What’s For Dinner?


I know I haven’t posted or read blogs in a while. There is so much to do and I miss reading all that everyone is up to. I will get back to my regular posting and checking out all your blogs. I truly wish there was more time in each day to do all the things I need to do.

So, now for today’s post….

collageChicken tenders with creamy pasta and veggies is always a simple meal and a Dino favorite. As you know I marinate my chicken in baggies and toss in bread crumbs, and shake it up…has to be simple and quick. I bake them in the oven and they come out superb. Pasta Roni is great for a quick pasta and all you have to do is add veggies to the pot as it simmers.

chicken tenders chicken and noodles

He devoured his chicken first, then ate most of his pasta and all of his veggies. Okay…I did bribe him with a Hershey Kiss…but at least he ate, right?

all doneI tried something new for myself. I bought pre-cut squash and cut up an apple. I seasoned it with olive oil, butter, honey, and Goya seasoning. It was beyond amazing. While it was not a Dino favorite, it was a mommy favorite.

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As soon as I get our snacks, I separate into smaller bags if I buy a larger bag. This makes it easier to quickly pack lunch or control portions. I also include baggies in his lunch bag with the snacks that come prepackaged. This way his teachers can put the extra snacks in a bag for the next day. I DIDN’T INCLUDE the pics of carrots and grapes already separated into bags…this also makes for easy lunch preparation.


snackssnacks2Snacks for this week


snacks to go

Extra snacks for when we run low

more snackso


I do the same with my veggies…potatoes that are cut and seasoned…then frozen. I have sliced zucchini seasoned and frozen (pic not shown). As it defrosts it marinates, and ensures that the veggies will last longer.

I do something similar with chicken, but instead I pour the seasoning of my choice in the frozen bag and as it defrosts, it marinates.  I try to separate before I store in fridge or freezer, this controls portions and makes it easier when making lunches, defrosting, and cooking.

potatoesI often run out of ideas when packing our lunches, so by writing down some lunches that work…it makes it easier….for both me and anyone else who has to pack Dino’s lunch.

chartIdeas for dinner this week…though open to changes

  • Sunday: spaghetti and meatballs
  • Monday: goya chicken, rice, veggie
  • Tuesday: Tacos with ground pork mac and cheese, with leftover veggies and chicken
  • Wednesday: tacos with ground pork

dinner Collage

What are ways you get organized for snacks, lunches, and dinners? Do you marinate then freeze? Or do you freeze then marinate after it defrosts?

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Italian Bread Pizza: so many ways to make this dinner…
  • Italian Bread, coating it with olive oil to prevent bread from burning or getting too hard.
  • Scoop on pasta sauce (you can substitute with any variety of your liking)
  • add cubed ham (you can substitute pepperoni, ground beef, ground pork…even add in veggies)
  • sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese (substitute any variety of cheese)

Dino…Ate it all, even asked for it at lunch the next day

Hubby…ate every bite…and took one for the road as he went off to umpire

Mommy…I LOVED It…glad that it came out better than I thought it would.




Sneaking in Veggies

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I’ve been dealing with a picky kid who refuses to eat or will chew and spit. After all the great ideas and advice, THANK YOU EVERYONE, I added some baby food to our mac and cheese. I was freaking out, afraid he would notice and wouldn’t eat, but Dino shocked me. He not only ate it, he LOVED it.

mac cheese veggies

this baby food includes corn, zucchini, green beans, brown rice, carrots, and garbanzo beans

©2013 dinoheromommy.com

It tasted a bit different, I knew it was the veggies, but son probably thought it was just “better”. I also said if he didn’t eat his food, he would go to bed hungry. I am going to pretend it was just the very different and tasty mac and cheese.

mac cheese veggies4

mac cheese veggies5

Mac and Cheese Round Two


Our meal plan for this week is….I HAVE NO IDEA

I have not planned for this week at all, I’ve been very naughty.

I have breaded shrimp and TONS of frozen veggies. I will try to put together a shopping list after I finish this post, but don’t think that will happen. I’m so tired. I ALWAYS bring my coupon book with me, so that will help a bit. I know I need the essentials, rice milk, almond milk, more dairy free butter, bread, rice, shredded cheese, carrots, cold cuts, juice, meats, eggs, and non-dairy coffee creamer.

I will try to vary the menu a bit from the usual foods I have been cooking. I need a change, as does son and hubby. Balboa could care less, he’ll eat whatever we drop or give him from the table.

What essentials do you ALWAYS get when shopping?


Mac and Cheese Round Two

So the mac and cheese casserole that I made last week, that I thought rocked was snubbed by son and hubby. They were equally horrified and disgusted that I added veggies and breadcrumbs to the mac and cheese. Adding shredded cheese is apparently allowed.

