Monday, February 15, 2016

Question: Sunday Meals

After months of limping along, getting by with doing only the basics, I am delighted to have a surge of energy. When I was staggering through December I truly thought that I might not ever feel good again, that maybe my advanced age (I'm within shouting distance of forty) had caught up with me. Ed kept insisting that I was just pregnant and I would recover. I'm so glad he was right.

Since the fog has lifted, I'm ready to become more deliberate as a homemaker. And for me, that means using my Time Keeper again. After a number of weeks without cooking, thanks to freezer meals and the generosity of friends, I'm again having fun in the kitchen. Even menu planning is enjoyable. (Let's see how long that lasts.)

When I sit down to make out a week's worth of menus, my brain freezes. Even in the summer.

Especially in the summer.

I have found it helpful to have various meal lists. I have lists of recipes for beef, soup, chicken, breakfast, and so on. I have a list of meals that my family loves and could eat every week. I list the cookbook and page number next to the recipe. Flipping through these lists makes meal planning so much easier.

But one meal I struggle with each week is Sunday lunch. Far too often I get to Saturday night at 10:00 and think, "What are we going to eat tomorrow?"

When we were first married, Ed grilled nearly every Sunday. It didn't matter if we ate late if we were just going to relax in the afternoon. But that doesn't work for children. They come home from church acting like they have not eaten for a day. My goal is to have lunch on the table in the time it takes them to get changed out of their church clothes.

An obvious choice is to use the crockpot but apparently my crockpot runs low. Even when I put it on high, I have trouble getting most things cooked in a morning. Unless the food is already cooked, we are fishing around tough rice and crunchy potatoes - maybe even raw meat.

If you ask my children, they will tell you that we eat sausage and potatoes every Sunday. And that isn't far from the truth. Sausage and potatoes is a meal we all love and is super simple. I chop up sausage links (sometimes while still frozen), place them in a 9x13 baking pan, add diced onion and chopped raw potatoes, pour in a little water, cover, place in the oven, and set my oven on time bake for an hour before we arrive home. At noon we are met by the wonderful aroma of sausage. Add a steamed vegetable or salad and we have a meal.

If I want to make our normal sausage and potatoes more special, I make hog maw casserole. It is more work Sunday morning but so worth it.

Another Sunday lunch favorite is chicken or turkey pie. In November I buy several turkeys during the Thanksgiving sales to be made into turkey pies for the freezer. They make the perfect Sunday lunch, if I can remember to get them out of the freezer on Saturday night. But now our family can easily eat two turkey pies so it is harder to keep these in the freezer.

I'd love to add some more options to my Sunday lunch list.

What do you like to serve your family for Sunday lunch that takes very little prep time Sunday morning and is ready to eat when you come home?

47 comments :

  1. Hi Gina,
    I would first get a new crockpot. They are not terribly expensive and for a busy mom, that is golden.

    I always make a hot meal for Sunday lunch because my kids often come home from college (with a friend or two) and my mother in law comes over every Sunday for lunch. I put a chicken on time bake to start during church and often some scalloped potatoes, cheesy scalloped potatoes, even baked potatoes. I have a big salad and a quick veggie that I boil. If I get the sides done, I put them in the oven to stay warm. You could do a beef roast or pork roast the same way. I make a sugar free jello salad (pureed fruit makes a nice thick jello) with lite whipped cream on top. So easy. Another idea is tater tot casserole, meatloaf, a big pot of spaghetti made the day or two before is good. I always mix the sauce and spaghetti together and we like that a lot.

    My kids are quite a bit older but they still like to eat shortly after church as well. You know, starving college kids. We're down to one child at home--our oldest--who has already graduated from college and is a teacher living with us. So I normally only cook for three these days until the kids come home for the summer.

