What’s (always) for dinner?

What’s (always) for dinner?

I’m fascinated by what people eat at home: not just what they make for special occasions, but what they eat again and again. What are their staple meals–the meals they turn to when they need to get something on the table that’s fast, fresh, tasty, and (hopefully, reasonably) nourishing?

I’m intrigued by learning what my friend’s families eat for dinner–say, on a regular Tuesday–probably for the same reasons I adore foodie memoirs. (Does someone want to psychoanalyze that for me?)

We definitely have staple meals we rely on: food we can get on the table without much hands-on time, without much thought, and without a recipe.

Our Mondays are packed, so Mondays are usually crock pot nights. We often make sesame chicken (from Against All Grain) with steam-sautéed cauliflower, fresh baby carrots or red bell peppers, and sometimes rice for the kids. Sometimes the cauliflower becomes broccoli, or green beans, or a fresh vegetable from the produce bin that’s rapidly wilting. We also love salsa verde beef (from this cookbook) for Mondays, with fresh guacamole and salsa verde, beans for the kids, and chopped salads, usually with this dressing. If I’m up for it, we’ll have sweet potato oven fries to go with it.

Tuesdays are roast chicken (or rotisserie chicken, if I’ve been to the store). Two kids prefer white meat, two kids want the chicken on the bone, and the leftovers go to soups (winter) or salads (summer). We serve it with roasted vegetables, and maybe a side salad with fruit and nuts and balsamic vinaigrette. In the summer, we’ll do the chicken and veggies on the grill.

In the winter, we do meat loaf, pot roast, and curries. Soon we’ll switch to burgers, flank steak, and dinner salads. Earlier this week, when it was 70 and sunny, we made Michigan mix salads (similar to this), tossed rotisserie chicken strips on top, and called it a meal. We’ll do that more and more as summer approaches.

Year round, we do lots of tacos (when we’re feeling indulgent) and deconstructed tacos when we’re not. We actually call them “explosions”–we pile whatever you might stuff a taco with on a plate, instead of folding it neatly in a tortilla.

easy 20-minute frittata--one of our go-to staple meals

When the fridge is bare we make frittatas for dinner, and serve them with a side salad–maybe even a fruit salad–or if the fridge is really bare, whatever frozen vegetable we can find.

I recently resolved to embrace the “-ish” part of our family’s paleo-ish ways, and we re-instated our old Friday pizza night tradition because it delights my kids so very much. We use this gluten-free pizza crust mix (from Amazon subscribe-and-save) and homemade tomato sauce. We’ll serve it with salad (I’ll add chicken for extra protein, because, pizza) and cut up veggies for the kids, usually bell peppers and baby carrots.

These are my staples meals. What are yours? We’d love to hear the details (not just “chicken,” but how you prep it, and what you serve it with) in comments.

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57 comments | Comment


  1. Betsy says:

    Such a great post! I, too, love hearing how other people are getting dinner on the table in a flash.

    I often turn to breakfast food when I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to dinner. Pancakes (with blueberries!), waffles, scrambled eggs, frittatas maybe served with (or containing) bacon or pork sausage or chicken sausage. If I’m really in a hurry, I make a dish I call an “egg scramble,” which is all of the ingredients for a frittata just cooked right in to scrambled eggs. I quickly saute some veggies and meat, then pour the eggs over the top and scramble everything together. It’s ready in no time.

    • Katie says:

      Yes, breakfast food! We have scrambled eggs for dinner every couple of weeks. I serve them with roasted potatoes and whatever veggie we have on hand, usually steamed. Every single person in my family eats this with ravenous joy. And just recently we started a Thursday night waffles/pancakes dinner tradition. I usually ask my two boys to pick a meal each for dinner each week and they used to fight each week over whether we would have waffles or pancakes, so now we just rotate and have one each week. I serve them sometimes with sausage or beans, occasionally fried eggs. Always maple syrup. And again whatever veggies look good in the kitchen at the moment. Last week, we had buttermilk pancakes, sweet potato fries and steamed asparagus. Yum!

