Quick Dinner Ideas

Catheline - posted on 10/08/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Help, I work 12-14 hours a day and on my days off the last thing I want to do is cook. I am looking for quick ideas for meals that will last in the freezer all week so that I can continue to feed my family nutrious meals.

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Tabby - posted on 10/12/2009

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I have a couple of standby favs for my family.

1) Taco Casserole

ground meat- 1-2 lbs depending on family size

refried beans- 1-2 cans " " (can also sub w/ chili)

shredded cheese- as much as you like

tortillas- your preference of corn or flour

onion- optional

taco seas- 1 pk per lb of meat



Preheat oven to 350*. Cook and drain meat and onions. While meat is cooking layer a pan w/tortillas. When meat is done, add beans and seasoning. Stir until completely mixed. Once mixed turn off heat and make layers of cheese, meat mix, and tortillas until meat mix is gone. Add top layer of tortillas and cheese. Cook in oven for 10-15 mins until hot all the way thru. Cut into squares and serve. Top w/ sour cream and salsa optional.



Another one a little more complicated.



2) Taco Dip

ground meat- 1-2 lbs depending on family size

onion- optional

sour cream

cheese

lettuce

taco seas- 1 pk per lb of meat usually

tomato

refied beans or chili beans- 1 can per pound of meat usually

1 can olives





Cook and drain meat. Mix beans and seas completely into meat. On tray or platter spread out meat mixture. Top with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, onions,and olives. Serve with tortilla chips.



Both of these can be increased and used for pot lucks- especially the taco dip. Nearly all ingrediants can be optional. I also prefer ground turkey instead of beef- less fat.

Cathy - posted on 10/09/2009

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Hi Catheline!



I have just the recipe for you! I got it out of my Down-Home Cooking without the Down-Home Fat cookbook. I have copied the recipe as well as the nutritional information for you. The good news is it is healthy, easy, fast, and your family will love it! It is one of my husband's favorites! You might want to check out their website Cooking for Busy People as well. I have found alot of free recipes there that are really good too! I hope you like this one!





Beef & Rice Casserole

This is so good, your family will be sitting with fork in hand asking for more, more, more!



1 pound ground beef (eye of round)

2 1/2 cups water

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 (1.2-ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix

1 tablespoon minced garlic or bottled minced garlic

2 cups instant rice

1 (8-ounce) container fat-free sour cream



• Combine the ground beef, water, mushrooms, soup mix, and garlic in a large nonstick 3-quart saucepan.

• Bring the casserole to a boil and stir in the rice.

• Remove the pan from the heat.

• Cover the pan and let it stand 5 minutes.

• Stir the sour cream into the casserole.

• Let it stand for 2 minutes before serving.



Note: You may substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast or pork tenderloin cut into bite-size pieces for the beef.



Yield: 6 (1-cup) servings



(with beef) Calories: 276; Fat: 4g (14% fat); Cholesterol: 45mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Protein: 23g; Sodium: 580mg

(with chicken) Calories: 259; Fat: 2g (7% fat); Cholesterol: 48mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Protein: 24g; Sodium: 589mg

(with pork) Calories: 269; Fat: 4g (13% fat); Cholesterol: 49mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Protein: 22g; Sodium: 572mg



Preparation time: 5 minutes or less

Cooking time: 15 minutes or less

Total time: 20 minutes or less

24 Comments

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Tamra - posted on 10/13/2009

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To save time I like to buy meat for the week on Sunday and cook it all according to what I plan to make - then I seal it and put in fridge - then when I get home all I have to do is heat is up in the microwave and finish - you'd be surprised how much of your cooking time is just cooking the meat portion - I also get rice ready as well as that takes time if you don't want instant rice :) Hope this helps...

Melissa - posted on 10/13/2009

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My family likes the Green bean Tator Tot Casserole

1.5lbs ground beef a small onion brown and drain grease and 2 cans tomato soup 2 cans green beans any style pouur into 9x13 cake pan top with cheddar cheese and tator tots bake at 400* for 20-30 minuites or until tots are golden brown and serve very quick and delicious! can vary with mushroom soup instead of tomato and corn instead of green beans both ways are great!

Terri - posted on 10/13/2009

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Have you considered crock pot meals? As a working mom I have had to devise ways to shorten my cooking time. Last night we had chicken and dumplings - home made! I cooked my chicken in the crock pot, seasoned well and with a bit of stock overnight on low. I turned it off and let it cool while I got ready for work and put it in the fridge during the day. When I got home I skimmed off the fat, boned the chicken, put all of the drippings in a pot with more stock, milk, diced carrots and made up Bisquick dumplings and let them cook and used about half of the chicken, so prep/cook time was around 30 minutes. You can always throw in a bag of frozen mixed veggies if you like those - its a simple recipe you can play with. Tonight I'm using the rest of the chicken to make chicken pot pie using Bisquick again to make the crust, a can of cream of chicken soup along with a can of cream of celery soup and the chicken and a can of Veg-all. I cook my spaghetti sauce in the crock pot while I'm at work and then all I have to do is prepare pasta and bread when I get home. I also cook roasts (both beef and pork), what we call crock pot beef (either beef cubes or cubed steak browned first) along with lipton beefy onion soup mix, a can of cream of mushroom or roasted mushroom and garlic condensed soup and some water. I cook chili in it too. Those things I put on first thing in the morning, leave the crock pot on low and let it cook until my 14 year old gets home and she then sets the crock pot on warm until I get home an hour later. There are TONS of cookbooks for crock pot meals! Good luck with it! God bless.

