Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Recipes for Busy Moms Recipes for Busy Moms

Cheap, kid-friendly dinner ideas

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM
  • 10 Replies

I always make a list and plan out my dinners before I go grocery shopping. It seems lately that we've been having the same dinners over again, because they are cheap and what I know. I'm going to the grocery store later and would love some different ideas. I have a budget of about $80-$100. I will be feeding myself & my 3 girls (8, 6, & 19 mos.) Help me please! I would really appreciate it!

 Carrie Mommy of 4: Katie, 10/17/01; Briana, 6/19/03; Clayton, my angel, 3/4/07; & Hailey, 4/24/08   

by on Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Mel30248
by on Dec. 3, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Shepards Pie - Ground beef/turkey (browned), corn & mashed potatoes layer all together in casserole dish & bake until warmed

Baked Ziti - Rigitoni pasta (cooked), pasta sauce, & shredded cheese layer all together in a casserole dish & bake until cheese is melted

Stuffed Shells - Large shell pasta (cooked), ricotta cheese, pasta sauce, shredded cheese stuff shells with ricotta cheese & put in casserole dish, dump pasta sauce over shells, put layer of shredded cheese on top bake until cheese is melted & its all warmed (you can even add ground beef to the ricotta cheese mixture brown first)

Enchiladas - Tortillas, enchilada sauce, refried beans, black beans, shredded cheese, spread refried beans on tortilla, add some enchilada sauce black beans & cheese roll them up place in casserole dish sprinkle more cheese on top bake until all heated (you can add ground beef as well browned first)

 

 

 

 

PatCarMom
by on Dec. 3, 2009 at 11:00 PM

My kids are so not picky, and I am very grateful for that. I too make a menu ahead of time and try to keep it to $100 a week to feed myself, hubby, an 18 year old boy, 17 year old boy, 10 year old boy, and 8 year old girl.

First off, do you have a Kroger, or do you do most of your shopping at Wal-Mart? The reason I ask is that Kroger generally has really good deals on some kind of meat. This week I bought a 9 lb pork roast for less than $9.00. It will make three of our meals.

They also have large packages of chicken on sale fairly often.

This weeks menu follows.

  • Monday- Turkey pot pie, we used left over turkey from Thanksgiving, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, I make my own cream of mushroom(a can works just as well), and for the topping Bisquick mixed with milk, an egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika
  • Tuesday- Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli and carrots
  • Wednesday- Chicken Florentine over rice and roasted green beans
  • Thursday- White beans and ham with griddle cakes
  • Left over pork to make quesadillas, with yellow rice, and black beans.
  • Friday-Vegetable soup I use 1/2 lb of ground beef and 1/2 lb ground turkey. It reduces the fat and price. I use two bags of Vegetable Soup mix (Kroger Brand) it has the potatoes, and all kinds of veggies in it. 1 large can of tomato sauce, 1/2 a can of V-8 (sneaks in a few extra veggies) 4 cups of water and 2 beef bullion cubes. What ever extra seasonings your family likes. I saute an onion before browning the meat and leave it in the pot too.
  • Left over pork to make Bar-B-que beans to go with cole slaw, and toasted rolls.

I love trying to keep my budget under $100. If you would like some more ideas I have an entire book full of them.

rkoloms
by on Dec. 4, 2009 at 8:07 AM

It is hard to know what to suggest without knowing what you are sick of! Here are some of our "regulars"

I serve this it over broccoli (and I make double the sauce).

Pasta and Tofu with Finger-Licking Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup low or no sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (I use smooth)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic (add to taste, it is pretty spicey)
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces uncooked whole wheat angel hair
1 pound firm tofu, drained and cubed (optional)
1 cup (2-inch) sliced green onions
1 cup shredded carrot
Combine first 8 ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until smooth, stirring frequently (this can also be done in the microwave; use a tempered glass bowl, like pyrex, cook for 20 seconds, stir, repeat until smooth). Remove from heat. Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes, omitting salt and fat. Add tofu, onions, and carrot; drain. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Add peanut butter mixture; toss gently

 

