quick fix dinners

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from LLTyrrell. Show LLTyrrell's posts

    quick fix dinners

    I am a new mom and have found it difficult to continue eating healthy with my DD demanding my attention. I've resorted to living off of pb&j but need a better long term solution. I was just wondering if anyone had quick (and easy) recipes that I could prepare in just a few minutes. I've never been a whiz in the kitchen so the simpler the better! Thanks :-)
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    The crock pot!  Chop veggies coarsely and quickly or even buy them all chopped.  Leave skins on potatoes and chop roughly.  Add liquid, seasonings, and meat as per millions of online recipes.  Set it all up the night before after you put the baby to bed - takes about 15 minutes.  Set the inset into the fridge overnight, and plop it in the cooker in the morning.  8 - 10 hours later, perfect food.  You can do beef stew, mac n cheese, beef/pork roasts, chicken....it's endless.  Every recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare ahead of time.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Raman noodles. Just add hot water, some chopped veg/mushrooms and done. Dinner in <3min
    Toast and beans. <5min
    Soup from a can. <5min
    Mac+Cheese from a box. Just add hot water. <5min
    Microwave-baked potato, then add cheese and coleslaw. <10min
    Frozen pizza.<15min
    The advantage here is also minimum dishes needed to be washed too.
    :)


     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    She didn't say she's a new teenage mom...
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    If you have a George Foreman grill, you can make protein quickly and easily with minimal attention. Steak, burgers (beef or turkey), chicken - the list is endless and doesn't require a lot of baby-sitting.

    I like to buy chicken breasts in bulk, then freeze individually (the ones at Stop&Shop can serve two people), with marinade if you like. In the morning, take out one and leave it in the fridge to thaw a bit. Before dinner, throw it right on the hot grill and leave it there until done (this may take some trial and error to figure out cooking time, especially if still somewhat frozen, but somewhere around 10-15 minutes).

    Meanwhile, mix and match from the following options for sides:

    +frozen vegetables in a steamer on the stove (leave until heated through)
    +a pre-made bagged salad (open and dump into bowl), with or without extra vegetables
    +tortillas, shredded cheese, a jar of salsa and a can of black beans (burritos)
    +Minute rice (boil measured water, then dump in measured rice, cover and come back in 5 min or more) or boil-in-a-bag rice
    +Wash and stab potatoes with fork, put in microwave to "bake" - then serve as is or mash with milk
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Your suggestions are definitely "quick fixes", but do you realize that they are also LOADED with sodium? Not something a new mother needs, who already suffers from water retention. She asked for healthy quick fix options.- Pingo


    In Response to Re: quick fix dinners:
    [QUOTE]Raman noodles. Just add hot water, some chopped veg/mushrooms and done. Dinner in <3min Toast and beans. <5min Soup from a can. <5min Mac+Cheese from a box. Just add hot water. <5min Microwave-baked potato, then add cheese and coleslaw. <10min Frozen pizza.<15min The advantage here is also minimum dishes needed to be washed too. :)
    Posted by plasko[/QUOTE]
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Tyrell,
    The crock pot is definitely the way to go. You can prepare everything at night, after you have put the baby to sleep. And you don't need to be a whiz to just dump everything into the pot. Start it in the morning and you will have dinner ready at dinner time. Make a large pot full and you will have lots of leftovers to heat up later for lunch and breakfast, if you desire so. 
    If you don't have a crock pot, buy one. You don't need an expensive, fancy one. My unmarried son bought one at Target for $ 15. He loves it and uses it all the time. There are plenty of healthy recipes on the net.
    Good luck dear and congratulations on your new baby - Pingo.

