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#1 of 26 Old 05-16-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Help, there are dishes all over my counter (and they've been there the past week) since I decided to be more adventurous but also 'give myself a break' over my birthday & mother's day week.  I pulled out quite a few really good meals and stuff out of 'whatever we had'.  But now I'm lazy, don't want to make much of anything - especially if it'll contribute to the mess, and I'm bored of everything I usually make at times like this.

 

I'll pick up everything for easy egg & croissant sandwiches, and I have an individual sweet fruit pizza thing I wanna try this weekend too, but somehow that won't be 'good enough' for dh and the kids to eat all weekend.

 

What's easy, low dishes, and good.  I need to do grocery shopping, so I can pick up anything.  Me & the kids are vegetarian (but dh eats meat, so something meaty just for him all weekend is cool - even better if it's for the slow cooker or something).  Kids are kinda picky, like kids are.  Me - I'll be fine with the egg sandwiches & fruit pizza and coffee for all my meals winky.gif, but I'll eat other stuff I happen to make too.  

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#2 of 26 Old 05-17-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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Quesadillas or burritoes- you can make refried beans in your slow cooker and people can add cheese, veggies or leftover cooked meat to the individual portions

 

Chickpeas With Spinach

 

Crockpot Shredded Chipolte Chicken

 

Minestrone or chili in the slow cooker

 

grilled pizza

 

pasta with peanut sauce- add leftover veggies or meat

 

Zucchini Linguine

 

Vegetable Slow Cooker Lasagna

 

7 layer bean dip

 

Roast Beef Horseradish Spirals

 

Perfect Pasta Salad

 

White Bean and Tomato Salad


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#3 of 26 Old 05-17-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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Wow onlyzombiecat, I clicked on the veggie crockpot lasagna recipe, and her website is AWESOME. Thanks.


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#4 of 26 Old 05-17-2012, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yummy ideas - thanks!  

 

The chickpeas & spinach might work (although I've got kale right now, so I'd use it instead) & dh would probably like something like the shredded chicken recipe there, so that's a winner.  The other stuff is touchy for whether my group would go for it (what can I say, they're 2 & 5) but great ideas to save for later (especially that zucchini lasagnayummy.gif).

 

We are stocked up on stuff to make decent burritos/quesadillas (although lately everyone just licks the sour cream off them, and eats only a few bites, so I haven't been relying on them heavily lately either to actually FEED them eyesroll.gif - weird children).

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#5 of 26 Old 05-17-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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we do simple meals here. and they are DELICIOUS.

 

quinoa with butter. steamed brussels sprouts and beets drizzled with butter. dd loved that.

 

i do lots of different grains. buckwheat my fav. 

 

simple lentil soup. boil red lentils then add some garlic salt and pepper. then either put in some butter and milk. or just use lemon. serve cold or hot. 

 

rice in rice cooker. last minute throw in some broccoli for the last 5 mins in the crockpot. 

 

boiled potatoes with peas and lemon and salt and pepper.


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#6 of 26 Old 05-22-2012, 10:32 PM
 
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Pasta au burro  (noodles w/ butter) w/ parmesan sprinkled on + salad

 

potato pancakes (latkes) w/ apple sauce and/or sour cream or yoghurt + salad

 

Risotto  (w/ peas? w/ mushroom?) + salad

 

eggplant parmigana + salad

 

Fried rice (w/ egg & veggies) + greens

 

Felafel and pita bread + tabouleh  or green salad

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#7 of 26 Old 05-23-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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meemee -  Simple grain and veg is great.  last thing I did that was similar was couscous with something steamed, and it went over very well.  I did brown rice with kale & carrots just the other day (not a big hit, but me & dh really liked it) - but it was easy and all stuff we already had.  I'll have to keep watch for other grains to have around and remember to turn to that.

 

and skreader - potato pancakes! great idea there, I think it would go over very well.

 

 

As for everything else, the kitchen is slowly getting cleaner and it's easier to make more stuff, so that's good for breaking out of the rut.  Eventually I'll be inspired to do homemade pizza dough, and that will help and all will be very happy.  

