Sep. 15, 2011 at 9:08 AM ET
So do we cook better than our own mothers?
Our TODAY Moms poll revealed that we do (at least according to us); 79 percent of respondents say they are better cooks than their moms, while 21 percent said their moms still rule in the kitchen.
In the interest of sharing (and given the fact that many of us – right now – are wondering what’s for dinner tonight) we’ve compiled some of the “by-heart” recipes shared on the TODAY Moms Facebook page.
We asked for your easiest, no-cookbook-needed ideas. A few are detailed with exact measurements, but most are the kind you throw together with ingredients you have on hand. (Obviously you need to apply conventional cooking methods, ie: boil noodles, brown meat, stir, simmer, saute, etc...)
Sausage Soup (Recipe by Hailey Hughes-Peck)
I basically put any and all veggies ( start with chopped garlic onion carrot and celery) into a pot.. saute, then fill with water.. add chopped kielbasa, and add pure chicken stock to boost the flavor. At the end I add all the delish green veggies I have on hand, zucchini, broccoli, kale, spinach., green beans, . whatever ( but these HAVE to be added, the soup in not the same without them) .. then serve. Sometimes I add in some gluten free elbow noodles.. most of the time some kidney beans or chickpeas.. Every child I have ever served this to ( who "hates" veggies) gobbles this soup up and asked for seconds. Only once did I have a child that was too picky to eat it.. so I pulled out the sausage, pureed the veggies and broth.. then added the sausage back in. The kid still got all his veggies down -- he only thought he got away with getting to eat only what he wanted.
Pizza Casserole (Recipe by Thera Lewis)
Rotini noodles (cooked), put them in a casserole dish and top with pizza sauce, cheese and any other pizza topping you like. Bake until cheese is gooey. That's it, and its a huge success at dinner.
Vegetable Soup (Recipe by Anna Smith Maynard)
1 small bag frozen mixed veggies, 1/2 bag of frozen hash browns, 1 box of beef stock (32 oz); 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 can of diced, Italian-style tomatoes, 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 bay leaf. Dump it all in a pot and simmer until veggies are tender (20-30 mins.). Sometimes, I'll throw all this in the crock pot with some diced beef rib meat and let it cook all day. Serve with crusty bread and butter. My little ones eat it up!
Basil Balsamic Grilled Salmon (Recipe by LaVon Shearer Ihrig)
Says Ihrig: It’s so good and it doesn’t have to be with salmon --any fish will do. The best part of this recipe is that it kills the sometimes very strong fishy taste that Alaskan Wild Salmon can have and over time this recipe can easily be adjusted to your own tastes..
6 Salmon Fillets (or fish of your choice)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
The juice and grated zest of two lemons
1 tablespoon dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup olive oil ;1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely minced
1 green onion, washed, trimmed and chopped
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
I always triple this recipe....take a small amount aside and refrigerate for dipping. Marinade the salmon in a bag or pan for at least 3 hours but longer is better...you can bake or grill...grill skin side down over low heat. The skin will stick to grill but no need to flip...when done simply slip salmon from skin, & scrape & discard skin. Serve with a rice/fresh veggie or salad.
Tater Tot Casserole (Recipe by Leslie Lewis)
Bag of tater tots, 1/2 diced onion, can of cream soup (I like celery) with can of water, 1 lb ground beef (browned), 1/2 bag shredded cheese. Mix all. Bake about 20 minutes until tots are cooked. Put other 1/2 bag of cheese on top and cook 5 minutes.
Super Easy Chicken Enchiladas (Recipe by Cristin Cooper Hutchings)
1 rotisserie chicken
1 pkg large flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup your favorite salsa
1 can diced tomatoes
8 oz sour cream
Separate meat from the bones and shred, place in large bowl. Add salsa, sour cream and most of the cheese (reserve some to sprinkle on top); mix together. Spoon about 1/2 cup onto each tortilla, roll into log, place in greased 13x9 baking dish, line them up to fill dish, spread the diced tomatoes over tops of enchiladas, sprinkle with more cheese & bake at 350 until bubbly, about 30-40 min. Enjoy!
Stuff In A Pot (Recipe by Kat Sherman Johnson)
Throw some leftover protein and veggies, a can of tomatoes and/or beans, and some stock or water and spices into a pot. Let it simmer a while (aka: forget you're cooking while running after the kids!), eat, and enjoy.
Chicken Tostadas (Recipe by Amanda Moreno)
Boil whole chicken, let cool, shred it, cut cabbage with lots of lime juice, refried beans, cheese and salsa...layer on oven baked corn tortillas...yummy & healthy!
Spaghetti Bolognese (Recipe by Alison LukGaew Symons)
Says Symons: This is nothing close to whatever might be authentic Italian I'm sure, but my kids and husband love it so I keep making it! I switch out the ground beef for ground turkey from time to time.
Sauteed chopped onions, garlic, carrots, & celery in EVOO & a bit of butter. S&P a bit. then throw in the ground meat and stir around til it looks all cooked. Add some dried herbs (mainly Oregano but sometimes thyme & rosemary) & bay leaf if I have any. then put in 1.5 jar or more of spaghetti sauce (Marinara or whatever). So quick and easy.
Kinda Frittata (Recipe by AndreaReynolds)
In a large dutch oven, or oven proof skillet, fry a few diced potatoes in olive oil til browned. drain. dice and fry onion and green pepper til starting to brown, add a few slices of diced sandwich ham (or better stuff if you have it!). add the potatoes back in and mix well. pour over 4-6 well beaten and seasoned eggs, throw a few halved small tomatoes on top and sprinkle with cheese - bake at 350 for about 10 minutes til set - serve with salad! YUMMY
Spaghetti Carbonara (Recipe from yours truly, TODAY Moms editor Kavita Varma-White)
One of our fam faves is "deconstructed spaghetti carbonara" which is a fancy way of doing the following: Make spaghetti noodles; Fry bacon and crumble. Make over-easy or sunny-side up eggs. To assemble: Put noodles in bowl; Top with bacon and some parm cheese. Place egg on top. salt and pepper as desired. (The egg yolk acts as sauce.) You can also add some spinach under noodles, for a one dish meal!
Kavita Varma-White is a Seattle-based writer and mom of two very busy tweens. In between cheering at numerous soccer and baseball games, she's a contributing editor for TODAY Moms and MSNBC.com.