Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years food revolution

So lately I've had a love/hate relationship with food, well not really food in general, just the process of deciding what to eat and then fixing it. (And don't even get me started on cleaning it up afterwards sans dishwasher.)
I really like to cook, I do, and have been doing so much more of it since getting married. I find myself reading countless food blogs and watching shameless hours of the Food Network and the Cooking channel. But lately I've felt burdened with the task of deciding what to cook. There are so many choices, and with many of the choices requiring extensive ingredient lists, I just give up and have something simple and boring. Like last week I found myself watching back to back episodes of Everyday Italian while eating frozen pizza. FROZEN PIZZA! That is just not acceptable, and really doesn't make any sense.
So I've decided I need a food revolution. I'm tired of the same old food routine rut the husband and I have been stuck in. I need some fresh ideas. I need to spice up my recipe list, restock my pantry, and be prepared to make fun, different, and inexpensive meals in the new year.

To help you see what I'm working with, here is a list of the common things we eat. Now keep in mind that I married into a cattle-farming family so we are blessed with lots of beef. And we are on a grad-school budget.  I'm positive this list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea.

Main dishes:
Hamburger steaks
Steaks-  I don't really want to change this staple, just find better things to pair with it.
Spagetti- with meat sauce of course.
Tacos- ground beef, salsa, chips, cheese, rotel..etc, etc, etc..
Frozen pizza. Honestly we probably eat a frozen pizza once a week. It's so nice to not have to wash dishes.
Chili. I'm actually not tired of my chili yet because we don't eat it very often.
Baked chicken

Side dishes:
Baked potatoes
Boiled potatoes
Potato fries. Or that's just what we call them. Baked potato wedges covered in seasoning salt and Cajun seasoning. Really one of Jamo's favorites. 
Baked beans
Black eyed peas (occasionally)
Cheesy bread or garlic bread
Mac and cheese- sometimes homemade, sometimes from a box (I know, I know. Trust me I'm embarrassed)
Fried okra. (in the summer)

Things I make occasionally:
Stuffed shells with meat sauce. Tasty, just time consuming.
Mushroom and Swiss sliders
Bow tie lasagna
Muffaletta sandwiches. (Just for me, Jamo won't touch these)
Pot roast with carrots and potatoes

Uuugghhhh. Just reading that list makes me so bored. I need new inspiration.
What is a dinner favorite at your house? What is your go-to meal for ease and flavor. What side dishes are usually in your repertoire? What does a week's worth of meals look like for you?


  1. Real Simple has a lot of really good recipes. And they do a lot of things like 10 great meals with only 5 ingredients and stuff like that. good luck! it's so easy to get stuck in a rut with food.

  2. We do chicken quesadillas almost weekly. Quesadilla makers are only around $20 and so worth it! We use canned chicken and spice it up with seasoning and throw it in the skillet for a few minutes. Cheese, jalapenos, and Micah's famous white queso/salsa mixture for dipping (the only cooking he does). Another thing you could think about is the E-Meals thing Kassie and Cory do. They love it! Good luck!

  3. We have some cooking ruts too. We eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week. I can't give this up though, it's Joshua's favorite. I've been loving the fall and cold weather too - it means we can eat soup all the time!

  4. Might I suggest country sausage, white beans and cornbread. Actually, that combination reminds me of your Father. :-)