Please share your easy recipes with me!
April 4, 2009 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Wanted: YOUR easy and delicious meal recipes!!

I am a new mom (of an 8 week old) who will be returning to full-time work this Monday. I definitely feel like my hands are full, and the idea of making meals (at least, nutritious meals) leaves me feeling tiiiiired. I am looking for tried and true recipes that are easy to throw together, that taste good, and that AREN'T Hamburger Helper. We have a crock pot, and we aren't vegetarian or anything like that. So please, help me out by sharing your easy recipes!!
posted by I_love_the_rain to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 139 users marked this as a favorite
 
Chicken Marbella. Put it together the night before, let it cook in the oven while you're feeding the baby after work.

Also, Cookie magazine has a bunch of good, fast recipe suggestions.

And here's a piece from Mark Bittman with 101 Recipes in 10 minutes or less.

Cook things like stews, soups, and sauces on weekends, then freeze half to serve in a couple of months.
posted by palliser at 11:01 AM on April 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you cook chicken breasts, cook two or three times what you need, cube it (or shred if you use thighs/backs, etc) and keep it in the fridge for the next two nights. Add to your noodles/rice/potatoes and veggies; one less pan and less cleaning up after raw meat.
posted by variella at 11:06 AM on April 4, 2009


Schmeer a layer of mayo on a salmon fillet, squeeze lemon juice on it (or add a lemon slice), add herbs to taste, wrap it whole in tinfoil, and bake or broil at 350F for 20-30mins. YUM.
posted by not_on_display at 11:12 AM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


it is fast and easy to make pizza, either buy premade and packaged dough that lasts about two weeks in the fridge or make it yourself and bag it for later.
posted by Black_Umbrella at 11:20 AM on April 4, 2009


Pasta is my best friend when I'm feeling too tired to cook.

Carbonara: Mix 2 beaten eggs with about half as much grated parmesan cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Add meat if desired (I like bacon or prosciutto). Cook and drain pasta, pour egg mixture over it immediately and stir so that the heat of the pasta cooks the egg. (Ideally, of course. I usually end up turning the burner back on for a minute.)

Simple Tomato Sauce: Saute chopped onions and garlic in olive oil, add a big can of diced tomatoes and a splash of white wine. Add whatever else is in the fridge that needs to be used up. Season with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and a pinch of sugar. Serve over pasta.

Salmon Pasta: Cook and drain pasta. Add smoked salmon and chopped dried sweet chilis. Stir in a tablespoon or so of butter, then stir in some heavy cream until it coats the pasta.

Vermicelli

And this Hamburger and Macaroni recipe takes a half hour or so to put together. It sort of resembles Hamburger Helper, but it's so, so much better.
posted by tomatofruit at 11:37 AM on April 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Chicken wrapped in prosciutto with sage. It might be both the easiest and fanciest-looking meal I've ever made.

At the store, buy: Chicken breasts, fresh sage, prosciutto (You might even find pre-sliced prosciutto in the grocery store, usually next to the deli.) Grab a side vegetable you like and potatoes.

Recipe: First, butterfly the chicken breasts, then stuff some sage leaves inside and close it back up. Wrap one or two slices of prosciutto around the middle and then pan fry on both sides. It works well to put the floppy ends of the prosciutto down in the pan first so they stay put. If you use a non-stick skillet you don't even need to oil the pan.
On the side, saute some asparagus or green beans. I usually pan-steam the vegetables - saute in a pan for a minute then splash some water on them and cover until done. If you have time, this also goes great with potatoes, especially those little fingerling potatoes that you don't even have to cut up... just boil them and add a little butter.

Serving: Let it rest for a minute or two, then cut the chicken breasts in half at an angle. This ends up looking pretty nice, plus you can confirm that the chicken is done all the way through.
posted by belau at 11:46 AM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Schmeer a layer of mayo on a salmon fillet, squeeze lemon juice on it (or add a lemon slice), add herbs to taste, wrap it whole in tinfoil, and bake or broil at 350F for 20-30mins. YUM.