    Alice

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  2. I struggle with Sunday meals too, sometimes doing well at thinking ahead, then falling into the rut of procrastinating again. We often don't have church Sunday evening, so sometimes we'll eat something small for lunch and do a big supper. Since I buy my potatoes no matter what kind I fix, something I've been doing is getting big boxes of the Idahoan brand of instant mashed potatoes from Sam's Club. This makes having a meat and potato meal much simpler if the potatoes are quick and easy! That brand is almost better than homemade and you only add water and butter. A favorite Sunday lunch is meatballs and mashed potatoes and veggie. When I'm organized the meatballs are shaped the day before and Sunday morning I make sauce and put them on time bake and lunch can be finished in 15-20 min after coming home from church.

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  3. We make pizza every Sunday. I mix up the dough in the morning before we leave and have found it does just fine with an extra long rise. When we get home, I can usually get it in the oven in the time it takes everyone to change. I am looking forward to reading other ideas!

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  4. I have been reading your blog for several years and have enjoyed it very much. An easy thing that I like for Sunday is chicken with potatoes and carrots.

    I get every thing ready on Saturday and then put it in the fridge till the morning and then bake it.

    I take the skin off of the pieces and cut up potatoes in big chunks and the carrots any si you like. I Also cut up onions and peppers to add to that. Then I add Salt and whatever spices that I like and add tomatoe base. I like ketchup and a little bit of tomatoe paste,Also a blob of sourcream.

    On Sunday morning I bake at 350 till chicken is soft. Since I don't have time bake I wrap it in a blanket where it keeps Hot till we get home. I serve it with Rice and beans and salad.

    Mim Amaya (Nicaragua)

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  5. Hi Gina, I love your blog, we always eat 'Sunday lunch' and that's still customary in the UK, roast meat: pork, lamb, beef with roast potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings, a pudding of some sort. It's a sit down meal where families get together once a week or with friends and it's such a wonderful tradition. I used to prep everything on Saturday night, then have the meat in the oven, the potatoes cooked and when I got in from church put the potatoes into roast and the vegetable on to cook. It was always a very simple meal.

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  6. Hi Gina,
    I invested in an Insta Pot, which is a pressure cooker, steamer, crockpot all in one. (It does more than that ). We often do baked potatoes with salad. I put in potatoes and set them on the timer to start steaming before we get home. If we are running late no big deal, the insta pot keeps it warm. It also preps soup in about 30 min if I am running late. I also freeze soups, and with your crock pot would start it the night before. We often barbeque, and I prep a fruit salad, or fruit and veggie plate to munch on while waiting. We always do hotdogs while barbqueing other meat/food for the kids to snack on. I have found Sundays they are a bottomless pit and snack great, along with a meal. By the time it is done, we end up having a light dinner (if one at all ) so the big meal is lunch. :)

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  7. *Roast with potatoes and carrots. I start the roast on low Saturday night. Then add the potatoes and carrots before I head to church. The meat is very very tender.

    * Crock pot tamale pie

    * BBQ meatballs

    * Baked potatoes

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  8. Hi Gina! Oh, I find Sunday lunch hard, especially if we have some brothers and sisters over to share it with us. Yesterday I made chicken tetrazzini, a pasta dish. I prepared the sauce and noodles the night before, and put it in the oven with the timer on the next morning. It was so easy, and fed 12 of us with leftovers to freeze! That is, I made a simple salad to go with it.

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  9. Some of our Sunday favorites
    Are spaghetti and French bread,vegetable beef soup with grilled cheeses, taco salad,
    Chicken tenderloin sandwiches, or a pot pie. :) I cook a lot of my harder meals on Saturday and then have it for Sunday or if the meal takes less than 1 hour I make it on Sunday.

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  10. I sometimes put a large chicken and vegetables into a clay baker in the oven. It takes a couple of hours at least. I find clay baking pots in the thrift store regularly and now have three different sizes for almost pennies each, all seemingly unused. I shall be interested to see what other ideas are posted because I also struggle with after church meals. Our church is half an hour's drive away.

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  11. Hello Gina,

    Growing up in the South, our after morning church Sunday dinners of fried chicken or meatloaf, mashed potatoes, several vegetables, and cornbread were usually late, around 2:30 in the afternoon. My Aunt J would give the younger children a small snack of crackers or a 1/4 peanut butter sandwich to tie them over. After dinner was clean-up and then out the door for Sunday evening church services.

