KOAB Recipe Exchange: Inspire Me!

I am in a rut, people. A total cooking rut.

Our weekday dinners are boring. Even our Shabbat meals have been boring lately. They’re fine. Well-balanced. Tasty, even. But boooring.

(Or could it be that I am bored with cooking?)

I had a theme for today’s recipe exchange. It was $5 meals. I even had a recipe with a picture to post for it. But I’ll do it next week. This week, I just need some inspiration.

Will you please, please, pretty please inspire me by sharing your favorite go-to recipes?

Ideally, your recipe will be (relatively) frugal, healthy and quick to make. My general rule of thumb is half an hour or less – since that’s about as long as I can stand cooking while I’ve got a toddler wrapped around my leg.

Thank you for your inspiration. I really appreciate it, and so does my family, who no doubt is also bored with the same-old-same-old.

Share with us by leaving a comment below or by posting a link to your blog.

Shabbat Shalom!


  1. Dairy Dinners:
    French Toast- I make a 6 challah batch of challah every week, so I usually have 1 or 2 left over. Mix 2 eggs with some milk and a dash of vanilla for “batter” and fry it up.
    Bacon Egg and cheese wraps- make morning star bacon per directions. make an open omelette in a non-stick frying pan and top with your favorites. When omelette is dry, slide onto ehole wheat wrap and place 2 pieces of bacon on top and sprinkle some cheese. Roll it and return to DRY frying pan (no oil). Press down so that wrap keeps closed.
    “Chicken” stir fry= frozen stir fry veggies, morning star chicken strips, brown rice or whole wheat pasta

  2. Panko Coated Chicken

    3 lb whole chicken cut up (in 8ths)
    1 cup panko crumbs
    your favorite seasoning (I used Italian seasoning about 2 tblspns)
    some oil

    1- preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    2- Prep the chicken (wash, skin – i skin the dark meat not the white, as the dark is juicy enough without the extra fat) and place in roasting pan
    3- mix up the panko crumbs, the seasoning and some oil. Mix until its sticking together but not to sticky.
    4- rub the crumb mixture onto the chicken until it’s well coated
    Bake for an hour at 400.


  3. Forgot to mention, the prep time is super short! Way less than 30 minutes!

  4. Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Stirfry, or Tofu Stirfry

    Same basic ingredients:
    – chicken cutlets or tofu
    – peppers (any combo of colors or just one)
    – onions
    – fajita seasoning (or a mix of your favorite spices) or
    – teriyaki sauce (for stirfry instead of fajita)
    – olive oil
    – flour or corn tortillas or rice

    – Cut vegetables and chicken/tofu into strips or cubes.
    – Throw some olive oil in a pan.
    – Saute the chicken/tofu until 3/4 done, remove from pan
    – Saute vegetables, throw chicken/tofu back in the pan
    – Throw in the teriyaki sauce or seasonings, and mix until vegetables are tender and chicken/tofu is fully cooked.

    Enjoy over a bed of rice or wrapped in a tortilla. If wrapping, throw on some salsa, gauc, rice, or anything else you want to top it off.

    This is our go-to recipe, because we always have the basics (tofu, rice, vegetables) in the house, so we can make some variation of this recipe whenever we want!

  5. Spanish Quinoa (bonus: this is gluten free)

    2 c quinoa (uncooked)
    1-2 Tbsp oil
    2 cloves garlic
    1 med onion, chopped
    1/2-1 tsp chili powder (to taste)
    cayene (if you like it hot)
    8 oz can tomato sauce
    1 3/4 c veg broth (or water with soup cube)
    salt/pepper to taste

    saute onion in oil until translucent. add garlic & saute until brown. add cayene and chili powder. Add quinoa, stir 3-4 min. Add tomato sauce and broth, stir until boiling. Cover and reduce heat, simmer 20 min. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, enjoy.

  6. “Mexican” style stir fry: Saute onions (and garlic if you can be bothered, peppers if you have them). Add 1 package of chicken breasts, cut small, and a lot of cumin/curry/salt/pepper/garlic/onion powder or chili seasoning. Dump in a can of black beans and half a jar of salsa, and if its too dry, a little water or wine or even balsamic vinegar. Serve over rice or in tortillas, and top with avocado if you have on handy.