Seconding this. I also mix a little mustard into the mayo before smearing it on the fish, and I bake at a higher temp (425 or 450) for a shorter time, so the mayo-mustard mixture develops a crust. Delicious over rice.
posted by palliser at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Tuna Casserole:
1 box elbow macaroni
1 can Bumble Bee solid white albacore tuna fish (5oz)
1 can DelMonte sweet peas (15oz)
1 can Nestle Carnation evaporated milk (12oz)
1 can Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (10.75oz)
1 heaping tablespoon Helman's mayonnaise

boil and strain pasta, drain excess juices from pea and tuna cans, mix in all of the ingredients, dump into oven safe casserole dish, bake for ~45min @350 or until the top starts to get golden.

i listed specific brands since ive found that when i use different brands the end result doesn't taste quite as good...

also, you can put breadcrumbs or smashed up potato chips on the top of the casserole before baking to give it a bit of crunch if you want.

this is the easiest and most delicious tuna casserole you can make, hands down :)
posted by hummercash at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you like curry... here's a super-easy recipe that takes less than 20 minutes:
1. Stir fry some vegetables (bell peppers, napa cabbage, and mushrooms work great)
2. Add tofu, shrimp, or chicken
3. When everything is cooked through, put a spoonful of curry paste* in the pan
4. Mix in enough coconut milk to make a good sauce
5. Serve over rice
* Note: You can probably find red curry paste and coconut milk in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
posted by belau at 12:10 PM on April 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


My mom's lentil recipe:

1/2 lb lentils
1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
3-4 carrots, chopped
Salt, pepper, garlic, oregano to taste

Simmer in a pot with some water (I liked to add it little by little to keep the stew from thinning too much) for an hour or so. Serve over toast, rice, pasta, etc. There's a ton of protein in the lentils already, but you can throw in some ham or basically any kind of meat if you want. This makes enough for 6-8 people and the leftovers keep in the fridge well.
posted by telegraph at 12:14 PM on April 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hawaiian BBQ

3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breast (frozen or not)
1 small bottle your favorite BBQ sauce
1 can crushed pineapple (do not drain) or can pineapple chunks (do not drain)

Place chicken in crockpot. Mix BBQ sauce and undrained pineapple together. Pour over chicken. Cook on low until you get home.

I like to serve mine over rice.
posted by Sassyfras at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Carbonara...

++ on carbonara. It's easy and delicious. I reserve some of the fat from the meat to help cook the egg. I have a big bowl with the beaten-egg mixture ready, and time the bacon so it's done around the same time as the pasta. Toss the pasta in the egg mixture, then add the meat and fat and toss again. Lightly browning a clove of garlic (which you then discard) with the meat adds a nice touch, too.

My go-to meals when I'm feeling lazy usually involve a grill. Chicken|pork|shrimp|beef|whatever plus a little olive oil and whatever spice rub looks good. Quick side: cut russet potatoes lengthwise into six wedges. Boil for 6-7 minutes, drain, then toss with oil, S&P, maybe some of that spice rub. Toss onto the hot grill and turn when you turn your entree.

Another quick one is quesadillas. For the filling, sauté chicken, onion, and peppers, adding Goya Adobo to taste. Top a tortilla with shredded monterey jack and the filling, cook 'til crispy, and fold in half. Vigo makes a great yellow rice side that comes in sizes good for two or four people.

Last one: sauté some sausage and onions in a big pan. Add water, tomato paste, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, and green beans. Simmer until the sauce reduces a bit (maybe 20 or 30 minutes) and season to taste.
posted by Garak at 12:27 PM on April 4, 2009


We have a crock pot...

I was at a birthday party last weekend. A friend's Mom* and I got to talking about easy 'crock pot' recipes. I'm not much of a cook myself. She sent me the following recipes the other day. I'm going to try some of them this weekend/week.

* - She's a darling, since she typed these out with her left hand in a cast! That's love. Moms are great.
BEEF IN WINE

3 lb. stew beef, cubed
l can cream. Mushroom soup
1 pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced
l/2 cup red wine
l envelope dry onion soup mix

• Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover; cook on Low 8 hrs. Serve over noodles, rice, or pasta.

• You can also make the above with chicken - CHICKEN IN WINE - Just eliminate the fresh mushrooms, substitute red wine with one cup dry white wine, and substitute the dry onion soup mix with one can French onion soup. Serve over rice or potatoes.