So I made the mac and cheese a bit different this time. I did add the shredded cheese for a bit extra flavor. Then I heated up a can of molasses and bacon flavored beans and microwaved “steam fresh” veggies in a bag. Yeah, I went all out for this meal *note the heavy sarcasm* I arranged it in a casserole pan for easy fridge storage and scooping. I made sure the beans in no way, shape, or form touched the mac and cheese.


Dino loved it and happily ate the beans and noodles. He insisted on eating the noodles with a spoon and the beans with a fork, it was not worth the effort to try to explain why he should switch. As long as he was eating, right?


Then, what shocked me completely, he asked for one broccoli and two carrots. Can you believe that? He mostly chewed the broccoli, never really swallowing it, but at least he got nutrients out of it.


What meals do you think ROCKED only to find out that you were the only one who liked them?

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Sausage, Chicken, and Fish. Oh My!


Last week, instead of mac/cheese I decided to have nachos with beans. I just opened the black beans, plopped them on the tortillas with cheese on top and Dinosaur dipped them in the salsa. A favorite for me and Dino, hubby was still eating another dinner for that night so he was good, besides he would NEVER eat nachos. What last minute meals, quick meals do you have on hand?

bean and cheese nachos


The menu for this week was set, but our weekend plans set us back a day.

Sunday: Monday: Pasta/Sausage Bake I forgot to add the peppers to this, but still came out great.
Monday: Tuesday: Sweet Sour Chicken
Tuesday: Wednesday: Tillapia fillets, potatoes, and veggies
Wednesday: Thursday: French Toast/Ham…becoming a family favorite
Thursday: SAVED FOR NEXT WEEK: Chicken/Mac & Cheese/ Veggies
Friday: Pizza

I have thin sliced pork cutlets for next week. I could bread them…but not in the mood for that. Any suggestions for something different? My mother suggested roasting them with apples and cranberry sauce, which sounds delicious.

pasta sausage casserole

SAUSAGE AND PASTA CASSEROLE: took picture after it was half eaten. It was delicious…Dino even wanted it for lunch today.

sweet and sour chicken

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN: should not have mixed the rice with it yet…looks like a mass of glop…hopefully it will taste good for dinner tonight. I’ll saute some veggies quickly and add them to our bowls.

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Raviolis, Crab Cakes, and French Toast

It’s Tuesday and time for…


Sunday: Raviolis and Sausage
Monday: Cod, crab cakes, (fish was on sale) potatoes, and carrots.
Tuesday: French Toast and Ham (on sale)
Wednesday: Mac and Cheese with leftovers (if any) and/or beans
Thursday: Ground Pork tacos
Friday: Pizza

Ravioli, Sausage, and Sauce. All three items were on sale and I have leftovers for both son and hubby for lunch  (not the next day, but on Tuesday, have to mix it up to keep it from getting boring) 



Cod steaks, crab cakes, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies. All on sale and made Sunday night
all ready for Monday’s dinner. Each item was bought on sale. I had a coupon for the veggies and mashed potatoes,
so it’s a budget friendly and tasty dinner.

fish, pot, veggies


French Toast and Ham Dinner made Monday night for Tuesday’s dinner. The bread, eggs, and ham steak were all on sale. I love to mix the syrup and preserves to make a tasty topping, both were on sales and I purchased with coupons. Son goes crazy for ham…so this is one of his favorites.

I make my french toast with pain vanilla almond milk and cinnamon. Hubby thinks it’s plain almond milk with vanilla extract. Seriously,w hat is the difference if the vanilla is in the milk or added separately. What he doesn’t know won’t kill him!

If there is left over ham…we can make an omelet the next morning, that would be awesome.

  french toast


I plan on making the mac and cheese and pork taco mixture the night before their respective dinner. This way I get home and it’s all ready to go and I don’t have to clean out a slow cooker and put it away. Hubby can take it to work with him for his dinner that night, so we are basically all eating the same thing for dinner even if we aren’t all home together.


I LOVE meatballs, mushroom, and olives on my pizza. A friend introduced me to pine nuts on pizza as well…which I LOVE!
Hubby prefers the meat toppings or just plain, if there are veggies it has to be a “supreme” type pizza…which I’m not a fan of. Dinosaur won’t eat ANYTHING that looks like a veggie, sometimes he picks off the mushrooms if he’s not ravenous.

What are your favorite topping(s)? Does your family have topping fights?


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Tator Tots and Tacos

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Besides my freezer to crock pot meals, I tried a tator tot recipe for the frist time. I have seen TONS of different versions of the recipe all with various veggies, cheeses and meats.  I used a recipe from Cheerios and Lattes  it’s an easy recipe, go check it out.

So I used ground pork instead of beef or turkey ans used canned mushrooms instead of beans. But with this recipe, you can add any veggies you like, it’s quite versatile. I should have sprinkled cheese on top of the tator tots as well, but I didn’t want to over do it. Hubby and son loved it, I mean they really LOVED IT and hubby wanted it more often.  It was a great meal, cheap, easy, and did I mention CHEAP.

