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Moms Talk: Share Your Easy-to-Assemble, Inexpensive Dishes

It's tough finding the time to cook a healthy, inexpensive meal. And no one knows that better than parents

We're trying something a little different with today's Moms Talk discussion. We're asking you to dig deep into your recipe books (or maybe you can recite the ingredients to your favorite dish on command?) and submit the recipes your family loves. Especially the dishes loved by those difficult-to-please ones (your kids). 

So, bring it on, parents. What's it going to be? Veggie pizza? Homemade applesauce? Turkey burgers?

Let us know what we can make for dinner that's healthy and inexpensive!

Kristina Bunnell April 27, 2011 at 02:21 PM
I have a really easy no rise pizza crust recipe I for easy dinner nights. 3 cup flour 1 .25 oz package dry active yeast 2T veggie or olive oil 1tsp salt 1T white sugar 1 cup warm water -combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl -mix in oil and warm water - you may have to kneed it a bit to get it all combined -spread into sheet pan- I flatten it out as best I can, then roll it out the rest of the way with a plastic cup -top however you like and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes
Lisa Lynch-Frank April 27, 2011 at 02:27 PM
One meal I love that is quick and easy is pizza on a high fiber, whole wheat tortilla wrap ( you can make it into a pizza or roll it and cut it into small bites). I use a simple sauce of tomatoes and olive oil ( you can buy pre-made sauce as well). I then add a bit of flax seed oil and wheat germ to it ( they can't even taste it, so it's a great way to sneak in some bonus health points!) I chop up veggies. Laurisa loves black olives and tomatoes so we add that and sometimes we'll do a bit of pepperoni or chicken and voila-- simple, nutritious, and great for summer! Kids love it and you can add anything you want to the sauce and, they'll never know! I'll try to post more later, but can't wait to hear what everyone else has to share!
Kristina Bunnell April 27, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Another quick one I use and it gets the kids to eat spinach, tomatoes, and beans in one sitting is Skillet Gnocchi. 1 package 16 oz shelf stable gnocchi (in the pasta section) onion sliced thin 4 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 c water 6 c fresh spinach leaves chopped 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning 1 15 oz can white beans 1/4 tsp ground pepper 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese -Brown gnocchi with 1T oil in nonstick skillet over med heat -in another large skillet, heat 1 tsp oil then add onion and cook a couple minutes -stir in garlic and water, then cover and cook till onion soft -add spinach and cook till it starts to wilt -stir in tomatos, beans and pepper and simmer -stir in gnocchi and cheese, cover and cook till cheese melts Goes great with some garlic bread and the kids really like the dumplings.
Kristina Bunnell April 27, 2011 at 02:41 PM
And one more for the crock pot, because it's every mom's best friend. Tex-Mex Pot Roast 2lb beef roast 1 tsp chipotle chili powder 15 oz can chili beans 1 can corn chopped onion 10 oz can rotels dump all ingredients into pot and cook low 8-10 hours serve in a big bowl over egg noodles with crusty bread-yum! You can adjust the heat in this one by how hot you go on the chili beans and rotels.
Emily Chesnic April 27, 2011 at 02:48 PM
These are great! I really have been seeking more meal ideas, so I am excited about this! I want to do better sneaking in veggies and other healthy ingredients. I have picky eaters on my hands, though, including my husband. One of my favorite meals to make is roast in the slow cooker, especially when I find a good deal on roast. For some reason, my children will even eat the celery cooked in this dish! My husband just picks out the veggies he likes in this to eat. This is all I do, and it always turns out DELICIOUS and leaves us with leftovers: Ingredients 3 pounds beef roast; 6 potatoes; 1 1/2 cups baby carrots; 1 yellow onion; 2 stalks celery; 3 cubes beef bouillon; and 1/2 cup water Directions Cut up potatoes, onions, and celery in to fairly large chunks and place in a slow cooker. Put roast on top of vegetables. Place 3 bouillon cubes randomly on top of roast and pour in water. Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.
Emily Chesnic April 27, 2011 at 04:37 PM
I also would like to utilize our grill more this summer. Any good tips/recipes? My 3-year-old loves to cook/bake with mommy, as well, so I always am looking for things for her to prepare (with my help, of course!) Any great suggestions?
Emily Chesnic April 27, 2011 at 04:52 PM
Mmm! This sounds like a great alternative to my pot roast. I WILL be trying this soon! And you are right the crock pot ROCKS! Thank you!
Kristina Bunnell April 27, 2011 at 05:51 PM
One thing I've done is banana muffins. You can let the little ones mash the bananas-they love that. Or help put the toppings on a home made pizza. Whenever I do cookies I let the little one sit on the counter and pour the spoons/cups into the big bowl. He also likes to help mix pudding and crush graham crackers for pudding pies.
Ginny Herman April 27, 2011 at 09:39 PM
I have a recipe that my kids always ask for when they're home. In fact, we made it one Thanksgiving when we were traveling in Orlando. Roll-ups One box of Stove Top dressing-your preference 1 egg 8-10 slices of deli turkey (can use ham also) 8-10 slices of thinly sliced cheddar cheese (or Swiss) Make your stove top dressing and add one egg while mixing. Lay a slice of turkey then a slice of cheese on top and spoon some dressing on one end. Roll the turkey up in a tube and place in a baking dish. Do this to all of them (Some prefer no dressing inside the roll-up) Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Be creative and use any deli meat and cheese. Ginny Herman
Amia Freeman April 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Fiesta Crockpot Chickecn Chili 3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts strips (or for a quicker option use pulled Rotisseri Chicken) 1 can black beans 1 can white beans 1 can light red kidney beans 1 container pico de gallo 1 ripe avocado 1 can fire roasted salsa ready tomatoes 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tbsp onion powder 1 tbsp ground cummin 1 bag Santitas or Restaurant Style torilla chips Fiesta style/mexican mix shredded cheese dump everything into the crockpot set on high for 2 hours cover with a lid and walk away! once done cooking sprinkle cheese on top serve with tortilla chips
Lisa Lynch-Frank April 28, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Wow, I have myself a mini Patch cookbook! ; ) Such great ideas! Anyone every try a pizza on the grill? My husband and I do this all the time! We take our dough from our restaurant and brush both sides with 100 percent olive oil infused with garlic. We bout a cheap wire rack at Fishers ( you can reuse over and over). First, you place the pizza on the rack on the grill and grill bottom. when crispy and brown take it off and sauce, cheese, decorate with choice of toppings, put back on grill (uncooked part on bottom, grilled end has the toppings). Divine. Take about 20 minutes. Great for summer and so much fun to grill a pizza!
Emily Chesnic April 28, 2011 at 03:34 PM
It would be nice to keep this going. Maybe, we each could add a recipe anytime we come across another great one! I really appreciated this week's topic!
Lisa Lynch-Frank April 28, 2011 at 08:26 PM
I agree Emily! Love that idea : )
Ginny Herman April 28, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Leave it open. I can add a lot more easy dishes. After raising four kids who were in band, soccer, theatre, choir, scouts, I was always doing quick and easy.
Kristina Bunnell April 29, 2011 at 03:07 AM
There are a bunch here. We've made the taquitos (my kids' new fav), the chicken lo mien, and the Moroccan chicken kabobs several times now. I got the stuff to do the meatball minestrone later this week-will let you know how we like it.
Kristina Bunnell April 29, 2011 at 03:08 AM
oops-forgot the link :P http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/

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