Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

20 No Cook Dinner Ideas – Beat the Heat!

It’s June.  It’s Hot.  Our A/C is not working and the repair guys wont be here for another 3 days.  I am not getting anywhere near the oven, stove, microwave or any other form of heat until it’s fixed.

I know I’m not the only one suffering from lack of cool air, albeit temporarily.  This made me think of some ideas for no-cook dinners for days when even plugging in the toaster is too much.  If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear your no-cook ideas!

  1. Turkey Sandwich with Potato Chips.  Okay – this is a no brainer, but I think we forget this can be dinner, too.  There’s no reason this has to be that complicated.  Make a sandwich, add some chips, carrot sticks or a salad and voila – yum.  The key to making this dinner-like is the toppings – dont just slap some meat and cheese on a piece of bread, get creative.  Thin sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots, jarred or deli red peppers and/or pepperoncini.  Make it awesome!
  2. Wrap it up!  Make a salad, add some diced ham or turkey and wrap it up in a tomato basil or spinach wrap.  Serve with chips or store-bought potato salad.  I have a weakness for the redskin potato salad from City Market (Kroger.)  You can also make yummy Cucumbers with Lemony Dressing to go with it.

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Budget Friendly, For the Freezer, Menu Planning, Recipes

Ground Chicken & White Bean Green Chile

Hubby requested chili for dinner – but I had 2 lbs of ground chicken that needed to be used up – so I whipped this chilE up, which was a conglomeration of my Pueblo Green Chile and white chicken chili recipes.  It’s pretty dang tasty and ground chicken is fairly economical.  If you don’t have ground, or don’t want to grind your own in your food processor or meat grinder, diced chicken breast works great as well.

Season to your taste – we like chili powder and cumin along with S&P in our chili.  Some people like oregano or Mexican oregano in their chile – it’s all to what you like.  This recipe will also freeze very well – have some on hand for smothering burritos or adding to eggs or potatoes. It’s freezer friendly for sure!

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Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Cucumbers with Lemony Dressing

I love salads that don’t actually involve lettuce.  While lettuce is fine, it’s like a talisman to the fact that I’m actually dieting, which irritates me, so I pretend I don’t like it.  I’m always looking for something quick to throw together to make a non-lettuce salad to go with dinner.  I stumbled across this recipe from The Dinner Daily and adjusted it a bit for our tastes.

Whether you use cucumber, pour it on a zucchini noodle salad, pour it on a regular salad, or spoon a bit over blanched or roasted asparagus, this is really fresh and light.  You may be tempted to skip the salt and pepper, but that’s probably the most important part – it brings out the liquid in the veg, and salt counter-balances the sweet from the lemon and sugar.  you could substitute stevia in here if you wanted, easy peasy.

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Budget Friendly, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Asparagus

I found this recipe on Pinterest and adapted it a bit from the one Damn Delicious posted.  Hubby had his with a fried egg on top, and really enjoyed it.  Runny egg yolks are not my thing without toast, so I skipped the egg and enjoyed mine with a sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan cheese.  The egg definitely adds protein though – so to boost it if you don’t want eggs, try a legume like chickpeas or cannellini beans.

The Boy had his without egg and cleaned his plate, so even good for picky eaters.  My kids both love roasted asparagus, though – so that makes things easier!

Serve with a green salad and garlic bread – perfect quick-cooking, no plan meal.

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Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Pressure Cooker Deconstructed Lasagne Soup Recipe

This. Was. Great. I love lasagne but its time consuming and expensive to make.  This Deconstructed Lasagne Soup Recipe was the answer to my dilemma.

I adapted a recipe from PeggyUnderPressure.com to fit what I had on hand and our tastes.  She made balls with the ricotta and mozzarella and I just put spoonfuls into the soup.  I’m anti-fussy.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker – this could be easily done on the stovetop or in a slow cooker – I wouldn’t really adjust the recipe much – if you use a slow cooker I’d precook the noodles and then add to the soup the last 20 minutes before you serve it.

Hope you like it!

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Weekly Menu feb 12-18
Menu Planning, Recipes

Weekly Menu Feb 12 – 18, 2017

Dinner this week – yum.  I am trying out a few new recipes AND I’ve gotten a new kitchen tool – an INSTANT POT.  I’m pretty happy with it so far and have at least 2 recipes planned using it this week.

What are you having?

Sunday Feb 12, 2017 – Pulled Pork & Cole Slaw.  I’m having fun with my new Instant Pot and trying some pulled pork will be my next adventure.  I’ll be making coleslaw to go with it, using my mom’s recipe of course.  Probably some biscuits and a salad as well.  Yum.

Monday Feb 13, 2017 – Stuffed Peppers.  Brown rice, ground beef, some veggies and a yummy sauce means a quick healthful meal.  The Boy isnt too much of a fan, but he’ll live.

Tuesday Feb 14, 2017 – Chopped Salad.  Gym tonight – so something fast and tasty.  Might do some chicken on the salad if I’m not dying when we get home.

Wednesday Feb 15, 2017 – White Chicken Chili.  Another try with my Instant Pot.  The best thing about this tool is being able to make great soups, stews, roasts, etc in less than an HOUR.  

Thursday Feb 16, 2017 – Leftover Chili and Wraps.  We’ll have leftover soup and I’ll put some wraps together with ham, lettuce and other veggies and a few slices of cheese.

Friday Feb 17, 2017.  Lasagne Roll Ups.  I love these, fast, tasty, lower calorie than a regular lasagne.  

Saturday Feb 18, 2017.  Fish?  Shopping day, I’m going to pick up some sort of fish – so the recipe will have to wait until I pick it out.  Could be anything from baked cod or sole to Seafood Arrabbiata!