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Feeding More

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My BIL has to go in for open heart surgery in mid to late January (We will know more after his echocardiogram today). The hospital that will do the surgery and recovery is about 50 minutes away. My sister is going to arrange to stay in that city and she asked me to keep an eye on my nieces and nephews. I volunteered to let them stay here for dinner and at night time. They're pretty self sufficient, so staying at home wouldn't be a bother for them (ages 17, 16, 13 and 11), but I'd rather have them eating something nutritious here than eating ramen noodles at their house. My dilemma is cooking for 6 people, on a budget. I'm not sure how many nights we'll cook for them, but...here are my ideas. If you can add some, please let me know! We have shellfish allergies (me), we eat meat, no problem w/ canned or processed foods, and 4 out of 6 of us do not like beans.

Homemade mac and cheese and turkey "pigs" in a blanket, tossed salad w/ fresh veggies.

Chicken parmigiana with the Purdue all white meat chicken patties, homemade garlic bread, left over salad.

Fish sticks, home made french fries and green beans.

And....then I'm stuck...
post #2 of 16
Okay so Teen friendly foods.

What about:

Beef stew with carrots, potatoes
Make your own tacos (ground beef or turkey, salsa, cheese, sour cream, avacado)
Beef or Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Rice
Meatloaf or mini meatloafs with mashed potatoes, fresh green beans or corn
Rotisierre chicken (I have a recipe you make in the crockpot)
Hamburgers, french fries. Saute mushrooms, onions for topping.
Pizza or mini pizzas. Have the kids top their own before baking.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

We'll definetely do pizzas, I forgot to add that.

Can I have that crockpot recipe for Rotisierre chicken? I have a roasting chicken in the freezer that we can use. How many pounds of chicken should I make for 6 people? (2 growing teenage boys in that equation).

We'll certainly do make your own tacos and meatloaf if we find a deal on ground beef, chicken or turkey.
post #4 of 16
Add Chili to that. Cheap, easy to make, and feeds a crowd. We make a pan of corn bread and a salad, as well.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Umm, 4 out of 6 of us do not eat beans, so chilli is a no go. Thanks though.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
Add Chili to that. Cheap, easy to make, and feeds a crowd. We make a pan of corn bread and a salad, as well.
That was my first thought. But 4 out of 6 don't eat beans.

Hmmm, OP there is a recipe that is stew meat, green beans and has chili powder etc in it. Unfortunately the cookbook its in is at my MILs. It's in Kathleen Daehlmans cook book and was really good.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsD08 View Post
Thanks!

We'll definetely do pizzas, I forgot to add that.

Can I have that crockpot recipe for Rotisierre chicken? I have a roasting chicken in the freezer that we can use. How many pounds of chicken should I make for 6 people? (2 growing teenage boys in that equation).

We'll certainly do make your own tacos and meatloaf if we find a deal on ground beef, chicken or turkey.
Let me find the recipe for the chicken. Let me think about the amount of chicken you will need. Hey, I know. I have three older brothers.

The meatloafs you can make in advance. Then freeze. You can even pull out frozen to cook.

Oh! What about spaghetti and meatballs? You can make the meatballs in advance, then freeze.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsD08 View Post
Umm, 4 out of 6 of us do not eat beans, so chilli is a no go. Thanks though.
Do chilli without beans and serve over pasta or rice with cornbread on the side.

To the other suggestions I'll add baked ziti with Italian sausage. Put the cut up sausage in the ziti to have it go farther. How about split pea soup? Will your family eat that? Scalloped potatoes and ham. Soup and sandwiches (subs). Hamburgers. Salmon patties. Cheeseburger casserole.

Also I'd plan on doubling any recipe. Teens eat a lot.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsD08 View Post
Umm, 4 out of 6 of us do not eat beans, so chilli is a no go. Thanks though.
Umm... not all chili contains beans. Google recipes for authentic Texas chili. It does not contain beans. In fact, in some chili cookoffs (which I have participated in), beans are not allowed. There are thousands of beanless chili recipes.

How about casseroles? There are tons of recipes for quick and easy chicken bakes, etc. For us, I always make the sauce from scratch, but you mentioned that processed food is okay and most of these recipes call for a can of condensed cream of something soup. (It's really quick and easy to make your own creamy soups if health trumps convenience, but if you are looking for a quicker shortcut, just use the condensed soup and look for the lower sodium version.)

Soups. You can combine whatever you happen to have in the fridge or freezer to make a good soup. If you do, for example, a bone-in roast for a meal, save the bone and toss that in with a bunch of vegetables and you'll have a rich vegetable beef soup.

My dd(7yo) is a big fan of pea soup. It's really yummy, sweet cheap and easy peasy! Just a bag of split peas, a couple of carrots, some chicken stock, a ham bone (which is really inexpensive... look for smoked ham hock in the grocery), and spices. Puree some of the peas when cooked for a creamy texture.

After you're done with roasting your chicken, again, throw the carcass in a soup pot, boil the heck out of it, strain out the bones, pull the meat off and use the broth and meat to make chicken and noodles (or c&n soup).

For a filler... rice can be made hundreds of different ways. Google "rice pilaf" and you will find some good recipes.