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#8 of 26 Old 05-23-2012, 08:42 AM
 
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Sometimes (not often) when I'm feeling in a rut I buy a really nice cooking magazine. I find looking at the pictures really inspiring - much more so than looking through a regular cookbook. Maybe because the recipes tend to be seasonal.
 


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#9 of 26 Old 05-29-2012, 04:42 PM
 
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we do simple meals here. and they are DELICIOUS.

 

quinoa with butter. steamed brussels sprouts and beets drizzled with butter. dd loved that.

 

i do lots of different grains. buckwheat my fav. 

 

simple lentil soup. boil red lentils then add some garlic salt and pepper. then either put in some butter and milk. or just use lemon. serve cold or hot. 

 

rice in rice cooker. last minute throw in some broccoli for the last 5 mins in the crockpot. 

 

boiled potatoes with peas and lemon and salt and pepper.

 

Hey meemee your meals sound like stuff we'd eat around here. :)  Can you give more details on some of them - eg the beets - do you just steam them whole for what, like 30 min and then dice and drizzle with butter?  How about the potatoes - boil whole?  When do you throw in the peas?  How much lemon?   Thanks - these sound simple and delicious and I'd love to try them.


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#10 of 26 Old 05-29-2012, 10:24 PM
 
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mambera YIKES!!! you are asking me hard questions. 

 

i cut the potato in quarters and then boil them since that way they cook faster.

 

i usually try to peel them hot (i know) so that i can throw in the frozen peas (would LOVE to get english peas when in season - but just cant afford them) and butter or coconut or olive oil and then later right before serving the fresh lemon juice. i dont measure anything. salt and pepper to taste.

 

beets - i think i also quarter them and cook them for 20 mins and then peel the skin off. or if i dont have time i roast them. i throw in broccoli and cauliflower and slightly burn them. i raost them in the oven with usually coconut oil and drizzle salt over them. 

 

sweet potatoes. 

 

artichokes are abounding here now. gosh a big head is almost a meal.

 

i also steam some greens and keep them frozen so i can throw them in with about everything.

 

another thing i have figured out. dress up and snaze up the grain and keep the side dishes simple - just simple steamed variety of veggies (different times though) - so make a green rice/buckwheat/quinoa - fry some thyme in oil and mix the grain and then throw and mix steamed greens (or sometimes i throw in the greens 3 mins before the grain finishes cooking), or fry some onion and raisins in coconut oil or spice up the grain. 

 

MUMKIMUM - A GREAT recipe for carrots (dd and i hate cooked carrots). next time you make the rice dish with kale and carrots, cut the carrots very fine (or broil them in teh oven with oil) and then throw some cardamom on them and then add them to the rice dish.

 

one of the key about fragrant cooking is cooking things seperately (like butter nut squash with cinnamon, pumpkin with poppy seeds and onion)  and then adding them to whatever you are cooking. 

 

since i HATE left overs - i make separate batches of these and store them separate and then throw things together. so you taste not only the overall taste of the dish, but individual flavors too.

 

you will be surprised to discover that you can fry dried herbs (i was shocked) and it brings out the flavor even more.

 

the key is experimenting, experimenting and letting the artist in you (or should i say scientist in you) come out and actually try adn see if two things go together or not. i did that with onions and raisins and i was surprised.

 

another simple thing (i find i get into a cooking rut when life around me is in a rut). i love asian stores and have some spices from them. i have bean and rice noodles that cook oh so fast. i make a broth with onion and mushrooms add some five spice and anise and some vinegar and then throw in some chopped veggies, boil them for a minute, add the already cooked noodles and voila. some nice change.

 

i've been trying to find some "kimchee" spice. i saw it in a korean bottle - a red spicy spice. 

 

it is so good. stiry fry veggies, add rice, stir, take off flame and add kimchee paste.

 

i love vietnamese cooking. simple but so crisp and oh gosh - what a variety of flavors.  


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#11 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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This thread is awesome!

I found this link at Fine Cooking--they have a lot of these "DIY/plug-in" type recipes that I always find to be helpful.

http://www.finecooking.com/articles/cyor/grain-salad.aspx
 

Their recipe for rice pilaf made w/curry powder, onion, a blend of lite coconut milk and chicken broth (easy to switch in veggie broth instead), raisins and toasted almonds is a lifesaver--I make it all the time. I add chopped, sauteed chicken at the end, but it would be easy to use a vegetarian protein instead.


