meal then we might add shredded chicken or pork or steak. And/or we might add chopped tomatoes or some other veggies (my favorite is canned artichokes). I add a generous amount of fresh chopped cilantro if I have it on hand. Cook in dry pan over medium-high heat, turning once to brown both sides. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and a salad tossed with Newman's Own Lime Vinaigrette.
  3. Cheese Quesadillas and Black Bean Soup. See #2 but skip over everything except the shredded cheese and just make a simple cheese quesadilla. Heat up a couple of cans of black bean soup (our favorite is Amy's Organic Black Bean Vegetable). Voila!
  4. Tacos or Taco Salad. We use the Old El Paso reduced sodium seasoning packet with 1 pound of ground beef or turkey; soft and/or hard taco shells and/or tortilla chips; shredded cheese; lettuce; tomatoes; salsa; sour cream; jalepenos. An oldie but goodie!
  5. 3-for-1 Rotisserie Chicken. I buy the large "family size" rotisserie chicken from the deli counter at the grocery store. 1st night = rotisserie chicken; green beans (the microwavable bag from the produce section); couscous (from box to table in 10 minutes). 2nd night = rotisserie chicken, shredded; over Caesar Salad (K & O's favorite caesar-- they like it even better than my own home-made caesar-- is Dole's Caesar Kit). 3rd night = "Thanksgiving Sandwiches"... sandwich bread with leftover rotisserie chicken, stuffing (if we have it), cranberry sauce (from the can), lettuce, mayo.
  6. Spaghetti and Sausage. Pasta (any kind), Red Sauce (any jar), Italian Sausage (turkey sausage, chicken sausage, traditional sausage, take your pick!). While water is heating up and then pasta is cooking... place sausages in bottom of medium-sized pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Turn once or twice so that sausages are browned. Dump sauce in. Stir. Cook until sauce is heated and sausages are cooked through. Pour over cooked pasta. Eat it up.
  7. Crab Cakes. I buy pre-made crab cakes at the seafood counter of the grocery store; tartar sauce (mix together some mayo and some relish); rice; salad.
  8. Curry Chicken. Chicken simmered in an Indian cooking sauce (we haven't tried a jar of Patak's sauce that we didn't like!), toss in some veggies if we have some around, serve over basmati rice.
  9. ...and then, of course, there is always... Breakfast for Supper. Cereal or pancakes or french toast or waffles or omelets or whatever!
  10. ... and of course, there is Lunch for Supper (i.e., Sandwiches). Old stand-by's include grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup; "Skitchwiches" (grilled cheese with tuna salad layered in, in addition to the cheese); bagel sandwiches; BLT's; chicken caesar wraps; wraps with hummus, tabouli, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes; roast beef, provolone cheese, ranch dressing, lettuce on pumpernickel; and our favorite treat-- Turkey "Rachels" (rye grilled with deli turkey, swiss cheese, coleslaw, thousand island dressing).


Please leave ideas in comments section here!


Haitian-American Family of Three said...

I am going to use this list of meals for my grocery shopping next week!
We are so busy right now that real cooking seems an impossible feet.

Thanks for sharing!

Mark and Sarah said...

We had your delicious white bean/spinach pasta dish tonight. gobbled it up--my husband, two boys and I! I keep forgetting to ask you if you would be willing to ask your mom to contribute a recipe to J-M food week (month). I really want to make her famous almond bread. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease???

TheConnor4 said...

home made pizza! Buy a the can of pillsbury pizza dough in the refridge. section, brush with olive oil, top with tomato sauce or pesto, and cheese... and whatever toppings you like. We do mushrooms, fresh spinach, and artichokes. Super yummy and SUPER easy.

Patricia said...

Somehow I missed this page before, but caught it in your recap. This is mostly how I cook. :) At least once a week I buy pre-cut stir fry vegetables and some bottled stir fry sauce at the store. Takes about ten minutes. (OK the rice takes longer, but this is still quick.) My favorite sauce is Annie Chung's Shitake Soy Ginger. Thanks for all these great ideas!

Patricia said...

Oops. That was Annie Chun's (not Chung's) and it's Shiitake Soy Ginger.