A good recipe is hard to find

9 Apr

I cook. A lot.

Oftentimes, when menu planning, I find myself pouring over my cookbooks or recipe websites, trying to find new recipes for my family to try. But I usually come back to the same 15-20 recipes time and time again. It’s not because we’re particularly picky eaters or we like to eat only a few select things. I use the same recipes over and over again for one reason–we know they’re good.

I can’t tell you how many time I’ve tried new recipes only to be disappointed. They either take too long, require too many ingredients, require exotic ingredients or in the end, they just taste awful. So I just go back to those tried and true recipes even if my family can’t eat another taco or have another stir fry (and now I know how my own mother felt when we said “chicken again?!” every time she cooked).

So, I’m enlisting your help. I’d love to try some of your favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. As I try them, I’ll blog about them (giving proper credit, of course) and then post the recipes in the Recipes section of The Empty Kitchen. Here are the recipe requirements:

  • The ingredients must be found in a regular supermarket. There is not a single Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or any such supermarket within reasonable driving distance from my house (and our co-op is way too expensive)
  • The recipes must be easily adapted to a vegetarian diet
  • The recipes cannot take any longer than 1/2 hour to make, unless a crockpot is involved

Here’s a list of what we like to eat: 

  • Fish, chicken, beef, pork or turkey. No other meats;
  • Most vegetables;
  • Pastas and rice, including couscous and quinoa;
  • Potatoes; and
  • Most tomato or broth-based sauces (no cream based sauces; I don’t drink milk).

Additionally, anything with eggs and beans is fine. For a great idea of a recipe that my family would try, take a look at this one from my friend, Kelly.

I’m really looking forward to reading and trying your recipes!


8 Responses to “A good recipe is hard to find”

  1. Katherine Morgan April 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I started a blog not too long ago about what I feed my kids. Nothing too exciting, but I think pretty good ideas. I am not a huge meat eater, so most things are vegetarian or vegetarian friendly.


    • janalynch April 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

      i fully believe that exciting food can be completely overrated! your veggie sandwiches look great. i will definitely be trying those out!

  2. Emily April 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Here’s one of my favorite recipes. There’s usually an extra chicken w/ peas~n~carrots under a rosemary crust in the freezer, ready for a sick family or a new baby. The really cool part about this is it’s completely customizable. Um, except I’m not sure how you’d do a vegetarian option.


    • janalynch April 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

      there’s actually really good soy chicken patties that i use in chicken recipes and tvp or frozen soy burger crumbles that i use in things like shepherd’s pie. i’m excited to try this!

  3. K.R. April 12, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Okay, just remember you asked for it! Five recipes up on my blog today (one is a repeat) just for you Jana!

  4. Sarah April 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I am a fellow foodblogger and I think you might enjoy reading my blog. I am on foodstamps and write about maintaining a healthy diet while restricted to a tight food budget. I post recipes with pictures included, as well as my weekly food shopping totals. here is the link for my blog:

    ps. I do update this blog daily.


  1. Rescue Dinner Recipes « My Friend Kelly - April 12, 2010

    […] April 12, 2010, 5:04 pm Filed under: Empty Pantry Challenge, cooking On Friday The Empty Kitchen issued a challenge. Easy to follow recipes with easy to find ingredients, adaptable for vegetarians and oh yeah, they […]

  2. The Aldi experiment–part 2 « The Empty Kitchen - April 12, 2010

    […] I will be tying this to the recipe question I posed last week. I will make every recipe that is submitted and I will be buying as many […]

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