Tamale Bean Pie
1 medium onion - chopped
1 green bell pepper - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
16 ounces refried beans, fatfree - (1 can) (I use the dehydrated or 1.5 cups home cooked)
30 ounces pinto beans, canned - (2 cans) (or 3 cups home cooked)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3/4 cup salsa
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp salt - optional
1 tbl nutritional yeast (loaded with B vitamins, has a salty cheesy flavor)
Cornmeal Crust
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tbl agave nectar -- or other liquid sweetener*
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it is just beginning to brown, stirring constantly. Add the green pepper and stir for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the nutritional yeast and crust ingredients. Mix well and pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
Mix cornmeal with salt and stir in agave nectar. Beat in boiling water until mixture is smooth. Drop by spoonfuls over nutritional yeast and beans and spread to cover the surface.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crusty.
*Any mild-tasting liquid sweetener will do--including rice syrup, corn syrup, honey, or barley malt syrup

 

LENTIL TACOS
Ingredients
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
8 ounce can tomato sauce (or home made)
corn tortillas (for fun, use a mix of white, yellow and blue)
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix (or make your own with the recipe below)
handful of textured soy protein, optional (I leave this out)
lettuce (shredded)
cucumber (seeded, peeled, sliced)
tomatoes (chopped)
lemon or lime wedges (optional)
Directions
Cover the lentils with water in a large saucepan. They expand tremendously so use a large pot. Add tomato sauce, textured soy protein, and taco seasoning. Bring to high heat until boiling. Simmer at low heat until the mixture thickens. Add more water if necessary
and stir often so that the bottom does not burn. This process will take about an hour. You want to cook it until it's about the consistency of cooked oatmeal. Taste the mixture and add more seasonings if necessary. Add more textured soy protein if you want more texture and continue to heat until the textured soy protein is fully hydrated. In the meantime, heat the corn tortillas in the oven, directly on the oven rack for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
Assemble the tacos as desired. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the tacos... yum!!
This recipes makes a large quantity and is very flexible with the garnishes. Experiment by adding chopped avocado, cilantro, onion, etc. I prefer these without salsa since the taco filling has so much flavor on its own. Enjoy!!
Taco Seasoning:
4.5 tsp. paprika;
1 tsp. cumin powder;
0.5 tsp. oregano;
1 tsp. chili powder;
1 tsp. onion powder;
0.25 tsp. lemon powder (optional, I've never used it);
1 tsp. salt;
1 tsp. sugar;
0.5 tsp. garlic powder;
1 tsp. flour;
0.5 tsp. cocoa powder
Mix all together and store in airtight container. Makes approx. 4 tablespoonful - the equivalent of 1 package of seasoning (enough to season 1 pound of meat or a substitute). This mix is very mild, I add cayenne

 

Mushroom Stroganoff, is a great, speedy weeknight dinner, especially if you cook the noodles the night before (I use whole wheat egg noodles or bowties). I also throw in spinach, either fresh or frozen chopped.

1 lb portabello mushrooms (either the large or baby bellas), cut in half and sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 - 1 1/2 c sour cream (I use fat free plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 - 1 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil or butter (I use some of each)
1/8 cup (or so) vegetable broth or dry white wine (optional, not part of the original recipe; I think that it gives it some depth)
Saute diced onions in olive oil or butter (your preference) until just soft and translucent. Add sliced mushrooms, saute until cooked through. Add broth/wine paprika and incorporate well. Turn down heat and add sour cream. Heat through, add salt & pepper to taste. Add more sour cream if the 1 cup doesn't cover everything well. Serve on top of egg noodles or rice. Once I made this and I didn't have enough yogurt, so I added cream cheese and it was still very good! Mushrooms are a great source of protein as well as many other nutrients.
http://www.mushroomcouncil.com/nutrition/nutri.html

 

Sweet Potato Burritos
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained (I use home cooked black beans; you can use any bean)
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 whole wheat tortillas, warmed
shredded cheese (whatever you have)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic in until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat,
and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve. NOTE: I put the cheese inside and freeze burritos wrapped in wax paper in a big zipper bag; they can be microwaved safely in the wax paper.

