It’s that time of year again! The jackets, the scarves, the boots … but most important, the chili! We have a staple recipe in our home. It covers all tastes; it has some spice but not too much for kid palates. And of course, we add some macaroni for fun. The best part about this recipe is how quickly it all comes together!
With winter right around the corner, my mind has already turned to soups. I love the warm, flavorful soup. No brothy vegetable soups for me. I need something hearty and creamy that won’t leave me hungry in an hour. After all, I’m a mom. I don’t have time for more than three meals a day. This soup is amazingly simple. Really. I boiled my black beans because it is much cheaper that way, but if you bought a can (or two if you want to freeze some) it would take only fifteen minutes from start to finish. Even with canned black beans (I know, I’m pinching pennies with the self-cook beans!), it is a cheap meal and one that the kids can enjoy too. Pair with Everyday Bread and you’ve got yourself a meal, or two.
I continue to be impressed with lentils. It really is amazing how they absorb the taste of the various ingredients and spices. Every time I make these burgers, I am sure that it will be a disaster. The kitchen reeks to high heaven of that traditional lentil stench, and the sight is just as pleasing as the smell. But, with each added ingredient, the smell starts to dissipate and the lentils merge into something much more palatable. All with the power-packed nutritional benefit that the lentil offers. Did you know that lentils help your body regulate blood sugar? They do! And they help you maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- Cook lentils until tender. Drain.
- Mash lentils and mix with all ingredients
- Form into burgers.
- In a skillet, cook lentil burgers with a small amount of vegetable oil or butter to avoid burning. You do NOT want to burn lentils. Very smelly.
Enjoy! I served mine with a side of rice and dipped the lentil burger in soy sauce. Delicious!
We are like any traditional American family. Spaghetti is a staple. It’s so quick. So easy. And, so cheap! Not to mention it stores really well so it’s also simple to make a bunch and bring it for lunch the rest of the week. It’s hard not to make it every night of the week. There would probably be a mutiny if I did that. Riley is already slightly bored of it. So, I needed to come up with something just as fantastic just a little more exciting.
Here it is! A cure for spaghetti boredom! This dish has the same great spaghetti taste with the same great kid appeal but has kicked the cheesiness factor up a notch. Quick and simple — a great weekday meal.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain noodles and return to pan.
- Thoroughly mix together spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Pour spaghetti mixture in 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese begins to boil.
This dish can be easily customized with: Red pepper flakes Minced garlic Olive oil (drizzled on top) Onions Pepperoni
Quesadillas are delicious. There is no denying that. One of the best things about them is that they are very easy to customize for each member of the family. It does not take much to make a little something extra to spice it up for one member of the family while keeping it pretty bland for another. They can also be great for disguising protein for kids who do not otherwise like to eat meat. In this variation, if they don’t like the turkey and end up picking it out, they are still getting protein from the beans. One cup of black beans has about 15 grams of protein! One cup of cheese has about 31 grams of protein. So sit back and count this as a win, no matter what they pick out of it.
- 1-2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1-2 cups of shredded turkey
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 1/4 cup of water
- green onions, chopped (optional)
- Shred cheese and turkey and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine black beans, taco seasoning, and water. Heat to a boil and cook to desired thickness. My suggestion is to go thicker than you might normally since they will be added to a quesadilla and could make the tortilla mushy.
- Melt butter in medium skillet.Assemble quesadilla (desired amounts of cheese, turkey, and black beans) and cook until brown on each side in skillet.
Amounts will depend on the number of people you are feeding