Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some of My Fave Quick and Easy "Go-To" Meals ...

I don't know a mother who doesn't occasionally get herself in a pinch for time around mealtimes. How could we not?   ..Little Jimmy wants to show us how he can make his car go over his homemade ramp (for the 52nd time), and Sister Sally wants to tell you her baby's name and have you rock it for just a ''minute'' (plan on at least ten, at the most 20, and you may have to feed and diaper it too), big brother Billy needs help with his homework (count on having to go over the whole lesson, so as to remind yourself how to do it first- and brain fog will keep you from getting it the first time, so go ahead and read it twice), big sister Becca wants to know if you will listen to the story she just wrote, and not to mention dear ole Dad wants you to "come here for a second" at least 33 more times today!

-sigh- Now that I'm done 'venting' ;-)...on with the food!

Here's some of my fave, ''go-to'', quick-fix, not gonna eat out, cook at home meals:

**Eggs!-  a great 'go to':
-make 'breakfast'
-egg salad sandwiches, pitas, or even wraps (make a double batch of a bread once a week and store in the fridge for these
-taco pitas- ground beef, cheese, and or beans...topped with cheese and any veggies
-frittata- you can bake these done on about 20 minutes (I got a new recipe to put up, will try before the week's end!) with a salad, veggie, or fruit
-boiled eggs and 'snack' type foods, such as carrot sticks, a salad, bread
-eggs and applesauce (with toasted breakfast bread) is much loved here, anytime of day
-deviled eggs with a salad and a fruit
-omelets, with fruit, oatmeal, hashbrowns, and/or toasted breakfast bread
-More with Less has some good egg ideas too!

**Wraps! endless possibilities:
-buy or cook these up and store in fridge and freezer for long term
-beans and cheese, any veggies on or as a side, but not always
-any cheese, leftover meats, any veggies and sometimes fruits
-breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs, with onions, sausage or bacon maybe, peppers, cheese, maybe salsa)
-soft tacos (keep taco seasoned meat in the freezer when you can, in something that will quick thaw)
-sandwich meats and cheeses, maybe veggies on or as a side
-quesadillas, with cheese or whatever is on hand, side opt: refried beans, rice, salad, chili beans, etc
-use romaine lettuce leaves as a wrap or 'boat' and stuff with leftovers  (chicken, cheeses, etc)
-creamy chicken enchiladas

**Pasta-whole grain to be sure!
-homemade Main Dish Macaroni with any quick frozen veggies such as peas and carrots
-simple spaghetti (sauce and noodles- and you could drop in any frozen, pre-cooked beef from the freezer)
-Creamy chicken and pasta dishes (make a white sauce- or blend milk, cream cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper)
-(cold or hot) pasta salad with any leftover meats; ham, bacon, ground beef, chicken....season Italian, Mexican, etc, serve with some sort of veggie salad or fruit salad

**Home canned soups or tomatoes:
-easy quick meal..other veggies can be added, leftover meats, or frozen cooked meat just dropped in
-soup with fried cornbread, or quick flatbread, or just crackers

-cook up when you can, whole chickens or skinned fryer breast (it's good to cook up enough for 4 meals, once a month--that way you have about 1 meal a week that chicken could be quickly thawed and used..just be sure to store in a container that can be dropped in hot water for quick thaw, etc)
-we have one local store that sells chicken tenders and popcorn chicken in 10lb boxes, often on sale at $10 or less here lately   ..They are not pre-cooked but can be put straight in the hot oven, along with some quick sliced potato wedges or cheap fries.
-canned chicken is a great help to have on hand, I only buy it when its cheap
-with cooked chicken on hand, you can easily whip up; chicken salad for wraps and sandwiches etc, chicken for a green salad, chicken for pasta dishes, chicken for soup, casseroles, pizza, etc
-remember chicken can be seasoned in every way (Mexi, Italian, lemon pepper, etc)
-make 'dump chicken' for the freezer and you can lightly thaw and toss it in the oven to bake

**Ground beef (or other ground meats):
-can be pre-seasoned and cooked ahead of time, stored in containers for quick thaw (I like things that can be dropped in hot water)...  Corn tortilla tacos, taco salads, etc are made super quick.
-sloppy-joe meat (who says you have to put it on buns? in biscuit cups, pita pockets, English Muffins, etc
-my crew loves hamburger soup
-thawed, cooked, ground beef can be an easy topping for quick pizzas (Who says you have to have pepperoni?)   I think pizzas are pretty quick and frugal, and can be made from healthy ingredients. *To speed the rising, sit the bowl in hot water.*
-again, tacos and burritos are pretty quick (you can use corn tortillas in place of taco shells to keep prices down, and you can easily make homemade tortillas and wraps
-flatbreads (chapati) stuffed with just about anything, very filling when made with whole wheat, veggies and meats can be stuffed in them
-my crew loves 'meat patties'..with any ground meat (I often add finely chopped veggies, and bread crumbs etc, as you would a meatloaf...sorta like meatloaf patties, often topped with whatever cheese is on hand  ..These are quick, and all you need to add is a couple of quick veggies from the freezer and/or a salad.

-cook up in advance, freeze for quick thaw--Beans and cornbread with a side of greens makes a great quick fix meal when you have stored, cooked beans.
-make huge batches of chili and freeze in containers that can be dropped in the crock or oven safe dishes to heat in the oven
-just about any bean can be mashed, seasoned, and used in wraps, with or without meat, with veggies like lettuce, tomato, onions, etc
-bean patties are pretty quick (mix mashed beans with egg, seasonings, and bread crumbs,whole grain flour, or even rice, etc)
-beans can be made into a loaf, like meatloaf

-canned salmon for salmon patties and salmon loaf, with quick salad, or quick cook frozen veggies
-tilapia, these fillets can be baked up in 15 to 20 minutes- they can be quickly seasoned with your favorite seasoning salt before baked on a lightly buttered pan
-precooked frozen shrimp, thaws quick under warm water- toss in salads, pasta dishes, and quick stir-fry
or even make a sandwich spread with them
-canned tuna- tuna salad, tuna and crackers, tuna in homemade mac and cheese etc
-canned clams for quick clam chowder
-baked salmon fillets- if kids won't eat them plain; bake and crumble in a quick cream sauce and serve over pasta

**Turkey hams:
-you can buy these for less than $4 and slice them for quick pan frying for any meal, but goes great with breakfast foods
-dice them and toss them in a stir fry, pasta dish, quesadillas, soups, omelets, frittatas, wraps (with eggs and cheese), or even with some beans or a salad..again, be sure to store in something you can thaw up quick in warm water


Joy said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I have always been able to highlight and past in word, but for some reason when I paste this in word nothing shows up but green and red lines wonder if its because you text color is white?
This should help me much!


Joy said...

Ok just got it fixed now to print it out and put in my homemangement notebook!! Thank you so much Donna!