 

Southwest Falafel

Patties
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans (drained and rinsed) (any bean, canned or 1.5 cups home cooked)
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Spread - I don't use this part; I mash an avocado with salsa and fat free yogurt (Greek-style is best)
1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (6 inch) pita's, each cut in half crosswise - I use 4 whole wheat tortillas
To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) stir until well combined. Form into 4 (1/2 inch thick) oval patties.
Heat oil in a lg nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 3 min on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.
To prepare spread, while patties cook, combine avocado, tomato, red onion, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Place one patty in each pita half. Spread about 2 tablespoons of spread over patty in each pita half.

 

Snobby Joes (from Veganomicon)
1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (wet mustard)
4 to 6 whole wheat buns
 Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside. About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more. Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through. Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can't wait.

 

Zucchini and Cheese Enchiladas
8 corn tortillas
Olive oil
2 med. zucchini, sliced
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1 sm. can green chili
1 can whole pitted black olives
1/2 to 3/4 lb. Monterey Jack cheese (I use less cheese and mix it with 1 to 1.5 cups of refried beans)
Enchilada sauce (recipe follows for homemade sauce)
 Saute zucchini and onions in olive oil. Pour some sauce in the bottom of an oven proof 8 x 11 x 2 inch dish. Heat the tortillas one at a time for approximately 30 seconds in the microwave long enough to soften so they roll without breaking. Too hot or too long, then they get too stiff). Dip warmed tortillas into sauce. Fill with small amounts of zucchini mixture, cheese, olives and chili. Roll the enchilada and place in dish. When you have filled the dish with 8 enchiladas, top the dish with the remaining cheese, olives and chili. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the entire dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enchilada Sauce    
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 c. tomato puree
2 tsp. chili powder add more if desired to suit taste
1 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil an simmer for about 1/2 hour. (1 can tomato paste can be substituted for the tomato puree. Add water until you reach the consistency that you like).

 

MEXICAN BEANS AND PASTA BAKE

1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2" segment hot chili pepper, minced or 1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 qt. undrained canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 c. uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni or other pasta broken into pieces
3/4 c. frozen or canned corn

3/4 c. diced zucchini

3 c. cooked pink or black beans (or two cans)
1/2 c. sliced black olives
1 c. broken taco shells or tortilla chips
1 c. shredded Jack cheese or cheese of your choice

In a skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray (I use olive oil) sauté onion, garlic and hot pepper for about 3 minutes to soften. Add chili powder and cook briefly. Add tomatoes, oregano and cumin and bring to a boil. Add pasta, corn and zucchini and simmer 15 minutes until pasta is just tender. Stir in beans and olives. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Transfer bean mixture to a shallow 2 quart casserole. Top with taco shells or tortilla chips and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes to melt cheese. If casserole is assembled in advance and chilled, increase baking time to 20 minutes or until heated through. Top with sour cream at the table.

 

MEXICAN STUFFED PEPPERS
(The original recipe called for brown rice, I substitute quinoa)
4 large red or green peppers
1 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 stalks celery, diced
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t basil
½ tsp oregano
2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
1 ½ cups cooked and drained red kidney beans (or one can; really, any bean will do)
2 T tamari
Cayenne to taste
1 ½ cups canned tomatoes with their juice
1 small can tomato paste
Thinly sliced cheese (optional) 
Wash the peppers and cut them in half  length wise.  Remove the  seeds. Place the peppers, cut side down, on a  rack above boiling water.  Cover  the pot and steam for about 10 min or until they are just beginning to get  soft.  DO NOT STACK ON TOP OF ONE  ANOTHER...they will not steam evenly. Heat the olive oil in a large  skillet.  Add the onions, celery, cumin, chili powder, basil and oregano.   Saute until the onions are almost tender. Add the cooked quinoa and beans.  Mix well; then add the tamari and the  cayenne to taste. Mix again. Lightly oil a shallow 7 x 11 inch baking  dish.  Fill each pepper with the  bean and quinoa mixture and place the peppers side by side in the baking  dish. Mix together the canned tomatoes and the  tomato paste.  If the tomatoes are  whole, chop them up or break them up with a fork. Pour the tomato mixture over the stuffed  peppers.  Cover the baking dish  with foil and bake at 350´ for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish and top each pepper with a thin slice of cheese if desired.   Return the dish to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
 

Robin in Chicago

table4six
by on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Anytime I get bored with our menu, I go to allrecipes.com and search for something new.  