  2. EricaM says:

    We cook all of our meat on Saturday and eat it throughout the week. What I usually do is stick a roast in the crock pot and bake boneless chicken breasts in the oven. I season them lightly so, if I don’t feel like doing anything, we can just throw in a side of frozen veggies and eat as is,or mix it up into a stir fry (I use the House of Tsang brand-all kinds of good stuff).

    And if I really get tired of that I just make bacon. It goes with everything. XD

  3. Louise says:

    Rice and beans are our go-to foods when we’re out of time and brains! You can fix them many different ways, all easy, and it doesn’t feel like you’re eating the same thing all the time. Burrito bowls (kind of like your deconstructed tacos, except in a bowl, on top of a pile of leafy greens) are a summertime staple. And soup, glorious soup, is a favorite in winter, especially a winter veggie bisque.

  4. Tiffany says:

    I make so many new things for the blog, but we do repeat a few favorites. We’ve had Tortellini, Chicken and Kale a few times lately. It’s hard to beat a good 15 minute meal. Mexican Beans and Rice is a staple. I add chicken sometimes since my boys are in the “age of meat”. Taco Soup in winter. Chicken Curry in the slow cooker.
    But this post makes me want to do a foodie version of your recommend-good-books posts. So, even though you didn’t ask, I’m giving you suggestions 🙂 (I added links, but you can delete those if you’d rather not have them)
    Since you like Sesame Chicken, try Slow Cooker Chicken Curry http://eatathomecooks.com/2012/09/chicken-curry-in-the-crockpot.html
    Since you like Salsa Verde Beef, give Beef Shwarma http://eatathomecooks.com/2013/05/beef-shwarma-in-the-slow-cooker.html or Chicken Fiesta in the Slow Cooker a Try http://eatathomecooks.com/2008/10/chicken-fiesta-with-black-beans-a-crockpot-recipe.html
    Since you like Frittatas try Migas (not paleo of course, but good!) http://eatathomecooks.com/2014/04/migas-my-new-favorite-way-to-eat-scrambled-eggs.html

    • Anne says:

      Oh my gosh, I love migas but haven’t made them in ages–at least a year and maybe more. Thanks for the links; I’ll definitely check those out!

  5. 'Becca says:

    I find other people’s menus very interesting, too! My family’s are pretty different from yours because we’re able to eat a lot of grains, and we don’t eat much meat other than fish. I posted all our dinners from February. We don’t have the kind of weekly routine you do; I plan a few days in advance based on what’s in stock/in season/on sale and what we’re doing, which varies quite a bit from week to week.

    This is my last month of pregnancy, and I’m grateful that it coincides so much with food-related religious events! We have been going to a series of Lenten programs (churches take turns hosting dinner and service) so that’s a free dinner once a week, plus a lunch for me this week from the ONE serving left over of the soup I made when my church hosted. Soon it will be time for my partner’s family’s Passover seder, from which we’ll come home with about two dinners’ worth of leftovers. Then come the leftovers from the Easter receptions. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Well-planned on the Lenten food blitz. I needed all the help I could get when I was pregnant: that sounds serendipitous. 🙂

  6. Jeannie says:

    This post is very timely because I was starting to get the suppertime blahs, realizing I make the same ten things over & over — so I will comb your post & the comments for ideas! Here is what we usually eat:
    – Noodles (usually penne or rotini) with pesto and chicken strips OR with meat sauce
    – Ribs in crockpot
    – Chili
    – Wraps with chicken strips & peppers
    – Stir-fry (beef strips & veg’s) on rice
    – Mac & cheese and baked beans (beans usually from a can)
    – Spaghetti & meatballs
    – Homemade pizza 1x/week, usu. Hawaiian-style
    We frequently have potatoes (mashed, scalloped, or baked), and we always have frozen vegs on the side (corn, broccoli, or peas) and bagged salad & mini-carrots.
    Can’t wait for BBQ season; that makes many aspects of mealtime easier!

  7. I wrote about this topic this week as well — looking at what’s for dinner in our house. I, likewise, have a few staple meal concepts that don’t require recipes. They tend not to take much time either. I’m not bored yet! My kids don’t mind being bored.

