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What's For Dinner?

23 Ideas and Recipes for Dinner Every Night in February!

Even though it is the shortest, February with its unpredictable weather and endless cold, feels like the longest month of the year. In an effort to keep everything running efficiently in our Autism intensive house, I have started meal planning a month in advance and it has made a tremendous difference in less-stressed evenings, simply enjoying each other as a family.

I am not a great cook, not by any stretch. I make basic stuff that appeals to the majority of the inhabitants here (looking at you, Little Dude) and my go-to is always Betty Crocker to try out a recipe first, then elsewhere to get ideas on how to tweak it. For the meals above, I am not going to provide recipes for the self-explanatory ones, like "grilled cheese" (I have a SN 2 year old - I'm short on time! :) If you are stumped with how to make a particular meal, send me a message and I'll do my best to help!

Here we go:

1. Sloppy Joes - Dan and I had the great fortune to eat Sloppy Joe's at Sloppy Joe's Bar during the annual Ernest Hemingway look-a-like contest and it was a blast! This is a great recipe that is easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd or that you can freeze and pop out for dinner on a different night. I like to add a little tomato sauce, some Worcestershire sauce, a diced carrot and let it simmer in the crock pot. Plus, I always use ground turkey rather than ground beef.

Typically, I make a large batch, we eat it for two dinners in a row and then freeze whatever remains. I serve it with tater tots because who doesn't love tater tots? Oh, and add a slice of cheese to your sloppy joe sandwich. It. Is. Delish!

2. Crock Pot Lasagna - I have been all about using my crock pot for pretty much everything lately. I made this recipe a couple weeks ago. It was hugely popular with the family and was more than enough to freeze and have again later.

3. Chili - Quick and easy and great in a crock pot! - Recipe here. I use pink beans rather than kidney beans and I hate oregano so I nix that.

4. Lettuce Wraps - I introduced Dan to these several years ago and he loves them. The recipe is also on the back of the Lee Kum Kee Panda lettuce wrap sauce pouch. I replace the water chestnuts with mushrooms.

5. Pot Pie - Until I got married a couple years ago, I never cooked for just myself, so I had absolutely no idea how easy it is to make a rue and pot pie. I found this recipe when I was trying to figure out what to do with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Turns out perfect every time.

6. Chicken Piccata - I am always on the search for an excellent piccata recipe. I tend to like more of a sauce than most recipes make. Here is one I recently found that I haven't had a chance to make yet, but I will be!

7. Stormy Day Bean Soup - I have never actually made Stormy Day from a recipe. It is a dish that I learned as a child from my mom and have been evolving ever since. We don't eat any pig products, so I replace the ham with smoked turkey. I also add carrots and I use Great Northern beans rather than Navy beans. You can find the recipe here and I recommend serving with corn bread.

8. Steak Birds - I'm pretty sure this is a 1950s hors d'oeuvre that people decided could be an entree. We don't make a gravy with it, which seems to be the norm based on the recipes I found. I use turkey bacon rather than real bacon and serve it with baked potatoes.

9. Teriyaki Chicken - this is fairly straightforward. Marinate chicken in store-bought teriyaki sauce and bake or grill it. I serve it with rice and steamed veggies.

10. Spanish Rice with ground turkey - another easy recipe. I make Rice-A-Roni spanish rice with Rotel, brown ground turkey separately, combine the two and serve.

11. Tamales - I recently discovered how easy these are to make and found this masa recipe to be excellent. I prefer to do roasted green chiles and a little cheese to stuff mine, but you can use your imagination. I've done a shredded chicken with enchilada sauce before, too, and it was quite popular with the fam.

12. Chicken Cacciatore - I wanted to learn how to make this after my favourite place to get it locally revamped their menu and took it off. I haven't experimented with it much because this recipe hits the spot.

13. Stir Fry - I probably should have put this on the calendar on February 22nd and called it "Stir Fry Day" but I've got a head cold and I'm not feeling clever at all. Recipe here.

14. Beans and Rice with Sausage -

#foodandwine #justapinch #bettycrocker #mealplanning #foodnetwork #autismmom #whatsfordinner #dinnerideas #simplerecipes #specialneeds #momtips #sloppyjoes #crockpot #nocooklasagna

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