Squeeze some ketchup on it and we’re talking heaven.

tator tot casserole

Definitely Dinosaur APPROVED

We also had a great dinner of chicken tacos. Hubby was not too thrilled though, he was NOT loving the chicken meat and only had one, he only likes tacos with meat. He can be quite set in his ways.

Dinosaur loved being able to make his own taco. He climbed up on the step stool and chose his ingredients. He carefully carried it back to the table and enjoyed every bite. He ate 2 1/2 tacos, which made me happy. He was messy, but full.

taco dinner

ignore the clutter, though I’m sure my mom sees it right away.

Freezer Meals

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I try to use up all the food in our house, knowing I am not wasting aI have tried making meals and freezing them, but while most came out great, others just didn’t taste right after freezing…no matter what I did. Then I found this site. How amazing to freeze the food raw and then pop into the slow cooker. Less to clean and the meal is done for me when I get home. I just have to make noodles and rice, which is easy.

The grocery store in my town starts new sales on Fridays. As it works out, I get paid every other Friday. So I make a list and shop on the Friday I get paid. I buy EVERYTHING I need for two weeks and make my meals and freeze them. I try to buy lots of milk, bread and eggs, and keep the extra bread in extra feezer and store dry almond milk in the cabinet. It seems to be saving us money, I freeze fruit and use as we need.

TUESDAY ground pork

ground pork – for sauces, tacos, wraps, pizza. I made with a bit of sauce and seasoning. It has a tasty flavor. I also made shredded chicken (in the slow cooker…which the chicken fell apart as soon as you touched it…HEAVEN!)

chicken teriyaki

chicken teriyaki

TUESDAY chicken teriyaki2

Look how tasty and yummy that Chicken Teriyaki looks. The chicken just shredded as I pulled it out of the slow cooker. I prefer it this way, you wind up eating less chicken and the leftovers are so tasty. BOTH Dino and hubby loved it.

breakfast casserole

breakfast casserole – came out very flat. Probably because I didn’t follow directions, I just winged it like I always do. But it still came out DELICIOUS

lazy day stew2

Lazy Day Stew…the smells as I walked into the apartment were divine.

lazy day stew

I added noodles, which soaked up most of the stew. I prefer it this way, less mess when Dino eats. Each bite was heaven.

lazy day stew3

there was so much, we had a heaping bowl for dinner, more for lunch and tons left over for two more days. How great is that.

sausage and peppers2

this was another great meal. it was a little greasy, but I was able to scoop the grease off which helped.

sausage and peppers

so yummy on toasted rolls with melted cheese. What a meal.

sausage and peppers3

left over sausage on left over pasta…the juice was tasty instead of sauce.

pot roast

delicious pot roast, that even hubby was salivating over.





bbq chicken and veggies

can’t wait to come home to this yummy bbq chicken with veggies. I added bbq sauce, veggies, and two chicken breasts. I’ll make rice when I get home to go with this yummy meal.


I try to use up all the food in our house, knowing I am not wasting anything. I had to throw away pizza sauce and had a little bit of shredded cheese left in a bag.

So what did I do? I made nachos with pizza sauce.

TUESDAY pizza nachos2

TUESDAY pizza nachos

Dino LOVED it.

Lasagna Shells and Roll Ups

So no every meal goes according to plan. I wanted to make a big batch of lasagna shells and freeze some into individual meals. Did that go as planned. NOOOOO, but it was a learning experience, and as I have said before this teaches Dino to just keep trying and have fun.

I followed this recipe and Dino helped me to make the shells. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to dig in after they were done. NOTE ABOUT DAIRY AT BOTTOM OF POST


About to put them in the oven…don’t they look great?


Unfortunately, they burned and dried out on top even though I covered them with tinfoil. My cousin Michael informed me, after I complained on Facebook about my disaster, that I forgot to add sauce on top of the shells.


Seriously, how could I forget to do that???? Oh well, I will NEVER forget that now…thanks Michael.


So I made lasagna roll ups the next day…My cousin Micheal suggested it especially since Dino loves to help me. I followed the same principal as the shells and used this recipe to guide me. It was a pain to soak the no boil noodles and wait for them to soften in order to roll them up…but I did it. I was so worried…but they came out great.  AND>>>>>> hubby said this was my best meal and the chicken parm is now at #2.


AND…They were Dinosaur Approved as well

lasagna roll ups

Have you ever tried a recipe and it failed…but when you tried again it rocked?

*(On a side note…yes I used cheese in this recipe. While my son still has allergies to all forms of dairy, I have been including limited amounts of cheese in his diet for other reasons. As a result he has had an increased amount of mucus, but not serious enough to keep him up at night. I will NOT be giving him any other forms of dairy.)