Kathy - posted on 10/12/2009

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I buy the big can of chili beans, mild flavored, add a large can of diced or crushed tomatos, some garlic powder, onion powder, and its done...I make an easy corn bread from a pkg, and theres dinner, with a tossed salad, its quick and tasty will last a few days anyway..good for the chilly weather...

Tabby - posted on 10/12/2009

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This is a great idea. With the taco casserolle recipe I posted you could double it and freese half for another meal. I have done this with many recipes.

Kathy - posted on 10/12/2009

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those all sound delish! I have a very simple recipe for small kids who can't quite handle a taco without it spilling out, this has the taste but easier to eat, You simply get a bag of doritos, I chose the cheesy kind, hamburger, sour cream, shredded cheese, taco sauce , taco meat seasoning, ...crush the doritos, (any flavor) cook hamburger and drain, add seasoning packet and follow directions on pkg. place a layer of crushed chips on bottom of backing pan, (I spray with pam) layer meat, sour cream and cheese like lasagna, and end with cheese on top, bake until cheese melts and is bubbly, you may put taco sauce, shredded lettuce , diced tomatoes on top , serve , it may be cut into squares. very easy very fast to make and cheaper and less mess than taco bell..yummy. adults like it as well.

Darlene - posted on 10/11/2009

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I cheat and always look up kraft websites! On there I have found so many easy meals and fast too!!! Or even campbells. Worth a try!

Christiane - posted on 10/11/2009

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I really like all the suggestions so far. I buy ground beef and turkey in bulk and portion it out into 1lb portions and freeze them. Then I only need to defrost, brown and dump in some store-bought spaghetti sauce, stuff for chili (I also buy beans and corn in bulk), gravy and frozen mixed veggies for Sheppard's pie, etc.

I also like the pre-mixed salads. They are a little bit more expensive but I think they are worth it for the time it saves and there is such a huge variety (I love the Asian Crunch - add some peanut butter to the dressing and mandarin oranges and it's amazing). Also, buying meat in bulk saves money so I figure it's a wash. I unusually grill some chicken breasts at the beginning of the week and save them to use throughout the week in salads to make an easy one-dish meal.

I hope this helps a little. Cheap, healthy, kid-friendly, and quick meals are such a challenge.

Mandy - posted on 10/11/2009

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I know what you mean. I also work a full time job, on my feet all day. A dish my family likes is chicken and rice. I buy the rice you boil in a bag. A large can of chicken breast and cream of chicken soup. Cook rice and add everything together in a dish. Salt and pepper to taste and bake on 350 till hot. I like to add shreaded cheese to mine after its almost done. Reheats great too!

Michelle - posted on 10/11/2009

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me too i work 12 hour shifts as a nurse, freeze mince meat made into chilli con carne then you only have to boil the rice or make chicken and add uncle bens sauces like sweet and sour etc these can all be frozen and again you ony have to boil rice or potatoes

Annemarie - posted on 10/11/2009

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How about using the crock pot. 1 chuck roast, 1 can of cream mushroom soup, 1 pkg of liption on soup. Put in all in crock pot ad half a can of milk. Set to high for 8 hours and it's nice and hot when you get home. microwave a bag of frozen vegies and a salad and you have a great meal

Joyce - posted on 10/11/2009

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Dinner in less than a half hour and my kids love it!

Ground Meat Stroganoff
1 pound lean ground meat
½ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
1 (10 ½ ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream (8 ounce container)

Hot buttered noodles or rice

In a deep skillet, brown ground beef .
Add onion and cook until tender but not brown.
Drain off excess fat.
Add salt, pepper, and paprika - stir.
Stir in mushroom soup (do not add water!)
Cook slowly (uncovered) over low heat -20 minutes (stir frequently).
Stir in sour cream… heat through but DO NOT LET BOIL.
Serve over hot buttered noodles or rice. [we’ve eaten it with just bread too]

Serves 4 – 6.

Heather - posted on 10/10/2009

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A great qiuck and easy one. Depending on the size of the family will depend on the amounts you need. I make it for myself and have plenty left over.



1 can Black Beans(DO NOT Drain)

1 can Shredded Chicken(find it by canned tuna)

Mild Cheddar Cheese(can use any cheddear type you choose)

Tortillas

In pot add beans and chicken together(can add onion also) cook until hot. Put on tortillas top with cheese. Fold into burrito. Super Fast and Filling!!!

Allison - posted on 10/10/2009

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Post a reply!i have done this in my home and at the daycare where i work. kids LOVE this, it is a regular at the daycare, i'm not sure you can freeze it but it takes about 30 minutes. cut refrigerator biscuits in 1/4, put in bowl with pizza sauce, cheese, meat, anything you want on your pizze. mix together. bake in greased pan 350 degrees until done. it is seriously good. plus it is very flexible-i made it with chicken and nacho cheese soup and it was really good and cheesy. i hope you try it and enjoy.

Catheline - posted on 10/10/2009

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Thank you Cathy, that sounds delicious! I'll add it to the menu for this week, I have two very picky-eaters, but this sounds like a dish they would be willing to try.( Fingers crossed) I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

Catheline - posted on 10/09/2009

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Thank you ladies!! you have given me some great ideas. I'll head over to the store this weekend, I'll keep you posted.

Rebecca - posted on 10/08/2009

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pasta's are always easy, like lasagna type things freeze well. When I am cooking I make extra and freeze one for later. Enchiladas, mexican lasagna, casseroles, pasta. Let me know if I can help anymore.

Dianet - posted on 10/08/2009

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have you seen the rachel ray 30 minute meals book...i got it and is really great

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