Six Easy Recipes for People Who Don’t Cook (Like Me)
In my book Return to Manitou, I describe how one day I attempted to save my marriage by becoming a better cook. Probably understandably, I am single now, but have investigated cooking a little further and found easy ways to have great meals. Here are a few of my favorites.
I started with a green bean casserole. The oven was too hot, and there was still grease on the grill from the Thanksgiving turkey. The grease ignited. I threw cornstarch on the grease, thinking it would kill the fire. But then it really took off! I realize later that I was supposed to use baking soda.
I am currently cooking and have found new and easy ways to make great meals.
This is a great camping recipe, but converted well to the crock pot
- Lb Ground Beef – Browned
- 1-16oz Can Tomatoes-Stewed or Diced is fine
- 1-16oz Can Corn
- 1-16oz Can Peas
- 1-16oz Can Pork & Beans
- Dump everything into your crock pot cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve with Corn bread.
- If you are in a hurry you can do this on top of the stove, or make a single box of cornbread mix, and dump it in spoonfuls all over the top of the bubbling stew and let it continue to simmer until the cornbread is done.
- It won’t brown, but the steam and heat from the stew do cook it through and you have a one dish dinner!
- Make sure you are using a heavy pot.
You can use kidney beans instead of the peas. Or you can use both peas and kidney beans.
French Onion Beef Crock Pot Meal
- 1 1/4 pounds of boneless beef round steak
- 1 package (8 oz) of sliced mushrooms
- 1 large onion, sliced into rings
- 1 can of condensed French onion soup
- 1 package of herb stuffing mix
- 1/4 cup of butter, melted
- 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cut the beef into six serving sized pieces.
- Next layer half of the beef, mushrooms and onion in a crock pot.
- Repeat the layers until everything is used up.
- Pour the soup over the ingredients in the crock pot.
- Cover and cook on a low setting for 8-10 hours or until the beef is tender.
- Before you are ready to serve the meal, toss entire contents of stuffing box with melted butter and a ½ cup of the sauce from the crock pot.
- Next put stuffing on top of the meal in the crock pot.
- Cover and increase the heat to high.
- Cook for ten minutes or until the stuffing is fluffy.
- Sprinkle with cheese, recover.
- Cook until cheese is melted.
Can be doubled for larger crock pots!
Sort of a burrito, kind of an enchilada.
Make sure you use really good tomatillo salsa.
- 2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (a little more than half a chicken)
- Juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 cups tomatillo salsa
- 1 jalapeño, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- 4 flour tortillas
- 4 slices asadero or provolone cheese (about 4 ounces)
- Heat oven to 450°F.
- Put the chicken in a small bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, 1/2 cup of the salsa, 1 teaspoon of the minced jalapeño, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, the minced onion, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a quarter of the chicken mixture on the lower third of one of the tortillas and roll it into a cylinder from the bottom up, tucking in the sides as you go, so that no chicken escapes from the ends.
- Place the filled tortilla in a square 8-by-8-inch baking dish with the seam facing down. Repeat with the remaining chicken and tortillas.
- Combine the remaining 1 cup salsa with 1 tablespoon water, the remaining lime juice, the cilantro, and the jalapeño.
- Arrange the slices of cheese over the tortillas and pour the salsa mixture over the top. Bake until the cheese is browned and melted, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Creamy Chicken and Dumplings
Skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs add to the ease of this recipe. Condensed soup and refrigerated biscuits also add convenience.
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs, cut into one inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 stalk of celery, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of chicken with herbs soup
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 4.5-ounce package (6) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits*
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Place flour in a plastic bag.
- Add chicken pieces and shake until coated.
- In large saucepan cook chicken, celery and onion in hot margarine for two to three minutes or until chicken is brown.
- Stir in broth, condensed soup and pepper.
- Bring to boiling, reduce heat.
- Simmer covered about 20 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile separate biscuits.
- Cut each biscuit into quarters.
- Stir peas into chicken mixture: return to boiling.
- Place biscuit pieces on top of chicken mixture.
- Simmer, covered over medium-low heat 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of biscuit comes out clean.
- Serve in bowls.
- As an option, substitute drop biscuits for refrigerated biscuits.
- To prepare, in a medium bowl combine 1 cup packaged biscuit mix and 1/3 cup milk.
- Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls into 8 dumplings on top of chicken mixture.
- Cook, covered, as directed.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 (15 oz.) can whole-kernel corn, drained, or 2 C. frozen
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
- 1 t. cumin
- salt to taste
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (in a real crunch you can use one 10-ounce can chunk chicken)
- Tortilla chips
- Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for topping
- Pour corn, broth, beans, tomatoes and chilies into large saucepan.
- Add cumin, salt and chicken.
- Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.
- Serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
- For added spicy flavor, cook chicken in taco seasoning, or add a couple of teaspoons of taco seasoning or chili powder to the soup.
Makes 6 servings.
This one is so named because you only have to dump all the ingredients into a cake pan and stick it in the oven.
- One can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
- One can cherry pie filling
- One box yellow cake mix
- One stick of cold butter or margarine
- ½ cup chopped nuts
- Dump the pineapple and its syrup into a 13 x 9 cake pan and spread it on the bottom.
- Cover the pineapple with the cherry pie filling. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the fruit.
- Cut the cold margarine or butter into thin pats and place them evenly over the cake mix.
- Scatter nuts on top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until nicely browned.