Quick & Easy Recipes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-10-2007, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I think we can all benefit from sharing quick & easy recipes. I'd love for this to become a 10-page long thread!

What are your family's favorite quick & easy meals?
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#2 of 15 Old 08-10-2007, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll start!

Our Favorite Spaghetti

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce (we like Ragu Mama's Garden Sauce)
Vermicelli pasta
Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Grated Parmesan cheese

Season ground beef with Italian seasoning & garlic powder. Brown completely over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water. Drain ground beef. Add spaghetti sauce; stir together. Simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Drain pasta; toss with a small amount of olive oil. After plating, top with grated Parmesan cheese.

We have green salad or spinach salad and garlic bread or rolls with this.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-10-2007, 01:19 PM
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My quickest meals include pasta. That seems to be the not so popular thign around here and it makes me feel not so health conscious, but we love it!

And seriously I can get my kids to eat ANYTHING in pasta. DS says he wants "bug pasta" (this shape that looks like those rolly-poley bugs )all the time. It's a lunch staple around here because I can throw a small handful in and eat a fresh meal without a lot of work.

I just put butter and some fresh grated parm cheese, and a green or brocolli, peas, whatever and it's done. They love baked chicken, just pieces of legs/thighs rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper. That is about 10 minutes of active time, literally. If we are having an evening that the kids will not come in the house, and I am having too much fun playing with them to stop, I make baked chicken and pasta. Usually I pause for about 5 minutes to put the chicken in the oven, and then the pasta takes 15 minutes start to finish, 12 to cook....put the broccoli on the top of the boiling water while pasta finishes the last 2 minutes. Drain all together, put few tblspns of butter in the pan, put back pasta and veggie. Grate cheese over top.

My problem is that we are NOT schedule people. I don't always have time to pre-chop and prep the same day, so I always spend a few minutes the night before doing any prep work I can do. I am sporadically out with the kids, and I don't always want to make them come in from playing because I have to start dinner that will take forever. I could use some new easy ideas too!
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#4 of 15 Old 08-10-2007, 03:45 PM
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A favorite we like is Chicken & Veggie pasta salad. I cheat and all all the meat/veggies and then just use a healthy ranch & italian dressing in it but I'm sure you could make your own dressing if you wanted. Just cube chicken breast and cook in a little bit of the mixture, then mix with a box of cooked whole wheat rotini, add whatever veggies you like (we usually do zucchini, olives, halved cherry tomatoes, etc.) and the dressing until its as moist as you like it and you're done. It makes a ton so we have it for dinner and lunch.

Oh I also have a recipe I like that is another cold salad that I got from the families eating healthy group....


Ham and Pineapple Couscous Salad
SUBMITTED BY: Julie Stutzman - All Recipes.com

"This is a fresh, delicious and healthy way to eat leftover ham."

Original recipe yield:
4 servings


1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup couscous
4 ounces cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dijon-style prepared mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, bring water, butter and garlic powder to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
In a large bowl, mix together couscous, ham, pineapple, onion and drained peas
In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice, lemon juice, Dijon-style mustard and vegetable oil. Pour dressing over the salad and stir to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 377

Total Fat: 14.6g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 497mg
Total Carbs: 48.7g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6g
Protein: 12.8g

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#5 of 15 Old 08-11-2007, 10:23 AM
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One of our fastest is beans and rice. Throw the beans in the crockpot in the morning, cook all day. Then, cook rice when it's supper time.

In the 20 minutes that it takes to cook the rice, I make whatever toppings we're going to have for the beans and rice. If it's pintos, I make pico and heat tortillas or chop an onion and make cornbread. If it's blackeyed peas, then I chop an onion and get out a jar of chow-chow. If it's red beans, then I cook up some smoked sausage. (We don't like meat in the crock-pot--too mushy) If it's black beans, then I chop an onion or make salsa. Easy. And, supper is done in 20 minutes.

We also like french dips int he crockpot. Cook a roast all day with 1/2 a jar of banana peppers (plus the juice), some Italian seasoning, and a can of beef broth. Take the roast out, shred it, put it on rolls, top with provolone, and run it under the broiler to melt the cheese. Serve all the juice from the crockpot on the side as dipping au jus.

Italian hamburger skillet. Basically, brown up some hamburger meat with an onion and garlic. Add a can of tomatoes (I use a quart of home-canned, but do what you like, depending on how tomatoey you like it, and how far you need to stretch it), then add cooked bow-tie pasta. Top with parm cheese. You can also make this with rice by draining the tomatoes, adding water to the tomato juice to make 2 cups, then adding the liquid nad 1 cup of uncooked rice to the hamburger. Cover, cook 20 minutes, then top with cheddar, and you have a hamburger rice skillet.

QUesadillas. This is our favorite use for leftovers.

Fried rice. This is the one we make when we have something with rice the night before. I make twice the amount of rice we need, then stick it in the fridge. I use peas nad carrots from the freezer, chop an onion or scallions, the leftover rice, sometimes leftover meat, sometimes scrambled eggs, and voila, supper in like 15 minutes.

Mini pizzas. English muffins, tomato paste for the sauce (spiced up a little), mozzarella, and any toppings we have (ranging from nothing to canned mushrooms to all fancy sundried tomatoes and basil to pepperoni. Whatever).
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#6 of 15 Old 08-11-2007, 10:32 AM
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Oh, and this is our new favorite. It's really simple, but the flavor is much more than the sum of its parts.

