10 week old Baby in the house!
My newborn turns 10 weeks tomorrow (it goes so fast!) and now that things are starting to get a little back to normal im getting in the kitchen a little more... Im looking for quick recipes, slow cooker recipes, make ahead recipes, easy recipes etc.
Two more for your list. These are my go to soups which are so easy and quick and healthy.
I serve these with either a good grilled cheese with tomato, or a good ham and cheese. I use good bread, a nice tomato and your favorite cheese. You can you velveeta if you want. I like to try a good gruyere and heirloom tomatoes or any combo you like. It is the sandwich and you should use what you have or like. But these are my two easy soups. I pot and your immersion blender ... or a blender.
1 box of chicken broth 1qt; 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into cubes not fine 1"; 1 large carrot cut into 1" pieces; 1 medium onion cut into quarters; 1 - 1 1/2 cups cream; 1 tablespoon fresh parsley; 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, Salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth to a large pan, add the potatoes, carrot, and onion. Cook until vegetables are very soft. Mix with either an immersion blender or in a blender. Return to the pot and add s/p and parsley and thyme. Serve with a nice sprinkle of grated cheese or a few crunched up croutons on top or even bacon is great.
Second ... Roasted Tomato Soup:
2 large 28 oz cans of good roasted tomatoes; 2 cans of chicken broth; 1 small container of heavy cream; 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley; 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning; salt and pepper to taste, 1 medium onion diced fine. 1/2 cup sherry; 3 cups fresh baby spinach. Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil, add the tomatoes and cook until all is heated through and the onions are soft. Add the broth and continue to cook for a few minutes. Puree with either an immersion blender or a regular blender. Return to pot and add the cream, herbs, salt and pepper and spinach and cook until spinach is done. Top with a good gruyere cheese.
Both these are quick and hearty and great with a good grilled sandwich. Can't get much better.
One more ...
This is a great dinner with salmon, tilapia, cod (or your favorite fish) or even shrimp and scallops. And no pots or pans. Use the left over pasta just kept in a baggie in your fridge. Ever make a meal and make 1/2 of a box of pasta... well next time make it all. Save one half, just enough for 2 servings. Keep in a baggie. To store just drizzle a little oil on it and keeps it from sticking.
Sounds like a lot but it is a total meal, veggies, pasta and fish, serve with a small side salad and perfect, or just a nice slice of bread.
Total ingredients: 2 helpings of pasta (leftovers), I like vermicelli, spaghetti or thin spaghetti for this; 2 filets of fish or 6 scallops or 6 shrimp per person (this serves 2); 1 small onion thin sliced; 6 mushrooms thin sliced; 1 small zuchinni julienne; 10 or so grape tomatoes cut in half; 1 large carrot julienne; 3-4 roasted red peppers thin sliced; 1 lemon sliced; salt and pepper; 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning; 2 teaspoons fresh parsley and 1/2 cup white wine; olive oil and butter. Also parchment paper, a staple in my house.
We are making two pouches, one for each so on a large sheet of parchment spray a little pam or olive oil in the center, top with pasta, then 1 lemon slice and some onions and a little salt and pepper, then the fish/shrimp/and or scallops, then top with lemon slice all the vegetables (tomatoes, remaining onions, squash, carrots and peppers. Top with salt and pepper and oregano and parsley. Now top with a teaspoon of butter and here is the trick... put the entire pouch in a large wide bowl of pie pan is what I prefer. Now you can pour the wine in (use broth if you don't have wine) this way the wine doesn't spill out. Now pull the sides up and wrap like a present. The parchment folds over good just tuck and roll together to make a pouch. Set on a cookie sheet and cook 20-25 minutes at 425. Perfect no frills dinner.
Many times I use leftover green beans and is a great way to use left over vegetables. My vegetables are what I like, please use your favorites. I made one with asparagus, mushrooms, fennel and salmon. You can do thin strips of chicken too with manchego cheese, salsa, black beans and white rice ... The pouch is just a method. I did salmon, dill, lemon, white wine and cream, asparagus and black olives. Greek, tomatoes, olives, feta, couscous, artichokes and onions ... Chicken with BBQ sauce, onions, green peppers, white rice etc. Asian with snap peas, shrimp, soy, jasmine rice, water chesnuts, bok choy, thin sliced carrots, etc. You get the idea.
