Commonly Prepared Meals

Originally published on: Apr 11, 2005. I’m updating this list because Stephanie is going back to work next week, and I’m going to take over many of the cooking responsibilities because she has a long commute. I’ve been looking at various recipe and grocery shopping apps, but I haven’t discovered quite the right combination that will work for me yet, so I’m trying to clean up many of the recipes I have already on my website. I’m updating links, going through recipes I’ve not yet made and adding them to the “to make or delete” list, and I plan on adding many of Stephanie’s “go to” meals. I’m hoping to put together a grid of “next week” meal planning, so can shop on weekends and have everything I need during the week, instead of throwing things together.


Pasta Dishes

Baked Ziti (variation: vodka sauce)
Baked shells
Spinach Mastachioli Bake
Chicken Saltimboca

Baked or Roasted Dishes

Elizabeth’s Cheap Drunk Chicken
Home Made Pizza
Pot Roast
Southwestern Pork Tenderloin
Baked Chicken Breasts with marinade
Baked tilapia with marinade
Baked salmon with marinade
Spaghetti Squash with Lemon and Capers
Classic Baked Acorn Squash

crock pot / slow cooker

Crock-Pot BBQ Ribs Recipe
Beer Slow-Cooker Chicken
Baked Lemon Chicken
Lemon Rosemary Chicken
Low Carb Texas Chili
Crockpot Chicken And Noodle Soup

Soups & Stews & Chili

Pea soup
Bean soup
Stephanie’s Dad’s chicken soup


Mom’s Taco Salad
Chicken Verde Enchilada Casserole
Spicy Beef Tacos
White Chili
Super Nachos
Skyline Chili
Cheese enchiladas
Chicken Fajitas
Hot Cuban Sandwiches

sandwich dishes

Cheese Burgers
Hot Dogs
Veggie Burgers
Chicken patties
Sub sandwiches


Eggs and Sausage Casserole
Aunt Chris’ Ham and Egg Casserole
Scrambled eggs
French Toast
Steel-cut Oats

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The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater

Link: The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater via Northwest Edible Life.

I know you. We have a lot in common. You have been doing some reading and now you are pretty sure everything in the grocery store and your kitchen cupboards is going to kill you.

The article is meant to be funny, but’s almost literally my experience. I tried eating more fruits and veggies at the recommendation of my cardiologist, and the seeds triggered diverticulitis and made me very sick. No matter what I did to “eat more healthy” I got spun around at every turn.

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The 5 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

From The 5 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating | LIVESTRONG.COM.

Read the whole article for why they’re healthy.

HOW TO EAT IT: Stir 1-2 tablespoons into sauces, soups, or stir-fries to add rich flavor and a protein boost without a lot of extra calories (2 tablespoons has about 60 calories).

Chia Seeds
HOW TO EAT THEM: Sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, salads… really anything! The seeds form a gel when mixed with liquid, so they’re great for thickening smoothies, salad dressings, and soups.

HOW TO EAT IT: Pour a glass for a light breakfast or a sweet snack. Just be careful: Since kefir is so packed with healthy probiotics, you may need to build a tolerance to it. Start with a small glass (about half a cup) and increase the amount every few days.

HOW TO EAT IT: Toss two tablespoons of hemp seeds into your oatmeal or stir-fry. Or add them to a smoothie for an extra dose of protein.

Black Garlic
HOW TO EAT IT: The gentle, sweet flavor of black garlic makes it a versatile superfood—add it into any recipe in which you’d use fresh garlic, from pasta dishes to soups and stews. The best part? No garlic breath.

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Cooking Templates

via Jezebel – Resolved: Eat Better, Not Less, for a Healthier Diet Jezebel’s article on healthy eating covers an approach that I’ve heard from many of my thin friends:

What you need are a few core recipes that you’re good at, or can get good at, that can be adapted for almost any combination of ingredients. You probably already know them–they’re the safety recipes you go to when you’re cooking for other people, and you want guaranteed success. In my household, it’s a chicken with Thai basil stir-fry (despite almost never having actual Thai basil), a recipe for stuffed peppers, and a few different ways of making thin white fish: broiled with butter or oil, pan-fried with a coating of flour mixed with spices, and cooking en papillote, or wrapped in tinfoil or wax paper.

