Sunday dinner is "ridiculously antiquated"? It's nice family time for me. I like cooking it and I like eating it, and like others have noted, whatever I cook on Sunday is a starting point for at least one more meal during the week.
Fitness Minutes: (69,967)
548 1/2/13 2:35 P
I do have a crockpot that I love! I've never done chili in it (only on stovetop) and i'll find a recipe for the Chicken Tortilla soup, that sounds good.
1/2/13 12:18 P
Borrow a crockpot from one of your friends or relatives - or guests! Or, you could make one of the items ahead of time, and put it in a big pot and keep it warm on the stove.
I've made chili in the crockpot or on the stove, and I've done the same with soups, but I haven't made the chicken tortilla soup. I'm sure that could be made on top of the stove as well.
Fitness Minutes: (7,940)
1,667 1/2/13 11:57 A
I grew up with Sunday dinners and still try to plan larger meals on Sunday than through the week. My "days off" are Friday and Saturday most of the time (although our house is the "gathering spot" on weekends and I do cook if people are over). The one night I do not cook is Friday, when my husband, daughter and I go out to a local restaurant.
I also find that a large meal on Sunday eliminates some cooking through the week. A whole chicken can become a chicken pot pie on Monday and chicken salad for lunches on Monday. A roast beef can be hot roast beef sandwiches as well. And don't get me started on a turkey LOL.
I definitely do NOT find Sunday dinner to be antiquated...some weeks it is the only meal the three of us have together!
As for the Italian family dinners...my uncle was Italian and I know my aunt could not change anything about the true Italian meal, which often included noodles, "gravy", fried chicken, fish, and more all in one meal. I would say just cut back, substitute some less fattening options and watch your portion sizes.
I am so making that chicken tortilla soup recipe for my football party this Sunday! That sounds delicious! Now to figure out how to make chili AND soup when I only have one crockpot!
Fitness Minutes: (39,783)
1/2/13 11:56 A
On New Years Eve I made on of my best Spark meals ever. Grilled Tuna Steaks and a dish called Andys Rutabago and Onions. Simple, filling and nutritious.
1/2/13 11:39 A
Yes, I still cook a Sunday dinner. Not only is it antiquated, it is immensely practical. That is why I do it.
I cook a large main dish with multiple side dishes, and then get to eat off it the rest of the week! I hardly cook at all during the work week, as I only have to heat left-overs and convert them to other dishes. It usually rotates between a whole salmon, roast beef, ham, turkey, chicken, or other beef dish. Depending on which one I start with dictates the meals for the rest of the week. In fall and winter, I'll also make a soup or stew to last several days for the two of us.
I can get 5-6 different meals out of one salmon using salmon loaf, salmon alfredo, salmon chowder, salmon patties/sandwiches, and salmon in a green salad. With the beef I have french dip and a casserole to spread it out. There are hundreds of ideas of what to do with left-over turkey and chicken such that there are entire cookbooks on just chicken!
The basic Sunday dinner is pretty easy since those foods I mentioned are roasted. Just put them in the oven with potatoes and vegetables, add a salad and dinner is practically done! I need to be around to watch the roast or salmon cook, but that's when I get the side dishes done.
So I cook a huge amount on Sunday, but not very much the rest of the week. Friday night is usually pizza night, and Saturday night is a "free for all" and could be anything. After 35 years of practicing cooking this way, it gets easier every year. I continue to branch out with other side dishes and sweet or yeast breads.
I highly recommend taking one afternoon a week just to cook, because then you don't have to cook much the rest of the week! it has been working for me for nearly four decades.
Fitness Minutes: (228,148)
2,243 1/2/13 10:36 A
People really still make "Sunday Dinner"?!? How ridiculously antiquated. That's MY day of rest--mom doesn't cook on Sundays....many weeks we have "Cereal Sundays"...the kids love it & so does my tired back! :)
I like to make a nice Sunday dinner as well - one that I like to do is to buy a pork loin roast and cut off some thin slices that I'll pound and flour the next day to make a piccata or marsala for Monday dinner. I roast the rest of the pork loin - stick in some garlic slivers, salt, pepper and rosemary and brush it and some cut-up potatos with olive oil and voila - nice Sunday dinner once you add a green veg. So Monday is the piccata or marsala, with either some rice dish like pilaf or risotto or maybe gnocci with butter/sage and a little parm reggiano or and Tuesday is the leftover roast and potatos - 1 roast, 3 meals, works for me!