BEEF BURGUNDY

5 medium onions, thin sliced
2 lb. stew meat, cubed
l-l/2 tbsp. flour
l lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
l tsp. salt
l/4 tsp. dried marjoram
l/4 tsp. dried thyme
l/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup beef broth (use canned)
l-l/2 cups burgundy wine

• Place onions in slow cooker.
• Dredge meat in flour. Add to slow cooker.
• Add mushrooms, salt, marjoram, thyme, and pepper.
• Pour in broth and wine.
• Cover; cook 8 hrs. on Low.
• Serve over cooked noodles.

COUNTRY-STYLE SPARERIBS

4+ lbs. country-style spareribs
Your favorite barbecue sauce
1 large onion, sliced

• Place onions in slow cooker.
• Top with spareribs.
• Pour barbecue sauce over to cover.
• Cover, cook on Low 6 hrs.
• Skim fat from juices before serving.

KRAUT & SAUSAGE

2 16-oz. cans sauerkraut, drained, rinsed
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
l large onion, chopped
2 strips bacon, diced
l lb. fully-cooked kielbasa

• Combine sauerkraut and brown sugar. Place in slow cooper.
• Add layers of onion, bacon, and top with sausage ring.
• Add enough water to cover half the sausage ring.
• Cover; cook on Low 5 hrs. or High 3 hrs.
• I take a pkg. of the ramen noodles, WITHOUT the seasoning packet, and add the noodles to the cooker about 10 min. before serving. They cook FAST in the cooker at this point.

CHICKEN VEGETABLE DISH

4 skinless chicken breast halves, bone-in l5-oz. can crushed tomatoes l pkg. frozen green beans
2 cups chicken broth
l cup brown rice, uncooked
l cup sliced mushrooms
3 carrots, coarse-chopped
l onion, chopped
l/2 tsp. minced garlic
l/2 tsp. herb seasoning
l/2 tsp. dried tarragon

• Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover; cook on High 2 hrs, then Low 3 hrs.

CHICKEN CACCIATORE
l large onion, thin sliced
l pkg. boneless chicken thighs
l pkg. boneless chicken breasts
2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
l pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced
l/2 cup dry white wine
l/2 tsp. pepper
l tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
l tsp. dried basil

• Place onion in slow cooker. Add chicken.
• Combine remaining ingredients; pour over chicken.
• Cover; cook on High 3-4 hrs. or Low 7-8 hrs.
• Serve over pasta of your choice.

COQ AU VIN

2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
4 thick slices bacon, fried, crumbled
l cup sliced button mushrooms
l garlic clove, minced
l tsp. dried thyme
l/2 tsp. black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
l/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
l/4 cup tomato paste
3 Tbsp. flour

• Layer ingredients in slow cooker in this order -- onions, bacon, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, pepper, chicken, wine, broth.
• Cover; cook Low 6 hrs.
• Remove chicken and vegetables. Cover; keep warm.
• Ladle l/2 cup cooking liquid into small bowl. Cool slightly. Turn slow cooker to High. Cover; mix reserved liquid, tomato paste and flour til smooth. Return mixture to slow cooker; cover, cook 15 min. or until thickened.
• Serve chicken, vegetables, and sauce over noodles.
posted by ericb at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Roast some vegetables (cut up and drizzled with olive oil + salt + pepper over them) while that delicious-sounding salmon is cooking. Anything will work - string beans + peppers, asparagus, turnips, carrots + parsnips, potatoes, anything really! This helps make a full meal, and some of these don't even require cutting before roasting - just rinse and drizzle!

Other fish works just as well - tilapia and catfish are delicious. I sometimes put very thin slices of onion on top of the mayo/mustard/herb mixture as well.

I made a delicious meal yesterday - sautee some onions + garlic, add lots of curry, add a can of rinsed chick peas and a can of diced tomato (with the juice), stir, cook until hot, throw in some cut up tofu, or chicken that was left over from variella's suggestion, and voila! A meal in about 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Also, make lots of rice at a time. The best fried rice is a day or two old - it needs to dry out a bit. Fry up some onions, eggs, + rice with soy sauce in about 10 minutes.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just made this chicken last night. It was so good. It sounds bizarre, but all of the flavors work together quite well. It took maybe 15 minutes to throw together, then I just forgot about it for two hours while it cooked and made my house smell like yum.
posted by phunniemee at 12:37 PM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Crockpot, you say! Well, get a cheap cut of meat such as flank steak, brisket or london broil. Sear it in a very hot pan with a dash of oil until you get a tasty browned surface. Put in crock pot with a couple bay leaves for 10 hours on low. delightful.
posted by forrestal at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2009


Sign up for Menu's for Mom's basic weekly menu. Five dinner meals with menus, lot's of overlap so that if you roast a chicken on Monday, you'll be using the leftovers on Wednesday. Shopping list included. Shortcut ideas for having stuff in your freezer that you can quickly throw together. Includes recipes for side dishes, some that will also carry over to later in the week. As an example they have....

Crockpot Lemon Pepper Chicken

* 1 whole roaster/fryer chicken (about 5 pounds)
* 2 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

Spray crockpot with olive oil spray. Put washed, cleaned out whole chicken in the crockpot. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Cook on high 5-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours. There is no need to add liquid as the chicken will make it's own juices while in the crockpot.

Can you get easier than that?
posted by saffry at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Since you mentioned you have a slow cooker, try these recipes. We (Mrs. WebHund, Mini-Webhund and Yours Truly) really like them.
posted by webhund at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2009


Look through EatMe on the Mefi wiki. It's got links back to dozens of similar threads.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:21 PM on April 4, 2009


**You can cook a whole chicken in the slowcooker. My favorite way is super simple: place the chicken in the cooker. Dump approximately a cup of barbecue sauce in. Cook it on low for 5-6 hours. The meat will fall off the bones and the bbq sauce will mix with the chicken juices nicely. This is good with rice and gently steamed spinach. It's so simple but really good.

You should have enough chicken for dinner and generous leftovers, which can be used:

- In salad or on sandwiches
- in fried rice the next night: stir fry some peppers, broccoli, or other veggies, add the leftover rice, letting it get clumpy and slightly browned in places, then add the chicken at the end. Season with whatever sauce you want (I like soy sauce and a bit of teriyaki). Yum.
- Enchiladas or some sort of casserole

**A coworker who has two kids under 3 and works 50 hours/week told me about this recipe, which sounded awesome in a comfort-food way (she didn't give me measurements, but you can probably wing it):

ground beef
Taco seasoning
Taco shells
Refried beans
salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese

Season and brown the beef in a skillet. Drain it when it's done. Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the beans and salsa, spread them on the bottom of a casserole dish. Use the beans as a "foundation" to stick the taco shells in the dish, standing upright. Fill the shells with beef. Sprinkle the cheese over everything. Bake until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot.

Crap, now I'm hungry.
posted by lunasol at 2:23 PM on April 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Super quick and healthy: oatmeal with chopped nuts and dried fruit.
Three notes:
* old-fashioned oatmeal is much tastier than quick.
* The best way to make oatmeal is NOT to cook it but to pour boiling water over it and let stand for 6-7 mins: it then tastes much, much better.
* If you have a good blender that's the easiest way to chop a lot of nuts..

I want to second lentils.. a very substantial, full of protein food that can be done in 20 minutes. Use the type of lentils with skins (brown or green lentils). They work great with all kinds of vegetables, especially with Broccoli. Cardamom and thyme go well with lentils as far as spices go (and black pepper). You can add a bit of wild rice - they make the finished meal look more varied and break the monotony of texture. Also try brown rice with lentils - combined about 50/50, but then you have to cook for 40-50 minutes.

If you have a blender, try a "smoothie" with just milk and a few crushed nuts, drink it with bananas. I think it's much tastier than making a real smoothie with a banana. Nuts add texture to milk and when you mix it, it becomes foamy and airy.

Cookies are quick to make because you can prepare a large amount of dough and keep it in the refrigerator for.. actually, I'm not sure for how long and I always use it up in a few days but I think it might be ok for a couple of weeks.
posted by rainy at 2:58 PM on April 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


— Buy a good rice cooker (I have a Sanyo, love it). You put rice and water in, push a button, and have well-cooked rice enough for a few days. It's a good base for many meals. Try this one:

— Heat up some tomato sauce. Add some garlic (I buy chopped garlic in a jar, no shame), some Italian seasoning (ditto), a little oil and vinegar (red wine or balsamic). Bring some black beans (from the can, rinsed) to a boil, then simmer them in the tomato sauce. Pour over rice and put a dry white cheese (cotija works well) in clumps over the top. Full meal! You can add black olives or sauteed onions or sausage any number of things to the tomato sauce.

We eat some variation on this about 3 times a week. Super cheap, nutritious, fast and tasty.
posted by argybarg at 3:03 PM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, another thing about rice: you can make rice into a good stand-alone side dish simply by adding a bouillon cube at the beginning of cooking. This gives it a nice flavor and it's now my go-to carb side-dish.
posted by lunasol at 3:07 PM on April 4, 2009


here's a great mac and cheese recipe
posted by HuronBob at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2009


These ideas are fantastic!! Thanks so much for sharing, everyone! I can't wait to try these out! :-D
posted by I_love_the_rain at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2009


I am making red lentil soup right now. Yes, it is so easy I can leave it and read Metafilter while it cooks.

for 2 people (amounts easily doubled/halved)

1 cup red lentils
3 cups broth of your choice
1/2 tsp each turmeric and powdered ginger
1 chopped tomato
1 cup spinach leaves
two cloves of garlic

simmer for 20 minutes minimum
add salt and pepper to taste if needed
add 2 tbsp or so lemon juice to taste just before blending with a hand blender
serve with naan bread
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:44 PM on April 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Frozen hashbrowns in a frying pan, once they've warmed sufficiently pour in a few beaten eggs and stir well for a few minutes, it might not look appetizing but you can add things like chives to add some color. Stumbled upon this by accident.

Potato(s) in the microwave for a couple minutes to soften them up, in the meantime warm-up a pan, add some vegetable oil, when the microwave is done add cut-up potatoes, add onion or shallots, while those are in the pan cooking cut some green pepper and tomatoes, add those at appropriate intervals, maybe add Worchestshire sauce and/or lemon juice for some zest. Very flexible, whatever you have on-hand. It's quick and easy.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:55 PM on April 4, 2009


Survival strategy for busy people who want to eat healthy: Do the bulk of cooking and prepping on the weekend. Roast a chicken, bake potatoes or root vegetables, make large sturdy salads like tabbouleh or rice salad, make big batches of soup, curry, and pasta dishes. That way you have most of your work done and weeknight evenings are more about assembling and heating. You can also portion these out and chuck them in the freezer so they're ready when you want - ziti, lasagna, curry, red beans and rice, chicken pot pie etc adapt well to this treatment.

There's one set of ingredients I pretty much always have around because almost any combination of them can result in standby quick supper. Though you can make wonderful stuff without the whole list, the list includes:

canned black beans and/or frozen chicken (can be dark meat from a pre-roasted chicken, frozen breasts, leftover grilled whatever) = basic protein
corn tortillas, frozen. Buy in 30-packs, they last forever

To these you can add
jarred salsa
cheese (cheddar or jack)
shredded lettuce and carrot
canned or fresh tomatoes
canned corn
jalepenos
avocado
peppers, green and red
onions, red or yellow

So by varying the approach, on any weeknight I can make black-bean tostadas (a favorite), quesadillas, tacos, fajitas, or if I have time, a simplified version of baked chilaquiles.

You can pile on/add in as many fresh veggies as you like to this. I like to make simple salads of shredded lettuce, carrot, cuke, and peppers tossed with just lime juice as an accompaniment.
posted by Miko at 5:35 PM on April 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Macaroni and cheese, with veggies

make macaroni (as much as you want)

near the end of cooking the macaroni toss in some frozen mixed veggies

when cooked, drain

toss with butter or olive oil to taste (use a little more than you think you want)

then toss in a lot of good sharp cheese, what ever kind you like, but a mix of sharp cheddar and blue cheese is very good. A couple of cups of cheese for a pound of macaroni is good, but you can add more or less to your taste.

eat

you can also toss in some diced ham, diced chicken, or cooked ground beef
posted by fifilaru at 5:35 PM on April 4, 2009


Apple Chicken - great easy comfort food.
In the crockpot, stir together a can of apple sauce, a packet of dry onion soup, and a tablespoon of seeded mustard. Chop up 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs* and stir into crockpot. Cook 6 hours on low. When it's done, you can stir in some chopped parsley if you like, and serve with some bright slices of crisp apple. Nice with mashed potato.

*Chicken thighs are fantastic in the crockpot. We never used them, but once we'd tried were so impressed, even if you cook them a couple of hours longer they don't dry out, unlike chicken breasts.
posted by slightlybewildered at 7:13 PM on April 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I make my life easier cooking by not cooking full recipes that I'd have to cook outright, but by prepping and freezing all the basics, which can be combined/prepared in different ways (including all of these wonderful recipes).

With a crockpot? Today I bought a beef inside roast and several pork tenderloins. I'll cook them all together in the crock with a large can of tomato juice. After it's done, cut up all of the beef and pork and freeze separately on a sheet and then bag. You can then have cooked meat ready to go. Same thing works with chicken (thighs are good). After cooking, the juice becomes soup (skim the fat after chilling) with leftover from dinner veggies (or frozen) and/or rice.

Once or twice a week I'll do a crockpot full of beans (black or pinto), if they aren't eaten in a couple of days, throw them in the freezer, ready for another incarnation.

In the oven, all at once I do a large baking tray of hamburgers made into patties, another pan of just ground beef with garlic and onion, and then throw in some whole baking potatoes (white or sweet) and/or squashes (and sometimes some garlic heads). Again, freeze meat flat (drain juice off first for soup), then bag. Burgers are good for lunch or dinner, hamburger can start many a good meal and is cooked. The squash is good as is, can reheat well, blended for soup for lunch (or dinner).

I keep bags of frozen veggies on hand, lots of herbs/spices, and some sauces.

It takes not much more time to do a bulk deal than an individual meal. I find that there are many many days when I need something now, and having cooked ingredients ready to go makes it all possible with variety (eg. frozen Beans, frozen burger, frozen peppers, salsa, cheese, tortillas all ready for a fab dinner in a flash).
posted by kch at 8:03 PM on April 4, 2009


To expand on Variella's tip, I buy chicken breasts in bulk from Sam's Club, then as soon as I get home I portion them out and marinate* them in zip-locks. One I'll throw in the fridge, the rest in the freezer. Any time I need one I put it in the fridge the night before, and by dinnertime they are defrosted and marinate them.

*my usual marination options include canned tomatoes/italian seasoning; any type of salad dressing; lime/pepper/salsa (for tacos)
posted by radioamy at 10:30 PM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]



Here's another quick hamburger pasta meal that all four of our kids loved:
1 package of your favorite pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 jar of your favorite tomato pasto sauce

Cook pasta according to directions, then drain in colander. While pasta is cooking, brown beef and onion in a frying pan.

In large oven-proof bowl, combine pasta, beef mixture, mayo and sauce. Stir to mix well. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese, if you like.
posted by ragtimepiano at 12:42 AM on April 5, 2009


OOps! In my hamburger pasta recipe directly above, I forgot one ingredient:
3/4 C. grated cheese, cheddar or any cheese of your choice

Mix in with mayo before adding other ingredients.
posted by ragtimepiano at 10:02 AM on April 5, 2009


Healthy 15 minute pizza (3-5 minutes prep time)

1) Put a bunch of simple thin-crust frozen pizzas in your freezer when they go on sale. (I get the mozz or mushroom version of this one when it drops to $2.99).

2) At mealtime, start pre-heating the oven.

3) Prep additional toppings of your choice (3-5 minutes while oven is heating)

* Fresh veggies or fruit: thinly sliced sweet peppers, onions, and/or mushrooms; tiny broccoli florets; thinly sliced apple; well-drained pineapple pieces; shredded or sliced garlic; thinly sliced almonds; or whatever else you fancy.
* Animal protein: pull out some pre-cooked chicken or beef from the fridge and make sure it's thinly sliced or in small chunks no bigger than the tip of your pinkie finger.

4) Arrange toppings on pizza and stick in oven for 10-12 minutes or as directed on package.

5) While the pizza is baking, arrange the rest of your meal: reheat soup, and/or make salad, and/or nuke some more frozen veggies or pan-fry-steam some greens, and/or prep some additional protein.

Pan-fried-steamed greens

1) Rinse enough baby or adolescent spinach, baby or adolescent bok choi, broccoli rabe, or yu choi to barely fit in your skillet.

2) Heat some neutral oil (canola, peanut, safflower or olive oil, but NOT extra virgin olive oil), then put the wet greens into the skillet.

3) Add salt and some finely shredded garlic, doing your best to distribute the garlic throughout.

4) Add some water and cover, letting it steam for a few minutes until tender-crisp.
posted by maudlin at 1:18 PM on April 5, 2009


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