    Of course the boys and men relaxed while my Aunt J and we girls did all the work and clean-up. Sunday's always seemed to be the most UN-relaxing day of the week for us females. Thus, when I became a wife and mother, I chose to keep Sunday meals simple, so that I would have an opportunity to also rest - after all, in our family's faith, Sunday is considered our Sabbath.

    For years, Sunday morning breakfasts have included fast and simple meals such as: muffins & fruit OR oatmeal, toast & fruit OR hard boiled eggs (prepared on Saturday) fruit salad, etc.
    Sunday dinners are kept equally fast and simple with meals of: warm weather - chef salads, cold sandwiches w/ chips and apple slices, tacos or burritos (meat is cooked Sunday morning or Saturday evening); cold weather - hot sandwiches like grilled ham & cheese, Philly cheese steak, or tuna melts served with leftover soups, chili & cornbread (cooked on Saturday), Taste of Home's oven stew (cooks in the oven while we are at church) served with oven warmed buttered bread.
    Sunday evenings are excessively simply as we choose to fast on Sunday evenings in observant of our Sabbath. For those with health issues or young children who are not able to fast a meal, we serve a very simple plate of cheese, crackers, summer sausage or other cold cut and a small portion of fruit or carrot, celery, bell pepper, or tomato slices.

    These meals are simple, fast, weather appropriate and allow for some relaxing down time so that I can feel energized Monday morning.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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  12. Hi Gina, I make chicken and dumpling with veggies, soup of any kind, I make mexi- chicken in crockpot( very easy)I add flour shells and all the fixings. I'm fix for at least 10 to 16 every Sunday. I try to plan my meals out a head of time. I try to use the crockpot every Sunday. I enjoy Sunday meals after church. The family always seems in a good mood after hearing Lords words preached.

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  13. I like to use my oven as a large crockpot, so to speak. I usually don't remember till Saturday night to do something, then I get a chicken out of the freezer and thaw it out overnight. Next morning, rub a seasoning/salt mixture all over the outside and put some inside the cavity with an onion. Stick it in a roasting pan uncovered at 250 degrees 5 hours before you want to eat. If your chicken is larger than 4 lbs., allow more time. At this temperature, it will not dry out and you will have a nice baked chicken with crispy skin. Make-ahead mashed potatoes in a covered dish can be warmed up right alongside the roasting pan and you have a meal ready when you get home. I have also done BBQ chicken this way...just lay the pieces on your baking pan, cover with BBQ sauce and bake as described above. I think I got by with 4 hours for the chicken pieces, but again, a little longer will not hurt it at this temperature.

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  14. Thanks for all your ideas! You are inspiring me!
    Gina

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  15. I never wait till Saturday or Sunday to decide what to do for Sunday lunch. Everyone is home from work on Saturday and that is a special day to do stuff as a family. My Mom use to spend all day Saturday cooking for Sunday and I was determined not to do that. I make a couple casserole dishes of lasagna and or poor man steak and put in freezer on a day like Tuesday when the work load isn't as big as it is at the end of the week . Im set then for a couple Sundays before having to put things in the freezer again. Sunday I pull one out and stick in oven. My family never needs to wait for Sunday lunch,I don't need to get up early to put something together before church. rosy

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    Replies
    1. What a great way to think ahead. I too like to keep Saturdays as a family day but too often I have saved too much work for Saturday.
      Gina

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  16. 1) An easy favorite is chicken and rice casserole, which is generally finished by the time we get home. Add a vegetable and maybe bread and usually a simple sweet salad (an easy one is equal amounts of pie filling and yogurt, whatever flavors you choose, and then however much whipped topping you want) and we are set!

    2) Also, roast with taters and carrots and possibly sausage, is easy, and best if done in the CrockPot.

    3) We also are known to have whatever leftovers are in the fridge!! I try to have a decent meal (often grilled) Sat eve, which sometimes provides great leftovers.

    I love reading other people's ideas, too!