  8. Corrie Anne says:

    We eat paleo-ish as well. I make a lot of meat in the slow cooker — chicken breasts with salsa which I shred for taco salads or pork with bbq sauce or just spices for carnitas or whatever. We love the tri-color coleslaw mix with Bolthouse farms Greek yogurt ranch or salsa ranch when we are sick of regular salad. The coleslaw pairs especially well with pork. I eat a lot of sweet potatoes baked/fried in coconut oil. I try to add spinach to basically everything. Last weekend I made a “quiche” with a sweet potato crust that was the best. I also make zoodles (zucchini) noodles for spaghetti or sweet potato curly fries with my spiralizer. My husband grills a lot of burgers (which we eat on greens) or the fun flavored sausages/brats if we’ve been to Whole Foods. I think the Well Fed cookbook is the easiest/most practical of all the paleo stuff out there, but I haven’t become a Sunday prep person (yet).

  9. Steph J says:

    I’m afraid I’m a recipe follower (and a grain eater to boot)! A few years ago, Real Simple did a month long menu plan (they’ve done some since). That issue literally lives on my cookbook shelf. We love the Apples and Ravioli (with some mixed greens on the side), Swiss chard with meatballs, Pork tenderloin and brussell sprouts (with pecans and apricots–we love it), and a few others from that issue.

    During the winter, I usually make chili once a month and repeat the leftovers at least once (same with spaghetti and meatballs, burritos and homemade ravioli). We also really enjoy a Garlic chicken broccoli couscous.

    From Jessica Fischer’s cookbook, during the summer, we often have chicken breasts marinating in the freezer for quick salads. When in (our very short) season, we actually consider our “bruschetta” (tomatoes, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil) with fresh mozzarella and a french bread a complete meal. We have it probably once a week in September here in the great north 🙂 We also often have beet and blue cheese salad during the summer as well.

    I’m with you, I’m fascinated by what other people eat,. This is probably because I eat so differently than I did growing up, and I think I feel like I’m winging it and missing something! The other day, I apologized to my husband for repeating recipes so much, and he said “that’s okay, I’ve become quite accustomed to them” (!)

    • Anne says:

      Don’t apologize for being a recipe follower! I like the sound of the swiss chard with meatballs and the pork tenderloin and brussell sprouts with pecans and apricots. That is right up my alley.

  10. Shannon says:

    I love seeing what people eat on “normal” nights and will be borrowing the crock pot meals. Now that the weather is getting nicer we prefer to be outside after school rather than in the kitchen cooking.

    Silly supper (aka, Breakfast for dinner) is our go to when I can’t think of anything else. The husband will eat leftovers but the girls think its the best dinner ever.

    • Anne says:

      They eat most of it. That’s probably a huge reason these are staple meals for us, because listening to kids whine about food is exhausting. We also happen to be in a good stage at the moment. We’re just coming out of a phase where our youngest refused to eat anything that wasn’t “snack.” Sigh.

      • Catie says:

        Wow. I think one of mine would eat some of the food, but my oldest only eats things from what we like to call the White Food Group. You know.. bread, pasta, crackers, etc. SO frustrating. I’m hoping this 5 year long stage will be over soon…

  11. tacy says:

    For easy weeknight meals, my family turns to tacos, taco salad, fajitas, spaghetti with meat sauce or with ground beef or meatballs. Also, during the winter, many of my go-to meals are soups, casseroles (the kids usually gobble them up), and roast beef- do it on Sunday and eat up the leftover meat all week. We eat a lot of veggies as a side for for year round chicken in the slow cooker. I love to cook and I try to be creative with changing it up so the kids are able to try lots of new things all the time! I want them to love veggies and so far, they do. So far so good. We also eat a lot of rice and beans. I know how to make a pot of rice FOR SURE. 😉

  12. Even your quick staples are putting mine to shame, I’ll try not to sob about this. lol – We are in a phase of insanely picky small children with a side of evening events nearly every night between karate and cub scouts so fast and simple has been the name of the game here lately. We do a LOT of pasta, tacos, soup and frozen pizzas / lasagna. If I have time to go to the store I may do a rotissere chicken and a salad and if time is on my side the frozen pizza or soup becomes homemade – I have a great vegetarian french onion soup recipe that hubby and I love – the kids tend to prefer a can of tomato soup though.