Fitness Minutes: (302)
163 1/2/13 6:36 A
We often have turkey mince with peppers, mushrooms, onions and pasta on a Sunday. IT's lovely and not too rich - have cheese on the side so that people can add it f they would like to.
since you like all the parts of your meal, how about you split them up so that you do get to have them, just not all at once? for example, one week, make your meatballs. perhaps serve them in a nice marinara or other tomato based sauce. if that's your main, look for sides. you could do roasted potatoes. you could do roasted just about any veggie really. have a salad on the side. as a realy turn it on its ear sort of thing you could take your meatball recipe and incorporate that as the meat into a lasgna that's otherwise loaded with veggies. week two you might have the pork braciole. perhaps you have that with pasta and maybe some sauteed mushrooms as the side. heck, do sauteed mushrooms and greens as the side. or if you can do experimental enough try adding the mushrooms and greens to the gravy as a one dish sort of thing. week three would be the sausage week. you could cut up the sausage and add it as flavoring to a pasta primavera type dish. you could do a grill out and other grilled veggies or kebabs. you could do a grill out and have the sausages on buns, have a bean side dish and then a salad or other veggie dish. you could do a frittata or quiche with the sausage and added veggies. cook the sausage in the oven by roasting, and roast some veggies with it.
Fitness Minutes: (46,477)
1,438 1/1/13 10:11 A
Omelets with side dishes. Seriously, breakfast for dinner can be lighter and more fun. I also make a layered rice dish with what you got in the fridge or pantry. It's like a lasagna, but less heavy and you can make it as healthy as you want. One layer of cooked leftover rice, one layer of Doritos (for the kids), layers of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, broccoli, canned beans, another layer of rice on top, and tomato sauce over it. You can also blend a tomato and half an onion and pour that instead. I put salt, pepper, and garlic salt within the layers or seasoning to taste. Bake it until it's hot, so 45 minutes at 350 or so.
Fitness Minutes: (185)
15 1/1/13 9:36 A
how about a roasted chicken. Super Easy: Get a roasting pan put in some carrots celery potato onion in the bottom. Take a whole chicken, split it down the middle rub on some light butter season with salt pepper lemons and put it on top of the veggies. Roast at 350 for one hour. Take the pan juices from the veggies and meat and mix with 2 tbsp of flour and 1 tbsp light butter and stir over med heat to make gravy.
Dessert: some home made parfaits, take some sugar free fat free pudding any flavor and combine it with equal part of cool whip. put into a nice glass.
Fitness Minutes: (9,521)
1/1/13 9:27 A
Hmm... how about doing a traditional Italian meal? Antipasti, soup, fish, a meat dish, a pasta dish, a vegetable dish and dessert? My family usually choose about three out of those and just go with it.
Example: Herb and quinoa stuffed mushrooms cooked in the oven in a beef broth, steamed-then-grilled peppers* stuffed with cream cheese, herbs, diced cucumber, grilled eggplant drizzled with olive oil and chopped oregano, thyme and rosemary as appetizers/antipasti.
Grilled seabream with oven-roasted potatoes (slice, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and caraway seeds) and a mix of sauteed or steamed vegetables.
Panna cotta (favorite dessert for us), made with 50% fresh cream, 50% 2% milk, lemon peel, orange peel and a whole vanilla bean.
Or go for different versions of non-breaded thin veal filets (scaloppine al limone is my favorite), different grilled, steamed, char-broiled fish...
My Italian ancestors are from Milan and Sicily, so different dishes are plenty and recipes endless.
*hot peppers for us
Fitness Minutes: (139,111)
17,183 12/31/12 8:39 P
Fitness Minutes: (54,705)
3,543 12/31/12 7:42 P
Roast with carrots, potatoes, and onions, done in the crock pot all day or the night before. yum!
LYSADELL, if you change your mind and go back to making the pasta and gravy and pork braciole with meatballs and hot sausage, could you let me know what time lunch is served? I'll bring a bottle of wine and I'll be real quiet and I promise to help clean up. :)
One of our favorites for family get together is a baked potato bar. I like to have sweet potatoes available as well. Then there's broccoli, cheese, bacos/bacon, onions, etc that others can add as they'd like. It easily serves a crowd and gives everyone lots of options to meet their own dietary needs
12/31/12 6:46 A
Have you thought of creating a 'salad bar' if it is for a large crowd? That would be fun and healthy.
