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Old 03-08-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
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Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

Help me...
I need some serious help in meals (meaning dinner!)
In my house we have an RN working 12 shifts, a CO working 12 hour shifts, and a student nurse spending all day in school and then I have to study the rest of the time (and clinicals start in 2.5 weeks!)

My husband is type 2 diabetic as well.

We are about to go grocery shopping this week and I could really use help. We live off of boneless/skinless chicken breast at usually 1.88/lb which gets expensive as we go through it pretty fast. And we occasionally will have porkchops or roast/carrots/potatoes which is ALWAYS good and easy. We buy a porkloin at Sams for usually around $18 and make pork chops and usually 1-2 roasts.

We buy the 5lb ground chuck from Walmart for the very rare spaghetti, sloppy joe, enchiladas.

I would LOVE to just take 1 day and cook meals to freeze. We need enough for 3 dinners and 2-3 lunches at a meal.

We are picky! No onions, tomatoes (or the chunks, we will eat sauces), bell peppers, celery, etc. And we need to be decent on carb count!

And as cheap as possible. If there were some meatless things, that would cut cost.

Help?

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

Have you checked out the stickied $5 meal thread? Do you make a lot of use of a crockpot or pressure cooker? I'm not a good one to help with freezer meals, but we do make a lot of double sized meals to have leftovers later in the week (lunch or dinner).
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

Yes- checked the thread and it did not meet the needs usually of fast/easy or too carby! Should have mentioned I ran through that last night!

I would love to have ideas to throw in the crockpot... but also would like stuff that can be made however and froze.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: over 2/3 cup • Old Pts: 4 • Weight Watchers Points+: 4
Calories: 185.5 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 27 g • Carbs: 13.5 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Sugar: 10 g
Sodium: 504 mg

Ingredients:


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sriracha hot chili sauce, or more to taste
1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 medium scallions, chopped for garnish


Directions:

Place the chicken in the slow cooker and season with black pepper. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, 1 tbsp water, sesame oil, onion powder and sriracha hot chili sauce. Pour over chicken and cook on LOW 3-4 hours.




Remove chicken, leaving the sauce in the slow cooker. Shred chicken with two forks; set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup water; add to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH until slightly thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes; return chicken to the slow cooker and mix well.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice and top with sesame seeds and chopped scallions for garnish.

Enjoy!
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

That recipe sounds tasty, except I'm never by a crockpot for 3-4 hours on a work day, not sure how that works out for OP. How does it hold up over being left in the crockpot initially for 10 hours, have you ever tried?
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

Oh, that sounds amazing! Definitely going to try that! Thank you!
(It would work on my short day!)
And everyone here loves Chinese!
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twood80
That recipe sounds tasty, except I'm never by a crockpot for 3-4 hours on a work day, not sure how that works out for OP. How does it hold up over being left in the crockpot initially for 10 hours, have you ever tried?
It would definitely be super dry being in a crock that long. Chicken breasts get dry after about 4 hours in the crock.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

Now that I'm back at a real computer, I have some additional suggestions. And I'm stealing that sesame chicken recipe, yum!

Pea soup (off the top of my head)
Ham or ham+bone
1 pound peas
1 small onion, diced
2 bay leaves (3 if they're tiny)
sprinkle of pepper
salt if you want it (usually the ham, especially a ham bone, provides enough)
water

Soak (and stir/rinse repeatedly) the dried peas for ~4-8 hours. Put ham/ham+bone in crock pot. Drain soaked peas. Dump soaked peas over ham. Add onion, bay leaves, pepper, salt. Add water to the crock pot until it completely covers the contents plus about 1". Simmer on low for ~20 hours. This means I usually start peas on Sunday morning, put everything in the crockpot before bed, and we have pea soup for dinner on Monday. If you want to double the recipe, you'll probably need 2 crock pots. Before serving, dig out the ham bone, any ham cartilage, and the bay leaves. Serve with warm bread if you wish. You can shorten the cooking time if you put it on high for at least part of the duration; cooking shorter entirely on low will be safe, but the peas will still be "crunchy"/formed rather than turned into soup.

I almost never cook meals in my crockpot, but I use it for meat all the time. Beef or pork roast, any kind of chicken (blsl breasts, leg quarters, whole). I've got an older one with a heavy glass lid, I love it. Also got a new one with a light plastic lid, which I will carry around to events since I don't have to worry about it accidentally getting broken. Definitely need more fluid if I'm cooking in the light lid one. I just put in a whole roast or a whole chicken worth of meat, cover with water, and cook on low for ~10 hours while gone at work. Most bullion is very salty, I wouldn't add it. Mine doesn't turn out dry or rubbery, but I make sure to use a lot of fluid so everything is submerged the whole time. Then I use the meat in whatever dish - roast, anything with chicken bits (smothered potatoes, chicken soup, chic enchiladas, etc). And I filter and save all the tasty broth from the crockpot for cooking with or making homemade soup. You can cool the broth, then skim the fat off it.

For beef roast in particular, it's pretty fast to make a meal once I get home. The onions were in the crockpot with the meat all day (and 1-2 bay leaves and maybe some salt and/or pepper). I just scrub up some potatoes, chop them into smaller than usual pieces, and boil. Can turn the potatoes into mashed potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes if you wish. Not sure how this one in particular works with your carb/no onion requirements.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:31 AM   #9
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These are one of favorites...

http://m.justapinch.com/recipes/main...oin-wings.html

The changes I've made are to cook in the crockpot, add 2 tsp. garlic powder, use chicken legs, omit butter, and instead of coating each individual piece, I just sprinkle it over the top.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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Re: Cheap, easy, fast meals?!

This super quick and easy (can ditch the pancetta and use dried herbs), and freezes really well. Also, this machine saves my life everyday - chops onion, carrots, celery, garlic in 5 seconds. Grates cheeses, makes smoothies...etc.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/r...li-recipe.html


http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-contr...ick-mixer.html (u can use a coupon at bedbathandbeyond)
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