No Recipe Required + Simple Side Dish(es) = Easy Dinner!

Sometimes you just want to cook without having to put a lot of thought into it.  Or any thought into it.

A while back I wrote a series on No Recipe Required ideas.  Simple things to do with chicken, fish, beef or ground beef.  I may add to this series in the future and cover smoked sausage, ham, pork chops, etc.  But for now, this seems like a good time to show off these posts again.  Sometimes the good stuff gets buried on the blog.

no-recipe-required chicken

 No Recipe Required – Chicken

no-recipe-required-beef

 No Recipe Required – Beef

no-recipe-required-fish

 No Recipe Required – Fish

no-recipe-required-ground-beef

 No Recipe Required – Ground Beef

And because side dishes can get monotonous sometimes, here are 32 simple ideas to pair with the easy meals above.

32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

 32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

What are your favorite no recipe required meals?

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Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in 1 Hour – May Plans

I put together another video for you (embedded at the bottom of this post), showing how I assemble 5-6 slow cooker freezer meals in just one hour.  This time, I grabbed my oldest daughter, Meredith to help me.

Meredith is getting married in less than a month, so I thought it might be good to show her how to stock the freezer quickly with slow cooker meals.

The thing about Meredith is that she is very picky.  She doesn’t like beef or comfort type foods.  She doesn’t like ketchup.  In fact, after the video she told me she tried not to make a face when I added the ketchup to the round steak recipe.  But you can see that she did make a face of dislike!  So funny!

Even after doing quite a few of these videos, I’m still not very comfortable with it.  I’m certainly no professional video maker!  But I hope they are a help to you in getting your own freezer stocked.

The plans, grocery list, recipes and instructions for the May Slow Cooker Freezer Meals are all included for members of the Weekly Meal Plans.  They are scheduled for the week of May 21, but members get access to the whole month at once, so they are downloadable now.

eat at home weekly meal plan slow cooker button

Here are the recipes included for this video.  The plans also have side dishes included.  I didn’t make the Blueberry Crisp in the video, but it’s also freezable and the instructions are included in the plans.

And here’s the video:

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5 Ways to Eat Kale – or what to do with the rest of the bag of kale in the fridge

5 Ways to Eat Kale

 

Weird news:  4 out of 6 of the people in my house have decided that they really like kale.

That’s not something I would have seen coming.  But my youngest two kids actually ask for me to buy kale.  Odd, but true.

Since I’ve been buying it more often, sometimes I end up with part of a bag leftover.  What to do with extra kale?

Here are a few ideas:   [Read more...]

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Basic Chicken Skillet – The Foundation for Lots of Meal Possibilities

Basic Chicken Skillet. Start here to create many meals.

 

You know how you can create a lot of outfits if you start with a few basic pieces and add in accessories?

You can do the same thing with food.

If you start with a skillet of chicken, onions, garlic and green pepper you can create all kinds of fantastic meals.

Accessorize with tomatoes, basil, oregano and parmesan and have Italian chicken over pasta.

Embellish with Greek seasoning and serve it in a pita.

Accent with white wine, cream cheese, chicken broth and serve it over steamed spinach.

The possibilities are endless!  I’ve got several recipes ready to share that start with this skillet.  This is going to be a series of sorts, but I’m not going to tie it to one day of the week or give it a specific ending date.

I love the idea of starting with a few simple ingredients and creating meals from there.  And I’d love to hear your ideas too!  This is the kind of thing that you can start with the basics and add what you find in your kitchen.  No recipe needed.

Here’s what you’ll need for the Basic Chicken Skillet:   [Read more...]

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Using a Pressure Cooker

pressurecooker

Several months ago I bought a pressure cooker (here’s the link to the Cuisnart Pressure Cooker I bought).  I purchased it because I was curious.  People had left comments on the blog and Facebook mentioning that they were using one or asking questions.  So in the name of blog research, I hit the “buy now” button on Amazon.

I’m still learning to make full use of it, but I’ve discovered a few things that I really do like it for.   [Read more...]

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How to Choose a Slow Cooker

how to choose a slow cookerOne of the questions I get asked most often is, “What is the best kind of slow cooker to buy?”

I don’t know that there is one best model of slow cooker.  You certainly don’t need the latest and greatest to make delicious meals for your family.  But there are a few things to consider before buying.   [Read more...]

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George Foreman Grill Cooking

I don’t use my George Foreman grill very often, but it is handy for certain things.  I especially like using it for fish (more on that below).

The biggest advantage of this small appliance is that it cooks fast!

