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Well Vick, you said what do you "make" when you're too tired to "cook" so I'm taking that to mean that you are not asking an opinion on fast food. You know that both of us are in the same profession so I will tell you what I often do in that situation. I heat up the eye on the stove, put some olive oil in a pan (olive oil being healthier, of course) and make "grilled" ham and cheese sandwiches. I use wheat bread and also set the oven to "bake" french fries (still trying to be a bit "healthier"). It doesn't take that long and my husband likes it. I've also been known to throw some LeanPockets into the MicroWave (cheating, I know). When I know I'm going to have a bad week, I mix up some chicken salad and have it ready for sandwiches but that's not a hot meal for a husband. Hell, us nurses do the best we can for our spouses... but grilled cheese sandwiches are pretty quick to fix. You can also "whip up" fried salmon/tuna patties without much time spent. I'm glad you started this topic and I would love to see all of the replies...
Grilled Chicken Salad - the easy way:

Leave chicken in Dale's sauce a couple of minutes - marinating them is too strong for me. Grill them on a George Foreman grill (can wash the thing later). Throw it over bagged salad (or prepare your own ahead of time - sounds good but rarely do it Smiler ). Add croutons, bacon bits and ranch dressing. Yumola!
Oops, sorry, you said too tired to cook.

I like to buy whole wheat pitas and stuff them with pre-shredded lettuce, deli meat, sliced cheese (provolone is my favorite), cucumbers and Italian dressing. You can change this up all sorts of ways with different dressing or by adding fruit or nuts. It's like a salad in a pita really.
Did the grilled ham and cheese last night. Works everytime. Mexican supper kit: A can of the tamales you like best, Ricea Roni Mexican rice or your favorite ( Zatatrains also good) and a van of refried beans with cheddar cheese, This tastes more TexMex than any M. food in the Shoals. Have you ever figured the profit margin on a M dinner?. When I want to spend a very few minutes more I use El Paso and do a little more elaborate things. Add your chips and dip. There is also a brand of chili called Wolf. This with 8 ounces or so of spaghetti makes a huge pot of hot delicious filling food. Put melted yellow cheese on top. Any chili will do but I was raised on Wolf . My mother did it for monetary reasons. It is a comfort food for us in the cold cold winter. Do not eat out!!! You may as well stay at home and watch TV. I like to analyze and the profit margins are ridiculous.I know you are tired but put together several kits and dare them to be touched under pain of death! I worked 2 jobs for years. Please do not turn this thread into what/who the restaurant has to pay. We all know what theemployees make. That is another thread. Put your savings into a jar for something special.
When my husband grills, usually on the weekend, we always fix extra. If it is chicken, burgers, or whatever. I wrap the extra tightly in plastic wrap and then put in a ziploc bag. They are easy to grab and warm in the microwave. They still taste like they just came off the grill. One thing that I always keep on hand is Idahoan brand instant mashed potatoes. They can be fixed in less that 5 minutes, they're really good, and they're cheap (about 30 cents a pack). Another reason I like them is they are just enough for 2 people. Also, when you have extra time, (maybe a weekend) make a big pot of stew or chile, then freeze portions for later. These are especially good in cooler weather. If you have two or three different things in the freezer to choose from, it also makes you feel better. I always feel better when I have a choice about anything. Smiler don't have to wait until you are running late to grab one of them. Grab one any night, and use the extra time to relax and spend a little extra time with your family. Hope some of these ideas help.
I just read my Mexican post. A can of refried beans should suffice! If uou use a van of beans you will have a lot of leftovers. Leftover(on purpose) beef roast slices wildly into Philly cheese roast sandwiches. Onions, peppers.and a slice of cheese. A $6.00 sandwich for almost nothing! Add baked chips and a slice of Claussen's. Cook a 4 lb or so siloin tip roast on day off and play with it until it's gone!
Vick, I thought of this one used many times when I was feeling shot. I supose you have noticed that I can't type and cook at the same time. If you do not like rice, you can use potatoes---rice is better here and less trouble!!!First, buy yourself a rice cooker that shuts itself off Good Farberware one at Linensn Things> $19.95. Use your 20% coupo. Place as many portions as you need in a flat baking pan. Mix half a cup of milk with a can of cream of mushroom soup----flavored with onion in some form good. Put in 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes. start rice. Pour a glass of Chardonnay - go to couch. When you feel rested 30 minutes or so saute French cut beans or green peas as you wish with a can of mushrooms in real butter. Whatever type of salad thing or raw veggies you want----I also throw out some black olives and sweet pickles if they are around.
