Three Easy Meals for People Who Hate to Cook
Here are quick, easy meals for people like me who absolutely hate cooking.
I hate cooking with a passion. I’d rather do dishes than cook, so I very often make the same meals over and over again because they’ve actually turned out and become trademark meals in the household. With a whole brood to feed (we are 6) here are 3 meals that I can cook successfully, and if you’re anything like me and can burn water if you’re not paying enough attention, you’ll find yourself liking these as well.
All of the following dishes are vegetarian, so everyone in your household can eat them. All cook at 450 for a half hour uncovered, and all serve 8 comfortably, or 6 with big helpings. All of them picky kids will love.
Oddly enough, casseroles are the easiest meals in the world to make. All you have to do is add a few ingredients, pop them in the oven, and wait about a half hour for a done dinner. Add a can of your favorite veggies for a side dish and you’re good to go. Enjoy!
The favorite meal in my house is Tator Tot Casserole. The kids devour it like there’s no tomorrow, and it freezes wonderfully so you can make it, cook it, and freeze it for reheating even a month or so later and it still tastes fresh. I make this dish in batches of 3 so I can freeze two and we eat one. One dish should serve 8 comfortably, or 6 with larger helpings.
For Tator Tot Casserole (one dish) you need a can of green beans (french style or regular) a can of cream of mushroom soup, half a cup of milk, 2 cups of shredded cheese, and a regular bag of tator tots.
Preheat the oven to 450, and place the unopened bag of tator tots in the microwave and cook for 6 to 12 minutes until hot or cooked (they will begin to smell cooked and will get soft). This is a cheater way of cooking the tots prior to baking them so you don’t have to worry about half-done tots in the casserole. Works every time.
While the tots are in the microwave, pour the cream of mushroom soup in a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup milk, and a cup of cheese. Stir completely. Add a dash of garlic or salt and pepper for mild flavoring (the tots should come pre-seasoned so don’t go overboard.
When the tots are done in the microwave, open the bag (watch out for steam) and pour it in a baking pan or casserole dish. Place the mushroom mixture in the microwave for 3 minutes to melt the cheese, remove and stir.
Open the green beans, draining all the juice. Distribute the beans on top of the tator tots evenly, and pour the mushroom soup with cheese on top of the green beans and tots. Place the dish uncovered in the oven for 15 minutes, remove, add the remaining cup of cheese, and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
Since your tots are precooked, you don’t need them to cook longer than a half hour. You’ll know it’s done because it
s bubbling all over. Quick and easy!
Another favorite dish is Veggie Pot Pie. You just need a box of Bisquick, a can of potato soup (I like Campbells because there’s no beef stock or meat in it) and milk and 2 cups of cheese.
Simply mix enough Bisquick with water to create a thin layer at the bottom of a greased pan, and enough to make a top layer. About a cup and a half of Bisquick with the amount of water to make it slightly less runny than for pancakes will do. Pour the potato soup in a dish, add a 1/4 cup of milk and 1 cup of cheese. Put in the microwave 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Pour the potato soup mixture directly in the pan on top of the Bisquick layer (don’t mix it in or spread it around, it will distribute while cooking), and pour the remaining batter on top. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, once again the oven is at 450, and remove to add the last layer of cheese. Bake again for another 15 minutes and you’ve got delicious veggie pot pie that serves 8!
This doesn’t freeze well but is a great filling dish. Kids love it. You can stretch the soup further by adding 1/2 cup frozen peas to the soup before putting in the microwave for more veggies. Yum.
Lastly, my personal favorite that I actually enjoy making is Funeral Potatoes. So-called because it is the most common dish at funeral gatherings (at my grandma’s funeral there were at least 6 separate dishes) it is my very favorite meal ever and it is so freakin easy.
You need a can of cream of mushroom soup, a small bag of sour cream and cheddar chips (optional, but what makes my dish version pop) a 16 oz container of sour cream (I like Daisy) 2 cups of shredded cheddar, milk, and frozen hash browns.
Just like I do for tator tots I cook hash browns unopened in the microwave for about 12 minutes. Once again, you can smell and feel when they’re done. While they’re cooking, combine in a large bowl a can of cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup of milk (or a whole cup for those who don’t like mushrooms as much) a cup to 2 cups sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheddar, and a dash of garlic or salt and pepper. Once again, the hash browns should be seasoned.
When the hash browns are done, again place the bowl of mixed soup in the microwave for 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Pour the hash browns in a casserole or baking pan, distributing evenly. When you pull the mushroom soup mixture out of the microwave, you should taste it. It should be tasting of cheese and sour cream and mushroom soup evenly. Some people like it more sour creamy. Doctor it to taste. When you have what you’d like, pour the mixture over the hash browns.
Stir the hash browns and the soup together in the baking pan to evenly coat the hash browns with the soup while it cooks. Hash browns are too dense to allow the soup to travel much so you need to stir it. Once you’ve got the hash browns all coated, put the pan in the oven once again at 450 for 15 minutes. Remove after 15 minutes and add 1/4 of the remaining cheese evenly. Cook for 10 more minutes and remove for final coating.
Take the small bag of sour cream and cheddar chips (once again optional) and crush them in the bag. When you have tiny pieces (like bread crumbs, slightly larger) set it aside. When you remove the casserole again, sprinkle the chips over the dish. Add the remaining cheese on top of that to set in the chips. Cook for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the yummy chips. Voila! Excellent dish that pleases everybody, is my absolute fave, and freezes great!
You can substitute any cream soup for the ones mentioned, these are just the ones I like. Even the kids love the mushroom in the dishes as it is not too noticeable, so your picky eaters will love them, too. You can use bread crumbs, corn flakes, or crackers to top the Funeral Potatoes, but I love the chips. Plain chips work too. Be careful not to over salt any of the dishes, as it is easier to salt individual plates than it is to tolerate a dish that tastes like a salt lick.
Remember, cook your tots or hash browns prior to baking to allow them to be fully cooked so you don’t have to dry out the casserole in the oven. Should not cook any longer than 1/2 hour uncovered for all, and all cook at 450. Quick and easy and kid-approved cheapo meals! All of them are vegetarian, so they can be enjoyed by everyone!