Tips for Cooking on a George Foreman Grill

First, watch the cooking times closely.  The speedy cooking can lead to dry meat if you aren’t careful.  I use the info that came with the grill to guide how long to cook foods.  I also set the timer on my stove so that I don’t get busy and overcook the food.

The other big tip I have is to add sauces at the end of the cooking time.  Brushing meat with barbecue sauce before cooking causes the sauce to burn.  Not the taste I want.  Instead, I cook the meat and then add the sauce after taking it from the grill.

What to Cook on a George Foreman Grill   [Read more...]

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What to Do with Costco Rotisserie Chicken – 13 Possible Recipes

We recently got a new Costco in our town. It wasn’t long before I discovered the Costco rotisserie chicken.  Have you ever wondered what to do with a Costco rotisserie chicken?  If so, I’ve got you covered!

3 Costco Rotisserie Chickens yield 5-6 meals. 13 possible recipes

Costco rotisserie chickens cost just $5 in our store. And they are huge! I can’t buy a raw whole chicken of that size for $5, so getting one already cooked is a great deal.

After buying several of these and realizing that I can feed my family of 6 twice from one chicken, I decided to try using them to stock my freezer.

Your mileage may vary, but for my family there’s enough meat for me to make 5-6 meals out of 3 chickens. The last time I went to Costco, I bought three chickens. We brought them home and took all the meat off the bones. The meat yielded enough for 5 different recipes.

I froze the meat in plastic freezer bags in about 2 cup quantities. It’s so nice to have chicken already cooked and frozen, ready to go. There are lots and lots of recipes that use cooked chicken on this site alone. I’ve pulled 13 of my favorite recipes to share with you here.

Of course, if you don’t have a Costco, or you’d just rather cook your own chicken to freeze, that works too. Try this Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker.

Weekly Meal Plans

If you like these types of recipes, you’ll love our Weekly Meal Plans!  The plans include grocery lists, printable recipes and even a slow cooker freezer meal plan each month.  Click here to learn more.

And here are the 13 recipes to use Costco rotisserie chicken in:   [Read more...]

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Menu for Second Half of Whole 30

Whole 30 Menu 16-30

 

How is your Whole 30 going?  At the beginning of the month I published a menu for the first 15 days.  This is what my family has been eating from.  Our dinners have been great!  I struggle a bit with lunch and snacks, but dinner is good.

I hope this list of meals and sides will help you finish out the month if you’ve been doing Whole 30 too.  Some of the recipes are new ideas that I plan to try.  If they work out, I’ll be sharing the recipes on the blog.  If not, I’ll spare you!

16.  Pineapple Chili, salad

17. Dijon Tarragon Tilapia, broccoli, baked sweet potatoes (either leave out the dijon or find one with acceptable ingredients)

18.  Italian Chicken and Tomatoes in the Slow Cooker, green beans, spaghetti squash

19.  Mediterranean Chicken in the Slow Cooker, acorn squash, salad

20.  Pork Chops Topped with Green Pepper, Pineapple and Onion, butternut squash skillet (recipe coming soon!), broccoli

21.  Rosemary and thyme round steak with parsnips, carrots; cauliflower

22.  Hamburger Veggie Soup, salad

23.  Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, spaghetti squash, salad

24.  Virus Killing Soup

25.  Tilapia with Veggies Baked in Foil, broccoli, butternut squash skillet

26.  Chicken Curry in the Slow Cooker, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli (this is a repeat from the first half of the month, but we love it!)

27.  African Pulled Beef, acorn squash, skillet greens

28.  Beef Stew

29.  Lemon and parsley roasted chicken, butternut squash skillet, broccoli

30.  Hamburgers with Onions in a Skillet, Sweet Potato Fries, cucumber and tomato salad

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Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas

easy healthy lunches

Whether you’re joining me for the Whole 30 plan or you’ve decided to alter your usual eating patterns in another way, you may find that lunch is a challenge.

I do fine at breakfast, mostly because I eat the same thing every day.  It’s easy and good.  And it doesn’t bother me to repeat the same breakfast each day.

But lunch is different.  It comes at a busy part of day.  Breakfast happens before the day’s activities start and dinner is carved out as a bit of a slow down time for us, usually anyway.  But lunch comes smack dab in the middle of trying to do homeschool and work and laundry and kitchen cleaning and….

I want to just grab something quickly and be done with it.  But the Whole 30 doesn’t allow for my favorite lunch of PB&J and chocolate milk.  Or a grilled cheese. Or sandwich with bread or so many other things that I’m used to having for lunch.

So, what have I been eating the last few days?  Here are a few things I’ve had and some more that I’m making plans for.   [Read more...]

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