What's for Dinner? - Chicago,IL

Updated on August 04, 2016
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
22 answers

I'm making a menu plan and I feel stumped. what are you eating in your home this week?

We're doing lots of left overs, sandwiches tonight, ribs tomorrow. One night we'll have chicken and pasta with a red pepper cream sauce. I'm going to make pesto this weekend, and we'll probably take a Thai curry out of the freezer.

What can I do next?

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answers from Portland on

I wish I was half as organized as you. We have no menus. I seldom cook a whole meal and leftovers get pushed to the back and then thrown out. We eat a lot of commercial frozen meals.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I was stumped myself when dinner time rolled around today so I'm the last person that should be giving out advice.

One day I bought a flank steak and made fajitas. My youngest is hooked. Now she wants it every week.

Yesterday my cop out was breakfast for dinner.

If I think ahead I love to make chicken fried steak out of cube steaks.

I can always go for a good steak.

Can you tell I like my beef?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Monday was toasted ravioli with marinara, garlic cheese bread, and salad.
Tuesday was stew meat simmered with gobs of veggies and bread.
Wednesday was layered nacho casserole (baked) with fresh lettuce and tomato garnish.
Thursday will be jambalaya with beef sausage.
Friday will be homemade creamy chicken mixed with veggies and biscuits baked on top.
Saturday and Sunday = M. don't cook on the weekend :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I roast up a bunch of chicken on Monday mornings, usually two packs of boneless, skinless thighs. I cover the chicken with parchment that has olive oil on it to retain the juices. Then, remove roasted chicken, tip the pan to pour the drippings into a cup and save it all. The chicken gets put into containers, the liquid is covered. All goes in the fridge. Later in the week, I can use the liquid by skimming the congealed fat off the top and adding that broth to some sauteed diced mushrooms... that will be one meal, usually served with some rice and broccoli.

The other chicken I save for other uses: shred it up for chicken burritos (chicken, beans, salsa, cheese); chicken salad for lunch (add in some artichoke hearts and olives, bit of mayo); if I roast the chicken with lemon and parsley, then I'll likely cube up the leftover chicken, add some more broth (canned) and lemon, wee bit of cornstarch, and egg noodles, fresh thin-sliced carrots and celery, fresh parsley when I serve it... everyone loves this one.

Salmon in season, I'll make it in the morning. Cold salmon for dinner and leftovers--- add capers and mayo, salmon salad on toast for lunches.

Cold cuts and make your own sandwich nights are good. Rather rare here, though.
Instant couscous goes with just about any protein.

Last night we did rockfish (snapper) tacos with homemade salsa and guacamole. I marinated the fish, baked it off and flaked it up for the meal. I also have leftovers now. Again. So many leftovers.

We don't have AC on the main floor of the house, so I try to do the 'hot' work early.

Tonight, though, I'm pushing for take-out because we are spending the day cleaning out Kiddo's room and moving in some new furniture. As I told my husband "be glad you aren't the one doing it!" so he's happy to stop on the way home and get a bite for us. Good luck meal planning.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I was just thinking about this.

Hubby is very inconsistent about making it home for dinner and between kiddos being picky or rushed with evening activities, I have really let meal planning slip.

I can always count on tacos, spaghetti, crock pot chicken, bbq pork roast. Hamburgers, or steak...but that's about it.

Sloppy joe, chili, mac and cheese, soups, lasanga would be easy enough but just get thrown out or I am stuck eating it for 5 days

Fish intimidates me.

Sigh now I feel terrible for not eating lentiles and tofu and bean sprouts. . I might as well stock up on TV dinners and give up.


I was just thinking about this.

Hubby is very inconsistent about making it home for dinner and between kiddos being picky or rushed with evening activities, I have really let meal planning slip.

I can always count on tacos, spaghetti, crock pot chicken, bbq pork roast. Hamburgers, or steak...but that's about it.

Sloppy joe, chili, mac and cheese, soups, lasanga would be easy enough but just get thrown out or I am stuck eating it for 5 days

Fish intimidates me.

Sigh now I feel terrible for not eating lentiles and tofu and bean sprouts. . I might as well stock up on TV dinners and give up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I opened up a word program the other day and had each person sit down with me and list off their favorite foods. Even if it was take out. I saved each one under Foods we like, then their name.

I figure I can pull those lists up each time I'm making a menu and planning for the week.

But truthfully, we hardly ever succeed in going by it. We run out of food or don't have the right ingredients, or just don't feel like what is on the menu any meal that week. We really do better if we just each graze and make our own stuff. I'm trying to plan more meals that everyone loves or will eat even if they don't like it.