Fitness Minutes: (6,307)
12/31/12 1:11 A
I recently published a cookbook, "Soup's On!" with quick and easy soup recipes. One that we like to make lately is Slow Cooker Nacho Chicken Soup. In a crock-pot, add 1 pound of chicken breast (it can even be frozen), 1 packet of taco seasoning mix, 2 cans of chicken broth, 1 can of reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, and 2 7-ounce cans of mild green chiles. Turn the slow cooker to high, cover and let it cook about 4 hours (or low 6 hours). By this time, the chicken should tear apart easily. With 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add 1 can of corn, drained; and 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Then stir in 1/2 cup of reduced-fat sour cream and 1-2 cups baked tortilla chips (such as Tostitos). Let this cook for about 20 more minutes. As the tortilla chips dissolve, this thickens the broth without lots of added fat. You can serve it with toppings such as chopped cilantro, salsa, grated cheese, chopped avocados, etc. It makes a great meal in a bowl for very little effort, and most of the ingredients can be kept in your pantry. Use reduced-fat products to keep the fat content low.
Do you like fish? Salmon is a great way of getting protein and lots of needed nutrients. One of my favorite ways of eating it is baked. You could put some fresh lemon juice on it with some salt and pepper. You could pair it with a nice salad and a baked potato.
Fitness Minutes: (69,967)
548 12/30/12 3:36 P
There are so many great ideas here! Thank you all! I've been home on crutches and a leg brace so I try to go onto my computer 2x a week when I can do the stairs. I've listed all the ideas and getting recipes! You really gave me some awesome ideas.
Happy 2013 everyone!
12/30/12 2:52 P
If you want to stick with Italian dishes, try chicken cacciatore. The chicken is cooked in tomato sauce, and you can use pasta as a side dish.
Or make chicken parmesan - again, the pasta is the side dish.
If you don't want Italian, how about roast chicken with roasted vegetables, pot roast, beef stew, pork roast with sweet potatoes, chicken or pork stir fry with lots of vegetables & brown rice.
P.S. I'm of Irish descent & DH is of Russian descent - and I'm making spaghetti sauce today in the crockpot. I portion it out into meal sized containers to go into the freezer. For dinner, it's spaghetti with meatballs & sausage. I made the meatballs a few weeks ago, and the sausage was cooked 2 weeks ago - both keep in the freezer for a while, so I just have to thaw them and heat them in the sauce.
I try to make something different from what i will make during the week, like chicken veronique or chicken fettucini alfredoor we go out to eat,,obviously i have had to eat less of these meals or made thema little healthier because they are not made healthy so i've had to improvise..the chicken veronique is breaded chicken breast sliced thin breaded fried ,u put a slice of swiss on it and add sliced grapes on top,,the special ingredient is the sauce that is made up of cheddar cheese soup, sour cream and sherry,,yum
We have a yummy dinner that's a favorite with the whole family over here. We use an alfredo sauce, add a little pepper-jack (but you can just add some spices and skip the cheese part), and extra-lean ground turkey. Add it over any kind of pasta, but we prefer rigatoni or linguine. It's a fun recipe you can tweak a bunch, sometimes it's really spicy, sometimes it's rich and creamy. I know it's not too specific, but we use different stuff each time - which makes it awesome each time. :)
Saltimbocca for a change or is that not different enough? My favourite Italian dish is frito misto but that might not be Sunday-ish enough.
I'm English, I grew up with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding every Sunday, but my own favourite is slow roasted duck.
Fitness Minutes: (1,426)
7 12/29/12 6:16 P
I like to make a vegetable soup in the crockpot (vegetable broth, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, mushroom, seasonings), and I usually either make a light veggie pizza with it, or some homemade bread.
My family (siblings and Dad) always joke that we eat chicken every Sunday! My Mom used to say that Dad would eat it everyday if she made it for him. I still eat a lot of chicken cooked in various ways.
12/29/12 3:52 P
I'm obsessed with pasta. I guess you could say it's my kryptonite. I generally over eat when it comes to pasta, so for the past few months I only allow myself a serving on Friday nights (if I got all my workouts in!). A fun substitute is to use a vegetable peeler on zucchini. Peel long strands of zucchini off until you start to see seeds. Saute it with nonstick spray until al dente. Add your favorite sauce (Pesto goes amazing with it!).
