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February 09, 2008



I make a really easy chicken dish - Just a couple of chicken breasts in a casserole dish with a can of diced tomatoes, some garlic, oregano, basil, bay leaves, salt & pepper. You can add roasted red peppers if you have them. I bake it covered at 375 for about 30-40 minutes. It's great over pasta or rice. I now that doesn't meet your 20 minute criteria but you can make a large batch and enjoy the leftovers during the week. I also really like pork chops and shake 'n bake - so maybe you shouldn't follow my advice...


I think we talked about this recently so at the risk of repeating myself -

We like to do taco/burrito night. Pretty easy to prepare - especially if you buy the already made refried beans (I usually buy a can of pintos and make them myself). Heat the beans, brown some ground beef/turkey (or veggie crumbles), chop onions/lettuce/tomato/other veggie, grate cheese (or you could even buy the pre-grated kind). Heat shells for 5 minutes in the oven, you can nuke soft tortillas in the microwave (whole foods has whole wheat ones). And then everybody can put their own stuff together - you just need to get it out on the table. Since my guys refuse to put vegetables into their tortillas, I make another vegetable on the side.

I always keep a bag of dried tortellini on hand - super quick. We had Trader Joe's tri-colored cheese tortellini tonight, as a matter of fact.

Another quick pasta-y meal is pierogi. Delicious Fresh Pierogi Inc., a little operation in Roselle Park (town next to Cranford) makes great ones - no preservatives or words you can't pronounce in the ingredient list. Whole Foods carries them but occasionally A&P will have them as well. They boil in just a couple of minutes - if you want to fry up some onions in butter to accompany them, all the better, but not necessary. You can just melt some butter in the microwave and serve it with that and/or sour cream.

Another quick meal - homemade pizza. Whole Foods carries a whole grain pre-baked crust - add tomato sauce (you can even blend in another vegetable in the food processor for extra nutrition) cheese, whatever other topping you want - bakes in under 20 minutes.

One more super quick meal I make - beans and rice. I get those Uncle Ben whole grain brown rice packages that you can nuke in the microwave in 90 seconds (Pathmark has them). Open a couple of cans of red beans, throw in some chopped onion, a little tomato paste, some spices, heat, and voila. It's not the most interesting of dinners but it's REALLY fast and filling. Meat eaters can toss some chicken or sausage in to liven it up.

That's all I can think of for now. My mom, who was a single working parent, used to make a big pot of soup or chili or stew on the weekends and then we'd eat it all week. You can also freeze it in portions and spread it out so you won't die of boredom. We also ate a lot of mac and cheese and hot dogs. Oh, and hamburger helper, but you don't want to go there. However, you could probably do something quick with ground beef or turkey and whole wheat or rice noodles, a little butter and onions.


Hows about some omletes? I haven't been serving them for dinner, but I need to start. Filling and can hide lots of stuff in em.

Fish really only takes about 20 minutes to cook, if that. I just put some herbs on a filet of whatever, a couple of pats of butter and bake in the oven. Whole Foods also has some could marinades/cooking sauces over by the fish counter. Just pour them on and bake.

How about shrimp? Buy frozen raw, but cleaned. Start running the water over them when you get in the house and then they cook in 5 minutes in a pan. Throw some pesto on or just cook with olive oil. Serve with rice (Trader Joes has great bags that microwave in 3 minutes - white or brown) or noodles.


Sharon, Yes! The incredible edible egg! My kids go freaking CRAZY when I say, "Hey, how about BREAKFAST for DINNER???!!!!" They think I'm super duper cool instead of an unbelievably lazy-ass slacker who spends way too much time on the internets.


Nigella Lawson was on NPR today (Leonard Lopate show) and her new book is Nigella Express. I guess she's trying to cash in on Rachel Ray's success without the annoying little expressions for everything.

Anyway, she said her favorite quick meal is steak and smushed up white beans. She said she buys the super thin steaks (I guess like steak ums, but not) that cook about 5-6 minutes on each side and cooks white/cannellini beans in garlic and oil and mashes them up as they cook.


phone book.


Who among us can truly say they've realized the full potential of a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter? I've been at it for years and still feel I've barely scratched the surface.


Who among us can truly say they've realized the full potential of a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter? I've been at it for years and still feel I've barely scratched the surface.


Man, speaking of Steak-Umms, I used to do some great stuff with those and a bit of Velveeta, back when I ate meat (or in this case, "meat").


And also, apparently, "cheese".


Thanks for all the suggestions, people... particularly the steak ums and velveeta. That's definitely going into my rotation. Ha.

I am, however, currently heating up french bread pizza from Stouffers, which is like my dirty little secret, how much I LOVE them... Shhh. Don't tell. It all hearkens back to my teenage years when my mom and step dad would be gone and I'd sneak my boyfriend into the house. And THAT was what I "cooked" for him.

Unrelated: I have no idea why it didn't work out with us...


We are also big fans of breakfast for supper.

Or what about soup ingredients thrown in the slow-cooker the night before, and then plugged in the morning before you leave for work? You can do lots of things that way: pot roast, lentils, spaghetti, chili, split pea, etc.

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