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#12 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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I hate meal planning and I've been in a rut lately too (morning sickness, ugh).  I don't usually decide what I'm making for supper until it's time to start cooking (around 5pm).  The only planning ahead I do is soaking beans overnight about twice a week (enough for two supper meals each time, so we have beans for supper about 4 suppers each week).  I don't think about what I'm going to cook when I get groceries, but I keep a big stash of 4 kinds of dried beans, rice/quinoa, eggs, tofu, various cheeses, and then buy whatever fresh fruit and veggies are in season/on sale each week. 

 

I'm trying to just focus on the protein in the dish for supper as my starting point (we're vegetarian), usually beans, cheese, tofu, or eggs...  then I can throw veggies into the main dish (I vary lots of recipes this way) or if not, I can make a quick veggie side dish.  I try to make enough of the main dish so I will have leftovers for lunch (if not, it's pb&j again!  I love leftovers.).  If I'm soaking/cooking beans or boiling eggs, I double what I need so I have enough protein left over to make another supper dish later in the week.  If the oven's hot for making supper and I have time while things cook, I'll make muffins then too for breakfast.  We have two snacks a day: fruit/nuts or fruit/yogurt.

 

Here are some supper dishes I've been going through lately:

1. black beans: black beans w/quinoa... the leftover supper could be black bean hummus, quesadillas,  veggie burgers, or cowboy caviar

2. pintos: pintos and cornbread... leftovers made into refried beans for burritos/enchiladas/nachos/7-layer dip/tacos

3. kidney beans: red beans and rice... leftovers go into chili, minestroni, or veggie soup

4. chickpeas: curry chickpeas and rice w/spinach/sweet potatoes or w/mushrooms/onions or chickpeas/tomatoes/cumin/rice... leftovers go into hummus, falafel, or a big salad 

5. eggs: quiche, scrambles or if boiling, I make enough for egg salad, deviled eggs, and pickled eggs.

6. tofu: stir-fry veggies/tofu w/rice, pasta/sauce/tofu (I don't usually make these, because on nights I don't want to cook, I can talk dh into making these since they're quick/easy)

7. other: cottage cheese/nut loaf, portobello/cheese burgers

 

My current favorite for quick veggies is roasting something while I make the main dish (asparagus, portobellos, brussel sprouts, beets, baby carrots, potatoes, or whatever)... usually 15-30 minutes is enough.  If I need something quicker: steamed broccoli or carrots, sauteed spinach/garlic, a simple salad, frozen peas.

 

This strategy is helping me to keep out of the kitchen as much as possible and from thinking about food as much as possible.  Now, for when the baby comes... ???

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#13 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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mambera YIKES!!! you are asking me hard questions. 

 

i cut the potato in quarters and then boil them since that way they cook faster.

 

i usually try to peel them hot (i know) so that i can throw in the frozen peas (would LOVE to get english peas when in season - but just cant afford them) and butter or coconut or olive oil and then later right before serving the fresh lemon juice. i dont measure anything. salt and pepper to taste.

 

beets - i think i also quarter them and cook them for 20 mins and then peel the skin off. or if i dont have time i roast them.

 

Thanks for the details - so you quarter the potatoes and boil, then take them out to peel them and then put them back in water with the peas?  How much water do you use - is it all supposed to boil away?  I'm just trying to picture how this works - usually if I boil potatoes it's in a soup/stew so the amount of water isn't important.

 

And the beets - so if you steam them whole then the skin will peel off easily?  I always peel them with a veggie peeler before boiling/steaming and it's a huge pita and a big barrier to making beets.  When you roast them do you do it skin-on too or do you need to peel them for that?


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#14 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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Love this thread! great ideas!

 

My go-to easy & inexpensive salad:

Lentils & cous-cous with parsley. lemon & olive oil dressing. You can easily throw in spinach, kale, or whatever greens you have on hand. easy and cooks up fast. Yummier with israeli cous-cous!