12/29/12 2:06 P
We usually have chicken tacos. I get a hot rotisserie chicken on my way home from church. Then I pull the chicken off the bones and shred it. I add a jar of salsa, make a bowl of guacamole, slice up some red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. We warm up the tortillas in the microwave, add the chicken, top with guacamole, reduced fat shredded cheese, fresh salsa (we usually use weis brand fresh salsa - super good and fresh ingredients). We sometimes also add nonfat plain greek style yogurt in place of sour cream. We use the pepper slices to eat the rest of the guacamole. Delicious, low in calories, and it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. You can also prepare the chicken mixture the day before.
Fitness Minutes: (63,194)
1,829 12/29/12 1:46 P
I think a roast chicken surrounded by veggies is easy to make and feels very special (or do a turkey if you have a big family). Another option would be something that everyone can customize to their taste -- like soft tacos/fajitas with a toppings bar -- salsa, grilled veggies, beans, rice, shredded lettuce, sour cream, grated cheese, cilantro, chopped onions, etc. Or a chili bar with noodles for underneath, cheese, onions, sour cream, cilantro (ok, a lot of the same stuff). Or get some pizza dough (or make some in a bread machine) and create a toppings bar and let everyone design their own pizza!
I have to say that what you make sounds delicious, but I could see that you might get bored and want something lighter.
Fitness Minutes: (228,148)
2,243 12/29/12 11:52 A
Sunday is my "day off" in the kitchen & a day I don't want to cook...so we started a new family tradition--Cereal Sunday. The kids can eat whatever cereal they want, as many bowls as they want (usually 2)....it's delightful!
Fitness Minutes: (32,163)
86 12/29/12 9:12 A
How about some seafood? Could start the family out with prawns or some type of fish in a red sauce served with orzo, some parmesan sprinkled over and gradually lighten up the sauce. Grilled or baked salmon goes well with pasta and a nice steamed vegetable. If I throw parm. cheese on pretty much anything, the family will eat it.
Steamed shellfish, steamed in broth with a bit of wine in it, is "Sunday-worthy" and can be served with fresh bread, veggies on the side or even in the broth.
Maybe mixing half pasta with half spaghetti squash. substitute some chicken or turkey products for the current meat products. serving less of the entree and a large salad course? Invite a lot of friends over to eat most of it for you....I am available....LOL
Fitness Minutes: (67,633)
11,138 12/28/12 6:02 P
Hi! I married into a big Italian family, and learned to make the family's suga (gravy, as you call it). I serve pasta (rigatoni) with suga EVERY Sunday -- the exact same pasta, the exact same suga for 25 years.... But DH continues to LOVE it, no changes allowed! YES, I KNOW you could scream! (Before I go on, just let me say that I am totally impressed that you'd put so much effort into that one meal.) Anyway, because I know that there can be considerable resistance to change, you might want to think about just simplifying what you already do. Make the braciola but serve it with rolls and a nice salad or sauteed spinach, and call it a done deal! Or serve the pasta and gravy, but put whole, peeled, hard boiled eggs in it instead of making the braciola. Again, serve with a veggie on the side. Doing this will help ease your family into accepting the changes you are eager to make, yet still preserve the sense of tradition that I suspect is so valuable about your Sunday meal!
To respond to your direct question, I think an occasional antipasto platter is a nice, lighter meal that is easy to assemble. I also favor soups and stews in the winter. My family likes it served in bread bowls. It feels special! In the summer, quiche is nice, with some banana or zucchini bread and a side vegetable. If "lighter" is not what appeals, then maybe you'd like to fix stuffed baked potatoes. You can put any stuffing you like in a potato: beef stew, broccoli and cheese sauce, clam chowder are a few ideas.
Fitness Minutes: (97,762)
12/28/12 5:19 P
Does it have to be Italian? If not, you could think about using Sunday dinner for any kind of "project" meal: something more elaborate and time-consuming to make than what you'd eat during the week. But that could be Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, French ... you could check out some cookbooks from the library and really have fun. You sound like an accomplished and skilled cook so I'll put in a plug for Dorie Greenspan's _Around My French Table_ which is modern, fun French cooking (including Algerian, Moroccan and Vietnamese influences from recent immigrants) and another for Anya von Bremzen's _The New Spanish Table_.
