Cooking

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by C2Teach, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. C2Teach

    C2Teach Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2012

    One of my goals for this summer was to find ways to cook simple, fast dinners at home so that when the school year started back up it would be easier to eat at home. So far, that hasn't happened. We eat out way too much!:rolleyes:

    What are some meals that you fix that are easy to fix for a family of 4? Thanks!
     
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  3. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Do you have a grill? Hamburgers or hot dogs on the grill are about as easy as it gets. Throw in a salad or some fruit, and you've got dinner. The pre-marinated chicken and pork from the grocery store is also easy to toss on the grill, although then we usually make a side dish like rice-a-roni since we don't have the buns for starch.

    If you don't have a grill, chicken parmesan is pretty easy to make. Beat an egg with a fork, then dip the chicken breasts in it, then toss them in a bag with some Italian bread crumbs. Bake at 400 until it is cooked through (about 20 minutes), then top with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese and cook for a few more minutes until the cheese melts. While the chicken bakes, boil water, cook some pasta, drain it, and toss it with the rest of the sauce. Add a salad or some fruit, and you've got dinner!
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2012

    I'm a big fan of one-pot meals. The prep work is usually pretty minimal, and there aren't a lot of pots and pans to clean up afterward.

    My new go-to is what I call Southwest Chicken. Throw three boneless/skinless chicken breasts, a can of corn (drained), a can of black beans (drained), and a big jar of salsa into the crock pot. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out, shred it with a fork, and return it to the crockpot. It will soak up most of the liquid. Let it all go for another 30 minutes or an hour, then serve over rice or on tortillas. I usually serve it with shredded cheese and sometimes green onion and sour cream. It's amazing.

    I also make porkchops, one-pot style, although I cook them on the stove and not in the crock pot. For my porkchops, I heat a little oil in a saucepan, then add lightly seasoned and floured porkchops (either 2 or 4, depending on how many people). Brown the porkchops on both sides, then add a clove of garlic (minced), a can of crushed or diced tomatoes (including liquid), and a can of corn (drained). Cover the pot and let everything simmer for a half hour or so. Add one or two chopped zucchinis, cover, and simmer for an additional 10 or 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. What you end up with is a huge serving of veggies and super tender porkchops. Delicious!
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 25, 2012

    I guess my hubby was tired of me asking him, "what do you want for dinner"? and him saying he didn't care what I made then when I made something he said, "this again"? He took it upon himself to look up some recipes for me to try. I looked for some also and we started a recipe binder. I just go on a few sites and print the recipes and put them in the binder. I am just cooking for 2 but I'm sure you can find things for a family of 4. Try www.bettycrocker.com
    www.penniesonaplatter.com
    www.cookingchanneltv.com
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2012

    I know that it's probably pretty obvious, but I'll say it anyway for people who want to start cooking but don't know where to start. You can build any meal using veggies (I always try to have two), a protein, and a starch. Meals don't have to be matchy-matchy or even all that fancy. If you have chicken, bake it. If you have broccoli and carrots, steam them. If you have refrigerated biscuits, toss them into the oven. Voila! A meal! :) Make things fancier or different by changing up your spices.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Sorry for all the posts. :)

    Tonight I'm making salmon. I picked up a fresh salmon filet from the grocery store. I'm going to wrap it in foil along with some garlic, pepper, dill, and lemon, and then I'm going to (ask my hoosband to) grill it. I'm serving it with mashed potatoes (peel and chop potatoes, boil them on low until they are tender, drain, add a little butter and milk/cream, mash) and a broccoli/carrot medley which I will probably steam with garlic and Mrs. Dash.
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Caesar, I'm sending my hubby to your house for dinner. I don't eat fish and won't cook it so he always feels deprived LOL
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh, man! I don't think I could live without fish! It's one reason I could never be a true vegetarian. Giving up beef or pork or chicken? No problem! But fish? No way!
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Pulled pork tacos - place pork roast in crock pot with a can of beef broth, can of roasted diced tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of salsa (if your kids are older nad like spicy stuff you can use hor or more salsa). Add salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and onion powder (to taste, I just sprinkle it all over). Cook on low 6-8 hours (or longer during the school year haha), drain and shred pork with 2 forks, mix the tomatoes back in and add salt if needed. You can serve this as tacos with tortillas, as "bowl" over rice, or on top of a salad. It is sooo good. We usually have it as tacos for dinner and over cilantro lime rice for lunches for a day or two.

    I haven't tried all of these, but I love Freezer to Crockpot meals and you could assemble them now, especially if you have a deep freeze:

    http://thekrazycouponlady.com/family/crock-pot-freezer-meals-im-sharing-my-recipes/

    http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/02/freezer-cooking.html
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 25, 2012

    I will be bookingmarking those sites. Thanks!
     
  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2012

    We like chicken stir fry, but most sauces have way too much salt for my inner ear issues which are aggravated by salt.