    It makes a lot of food out of 1 package of chicken breasts. An alternative to make it “cajun”: use celery and peppers with the onions and lots of cajun spice when you add the chicken, and spicy sausages (or turkey hot dogs) and white beans instead of the chicken and black beans, and don’t use the salsa. You can also add some frozen spinach or other greens. It makes a nice stew.

  7. Vegetarian tacos

    1 chopped onion
    1 chopped red pepper
    1/2 lb tofu or 1/2 can black beans really well mashed up
    1/3-1/2 package Morning Star Farms crumbles (6 oz?)
    1 jar mild salsa
    1 package taco shells or flour tortillas (12 shells)
    small amount of olive oil for frying

    Fry the onion for five minutes on medium heat. Add the peppers. Fry until both are soft. Add the crumbles and the tofu or the black beans. (Crumbles are expensive. The tofu and/or beans stretch the crumbles). Add the jar of salsa and cook for five minutes. During those five minutes while the filling is cooking down, warm the shells or tortillas in a 350 degree oven for three minutes. Fill the warm shells/tortillas and garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, cilantro, and/or chopped green onion (or nothing at all. They are great with just the filling.)

  8. This one is NOT quickly prepared. But it takes very little work and it is quite comforting on a cold day.

    Stuffed Potatoes
    Preheat the oven to 375. Scrub (and scrub and scrub) 2 Idaho/Russet potatoes per person. Coat each potato with a little oil and a sprinkling of salt. Place directly on the oven rack. Bake for 75 minutes or until the skins are crackly, and the inside is soft. Cut open each potato. Mash it up with salt, pepper, and butter. Top with grated cheese and chopped broccoli that you cooked while the potatoes were in the oven. Either serve right away or put back into oven until the cheese is bubbly.

  9. Crockpot Salsa Chicken
    chicken pieces (I use legs and thighs-skin off)
    salsa (1-2 cups)
    put it in the crockpot and have for dinner over rice, or take off the bone and eat in tacos. Other ingredients that would be good to add: a can of black beans and or corn. This is what we are having for Shabbos dinner tonight.

  10. A nice quick meal at our house is taco/burrito bar. Saute onions and red peppers, add beans (I usually have some frozen that I cooked from dry), cumin, chili powder, garlic, canned tomatoes; mash if desired. I always have taco shells and/or tortillas (from Trader Joe’s!) in the house; include lettuce, fresh tomatoes and onions, shredded cheese, rice. If we have veggie “meat” I’ll heat that up too. There is enough variety that all 7 of us can find a combination we like.

    Another quick meal is salmon patties. For 2 cans salmon, deboned, I add about 2/3 c matzo meal, 2 eggs, 1 large onion chopped finely, garlic powder. (I also make these with tuna if we don’t have salmon in the house.) Form into patties and cook on both sides in a non-stick pan. Side dishes can be quick too – baked potatoes, rice, or pasta with desired toppings.

  11. this is a great recipe from Susie Fishbein’s KBD Short on time:
    Primavera Chicken:
    6-8 Chicken legs
    6-8 chicken thighs
    (i have done it with whole cut up chicken as well)
    1 yellow squash unpeeled
    1 zucchini unpeeled
    1 quart cherry tomatoes
    1 8 ounce bottle Robusto Itlaian dressing (generic works fine, but besure to use the robusto style not plain italian)

    preheat oven to 350
    put chicken in single layer skin side up in a pan
    slice the squash and zucchini in half moons
    cut the tomatoes in half
    toss the vegetables over the chicken and drizzle the dressing over it
    bake uncovered for two hours.

    I serve it with rice and a salad

  12. My husband is the cook in our family. But it sure looks easy when he makes this yummy crock pot dish:

    Crock Pot Chicken Herrira:
    1 pound(s) skinless, boneless chicken thigh,
    1 1/2 cup(s) canned garbanzo beans
    2 cup(s) canned diced tomatoes
    1 pound(s) spaghetti
    2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    (optional – cumin)

    Add everything to the crockpot except the spaghetti. Cook on low for 8 hours. Last half hour add in the spaghetti.