What about baked eggplant parm? Instead of regular marinara sauce, do either puttenesca(YUM), or Tuscan vodka sauce. Do a lasagna, but instead of using noodles, use long slices of eggplant and zucchini. In place of beef, use ground turkey, and to make it sausage-y, add ground sage and carraway seeds. Usually, real Sunday dinner around these parts means good ol' American food: oven "fried" chicken, beans (like pinto or pink or red), and rice, or macaroni and cheese and some kind of greens, and corn bread or dinner rolls. I've not done that in quite some time, because it is soooo heavy in calories.
12/28/12 9:42 A
Sunday nights are our family night where I try to make a special meal and we sit in the dinning room. I'll often do a roast dinner - roast beef or pork, yorkshires, mashed pots, gravy and 2 types of veg (i watch the yorkshires and potatoes and fill up with veg). Pork tenderloin done on bbq or roasted in oven is wonderful too. I also like to do oriental dishes served with brown rice and stir fried veggies. Hubby will often make a fruit crisp for dessert as we grow a lot of our own berries and I'll sometimes have a minute amount. The world is truly your oyster - use the internet to search up dinner ideas and find something that peaks your fancy. Good luck.
You can also try switching to whole wheat pasta... I like mine cooked up and just tossed with cut raw veggies that have been marinated in a homemade vinaigrette dressing with plenty of minced garlic and a bit of basil, instead of a sauce. Nice and light and yummy... Garnish with olives and/or a tablespoon of shredded parmesan or asiago per serving. It's good summer or winter, just change out the veggies for whatever is in season. You can also trade out the vinaigrette for a lemon juice and olive oil dressing and add freshly ground peppercorns......
Use your imagination and experiment a bit!
Edited by: I.M.MAGIC at: 12/28/2012 (09:23)
12/28/12 8:18 A
Skip the red meat and opt for alternatives like turkey meatballs and chicken sausage. Happy New Year!
Fitness Minutes: (69,867)
3,526 12/28/12 12:53 A
what about stuffed peppers?
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
3,535 12/28/12 12:26 A
Italian dinner dishes without pastas or cheeses:
Chicken marinara with sauteed spinach Cioppino Polenta and protein of choice Meatball subs Meatloaf marinara and glazed carrots Italian sausage sauteed with peppers and onions
We started our winter soup family meal night again! We have healthed up the Sunda night a bit and pick a homemade soup to cook every week when we all get together...in the summer its bbq and salads but winter soups is really my favorite time! So far we have had curried lentil stew, split pea, butternut squash soup (lots of really good recipes for this on SP), vegetarian chili, potato leek, beef and barley, chicken and brown rice, minestrone and homemade tomato with last summers canned tomatoes. We serve it up with a simple salad or homemade bread to make it more special, maybe even a little bit of cheese or some seasonal fruit drizzled with honey for dessert. We make mostly broth based soups they tend to be healthier and easier to cook (and substitute) than most of the cream based ones I have found!
So what are you all hungry for? Pork is in season now. There are some fabulous recipes for pork chops and pork tenderloin. There is a great one here in Spark Recipes that I tried. It is "Pork Tenderloin Diane".
Also a good pot roast is nice on Sunday. And remember it's OK to have potatoes, such as whipped sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes, just watch the portions. And have lots of vegetables on your plate too.
A good dessert: Baked Apples. Winesap are great for that.
Fitness Minutes: (188,397)
15,167 12/27/12 9:50 P
Turkey or Chicken is always a good option (this is our go to deal several times a month)
Rib Roast (we have this couple times a month)
Regular Roast (we have this here and there as we're able to find one within budget)
The list is endless as to what you can make and have in general, though I know in the summer around here a Plowmans Lunch is our most common sunday dinner.
Fitness Minutes: (69,967)
548 12/27/12 8:02 P
Hi! We're in a traditional Italian household where we have pasta and Sunday "gravy" w/pork braciole, meatballs and hot sausage.
I can't make it anymore, my tastebuds are numb!
WE all enjoy the pasta but looking for ideas for something new to make on Sundays.
I've done lasagnas, baked zitis, etc and I don't think our tummies can have anymore cheeses.
Please send ideas for a nice Sunday afternoon dinner.
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