The other day my kids complained about tacos getting boring.  To spice it up a bit I added a can of re-fried beans and some tortillas to the menu.  We made double stuff tacos, and that helped a bit.  Just smear some beans on the tortilla and wrap it around the hard shell taco then fill your taco with whatever you usually use. 

faith506
by on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM


Quoting table4six:

Anytime I get bored with our menu, I go to allrecipes.com and search for something new.  

I do the same thing!

PatCarMom
by on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Another quick favorite in our house is Mexican Lasagna.

  • 14 corn tortillas cut into 1in X 1in pieces
  • Chicken boiled and deboned
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • Enchilada sauce. You can use red or green
  • 1 can Cream of mushroom or chicken
  • 1 c salsa
  • Cheddar Cheese or Mexican Blend

Mix the chicken, rotel, black beans, and corn in one bowl. Mix the sour cream, enchilada sauce, cream of, and salsa in another bowl.

Spray a 9X13 pan and smear a little of the cream mix in the bottom, layer in 1/3 of the tortillas. Cover with 1/2 chicken mix, then 1/2 of remaining cream mix and some shredded cheddar cheese.

Do another layer of 1/3 tortillas, add other 1/2 of chicken mix, and last of the cream mix. Sprinkle with the last 1/3 of the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350* for about 45 mins or until it is bubbly and cheese is melted.

the.lilangel
by on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:54 PM

bump

kyledavidsmom
by Member on Dec. 5, 2009 at 5:07 AM


Quoting PatCarMom:

My kids are so not picky, and I am very grateful for that. I too make a menu ahead of time and try to keep it to $100 a week to feed myself, hubby, an 18 year old boy, 17 year old boy, 10 year old boy, and 8 year old girl.

First off, do you have a Kroger, or do you do most of your shopping at Wal-Mart? The reason I ask is that Kroger generally has really good deals on some kind of meat. This week I bought a 9 lb pork roast for less than $9.00. It will make three of our meals.

They also have large packages of chicken on sale fairly often.

This weeks menu follows.

  • Monday- Turkey pot pie, we used left over turkey from Thanksgiving, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, I make my own cream of mushroom(a can works just as well), and for the topping Bisquick mixed with milk, an egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika
  • Tuesday- Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli and carrots
  • Wednesday- Chicken Florentine over rice and roasted green beans
  • Thursday- White beans and ham with griddle cakes
  • Left over pork to make quesadillas, with yellow rice, and black beans.
  • Friday-Vegetable soup I use 1/2 lb of ground beef and 1/2 lb ground turkey. It reduces the fat and price. I use two bags of Vegetable Soup mix (Kroger Brand) it has the potatoes, and all kinds of veggies in it. 1 large can of tomato sauce, 1/2 a can of V-8 (sneaks in a few extra veggies) 4 cups of water and 2 beef bullion cubes. What ever extra seasonings your family likes. I saute an onion before browning the meat and leave it in the pot too.
  • Left over pork to make Bar-B-que beans to go with cole slaw, and toasted rolls.

I love trying to keep my budget under $100. If you would like some more ideas I have an entire book full of them.

 Wow you'r menu sounds so good. If you don't mind sharing i would enjoy some of you'r ideals. I have 4 little kids so they get bored of the same old thing. Thanks

s.t.e.p.h
by on Dec. 5, 2009 at 8:01 AM

These sound like some great ideas!

((*Steph-23 year old stay at home momma to my 3 March babies:Elijah,Brayden and Hannah.

sapphiresoda
by on Dec. 5, 2009 at 5:04 PM


Quoting faith506:


Quoting table4six:

Anytime I get bored with our menu, I go to allrecipes.com and search for something new.  

I do the same thing!

Me too.  Their website is a lifesaver.


baby

baby

babies

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN