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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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Old 12-02-2005, 01:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Bucky, could I use a bag of frozen spinach in place of the escarole?
sure constance, i don't see why not. any green will work from kale to collards, to dandelions (my fave because the leaves are bitter, and the flowers placed on top at the end are sweet), but you may need to be more gentle with less hardy greens, or they might disintegrate into the soup.
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:14 PM   #12
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Casseroles, leftovers, veggie spagetti, rice and veggies are all good.

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Old 12-02-2005, 02:53 PM   #13
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Also, one of the most time consuming part of cooking is chopping, slicing and dicing the food. You can do that when you make purchase of vegs and meat while they are fresh, put it in containers so you can take them out as needed and freeze them... very handy when you make stir fries and such, it saves you lots of hassle!!
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Old 12-02-2005, 03:06 PM   #14
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I dont own a crockpot, but many people on here love them because you can throw a roast and some veggies in, and let it cook all day til you come home.
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:11 PM   #15
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Here are a few things that I do and they work out really well when I'm in a pinch and need to throw something together rather quickly.

Whenever I make something that requires ground beef, onion and garlic I brown up an extra 3 or 4 pounds. Then I freeze them in 1 pound portions.
This then can be used for these quick dishes.

1) Spagetti.......when I'm in a rush I just keep a jar of Ragu 7 Herb Sauce in the pantry and then add the thawed out ground beef with onions and garlic and then add in some additional spices (oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder, and a little hot sauce....I don't like a sauce thats really sweet). Sometimes I add some fennel seeds also. I'll seve it up with some frozen breadsticks and a fresh salad.....salad in a bag is wonderful.
**Sometimes I make extra portions of my homemade spagetti sauce and freeze it**

Oh......and if I know the next day is going to be just as rushed as the 1st I'll make a double portion of this (2 jars...or equivelant of homemade sauce - 2 pounds of the ground beef mixture and double up on the spices). So on day 1 we have spagetti on day 2 I'll toast some Hoagie Buns.....spread some of the sauce mixture and top it with Mozerella Cheese or an Italian Blend Cheese and wrap it in foil and pop them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes and there you have a Stromboli Sandwich.......serve it up with whatever side you want.

2) Do the same as above regarding browning the ground beef except add chopped onion, chopped green peppers. This is perfect to whip up a batch of Chili......doesn't take that long at all. Thaw out the meat and then all you have to do is add water, can of kidney beans, can of petite diced tomatoes with mild green chili peppers, can tomatoe sauce, s & p, ground cumin, chili powder and some hot sauce. You adjust the above to your taste......its just amazing how much chili pepper that truely goes into chili though.

3) When I make tacos I made additional portions of the meat mixture and freeze that in 1 pound portions too. This is a super quick way to have tacos.

4) I also brown ground beef by itself.........I don't discard the grease.....I just let it cool to room temp then freeze the meat and grease from the meat all in one package. I then make SOS........I can't say what that stands for but think bird droppings on a roof . I just reheat the meat/fat in a skillet. When its warmed through I sprinkle on a couple Tbsp. flour and let that cook in for about 2 minutes. I then add milk (2% or whole).........I'd start out with 2 cups. Stir that around and let it warm up and then add S & P to taste. Cook till it thickens. If you notice its too thick add a little more milk if its too thin then put a little flour in a cup and add some water to the cup while stirring the flour around with a fork to avoid lumps. Slowly stir this flour slurry into the gravy mixture. I'd start out with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 pepper then add more to your taste. Serve the gravy mixture over buttered toast.
We eat this for breakfast and for dinner.

I've found that my food vaccum sealer has been the best investment. Its so wonderful........I highly recommend one. I use it all the time to freeze stuff. I also use it to seal salad and slaw mixtures........they last a really long time this way otherwise I was always having to throw out the unused in a day or two because they were going bad. I also vaccum seal veggies. Some I freeze and others I keep in my crisper. Its so handy to pre chop/slice/etc... ahead of time then seal them.

I too can attest to Crock Pots.....they are wonderful! Although, I haven't really broadened past my 4 recipes......I should work on that.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:14 PM   #16
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Thanks a million for all of your ideas guys. I can sure use them. Now if only I could get me the perfect stool to sit on while cooking...being on my feet all day is excrutiating. I have used the cookbooks Alix and I already made my shopping list from their recipes for this coming week. Thanks for those books girl.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:40 PM   #17
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These are a few of my old reliable recipes that I cook all the time when I am wanting to get dinner on the table quickly. Nothing fancy, but easy and quick.


-Use an already cooked rotisserie chicken in dishes.

Quick Chili Stew

2 cans hormel chili (your fav. choice)
1 14oz. can tomatoes (stewed or chopped, your choice)
frozen corn thawed
dash chili powder
shredded cheddar cheese
Onion chopped (optional)

Heat chili and tomatoes together. Add chili powder and cook for a few minutes to let flavors blend. Now add corn and onion and cook until corn is warmed. Put into bowl, top with cheese and sour cream. Serve with crackers, rice, bread, or noodles.

Quick Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. round steak, thinly sliced
-if meat is partially frozen it will make slicing easier
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 T. butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1/2 t. paprika
Cooked egg noodles
dash of garlic powder (optional)

In skillet, cook onion in butter until just tender. Add meat and cook until color just changes. Add remaining ingredients except noodles. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally. Serve over noodles with sour cream.

Cheryl's Pizza Pie

1 lb. hamburger meat or ground turkey
1 jar ragu robusto
Chopped onion (optional)
1 can large refrigerated biscuits
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 6oz. package Mozzarella cheese slices

Brown meat (with onion). Pour just enough spaghetti sauce in to coat and cook for a few minutes to let flavors blend together. In a pie pan make a crust with the biscuits just to the top. Be careful not to bring the crust up because the biscuits with expand when cooking. On the bottom of the biscuits sprinkle some parmesan cheese. layer 1/3 meat. layer a few slices mozzarella, another 1/3 meat, another layer of mozzarella, then finish with meat on top. Cut mozzarella into strips and layer in cross fashion on top to look like a pie. Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Ganny's Ham Tetrazzini
-This was my great grandmother's recipe it is pretty rich, but perfect for a
cold weather meal

1 cup cooked ham, diced
2 T. onion, diced
1 T. butter
1/2 cup water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 T. sherry (if desired)
1 6 oz. package spaghetti, cooked
1 T. parsley

Brown ham and onion in butter until onions are tender. Mix water and soup and add the onion mixture. Add cheese and sherry. Cook over low heat until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Add spaghetti and parsley.

5 can Casserole
1 rotesserie chicken cut into pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can pet milk
1 can chinese noodles
American or cheddar cheese grated

Mix all ingredients except cheese together. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cover with cheese and return until cheese is melted.

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...en+sensational
Use rotesserie chicken

Orange chicken over rice

1 lb. chicken tenders
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups rice cooked

Brown chicken tenders in a little oil or cooking spray. Combine marmalade and orange juice and add to skillet with chicken. Stirring occasionally cook about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve warm over rice.


Taco Salad is always a favorite and easy to make
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