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  17. Most any meat can be slow roasted while you are in church. Just be sure your pan has a tight fitting lid. I prefer to use cast iron,because the liquid doesn't evaporate as fast. If I don't cook the potatoes with the meat,I have them peeled and in a pot of water ready to cook. Add a salad or veggie, and dinner is soon done. I have also done many casseroles in the same manner.I think that many of your dutch oven recipes would work well! I also have made it a tradition to have dessert on Sunday, so I try to plan that on Saturday..tho it doesn't always work out!!

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  18. A few ideas from our home: Pork bbq made earlier in the week gently re-heated on stove about 10 minutes served on slider-size (a.k.a. child size) rolls made ahead from the freezer and served with veggie tray and homemade ranch dip. The potato roll recipe on King Arthur Flour's website "Amish Dinner Rolls" is a family favorite in our home to go with almost any lunch or dinner. Baked potato toppers with chili or sloppy joe that's made ahead served with a side salad or raw veggies and dip. Tomato soup from the freezer re-heated along with grilled cheese on rosemary herb bread (homemade or Costco) is another favorite. Fettuccine Alfredo w/ sauce made from butter, cream, fresh garlic, parm. cheese: make sauce ahead (melt 1/2 C butter be careful not to brown, add 2 cloves pressed garlic and gently sauté for a few minutes to infuse butter-again be careful not to brown-stir constantly, add 2 cups heavy cream and heat until slightly thick, take off heat and add 3 cups grated parm cheese- I like the Della brand-I think that's the name- least expensive parm cheese found in most grocery stores- I tried with a parm aged for longer from BJ's Wholesale club but it had a metallic taste in this sauce so I stick with the least inexpensive kind) re-heat on serving day (I've re-heated left-overs no problem) boil store-bought fettuccine noodles, serve with steamed green beans and raw veggies or salad. Tuna pizza's: broil plain tortillas without tuna first being careful not to burn tortilla's, prick with fork if they puff up, flip and broil until crispy. Top with mixed tuna and mayo, lightly sprinkle with garlic salt, dried oregano, and shredded cheese return to broiler and broil until done. My Mom's hamburger pie from the 70's, originally on the back of a Crisco can: make double pie crust add 1/2-1 teas. onion salt to flour to make onion pastry, brown 1lb ground beef with chopped onion, drain add 2 cups frozen or canned green beans, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 1 can condensed tomato soup (I substitute a homemade version following the recipe, which is easier than most homemade recipes, for Homemade Conensed Cream of Mushroom Soup on Brooklynfarmgirl.com omitting mushrooms and adding in tomato paste-maybe 3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste or slightly more), 1/8 tsp. oregano, salt and pepper. Bottom crust, filling, top crust with slits to vent. Bake 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

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  19. "When I was staggering through December..." You have no idea how that encourages me today. I'm due the end of this month, and approaching 40 as well... Add a major cold that I've been fighting for two weeks, and I am just feeling a bit discouraged. So glad to know that you are bouncing back now!

    As for Sunday lunch, I've been doing better too with having something to serve soon after we get home. I was blessed to get a lot of boneless chicken thighs for a great price, so sometimes I season those and put them in the oven. My oldest son also shot two deer this winter and one day I put a seasoned backstrap in to bake. Boston butt was on sale at our local grocery recently and I found a melt-in- your- mouth recipe on Pinterest that I baked all Saturday night. So for the meat, it kind of ends up being what I have on hand. When we have a beef butchered, roast beef is a favorite. And I second the whole baked chicken that was mentioned already. I often put white and sweet potatoes into the oven with the meat to bake, then cook a vegetable and make a salad when we get home. Sunday is one day I try to have a dessert as well. I have two teenage daughters now who are great help at doing that ahead on Saturday. My oldest makes pie crusts for the freezer and then it's easy to make a pie or two without much work.

    Sometimes we come home and make breakfast for lunch. That's well received by my family but ends up being more last minute work. A baked potato near is a quick option too if I make the meat mixture ahead.

