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Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

Last post Tue, Apr 27 2010 10:14 PM by Zeus. 28 replies.
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  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 9:33 AM

    • Zeus
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, May 7 2009
    • NE Connecticut
    • Posts 271

    Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

     I only have 2 college courses left and I will earn my bachelor's degree in May, and I have to stay focused to reach the end. Some days I just get really tired of trying to juggle everything (family, farm, etc), but I'm almost there. I need to stay motivated and focused. Why does it seem some of the courses get harder at the end and not at the beginning?

    Anyways, I get stuck in a rut sometimes, after years of cooking,  and was wondering what some of you make ASAP that resembles dinner.  Stick out tongue  Especially as the semester wears on and there's more and more reading and papers become due. And besides, afterall, time does also mean money,  which I've come to realize over the years and never used to consider. The faster I can get out of the kitchen, the more time I have to spend with family, study, my own quiet time, house cleaning, etc. My 2 courses are in the evening, and so even a tried and true recipe that I can assemble fast in my slow cooker would qualify.

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:11 AM In reply to

    • MamaJ
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Nov 5 2009
    • Posts 963

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

    Tacos are really quick and easy and my family loves them. Throw a pound of meat on the stove to brown. Chop up some onions, tomatoes, lettuce while the meat is browning. Warm up a can of refried beans. You even have time to mash an avocado, throw a little tomato and onion in, and there's some guacamole. When the meat's done, drain and add the taco seasoning. Takes no longer than 15 minutes to make.

    If you have time to do a little prep on the weekends, I've recently started making black bean burgers. They freeze really well and you could have them on the table very quickly in the evening. Mash about a cup and a half (or a can, I guess) of black beans. Chop and add a little onion and green pepper. Add seasonings (I like curry, cumin, and hot sauce), an egg, and flour until you can form patties. Form into six "burgers." Cook ten minutes each side at about 350-400. Throw them in the freezer and then just reheat for dinner. Put them on buns with traditional burger seasonings, or in pitas more like falafel. Enjoy with a salad.

    Best of luck in your final semester! Looking forward to see some other quick ideas!

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:20 AM In reply to

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

    Do you have a slow cooker?  Roasts with vegetables, stew, soups, chili and the main part of your meal is done.

    Cheesies: tortilla with cheese melted on it, cut like a pizza served with salsa and fresh veggies.

    Breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs with toast and fruit, quick breads with yogurt and berries, pancakes

    spaghetti with sauce and salad

    pasta salad with fresh veggies

    When you do find time to cook make a double or triple batch. Eat one then freeze the others.  When you're short on time make friends with some simple time savers at the store.  Don't skimp on nutrition. 

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

     Go to Betty Crocker website there are quite a few 30 minute meal recipes you may like to try. Beef tips and rice made in the crockpot with mushroom soup you make the rice seperate.

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

    Chicken tacos

    3-4 breasts (can be frozen)

    1 cup salsa

    1 can mexi corn

    1 can (or equivalent) black beans, cooked/drained

    Place chicken in crock pot and cover with salsa. Cook on low all day or high 4 hours. Shred chicken with fork, add beans and corn and stir to combine.

    Serve on tortillas with any toppings you like (cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, etc). Takes 5 minutes to get ready at night or in the morning and 5 minutes to shred, add beans and corn and stir at dinner time. For extra ease, pre-shred cheese and dice tomato. Good leftovers, too.

    Chicken and rice in crockpot

    3-4 chicken breasts (can be frozen) or 4 chicken thighs, skin removed

    1 can cream of mushroom soup

    1 can cream of celery soup (or use your favorite cream based soups)

    1 can milk

    1.5 cups raw brown rice (long grain). Do NOT cook and use long grain instead of instant. 

    1/2 envelope of instant onion soup mix

    Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Mix soups, milk, rice and soup powder in bowl. Pour over chicken. Cook on low all day. Rice will absorb liquid and become soft. Takes 5 minutes in the morning (or previous night) to prepare. Serve with fruit and/or veggie for a complete meal.

    Good luck! My family enjoys both of these recipes.

  • Fri, Feb 5 2010 8:55 AM In reply to

    • Zeus
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, May 7 2009
    • NE Connecticut
    • Posts 271

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

     Thanks for your replies. I did make Pat's recipe that I found,  for Chicken  and Rice in the crock pot the other nite and it was a hit. I'll try the version with brown rice too, which I personally would prefer if I were eating it, but I'm making it for the family that likes white best.

