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Old 12-01-2005, 06:53 PM   #1
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Looking for "Tried and True" QUICK meals

I'm wondering if I placed this thread in the wrong section, but I'm sure someone will set me straight if I did. I've started working (more like full time now) and don't have much time, might I add energy, to cook complicated dinners. Does anyone have any "tried and true" QUICK and easy dinners you can share with me? My family loves chicken and ground beef quite a bit. I appreciate your recipes posted here.

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Old 12-01-2005, 07:43 PM   #2
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My tried and true in a pinch cooking utensil is the George Foreman Grill. No one is saying you have to get his specific brand, as there are tons out there. Even still, cooks lightning (sp?) fast, and of quantity depending on the size you get. I can cook close to 2 pounds of chicken breast on mine in just a few minutes. Burgers done in maybe 5 minutes. Steaks and heartier meats more, but still fast. Nuke some veggies and make some quick rice, and a meal can be done in 15 minutes or less.

My other fail safe, TNT method is when I have time to cook, make plenty for leftovers!
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Old 12-01-2005, 08:10 PM   #3
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Well, Chicken and beef are two things that go GREAT with tomato sauce AND cream sauce! Cream sauce, I use soup. You can either saute the chicken in spices and then turn the heat down and pour the cream soup over it OR make the soup and add spices, then add the chopped chicken on LOW heat. Takes about 15 minutes.

The tomato sauce is somewhat similar. I use chopped garlic with rosemary (dried) with a dash of GOOD hotsauce and Mrs. Dash. Then throw in ground beef and simmer for about 15 minutes.

I sometimes make rice (NOT minute rice!!! Its EVIL!!! ) or pasta to go with it. But that adds to the cleanup.

Another good thing is RICE! Rice is versitile. Take olive oil, chopped tomatos, sea salt, CRACKED pepper, a hard grated cheese like Romono, capers if you like them, and chicken powder (seasoning) that IS powder. Use proportions that are common sense. Mix ALL of it. Mix it with the rice.
Boom bada BANG! Instant hit! You, of COURSE can add chicken or beef.
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:26 AM   #4
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Marinate the chicken breast the night before (preferably sliced thinly for quick cooking) with some evoo, wine, garlic, pepper and your choice of herbs or spices. Then broil it before the dinner, slap them into the pita or tortilla with some grilled veg, sort of quick fajita.

Chicken breasts are also delicious just sautčed with evoo or butter with some garlic, salt and pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Almost too simple but it works!

Make lots of meatballs with a few differnt sauces on a day you have more time... you can freeze them, too.

Precooked cous cous are very quick and easy option, quicker than pasta or rice. Prepare the condiments or sauce ahead of time...

also a few other suggestion...

spaghetti aglio olio & peperoncino
spaghetti amatriciana
bruschetta

I shall get back with you if I think of more idea which has escaped me just now...
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:15 AM   #5
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Sushi, I'm going to try the rice as you mentioned. Sounds good AND easy!
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:08 PM   #6
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If your family will go for the idea it can be lots of fun to have pancakes for dinner. You can make up a batch of pancake batter (with any add-ins that you like such as berries, chocolate chips, etc) ahead of time and keep it in the fridge (covered) for at least a couple of days. I also like to do French toast for dinner, and omelets can be great in a hurry too
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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One thing my family has always love is a dish I call "Sausage & Noodles". Brown 1 lb. of bulk pork sausage and a 1 lb. tube of breakfast sausage. I do this in a big bowl in the microwave. While browning meat, cook wide egg noodles till you can cut them with a spoon, but leave them pretty firm. Drain sausage well in a colander and put back in bowl. Add semi-cooked noodles, 1-2 cans crm of mushroom soup and one can of crm of chicken soup. Add a can of drained mushrooms and a tiny jar of drained pimientoes. Mix all together, top liberally with 1/4" slices of Velveeta Cheese. Nuke until cheese is melted and serve.
If you want to make it a truly one dish meal, throw a bag of frozen (or fresh) broccoli florets in with the boiling pasta at the last minute. The pasta pan, colander, and big bowl will be your only dirty dishes.
This makes enough for a couple of meals.

To vary this dish, buy a rotisserie chicken and dice up the meat. Use it in place of the sausage, and add a can of peas and carrots to the casserole.
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:36 PM   #8
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how about a quick and tasty soup, escarole e fagiole.

empty 2 cans of (rinsed to remove the goo) white beans into a large pot. cover with chicken or veggie stock, and put on medium heat to simmer.

wash and chop a large head of escarole. set aside.
smash and chop a whole head of garlic, toast in a generous amout of evoo over medium heat in a skillet, being careful not to burn it. add it to the simmering beans. do the same with a large diced onion, over higher heat.

when the beans are soft, add the escarole and let it wilt for a few minutes in the simmering beans/garlic/onions/stock.

there ya go. when serving, ladle soup into bowls, and shave a healthy amout of romano or locatelli on top. serve with warmed crusty italian bread and butter.
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:37 PM   #9
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Bucky, could I use a bag of frozen spinach in place of the escarole?
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:38 PM   #10
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Dina, my quick meals are usually stir frys or sandwich and soup night. There are lots of healthy options in those categories, and I know you are looking for that.

Don't forget about those cookbooks, Cooking For The Rushed is wonderful for time management, and for tasty meals. Since you live in a hot zone, the yellow one is the one you should be looking through. Trust me Dina, those books will save your butt when you are working. They have sure saved mine a time or two.

OH, and invest in a crockpot, there is so much you can do in one and just leave dinner cooking til you get home.
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