    Deborah

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    1. Deborah -
      And I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets discouraged in those last weeks of pregnancy. I hope all goes well with the birth of your child and you can soon be cuddling a precious newborn.
      Gina

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  20. Crock pot sausage and potatoes is one of our favorites too! Another is Elegant Chicken line casserole with chipped beef.Layer chicken breasts next. Top each breast with half slice of bacon. Mix 1can cream of chicken soup with 1cup sour cream; spread over chicken. Bake 3hrs at 300

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  21. Our favorite quick meal for Sunday lunh is breaded frozen fish (good quality from Costo) and baked potatoes. I melt butter in a foil lined pan, sprinkle with paprika then cut the potatoes in half and place in the pan. The fish goes in another pan. Both bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I usually make cole slaw on Saturday and steam a vegetable to go with this. Lunch is on the table quickly with this menu.
    I also suggest you get a new large crock pot with a timer feature. You set the number of hours you want the food to cook and then it will turn to warm.
    Another Sunday favorite is chicken breasts, chopped onion, and cream of chicken soup in the crockpot on high for 4 hours. After church I bone the chicken and add it back to the pot, heat up some brown rice that was baked the day before, and steam a vegetable. I try to do a lot of the preparation the day before such as making salads, chopping vegetables, sauces, etc.

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  22. I have various meals I make and the latest favorite is to put 1-2 cups of rice in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Season to your liking. Pour twice the amount of water/milk over it. Add a can of soup if you like (or make a thin white sauce). Lay frozen pieces of chicken or fish over top. Cover with foil and bake all morning on low or put on time bake at a higher temperature. Serve with a cooked vegetable or salad. Simple. The recipe is very versatile; you can add or delete or alter to your taste...just as long as you have enough liquid for the rice. Sausage laid over the rice would be good too. I never did that yet...maybe next Sunday!

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  23. I buy hamloaf on sale, make balls, freeze on a tray, place in Ziploc bags and all I need to do Sunday morning is get needed amount, put in oven, and set the time for the oven to start. I also put home canned BBQ green beans in the oven. I either have baked potatos in the oven too or make instant mashed potatoes when we get home. I save this meat and veggies for Sundays and it is my family's favorite! The children aren't too happy if I run out of hamballs and make a different kind of meat!

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  24. I'm reading this to gather ideas, since I don't really have any ideas myself. We often just eat leftovers. However I would recommend getting a new crockpot...if you watch sales I've seen them go on sale often.

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  25. our Sunday lunch- Generally I like to lay meat out in the fridge overnight so it is partially thawed. roast, pork roast, chicken etc. Sunday morning pop the meat in oven and make a quick side dish (I like to try to have lunch in the oven in 15 mins.) mac n cheese, baked rice, baked potatoes. I really like to have a potato day once in awhile and put sweet potato pudding, mashed potatoes, or gourmet potatoes in the freezer to pull out on Sunday. When I do that I "try" not to use them through the week but save that as my quick meal for Sunday. Cook a veggie when we get home - unless no one wants to wait. If I don't have any dessert around sometimes I mix up instant pudding on Saturday night.Enjoyed all the ideas. Thanks! for bringing up the subject.

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  26. Sunday lunch is one that I struggle with so I enjoyed reading the ideas. If you asked my children what we have the most for Sunday lunch they would probably say "Rice". I set the oven to delay start and bake at 350 for 45 min to hour for brown rice(2 cups to 5 cups water) in a 2 quart baking dish. It is better if covered with a lid or foil but I don't always. Some rice doesn't take as long to cook so consider that if you are using another kind. I may add frozen cooked chicken to thaw till it starts and after home stir it in, add cheese, etc and you have a casserole. Cook a vegetable or add a salad. Sometimes we use the delay start for baking chicken thighs or meatloaf. I have also cooked corn in the oven. Place frozen corn in baking dish preferably with a lid and add plenty of water. It begins to thaw till the oven starts.
    Since this is Tues I have plenty of time to think ahead for Sunday. :) Thanks for the inspiration!
    Christine (mother of Chiara)

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  27. Our Saturdays are family time also. The last thing we all want to do is stay home and fill our time with our weekly routines. We try to keep Sundays simple and a day of rest. Our meals will be leftovers or sausages on buns or pizza... Just something that doesn't require much so we can set the day aside. I am enjoying all the comments and love peeking into your world Gina! God bless.