Mark Bittman recommends three more “core” recipes, which have the added benefit of being very sustainable for the Earth and healthy: a broccoli/chicken/mushroom stir-fry, a chopped cabbage salad, and a lentil/rice boil with pork as an optional add-in. The Boston Globe has a few more. They work the same way my own recipes work: when you’re missing something, throw something else in. By making the basic version a few times, you learn how the dish should come together, how to use your knife or food processor to prep the ingredients, and what kinds of cook times you should expect. At that point, the proteins, beans, vegetables, rice, leafy greens, and other ingredients all become plug-and-play elements.

You’re no longer beholden to everything–time, ingredients, recipe, and mood–falling into place. You can just cook with what you’ve got, and be assured that the results are pretty good. Save the Martha-impressing recipes for when you’ve got a Saturday night off.

I’m going to spend some time putting some ideas like this together with Stephanie, because this tends to be where we scramble to get stuff made before it goes bad, rather than having a plan and throwing in whatever ingredients.

And some other ideas blatantly copied from the comments:

My favorite go-to quick dinners: Sauteed cherry tomatoes, spinach, and feta over whole what pasta. Sautee the veggies with some garlic, toss in cheese, throw over pasta. Mozzarella or parmesean or peccorino work well if you don’t have feta around.
Also my “fiesta bowl” Brown rice (I usually cook a bunch at once and keep it in the fridge-it keeps for a good two weeks with canned beans, salsa, and whatever else you have on hand-chicken, beef, cheese, peppers, broccoli Both require 1 pot and 1 pan, and if I’m really lazy I just eat it right out of said pot.

-A lentil-potato-coconut-milk curry that probably ends up costing about 60 cents per serve and is super yummy with corriander and yogurt on top.
-Veggie & bean Chilli. I make a huge pot and then use it for nachos, tacos, serve it over rice etc. Sometimes I even wrap it in puff pastry and bake it.
-Colcannon. Kale, onions, garlic and taters on crusty bread with butter. Mega-Irish comfort food.
-Pasta suace with beans and lentils. I can use this sauce for a lasagna with cottage cheese and spinach or chard if I feel like something different.

cooked brown rice tossed with sauteed spinach, sliced sauteed onion (if I have one) and chickpeas. Sometimes I add chopped cherry tomato if I have a few hanging around the fridge. top with 1 fried egg and a spoonful of garlic sriracha. Sometimes, I sub quinoa for the rice. Quantites depend on whether I have company or not.

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Lemon Capellini

Weight Watchers

  • 6 ounces capellini or angel-hair pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Cook the capellini according to package directions omitting the salt, if desired; drain.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring
frequently, until softened, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the capellini, parsley, lemon juice, and salt; toss to coat. Serve, sprinkled with pepper.
Makes 4 servings
Wwight Watchers Points – 4
Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Stir it Up Cookbook

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Parmesan Tiapia

  • 1 pound of tilapia
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray

Mix together the cheese and the garlic powder. Put the egg whites in another bowl. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over med-high. Then take the tilapia and dip in egg whites and then the cheese mixture. Press to coat. Pan fry on first side until brown and then flip. Cook until flaky, about 5-6 minutes total.
Weight Watchers points – 4

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Southwestern Pork Tenderloin

Weight Watchers

  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. onion powder
  • 1/8 t. garlic powder
  • 1/8 t. ground cumin
  • 1/8 t. cayenne
  • 1 (1 1/4 pound) pork tenderloin trimmed
  • 1 t. canola oil

Make the rub by combining all the spices in a large ziplock bag. Add the pork and rub the spices on it while in the bag. Leave in the bag in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours.

On the Grill:
Place the pork on the grill preheated grill rack. Turn occasionally until center reads 160 degrees for medium. 18-22 minutes.

In the oven:
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tenderloin in shallow pan and roast for 20-27 minutes, until internal temperature reads 145F.

Transfer the pork to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let stand about 10 minutes. Cut into 12 slices.

Serving size – about 3 slices
208 calories
7 grams of fat
663 mg sodium
1 gram fiber
32 grams of protein

Weight Watchers Points value-5 From the Savoring Summer cookbook

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Anchovy-stuffed Olives

Anchovy-stuffed Olives
Anchovy-stuffed Olives

As long as I’m blogging about silly stuff — Anchovy-Stuffed Olives are yum!

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love these. So much I put ’em on my Amazon Wishlist.

2022-03-12 Update:
Well literally nothing about this post is relevant anymore. Every link broke, I decided I like garlic-stuffed olives better… It’s interesting though, that I became aware of my olives/anchovies/capers savory sort of taste enjoyment right about this time. I know known that the savory flavor profile is sometimes called Umami. Between this and sour beer, I’ve got that flavor profile covered.
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