My husband likes plain spaghetti noodles with a little butter if I have chunky veggie sauce. Grand kids won't eat the sauce either. If I make a meat sauce then he'll eat it but the kids still won't. They'll eat sauce if it's runny with no chunks but flavorful. Typical meal for us. I make spaghetti and most of it is tossed while everyone goes and gets Ramen noodles, makes mac and cheese or a PB&J. It's just easier to not waste time and effort in this house.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

monday we had grilled chicken with buttered noodles and baked zucchini
tuesday we had breaded baked chicken tenders with fries and fresh fruit
wednesday were having crock pot pork chops mashed potatoes and carrots
thursday were having chicken parmesan on noodles with tomato sauce and green beans
friday were having rotisserie chicken with cheesy rice and zucchini fries
saturday were having breakfast for dinner (pancakes eggs and bacon with fruit)
sunday were having homemade pizza.
(the zucchini, carrots, fruit, green beans, potatos and tomatos for sauces are grown by us, and we have chickens that supply our eggs. we are organic and so most of our food is too)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Generally, we're the Grill People in the summer, although we had to take some time off when the horrible gypsy moth infestation went from caterpillars to insanely swarming moths looking for mates. That was horrible and it was impossible to spend any time outside with the grill - didn't want those critters in my food.

Yesterday the heat broke so I made enchiladas with ground turkey, onions, beans, cheese, onions, frozen corn & peas, green peppers, with rice made with a little tomato sauce and cumin/coriander (used the rest on top of the enchiladas).

Otherwise, I do the whole meal on the grill:
- teriyaki chicken tenders with kabobs of onion, mushrooms, zucchini and peppers in a ginger-based marinade
- honey mustard chicken with asparagus and red potatoes. I do the asparagus with oil, salt & pepper, and the potatoes with oil & chives or dill fresh from my garden
- turkey/beef burgers (half & half) jazzed up with frozen chopped spinach (defrosted), horseradish, diced onions, and some leftover refried beans, and kabobs or strips of green & red peppers and some quartered onions, and corn on the cob
- chicken marinated in Italian dressing, with eggplant and zucchini and yellow squash cut the long way in long flat strips, dipped in oil & Italian type seasonings, or just oil/basil/salt/pepper.
- fish (salmon or whatever else was on sale and looking fresh) with lemon and chives, with sweet potato chunks and patty pan squash cut in quarters and brushed with oil/rosemary, and some large chunks of broccoli (large enough to not fall through the grate).

Otherwise if it's too hot or buggy to grill, we have:
- cold turkey wraps (turkey, cheese matchsticks, romaine lettuce, spread first with hummus or grainy mustard)
- Israeli couscous salad (pearl couscous) with chopped cucumbers, onion, parsley, mint, tomatoes, maybe chickpeas for added protein
- salad bar with the usual ingredients plus walnuts, craisins, goat cheese, leftover chicken or turkey, water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, any leftover beans from various Mexican type meals.
- caprese salad with farmers market finds: red tomatoes (or supermarket on-the-vine tomatoes), fresh mozzarella slices, and basil from my pot of herbs, plus oil and balsamic vinegar

Happy to read all the other suggestions - great to get new ideas!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I have a pot roast in the crock pot right now. I'll make homemade mashed potatoes and a veggie.

Last night I made Chicken Alfredo with corn and a salad.

I think we'll have leftovers tomorrow night and Thursday make chicken in the crock with cream of chicken soup and then serve it over rice with some veggies.

Friday's (if we have the kids) we have pizza and salad. If we don't, hubs and I go out.

I just wing it over the weekends depending on what we are doing and who is home. Sunday is the "day of rest" and I take after my grandma and try to only go to church and not cook or do any 'work'. So we'll have something really easy and then start over on Monday. lol

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I'm having tuna fish, my husband will have a burger, my daughter is having pancakes and my oldest is out to dinner.

I'm obviously not very helpful.😉

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I am not much of a planner; I take it a week at a time. This week's rotation is curry coconut soup; grilled veggie wraps with feta and hummus; grilled veggie wraps with Spanish rice and black beans; roast chicken with saffron rice/mac and cheese/mashed potatoes; pan fried fish with grilled veggies; and Italian sausage and grilled peppers with spaghetti. Grilled veggies being a combination of mushrooms, bell peppers (red or orange, not green), red onion, garlic or shallots and spices to swing the taste one way or the other.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I'm not quite sure. There was a time I made menus for 5 weeks. The fifth week was an option week if I had extra food that I could pull from to make other meals with what was on hand. Saturday was always left over night from foods that we left from the main meal and lunch.

