Got 20 Minutes for Prep? Easy Dinners


Recently I’ve had some requests for easy weeknight dinners recipes so I thought I’d share them here.  I have no pictures so I may throw in a random picture I like so it’s not a completely boring post.  The no pictures of food is intentional.  I’m a bit of a photo snob.  I can’t pull off appetizing looking soup.  Also, I also like to “play with tastes” so I’m giving you recipes with country girl-style because I don’t give you exact measurements (like using landmarks rather than street names to give directions).  This will drive some of you crazy.  I apologize in advance and just encourage you to live on the wild side and follow along.  I think you may even find you like it.

Recipe #1 — Turkey and Bean Chili


1 container of ground turkey from Costco (Foster Farms)

1 brown, yellow OR white onion

seasoning for turkey — I love Cabo Seasoning from Shenandoah at the Arbor in Los Alamitos (so for you non-locals season with some type of seasoning salt)

2 cans of white beans (navy or Cannellini work well), black beans also work but Kidney beans are a bit too bitter in my opinion

8 oz of frozen corn (much better for you than canned corn which is full of sodium)

8 to 10 oz of cut up mixed bell peppers (I get mine from Trader Joes) OR two fresh, sliced red, yellow, or orange pepper

2 – 3 cups chicken broth

oregano to taste

Directions:  Brown turkey meat with onion, season as it browns.  Put in either crock pot or big pan.  Add all the remaining ingredients.  Then you can do one of two things — make early in day and cook in crock pot, cooking on low for two to three hours OR you can cook on stove for 30 minutes.  If you use fresh bell peppers, you may want to saute first for stove-top but for crock pot they soften nicely on their own.)  Bring the chili to a boil if cooking on stove top and then put on low for 20 to 30 minutes.  This makes great leftovers and can be frozen as well.  It really tastes better the longer it can cook as long as the beans don’t get mushy.

Recipe #2 — Quesadilla

Flour Tortilla and Mexican Cheese — look up how to make from someone way more detailed than me.

Additional Toppings — Salsa, Black Bean from Trader Joe’s — (Amazing! for all you spice lovers), cooked chicken, jalapenos, and green onions.

Recipe #3 — Tacos

So I’m only calling this a recipe to keep the format of this post.  But really, think of this as a suggestion for an easy dinner because why reinvent the wheel with my special spin on tacos.  Create your own special spin with your favorite Mexican/ Spanish flavors.  We make this at least once every two weeks and though my kids may get sick of it, it’s a nutritious meal with our fresh veggies and fruit.

Recipe #4 — Homemade Pizza

We buy our pizza dough because it’s just faster but for those of you who may have more time, there are some good recipes out there for dough.  We use store bought pizza sauce, we like Trader Joe’s but you can also use spaghetti sauce, which is usually more flavorful and is cheaper.  For the rest of the ingredients, I just want to say, play, play, play.  We make ours with Mozzarella cheese because my kids don’t really like a strong cheese but there are plenty of cheese options out there.

Topping Suggestions:

Sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, pineapple, bell peppers, olives, hot peppers, sauteed onions, bacon bits, and so many others.

We have a pizza pan but you could also use a cookie sheet for baking.  We follow the dough directions for cooking.

Enjoy!  Hopefully this will help those “what do I make for dinner and it’s 5 pm” times.

As promised my random photo, lil e’s Christmas gingerbread man.


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