    In Response to quick fix dinners:
    [QUOTE]I am a new mom and have found it difficult to continue eating healthy with my DD demanding my attention. I've resorted to living off of pb&j but need a better long term solution. I was just wondering if anyone had quick (and easy) recipes that I could prepare in just a few minutes. I've never been a whiz in the kitchen so the simpler the better! Thanks :-)
    Posted by LLTyrrell[/QUOTE]
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsygreen. Show pumpsygreen's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Hi Tyrell,Congrats on your baby! Stirfry helped me out a lot with something quick, tasty, and healthy. Lean protein, veggies, and complex carbs, with whatever seasonings appeal to you. If you want healthy steer clear of the processed stuff. Ev,en with a newborn, it's just as quick to fix a wholesome dinner via slow cooking, or sautee/wok as it is to use packaged non-nutritional products. It's also less expensive. bg.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    In Response to Re: quick fix dinners:
    [QUOTE]She didn't say she's a new teenage mom...
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    Too True. But I admit I was kinda reading between the lines and thinking of her as a single mom (where is daddy to do the cooking or his share of babysitting otherwise). So she is gonna be totally wiped out and not have any time for fancy old-lady things like crock-pots or george foreman grills. Her time is already pushed to the limits. 
    My suggestions were much better than P+B sandwiches (also loaded with salt), and use absolute minimum effort (including shopping effort). 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Sorry plasko, but I don't quite agree with you. Your suggestions were not healthy at all. They may be quick, but not healthy.
    Prepare and throw things in a crock pot will take no more than 10 - 15 minutes. Starting with some simple recipes until she get the hang of using it. And the lady will have meals for several days. Healthy meals, depending on what she put in the pot.
    It was a lifesaver for me, when our kids were young. I would always have a meal ready for them, when they got back starving from all their activities (me driving of course), before they got into the junk food. I wish I had one when they were babies. - Pingo
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnjoyEverySandwich. Show EnjoyEverySandwich's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners



    You know what is really quick, when you're in a pinch and have not loaded the crockpot?  Cook up some rice -- you can get boil-in-bag brown rice, which takes no effort to make.  Top the hot rice with American cheese and stir in.  Yes, American cheese is not the best kind of cheese, but you can use the reduced fat & reduced sodium kind.  Kids really like this and you can heat up some frozen veg or have a salad on the side.  (Also you can do this with leftover rice -- put a slice of cheese on it and pop it into the microwave.)

    Here's something else I make which is easy-peasy and is a favorite with my family.  Cook one box of orzo pasta.  A couple of minutes before the orzo is done, toss cut green beans into the pot with the pasta.  (If you are using fresh green beans, put them in maybe 2 minutes before the pasta is done.  If using frozen, maybe 4-5 minutes before.)  Drain the pasta and veggies and put into a bowl (or you probably could use the pan you cooked the pasta in).  Toss with ~2T olive oil, 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and ~1/2 cup sliced roasted almonds.  (I use the Almond Accent plain roasted almonds, which do have salt, but that's only salt I put into the dish.  Also, I used to use the Almond Accent parmesan flavored almonds.  They work really well, but I rarely see those in store -- plus BJs sells the plain ones in a large bag, which is more economical.)  As you can probably tell, I put in all the ingredients by taste -- you can shift the quantities to your own taste.  You can also use different veggies, like broccoli and/or asparagus.

    In terms of saving time and steps, any time I can cook veggies in with the pasta, I do -- so my kid-friendly "buttered letters" -- which is alphabet pasta with olive oil -- might have frozen peas that I toss into the pasta water at the last 30 seconds or so.

    Another quick dish, especially if you have leftover cooked spaghetti, is to put baby spinach on a plate, top with cooked spaghetti and olive oil (and perhaps parmesan) and put it in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  This just wilts the spinach.  Then toss on your plate and eat.  (Sometimes fresh cooked spaghetti is hot enough to wilt the spinach without the microwave.)  I did this for my dinner tonight, but I also chopped up some leftover tomato and added that to the dish too.  I usually get either whole wheat or the Smart Taste spaghetti, which makes it even healthier.

    I'm all about easy and healthy cooking.  I have other dishes I make but these are the quickest ones to prepare that I can think of at the moment.


