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Old 04-15-2007, 11:02 AM   #1
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Quick meals for a single student mom

Hi lades - looking for quick meals for a single student mom aka quick, simple, good for you and tastes good Not asking a lot am I? TIA!
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

Well, I don't have any full-blown recipe suggestions (I'll have to think on it), but I do have some suggestions to help you maximize your time and not add $$ by buying convenience foods (which generally aren't healthy)

Bulk cook meats- For example, fry up several pounds of ground beef at a time and then separate them into meal sizes and freeze. Tonight I baked 6 chicken breasts while I was doing stuff around the house (basically no effort just put them in a baking dish with an inch of water and bake until done). Now I will cut them up and freeze them or put them in the fridge to use throughout the week. You can do the same with a big roast. Or better yet use a crock pot to cook them, you just need a tiny bit of liquid and let it cook all day. Totally hands-off

You can also do this with pasta (put in a baggie with a little bit of oil and freeze), rice(freeze plain), beans (cook a BIG batch and freeze with or without liquid)

Then you have the "convenience" of semi-prepared foods and can combine them quickly when you want them. You can cook a lot of these if you are studying at home since most of them are hands-off or low-maintainence (sp)foods.

So, for example with the chicken I cooked tonight I will use it in fettucini alfredo (15 minutes to prepare) for supper tomorrow and chicken/bacon/ranch tortilla wraps sometime this week for lunch.

I can use the ground beef to dress up mac 'n' cheese (I use real cheese, not the powdered stuff), tacos, add to spaghetti sauce, you get the idea

Roast Beef can be shredded and used for roast beef sandwiches, or add BBQ, use a prepared pie crust and some fozen veggies and make beef pot pie.

Hope this helps. If you would like more ideas like that, let me know. I hate spending all my time in the kitchen, but still do most of our cooking from scratch. Most meals I cook take 20-25 minutes or less. But I'm not sure how "healthy" they are
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

Thanks so much! The thing I find hard is using meat in every meal.. I often buy it but it always goes to waste because I just forget I am deffinately going to cook and freeze..

With pasta - how much oil do I add?

I have tried cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker and it just fell apart - i must have cooked it to long?

I would like to try and find thing I can cook at home then have left overs for luches to take to school [i have access to heat them up] to save $$

ooo there was something else I wanted to ask but just forgot


Thanks so much!!
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:53 PM   #4
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

lets see what is on the top of my head lol

I love to just get boneless, skinless chicken breasts you can get a family pack and freeze them individually in foil or small freezer bags, or you can find them sometimes like at walmart, in large bags of individually frozen chicken breasts. I just salt and pepper them or use any seasoning you like, and put it in the pan of a tablespoon or so of olive oil and as the sides of the chicken start to get white about half way up flip, and this side will take a tad shorter time than the first side, then you're done...usually it's 3-4 minutes you'll quickly learn the timing. it's REALLY EASY! for sides I like to just use frozen or canned veggies and steam them in the microwave, or veggie/rice steamer. It's hard for me to shop for fresh veggies and they always go bad on me, but the thing is frozen and canned are actually better in most cases than fresh because they are ripe at the picking and flash frozen/canned...not picked green and ripen in a truck. And add some rice or something on the side. I do the same with cubed steak, porkchop tenderloins (boneless)...these are the easiest meals for me and dh.

For the left over chicken cut it up into bite sized pieces, stick in a bowl with a wet paper towel over top for a few seconds till warm...then add to a fresh salad!! YUM!

SPAGHETTI! Just brown hamburger meat, get your favorite jar of sauce or marinara, or mix your own seasonings with a can of stewed tomatoes and add tomato paste to thicken, use angel hair pasta, it's so thin and cooks in just a few minutes....for leftovers throw it all in a bowl together stick in fridge, stick in microwave to reheat in less than a minute. Have a small salad on the side.

I like to get the premade meatballs in the freezer section they are so good and you can heat them in the pan for better flavor or for a quick cook just stick them in the microwave sometimes I start them in the mic and finish in the pan for the last few seconds. Eat them plain or add to your previous days extra spaghetti sauce and put them on a bun or just a piece of sliced bread.

um the chicken you said fell apart, was it nice and moist, if so then that's what you want it to do, if it was dry then you just needed some water in your pot or you either took the lid off too much, you should ALWAYS use water in the crockpot and LEAVE the lid on with little to no lifting it.

what you think? any of these good for you?
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:56 PM   #5
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDFreak View Post
Thanks so much! The thing I find hard is using meat in every meal.. I often buy it but it always goes to waste because I just forget

just wanted to reiterate, I mentioned this in my post, but then saw this when I read this post....just buy it fresh, then right when you get home, separate the meat into single portions in ziploc freezer bags, label them and stick in freezer and pop one out the day you want to cook either stick in the fridge if it's early morning or you can stick it in the sink to thaw and be ready when you get home. but one chicken breast in the fridge will thaw quickly.
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:56 PM   #6
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDFreak View Post
Thanks so much! The thing I find hard is using meat in every meal.. I often buy it but it always goes to waste because I just forget I am deffinately going to cook and freeze..

With pasta - how much oil do I add?

I have tried cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker and it just fell apart - i must have cooked it to long?

I would like to try and find thing I can cook at home then have left overs for luches to take to school [i have access to heat them up] to save $$
I have the same problem with the meat, that's why I started doing this. I was getting mad with forgetting to cook something and then having to throw it out and waste my money. This works so much better for us.

For the pasta add just enough oil to LIGHTLY coat it. So it doesn't stick together when you reheat it. (I don't measure usually so I don't know exactly)

The chicken is SUPPOSED to fall apart I don't have a crockpot right now, but when I cook mine on the stovetop I generally just cook it until it starts falling apart when I poke it. You just pick the meat off the bones. If there is any broth left in the bottom you can strain out the bones and stuff and save the broth (either freeze or use quickly) instead of buying broth at the store.

Whenever I cook supper I try to cook extra so that we can eat it for lunch the next day. Or if it's leftover meat you can turn it into a sandwich.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

stir fry- you can make it with whatever is in the fridge!
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

Quesadillas...they're one of my family's favourites. Just use whatever inside (we usually use cheese and peppers, sometimes add beans, onions, chicken, whatever we have) and fry for a few minutes on each side. Serve with sour cream and salsa. My 18 month old loves them. My husband really likes them with a layer of refried beans in them. Mmmm, now I want one but I just ate lunch.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: Quick meals for a single student mom

krafts website has a ton of good recipes that are quick, cheap and easy...
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