What’s For Dinner?

Sometimes I feel a little like Old Mother Hubbard, especially toward the end of some months.  Monday was one of those evenings.  As I looked through the freezer and cupboards, I knew I’d have to get creative.  

I found 4 frozen hamburger patties, some cans of diced tomatoes, plenty of rice, some cans of baked beans, and a big bag of fiesta blend cheese.  I knew I had plenty of spices and seasonings in the cupboard.  

I browned the hamburger patties, crumbling it all up to make ground beef.  I put the diced tomatoes in the blender and make a thick tomato juice.  I added in chili powder, minced onion, a little cumin, a little bit of dried red chili peppers, a dash of paprika, and a few shakes from a packet of taco seasoning.  I poured that mixture over my ground beef.

Because I knew that would not be enough chili to feed us all, I made a big pot of white rice and heated up a big can of baked beans.  I pulled out the bag of cheese and a box of saltines.  Everyone built their own chili-creation.  The rice really stretches the chili so more of us can eat with less chili.  

It actually was a really tasty meal.  The kids kept saying, “I don’t like it.  I LOVE it!”  And if all of them were saying that, –well, that’s a miracle akin to the fish and loaves and five thousand.  

What about you?  What meals have you pulled together when your cupboards were nearly bare?



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5 responses to “What’s For Dinner?

  1. Shannon

    Hi Jenn,

    It seems like most of the meals we’ve been consuming recently begin with a heavy sigh as I stand in front of the cupboard. I honestly have not “planned” a meal in a while. We often have quesadillas (leftover meat and cheese fried between tortillas). Smoothies have become very popular at our house which is great because I no longer worry that we will be wasting over ripe fruit. I just throw all the fruit in a blender with some juice or milk – what we don’t drink, we freeze in popsicle molds. My kids eat popsicles pretty much every day.

    I’ve been using Jonni McCoy’s cookbook “Miserly Meals” a lot recently too. When I had very little in the cupboard recently, I realized I did have everything to make her Miserly Beefy Mac – basically ground beef, spaghetti sauce and macaroni (with some spices) – everyone here liked it.

  2. Thanks, Shannon. I was doing such a good job of planning menus; but lately, I have not done such a great job. I keep telling myself — “May is a new month. I’ll start fresh then.” 🙂

    I need to buy a giant thing of tortillas — or several so I can have a couple in the freezer at all times. Quesadillas are always a hit here. And they are so quick and easy.

  3. wilmahatcher

    I had THE BEST casadilla last week at our Mexican restaurant. It had a filling of onion, tomatoes, and cheese and was grilled to perfection, with a side of lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. I ordered a side order of beans. Was able to get two meals out of it. Sometimes I don’t like the spiciness of Mexican, and this was just perfect. I know your kids like anything that includes a tortilla. I remember the night Rachel put scrambled egg on her cheese tortilla and really ate the whole thing!

  4. WV Grammy

    Sometimes for a quick and easy meal when there doesn’t seem to be much in the house to fix, I brown ground beef (I almost always have a pound in the freezer), add cooked macaroni, a can of pinto beans, tomato sauce, chopped onions and green peppers, some chili power, garlic power, salt and pepper. After everything is mixed together and hot, I add cubes of Velveeta cheese and mix until the cheese melts. Fix a lettuce salad, with whatever you have that you want to put in it, and buttered toast and you have a pretty quick and yummy meal.

  5. wilmahatcher

    No wonder I couldn’t find the spelling for quesadilla because I thought it started with a “C” and dumb me forgot to look at your reply just above me! All of these “thrown together” meals sound good.

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