The dreaded question everyday is, "What's for dinner?" Ugh! It still gets to me! Over the years I have really simplified. Gone are the days of biting off more than I can chew with overly complicated Pinterest recipes.
I LOVE to cook...when I have the time and the energy. I know you may see me on social media bringing it, but by the end of the day I am spent too. I'm a single mother solopreneur navigating owning a business for the first time during a pandemic; how could I not feel it too?
Stress management is a daily goal for me. I am hyper aware of how I am feeling, and how much energy I have left because I cannot afford to burn myself out. I just can't. I made a decision after pulling myself out of the trenches of depression and the worst anxiety I've ever experienced, that if I can avoid it, I will not go to those places again. Now, I'll be damned if the stress of what to make for dinner is what pushes me over the edge.
I've had very little energy to cook throughout this pandemic. On the weeks I had my daughter it looked a lot like tacos/taco salad, grilled cheese with tomato soup and a vegetable, mini sliders (HEB has the best ones!), and leftovers. One or two nights I might make my girl some chicken nuggets with apple slices and a veggie, and have a smoothie for myself. On the weeks I was solo, I was living off smoothies, simple salads, and eating out just to get out of the house.
I haven't felt guilty one bit about taking short cuts or doing less to preserve my energy and sanity - and neither should you!
Although my pandemic menu isn't terribly unhealthy per se, I was getting bored of it. Also, who doesn't love some cozy fall recipes?? I found myself longing for some new flavors that have been out of my rotation for a while. I breezed through some of my recipes and here's what I found.
In the spirit of giving, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite (simple) fall recipes!
These are all great for Sunday meal prep. Both dinner recipes typically feed a family of 4.
Here we go!
TURKEY CON CARNE
1 lb. ground turkey
1 can corn
1 can black beans
2 cans Rotel or diced tomatoes of your choice (do not drain!)
1 package of chili seasoning
Drain/rinse corn and beans, and set aside. In a large non-stick skillet drizzle olive oil and brown the ground turkey. Drain any liquid. Add in all other ingredients, stirring until well combined and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Voila! Eat like chili topped with shredded cheese, chives or anything you like. You can also make a pretty amazing burrito using this as the filling rolled up in a warm tortilla! Enjoy!
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in half vertically
Ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced or diced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
3 tsp Italian seasoning
Season chicken breasts with ground pepper and garlic salt to taste. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts. Mix Italian seasoning with balsamic vinegar and pour over chicken. Add diced tomatoes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Love to serve this over quinoa with a vegetable! Super yummy!
This is no basic recipe! This recipe was passed down to my from my Grandmother Jane, who was quite possibly one of the best bakers I've ever known. I usually end up making this bread at least 2-3 times throughout the Fall/Winter seasons because it's so damn delicious. My daughter, and friends and family alike all have loved it! Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil ( I use vegetable oil)
1 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup ground/chopped nuts (I use pecans, and grind them up super fine in a food processor.)
Optional: 1/2 cup golden raisins or chocolate chips
Mix well and pour into greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
This is my Grandmothers old recipe so there isn't an exact time, but based on the pan you use, start with 45 minutes and keep checking to see if it's done. If you make them into muffins I'd probably check them after 25 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter until done. If it's a thick loaf pan, it may take a little over that hour.
It will be golden brown and spring back when touched. Be sure the middle is cooked all the way through! Cool, and enjoy!
Hope you enjoy these recipes! Leave a comment if you try them out. I'd love to know how you liked them!