Monday, April 15, 2013

27 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas for Families

I am spending all of my spare time, and not so spare time, working with Lacey on her fear issues. In the meantime, Husband and I need dinner recipes that use a short list of common real food ingredients that are easy to make and come together quickly.

I asked the smartest people I know – my Facebook friends (you can be one too, click here to Like my page!) for their easy family dinner ideas.

You can easily adjust most of these recipes to fit your family and what is in your cupboards. Can’t eat gluten? Switch to a gluten free pasta or flour. Don’t like vegetarian? Toss in some meat. Don't like canned ingredients? Use fresh or frozen. Don't have fresh? Do just the opposite. You get the drill.

Let’s eat!


Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas


Paleo Primal Chicken Tacos with Bacon   from Tiffany of Nature Moms says, "If I have 10-20 minutes I make tacos. I made paleo tacos for dinner tonight and boy were they ever good!! I don't miss tortillas or taco shells at all when I eat these! Plus, they are a snap to make."

Chicken Pepper Stir Fry from Angie Country Chic Cottage. Like Angie, stir frys paired with brown rice are a quick meal staple at my house.


Easy Fish and Seafood Dinner Ideas


Garlicky Grilled Tilapia with Couscous from Real Simple. Fish is one of my go to quick meals because it doesn’t take long to sauté or grill it. Oh, and fish is yummy too.



Easy Vegetarian Dinner Ideas


Tomato Veggie Pasta Debra of Liberated Spaces  suggests, "Chop a handful of whatever veggies are on hand (kale, carrots, onion, whatever!), sauté and add jar of favorite tomato sauce. Cook favorite shape of pasta and enjoy. Delicious, healthful quick 'n easy."

Pasta with Sweet Peas, Cream, and Greens Karen of The Best of Mother Earth gave me this idea,"I mix pasta with sweet peas, cream and greens - usually arugula. The sauce is broth - a splash of cream and white pepper. I top it with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. If I am feeling zippy, I add garlic. You can skip the greens to make it a healthier version of Mac - n – cheese."

Magic Rice and Oven Potatoes Leanna of All Done Monkey created this recipe to combat a picky eater. It worked!
  
Corn on the Cob Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing Stephanie Good Girl Gone Green  is my new BFF for helping me deal with the ton of corn we get during sweet corn season.


Simple Rice & Beans from Gretchen of Healthful Mama is her go to quick meal.

Gluten Free Noodles And Tomato Sauce Stephanie of Good Girl Gone Green  says, "I soak kelp noodles with 1/2 a lemon for 30 minutes, rinse, and mix with tomato sauce pre-made from a previous meal. Mmmmm."

Naan Pizza from Karen of EcoKaren created this recipe as a variation on her got to quick meal - pizza. I can’t wait to try this one! 

 Taco-Night Pasta from Recipe.com – You can substitute ground turkey or beef for the soy crumbles if you like.
  

Easy Ham Dinner Ideas

Ham and Cabbage Recipe from me at Lazy Budget Chef. This recipe is great if you have leftover ham you need to use. I usually use turkey ham (turkey brined with ham spices) in this recipe.

Easy Crock Pot Dinner Recipes

Chicken Tortilla Soup from Jessica of Mad In Crafts. I have this simmering in my crock pot right now and it smells FANTASTIC! Update: This recipe is a keeper and a great I-don't-have-much-on-hand-because-I'm-grocery-shopping-tomorrow dinner. I did a slight variation than Jessica's recipe based on what I had on hand (used chicken thigh, instead of boneless breast. Dried jalapenos instead of green chilies, and some poor slob with red hair ate the last of the tortilla chips to put on top- oops.) 
 
 Crock Pot Gumbo from me the Lazy Budget Chef. You can make it gluten free if you use your favorite gluten flour in the roux.

Easy Irish Beef Stew also from Jessica of Mad In Crafts. Don't wait until St. Patrick's Day to make this one.

Slow Cooker Lasagna from me at lazy Budget Chef


Crockpot Cincinnati Style Chili Recipe from me at lazy Budget Chef

 Breakfast for Dinner Ideas

Fried Egg Sandwiches. Danika of Greenwala  likes "a good fried-egg sandwich made with organic whole wheat bread and organic eggs." Me too!
  
Omelets. Anna of Green Talk says "I cook omelets. Alternatively, I makes eggs and pancakes"
  
Eggs in Pasta Sauce. Danika of Greenwala suggests soft-cooked eggs in pasta sauce over organic polenta is a good one too.
  
Eggs + Jennifer of The Smart Momma makes, "eggs with anything on hand; also roll ups - burritos - beans + whatever. If I don’t have tortillas, I use lettuce, or bread, or make almost a crepe."

Coconut Ginger Pancakes (Grain and Gluten Free)Tiffany of Nature Moms gave me another great recipe. 
  
Buckwheat Honey Pancakes (Gluten and Dairy Free.) Anna of Green Talk shared this one and my little lactose intolerant heart is grateful.

Time Saving Dinner Ideas


Jeanie of Jwitcraft explains, "I use a dinner template meat + veggies + fat + spices/herbs."

Gretchen of Healthful Mama is a genius! She told me, "I precook rice and grains and freeze it.  Freezing grains really helps make home-cooked meals become habit, especially in a pinch. I can't tell you how many times I didn't know what to cook, but, "Ah! I have quinoa already cooked!" Add protein and veggie."

What are your quick and easy dinner ideas?

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