  13. Deborah says:

    We recently moved to Saudi Arabia, and our go-to meals have completely changed. Pork and alcohol aren’t sold here, so that eliminated some of my go-to meals. Most of our fruits and veggies are imported, and the prices are crazy. Zucchini used to be a really cheap filler in a roasted veggie mix. Now I pay $7 for one zucchini (not organic). Fresh strawberries can be a dollar per berry. We can get local tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, and onions, so those have become my go-to veggies. Since I’m not allowed to drive, I meal plan like crazy and my husband takes me on a grocery run once a week. We do crockpot dinners on the nights when we have Arabic class, we do a frittata night (leftovers for breakfast the next day!), we indulge and have steak frites and salad one night a week, and we do some sort of fish recipe once a week. My husband has issues with gluten, so we do rice as a side several nights a week. We eat a lot like you, actually!

    • Anne says:

      How interesting! It’s fascinating to hear the differences. ($7 a pound zucchini! Dollar strawberries!) Glad to hear that you’re adapting, because that would get expensive fast.

      • Deborah says:

        Anne, our grocery budget per week for two adults and a two year old is $300. Thank goodness for cost of living adjustments!

        • Liz says:

          That is fascinating! Thanks for sharing, Deborah! Living in Hawaii, it’s somewhat frustrating to see “budget meals” that estimate 17 cents per egg and $1/lb broccoli. That said, we adjust, and there are some benefits–farmer’s markets w/ fresh produce all year round and scrumptious papayas.

  14. Anna Wastell says:

    My go-to once-a-week meal is Pasta Plus. It’s so versatile and always yummy in pretty much any combo. Easy to deconstruct for kiddos.

    Any short pasta (or Israeli cous cous) + any grilled or quick sautéed veggies (broccoli & red pepper is my fave combo) + chunks of grilled or quick sautéed chicken or Italian sausage or even pork loin + olive oil, lemon juice (or balsamic or red wine vinegar), and some Parmesan or feta. Fresh herbs are a bonus.

    Canned soup beefed up with some extra veggies and homemade broth (if I’m really lucky) is great & quick with grilled cheese or a tortilla/cheese roll up.

  15. I have a list of go-to family favorite meals as well that are so easy to throw together and are my go-to meals when I’m feeling less than inspired when I meal plan. Even though we are trying to limit gluten (I’m striving to be Paleo-ish too) we still have pasta and tomato sauce once every few weeks. Another quick and easy meal is chicken, black beans, rotel, green onions, garlic and cumin tossed in the crock pot and served over rice or tortilla chips. I’m also a fan of the rotisserie chicken, I always pick one up when we go to Costco (they are so cheap there!). I love that I can shred the chicken then use the bones to make broth, I love a multi-tasking food!

    • Anne says:

      Your quick and easy meal served over chips or rice sounds like HEAVEN to my kids! (Okay, I like my chips too. 🙂 )

      We just joined CostCo a few months ago and I love bringing home their giant rotisserie chickens. Instant dinner (plus broth for later, like you said) is so nice.

  16. Emily says:

    I’m constantly working on cooking at home more and making a meal plan. My hubs and I have very different food preferences, and your food routine sounds like something we could borrow from! I’d love to use our crockpot more, but haven’t found anything we like so far.

    We have spaghetti, shepherd’s pie, and a potato-green bean-ground beef casserole in a regular rotation, as well as chicken milanese from Martha Stewart and a dish called “Chicken Sybil” (pan-fried with a mustard sauce). I love homemade pizza, but my husband isn’t a fan so we only have it once a month or so. I think I have the only husband who thinks store bought tastes better than homemade (anything)!

