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Tried and true simple weeknight meals

March 31
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30 minute or less! Tried and true easy weeknight meals. I have tried and loved all of these super simple recipes. 30 minutes or less and slow cooker options. AmberDowns.net

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been going through a huge cooking slump.  I am sick of the meals we make but am not interested in learning fancy new meals.  A few months ago I had an inspired week and tried out some simple new recipes and loved them.  Have I gone back and made them again?  No, because I am not smart sometimes.  Anyways, I wanted to share them here as tested and approved simple meals and maybe remind myself about them so that I can try them again next week.  Wish me luck, won’t you?

 

Anyways, without further ado, here are 5 simple meals that are perfect for weeknights.  They do not require special ingredients and, with the exception of the crock pot meals, can be make in 30 minutes or less.  Myself (and sometimes my husband) enjoyed each of these meals and I am looking forward to making them all again.

 

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Crockpot Enchilada Quinoa

This simple meal has become one of go to ideas for dinners and lunches.  Because this is a casserole  type dish it freezes super easy.  I grab a container of it out of the freezer, grab some sour cream, and am ready for lunch at work.  Bonus:  Check pinterest for a enchilada sauce recipe, its super easy!  Don’t have time for the crockpot? Do it in a rice cooker(this is my method) or cook the quinoa on the stove and then bake for 30 minutes in the oven.

 

 

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15 Minute Lo-Mein

This is seriously the easiest, healthiest recipe ever. I grabbed whatever veggies I had in the house and threw them in.  Super fresh and you can make it a different meal every time by switching up the vegetables.

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Honey Lemon Chicken and Pasta

I love how impressive this meal looks.  Fresh lemon and herbs?  It looks like it took all day but really I was done in less than 30 minutes.  I enjoyed it with angel hair pasta and my husband preferred rice.  If you reheat the leftovers in the microwave at work be prepared for questions from staff who are following their nose.

 

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Four Ingredient Baked Pork Chops

I made this recipe with thin pork loin and it was delish.  I love sliced pork loin for a super quick meal, but I am always looking for a new way to prepare it.  This was moist and hearty.  Pair it with peas and applesauce for a trip down memory lane.

 

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Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Crock pot meal?  Count me in.  This was another simple fresh meal that I will be making again and again.  THe fruit  give it a fresh and fancy taste and the crock pot makes it a winner.

 

 

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Rice Cooker Jambalaya

September 16
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The Happy PlannerReview (2)

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite super easy meals.  I discovered this recipe after college when I purchased a rice cooker after my roommate who had one moved out.  After she left I of course knew I couldn’t live without perfect rice and snagged my own on Amazon.  After I got the rice cooker I realized it had so much potential and started researching other easy dishes.  This is one of my favorites and its always a crowd pleaser.

 

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What you need:

1.5 Cups rice.  (I use parboiled, but you can use whatever you like. If you use brown add more liquid.)
1 package kielbasa or whatever sausage you like.  (I prefer turkey)
1 can (15.6 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz)  tomato sauce or paste
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 clove diced garlic
2 TBS butter
1 cup water
1 packet chicken seasoning (or stock)
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp chili pepper

Chop kielbasa into slices or halved slices and set aside. Dice onion, pepper and garlic.  Place all ingredients into the rice cooker and turn on.  THAT  IS IT GUYS.

Easy rice cooker jambalaya

See? This is it!

 

Variations:

I am lazy, cheap, and hate buying chicken stock so I’ve been using chicken bullion.  If you’re a stock person substitute the bullion and water for a cup of chicken stock.

Picky eaters?  Try taking the tomatoes and veggies and running them through blender for a few seconds.  This will create a nice puree that they won’t even notice.

Like it hot?  Add cayenne pepper.  How much?   Consult an expert. (Not me.) This blogger says 2 tsp but as a non-spicy food eater I’m going to say I don’t know.

Cooking for a crowd?  Go ahead and add more rice.  You could do  2 cups rice and 2 cans of tomatoes if you’d like.  You could skip the sauce then.  It’s mostly for an extra tomato color and kick.

Not a sausage lover?  Add chicken or shrimp or both.  Cook them before adding to the rice cooker.

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Convinced you need a rice cooker now too? Try this one!

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Easy Turkey Chili

August 24
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I don’t know about you but I am always looking for easy, quick, reheatable meals (yes, reheatable is a word now) that don’t require special obscure ingredients.  So many things I see online and in cookbooks require some single use ingredient that I just plain am too lazy to buy.  This easy chili recipe is one of my favorites because it can be made from ingredients that are almost always available in my kitchen.  I enjoy regular chili but often times its a little heavy.  This chili is beef free and about as low-calorie/high protein as you can get.

 

Sometimes it takes two photos to get all of your ingredients in. 

This recipe is adapted from a dish found on @mealprepmondays on Instagram.

1/2  pound ground turkey (chicken or beef can work too in a pinch)

2 cans (16 oz.)  kidney beans  (I like to do light and dark for more color variation.)

1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes (we do crushed, but use what you like/have)

1/2 large onion diced  (more or less to taste)

1 clove minced garlic

1 cup water

1 cup corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)

1 can (8 oz.)  tomato sauce or paste

1 tbsp. chili pepper

1 tsp. cumin

Salt & pepper to taste



Serves 5-7 (Depending on if my father is coming to dinner or not.)

Start by browning your turkey.  Once cooked throughly drain and place the turkey in your large pot.  Sauté onions and garlic until soft or caramelized (Or until you get bored.)

Combine turkey, kidney beans, tomatoes, onion & garlic, tomato sauce and water on medium or medium-high heat.  Add chili pepper and cumin to taste.  I like things pretty mild around here but do what works for you and your family.

I like to cook this for about 20 minutes to let the flavors mush together and then I add the corn for the last five minutes.   This keeps it nice and crisp.

 

Wanna make it a meal?  Chili goes great with cornbread.  We love the Quaker cornbread recipe.

nom nom nom



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