WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

What's for dinner Wednesday?

Posted February 26, 2014



Here's the place to share your meal ideas for the evening, post where you bought the ingredients frugally and even share a recipe if you would like. If you need some inspiration for your own dinner tonight, this may give you some helpful ideas.

What's on your menu tonight?




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  • jdouglas13 Feb 26, 2014

    I am not a menu planner. As far as thawing things in time, I'm terrible about that too, and it's very rare for me to get something out of the freezer the night before unless it's huge like a roasting chicken or a big beef roast. Smaller meat, think chicken pieces, bacon (wrap in paper towels), ham steaks, sausage, individual burgers, steaks, even stew meat cut up, can all be pretty easily defrosted in the microwave at the last minute. Remove it from all of its packaging (run under hot water if you need to loosen it), put it on a microwave save dinner plate, and cook on defrost a minute or two at a time. The goal is to partially defrost it and to NOT start the cooking process in the microwave. Depending on what it is, you can usually go ahead and cook it once it's defrosted enough to be slightly pliable. Shrimp are great for last minute meals. I put them (frozen) into a bowl of cool water for a couple of minutes. They don't take long.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Feb 26, 2014

    nakabi - did I hear LEFTOVERS??!! I am shocked! lol - And I hope you have a less hectic evening tomorrow. :-)

    Tonight we are going off the meal plan (I'm a risk taker like that) because my oldest really wanted pasta and I didn't get the chicken into the slow cooker in time for dinner because I didn't get to Lowes Foods until too late this afternoon.

    Sooooo, we are having "fake" chicken parmesan using Boca veggie chicken burgers, spaghetti, garlic bread and roasted asparagus. Yes, my name is Faye and I have an asparagus problem. :-)

    And the chicken is now cooking in the slow cooker for dinner tomorrow night.

    Thanks to ALL of you for taking the time to answer cokesburyfarm's question about freezing! Such helpful responses and I really appreciate it. You are all so fabulous!!

  • scoutmomof2 Feb 26, 2014

    I have canned meat before, used to take it on camping trips for sloppy joes and stuff. It really isn't hard, most people are just afraid of the pressure canner (which I am nost sure about now but it used to be you couldn't use them on those flat glass stove tops. I also have a dehydrator that I have not used in years, had made jerky, fuit leather and dried fruit.

  • nakabi Feb 26, 2014

    jdouglas-your chicken francese sounds delicious!
    Tonight we are having...wait for it...............................drum roll.......................leftovers!!! I know, I know, I don't do leftovers..LOL...but we've got a lot going on this evening and leftovers are easy.

  • nakabi Feb 26, 2014

    cokesburyfarm-I pretty much do everything that everyone else has mentioned. I freeze pretty much everything and just take out the meat the night before to thaw and put it in the fridge before I leave for work.

  • CountryGirl10 Feb 26, 2014

    Thanks for all your comments! Please keep them coming! I'm good at freezing leftovers in portion sizes. I sometimes freeze meat, but I'm terrible at meal planning and taking meat out of the freezer in time to thaw to make a meal.

  • jdouglas13 Feb 26, 2014

    Last night we had chicken francese (HT $1.99/lb boneless chicken breasts), rice, and roasted asparagus.

    Tonight looks like meatloaf (chopped meat on sale yesterday at HT), mashed potatoes, and salad -- either romaine with leftover Caesar dressing, or a veggie-laden salad with tomatoes (TJ $2.49 double size container), roasted red peppers (fresh @ TJ for $1.19 ea), avocadoes (HT sale) and gorgonzola (TJ), along with whatever else I scrounge up. Dessert is a HT cherry pie I got on sale yesterday. It was quite good for a supermarket pie! Nice and tart.

  • jdouglas13 Feb 26, 2014

    Wearealldifferent, I can remember my Mom always soaking fish in milk, frozen or not. It really did make it taste extra fresh.

    Cokesburyfarm, you name it, I freeze it. Almost everything we buy that's perishable goes into the freezer with the exception of milk, cream, eggs, ricotta, and cream cheese (just my choice). I double wrap everything before I freeze it. If I freeze something liquid like broth or spaghetti sauce, I put it in a Ziploc bag so it's flat, and then use a second "insurance bag". The insurance bag is reusable as an insurance bag for other things as long as it's intact. Everything is portioned, labeled, and dated. Some of the things I cook for the freezer are meatballs, meatloaf, bread, brownies, soups, spaghetti sauce, stew, gnocchi, stuffed shells, lasagna. I buy herbs and spices in bulk, and keep most of it frozen as well. In the summer, I freeze fresh corn and blueberries.

    Thawing is another response. Did you have a specific question?

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Feb 26, 2014

    Wearealldifferent- so smart! Love these tips... thank you! :-)

  • needserenitytowin Feb 26, 2014

    Farmers spray the fields with water before a freeze to protect the berries so I did it & the blueberries were wonderful - not squishy & messy after freezing ! It probably would also be good for strawberries but I would check them first because there tends to be a baddie somewhere in the container everytime ! lol
    Soak your frozen fish or chicken in milk ( buttermilk, regular milk or slightly outdated - I have not try soy milks for the soak ) for at least 20 minutes while thawing then rinse well & cook how ever you like . they will taste like fresh caught /bought.
    My new project this year is to try canning meats ! I can beef stew with veggies all the time so why not just the meat ?? I recently got some cookbooks to give it a try . I am also considering a dehydrator for herbs, fruits & veggies .