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  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:01 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is online now
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Recipe Challenge: one-pot meals from easily stored ingredients

My husband's in the hospital, so I'm looking for recipes or ideas that meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

- ingredients are either shelf-stable or easily frozen and thawed (my schedule is so erratic right now that I don't want to have, say, fresh meat sitting in the fridge)
- QUICK (I need to be able to throw it together when it's late and I'm tired)
- one-pot or, at least, as little clean-up as possible
- makes a relatively small batch: ideally, a single entree or two worth of food
- finished food keeps for at least a couple of days (fridge is fine) and can re-heat well


I'm omnivorous, and have no salt or fat restrictions. I don't eat as many fruits or veggies as I should, so if it "sneaks" something healthy and high-fiber into me, so much the better. I have nearly every basic and not-so-basic gadget ... but again, the cleanup factor.
Don't like mushrooms, shrimp or other invertebrates, or raisins.

Please, inspire me! What's your go-to quick dinner recipe? He's getting better so I finally have an appetite again, but very little time or energy to feed myself.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:11 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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My stupid-easy one-pot meal has as its base: pasta, canned black beans, and jarred salsa. Cook pasta, strain, rinse black beans, heat in pot with salsa, mix in pasta, eat. Obviously it has to be some kind of salsa that you like the flavor and heat on enough to eat it like that.

Optional ingredients: canned or frozen corn, pre-shredded bagged cheese (cheddar or "taco/Mexican" blend), hot sauce to taste.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:31 PM
maggenpye maggenpye is offline
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Our go to for quick & easy is beans & soup.

1 tin of 4 bean mix, 1 tin of soup (as healthy as is says on the tin) I prefer a thick vege soup, the kid prefers minestrone or other meat based soups (stews would work just as well).

While soup is heating in pot, drain and rinse beans, add to pot, heat through and you're done. If thick enough, have it on toast or thick bread. We've found it's filling enough on its own.

The beans just take away the excess 'processed' flavour of the tinned soup, also reducing the overall salt percentage. They also add nutrients and fibre. Generally the whole meal is under $5 (for us, that's feeding two people, for you, at least two meals) and will last years on the shelf and days in the fridge.

Stores well in fridge, microwave second heating.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:00 PM
smithsb smithsb is offline
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Mac and Cheese - add some peas or corn.

Low fat ground beef/turkey/pork like 90/10 or 93/7. Break up a pound package into 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 lb sections and freeze some portions. Time to cook, put some olive oil in bottom of an appropriate sized sauce pan, brown up a portion, add elbow or desired pasta, add sause, add can/frozen peas/corn/green beans/carrots, drain a can(s) of beans and add. Put in water to desired consistency. Boil and reduce heat - when pasta is done - eat. Variations can add salsa in some portion to the sauce to add spice and flavor. Basically goulash.

Omelets with thin sliced ham, precooked bacon, onions, peppers with salsa in a pan.

Frozen/fresh pizza - some are terrific. Freeze leftovers.

Check the grocery shelves. There are one pot dinners/meals in dry or pouch form now. Quick and easy.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:05 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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I keep cooked rice in the freezer, it goes with a lot of things, being a bland base. If you like curry you can buy foil packets of spinach paneer, curried chickpeas, and such in an Asian grocery, or international foods aisle of the grocery store.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:09 PM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Pasta Puttanesca is a nice pantry standby.

You can also make lazy homemade mac and cheese in the time it takes the macaroni to cook. And it keeps a treat in the fridge for easy nuking. Just whisk about 3 Tbsp each melted butter and flour in a saucepan till the flour smells a bit toasty, whisk in about 4 cups of milk, cook over low-med heat till it starts to bubble and is the consistency of cream. Turn off heat. Dump in some salt and pepper and two 8oz bags of shredded cheese. Stir till smooth, then mix in with drained macaroni. Nuke a bag of broccoli to go with it and pretend it's healthy!
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:19 PM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Aaaand perhaps I should include the Puttanesca link.

Also, quesadillas are easy - heat oil in pan, put in tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and whatever bits & pieces you like from the fridge: chicken chunks, leftover vegetables, beans, etc. Cover with a second tortilla, cook covered until cheese sticks everything together, flip to crisp the topside. Cut into wedges and dip in Wholly Guacamole for a nice easy finish.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2012, 10:48 AM
Quercus Quercus is online now
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Make and freeze, or buy in a jar, tomato sauce. Go to the freezer section in the Supermarket and get frozen Italian-style meatballs. And a package of spaghetti.

Day of: boil water, cook pasta. Put sauce in a pot, add appropriate amount of frozen meatballs. Heat. Serve over cooked pasta.

