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Salt, Sugar, Fat

I heard a fascinating interview on NPR about processed foods. It got me to thinking that for the most part, I avoid processed foods, but not for any holier-than-thou reason. I just don't find them filling. I could eat them all day and never feel full. (That's probably the point. They sell more food that way.)

Unfortunately, my tolerance for cooking and cleaning up has gotten pretty low, too. Lately my idea is to make a big casserole with a few ingredients and make a large amount. Or a soup...soup's pretty good for high-volume, low-effort, low-cleanup.

I made a thing today with broccoli, artichokes, feta cheese, Greek vinaigrette and a crumb topping. 6 ingredients and not too fussy. (I'm also trying to minimize rice, pasta or potatoes...which kind of leaves me with meat, veggies and beans. And I dislike fish and don't eat pork...you can see where this gets difficult.) In summer I can grill something and throw it on a salad. Then again I hate washing lettuce.

What's your favorite easy-homemade meal?

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( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
cdn_tam
Mar. 3rd, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook. Sigh. Sometimes I do make pasta casserole, with is basically just pasta with ground beef, sauce, peppers and then I sprinkle cheese on top and bake it. That`s usually good for a couple of days.

I`m not really a soup fan. It seems most nights it`s pretty traditional, meat, starch, veggie. I often put a whole chicken or roast in the crockpot so it`s nice to come home to that cooked, then I`ll quickly make some rice and veggies of some sort.

I do have a a fair number of frozen meals in the freezer though, simply because some nights it`s just easier.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
I've noticed Target's frozen family sized meals are really affordable...but I think I eat way too big a portion for it to be any kind of healthy.
(no subject) - jordan_c_price - Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cdn_tam - Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oh, lawd. - brenopa - Mar. 5th, 2013 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
idamus
Mar. 3rd, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
What is this homemade of which you speak?

Um, I can make salads and sandwiches, but I can burn water, so I don't cook, we do have a cheap place that makes steak/potato variated dinners, I sometimes go there for hot food
They have a chicken and a pork menu too, but mostly steaks
And a salad buffet if you want green stuff too ;)
jordan_c_price
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
Our local grocery store is expanding. I think they're getting a salad bar, which is exciting.
Janet Sidelinger
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
Frittata made with leftover vegetables & a salad is one of my favorites. Or pasta tossed with a good olive oil & shaved Parmesan or Romano cheese. Pretty simple.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
I'm such a fogey, eggs just scream "breakfast" to me! My typical breakfast is an egg/spinach bake.
(Deleted comment)
jordan_c_price
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
Aw! Thanks for sharing this memory.

My dad taught me to cook. I remember how I felt so important when I picked out what we'd make for dinner. Basically warming up food from frozen, canned or mix...but you gotta start somewhere.
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tameiki
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
At a conference I once went to my boss and I wound up at a brewery for dinner. The pasta fresco was a very pleasant surprise and I make it often. At first I was apprehensive at how much the pasta was swimming in the olive oil on the plate but that's not a consideration for me now. Besides, it's good for you :)

Boil penne pasta 'til al dente. Drain and set aside. I prefer the mini penne.

Take a small container of grape tomatoes. Wash and cut in half (not lengthwise), set aside.

In a deep skillet on high heat pour extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add half teaspoon of Italian seasoning, a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic. Stir until oil heats up and is starting to bubble a little. I also add just a sprinkle of garlic salt and liberal amounts of fresh ground gourmet pepper.

Add tomatoes just long enough to warm them up then add pasta. Mix to coat adding more extra virgin olive oil (I love Paul Newman's organic extra virgin olive oil) to keep it well lubed. You can't have too much and you should have oil constantly on the bottom of the pan.

Once everything is well mixed and coated and at the same temperature, take off heat and serve. You can sprinkle some Parmesan if you want. Also, you can also serve it with whatever protein that pleases you like a grilled chicken breast or even chorizo sausage.

It's easy and filling and...dare I say it? *whispers* Healthy. *grins*
jordan_c_price
Mar. 3rd, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
There's probably a lot of oil left on the plate in that situation too. Unless you mop it all up with bread and eat it :D
(no subject) - tameiki - Mar. 3rd, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
piplover
Mar. 3rd, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
I didn't really learn how to cook until I joined the Army. Then it was either my own cooking or military food, and even some of my worst efforts were better!

My favorite easy dish is chicken stir fry. I just cut up three or four sweet peppers, usually one of each color, half an onion, throw in some peas and some water chestnuts and let cook for a bit. If I use fresh chicken I brown it first, but for lazy days I use pre-cooked chicken strips and just cut them up and toss them in. Then add some teriyaki sauce and simmer for a bit longer. Put over some minute-made brown rice and you have a healthy, cheap and easy meal that will feed you for three or four meals.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 3rd, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
The interview mentioned that the researcher who discovered the "bliss point" of sugar saturation was actually working for the military, trying to figure out how to get people in combat to eat.
(no subject) - piplover - Mar. 3rd, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
krondr
Mar. 4th, 2013 12:37 am (UTC)
I suppose I should learn to cook now that baby is due in 6 weeks and we can't (and can't afford to) just pop out of the house for dinner!
jordan_c_price
Mar. 4th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
WOOO, I'm so excited for you! YAAAY!