  17. Courtney says:

    Regulars at our house include chili with French bread, lentil and rice casserole (usually with salad or other side veggies), both meat and vegetarian versions of meatloaf and burgers, sesame chicken, bbq-flavored pok chops, and sweet and sour veggie stir fry. We tend to “rotate” meat and vegetarian dishes every other day or so. So, if we had pork on Monday, we might have veggie burgers on Tuesday, chicken on Wednesday, lentils on Thursday, etc.

    We also usually eat brown rice with at least one meal a day (often two!) because we live in Japan. Bread here is usually Texas toast size and made with bleached white flour. So, brown rice and oats are our staple whole grains. We tend to eat a lot of soups, too, because that’s usually a quick and easy side (miso, vegetable, and creamy potato are some favorites). Plus, I can start the soup and set it aside with a lid on while I cook something else on our ONE burner! XD

    • Liz says:

      Do you have an oven? Most Japanese kitchens only have a microwave/oven, not a true oven, right? That was the case when I lived there. Trying to make microwave pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving was hilarious.

      • Courtney says:

        Nope, no oven! We actually don’t even have a microwave or toaster oven because there’s just no space for them (literally only enough counter space to hold a small dish drying rack, and that little space already serves double duty as a veggie chopping area by moving the rack to the sink!) We just have a rice cooker, coffee pot, and one built-in hot plate. If I turn the heat down and put a lid on my fry pan, though, I find I can make most oven dishes. Meals just require a little more creativity sometimes! 🙂

        • Liz says:

          That’s awesome! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in Japan as an adult. I lived there with host families and in a dorm, but I was such a child–I certainly didn’t know how to cook! How long have you lived there? Is it easy to find vegetarian options? Beans and lentils seem like they would be a little tough to track down. Are there similar food trends (vegan/paleo/slow carb) there or is the country at large still immune to a lot of that? I regularly wonder whether the over-fishing crisis is discussed there in the media as it is here.

          I have recently realized that it’s been so long since I lived there that it must be a whole new world there now!

          • Courtney says:

            I’ve been here for nearly three years, and my husband for almost five. We were both vegetarians before we moved to Japan, but dropped it when we got here because it can be really difficult and expensive to maintain in Japan (at least if you want to do it healthily!) The only beans I’ve found in stores are the azuki sweet red beans, which are used for desserts, and small, expensive cans of “mixed beans.” All of our other beans – black, kidney, garbanzo, etc. – as well as lentils and quinoa, are imports we bought online (which is why I say it could be quite expensive to maintain a vegetarian diet here as you’d have to pay more for imports).

            They have words here for vegetarian and vegan, but those types of options are generally rare, and there’s a lot of confusion about what “qualifies.” I’ve heard quite a few stories from other vegetarians here about being served fish, for instance, and a lot of the common sauces and broths have fish or other seafood in them. So, even a dish that seems vegetarian or vegan (like ramen noodles) may actually have fish in the broth. I’m not sure if the others you mentioned really exist here. If they do, they’re a very small minority.

  18. Molly says:

    My guys are pretty basic, so our go to dinners lack the flair I see in some of the above posts. Sadly, if I tried to present anything with roasted peppers, kale, any sort of beans other than green beans, mushrooms, or lettuce I have a minor uprising on my hands. I do have a chicken angel hair pasta dish everyone loves. I actually have to make sure not to serve it more than once a month so as not to kill it. I recently stumbled across a chicken cheddar tatertot casserole the boys went nuts for so we will be making that again. Tortelinni and red sauce, ravioli, and most pasta dishes are gobbled up as is the bacon-wrapped meatloaf with dipping sauce.

  19. Allison says:

    Oven fried drumsticks!

    We will get a big pack of chicken drumsticks (usually $.99 a pound here), lay them out in a 9×13 pan, rub on oil, salt, pepper and garlic, and oven roast until crispy on the outside – usually 400F for 1 hour 15 min, turn and pour off excess liquid half way through. You can go longer for more crispiness.

    Then we toss them in whatever sauce we’re in the mood for – buffalo and bbq are our favorites. Soooo much cheaper than wings and they have so much meat on them! They’re great for parties, people don’t realize how tasty a drumstick is!