Easy no clean up, just make wrap and cook and enjoy. I love them and make them for formal parties all the time. They are always a hit.
Here are some quick ideas for dinner. I don't have a baby in the house (many years ago), but I work all day. So, when I come home I usually want something quick and tasty.
Parmesean chicken served over baby greens. Take boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, place in between saran wrap, and pound to 1/4 inch thickness. Salt and pepper them, set aside. I get a platter, and plate some mesculin greens, toss with salt and pepper, add 1/2 lemon juiced over top, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Toss, set aside. Take 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of parmasean cheese and mix together on a plate. Take 2 eggs and whisk in a bowl. Place chicken breast in egg mixture, then in crumb mixture, coating well, then shaking excess. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Cook 3 minutes on first side and 2 minutes on 2nd side. Remove from pan, to paper towels. Place either whole or sliced breast on top of greens. A crust y baguette is good with this dinner.
Second dinner: Take 1/2 lb of lean ground beef, add salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in hot skillet and add meat, breaking up while you cook it. While cooking, fill pasta pot with water and a tablespoon of salt. Bring to boil add either elbows or some other pasta shape to boiling water. (about 3/4 lb) When cooked, drain and set aside. Remove meat from pan, add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped bell pepper (I like the orange/yellow one). Saute til translucent, 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add meat back to skillet, turn on low. Add 8 oz can of diced tomato, cover and let cook for ten minutes. Add elbows to skillet with meat and veggies, add 1/4 cup good parmasean cheese.
Dinner three: Quick Shrimp Scampi. Boil pasta water, add linguini, stir and set timer for what is on the box. Take 8 frozen shrimp (I use Jumbo Gold Brand from Stop & Shop), thaw, pat dry. Heat skillet, add 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic and Shrimp. Cook on medium, for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of wine and let simmer 1 minute, remove from heat. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper. When pasta is done, drain and save 1 cup of pasta water, set aside. Add linguini to Shrimp, sqeeze 1/2 lemon over it, and toss. Add 1/2 cup parmasean cheese, toss again. If it needs more liquid, add some of the reserved. You can also add basil, or arugala and toss at the end.
Dinner four/five - Get a rotisserie chicken (I buy Costco), and cut breast meat off in a whole piece on both side. Serve over greens tossed with good croutons and your favorite dressing. Mine is caeser for this dish.
With the rest of the chicken, add to stock pot (I use my Staub 6 qt), and add 1 medium onion cut in half, 1 whole head of garlic cut in half, 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery, whole. Fill 3/4 with water, gently bring to a boil, add a little salt and pepper and 2 bay leaves. Turn down and let simmer on stove for about 2 hours. Let cool, then put in fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Take pan out of fridge, skim grease on top. Take out chicken, and set aside in a bowl. Strain soup, into a large bowl. Cook 1/2 lb orzo or any small macaroni, drain set aside. Pick chicken off carcass and shred the meat, placing into chicken stock bowl. Discard chicken carcass and vegetables. Heat stock back up to almost a boil, add 4 or 5 chopped compari tomatoes, any kind of chopped greens (couple of cups), simmer 5 minutes. Add orzo and 1/2 cup parmasean cheese. Serve with crust bread. Although this seems like a lot of work, if you do the chicken stock after dinner one night and place in fridge overnight, it's so easy to finish the next day.
Meal six. I love fish, so I buy flash frozen Tilapia and Sockeye salmon from Costco. They come individually wrapped, just defrost in your fridge all day. Take fish filet out of plastic. Rinse and pat dry. Salt and pepper each filet and let sit for 1/2 hr out of the fridge. Pat dry. Mix together, 3 Tablespoons of mayo and 2 Tablespoons of dijon mustard. Coat both sides of filets. Dip each filet in a plate with panko bread crumbs, cover both sides. Melt 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, heat on medium until butter foams. Add fish, cook 3 minutes first side, 2 minutes second side. Remove to pan and let drain on paper towels. Serve with thinly sliced cucumbers, dressed with salt, pepper, 1/2 lime juiced and grated fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
I hope these help with some quick dinner ideas.
When I had my son I remembered less cooking was the key. Make one thing and anything you could make that could be used for quick other meals was the key. My ex and I used to trade eating one holds the baby the other eats. Also, sometimes important to have things that can be reheated but babies don't always cooperate. Also spice ... is breastfeeding. Spice is not the best.
