Monday, November 28, 2011

What the %&#* is for dinner?

Red Bean Stew from Cooking Light
More and more, the what are we going to have for dinner question is stressing me out.  And I'm a little bit of a freak about just giving in to the usual take-out options.  Fast food is usually not the best option for all the usual reasons.  My kids don't even like McDonald's fries...I know, ALIENS, right?!  Whenever I went to the dr's office as a young child, my mom would often take me to Mcdees' for a post visit treat.  Totally counterproductive to a doctor's office visit, but hey, it was like 1981 and my mom and I were using our fries as cigarette props - my parents didn't even smoke, but it still wasn't totally frowned upon either.  Anyway, being a product of this time, I have tried to continue this tradition at a certain Rock n Roll McDonald's downtown which happens to be a few blocks from our pediatrician.  This is how it always goes, the kids only want shakes but they'll order fries because I always ask, "hey, you guys want fries with your shakes."  Agreeable children that they are, they cry, "YAY!" We are barely out of the drive-thru and the kids are calling me out on devouring the fries.  They don't even want any, they just can't get over the rate at which I can eat them.   ANYHOW, long story short, or long, I've got to keep the favorite healthy recipes in rotation, otherwise, it's mac cheese n peas, and I can't take the parental guilt of serving that too often.

So, every Monday I am going to start sharing one of our go-to healthy (usually) recipes for dinner.  If anyone wants to join in, I'd be happy to put up a little linky widget, and I'd be even happier to hear what you all make for dinner!  I need new recipes!!

RED BEAN STEW (my five yr old loves this, the three yr old will eat it, but not her fave)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups presliced mushrooms 
  • 1 cup diced carrot 
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 
  • (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained (i always use boxed tomatoes)
  • (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini (about 4 ounces short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons commercial pesto
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Sometimes I add garlic, onion and italian spices for more flavor


  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and carrot; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in water and the next 4 ingredients (through broth). Cover; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; cook, uncovered, for 11 minutes or until pasta is done. Stir in pesto; sprinkle each serving with cheese.


Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

Those fries are like crack. It's the gallons of salt. So good. This soup/stew looks pretty yummy too. Printing now....

City Girl Chicago said...

Posting weekly recipes definitely helps put some more inspiration behind the recipes you choose! And you definitely sound like the prime target market for a slow cooker, I swear it will change your life! :D

About Last Weekend said...

Wow! you need to bring your kids over to my house so my progeny can learn from them!! Mushrooms? I'm very envious they will eat this meal. (Though my kids will eat sushi, lamb chops, they mostly like everything separate on the plate!)

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This looks so good and best of all it looks easy!!

The City Boy said...

i remember i use to annoying my mother so much with this question...and still sometimes do!

Bestie said...

city girl...i think you are on to something....adding slow cooker to my christmas list ;)

Torrie said...

yes... love the slow cooker (don't use it nearly as often as i should, but just used it for a pork tenderloin on friday).

Great idea!! I'd love to share and receive new recipes that are healthy, go-to & fairly simple meals.