Favorite Quick Meals by Lea Schneider
I am a self-confessed recipe junkie. Peak under the edge of my
bedspread and you’ll find a stack of cookbooks on the floor -
just a little night time reading. Toppling off the nightstand are
magazines and dog-eared recipes I wish to try. Back in the kitchen,
the top of the microwave holds print-outs and magazine pages of
recipes that I’m working my way through.
Although I write about organizing your kitchen, pantry, and ingredients each month, I usually leave the recipe writing to
others. Recently, Linda Stradley of
What’s Cooking America suggested that I share a few of my favorite recipes.
Although I love to try things as complicated as famed-chef Julia
Child’s Beef Bourguignon, I can’t do that on a daily basis. As a
business owner and mother, I’ve had to rely on much simpler family
favorites for daily meals. I often share these simple ideas with my
clients as we organize their kitchen. You’ll find some shortcuts and
handy tips in my cook’s note at the bottom of each recipe.
Dilled Chicken Salad
1/2 red onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cooked boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
8-ounces of Marzetti Dill Veggie Dip (or other brand
of your choice)
Spinach leaves, washed and dried
In a large bowl, toss together
the prepared onion, carrot, celery, and chicken. Toss with dill dip.
Serve as a sandwich or on a bed of spinach leaves. Garnish with pecans, if desired.
Cook’s Note: You can also buy a rotisserie chicken and chop the
meat for your cooked chicken. This is very good with a mug of hot tomato soup.
Makes 4 servings.
1 pound ground beef (hamburger)
1 15-ounce jar spaghetti sauce (brand of your choice)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tube crescent rolls
Garlic powder or salt
Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a
9-inch x 13-inch baking pan.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown beef;
drain off any fat
and discard. Stir in spaghetti sauce.
Pour meat and sauce mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread the
mixture over the bottom of the pan. It will be very thin and barely cover the bottom.
Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of
the sauce mixture.
Unroll the tube of crescent dough into one big rectangle sheet. Lay it on top of the
meat and cheese filling. Sprinkle with garlic powder or salt, and parmesan cheese to taste.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Cook’s Note: This is a great dish to sneak extra veggies into your
child’s meal. Chop up vegetables that they like and add them to the
beef-sauce mixture. Sautéed onions, green peppers, mushrooms,
broccoli, and peas all work well. While the pizza bakes, I toss
together a salad or offer sliced veggies and dip as a side dish.
Makes 4 servings.
Citrus Baked Fish
4 fish fillets (catfish, tilapia, and/or other white fish of your
4 teaspoons orange marmalade
Seasoned bread crumbs
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or line with a non-stick aluminum foil.
Place fish fillets on the prepared baking sheet; set aside.
Place orange marmalade in a small bowl in the microwave. Heat 1 to 2 minutes or until runny.
Brush the top of the fish with the orange marmalade. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper, and
lemon pepper (to taste).
Bake approximately 20 minutes or until a
meat thermometer registers an
internal temperature of 140 degrees F. (fish will be slightly opaque in thickest part). Remember
the halibut continues to cook after it is removed from the heat source.
In a large frying pan, sauté bell pepper, onion, and garlic in olive oil until crisp tender. Season with salt.
Serve baked fish by topping it with the sautéed vegetables.
Cook’s Note: Good side dishes for this meal are baked potatoes and
Cole slaw. Begin meal preparation by putting potatoes into the oven
to bake as they take the longest. They can start while you work on the rest of the dinner.
Makes 4 servings.
Slow-Cooker (Crock Pot) Super Easy Beef Stew
1 (24 ounce) package frozen stew vegetables
1 pound stew beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
Place vegetables in bottom of slow cooker. Add meat. In separate
bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour over meat and vegetables.
Cover and cook over low setting for 10 or so hours or 3 to 4 hours
on high setting.
Cook’s Note: I do make a variety of stews with fresh veggies and
more complicated sauces but this one is very tasty. I often keep the
ingredients on hand in the freezer or pantry so that I can turn to
it when a crazy day appears. A jar of cold applesauce, topped with
cinnamon, and dinner rolls make this a complete meal.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.