What’s for Dinner? Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce & Meatless Monday: Bruschetta

 

 

Meatless Monday: Bruschetta and Salad

bruschettaThis is my favorite time of year as far as food goes!  There are so many wonderful things to be eaten fresh from the garden!  One of my favorites is tomatoes.  There is just nothing like a real, fresh, from the garden tomato.  It is a sad day the day I have to buy the first tomato from the grocery.  It is round and red, but that is about it.  This week we decided to take advantage of some fresh tomatoes and made bruschetta and topped it with Manchego cheese.  Served with fresh lettuce from my friends garden.  Wonderful!

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: simple

Review: This recipe from the Pioneer Woman is very simple and flavorful.  It is a great recipe if you are new to making your own bruschetta.  Very simply, brushcetta is a combination of tomatoes, garlic bread, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This recipe has a lovely addition of balsamic vinegar.  Try experimenting with infused balsamic vinegars, such as pineapple balsamic vinegar.  I think you will find this can be a great “go to” recipe.

The Manchego was our addition, you could try experimenting with different cheeses or eat it just for the joy of the tomato!

 

Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce

Orange Floundar

Flounder is a nice fish with a distinct flavor, but not overly “fishy” flavor making it a nice fish to cook with and don’t think that flounder only comes fried!  Try baking it, stuffing it, broiling etc.  It is a good addition to your menus.

Time: 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Note:  though simple, at the bottom of the recipe it says they “highly recommend a non-stick pan”  They mean it!

Review: Eating Well Magazine is one of my favorite magazines and has been for 20 years!  It went out of publication for a brief period of time and I mourned the loss deeply and horded my old magazines, but they came back and are going strong!  And now you can get recipes online!  This recipe meets my expectations of something from EW.  It was easy to prepare and wonderful flavors. DO USE THE NON-STICK PAN, I didn’t and had some issues, but it still tasted nice and my husband made lovely yummy noises A+!

 

Share your favorite Summertime meals with Bringing Back Dinner!  Your’s may be the next one reviewed!

 

 

 

Why This Blog? Meal Ideas & Planning so You Don’t Have to!

Cookbook Haze
Cookbook Haze. Does looking at all your cookbooks make you dizzy?

This week someone asked me “With all the food blogs out there, why yours?”  That is a good question!  There are so many wonderful food blogs out there with great ideas, why do another food blog?  There are several reasons I wanted to do this.  First, I love The Process (see below) and want to help. To me it is relaxing to sit down and plan out the meals we will have.  I scour cookbooks, the internet and magazines looking for the perfect dishes and enjoy it, however, I know many people hate this step, so I search for meal ideas and plan out a menu so you don’t have to!  The second reason is because I enjoy writing it up and taking the photos and in the process I am learning, and I love to learn. A third and unexpected reason is that I also get to meet really interesting people I would never have otherwise met. So, basically it is just plain fun. Lastly I believe relationships have an opportunity to grow around meals and I want to promote this. I’m hear to encourage you, help you, and give suggestions to make meal time easier.

What makes my blog different? One thing that is different about Bringing Back Dinner is the format. I provide reviews of recipes from all over the internet and help you find dishes you may not have stumbled upon otherwise and let you know how it turned out. Another way Bringing Back Dinner is different is the encouragement to slow down, stop for a moment and enjoy a nice meals with friends and family while helping you see that it can be done simply. It is about helping mealtime be less frustrating and more about the time together.  It is about family, friends, less stress, and more fun.

Each week I plan out meals and make and review the recipes and give you the links so that you can make them too.  I let you know how long it took and how it turned out to help you decide if you would like to try it.  Sometimes I add my own original recipes, but the real goal is just to give you a few meals each week so you can answer that question we all hear “What’s for Dinner”.

And that is why I’m here.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for.  I’ll pick so you don’t have to)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy.  Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and strengthen family relationships when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to set the table.

 

The Meals:

Meatless Monday: Asparagus – Mushroom Mini Lasagnas

Asparagus Mushroom mini lasagna

Vegetarian

Time:   1 1/2 Hours

Ease: simple

Review: I have to say I was very surprised.  I made this thinking it would be a good dish and help us stay on our Meatless Monday quest, but didn’t have high hopes for it.  I was wrong.  This dish was awesome and simple to make.  We will have this again!  It would be a beautiful dish for company too.  A+ Eating Well Magazine!

Pork Chops and Steak with Outback Steakhouse Copy Cat Seasoning

steak with outback seasoning

Time: 15 – 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This is a simple and tasty spice mix and one you probably want to keep in your database (or head).  We had it on pork chops and my daughter made a steak with it this week.  I don’t know if it is really like Outback Steak House’s but it is a nice blend of spices.

Frozen Pizza, because #FoodieChats and Twitter Tempted me!

frozen pizza

Foodie Chats spent a lot of time on Twitter discussing frozen pizza, then others chimed in with all kinds of pizza ideas and well, we just had to do it. Plus, it made for an easy night! Check them out on twitter @foodiechats and join the chat.

Time:  15-30 Minutes depending on type of pizza

Ease: Simple. I mean really, it is frozen pizza!

Review:  I know, I know.  Frozen pizza isn’t a recipe, but it is fine to pull this out every so often.

Za’atar Shrimp & Green Beans with Lemon Yogurt over Couscous

Shrimp & Green Beans with lemon garlic yogurt over couscous

Time: About 20 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This recipe comes from Blue Apron a company that provides recipes and the ingredients for meals and ships them to your house.  While I have not subscribed to Blue Apron, I am impressed with some of the recipes.  This recipe was creative and simple and made a beautiful plate of food.  It had a nice mixture of flavors and was kind of fun to make and eat.  Nice job Blue Apron!

Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut and Curry

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

Vegetarian, Whole30 and Paleo adaptable (omit chickpeas), 

Speaking of other food blogs, this recipe comes from a great blog called the Minimalist Baker, this is a must check out blog/site!

Time: 50 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  I mentioned before that my daughter is trying the Whole30 diet, in the process she has found some great recipes and gave this one a try.  To make it Whole30 acceptable she omitted the chickpeas.  I think the unexpected side effect of being on the Whole30 Diet is that she is becoming a great cook!  She has made this dish several times already and I don’t blame her, it is wonderful.  Remember, not to judge when you see words like Vegetarian, Paleo etc. It doesn’t mean it has to be some grass like, dirt tasting dish.  I mean after all Mashed potatoes are vegetarian and yum!  Just think to yourself “I don’t care what they call it, they could call it jurasicwholepaleodirt diet food for all I care, it is just plain good!”.

 

Other meals we had this week were Chicken breasts baked in fat free Italian dressing, just stick them in a baking dish, pour the dressing over the top and bake until done! Simple and yummy! We also had hamburgers one day for lunch and went to Bravo Cucina for a wonderful dinner.  I really like this restaurant, it has a nice atmosphere, good food, and reasonable prices.

Bringing Back Dinner Tip: It isn’t about what you make, it is about connecting.  So, if you only have time or energy for a frozen pizza, don’t stress about it.  Just remember to not let everyone grab pizza and scatter, but sit down together and talk.

What is your favorite quick meal? Reply, Tweet or Facebook us your quick meals to any of the links below.  Use #bringingbackdinner.

If you  make any of the dinners from Bringing Back Dinner share it with us on  InstagramPinterest, Twitter, or Facebook  use #bringinbackdinner

Photos by lwburbach please feel free to contact me for permission to use photos.

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Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I Love it When you get Fresh!

Dinner doesn’t have to be a chore and you don’t have to pull out the boxed mixes and packets to pull it off in time.  I promise, after a while you will embrace fresh, fresh, fresh!  It really doesn’t take much more time, if any, to use fresh ingredients.  The real issue is in our heads-it’s mental.  It seems like it is too hard, too time consuming, too involved etc., but the truth is that with a little practice you will be making fresh meals in minutes for your family and friends and they will love you for it.   Don’t feel like it has to be all or nothing here either; baby steps and start where you are.

Keep it fresh and alive at the table too.  Talk to each other, engage with your family and guests and get to really know each other.  Build trust at the table and remember to make it a safe place.  Here are some ice breakers: Get to Know you Cards, Dinner Conversation Starters, Highs and Lows: ask each other what the best part of the day was and what the worse part was and then talk about it.  Some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now, I admit a part of me does, but try it.  Be creative.  Dinner is not about getting food in their bellies, it is about savoring the moments both with your food and your relationships.  Enjoy!

TIP: Try setting up a Mise en Place to help you with time.  Don’t worry about dirtying more dishes; it cleans up quickly.

  • The Meals:

black bean quesadillasBlack Bean Quesadilla: Eating Well Magazine

Time: 15 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This is a quick and easy meal.  I pull this out when I’m rushed for time and I’m still able to give my family a fresh meal.  It is a family favorite.

Tip: Use low sodium canned beans and rinse well and use pepper jack cheese for flavor.

baked RavioliBaked Ravioli: Marthastewart.com

Time: 35-1 Hour; This dish could be a quickie if you use prepared spaghetti sauce instead of making the sauce.  There are many spaghetti sauces on the market that still keep this as a “fresh” dish.  Try organic, low sodium and look for the shortest ingredient list.

Ease: Simple

Review:  I found this recipe to be a nice and easy meal, but did not find the sauce to be especially flavorful and added hot pepper flakes, red wine, and a few more Italian spices to make it a little more full in flavor.  Next time I will probably use prepared spaghetti sauce, which will also cut the time in half.  Play around with this one and see what you get.

lentil soupLentil Soup: The Foodnetwork.com  Chef: Alton Brown

Time: 50 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: A nice hearty soup! Adjust the puree to your personal tastes, we like it in the middle.  This recipe calls from ground grains of paradise.  They can be found in places like Savory Spice or specialty markets.  It is a peppery spice with sort of woodsy flavor.  Very nice.  If you can’t find it just use pepper.

meatonioncomboMeatloaf with Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Relish: Wichcraft cookbook    Chef: Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortuzar(I’m still researching copyright usage of recipes from cookbooks.  Until I’m sure I’ll try to find a link for you, I linked to a blog called crepesofwrath.net.  A fun blog.)

Time: 30 minutes to 2 hours; The time difference depends upon whether you use leftover meatloaf or make it for this purpose.

Ease: Moderate

Review: Wow and yum!! If you don’t like meatloaf this may win you over.  It didn’t win over one of my eaters who didn’t care for the texture, but as for everyone else, people who still had room ate two!  You can try the meatloaf recipe (which is geat) or make your favorite recipe. 

I cut the bacon amounts in half and crumbled the bacon, just to try to make some attempt at cutting the fat. It still gave it a great flavor.  Don’t be scared by the tomato relish, it is simple to make and can be made while the meatloaf is cooking or even a few days ahead of time, but it truly makes the sandwich. This is a great recipe and now a family favorite. Try it, you can do it! Once you make the tomato relish you’ll be excited to try more.

Meal Five:   We had a pretty busy week this week and didn’t get to five meals, but I suggest that for a fifth meal make meatloaf earlier in the week, try making two at one time and serving one as a meal in itself and the other one for your sandwiches.  A great and easy side dish is roasted vegetables! I like to use chunks of squash, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers.  Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and bake at 425 degrees for about a half an hour or until just tender, but not too soft.

Enjoy! Be creative, have fun, and set the table!

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones of Have created.  Thank you.