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  28. We do our homeschool on Mon.-Thurs., so then Friday is saved for cleaning, which a large part is done by the children. I mostly organize and cook for Sundays on Fridays. That way I am not pressured on Saturday, because Tony is home, and we all want to do things together! I love the day of rest on Sunday, and try to work ahead so that I can actually rest! If a week is hectic, Tony says- "Home-canned soup and toasted cheese is great for Sunday lunch!" And when there is a new baby to enjoy- schedules do go out the door!!

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  29. My crockpot acts a little like yours does, and I have a trick for you to try that may help. I add a layer of tin foil under the lid...folded down over the edge of the crock. It seems to speed up my crockpot's cooking time considerably. Hope it works for you!

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca -
      I am so glad you mentioned this. I recently noticed that my crockpot lid does not fit well and wondered if I would layer in some tin foil if it would help keep the heat in. I'm trying this today.
      Gina

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  30. Quesadillas are a big favorite and very easy for Sunday lunch. I always have either canned or frozen taco meat around, and if I get really ambitious, I might squash up a couple of avocados with salt and lemon juice for a quick guacamole. Shredded lettuce and salsa and we're ready!

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  31. When cooking supper during the week, if time permits, I will make a double batch of whatever I'm preparing, label it, stick it in the freezer, and after doing that for several days there are options of what to pull out to thaw/bake while I'm at church!
    With 5 little children, who act ravenous till we get home, this is a simple, quick way to fill tummies before settling in for afternoon naps!

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  32. That sausage dish sounds great - I will try that! I have a whole category devoted to this on my blog because it is such a unique meal when children are involved!!! I do like a crockpot, but it's hard to find recipes that work for Sunday noon, I think. I often do roast beef with carrots and potatoes. Just make gravy and maybe peas or have coleslaw when we get home.

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  33. In case you upgrade your slow cooker, I'll link my all-time favorite for Sunday lunch, especially if we are having guests. Usually the only thing I preprep for the pork chalupas is shredded lettuce but diced onions, tomatoes and/or peppers can be served also. I serve rice as a side dish which can be cooked at your convenience. Super easy, economical, and full of flavor...http://allrecipes.com/recipe/77154/pork-chalupas/

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  34. I often do as another commenter said-put a roast (I put it in frozen)in the crockpot on low. Let it cook overnight, add potatoes and carrots in the morning. It's fall-apart-tender but can sometimes be a bit dry (just to warn you).

    I also LOVE my 9x13 crock pot. I use it for lasagna on Sundays sometimes (with uncooked noodles) and it seems to be done in about 3 hours, which is a perfect time frame for my schedule.

    Sunday dinners are challenging, for sure. Thanks for posting about this-I've enjoyed reading the responses.

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  35. Wow, lots of good ideas here. I'm in the same boat as you, wanting to get lunch on asap since we have hungry and tired little ones. A few of our favorites:

    -chili soup, put together the day before and heated in the crock pot all morning. Serve with bread, pickles, and cheese.

    -Baked Seasoned chicken breasts: Slice the breasts through so they're butterflied. Mix one can cream of chicken soup with 1/2 cup lemon juice, pour over top. In the morning, sprinkle with bread crumbs and pour melted butter over top. Bake uncovered for one hour at 350. A covered pan of rice bakes in this time as well, so lunch is almost completely done in the oven. Both of these can be put together Saturday night.

    We also love ricardo chicken and rice and beans. I season the chicken the night before and refrigerate it. The chicken needs to bake longer than the rice, so I saute the rice and add the water before church, then finish cooking it when I'm home.

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  36. What about having a freezer meal for Sunday and taking it out of the freezer Saturday to thaw? I did this for a while but I got out of the routine of it.