 

Black beans & brown rice tacos: cook dried beans with chopped onion, garlic, and cilantro, add couple pinches of cayaene pepper. serve with lime or lemon. yum!

 

Chickpea lentil curry is easy and cheap. 

fry sliced onions in olive oil until transluscent. add curry powder. add cooked lentils and cooked chickpeas. you can stir in some yogurt to make it a bit creamier. (you can also cook the lentils in the dish but it takes longer, and I always keep cooked lentils in the freezer bc i use them so often!)

 

this raw sweet potato, celery, apple salad recipe is super yummy.

http://www.wholeliving.com/151696/sweet-potato-celery-and-apple-salad 

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#15 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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Oh, just to contribute to the thread - for weekends I like to make spinach pie because it can stay out all day for people to nibble on and is also just fine reheated, it keeps really well.  Plus if you have a big pan you can make lots and lots.  This recipe makes a fat pie in a regular pie pan or a thin one in a bigger rectangular pan.

 

2 eggs

1 package farmer cheese (8 oz I think)

2 packages frozen spinach (the kind that comes in blocks - 8 oz each I think)

1 onion (you can pre-sautee if you like but that makes more dishes, it works fine if you just chop it up raw too)

lots of fresh dill

lots of olive oil

salt, pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs

 

Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out the water (I mush with a spoon against a colander - important to get out most of the excess or the pie will be too wet).  Mix all ingredients in a big bowl, spread in pie pan, and bake at 350 for an hour.


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#16 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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And the beets - so if you steam them whole then the skin will peel off easily?  I always peel them with a veggie peeler before boiling/steaming and it's a huge pita and a big barrier to making beets.  When you roast them do you do it skin-on too or do you need to peel them for that?

 

I'm not meemee, but when I boil/steam beets, I do them with the skins on. I cut the stems a few inches from the top of the beet, then pop them in the pan. When they're done, I cut off the top and end (just like an onion), then slip the skins off with my fingers. My fingers turn red, and the beets can be a bit hard to handle (they're usually still pretty hot), but the skins come off really easily.


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#17 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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mambera: What is farmer's cheese?


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#18 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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Check out our co-ops recipes.  They serve these at the hot bar and I haven't had one that I didn't like. 

 

http://www.willystreet.coop/recipe/byname#alpha_v

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#19 of 26 Old 05-30-2012, 11:30 PM
 
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yup yup. just as Storm Bride said. 

 

now if i dont want to deal with the skin i roast them and so eat the skin too. 

 

so i barely cover the potatoes with water when i boil them. i have also steamed them. now remember usually i use frozen peas. so while the potatoes are still hot (dang i dont peel them, i was confusing them with beets when i wrote that on barely any sleep) after i take them out of the water, i add the peas immideately so the heat from the potato cooks the frozen peas. i also first add in butter to melt in the hot potatoes (if I am using butter) and then add the frozen peas. if i cook english peas i steam them. if i do boil them (i rarely allow all the water to disappear) but with peas i always drink the water later. its sweet and delish. 

 

today i made pizza with home made hummus. own bread with wheat germ, then basil raw hummus and then a bunch of veggies on top like cauliflower, broccoli, chard, mixed greens, collards and then cheese on top. delish but time consuming. oh of course i used a TONNE of garlic and between the garlic and cheese - that did the trick. 


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#20 of 26 Old 05-31-2012, 06:02 AM
 
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Oh, just to contribute to the thread - for weekends I like to make spinach pie because it can stay out all day for people to nibble on and is also just fine reheated, it keeps really well.  Plus if you have a big pan you can make lots and lots.  This recipe makes a fat pie in a regular pie pan or a thin one in a bigger rectangular pan.

 

2 eggs

1 package farmer cheese (8 oz I think)

2 packages frozen spinach (the kind that comes in blocks - 8 oz each I think)

1 onion (you can pre-sautee if you like but that makes more dishes, it works fine if you just chop it up raw too)

lots of fresh dill

lots of olive oil

salt, pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs

 

Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out the water (I mush with a spoon against a colander - important to get out most of the excess or the pie will be too wet).  Mix all ingredients in a big bowl, spread in pie pan, and bake at 350 for an hour.

