Saturday, May 12, 2012

35 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Have you ever sat down to make a grocery list and drawn a blank?  It happens to me almost every single time.  This is usually how it goes - I grab a pen and paper and set out to make the grocery list, attempting to make one trip to the grocery store for the week (HA!).  I usually ask Ed what he wants for dinner that week, and he either says, "Hmmm, I don't know.... or he says, "BBQ meatballs."  The meatballs are something I made for him back in 2004/2005, and never since.  Not because they aren't good but because I don't really like meatballs and it is isn't fun to make something that you don't want to eat at the end.  Does that make me selfish?  Anyway, I come up with one or two ideas and then grab some cookbooks to peruse, usually while children are asking me for things, or trying to rip out pages of the cookbook, and by the time I get the list made and actually get to the grocery store, I am in No Mood. 
So, I decided to put one of my Pinterest ideas to good use, and with some index cards, an idex card box, pen, and roughly 2 hours of my time I made a "Dinner Ideas Box."  Here is the visual: 

On each card I wrote the name of the meal, and the ingredients that I would need to buy at the store.  I didn't include ingredients that I usually have on hand, like salt and pepper, olive oil, etc...  I also color coded them: Pink (Beef), Blue (Pork), Yellow (Chicken), Purple (Pasta), Green (Everything Else.)
Oh, and I guess you are wondering how I came up with so many ideas when that is normally the hard part.  Well, for some reason it was so much easier when I was just sitting there watching tv and thinking about what some of my favorite foods are.  I asked Ed and Andrew what they like for dinner and added those meals to cards.  Over the course of the night I had come up with a pretty substantial list!  And since I am a nice person I thought I would share my list with you!  I am just giving the meal ideas, because most of the recipes are common sense or things you might already have your own recipe for.  I will include links/recipes for a couple of the more specific things.  Here you go!

Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast
Broccoli/Sausage/Pepperoni Calzones
Veggie/Chicken Quesadillas with a side salad
Minestrone Soup with salad and bread
Pancakes and Bacon
Baked Ziti Casserole (Think lasagna but with Ziti pasta)
Ritz Cracker crusted chicken with Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Chicken Fingers with French Fries or Tater Tots
Roasted Vegetable and Mozzarella Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries
Pastrami Sandwiches with Pasta Salad
Raviolis with Bread and Caesar Salad
Chicken and Stuffing Casserole (made with sour cream and Mushroom Soup)
Teriyaki Chicken over Brown Rice
Chicken Enchiladas
Beef/Chicken Tacos
Grilled Chicken marinated in Italian Dressing
English Muffin Pizzas
Spaghetti with Meatballs or Sausage
Pan Fried Pork Chops with Gravy
Chicken Ziti Broccoli
Stuffed Peppers and Cornbread
Chicken Fried Rice and Salad
Fettucine Alfredo and Garlic Bread
Grilled Steaks with Carmelized Onions
Crockpot Taco Chicken (Chicken breast, jar of salsa, packet of Taco Seasoning - Low 6-8 hours and then shred.  Serve as tacos, taco salad, burritos...)
Crockpot Pork Chops (Boneless center cut Pork Chops, 1 envelope onion soup mix, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 packet of pork gravy mix - Low 6-8 hours)

Well there you have it!  Now there is no excuse for you not to know what to put on your meal list this week. : )

1 comment:

  1. Impressive, Marie!! I was oh so curious about your "awesome recipe for pork chops" when you mentioned it last night. Thanks for sharing it--this sounds YUMMY! May have to try it this week. I've got pork chops on the menu. :)