Now, I am lucky I plan any meals. Tonight we will have talapia with rice and a green veggie and fruit for dessert.

Earlier this week I cooked extra chicken, de-boned it and made soup for lunch (lunchroom at school is closed another week the local eateries are between $6 and $10 a lunch. I will make chicken enchiladas and chicken salad out of what is left. The farmer's market is open and I will be getting many veggies there and freezing them for the winter for my soups and meals. When I can I make bread and butter pickles that last about a month as hubby eat s them all in a short time. Perhaps a pot of spaghetti sauce is in order this weekend.

Thanks for reminding about making the sauce.

the other S.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We're vegetarians, so we always have some combination of a grain/bean or grain/tofu with a vegetable or salad. Also, I'm a big fan of the book One-dish vegan by Robin Roberts.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Tonight we are having barbecued pork chops, cornbread, and roasted brussels sprouts.
I don't plan meals very far ahead, simply because I don't know today what I am going to want to cook three days from now. I keep a lot of basics on hand - meat and veggies in the freezer, flour, meal, rice, and pasta in the pantry, eggs and cheese in the fridge - and make up meals as I go along.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Perogies, coleslaw and meatballs for supper tonight. Last night was left-overs, grilled pork chops, broccoli and baked potatoes on Monday, roast chicken, green and yellow beans and mashed potatoes on Sunday, Spaghetti and meat sauce on Saturday, pan fried fish (Walleye), cauliflower and rice on Friday.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

We've had SO MUCH zucchini lately (I still have 6 big ones sitting on my counter) - we can't stand to have more of it for awhile - I may have to dice it up and freeze it for later.
It might be a pizza night tonight.
We're doing some badly needed cleaning out of some corners we haven't gotten into for awhile and we're not going to feel like cooking much of anything.
Popping a pizza into the oven is easy!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have a menu plan. I make it easy to switch days if I don't feel like having what I have scheduled.

Monday is pasta night - ravioli, mac & cheese, tortellini, etc.
Tuesday - Taco Night - we do burritos too even enchiladas, Spanish or Mexican rice, black or refried beans with cheese
Wednesday -Family Night - we order pizza or something (it's my night off for cooking)
Thursday - I do chicken pork or beef - depending upon taste buds, buttered noodles, rice, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Friday - boys night in - husband picks up Hungry man from store - I go out with friends.

Saturday - usually grill something.

Sunday - left over night. Refrigerator gets cleaned out and ready for next week.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Grilled chicken

not sure what else...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I like to roast chicken in the oven - usually thighs or leg quarters, occasionally breasts or drumsticks - bones in, skins on. That's part of dinner one night.

I always make enough to have leftover pieces. When it is cool, I remove the best chunks of meat to use in another dish, like chicken and rice, for another dinner.

The bones, skins and scraps are used to make chicken stock. In turn, that can be used in future meals to make soup or in place of water when cooking rice, pasta, etc. (I also use the turkey carcasses and ham bones to make stock.)

Spaghetti and meatballs can be as fast or slow as you choose to make it. You can go all convenience for minimal prep time with boxed pasta, jarred sauce, frozen meatballs, frozen garlic loaf, bagged salad mix. Or you can make any/all of those things from scratch. There is a lot of in-between with this one.

I recently bought an electric pressure cooker so I've been having a good time with that, adapting my own recipes and trying new things. It makes a rich stock in a fraction of the time it takes on the stove, plus you can just leave it to do it's thing instead of minding it. I wasn't entirely sure it was worth having and thought I could resell it if I didn't use it, but now I'm like, "Where have you been all my life?!" lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Sunday we had pork roast, baked beans and slaw with tomatoes and pickled zucchini. I usually cook enough for 2 days so Monday was a repeat.
Tuesday Rotisserie chicken, broccoli, mac and cheese. Same for Wednesday except the broccoli was replaced with green beans.
Today. I have no idea. Maybe I can come up with something reading what others have had or are having tonight.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I'm really not much of a planner or grocery shopper. While I'm at work, I think, hey I feel like ???? tonight. Or my daughter will call me and say, can we have ??? for dinner tonight? Then I go to the store and buy whatever I need and go home a cook it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Caprese salad/sandwiches to use all the lovely fresh basil and tomatoes.
Crockpot stew with potatoes, red/white beans, red peppers and onion/garlic.
A summer squash casserole (very simple recipe) because we're getting TONS of squash in the veggie box.
Cheese quesadillas or bean burritos with lots of things each person can add to taste.
lentil soup.

1 mom found this helpful
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