    I found a low sodium plum or duck sauce last month. I cut up boneless chicken in bite size pieces, sauté quickly in a small amount of oil, throw in lots of veggies (we like mushrooms, green peppers, carrots, baby pea pods, water chestnuts and broccoli), and cook for a few minutes then toss in the sauce to heat. Serve it over brown rice or even egg noodles.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Pinterest is the best place in the world to find quick and easy recipes!

    Here's a few I've found recently: Beef and Been Taco Casserole (all the yummy goodness of tacos without the mess). http://www.recipe.com/beef-and-bean-taco-casserole/

    Forgotten chicken: http://darlingdoodles.blogspot.com/2012/04/forgotten-chicken.html

    Mini-chicken pot pies: http://www.bettycrocker.com/Tips/TipsLibrary/Cooking-Tips/Create-Your-Own-Signature-Mini-Pie

    The one I'm making tomorrow, pork chops and corn on the cob in the crock pot: http://hickeryhollerfarm.blogspot.com/2012/03/crock-pot-cooking.html

    And the one I'm making tonight, crescent chicken: http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2011/02/crescent-chicken/
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I kind of want to do the same thing myself. Since June 3rd, I now live alone & considering where I live (surrounded by restaurants & eateries), it's even easier to get takeout daily! I also was going to say find some good recipes that say quick & simple. I'd browse the bookstore & find 2-3 good cookbooks that emphasize quick & easy meals. I got one thick magazine so far. Also watch cook shows, if you don't already & jot down some recipes that look good that you're willing to make.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I love making casseroles because it's mostly all in one dish. Tuna casserole, enchilada, casserole, etc. Of course, it's not always fast depending on what type of casserole, but they are my favorite.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I do a lot of quick meals. Often it is grilling or George Forman-ing some chicken breast with a variety of seasonings, boneless pork chops, or baked fish of some sort. That with a starchy vegetable such as corn or peas and another vegetable, that is dinner. Most of my veggies are microwaved either using the fresh vegetable setting or microwaving frozen veggies. Every now and then we will stir fry some green beans with garlic and a bit of red pepper.

    If I have a long time to cook I will take some pork chops or beef round and slow cook with some spices, red pepper flakes for a bit of spice, salt, water, onion, and red peppers. Make the juice into a gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

    Salad with salmon or chicken breast is great.

    Salad with a topper of ground turkey taco meat with cheeses and some tortilla chips is a refreshing meal.

    Our grocery store has sales on rotisserie chickens on certain days. That with some veggies is a nice meal. The reduced rate on the chicken ends up being a good deal in our area. It is cheaper than buying a fresh chicken and cooking it yourself.

    Kabobs on the grill with hummas and pita or rice pilaf. These don't take much time to prepare and cook.

    Every now and then I will do a quick rice stir fry. You can make rice in advance and use half with one meal and use half for stir fry another day. I typically don't put meat in my rice stir fry unless it happens to be left over from another meal. Shrimp, however, cooks up quick.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I use recipes from a website called allrecipes.com

    I've found some amazing go-to recipes on there!!!
     
  18. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2012

    Luckily my boyfriend always helps me cook so dinner is usually pretty quick. He chops veggies and I cook them. Rice is a staple at our house (and in the country), we also eat beans a lot (again, like in the country!)

    So some of our meals are like:
    -Rice and beans, plus two of either- salad, plantain, potato patties, tortilla, fried cheese, peas and corn.. etc.
    -Risotto with green beans and fish
    -Curry chick peas over rice (my boyfriend's favorite!)
    -Pasta with yummy red wine sauce
    -Mac n cheese
    -Veggie stir fry
    (we don't eat much meat!)

    And that's what I can think of for now
     
  19. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    Jun 27, 2012

    If you haven't bookmarked Pioneer Woman's website you need to now! She has the most amazing easy to make recipes that taste like restaurant quality food!

    My favorite is Dr. Pepper pulled pork and Peach Whiskey chicken......yummy!
     
  20. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I really like Devin Alexander's cookbooks. She makes healthy versions of "comfort food" or otherwise "junky" type things as well as different kinds of salads, main dishes, etc. They are created for the non-cook- someone that doesn't want to spend hours in the kitchen or play around with this or that, which is me exactly! I don't know how some people spend hours on dinner each day! I don't think any of her stuff has taken me more than 20 minutes tops. It is very health-conscious, which I like also- but if you don't need to watch calories you can always follow her recipes but use the full fat/non light stuff.
     
  21. Ilovesummer

    Ilovesummer Companion

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I do breakfast burritos for dinner a lot. I use egg beaters, Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles, shredded cheese, and hot sauce all rolled up inside tortillas. Yum!
     
  22. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2012

    Ditto on the pinterest suggestion-- I have found great recipes on that site! Made Green Chili -White Enchiladas last night and they were a big hit!

    I also buy the big bag of frozen chicken when its on sale and put it in the crock pot with a little liquid (pop, bbq sauce,or tomato sauce...) then once I get home shred it and put in freezer bags to use for different meals..since I cook for one I can get a few baggies out of one bag of frozen chicken. Then I just thaw and I can make enchiladas, toquitos, bbq pulled chicken sandwiches, bbq pizza ....whatever I want pretty fast :)
     

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