Two pots, not one, but still pretty easy.
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:01 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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A new recipe I just found and is flexible to modification that fits your criteria:

Wilted Kale Salad

Step 1 - either heat some olive oil (1tbsp) or fry a couple strips of bacon in a frying pan. Break up the bacon if used and add other meat if desired, chicken is good in this.
Step 2 - Add onions and garlic, stir about a min.
Step 3 - add vegetables that need a long time to cook - I use mushrooms, broccoli and bell peppers. Fry until just about to the softness point you'd like to eat them at.
Step 4 - Add about 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes and a handful of chopped kale. Toss around for 2-3 mins. Longer for older tougher kale.
Step 5 - add about a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, toss around for a few seconds and then serve.

When I got my hands on the recipe it was vegan and in the 3-4 times I've made it I've amended it each time. The only parts that are really required are a little fat, the kale and balsamic vinegar, the rest is up to you.
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:16 AM
filmore filmore is offline
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What about frozen foods? If you look around, you can find many that are really quite good. Our grocery store has a wide selection of seasoned chicken and beef cooked a variety of ways. Often I will cook up some rice and heat up some of that.

Some frozen meals that I like are Michaelangelo's Lasagna and California Pizza Kitchen pizzas. Whole Foods has many frozen meals that are tasty and good for you. They have a line of Chinese meals that are pretty good and easy to cook.

Get one of those smart rice cookers to make things even easier. You put in the rice and water and it does the rest. You can even use it to steam meats and vegetables at the same time.
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  #11  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:41 AM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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Buy steamed bagged rice in the frozen section. Keep three of four handy. Make a stir fry of whatever you have around, microwave the rice, pour the stir fry over it and you're eating in fifteen minutes. Save the left over stir free and just make fresh rice for leftovers. I purchase various dollar chinese spice packets to mix in for variety. If the chicken and veggies are frozen, it just take a few more minutes to cook, that's all. We eat stir fry at least twice a week.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:48 PM
I Like Pie I Like Pie is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Taco salad: This takes only the time to brown and cook the beef!
One pound of ground beef
One packet of Taco Seasoning, found in the mexican aisle at my grocery store
Tortilla chips
Brown the ground beef, mix in the seasoning according to the directions on the back of the package.
Crush up chips on a plate, top with beef mixture, add whatever else you would normally add to a taco. Enjoy!

I normally add lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream and a little shredded cheese, which are all things you probably have on hand anyway.

Seriously, this is the easiest meal to make. I made it last night and from start to finish dinner was done in less than thirty minutes.
Depending upon how much meat you use per salad this will feed 2-4. Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week so you can have leftovers.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:53 PM
Motorgirl Motorgirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Like Pie View Post
Taco salad: This takes only the time to brown and cook the beef!
One pound of ground beef
One packet of Taco Seasoning, found in the mexican aisle at my grocery store
Tortilla chips
Brown the ground beef, mix in the seasoning according to the directions on the back of the package.
Crush up chips on a plate, top with beef mixture, add whatever else you would normally add to a taco. Enjoy!

I normally add lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream and a little shredded cheese, which are all things you probably have on hand anyway.

Seriously, this is the easiest meal to make. I made it last night and from start to finish dinner was done in less than thirty minutes.
Depending upon how much meat you use per salad this will feed 2-4. Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week so you can have leftovers.

You can do this same thing with canned beans, when you don't have meat on hand. Just simmer the beans with the taco saasoning and a little water.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:08 PM
I Like Pie I Like Pie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorgirl View Post
You can do this same thing with canned beans, when you don't have meat on hand. Just simmer the beans with the taco saasoning and a little water.
That's a good idea. I've added the taco seasoning to rice before as well to make mexican rice.
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:41 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Chicken Enchiladas

A couple of cans of chicken (drained)

A couple of cans of Cream of Chicken Soup

A little can of Green Chilies

A can of green Enchilada sauce

Pepper Jack cheese

Tortillas

Mix cans of Chicken, Cream of Chicken and Green Chilies together. Layer in a baking dish with tortillas and pepper jack. Pour Enchilada sauce on top and bake until hot.
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  #16  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:20 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
As already mentioned, modern rice cookers are fantastic! I use mine all the time. Truly set-it-and-forget-it cooking.

Breakfast: Oatmeal. I prefer steel cut oats but there are many other varieties. I also like to add fresh fruit but when I'm out, I substitute dried fruit like raisins, chopped dates, mango, etc. Add some cinnamon and I'm good to go.

Dinner: Rice and beans. Short grain brown rice and red lentils is my current kick. I like to add fresh veggies but when I'm out, I resort to frozen veggies such as peas or corn. Add the veggies when the cooker is getting towards the end of its cycle. A little trial and error and you'll get it down. Play around with spices and seasonings.
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