  13. we make this about once a week, the kids LOVE it. which is very surprising. in fact, I keep making it to see if they will keep eating it.


    last week I doubled the marinade and made a stir fry with a red pepper and some bean sprouts and made some rice noodles (but linguine would certainly work) and mixed it all together, and it was ‘almost’ pad-thai.

  14. My Husband LOOOOVES this one. We’ve eaten it as a side for a meal or on its own for a light meal.
    Vegetable Rice Pilaf

    1 cup basmati rice
    2 tbsp. EVOO
    ½ tsp. cumin seeds
    2 bay leaves
    4 cardamom pods
    4 whole cloves
    1 onion finely chopped
    1 carrot finely diced
    ⅓ cup thawed frozen peas
    ⅓ cup thawed frozen corn
    ¼ cup cashew nuts, lightly fried
    ¼ tsp. ground cumin
    salt to taste

    Heat oil in large frying pan and sauté the cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Add the bay leaves, cardamom, ad cloves and saute for another 2 minutes.
    Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
    Stir in carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes.
    Add the rice, peas, corn, and cashews. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
    Add 2 cups water, ground cumin and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Let stand, covered, another 10 minutes off the heat before serving.

    We also love roasted Brussel Sprouts which is quicks and easy. Clean the sprouts, put them in a shallow roasting pan or on a sheet tray, coat lightly with olive oil, then salt and pepper and sometimes I’ll use onion and or garlic powder. Mix around to et it all coated/covered. Then put in oven at 400*. I think it takes 20-30 minutes but I always open the oven and shake the pan around a bit to get it to brown evenly and then I test with a fork to see if they are soft enough. Or at least I did until I’d done it enough times to know when they were “cooked to within an inch of their lives” which is how they are best. Very Yummy and always gets people to ea brussle sprouts after thinking they didn’t like them… 🙂

    I have a bunch of really great recipies, all vegetarian, most are quick, all are yummy. Veggie Chili and cornbread, Veggie Shepherd’s pie (which is amazing), roasted butternut squash, black bean and corn salad, quinoa salad/tabouli, veggie “lo-mein”, spinach pie, artichoke fritatta (which is the only Passover dish I will eat outside of passover because it is that yummy) roasted potatoes with rosemary, veggie “Sloppy Joes” just to name a few. Let me know if you would like any of them. I can post them here or email them.

  15. Thank you, all! I am indeed inspired 🙂 I have decided that I am going to make “staying inspired” one of my goals for 2011!

    I’ll be putting together a laundry list of menu ideas, which I plan to share later this month – based larger on your suggestions here and some of our more popular meals, as well. My qualifications for making the list: Frugal, Fast and Healthy (ish, at least).

    Keep sharing – I love the inspiration and I bet I’m not the only one 🙂

  16. Lately I’ve been loving some sauteed frozen hashbrowns and onions – or shredded potatoes and onions. At the end I put an egg on top and bake the skillet in the oven for a couple of minutes and then top it on my plate with cheese and salsa. This is my new favorite dinner.

  17. We eat this for Shabbat dinner whenever we are too busy to cook
    something else. It is good enough to serve to company, and it takes
    so little time!

    Thursday night (10-15 minutes):
    Whisk together the marinade in a liquid measuring cup:
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (or use the bottled stuff from the grocery store)
    6 large garlic cloves, minced (when you really have no time, use
    pre-chopped garlic)
    3/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 3/2 teaspoons dried
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Rinse 2-4 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (If you haven’t
    planned ahead, you can use frozen chicken breasts without defrosting
    them–they’ll defrost in the marinade overnight), and put them in one
    or two large ziplock bags.

    Pour the marinade over the chicken, seal the bag(s), and refrigerate.

    Friday morning (30 seconds):
    Turn the bag(s) over in the refrigerator to marinate the other side of
    the chicken.

    Friday afternoon (3 minutes of work; and then you’ll have enough time
    to set the table and make the rest of dinner while the chicken cooks):

    Preheat oven to 425°F. (If you don’t preheat the oven, just add a few
    minutes to the cooking time)
    Pour the chicken–and the marinade–out of the ziplock bag(s) and into
    a roasting pan.
    Bake the chicken until it is golden brown and cooked through (50-60 minutes).
    While it is cooking, occasionally baste the chicken with pan juices
    (if you remember).

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