Crock Pot Hodge Podge

Tonight’s dinner was born from several recipes that sounded good but I was missing one or two key ingredients from each.  I decided to just throw together what I had and hope for the best!

  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
  • Onion (I used the Red Spring Onions still in my crisper drawer from last week’s box of produce.  I chopped up two onions and cooked them up with the ground beef.)
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12 oz) jar salsa + water (filled the empty jar with water and dumped into crock pot)
  • frozen peas (I just poured in about 3/4 of a bag)
  • beans (I had intended to use a can of black, a can of kidney but found that I didn’t have them in my pantry after all.  I ended up using a mix of dried beans. Had to cook them for a few hours first, then throw them in the crock pot, which had already been cooking the rest of the meal.)

I am thinking that when it comes out, we can sprinkle some cheese on top, maybe add some tortilla chips?  I’ll let you know how it turns out!


What’s for dinner?

I’ve been a little lazy with my menu planning lately.  I have a magnetic calendar on my fridge.  I bought it a very long time ago when I found myself struggling to take care of three little ones and still get a healthy dinner on the table each night.  I was constantly searching for something to make at the last minute, always finding myself short an ingredient or two.  It was borrow from the neighbors or run to the store.  I was getting tired of bugging my kind neighbors and tired of daily trips to the store.  So, I bought this calendar, stuck it on the fridge and planned out a month’s worth of menus at a time.  It was really pretty easy.  I’d sit down with my binder full of favorite recipes and pick out some favorites.  It was easy to stick the recipes I knew would make leftovers onto days when Ed would take his lunch to work the next day.  Recipes that fed us without leaving leftovers were planned for days when Ed didn’t work the next day.  Days when I knew we’d be running around all day, home just in time to eat dinner and put the kids to bed?  Crock pot meal!  I loved my monthly calendaring.

About 8 months (or so) ago, I started getting my weekly box of produce.  I noticed my monthly meal planning slowly evolved to weekly planning.  I liked to wait and see what was in my box, so I could better plan to use it all up.  But in the past few weeks I’ve been busy on the weekends and find myself Monday mornings with no dinner plans for the week.  This was the case yesterday.  Mondays are easy enough… Matthew has a speech therapist who comes to work with him Monday afternoons from 4-5.  Perfect timing for me to have some quiet time putting dinner together.  Yesterday I went with a simple pasta.  I chopped up some spinach and mixed it in with the sauce and served broccoli and avocado on the side.  (I realize this was a lot of green, but I was just trying to use up what I had!)  It all worked out fine.  But still, here I am again wondering what will be for dinner tonight.  Since I know we have tae kwon do after school, it will need to be a crock pot meal so we can come home and eat quickly.

*On a side note, I am grateful that yesterday and so far today the weather has been cool again.  I find myself needing crock pot meals at least twice a week, but I tend to see crock pot meals as more of a winter thing.  Soups, chilis, casseroles… things to eat when the weather is cool and you want something warm and filling.  If anyone has any great ideas for meals to make in the crock pot over the summer – something that’s not so heavy – I’d love to have the recipe!  Or any other ideas of things that can be made ahead of time and quickly thrown together when we get home!*

Back to the point – so this morning I found myself digging through the pantry, looking for something to throw together.  I had a bunch of different recipes, but was missing one or two ingredients for each one.  Rather than make a trip to the store, I decided to just use up what I had sitting around and create my own recipe.  I hope it turns out good 🙂

While I was throwing things together, I thought it might be fun to create a new category on the blog – “What’s for Dinner?”  I can post whatever recipes I make for dinner that I think others might like to try.  Please, feel free to share recipes with me too!  I love to find new favorites!