    I do forget about breakfast 4 dinner. I've only done that twice over the years, but that's also a really simple opition that I have to remind myself goes over very well.

    I'll try the bean burgers and see if they don't get snubbed? Even though I'm a vegetarian and love beans, I'm wondering if the meat eaters will consume without lots of complaints or just not eat. 

    Tacios, unbelievably, too I haven't ever done, but I'll give that a shot. Thank you.

  • Fri, Feb 5 2010 9:02 AM In reply to

    • Candyi
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Aug 31 2009
    • Posts 33

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

    I make my own Egg McMuffin.  The Thomas English muffins are often on sale here for $1.99 for twelve. I toast them (we like them crispy) and I use 1/2 slice of ham, 1/2 slice of cheese and I fry the egg well, breaking the yoke for each.  Can make these for about 75 cents a piece in about 5 minutes flat.  Easy, cheap and filling.

  • Fri, Feb 5 2010 11:23 AM In reply to

    • brenl
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jun 4 2008
    • Wayne county
    • Posts 2,426

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

    I have found out the slow cooker can be my friend. I have cooked roast with vegs. That could be put on earlier in the day. I have cooked the roast in slow cooker with very little water and when it was done pull the roast apart then add bbq. Always been a hit. Melt cheese for nacho.
  • Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:49 PM In reply to

    • Elsi
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Nov 12 2009
    • TX, USA
    • Posts 503

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

     I'm a big fan of the slow cooker.  "Fast" here means that I spend a minimum amount of time preparing the food that goes into the cooker -- not that the meal is ready to eat quickly.  One of my favorite (and very inexpensive) crock pot meals is to take a whole chicken, put him into the crock pot with his neck down and feet up.  Then fill the cavity with barbecue sauce; cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 1/2 that time.  This works best in the deep/narrow style cookers rather than the low & wide ones.

    Another quick dish that we will eat is the ever-changing casserole.  This relies on a "formula" rather than a recipe as such:

    1 to 2 cups starch
    1 cup primary ingredient (protein)
    1 cup secondary ingredient (protein or vegetable)
    1-1/2 cup "sauce"
    1/4 to 1/2 cup "goodie"
    1/4 to 1/2 cup topping
    seasonings/spices/herbs to taste

    Starch can be potatoes, rice or other grain, or pasta.  Sauce can be a white sauce (bechamel), tomato sauce, condensed soup, milk, etc.  The goodie should provide color contrast or texture contrast.  Examples: pimientos, slivered almonds, olives, dried tomatoes, or water chestnuts.  Topping can be shredded cheese, bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, oats, or even cereal flakes.

    Example: Turkey pasta casserole

    2 cups cooked spaghetti noodles
    1 cup cubed left-over turkey (or chicken)
    1/2 cup shredded Mozarella cheese
    1/2 cup cottage cheese
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 cup sauteed fresh mushrooms or small can sliced mushrooms
    1/4 cup sliced black olives
    1/4 cup bread crumbs tossed with 1 Tbsp. melted butter

    You can stir everything together and put into a greased casserole dish, topping with the crumb/butter mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees until it is hot and bubbly throughout. Or, if you like a "pretty" casserole, mix the soup with the noodles, put 1/2 in the casserole, top with 1/2 the turkey, 1/2 the cheese, 1/2 the olives, then repeat the layers and top with the crumb/butter mixture and bake as above.  Because the cheese, soup, and olives have a decent enough amount of salt and the left-over turkey may have been seasoned when cooked, I don't add any salt.  You might add some chopped sauteed onion or some chopped fresh parsley to the soup when you stir it in if you want to kick up the taste.

    I like to make a version of this with sliced potatoes, ground beef (vegetarian could use meatless crumbles), sliced carrots, sliced onions, and milk.  With raw carrots and potatoes, it requires a little bit more time (45 minutes to one hour) in the oven to get the veggies all done, so my topping is usually a little bit of shredded cheddar added near the end of the cooking time.  You'll need to add salt (and pepper if you like) since the potatoes will require some.  A bit of garlic is an excellent addition as well.



  • Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Ideas appreciated. What's your fastest meal 2 make?

    One of my favorites is frozen cheese tortellini with frozen broccoli or green beans cooked in the same pot, topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan.



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