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#7 of 15 Old 08-11-2007, 02:12 PM
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Chili is probably one of our favorite quick meals. I dump in cooked meat, seasoning or chili powder, beans, salsa (key ingredient!), and water or tomato juice, depending on what I have. DH likes it thick, I like it thin, so it's usually somewhere in the middle. I let it simmer on low all day in the crockpot and we just eat when we're ready. I'm ready for the weather to get cooler so I can start doing this again-we probably do this once or twice a week during the fall and winter.

Another quick meal we love is quesadillas. Our favorite is chicken-we take cooked chicken, tortillas, cheese, and peppers and throw them on the grill. They turn out awesome and there is no mess in the kitchen!

A supportive military wife and mama to my busy boy and sweet girl.
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#8 of 15 Old 08-11-2007, 04:10 PM
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Chicken & pineapples.

In crock pot put in chicken, dump can of pineapples in juice over, cook high 4 - 5 hours or low all day.

In the oven I bake at 350 covered for an hour, then uncovered for about 30 min. Serve w/ rice.

Mom to:

Three big girls  twins.gif (10) + joy.gif (almost 9!); 

One little boy ROTFLMAO.gif(6) and a full on toddler diaper.gif  (8/12) born with TAPVR heartbeat.gif (repaired at 6 days old).

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#9 of 15 Old 08-14-2007, 12:46 PM
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Ok, I have some quick and easy meals, but some may find them a bit unhealthy/processed. : All I know is that for my family, its better than fast food or some other junk, and it can really save the day on those nights where you just don't *have* it in you to spend more than a few minutes putting something together, and you can still give your family a 'hot' meal.

I have two versions of a macaroni casserole (using the stuff in the box). One is Tuna Macaroni Casserole, and the other is Hamburger Macaroni Casserole. Tuna - Fix mac n cheese as directed, add a can of drained tuna, add a can of drained peas, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Stir. Done.
Hamburger - Again, fix mac and cheese as directed, add a bit less than a pound of ground beef (or turkey) browned with onion and garlic powder, a drained can of corn. Stir. Done.

We also have mac and cheese with smoked sausage browned in a pan quickly, with a can of peas.

Scrambled/fried egg sandwiches are another quick and easy item.

Also instant mashed potatoes (the kind with some kind of flavor like 4 cheese, the plain kind is just too...plain) topped with drained canned corn and ground meat browned with onion and garlic powder mixed with brown gravy.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-14-2007, 10:43 PM
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Tonight I did a super quick meal-"popcorn chicken." I had 2 chicken breasts that had thawed throughout the day. I cut them into small chunks. I dipped them in a beaten egg and then tossed the chicken in bread crumbs. Popped it in the oven for 15 minutes and they were done! They were really yummy and I'm thinking of doing a huge batch next time and freezing.

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#11 of 15 Old 08-15-2007, 11:39 PM
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We have a few recent favorites.


6 Flour Tortillas
1 can refried beans (I use a can of organic black beans and just throw them in the magic bullet)
1 small can chopped green chilis
1 pkg. enchilada sauce mix (I use an organic can of enchilada sauce)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (if you use the enchilada sauce already made you don't need this)
1 16 oz. can corn (again I either use fresh corn or organic frozen)
1 lb. fresh spinach - no stems
1 cup dairy free shredded cheese of choice (optional) (I use the real stuff because i'm not vegan)

Begin by preparing the sauce according to instructions on package. While sauce is heating on stove, begin heating refried beans in another pan. As beans get hot, and as sauce is thoroughly mixed, add about 1/4 cup of sauce to the beans. You don't want the beans to be soupy, but this will make it more manageable. Steam the spinach until wilted. Add cup of corn and the chilis to the bean mixture.

When spinach is finished, begin making the enchiladas. Spread approx. 3T sauce on each flat tortilla, then layer bean mix, spinach and a small amount of cheese (optional) in the center of the tortilla. Roll up and place in a baking dish. Line up enchiladas in baking dish, then cover with remaining sauce and any leftover (or additional) cheese.

Bake covered with foil for 20 min. at 375 degrees. Bake an additional 10 min. uncovered.

Serves: 2-4

Preparation time: 20 min.

I will usually make the enchiladas in the morning during dds nap and just put them in the fridge then about 20 minutes before we are ready to eat I pop them in the oven. They are great.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-16-2007, 07:32 AM
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Pasta with tuna sweetcorn and mayo.

Boil whichever pasta you choose.

Put into a jug or whatever you want to use for mixing purposes, tuna (any amount you want), sweetcorn and mayonnaise (again as much as you desire). Mix it all together.

Pour mixture over pasta and stir well.


The mayo makes it unhealthy, maybe use weight watchers salad dressing, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice or something else.

I think my meal beats everyones on time and simplicity!!!!
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#13 of 15 Old 08-18-2007, 11:01 PM
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For just myself, I throw what ever veggies we have in the house and freezer into the cast iron and stir fry. For a sauce, I use bbq sauce with a little peanut butter & may also add other spices & braggs.

For the family, besides pasta, our easy dinner is tacos. I mix tofu with boca burger crumbles & add seasoning. It's a quick and good base. I find the mixture to be better than using either one alone. It even gets my grandma to eat tofu, which is hard to do.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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#14 of 15 Old 08-19-2007, 03:38 PM
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Chili spaghetti;
1 pkg spinach linguini noodles
2 cans amy's vegetarian mild chili,
1 small can black beans
8oz shredded cheddar cheese

Heat chili & black beans, cook the pasta, add chili to pasta, plate in individual bowls, top w/ shredded cheese
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#15 of 15 Old 08-19-2007, 07:49 PM
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ok, so its not very fast but its tasty:

~basic meatloaf w/ketchup on top
~instant mashed potatoes (quick)
~canned green beans
~rolls or cornbread muffins




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