  20. Jennifer says:

    My friends and I have been talking about this a lot recently! My favorite go-tos started as new recipes we fell in love with and essentially memorized over time. Last night, I made Zuppa Toscana soup which we do pretty often. We adore this vegan recipe (and we are SO NOT vegan, so it’s impressive we don’t even notice it) http://joythebaker.com/2012/01/crunchy-kale-and-coconut-bowl/. When I hate cooking an am tired we do pb&j or soup from the fridge or breakfast for dinner since it’s always fun to cook even when you don’t want to cook at all. My husband always loves spaghetti and tacos and we usually have all the ingredients.
    We have a toddler who eats pretty well so far (just 15 months) and are just two months away from another little boy so I wonder if we will work into a regular rotation for the next few years to save on sanity and whining?

  21. Tuija says:

    Our staple, go-to meals:
    – pasta with meat sauce (= ground beef, tomato sauce)
    – casserole with macaroni and ground beef
    – potatoes (boiled with skin on) + “something protein” (ground beef / oven-baked salmon or rainbow trout / whatever has been on sale…)
    – chicken stir-fry with rice
    – split pea soup from a can
    – omelettes, if it’s just me and DH eating. (Our son was allergic to eggs when younger and he still has an aversion to the taste of eggs. He’s OK with eggs in the food, as long as you can’t taste them, though.)

    We’re only 3 people, so whenever I make something from scratch (casseroles etc), there usually are enough leftovers for at least one other meal.

  22. Jamie says:

    My three favorite go-to meals are Carbonara (pasta, bacon, butter, and a egg yolk/parmesan cheese sauce), Stir Fry (rice, eggs, and whatever veggies are handy), and Joe’s Special (ground beef, spinach, and eggs scrambled together in a skillet). All can be on the table in fifteen minutes or less, are inexpensive, and decidedly qualify as comfort food!

  23. Bonnie-Jean says:

    My regulars that are on repeat (because I enjoy making them and my family will eat them):

    ~Chicken Tortilla Soup
    I got my recipe from The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond). I’ve adapted this with much less liquid so it’s more like a casserole as my husband won’t eat soups. We serve it with flour tortillas on the side and not in it and that was how we got our kids eating it. They love tortillas but couldn’t have any until they’d eaten a set amount of the soup. After regularly serving it for over a year my 5 year old now declares it to be his favourite meal and will devour a whole bowlful before touching the tortillas!

    ~Chilli con carne
    I have a very yummy Jamie Oliver recipe for this. I always make extra so I can pop some in the freezer for those days when cooking just ain’t happening. I used to serve it with rice but as it’s become my lazy meal I just crush up some plain corn chips and serve it over them with a bit of cheese.

    ~Moroccan Chicken with couscous, pineapple, bananas & sultanas!!
    This is super quick and easy. Chicken breast or thigh pieces cut into chunks, sprinkled with Moroccan Seasoning (this a staple seasoning found in the supermarkets in Australia) and cooked in the fry pan. Place the cooked chicken over the couscous which takes very little time to prepare. Place the chopped banana, tinned pineapple pieces and sultanas in bowls to place on the table. The kids love choosing which toppings and how much they will add to their meal. Pineapple is my kids favourite so we limit the amount of pineapple they can have and then let them have more when they’ve eaten all the chicken & couscous.

    ~Sausage, Apple & Kidney Bean Casserole
    Sausages make it an instant winner with my kids and maybe by the time they’re teenagers they’ll be big fans of Kidney Beans too!

    ~Spaghetti Bolognaise
    My mum always made the Bolognaise Sauce from scratch and can’t believe that I buy the sauce to add to the mince. She did rub off on me though as I still cannot just brown the mince but have to add it to some fried onion and garlic even though there is probably already heaps in the jarred sauce. This is another one that I do in bulk and I pop some of the Bolognaise sauce into the freezer for busy nights. I keep a range of pasta shapes in the cupboard and my boys take turns picking which one we’ll have with the sauce.

