Raise your hand if you have a house full of picky eaters! ME! ME! ME!
Figuring out a meal strategy that keeps everyone happy feels like it’s own full time job! So you’ll have to please excuse me a minute while I tie on my 1950s apron and say something a little shocking:
At the end of the day if I’ve made a dinner that my husband raves over, I feel like I can mark at least one check in the WIN column.
And if the kids eat that meal and can at least tolerate it without pitching a fit??
Double Check Win!
Our current man-friendly favorite is a Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie that is mind blowing. It’s not a dump it all in your crockpot and walk away for 10 hours type recipe, but it is sheer perfection for getting dinner prep and clean-up done and out of the way at lunchtime. All you have to do before serving that evening is heat up the mashed potatoes.
It’s a thick and rich recipe, great for the colder months. If your kids are picky about mashed potatoes, just leave it off or scoop a tiny bit on top and Stir It In before serving. My kids never knew they were in there to begin with because the sauce is so flavorful. Be sure to check out the recipe at the bottom.
Another 10 Man-friendly Favorites from our household include:
Chinese noodles with spicy pork and peanut sauce: When you just can’t look at another potato. The entire family gobbles up this spicy dish.
Mustard Glazed Salmon with arugula and orange salad: This sweet and sticky salmon has an excellent crunch to the crust. The whole menu is something my veggie-adverse husband requested. The kids love the fish and sides, and eat just the orange wedges from the salad.
Sweet and Sticky Chicken with Peanut Noodles: This dish uses chicken thighs so it is extra meaty but very tender. By far my husband’s favorite chicken.
Irish Beef Handpies: Meat and the potatoes wrapped up in a handheld pie pocket? Perfection. My kids think it is hysterical, bonus points that no one realizes I stick TONS of cabbage in there.
Chimichurri Steak: In the summer months, use this marinade with a flank steak, grill it up, and slice it thin for the most killer sandwiches. My husband lovingly refers to this as his “green steak” but trust me, that’s a compliment!
Saucy Pork and Noodle Bake: My husband insists this is his 2nd favorite recipe of ALL TIME. My kids cheer when it hits the menu rotation.
And for dessert? #9 & 10:
Chocolate peanut butter CHIP cookies: Top Secret recipe, my husband’s favorite. When I make these, he knows I’m pulling out the big guns.
Easy apple crisp: Try this recipe and you’ll never make another apple crisp in your life. My husband hovers the entire time it is baking and it never lasts long.
While my list of meals that fit our family criteria is short and sweet, I’m always looking for more ideas. I recently polled other ladies on Facebook to see what they had to say about their man’s favorites.
It sounds like we all have a lot more in common than you’d think:
Meat. Potatoes. Repeat. Sound familiar?? But if these ideas still aren’t enough inspiration for feeding the special guy in your world, you should definitely check out these cookbooks:
Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys
by Lucinda Scala Quinn
Slow Cooker Revolution
by America’s Test Kitchen
by Martha Stewart
Barefoot Contessa Family Style
by Ina Garten
Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie
Inspired by Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 slices sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 large container of prepared mashed potatoes from the refrigerator aisle
In a large bowl, mash the bread and milk together to form a paste. Combine paste with ground beef and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large sautÃ© pan. Brown the meat mixture until no longer pink. Breaking up the large chunks as you go. Add to your crock pot.
Heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and sautÃ© the onions, carrots, garlic, and thyme until veggies are softened. Add the tomato paste and combine. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out your lumps. Transfer to the crock pot.
Stir heavy cream and soy sauce into the crock pot, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-5 hours. My crockpot tends to burn the mixture, so I choose the shorter times and stir periodically.
Before serving, stir in the frozen peas and let them heat through for 5 minutes while you microwave the prepared potatoes. Spoon the potatoes over the dish or serve separately on the side.
Tiffany Dahle is the hostess behind Peanut Blossom where she shares her belief that strong families start with strong and happy mothers. For her that means capturing beautiful photography, discovering new family friendly food, and enjoying a good book. Join her and other recovering readers wanting to prioritize a little “me time” with her No Stress Book Club.