 

We love spinach pie - we use feta or ricotta instead of farmer's cheese, and wrap in phyllo. This recipe sounds really good and a little healthier than our version with the pastry. 

 

Quick tip for squeezing the water out of cooked spinach. I put it in a mixing bowl, and then place the same-sized mixing bowl on top of the spinach. Invert over a sink and squeeze the 2 bowls together. It very easy and works fast. You can also use 2 plates, but I find I can control 2 bowls a little better. 

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#21 of 26 Old 05-31-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks meemee for the potato recipe, sounds like something I could make with dd1 that she'd really like too.  AND the carrot-cardamom rice sound great too (cardamom is my favorite, I'll definitely try it out here - carrots have been a past favorite but aren't right now, but I always have them around and I'd really prefer they get used up more often.)  

 

I think spinach pie will go over well too, and doing black bean/rice tacos is a good idea (a little different than we've done it before, so new and good).

 

 

 

Yay for some good ideas!  I just recently stumbled upon a cookbook with some simple stir fry sauces (& a slightly different technique to doing stir fry veggies than I've normally done) so that's a plan for us tonight.

 

There's this lemon-coconut stir fry sauce that I suspect people will actually like shrug.gif ?? we'll see (I think it sounds really good, so - that matters too).  

 

Here's the recipe for the sake of sharing:

1/2 c coconut milk

1 tsp lemon zest, 3 of lemon juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sweet sherry (or similar cooking wine, or water)

4 tsp brown sugar 

 

(add to your stir fry with 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water, to thicken, until heated after cooking everything through)

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#22 of 26 Old 06-01-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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We love spinach pie - we use feta or ricotta instead of farmer's cheese, and wrap in phyllo. This recipe sounds really good and a little healthier than our version with the pastry.

 

Love the full version but I'm way too lazy to mess with phyllo dough.  We like the phyllo-free version served with a dollop of Total greek yogurt on top.

 

Storm Bride farmer cheese is kind of like ricotta but a little more dry and mild.  I find it works better for not getting the pie too wet, but ricotta works too.

 

 

And another good easy recipe: speedy eggplant parm (dinner tonight here!)  Good with pasta or even just a salad, left over and reheated makes great sandwiches.

 

Eggplant, jarred tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, grated parm, breadcrumbs, butter, oregano.

 

Preheat oven to 400.  Dip eggplant rounds in butter and coat with breadcrumbs/oregano.  Top with sauce, bake 15 min.  Top with shredded mozzarella, sprinkle with parm, return to oven for another 15 min.  Delish!


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#23 of 26 Old 06-03-2012, 07:54 PM
 
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Here's the recipe for the sake of sharing:

1/2 c coconut milk

1 tsp lemon zest, 3 of lemon juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sweet sherry (or similar cooking wine, or water)

4 tsp brown sugar 

 

(add to your stir fry with 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water, to thicken, until heated after cooking everything through)

 

Thank you! This was sooooo good - just had it tonight. My husband and I devoured it. The kids didn't care for it, but I'm getting used to that. I'd just about given up on stir frys, as I'm usually the only one who likes them, but this one is a keeper.


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#24 of 26 Old 07-03-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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*sigh*

I tried the stir fry again. DS2 wouldn't touch it. DD1 ate the chicken, and all the veggies (except the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts), with a sour look on her face, then said "this is disgusting".


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#25 of 26 Old 07-04-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Storm Bride - we had the same kiddo reaction to the stir fry sauce (but dh & I LOVED it too).  Instead they just eat a ton of rice and complain they're hungry later.  eyesroll.gif

 

 

The recipe was from cook without a book: meatless meals.  And the author contributes to this blog too.  I found an awesome beer-cheese soup recipe there that the kids also hate.  orngtongue.gif  

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#26 of 26 Old 07-04-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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I'm going to keep making it, anyway. It's soooooo good. And, even though I'm the slowest veggie chopper in the world, I can make this a "quick" meal, by prepping the ingredients earlier in the day. It would be great to be able to come home, pull out the wok, and throw a bowl of already chopped stuff from the fridge into it!


Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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