Also salmon is good, buy a whole salmon or 1/2. I cook it all at once ... dinner with some the first night. Left overs great for a salad, or a simple salmon sandwich (like tunafish), and then in a simple quick pasta dish and even some left over for a simple salmon cake or salmon quesadillas. I time cooking and the hard part is done.
I never minded the eating part but cooking was difficult, less time in the kitchen was the key part!
One of the best pieces of advice I've read on this topic is to think of foods that you can eat with one hand (assuming the other hand is occupied with the baby!). Things that come to mind are pulled pork soft tacos, pesto tortellini, lettuce wraps, and nachos.
My baby is 18 months, and here are some of my favorites:
>Get some decent pre-made soup from the deli section of the supermarket, and poach an egg in it as you heat it up on the stove. One or two eggs per serving.
>Get your husband to grill a bunch of chicken. Save it to put on salads during the week.
>Pasta. Using a saute pan, you can make a nice tomato sauce in about 20 minutes.
>Curry. Get some thai curry paste, fry it a little with some garlic and extra ginger, add coconut milk and mix it up. Add chicken, veggies or whatever you want. Tofu and frozen peas are darn tasty, and you can't get much faster.
>Roast veggies ahead of time. Use them through the week as a side dish, on salads, or heat some up with broth to make a soup.
>This is my husband's favorite thing I make: caprese sandwich. Slice tomatoes. Slice fresh mozzarella cheese. Mix pesto and mayonaise and spread on bread. Make sandwich. Capers are good with this too.
>If you're making anything that can freeze (sauces, soups, chili), make extra and freeze the leftovers.
Wow thank you guys for the wonderful ideas! Kchurchill5 you have so many wonderful helpful yummy looking ideas! Would you mind posting a couple of your fave stir fry recipes?? Im going to look up the hash in your faves today! Im thinking a big pot of chili tonight! I will try and roast a turkey on Sunday when my husband is home- What a great idea!
No problems, turkey is great, I have some chili recipes on their too, cut back your spice is breastfeeding, but still a good base recipe unless you have your own. Same with my chicken hash. Make as spicy as you want.
Stir Fry Chicken or Turkey (left over chicken):
1/2 lb chicken of 1 1/2 cups thin sliced or leftover chicken work great; 1/2 lb peeled shrimp (tails removed); 1 cup broccoli florets; 1 small can of water chesnuts; 1 cup of thin julienne sliced carrots; 3 scallions diced; 1/2 cup water; 5 tablespoons soy sauce; 3 tablespoons sherry; 3 teaspoons cornstarch; 2 garlic cloves
Mix water, soy, sherry, cornstarch and garlic and set aside. Heat your wok and add your oil. Add the chicken and cook until done, then add the vegetables until slightly soft and then add the shrimp. Finally add the soy mixture, cook for 1-2 minutes until thick. You can add some chicken broth if too thick. Serve over chow mein noodles and rice. NOTE: This works with beef too.
Stir Fry Shrimp:
1 lb shrimp peeled and tails removed; 1 small onion thin sliced; 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms; white rice (I like Jasmine); 3 teaspoons garlic; 1 cup chicken broth; 1/2 teaspoon ginger; 1 1/2 cups frozen peas; 3 tablespoons butter; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 2 teaspoons oil;
Make the rice and set aside. Then mix the cornstarch, ginger, broth, salt and pepper and ginger and set aside. Then heat the oil in the wok or pan and cook the shrimp, onion, garlic and mushrooms, cook about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth mixture and the peas and heat to it thickens. Add more broth if necessary. Serve over rice
Stir Fry Pork and Peaches:
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut in thin strips; 2/3 cup store bought plum sauce; 1/3 cup apple juice/ 2 tablespoons soy sauce; 3 teaspoons corn starch; 3 teaspoons garlic minced; 3/4 cup scallions cut in 1" pieces; 1/2 cup green and red bell pepper cut in thin strips; 2 peaches peeled and sliced
Mix the apple juice, soy, cornstarch and plum sauce and set aside. Then in the wok add the oil and cook the pork and garlic, then add the onions, peppers and peaches. Then add the plum mixture until thick and gooey. Serve over jasmine rice or plain rice is good too
Roast a pork tenderloin with a simple marinade and then use it for the stir fry, add some BBQ and BBQ'd hoagie sandwiches and serve with a simple warm potato salad and a hint (you can buy pre sliced potatoes) saves lots of time. I normally don't but hey I'm a working single mom ... it is still better than fast food or take out. Layer it with the leftover ham, milk, a little cheese and salt and pepper and you have scalloped potatoes for 4. Another comfort food.