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  37. what kind of sausage do you use in your sausage and potato recipe? It sounds yummy. I have been having a really hard time thinking of meals to make not because of a new baby but because we are empty nesters most of the time. thanks to all for the ideas

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    Replies
    1. We do our own butchering so we have sausage links that I use. But any kind of raw sausage should work.
      Gina

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  38. When I am organized, I like to make a large pot of some kind of soup earlier in the week. We then can eat the leftovers with sandwiches or bread (or other simple things to assemble while soup is heating up) for Sunday lunch.

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  39. I am glad you have perked back up...you are definitely very young still, in my opinion.

    We make the Sunday meal ahead of time. My 5 children are all young adults, 2 married. Sunday lunch may be as small as 3 or as large as 12 or more. Some days we eat at other's houses. Our most often made Sunday lunch during the colder months of October to April is chicken stuffing casserole. We make it up ahead and put it on the oven timer before we leave for church. There is always a loaf of bread, butter, jam and peanut butter spread, lots of pickles, cheese plate. I usually have several quarts of soup in the refrigerator that can be heated last minute if we need to stretch. Dessert is cake, pie, cookies, pudding...whatever we baked in the last day or two. I freeze pies too, so it is easy enough to put one into the hot oven when we get home if we need to stretch dessert too, and it bakes while we eat the other food. Sunday lunch is a very leisurely meal...we are not eating in a rush because we have other stuff to do or places to be. We are together because we want to spend pleasant relaxing time with whomever happens to be at our table.

    During summer we have cold salads made up, like pasta salads with tuna or fake crab meat and side dishes like fruit salad and fresh vegetables. Buns, cold meat, cheese is a happy choice too. We do our Sunday morning breakfast ahead of time, also...overnight sweetrolls or an earlier made coffee cake that we take from the freezer and put into bake/heat while we are getting ready.

    I have never used a meal plan, not once. I keep a good grocery list and I know to buy things that I will definitely use in any recipes I have. My family does not at all mind leftovers. I often think of what I am making for dinner on my way home from work (school librarian) thinking through what is in the fridge. Or I have premade the dinner the night before.

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  40. I definitely believe in simple but hearty Sunday lunches. :) I like to only have to cook a vegetable when we get home from church. Our favorite Sunday lunch is hamloaf and baked potatoes. Sunday morning involves dumping the hamloaf into the crockpot and placing some scrubbed & pricked potatoes on top. Cook on high around 4 hrs. (BUT this crockpot does tend to cook faster than another one I have). Another favorite is beef, veal or pork roast(can be seasoned or marinaded earlier). Braise roast in a little lard in iron skillet for several minutes on each side. Place in crockpot with potatoes on top. A favorite simple oven recipe is chicken and rice.Put rice and water (along with coconut milk or oil & seasonings) in a baking dish. Lay chicken pieces on top. (This works in a crockpot too, but we like crispy skin ). My oven's timer doesn't work so I bake on low (200-225)for several hours.

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  41. This is so inspiring... I too struggle with Sunday lunches. Our favorite is this: http://hopeful-things.blogspot.com/2011/10/herb-roasted-chicken.html Thaw some chicken thighs the night before, then chop up potatoes, make the sauce & pour over everything, set the oven on time bake and voila! so yum!

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  42. Hamloaf casserole! Fill a 9X13 casserole with oven ready hamloaf, dump on a can of cream of chicken, cover with frozen hash brown potatoes (or your own cooked and shredded), top with shredded cheese. Cover and bake the whole Sunday morning in a slow oven. Serve with canned green beans, pickles, and bread or rolls. Complete meal, good enough for guests, and NO COMPLAINTS from the family (which is saying alot when you are feeding 7.)

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  43. I usually make chili in the morning. My husband likes it very plain so it consists of cooked ground beef, beans in tomato sauce, chili powder and ketchup. I cook the ground beef and put it with the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot and leave it on low while we go to church. All we have to do is dish up. If I'm feeling energetic I will add a salad or some chopped up veggies. Then we usually have pancakes for supper on Sunday night. If I have already made chili in the week, I will make some buns and we will have sandwiches when we get home. Lunch meat is too pricey so I will do peanut butter and jam, or fry some eggs for breakfast sandwiches. I will also put out dishes of pickles and some cut up fruit or veggies if we have them :)

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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