Another good filler... potatoes.

Finally, I would spend a little time over the next couple of weeks to make up some things that you can freeze for quick cooking. We really like to do burritos here. You can make up some spanish rice, then combine just a little bit of taco meat, some rice, (refried beans for those that will eat them), a little cheese, roll it up in a flour tortilla in aluminum foil and put in the freezer. For a quick snack, it can be heated in the oven or taken out of the foil and microwaved.

Premake and freeze spiced hamburger patties that can be made quickly on the stovetop. We call these köfte (dh is from Turkey, but all of the middle east has some version) and you can google for these as well.

Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. HTH! Good luck!
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsD08 View Post
How many pounds of chicken should I make for 6 people? (2 growing teenage boys in that equation).
You didn't address this to me, but I can kind of answer it. The rule of thumb for "normal" eaters is 1lb. per person for fowl of any sort. Now, I realize teen boys do not eat normally, so I would double it for them. I would do 2 (5lb.) roasters.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have a good tried and true recipe for a cheeseburger casserole like sewchris2642 mentioned? I swap recipes on-line through Swap-Bot so I set up a Kid/Teen Friendly swap hoping to get some good recipes to double and triple. We have a lot of pasta choices. My sister and I made meatballs for Christmas eve and there were a ton left over so I took them and froze them. Thanks for all the ideas so far.

They moved BILs initial appointment to Jan. 12th and the doctor expects they'll schedule the surgery for 13th, 14th or 15th. He said it definetly won't be later than the 20th.
post #12 of 16

Cheeseburger Casserole

Also known as Yankee-Doodle Macaroni. It's adapted from my 1956 Betty Crocker cookbook. And I double it to feed 9.

Saute one chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, and 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (optional) until onions are yellow. (I've also added carrots and green peppers with the onion, garlic and mushrooms.) Add 1 lb. ground beef and cook until brown. Add 3 1/2 cups cooked tomatoes, 1 Tbsp parsley, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Cook slowly for about 45 minutes.

Boil 8 ounces macaroni (I use the small elbow macaroni) for about 6 minutes. Pour mixture over cooked macaroni and top with grated sharp American (I use sharp Cheddar) cheese or Parmesan cheese.

It says to serve immediately but I mix 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese and macaroni into the hamburger mixture as well as sprinkle some on top and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
post #13 of 16
How about meatballs? Here's my grandma's recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs. You can easily double this recipe. You can brown the meatballs if you want, but you don't have to. (I don't.)

Baking time will depend on the size of your meatballs, and whether or not you brown them. Be sure that they are completely cooked, with no pink remaining. I like to serve this over rice.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Meatballs
1 lb/500 g ground beef
1/4 cup/60 mL minced onion
1/4 cup/60 mL bread crumbs
1/4 cup/60 mL milk



Sauce
1/2 cup/125 mL honey
1/3 cup/80 mL cider vinegar
1/3 cup/80 mL water
1/3 cup/80 mL barbecue sauce

Mix together the ground beef, minced onions, bread crumbs and milk. Form meatballs. (I use my hands.)
Place the balls in a casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix the honey, cider vinegar, water and barbecue sauce.

Pour this sauce over the meatballs.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes.
post #14 of 16
I would plan on cooking lots of extra and then doing the second dinner after based on the leftovers.. so

night 1, hamburgers on the grill
night 2, use leftover hamburger meat chopped and added to spaghetti
night 3, baked chicken
night 4 cobb salad (with leftover chicken)
night 5 Mexican night (build your own taco!)
Night 6 Mexican lasagna or tortilla soup
Night 7 chicken parmisiana
Night 8 chicken bacon ranch pasta (with veggies) my 11yo LOVES this and it is super easy (served cold)

I feed 4 boys (but then my oldest is 11, but there was a point where I fed teen boys regularly) and I find that they really just want something hot in front of them and don't care so much if they had chicken two days in a row as long as it "looks" different.

One of the main problems I have with say, fish sticks is what in the heck do you do with the leftovers? Most of them have very little actual fish inside of them so not that useful for soup or casseroles, imho.

I think if you plan out how many days you are looking at you can have one recipe lead into the next which ends up easier for YOU as you don't have to keep cooking a new main dish each night.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
night 1, hamburgers on the grill
This made me laugh! We live in central Maine and we just got about 2 feet of snow just this weekend! We send the grill down to the garage for the winter starting in mid November and we won't see it again for cooking until Mid April. Thanks for the thought though!

My BIL went into the hospital for an emergency cat scan and they're doing the surgery Wednesday instead of next week. Thankfully family came to the rescue and we have 3 meals in the fridge/freezer.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsD08 View Post
This made me laugh! We live in central Maine and we just got about 2 feet of snow just this weekend! We send the grill down to the garage for the winter starting in mid November and we won't see it again for cooking until Mid April. Thanks for the thought though! .
I don't see it as unrealistic. I have probably three feet of snow on my deck but my dp still barbeques in the winter. Lots of Alaskans do, you just bundle up first. How would we smoke fish if we avoided cooking outside once it snows? I think Bison season isn't until January..

But if braving the elements isn't for you, you certainly can make burgers on an indoor grill. We have two foremans here.
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