Simple meal ideas?
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Tamara - posted on 03/26/2013
Here are a few of our family favorites....
CHICKEN 'N NOODLES
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 2 cans cream of chicken soup (I use healthy request); 3 cans chicken broth (42 oz total); 1 stick butter cut up; 1 pkg. (24oz) Reame's frozen egg noodles; bag of frozen veggies (if desired)
Mix soup and broth in crock pot. Put in butter and chicken breasts. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove, shred and replace chicken and add in frozen egg noodles (and frozen veggies if desired). Cook on low 1 hour then turn off crock pot. **I will not put all the chicken back in and/or sometimes cook extra to shred and mix w/ BBQ sauce to be eaten at another time.
CHICKEN AND GRAVY
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 per person or as much as your family needs); dried beef (rinsed and dried); bacon (I use center cut for less fat.); cream of chicken soup (I use healthy request) - about 1 can per chicken breast, more if more gravy is desired
Line baking dish with dried beef and place chicken on top. Lay strips of bacon across top (2-3 pieces should be fine) and cover entirely with cream of chicken soup. Bake at 375 for about 90 minutes, until bubbling all over and turning golden brown on top. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. ** Warms up wonderfully! ** Can be made ahead, such as before work, and baked later in the day. ** Easy to adjust amount to serve a couple or several people. ** Add extra soup if your family likes a lot of gravy.
1 Boston butt roast; smokey mesquite grilled seasoning; 1-2 cups apple cider vinegar; 2 cups water; 1 onion; bottle of favorite BBQ sauce
Season roast w/ mesquite seasoning and place in crock pot. Slice/chop onion and place in w/ roast. Add in the water and vinegar. Cook on low for 8-12 hours. (I cook mine all night). Roast will fall apart when ready. Remove and shred roast and drain the crock pot. If you want onion in your final pulled pork, chop it up finely and mix w/ the meat. Layer meat, sprinkle of seasoning and BBQ sauce into the crock pot until all meat is used, finishing w/ sauce. Heat on low for another 2-3 hours or until heated thoroughly. Serve on buns or plain.
YUMMY GREEN BEANS
I cook my green beans in the crock pot w/ onion and bacon (and garlic when I have it) all day. They are full of flavor and amazingly tender, and we all love them that way. Great for when you're taking a side to a gathering or having company for dinner!
When we grill, I try to grill multiple kinds of meats - chicken, burgers, hot dogs, Italian sausage, etc. Everyone gets to choose their favorite or sample some of all. More importantly, 1 afternoon/evening of grilling provides us with meat for almost a week. I simply have to heat it and add a side (baked fries, heated up veggies and/or cut up fruit). Makes mealtime fast and easy when you're on the go or want to spend your time outside playing instead of inside cooking.
Tina Marie - posted on 03/25/2013
There are millions of resources to help you with this. (I had to learn myself many years ago.)
First I went to the library and found their cooking/baking section and just perused. Taking out several reliable named books like the Joy of Cooking and also newer Frugal referenced books and read their basic instructions for cooking & baking techniques. Plus they now have great magazines as well. Another fantastic resource is Allrecipes.com, at the top of page they have a section a use constantly. Click on the word INGREDIENT under the search box and then you can type in what you have in your kitchen (ex. chicken, pasta) and it will pull up recipes related to those. This will help you combine what you already have on hand. There are obviously thousands of websites, just google words like 'easy, simple,recipes', watch out for what I call 'designer recipes', like on cooking shows. They include costly ingredients that would blow your week's budget.
Simplier recipes are always more healthy, cost effective and flavorful than the premade/manufactured box foods a person can buy cheap with a coupon. They are mostly filled with salts, MSG and a tiny percentage of what you could make at home for pennies. Oh, and try crockpot recipes! Easy and flavorful, your house smells great and so easy to do. Also twice a month we get pizza, most of the time don't eat it all in one night (especially the plain dough outside pieces) because I make a salad too. Soo. I save the leftover pizza and toss in freezer. Then a few days later we have "leftover night" I use my other leftovers to top the pizza, (crumble meatloaf, a burger, cheese, italian seasoning, vegetables, just about anything else leftover from other meals goes great on pizza). Heat up in oven and you have an extra meal from what you already invested, plus your cleaning out the fridge. Most leftovers can be used tossed with boiled pasta and Parmasean cheese.
I also keep staples in my cupboard; cream of chicken soup, evaporated milk (comes in handy when run out of milk), canned tomatoes, pastas, egg noodles, Parmasean cheese. OOPPS I forgot there is one box of premade stuff I've used and that is onion soup mix, and I buy seasonings at the dollar store, especially ITALIAN seasoning, I use alot of. 2/1.00 I also found it easier to take half of most meals and put in freezer for another day before serving dinner. This way we don't over eat, goes to waste and I've saved work. I had also saved cookie crumbs in a freezer bag and when I collected a cup I just mixed it in a plain sugar cookie dough. Stale potato chips go great on a casserole topping of cooked noodles, cream of chicken soup mixed with a 1/2soup can's worth millk, and one cooked chopped piece of chicken mixed in, sprinkle with garlic salt, italian seasoning, bake until heated through 350. aprox 20mins.
Crock pot -Toss in a chuck roast, 2 cups water, 2 TBLSPsoy or worcestershire sauce, couple peeled onions, carrots and potatoes ( I do 2 for each person or fill the pot). After wards you can take the broth and use later for a soup and add noodles or orzo pasta, or you can chop leftovers, add cream of soup and cover with a pie crust for a pot pie, you can also add a small bag of frozen vegetables to increase yield if need more to fill pie or 13" pan. Biscuits are extremely easy to make or try the Bisquick box to get you started, they go with just about anything. Applesauce is a great side dish for any pork dinner, feel free to chop and heat up an old apples, sprinkle a little cinnamon & sugar if you want as a side or add to pancakes.
Anyway I've gone on too much, hope this helps. I'm sure you'll do great regardless!
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