Thursday, October 15, 2009

Main Dish (or Entree si vous plait!)

I'm a day behind, but who cares. Tuesday was supposed to be Dessert Day, Wednesday is designated Entree Day, and Thursday is assigned to Casseroles. So how about this? You get two for the price of one today: an entree idea AND a casserole idea! (This is a little quirk of mine: I like sticking to the plan if at all possible.)

But first, here's a report on our first blog poll. We asked "What is your biggest challenge to doing family dinner hour?" "Survey SAYS!" (remember Family Feud?),
and there's no surprises here: no time. Just another validation for the
purpose of this blog. Stick with us--we're going to tackle this issue
head on!

OK, now for an entree suggestion that's as quick and easy as it is good. This comes from my friend, neighbor, and grand poo-bah of all things frugal and tasty, Tammy Hogan. She calls it
1 (16 oz) can tomatoes (undrained, diced, stewed, whole, etc.--just be sure they're cut into small pieces)
1 (15 oz) can chili (no beans)
1 (15 oz) can pinto (or pinto beans--or whatever bean is in your cupboard)
1 (15 oz) can kidney bean (same deal--or whatever bean is in your cupboard)
1/4 C BBQ sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
Dash liquid smoke (I didn't have this, so went without--results were still fabulous)
In slow cooker, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cook on HIGH 3-4 hrs or cook 1 hour on HIGH, reduce to LOW, and cook 8-9 hrs. (This is the approach I use when I have to leave for work.)
OR, make it on the stove top: Drain only kidney beans. Combine ingredients and stir to mix. Heat about 15 min. or until thoroughly heated. You can see this makes a lot of chili.
Serve with favorite toppings: Shredded cheese, chopped onion, sour cream, sliced black olives, diced tomatoes, etc. Put it all atop a bed of corn chips and shredded lettuce and you have what we call FRITOS BANDITOS--a husband favorite.

NOW, the casserole. And this is a jewel, from another friend, neighbor, and very busy OBGYN nurse, Kristin Klein. It's her
1 Pillsbury pie crust box (not frozen)
Large bag frozen vegetables, your choice
1 large can white chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C milk
1 tsp garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste
Line bottom of pie plate with Pillsbury pie crust. Top with frozen veggies. Mix soup and milk to make gravy and pour over veggies. Sprinkle with garlic salt and salt and pepper. Top with another crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. If top browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.

Your turn...what's one of YOUR favorite entrees or casseroles? I can hardly wait for the chow bell! Until next time, here's to making family dinner hour possible!


  1. King Ranch Chicken is an easy, go-to classic -- and kind of a combo of your two recipes of the day. You can easily substitute canned chicken for fresh, or use leftovers from a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or Costco. On that note, Costco has huge roasters for $5, so great to get a couple of meals out of.

    There are lots of King Ranch recipes on the web, so take your pick! :-) Bethe

  2. Thank you for these ideas, Bethe! I didn't know anything about King Ranch, so I appreciate this direction. And the Costco chicken is the best!