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Quick Dinner Recipes For The Family

During lockdowns, I got so bored I tried all sorts of things, including quick dinners I’d never made before. I did fancy recipes and baked bread, too, but since cooking isn’t really my thing, I got tired of the cooking pretty quickly as supplementary take-out we were used to wasn’t as available during those early days.

As a Jamaican, a quick dinner typically means steamed rice and some vegetables or canned protein, but not in my house. My husband does not eat seafood and I have food sensitivities connected to canned goods, so for us, ‘quick dinner’ means some steamed white rice and some curried or brown stewed chicken.

Two of the three recipes I am sharing today include the option of minced meat, here is a quick look at how to make it. Your minced meat can be chicken, turkey or beef or pork. If you are a vegetarian, veggie mince works just as well.

How to Make Minced/Ground Meat (Poultry, Beef, Pork)

What you need

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onions (Chopped)
  • Scallion (Chopped
  • Cooking oil

How to make it

  1. Add seasoning and massage into the meat.
  2. Heat oil.
  3. Add meat to oil and stir into pot thoroughly
  4. Cook and stir for until all of the meat is brown and cooked.
  5. Set aside
minced meat quick dinners
Image from Pixabay

3 Quick Dinners to Try

1. Loaded Baked Potatoes

When I’m grocery shopping and come across large potatoes, I get some for baked dinners. Generally, I would serve the fam baked potatoes as a side, but that day, I served it on its own with the insides mashed.

The best thing about loaded potatoes is that you can ‘load’ it up with whatever you feel like. For mine, I added minced meat, cheese and so on.

What You Need

  • Large potatoes
  • Cooked Minced meat (optional)
  • Cheese (Optional)
  • Butter
  • Seasoning(Powder and herbs)
  • Sour cream

How to Make it

  1. Wash potatoes thoroughly
  2. Use a fork to poke random holes all over the potatoes
  3. Oil potatoes with olive oil and season with sale and black pepper.
  4. Wrap each potto in foil paper.
  5. Bake until potatoes are tender (the fork can go all the way through)
  6. Optional: Cook minced meat and set aside.
  7. While hot, remove potatoes from the oven, unwrap and slice 3/4 ways through. Don’t peel.
  8. Use a a fork to mash and distress inside potatoes.
  9. Add butter and continue to mash.
  10. Season with your favourite seasoning.
  11. Optional: Load it up with your meed cheese, sour cream, etc.
  12. Serve hot.
Image from Pixabay

2. Chilli Dogs

I wanted to make something quick so I stood in my kitchen looking around to see what I had. I found hot dogs and minced meat. Just like that, I was making chilly dogs.

What you need

  • Hot Dog Buns
  • Frankfurters
  • Optional: Cooked Minced Meat
  • Condiments of choice (Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, hot sauce, etc.)

How to Make It

  1. Boil frankfurters until tender
  2. Optional: Cook minced meat and set aside
  3. Remove cooked franks from water, dry and place in hot dog bun
  4. Load the hot dog to your preference with minced meat and condiments.
  5. Serve

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3. Cheesy potato drumsticks

Okay, maybe this one is not so quick. But cheesy potato drumsticks were fun, easy, super delicious and a hit with the family.

I’m not a heavy fan of cheese and putting it in everything, but when I came upon a video making this stuff on Facebook and knew I needed to taste it. It looked too good not to try. Of all the new things I made during the lockdown, this one was my favourite.

It looked too good not to try.

I’ve seen a few varied directions on Pinterest since that first video. But here’s how I did mine.

What You Need to Make it

  • Irish Potatoes
  • Drumsticks
  • Flour / Breadcrumbs
  • Cheese (Cheddar or Mozzarella)
  • Eggs
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasoning
    • Garlic and/or Onion Powder
    • All Purpose or Complete seasoning
    • Paprika
    • Salt

How to Make it

Chicken

  • Boil chicken or cook down in seasoned broth until tender.
  • Remove from boiling water and extract chicken bone from the meat. KEEP THEM.
  • Shred chicken meat by pulling it apart with your fingers.

Eggs

  • Beat eggs and set aside

Potatoes

  1. Remove skin and boil your drumsticks until they are tender.
  2. Peel potatoes and boil until tender.
  3. Once your potatoes are boiled, remove them from the water and mash them.
  4. Add salt to taste
  5. Optional: Season with powdered seasoning
  6. Add cheese to mixture.
  7. Mix well

Combine

  1. Wet palms
  2. Take a portion of the mixture and flatten it in your palm.
  3. Place drumstick bone into the mixture in your palm and shape your mixture like a drumstick.
  4. Coat makeshift drum in eggs, the flour or breadcrumbs
  5. Fry drumsticks until they are golden brown
  6. Serve hot.

I had fun trying these quick dinners. Did you try a new recipe you loved lately? Share it in the comments.

Xo, Shandean,

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Shandean Reid

I’m Shan! Heavily caffeinated millennial, content creator and communications postgraduate student in the GTA student navigating life as a physician’s wife, mom of one, author and anything else I see fit on a given day. Thanks for stopping by. I do hope you subscribe!

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