Friday, November 19, 2010

Simple, Quick Meals: 7 Of Them

To continue answering Siouxz's question, and in addition to Tuesday's and Wednesday's recipes, here are 7 more quick, favorite meals from Heavenly House!  Beware the startling amounts of cheese to follow...

1.  Pizza -  It has to be said: we make pizza two to three times a month.  Fast, easy, delicious.  Here's how I do it:

1 1/4 cups very warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups flour

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in water.  Add yeast, and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it billows up to a creamy froth.  Add salt, oil, and flour (wheat or white, or a combo of the two).  Mix well.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.  Cover loosely, and let rise in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm spot for 30 minutes.  Punch down dough, divide in half.  Form each half into a rough circle if placing on a heated pizza stone, or press into a lightly oiled 9x13 baking sheet with raised edges.  (I have a brownie pan that works perfectly for this.)  Top with cheese, meat, and veggies of your choice, and bake at 450 for 10 to 20 minutes.  (Um, sorry about that huge time gap.  I don't know how long I bake ours; I just keep an eye on it, and when the cheese is starting to go all golden and delicious, it's done.)

P.S.  Our favorite topping combination looks like this, and in this order: jarred pasta sauce, sliced provolone, shredded mozzarella, diced red peppers, and chopped canadian bacon.  Mmmmm.... 

2.  Chicken Noodle Soup is also a regular on our rotation, especially in the winter.  It's only time-consuming if you start with a whole chicken, but if you have some shredded chicken and broth on standby, it really comes together quickly.  Here's my recipe.

3.  Turkey Patties Parmesan - This meal is a dumbed-down version of the classic Chicken Parmesan, but since I rarely feel up to that whole breading/frying/baking fiasco, I like dumbed-down.  And as a bonus, we all love this meal!  Yummy, easy, perfect

1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup italian dressing
Prepared pasta sauce

Combine turkey, half of parmesan cheese, and dressing.  Form mixture into patties and place on lightly oiled broiling pan.  Broil for about 5 minutes (or less) on each side.  Sprinkle the other half of parmesan on top of patties during the last minute of cooking time, browning it slightly.  When fully cooked, top with pasta sauce and serve over a plate of steaming al dente pasta.  Enjoy!

4.  Pasta alla Vodka - Oh, man.  Love.  Love, love.  Thank you Pioneer Woman, for this heavenly meal.  Ugh.  LOVE.

5.  Chimichangas - Or, something like it.  I improvised one night when I had some leftover pot roast, and voila: a favorite was born.  Be warned -- there is no recipe here.  Only a few ingredients without amounts. 

Meat of your choice (I've used shredded pork, shredded beef, ground turkey; the options are endless.)
chopped green chiles
chopped tomato
garlic powder
chili powder
1 can of drained beans (I've used pinto, kidney, black...all good)
shredded monterey jack cheese
burrito-sized tortillas

Cook meat together with chiles, tomatoes, beans, and spices to taste.  On the center of each tortilla, sprinkle a generous pile of shredded cheese, and top with a spoonful of the meat mixture.  Fold top and bottom, and both side 'flaps' over the fillings to form a square tortilla pouch.  Place (folded flaps down) onto a sprayed baking sheet, and lightly spray each chimichanga with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 10 to 20 minutes.  (Again, sorry about the iffy time limits -- just eyeball it!  When they're puffed and golden, they're done.) 

6.  White Bean Chicken Chili from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I've made this several times now, using cumin and monterey jack cheese instead of oregano and mozzarella, because I'm weird and don't think mozzarella belongs in something called 'chili'.  But it's tasty either way.  SUCH a good, fast soup.

7.  Minestrone - This is probably the most time-consuming recipe on my 'quick' list, but it's so easy and delicious that I would have felt bad for leaving it out.  The hardest part is chopping up some veggies, which is no big deal, right?  Paired with a fresh, hot loaf of bread,'s perfect in any season.

1/2 onion, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato juice
italian herbs (I use basil, parsley, and maybe oregano -- but I'm not a big oregano fan)
2 cups chicken broth
3 - 4 cups water (depending on how thick or soupy you like it)
1 - 2 cups frozen green beans, snapped into tiny bits
1 1/2 cups small pasta (we like ditalini or small shells)
1 can (drained) great northern beans
1 cup shredded parmesan

Heat olive oil in a large pan, sauteing onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Add herbs of your choice, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.  Add frozen green beans and pasta, simmering until both are tender.  Add drained beans, and remove from heat.  Gently stir in 1/2 to 3/4 cups parmesan, and use the rest to top individual bowls of soup.  Try to keep your chin clean as you speed-scoop this deliciousness into your impatient mouth.  You're welcome!

Is this post over yet?  It is!  Now, go; cook something quick and delicious!  And stop by Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


  1. Homemade pizza is a big hit in our household too. I mean, really -- can you go wrong with pizza?! :)

    I'm trying the Turkey Patties Parmesan! Yum!

  2. Yum! I love that you're sharing all these recipes!

    Also, if you're feeling naughty, I recommend adding some bacon to the vodka pasta. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better!

  3. Mmmmm....thanks Sarah! I always love having new things to make for dinner.

  4. Oh, I will sure be trying some things here. We are trying to expand our "quick list" so that we have a little more variety. Thanks for the recipes. They look yummy!


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