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Friday, November 10, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for November busy week

Friday -- 30 minute supper
I had mentioned not having an appetite for a couple of months. I think I just needed better-tasting foods in the house. I went shopping today, and picked up frozen veggies, potstickers, and white rice, among other things. For dinner I made pot stickers and veggies over rice. I make my own sauces and keep them in the fridge. This sauce was soy sauce, ginger, garlic, onion flakes, chicken soup base, vinegar, and sugar.

While the pot stickers were sauteeing in a bit of oil, the white rice was cooking. White rice only takes 20 minutes. (We usually eat brown rice, so the white stuff was a treat, and I think tastes better with Asian foods.) After browning the potstickers I pulled them out of the pan and quickly cooked frozen veggies (an Asian mix), added some sauce, and some chopped cabbage. I tossed the potstickers back in the pan, and heated through. The whole thing was ready to serve in 30 minutes.

Polish sausage slices and potatoes, oven-baked
carrot sticks and homemade 1000 Island dressing

Bean, rice, and cheese burritos

Monday (daughter cooked)
carrot soup

sausage and lentils
smashed potatoes
sauteed zucchini
carrot sticks


Turkey and gravy from freezer
cornbread stuffing from mix
mixed veggies
sauteed zucchini

Spanish rice mix that was a freebie, combined with cooked lentils, chopped zucchini, peppers, canned tomatoes, and chopped, cooked meatballs, all topped with cheese. Applesauce for anyone who wanted some.


Tuesday's dinner had a favorite side dish of mine -- smashed potatoes. I love this not only because it's delicious but also because it is sooooo easy, and fast to make. It takes a little over 5 minutes to make, not bad, right?

No peeling, no boiling, cook in the microwave, ready in minutes

Wash several thin-skinned potatoes, like red or white potatoes, not russets (skin is too tough)

Cut out eyes, prick with fork or knife, and microwave until you can squish it. I used 6 small-ish red potatoes, and microwaved them together, for a total of about 5 minutes.

Squish the potatoes slightly with hands/fingers, and put into a bowl/dish. Add a spoon of butter, some milk, salt, cream cheese or sour cream, and a bit of minced garlic, garlic granules, or garlic powder. Mash until mixed together, about 1 minute. There will be skin pieces in the potatoes. If overly large pieces of skin remain, you can use a sharp paring knife and fork to quickly cut through the largest pieces.

This is a chunkier version of mashed potatoes. Someone with texture issues may be bothered by the lack of smoothness. I like them just as they are, though. Interestingly, these are easier and have less clean-up than regular mashed potatoes, but I've actually seen this dish on menus at restaurants.

Thought I'd share.
Have a happy weekend!


  1. Your meals look delicious as usual.

    We had some good meals also. One was a lo mein, another pork veggie noodle soup, brown rice and pinto beans with baked chicken, leftovers of chicken and rice/beans, finally minestrone soup. Lunches were leftovers or sandwiches. A good week of food and all homemade.


    1. Hi Alice,
      your meals sound delicious, too, especially the lo mein. I think I'll make some lo mein this week. Thanks for the idea.
      I don't often eat sandwiches for lunch, but had one yesterday and it was just right. I happen to have some bread and butter pickles in the fridge, and I love them on meat or cheese sandwiches.
      have a great weekend, Alice!

  2. Hi, Lili--

    Looked like a nice variety of foods this week -- so healthy, and also it ought to spur your appetite some, too. I do think that extra creativity (not necessarily always extra "effort" or time, as you proved with your Asian supper) can sometimes help with appetite issues, no matter what their cause.

    I hope your family enjoyed eating these nice meals as much as we enjoy reading about them. :) Best -- Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      We're doing a repeat of the potstickers and veggies, for tonight. I'm planning on adding some tofu, too, for extra protein. I find that I feel better if I eat more protein and more vegetables. And yes, I was super glad that I could do this in such a small amount of time!
      I hope that your week went well. Have a great weekend, Sara!

  3. We keep potstickers in the freezer for a quick meal sometimes. They're probably better fried, but we just boil them. They are easy to add to to make a quick and tasty meal as you showed us.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I think potstickers would be delicious boiled, especially if in a chicken broth, with some veggies, for a quick soup. I hadn't thought to boil them; now, I'll have to try that.
      Have a great weekend, live and learn.

  4. Will you think I'm way behind the times if I admit I've never had potstickers? Unless they go by another name and I HAVE had them ....

    Your smashed potatoes sound good. I make mashed potatoes fairly often, the easy way. I boil some potatoes, drain them, add a splash of buttermilk, and then bring out my hand mixer. They turn out well and I notice we go through more potatoes than we otherwise would--for some reason, mashed or smashed potatoes seem to sneak into our tummies faster. Maybe because of the lack of chewing. ;)

    1. Hi Kris,
      hmm, maybe Chinese dumplings? They are a meat and veggie filled noodle, like a large wonton. If you like eggrolls or spring rolls you'd probably like these.

      When I mash potatoes (smashed or regular mashed) the mound on the plate never looks very big, so I serve more in comparison to if I were making baked potatoes. In that way, we eat a lot more potatoes in the mashed form, too.

      Is this the birthday weekend for your daughter? I hope she has/had a lovely birthday. Have a great weekend, Kris!

    2. No, I guess I've never had potstickers. I'll have to remedy that.

      You have a good memory. Her actual birthday was Wednesday but we had a party with friends today (no school). Pizza, crafts and an ice cream pie. Good times. :)

  5. Looks delicious, Lili. I love potatoes with the skins still on them. I know what you mean about wanting new food. I go thru through stages like that too.

  6. We love wonton soup, fried wonton, and wonton served as potstickers. All are using the same wrappers and pork/fishcake/tofu/mushroom mixture. I know we are not preparing the potstickers correctly, but it is fast and easy to serve the same ingredients three different ways. First night, we make wonton soup and fry any leftovers to eat the next day. We can also freeze the fried wontons and later reheat in a shallow pan of broth until the liquid evaporates, and that becomes potstickers for another meal.

    Have a nice weekend!!



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