If you want I have a great cream, bacon and egg pasta suace, 10 minutes and done, handed down by a girlfriend my Italy. You have to try it ... it is amazing. Also a one with peas, cream and ham. Another favorite. Let me know.
A three or four pound pork loin roast, S&P and poked with holes filled with cloves of garlic, and roasted in a 425 degree oven for a few hours and you can eat for a week. Slices of pork roast first night, cut up roast as an ingredient in other family style recipes, stir frys, meaty dinner salads, rolled into tortillas, in tomato based or white sauces over noodles, rice or potatoes. Like the turkey, you'll get a lot of mileage out of these cuts of meat and wonderful flavor.
We think alike ... the link I gave her to the slow cooker recipes is the same idea. I love the pork roast. Great ideas too. Use it for many things. Like the tortilla idea, didn't think of that.
My chicken you could do in quick quesadillas too with a little onion and cheese and peppers. Pot roast is the same or a good beef roast. Lots of uses, soups, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, even some quick spring rolls with some napa cabbage, pre shredded carrots, some sauce and presto, Bake and dinner is served.
Best ... use the left over pork, chicken or beef for hash, potatoes, carrots, celery, meat of your choice, some simple seasoning, a little broth and fry on top of the stove. Then add a few indentations with a cup and put in eggs in those indents. Finish off in the oven. Hash for dinner for semi poached/over easy eggs. It is a great hash. I have one listed on my favorites. Sorry I can't link to it. My computer is acting up. A great 20 minute dinner.
Love the pork todao
I make turkey once a month. Love the leftovers. Turkey asian, creamed is a great standard, just simple over toast with mashed and stuffing, classic diner food. but with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, brussel sprouts and some gruyere, salads, wow. So much. Love chicken the same way. For the money value you can't beat it.
Simmer one whole chicken in a box 1 qt of chicken broth and a bay leaf some salt and pepper and some Italian seasoning or your choice. Cook 2 hours until falling off the bone. Remove chicken and bag up. Strain broth for future use. Broth can be used for pasta, soups or gravies, Chicken for stew or chicken and cumplings would be great. Already have the broth and the chicken. Add some onions, carrots, celery and cook till the veggies are soft. Make some simple dumplings and add to the pot. Cover and cook until soft. Easy chicken and dumplings. With lots of leftovers.
Roast a turkey ... I know sounds hard, but it takes no work and it makes many dishes, you can have turkey that night, turkey sandwiches, leftovers for turkey pasta, soup, hot turkey sandwiches. Use some shortcuts for stuffing if necessary like pre chopped celery, onions, etc from your grocery store, even cranberry jelly. Some of the jelly is great with the turkey for panini sandwiches with some gruyere or swiss cheese. I love turkey because clean it, s/p a little butter and cook. 3-4 hours later it is done.
Slow cooked pulled pork. You can use it for sandwiches, just on the side, even add to pasta or wish. if you want me to post the recipe, just let me know.
Also check this out: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/382292
I posted several recipes on there
Any pasta dish to me is easy, make a great simple tomato sauce that you could use with just pasta, or over chicken breasts, or add to a casserole.
Baked ham, a good spiral ham is great ... heat and serve, dinner, sandwiches, mac and cheese, soups, scalloped potatoes and ham, a great pasta with peas gruyere cheese, some good wheat pasta, black olives and a light cream sauce. 15 min on the table. Fritattas, ham and eggs. Ham goes it many directions.
A big pot of chili, 20 minutes and let it cook, chili for a few days.
My favorite when roasting a chicken I often do 2. Just cut the other up in bags. Keep some to eat and freeze the others. Now you have great leftover chicken to make stir fry, pastas, grilled sandwiches, pizzas or just use some left over gravy or make some quick, a few roasted red potatoes mashed and you have chicken and potatoes from leftovers.
Stir frys by far ... rice, vegetables and asian flavoring to me is so quick and so easy
Let me know any specifics you enjoy and be glad to post any recipes.