Try to have her on April 13th so I can be her soul-sister. (You see, I've decided you're having a girl.)
(no subject) - krondr - Mar. 4th, 2013 11:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jordan_c_price - Mar. 4th, 2013 12:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
themadfish
Mar. 4th, 2013 05:03 am (UTC)
The easiest (and pretty much the only thing) thing I know to make is Parmesan crusted chicken. Basically, you dip the chicken in an olive oil and crushed garlic mixture (I usually warm the mixture up slightly), then into a half Parmesan, half panko bread crumbs mixture and bake for about 30-35 minutes at, uhhh...375? Then, during that time I usually steam some green beans with crushed garlic and a bit of salt. Or steam some broccoli with sliced ginger, garlic, and salt.

Oh, or one thing you could make a lot of is getting some of that Japanese style golden curry packets and mix that with potatoes, carrots, chicken, peas, onion, and whatever other vegetables you like. I put in snow peas before and liked that. Personally I think potatoes are kinda essential to this, but I bet you could try with beans instead.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 4th, 2013 12:24 pm (UTC)
I make variations on that chicken too. I usually dip it in egg wash...I think garlicky olive oil would be easier so I'll try that next time.

I've never tried a Japanese curry, I'll look out for it next time I'm at the Asian grocer!
(no subject) - themadfish - Mar. 4th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
anikoL257
Mar. 4th, 2013 09:13 am (UTC)
Pizza or nachos. When I get chicken breast or mince, I cook up the lot in one go (adding 'hidden' veggies into the mince) then portion and freeze it.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 4th, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
I do a nacho topping on a salad instead of chips when I'm trying to keep carbs lower, kind of a taco salad. But it feels fussy since you can only make a serving at a time. I enjoy it though.
(Deleted comment)
jordan_c_price
Mar. 4th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
I eat a lot of chicken too. The thing I've recently discovered about frozen chicken is that if I buy the "tenders" rather than the "breasts," they thaw more quickly and usually cost about the same. Also the tenders have less weird, wiggly rib meat on them.
thrace_adams
Mar. 4th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
(Katherine here LOL) Since we've been in Germany and the kid has soccer practice 2- 3 times a week and CCD my crockpot has gotten MAJOR usage - so I have a TON of crockpot recipes - beef stew is one of our favorites, along with a chicken recipe that my kid calls Chicken Awesome LOL, but I've even done Manhattan Clam Chowder in it along with veggie chili and regular chili.

The beef stew we're actually having tomorrow. I just bought a beef chuck roast, or maybe it was a top round roast - some huge chunk of beef, I'll cut it into bite-sized pieces and coat it in a bit of flour with some salt & pepper and brown it in a skillet and then put it in the crockpot with carrots, potatoes, onions, a can or two of stewed tomatoes and a packet of beef stew seasoning mix - I usually use McCormick and I think a cup or so of water and just let it cook until the beef is really tender. I'd give you a time but because of the different current over here the crockpot cooks in about half the time, so I usually make the stuff about lunch time, put it on low and it's ready by dinner - I think in the US you'd have to make it around breakfast time.

Just my two cents.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 5th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
I have a crazy-easy crockpot beef recipe. It's just a beef roast and a jar of mild pepperoncini with all the juice cooked all day then shredded and thickened if you like. The vinegar in the pepperoncini makes the beef really tender and tangy.

What's in Chicken Awesome?
(no subject) - thrace_adams - Mar. 5th, 2013 02:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jordan_c_price - Mar. 5th, 2013 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Help. - brenopa - Mar. 5th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
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brenopa
Mar. 5th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
Urbanista can't cook, but can crockpot.
Last night I accidentally made some coq au vin in the crock pot. I'm a terrible cook, but my favorite home-cooked meal is bean soup. (I love soup so very much!) I put great northern beans,smoked turkey (or smoked duck, yum!) sweet onion, celery, garlic, garlic, garlic, and a pinch of thyme in the crock pot with lots of water. I turn it on, and leave.

It becomes rich smoky fragrant hearty soup. Ideally, i should refrigerate it over night and skim any fat off. but i can never wait that long.

Oh, cripes, I gotta make this tomorrow! It's all snowy outside.....
brenopa
Mar. 5th, 2013 11:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Urbanista can't cook, but can crockpot.
Oh, and I add steamed spinach or kale to to the soup when I reheat it. Can't be bothered with side dish action.

All these crockpot recipes are making me cray-cray. Uh oh.

Edited at 2013-03-05 11:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Urbanista can't cook, but can crockpot. - brenopa - Mar. 6th, 2013 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Urbanista can't cook, but can crockpot. - brenopa - Mar. 6th, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
ext_1686248
Mar. 7th, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Easy Peasy Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 lbs chicken - shredded
can of corn
can of black beans
jar of salsa
6 cups of chicken broth

Garnish with tortilla strip and/or cheese

It's awesome. Enjoy!
jordan_c_price
Mar. 7th, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Easy Peasy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Oh, that does look really good!
luvinthe88and20
Mar. 7th, 2013 05:09 am (UTC)
We do a chicken marinara over pasta. Take sliced onions and peppers and sauté. Once soften, take ready cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken, chicken in a can, or leftovers) let it warm up and cover in marinara and let them get happy together. Serve over choice of pasta. My brother came up with it to use the leftovers in the fridge.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 7th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
How funny, I never have leftover cooked chicken...this sounds really good.
( 53 comments — Leave a comment )

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