I married a man that dislikes mayo, sour cream, yogurt and all salad dressings. He’s a health nut and doesn’t like fried foods or burgers. I make dinner and end up tossing it and there is only 2 of us. Please help. I need suggestions. With a family of six I am sure you’ll have ideas. Thanks — Stephanie Lee

Hi Stephanie! Dinner and laundry are probably the two tasks that wear me out the fastest. Not because they’re particularly difficult, but because they are relentless. There is always laundry to do and dinner time comes whether I’m prepared for it or not. : ) When I was thinking about your question, two casual meals that have been successful with my family came to mind (I know they’re successful when they become a recurring part of our menu).

For one meal, we fill a bowl with our favorite tortilla chips and add lots of options to eat them with. Guacamole and salsa. Shredded cheese to make nachos. Black beans heated with garlic and cumin. Sour cream. Spanish rice (if I remember to prepare it on time). It’s easy to prepare, and when I add the beans, it’s surprisingly filling. My family likes it because everyone eats the parts they like and ignores the parts they don’t — your husband could skip the sour cream.

For another casual meal, we pick up a baguette, slice it, and serve it with a cheese plate (2 or 3 choices is plenty), fresh fruit and broiled fish. We get our fish from the Whole Foods fish counter — ask for tilapia and have them prepare it with their tequila-lime seasoning. They’ll even explain how to cook it! We cook ours in the oven on a big baking sheet. It only takes a few minutes, so this meal comes together really quickly. Everyone in our family loves this flexible meal. The fruit changes depending on what’s in season. The bread and fish are picked up that day, so they’re super fresh. And we experiment with different cheeses (sharp cheddar, smoked gouda and havarti are the favorites).

What about you, Dear Readers? What kind of meals would you suggest to Stephanie?

guacamole image via The Merry Gourmet