No plan for dinner ...

Discussion in 'Kitchen Chatter' started by DahliaDoll, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. DahliaDoll

    DahliaDoll Well-Known Member

    What do you fix when you haven't made a plan for dinner? It happened this evening when we hadn't taken anything out of the freezer for dinner. DH went to take out some frozen burritos that can just be heated in the oven and there was only one left, so he took out some frozen cod that looked like it could just be heated up, but the directions said to thaw first, so that wouldn't work. We ended up heating up a can of chili and having that with grilled cheese sandwiches, which was fine.

    We probably could have had something with eggs, like an omelet. I'm just looking for some other suggestions.

  2. AuntJamelle

    AuntJamelle Well-Known Member

    Our last minute dinners in the past include:

    Smoked Sausage (cut into chunks and heated in a pan with a bit of water until the skin chars a bit) + boxed mac and cheese

    Salads - Can pull cooked chicken from freezer or just have with cucumber, avocado, feta, etc.

    Breakfast for Dinner - Pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs or French Toast - if you have a pie crust in fridge you could make a quiche - or make a crustless quiche. I keep cooked chopped bacon or crumbled cooked sausage in freezer and that plus a can of mushrooms and cheese make a great quiche!

    Tacos - I keep cooked ground beef in the freezer usually and it is easy to thaw in microwave then toss in pan with water and taco seasoning until it is cooked down - works with cooked shredded chicken from freezer as well

    Oven Tacos - Mix the ground beef from freezer with some refried beans as well as taco seasoning after thawing. Fill bottoms of hard taco shells, top with cheese and heat through in oven. Add other toppings as desired.

    Spaghetti - Cooked ground beef in freezer can be combined with jarred sauce and an extra jar of mushrooms if you like. Sometimes I keep sliced loaves of bakery bread in freezer and they can be spread, still frozen, with softened butter mixed with garlic powder and other Italian seasonings before popping under the broiler. Top with cheese as well if desired.

    Frozen pizzas with added toppings and cheese

    Cheesy Chicken Green Bean Casserole - Use the recipe on back of can of French Fried Onions but add cooked frozen chicken (thawed some in microwave) and as much cheese of whatever variety you like. I add Sharp Cheddar and cubes of Velveeta. Bake per directions for normal green bean casserole, topping with onions during last 5 minutes.

    Chicken & Ranch Potatoes - Make a simple white sauce - replacing half the flour with a packet of ranch dressing mix. Pour over raw chicken breasts and cut up potatoes in a baking dish, sprinkle with Parmesan (from a can is fine) and bake until chicken is done. Serve with canned green beans.
    Minta likes this.
  3. Minta

    Minta Administrator Staff Member

    Things I like to keep in the freezer for cases like that, quick lunches or if I am sick:
    1. Burgers (beef and turkey)
    2. Bag of Meatballs
    3. 1 pack of turkey hotdogs
    4. Bag of Pancakes (I like to make extras, flash freeze and then freeze for quick easy use)
    5. Bags of single serve soups, chili. When Ever I make soup or chili I try to make extra to freeze
    6. At least 1 bag of pulled pork
    7. Premade taco meat

    In the Pantry:
    1. at least 1 box of mac and cheese - I usually make it from scratch but when in a pinch I will use the box version
    2. cans of tomato soup to be paired with grill cheese sandwiches
    3. spaghetti and jar sauce
    4. soft taco shells
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  4. AuntJamelle

    AuntJamelle Well-Known Member

    Good thought on extra pancakes in the freezer! I do that often when we have leftovers. I also freeze leftover buttermilk in the amount called for in our pancake recipe - can thaw in microwave and then mix up as normal.
    Minta likes this.
  5. DahliaDoll

    DahliaDoll Well-Known Member

    Such great ideas! Thanks!

    I need to start keeping cooked ground beef in the freezer. Great for so many things!

    Great idea also to freeze buttermilk in specific amounts for recipes.
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  6. Ahorsesoul

    Ahorsesoul Santa's Elves

    Things I serve when I do not want to cook or do not have the time.

    I freeze our leftover pizza pieces. We can just take one or two pieces out at a time.
    A can of spam and pineapple is in the pantry. I slice and fry with spam with butter and brown sugar putting the pineapple on top.
    Jars of spaghetti sauce and frozen meatballs for pasta. If I do not have meatballs it can be a meatless meal.
    Roasted chicken from Walmart with a package of already prepared mashed potatoes
    When I have leftovers from dinner I freeze them in small containers for lunch or for a fast dinner
    When I buy chicken breast I pound them until they are thin and pretty much flat before I freeze them. Then I can fry them up fast with out thawing. Works for beef and pork too.
    Tuna melts: drain a can of tuna (could use chicken), add some cream of mushroom soup, spread on a roll and broil a few minutes. Top with cheese for half a minute more under the broiler.

    For frozen fish I use this recipe. We call it Fish Cake

    12/16 oz package of FROZEN fish (do not thaw)

    Mix together and spread on frozen fish:
    2 T Dijon mustard
    3 T butter

    Bake at 450F/180C for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Stir fry 1 cup bread crumbs ( just use a piece of bread to make them) in 2 T butter until toasted brown.

    Mix 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup toasted sliced almond.

    Spread sour cream mixture over hot fish, Then top with the toasted Bread Crumbs.

    Cook Fish for 5 more minutes or until it flakes nicely.

    Serves four.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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  7. Lori K

    Lori K Member

    Shortly after I lost my husband, I made it a habit to keep grab-and-go items on hand, for just that reason -- I'd get home from work, exhausted, and knew I NEEDED to eat something -- even if I wasn't hungry. I knew I had to keep my strength up, so I had to have at least something quick on hand.

    Here are a few of my go-to meals, when that happens:
    * Stir-fried vegetables -- whatever was in the crisper, cooked in olive oil, served over spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese
    * Omelettes -- again with sauted veggies and cheese, I'd add ham if I had lunchmeat on hand, and a side of toast or english muffin. Also, I'd often add Brown & Serve sausage, if I had any in the freezer.
    * Mac & Cheese -- yes, Kraft boxed will do in a pinch
    * Yogurt with fruit and granola
    * Always kept a few hard boiled eggs in the refrig -- egg salad, sliced into a green salad ...
    * English muffins or a bagel with peanut butter and jelly or cream cheese (sometimes with jelly, too); also good broiled with a tomoato slice and mozzarella cheese.
    * Chicken Kiev-type servings (often available in cordon blue, broccoli & cheese, buffalo chicken style), often sold at my grocery on a 10/$10.00 sale -- not always the healthiest, but it gives some protein and makes a decent meal when served with rice and a salad. i still keep several on hand, just in case.
    * Tomato soup and grilled cheese. Add a side salad.
    * Cottage cheese, fruit, and toast (raisin is great)
    * BLTs
    * Not sure where you live, but if you're near a grocery, consider a half (or whole, depending on your family size) broasted chicken from the deli. Add a salad and veg, and you're good to go, with chicken left for lunch the next day. By me, they mark them down as low as $3-$5, as the dinner hour nears, to clear them out before the store closes.
    * When I make lasagna, I'll make 3-4 small loaf pans, rather than a large one. I'll bake one and freeze the remainder for another meal. 1 small loaf pan (disposable foil pan) makes 2 servings (for me, anyway).

    Over the last few years, I've gotten much better. I've learned to cook 1/2 recipes, and save a portion for lunch the next day (or an additional dinner, if there's plenty left over). Less waste and always something good on hand to eat.

    luludou, Minta and AuntJamelle like this.

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