Overcoming Fallback Recipe Mode

With such gorgeous weather outside, Ryan and I knew we had to take advantage of the wonderful breeze before the sweltering Florida heat kicks in.

We decided a trip to the dog park was in order and Sadie was more than happy to romp around with a stick the size of her face.

Sadie and Her Stick... Err... Log

Nom, Nom

Clearly Sadie couldn’t get over how fantastic her stick was…

"Oooh Stick, I Love You"

Sadie + Ryan (+ Stick)

Smilin' at the Park

"I'm Just a Love Machine!"

 After the park we headed home to make some dinn-ah.


I didn’t realize it at the time, but Ryan and I bought three packs of chicken (two packs of breasts and one pack of ground chicken) at the grocery store earlier this week.

Oddly enough, I’m not a huge fan of chicken unless it’s really doctored up in a tasty recipe. It bores me otherwise.

Seeing the numerous chicken packages we had to use this week, my mind went into instant “fallback recipe mode,” and I figured we’d use the chicken in three dishes we make for dinner regularly:

Though they’re delicious, I realized I wasn’t really looking forward to any of these dinners.

That’s no way to live!

A big turning point for me in adopting healthier eating habits was making healthy meals I wanted to eat and couldn’t wait to enjoy.

Before work today, I still had my “fallback recipe” blinders on and threw the ground chicken into the crock pot with taco seasoning and ¾ cup of water to cook on low all day. I figured we’d behaving tacos tonight.

When I thought about dinner on my drive home, I realized I wasn’t in the mood for tacos. I knew I’d just be eating them because they were there and easy.

So, what’s a girl to do? Get creative in the kitchen!

Oh Crock Pot, How I Love You

Instead of using the chicken in tacos, I decided to use it to create taco pasta!

My taco pasta included:

  • One serving Carba Nada egg fettuccine noodles
  • 3 ounces ground chicken (prepared in the crock pot with taco seasoning)
  • One Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese wedge
  • 1/2 c. diced portobello mushrooms, sautéed
  • 1/4 c. diced onion, sautéed
  • 1/4 c. corn
  • 1 hard shell taco, crushed

While I cooked the noodles, I sautéed the mushrooms and onion and microwaved the frozen corn.

Onion + Mushrooms

When everything was ready, I drained the noodles and topped them with the veggies, chicken, crumbled hard shell taco and cheese and stirred it all up until everything was taco-tastic!

Taco Pasta

With the Fixins


Fiesta in a Bowl

Close Up

Though tacos are delicious, this meal tasted like victory! I overcame the fallback recipe hump and made myself a dinner I wanted to eat and thoroughly enjoyed.


Dessert was simple and simply delicious: Gingersnap cookies.


They were a great conclusion to a great meal.

So what about you… Do you ever fall victim to fallback recipes?

21 Responses

  1. your dinner looks AMAZING! I always end up just having the plain old grilled chicken. Thanks to you I’m collecting all these delicious meal ideas!!

    Have a great night!

    PS LOVE your head band!!

  2. Love the Sadie pics! I love when I am inspired in the kitchen to make something other than my usual, boring fallback recipes — so fun!

  3. Taco pasta sounds AWESOME!! I don’t use fall back recipes for myself, because I get bored so easily. But my hubby could and does eat the same thing everyday!

  4. Haha do I? Have you ever noticed the amount of flat bread pizzas and chicken quesadillas that I make? I totally need to stop with the fallback recipes.

  5. I love how you come up with last minute dinner ideas!! you are so creative & everything always looks delicious 🙂
    Oh, and I love that picture of Sadie with her mouth open- she’s so adorable! 🙂

  6. Awesome Julie!! I love that you did not settle and actually made something you WANTED to eat! Oh and I love that headband you had on at the park!

  7. I use my fall backs too often for company – because they are tried and true and I have no doubt that they will be good. When it is just me or I try new stuff all the time. But I do get my fair share of FAILS. Glad yours was a winner.

  8. I definitely have fall-back meals…I’m the worst about it at lunch– sometimes I look back and realize that I’ve had veggie burgers for like, five days straight!

  9. I love your head scarf — I’m a huge fan of them in the spring and summer! And your hair looks adorable up!

  10. AHH you are so creative! i LOVE that scarf on your head in that pic! YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! it will never get old.
    love that recipe-mmmm i may have to get some of those noodles!

  11. I must ask . . . what is in the crock pot? It looks like a handy-dandy bag of sorts that could possibly prevent me from having to scrub my crock pot 🙂 Is it? I’ve never seen anything like it.

    • yes! they are phenomenal!!! they’re reynolds crockpot liners & you can buy them at the grocery store by the foil and ziploc baggies. they save SO much clean up time!

  12. Good job girl. Its always better to eat something you actually want – it tastes so much better that way!

  13. The pasta sounds yummy. Better to eat what you’re in the mood for to prevent snacking later.

  14. I love your head band! Where did you buy it? I recently started wearing them and I think I’m addicted. 🙂
    Oh, that last shot of Sadie is absolutely stunning – the colour, focus and everything!
    Your dinner looks amazing! Yum yum! 🙂

    • thanks! i actually took that headhband from my sister’s “junk drawer” of things she didn’t want anymore several years ago. i have no idea where it’s from! i’m sorry!

  15. All the time! I definitely get stuck in recipe ruts. But I am really trying hard to try new things. And it is helping a lot.

  16. I usually plan out my meals and do one big grocery shop once a month (and just a few quick trips for more fruit, veg, or milk throughout the month). So, every time I plan my meals, I make sure to have the majority of my recipes be things I haven’t made before and then keep a few of my fallback recipes for when I’m too busy to whip up something new. I HAVE to make the new recipes because I already have the ingredients and don’t want to waste them!

  17. That breakfast looks awesome! I’m definitely going to try to tweak it a little into a vegan recipe and have it soon! P.S. I love reading your blog! I even added you to my blog roll today 🙂

  18. i am definitely a repeat offender. i need to remember to get creative! i am excited to have my own house so i can have a lot of ingredients on-hand to work with.

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