  24. kelly says:

    We’re a family of four, mostly meatless with one smaller pickier eater. Our go to winter/cool weather meals center around roasted veggies (cauliflower/red onion/chickpeas, broccoli and beans, or butternut squash/onion/apple) with either naan bread or quinoa. We also grill lots of burriots–sweet potato/black bean/goat cheese/cilantro is the favorite. Warmer weather….grilled veggies sandwiches (either some sort of pre-made patty or with roasted veggies) and baked sweet potato fries. And of course salads — whatever is in the fridge/garden with either some beans or a grilled fish on top, or red cabbage/jicama/raw sweet corn. Lost of times ‘dinner” is called “snack time” to get the smallest member of the family to eat.

    • Jen says:

      These are great! We are mostly meatless also, I’m going to have to try that burrito!
      We have salad often, and to get my picky-ish kids to eat it, we wrap it up in a tortilla and call it a salad wrap. Other go-to’s are veggie (un)fried rice, tacos, burrito bowls, homemade pizza, spaghetti with or without meat.

  25. Sloan says:

    Tacos are definitely one of our go-to meals. Anything we can wrap in a tortilla. I don’t work on Mondays, so I usually cook something a little more labor-intensive. Other nights, my husband is in charge and it’s usually something relatively easy. Last night we had a big egg scramble and bacon. I think that might become part of the rotation.

  26. Breanne says:

    I loved this post and all the comments! We’re not paleo-ish but I know we all feel better eating that way so I’m glad you shared some of your go-tos. They’re different from ours and would be enjoyed by my family.
    Our go-tos are stir fry with oven baked fish, pasta with bolognese sauce (with whatever veggies I’ve got hanging around), pancakes/eggs, bunless burgers and tacos.

  27. Katie says:

    I keep it very simple on weekdays now that I realized how frustrated I was at not being able to cook a more interesting meal with all the interruptions from two young boys and three dogs. I love to cook, but kept really failing at putting dinner together. So now I don’t cook anything during the week that will take too much concentration and I try to prep as much ahead as I can. We have homemade pizza on Fridays, a waffle or pancake night, and beans and rice or scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes. Beans and rice is a huge family favorite – a bit like your deconstructed tacos. We always have brown rice, shredded cheddar cheese, black beans and homemade guacamole. Then we fill it out with whatever is on hand – shredded lettuce, sautéed onions and peppers, red cabbage slaw, steamed broccoli, sautéed greens, leftover chicken or sausage…whatever looks good. And we serve it with our favorite tortilla chips and green salsa.

  28. Dorothy K. says:

    What a great post and question! I thought about this many years ago because I was weary of the “what’s for dinner” loop which restarted every morning at my house AND because I began working part-time outside the home. So, I have tried a variety of ways to handle this part of my life/responsibilities. The “go to” meals at my house are: tossed green salad (whatever is readily available) with protein (hard-boiled eggs, chicken, ground beef) rolls on the side; soup and sandwiches (misnamed “stupid sandwiches” years ago by a child who misunderstood my reply to “what’s for dinner?”); spaghetti sauce with meatballs over whatever pasta available; micro. swedish meatballs over some kind of carb.; and pasta goulash (meat with any-shaped pasta plus a can of french onion soup and a can of any type tomatoes). Because I have laying hens, we also have a abundance of eggs which serve as the main course at least one night per week. I keep my freezer stocked with pre-made high quality meatballs, cooked chicken leftovers and pre-made bread dough. I wouldn’t say that these are the best meals nutrition-wise, but for the hungry men I live with, they are satisfying.

  29. Madeline says:

    It drives my husband crazy, but we have no go to/staple meals because I hardly ever make the same thing twice. There are so many recipes I want to try! I plan by the week based on what came in my produce box and using recipes I have saved on Plan to Eat and Pinterest.

    And if you’re interested I what I eat on a regular weeknight, I post my meal plan each week on my blog (http://www.plantohappy.com)!

  30. Emily Walker says:

    “Peanut butter and…” that’s my menu. Very much just kidding, but as a good friend says, no matter what kitchen disaster I made, PBJ is always available. 🙂

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