Meal Time Rut Rescue

Ever once in a while I seem to get into a meal time rut. I usually sit down to plan my meals before the month begins and lately it has been like “pulling teeth” (now that isn’t funny to me now) to break out of the meal time rut. I know other mothers experience the same thing. You know what the meal time rut is, don’t you?? It is when you can’t seem to think beyond a couple of familiar meals and notice yourself cooking meals like old reruns? I noticed this, or I should say my husband noticed this recently when he commented, “We’re having spaghetti again????” For some reason “Spaghetti” is a favorite rerun. We like it but not several times a week. One thing that really pulls me out of the rut of meal reruns is to ask other moms what they have had for supper lately.
Here are some supper meals that we have incase you are in a rut:
1- Homemade Rice-a-Roni. This is very easy to make and it doesn’t have all the preservatives. While your rice is cooking, saute chopped-up spaghetti noodles in a skillet with a little bit of butter. I add my chopped up noodles in over a period of a few minutes so that the first ones I added get really brown but the later ones are barely sauteed. I then pour water in the pan and boil the noodles until tender. Mix the noodles in with the rice. I usually saute some peppers, garlic and onions and cook some hamburger meat. I then mix it all up and add some shredded cheese.
2- Beans and Rice. I love cooking dry beans now that I can. I had some training in the art of bean cooking not too long ago and have been able to prepare some really yummy bean dishes. We had black bean quesadillas that were a big hit.
3- Meatloaf – As a child, I assumed meatloaf was not a good food. However, our family loves meatloaf. In fact…it is probably one of their favorite meals, if not the favorite. Meatloaf goes great with green beans and mashed potatoes with a loaded salad. Sometimes I steam veggies instead of the green beans. Meatloaf also is easy to mix up and freeze as a fast freezer meal on days where you have little preparation time but want a hearty meal and the house to smell as though you have been working hard on supper!
What are 3 meals that you have recently prepared to help pull the rest of us out of the meal time rut?


  • Rachel says:

    Let’s see, three meals I’ve recently fixed would be:
    1) purple hull peas and rice
    I used the recipe at
    2) pork chops o’brien
    I used a recipe found by searching google, but now that I try to find it again, it’s not there.
    3) sausage supper
    I posted this recipe on my blog ( It is one of TJ and my favorites.
    Hope that helps.

  • Rachel says:

    hmmm, I guess it didn’t like that formating for that second link. Here it is again, if you don’t want to cut and paste.

  • sarah walston says:

    hey beth – i’m in the middle of a grocery list and needed a break…funny you have this article blogged RIGHT NOW… lol
    I have a great recipe for easy home made chili that we love – eat it with fritos and cheese or just cornbread and a salad…either way is great. It freezes well and you can double up the recipe and freeze in bags for later. My friend, Suzanne Bortel (you know them!) gave me the recipe. Just making 1 pot of it in the crockpot is enough to feed her family of 13. I’ll email it to you.
    We’re grilling Chicken Fajitas on Saturday b/c HEB had their meat on sale for 0.99/lb for the preseasoned fajita meat. I bought 4 5lb bags and stuck them in the freezer!
    Monday is going to be chicken tenders, fries and fruit kabobs
    And Tuesday – grilled chicken breasts, steamed brocolli and salad.
    And then…of course…spaghetti and meatballs!!!

  • sally says:

    What a fun topic…I can’t wait to try the bean recipe 🙂
    Ok, let’s see….
    1. This one I got out of a magazine and I LOVE it! It’s called “Easy Cassoulet” I don’t have the actual recipe card anymore, but I’ve got it down pat by now 😉 : (fyi – the amount of beans and chicken broth are for 4 servings…feel free to add or delete as needed :))
    Sautee finely chopped carrots, celery, garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat in skillet.
    Once the onions are translucent, sautee sliced turkey kielbasa with the mixture.
    Add 2 cans of white navy beans and 2 to 3 cups of chicken broth.
    While it simmers, tear chunks of sauteed chicken (on nights when I’m rushed, I buy a rotisseri chicken, tear off the skin and use the white meat from it – I use the rest of the carcass to make soup later that week) – add it to the skillet and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
    Serve with french bread and enjoy!
    2. Taco Casserole – sautee ground turkey with (msg free) taco seasoning (I get mine from the latino section in grocery stores – it doesn’t have all the preservatives of the packaged stuff) finely chopped garlic, onions and jalapeno – cook until brown. (tip – the less fat in ground turkey meat, the less time it takes to cook)
    Cover the bottom of the casserole pan with coarsely broken tortilla chips, cover the chips with the turkey meat. Top the meat with a can of black beans (I know the dry beans are always better, but I’ve been pretty happy with the organic canned ones I’ve found). Next, spread a thin layer of plain, non-fat yogurt (it’s a great alternative to sour cream and it really tastes the same…especially in this recipe) over the beans. Sprinkle the casserole with chopped tomatoes and white chedder cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I usually serve it with tortilla chips…it’s so yummy!
    I have a GREAT recipe for chicken enchilada soup…but that one I don’t know off the top of my head, so I’ll post it soon once I have time to get the recipe.

  • sarah says:

    ***Okay, I totally stole this from Food Network but it looked easy and fast and tasty***
    Teriyaki-Beer Skirt Steak Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee
    Recipe Summary
    Difficulty: Easy
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Yield: 4 to 6 servings
    User Rating:
    1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
    1/2 cup beer
    1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 tablespoon black pepper season mix
    1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    2 sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    Hawaiian sweet rolls
    In a zip-top bag, place skirt steak, beer, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and season mix. Push out air and seal. Shake to combine. Set aside.
    In another zip-top bag, add vegetables, oil, and vinegar. Push out air and seal. Shake to combine. Set aside.
    Preheat grill. Grill vegetables to desired tenderness, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside. Grill steak approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice steak at an angle.
    Serve meat and vegetables piled on Hawaiian sweet rolls.