     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Thank you Sandwich. You have some great ideas. I know whole wheat pasta is better than the white stuff, but my family just cannot stomach it. They tell me it tastes like cardboard and glue (LOL) - I think I brought them up to like the white stuff better. WW pasta was just not available, when they grew up.
    I like to prepare couscous as well, when I am really short of time. Boil water in a pot, dump in couscous and let sit 5 minutes. You can add spinach and frozen peas to that too. If you want to use other veggies, that need to be cooked (like carrots f. ex.), chop them up and add them to the pot and cook for a few minutes, before you add the grains.
    While you are waiting for your couscous, throw a chicken breast in the micro wave.  And you will have a decent meal w/o much fuss.
    If you like shrimp, add them to the cooking water for a few minutes, before you add the grains and some frozen peas. Now you have at least 5 minutes to chop up some cabbage and grate a few carrots to make coleslaw to go with it.
    I could go on. To make a quick and healthy dinner at home does not necessary have to be such an undertaking, even if you do not own a crock pot. I would still prefer the slow cooker. You can make several meals at one time to heat up later.
    - Pingo

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnjoyEverySandwich. Show EnjoyEverySandwich's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners


    Hi, pingo!

    I agree that the whole wheat pasta has a distinctive taste.  It's not too noticeable if you're serving it with a strong flavored tomato sauce, but with olive oil, it takes getting used to.

    However, the Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta is (at least if you believe the label) even better than the whole wheat, and it tastes just like regular pasta.  There's another company that also makes a "healthy" white pasta (I think it's the Barilla "Plus" pasta), but there's a really strong taste to it that I find kind of unpleasant (much more so than whole wheat).  Only downside to the Smart Taste is the cost, so I try to stock up when it's on sale.

    I don't have a slow cooker, but I'm tempted to get one with all the glowing reviews I've seen here.  However, my littlest one is not too crazy about all the one-pot meals I make now -- she would much prefer each of her food items to be separate on the plate -- so I don't think it's a good investment for us at the moment.

    You mentioned tossing shrimp into a dish.  BJ's sells Legal Seafood frozen shrimp (both cooked and raw) in large resealable bags.  It's half the price of fresh shrimp at my local fish market and the quality is good.  It's easy to keep in the freezer and just take out a few pieces to toss into jambalaya or whatever.

    I don't work for Ronzoni, BJ's or Legal Seafood, btw!  8^)
     
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    I have often wondered how energy-efficient crock-pots are? All that long-term cooking must surely cost a lot of $$ in electricity? Also, anyone know if they are a fire-hazard? The idea of cooking something while you are out is kinda scary to me. 
    And anyone know if they make your house smell, or are they airtight as they cook?



     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Plus they take up a lot of room, those tiny 1 bedroom/studio apartments don't exactly have a lot of counter space.  I don't think it's a good idea to have stuff cooking when your not home either.  All my crockpots ended up at the "Goodwill".         BTW:  You can often find them at the thrift stores, barely touched in good condition for a few bucks.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: quick fix dinners

    Sorry for you Robin, that you discarded your crock pots.
    But slow cookers may not be for you. If you want a steak and a baked potato every night, then it is definitely not.
    My son, who has an apartment the size of a stamp, bought his second crock pot recently. A tiny one he uses to cook his oatmeal for his breakfast, and to use for smaller amount of cooking. But he mostly uses his larger one (I don't know how many quarts) to have a meal ready, when he gets home. Plus lots of leftovers for his lunches to heat up at work and for his next few days dinners.
    And one plus, which has not been mentioned is, you can uses cheaper cuts of meat and they will get as tender as the most expensive.

    Plasko, I use mine all winter long and I don't see my electric bill go up. In the summer months we eat lots of salads or use our grill, using our stove and oven less. As far as a fire hazard any appliance you have plugged in all day is a fire hazard. Like your TV or your computer. Or your oil-burner or hot water tank for that matter. Do you turn those off, whenever you leave?
    And yes, the house smells ---- divine. Nothing better to come home from work and smell that delicious dinner ready - waiting for you. - Pingo
     
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