sauce on top of rice , of course. I am going to try chili powder in the soup. Real butter? Everyhing in moderation!! I have felt your pain. The key is the Chardonnay or whatever.
Use the ham, cheese and the ingredients in my chicken dinner to make strips, cubes, whatever. (take sauce off chicken), put on a colorful plastic plate - seasonal ones are nice. Colorful napkins go good too. Two kinds of bread to choose from. Choose is the key here. Colored milk( no syrup,etc) Yes, even blue. If your kids will not eat ham or chicken or other basic foods the time has nothing to do with it. Cold food eaten with fingers may not sound good to you-----but call it a picnic. For the older ones you could also put out cooky cutters -they can cut for the baby. Your problem, again, seems to be that your kids "won't eat it.". Cutters are for cheese and bread. Small light containers and cups to pour your own milk help too. Just check off to see if they are getting the right nutrients and relax. Stay as far away from processed lunchmeat and too many hotdogs as possible. The ham is fine. Finally,,when mommy is satisfied - your criteria - a small surprise or dessert. A glass of Chardonnay can help here too if you indulge. It can be blue!!!! Pediatricans also say that one peanut butter and jelly sandwich a day offers good nutrition----you can use fruit spreads wihout sugar!!!! Good luck!!!
I'm copying this stuff! yesterday all three of us had a "new Patient" visit with a new doctor. Took us from 8 am till noon. Then we stopped to eat (at NIKKI"S WEST, excelman) and headed to Atlanta. We dropped off the youngest son to spend a week with his older brother, turned around and drove straight back home. I drove there and back because some people in this household are L A Z Y. I just couldn't face cooking anything. So we got the ever present roast chicken from Publix, made coleslaw from a bag and that was it! I'm gonna use all this stuff.
My wife and I sometimes will eat those Hommel Beef or Pork roasts that you find in the meet dept. Just pop into microwave for 4 mins(8 if frozen) and open a can of beans or corn. The roast is tender enough to seperate with a fork and has good flavor. I don't likw the Tyson brand, but I will swear by the hommel...they also have chicken and gravy, turkey, and even a meatloaf. I think they run for about 489 and the can of beans we both eat for under 6 buck.
when I buy ground beef i get the HUGE packages and go ahead and brown all of it and freeze in small portions.
So for that quick fix meal with next to no cooking. Tater Tot casserole. bag of the already cooked ground beef,can of cream of celery soup,can of Cream of mushroom soup and a small bag of Tater Tots,a little onion,in the oven for 35 min . This has always been one of my picky eating grandchilds favorites.
I always keep frozen bread like Texas toast or some type of garlic bread in the freezer. Also, a couple of jars of sauces like Prego spaghetti sauce or Alfredo sauce. Different noodles like egg noodles, angel hair, & the garden corkscrew mix. I always have parmeaseseasnesan (don't know how to spell it) cheese. Only takes about 15 minutes to throw that together. It's either that or tuna sandwiches or PB&J sandwiches.
My wife makes cheese quesadillas when we're really not in the mood to make anything else. Warm up the skillet, throw a tortilla in it, top it w/ shredded cheese and fold it over. Serve it w/ salsa & sour cream.

I'll have to start freezing ground beef. That would make things a whole lot easier instead of having to brown it every time. Good idea.
We call this "gruel" but it's wonderful.

Put some chunky cut peppers, onions and carrots in a steamer and steam till crunchy-tender.( I keep these cut up in bags to cook in everything andyhow, so it's not time consuming.)

Brown bround beef and drain. Mix up some brown gravy from a mix while you are browning the beef. Stir it all together.

Spoon over minute rice.

Comfort food heaven.

Probably 10,000 calories and will clog an artery in no time flat.
Originally posted by 5pates4usaf:
these all sound great for dinner for one or even dinner for two. what about dinner for five that includes a one, three, and picky five year old?

My 5 year old nephew is picky. When he gets to come over and hang out, I let him help cook. Even if it's just folding paper napkins or spooning butter into a dish for no reason. (or because I really need your help, little man!)

After that, he's proud to have helped and wants to eat his creation.

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