Old 01-01-2011, 11:40 AM #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Greek Chicken and Orzo (which is a type of pasta, looks like very large rice)

(serves four)

2 cans (14 and 1/2 oz. each) Fat free chicken broth
1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, a shake of dried mint (mint is optional)
2 cups uncooked Orzo Pasta
3/4 pound raw, diced chicken breast--no skin or bones
3 cups packed, washed, torn spinach leaves
1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese

In large skillet heat broth, onion, oregano and mint to a boil. Add orzo, reduce heat to low. Cover with lid, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chicken, cook 6 minutes longer, or until chicken and orzo are cooked throughout.
Stir in spinach, heat just until it wilts. Remove from heat, and then top with Feta Cheese.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:16 PM #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Awesome thread Ann!
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:07 PM #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Hi Ken, Tom and Avril... Please tell me (those who don't cook as well as those who do) if there is anything lacking in the way of detail. I'm trying to get it all in a recipe but realize that there are still possible questions. Like: Safety--

To cook chicken or chicken/poultry pieces, have a clean plate to receive the rinsed meat, paper towels to dry. Wash hands, rinse poultry, pat dry with paper towels, cut on a cutting board if cutting is desired. Then, use dishwashing liquid and wash the cutting board and the knife and your hands well. After the meat leaves the plate, either wash it before using immediately or put it in the dishwasher.

Leftovers from a soup pot or a crock pot--should be taken out of the hot pot, and placed in storage containers as soon as possible to bring the heat down, with a goal of getting it into the refrigerator in a half hour. Let it chill overnight before placing into the freezer, in order to not bring the temperature within the freezer up.

The coldest part of a refrigerator, the last I read, is the middle back section. The warmest places are the door and the bottom shelf.

Basic rule of thumb regarding length of time leftovers are safe: about 4 days only, when kept well chilled. Or freeze.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:43 AM #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (ground chicken ought to be fine, also)
1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cans Cream of Potato Soup
3 cups water
2 cans (about 16 ounces each) or 1 quart stewed Tomatoes, not drained
2 cans (16 ounces) or 1 quart (32 ounces) Kidney Beans, not drained
16 ounces (2-8 ounce cans) Tomato Sauce
1 envelope Taco Seasoning Mix

I used an 8 quart pot for this. First, on medium heat on the stove, brown ground beef with the onion, stirring occasionally. Drain any fat (into a can).
Add everything else, and stir. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low; Simmer, covered with a lid for 15 minutes. Serve--May want to add sour cream.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:51 AM #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

this taco soup sounds really good and i think i will try it this week!
hooray for Ann!
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:59 AM #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Sausage and Spinach Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage in bite sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped

8 cups (2 quarts, 62 ounces) Chicken Broth
1 can (I believe it is about 16 ounces) Evaporated Milk (NOT "Condensed Milk")
2 cups peeled and either sliced or bite sized pieces Potato
1 package, 10 ounces, frozen chopped Spinach, thawed (refrigerate the night before)
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Use an 8 quart soup pot, heat oil, medium heat. Add sausage pieces and onion; cook until sausage is lightly browned and is no longer pink. Drain excess oil (If there is only a small amount of oil, try tilting the pot and use a paper towel to blot excess.).

Add broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer until potatoes are soft--check in 9 minutes.
Add milk and spinach; heat until barely simmering (bubbles around edge of pot).
Serve; sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:30 PM #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Ann-
This thread is great; it reminds me when my "boys" moved out into their first apartments. After the initial take-outs, then attempts at cooking because they tired of take-out (), they would call me & say "Mom, how do you make this?" or "Mom, what do I need for this?" I loved seeing that they took an interest in cooking (if only because it saved them money) but I admit, I did hold back on a few recipes- one or two of their favorites.

These were the ones that I would plan & then call & say "I'm having such & such tonight- want to come for dinner?" It would always bring them home!

Until I got caught & my daughter-in-law asked me for the recipe for one favorite (they were having friends over). I did give it to her; but was glad when they both admitted that even though it was good, mine was better!

I, too, have to admit that I didn't know there was a difference between "crockpot" & "slow cooker". Last Christmas, we gave our son a crockpot, or was it a slow-cooker?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:36 AM #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Did I hear my name?

Here's an easy recipe for the collection:

Basic lamb stew (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
2 sticks celery
2 medium onions
2 carrots
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 x400g tin of chopped tomatoes
olive oil
salt & pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
500g diced stewing lamb
500ml red wine

1. Wash celery, trim ends, roughly chop & put in a large casserole pot/pan.
2. Peel & roughly chop onion. Put in pan.
3. Peel carrots, slice lengthways, roughly chop & put in pan.
4. Put rosemary in with vegetables.
5. Put 2 good lugs of olive oil into pan & stir.
6. Put on a medium heat & fry for 10 minutes.
7. Add lamb & flour.
8. Pour in wine & tomatoes.
9. Stir well. Season with salt & pepper.
10. Bring to the boil. Put the lid on and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
11. You can take off the lid for the last 1/2 hour of simmering if you want a thicker sauce.
12. Taste. Add more salt & pepper if needed. Remove any sprigs of rosemary you can see.

For those on a soft, smooth, liquidised oral diet:
13. Put desired portion in liquidiser & whizz it up.
14. Mix in smooth mashed potato to thicken to desired consistency.

Enjoy.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:14 AM #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Great, Avril! And you sure did hear your name! Your recipe points out what has been trying to get to the front of my brain--the differing systems in measuring.
Ounces to grams (oz to gr) and grams to ounces (gr to oz) Online Calculator - Converter / Conversion Chart / Table, so 500 g of lamb is just over a U.S. pound of meat. And 400 grams of tomatoes is approx. 14 1/2 to 16 oz tomatoes (whichever size is "normal" in the store).

Here is a general conversion chart for kitchen measurements
The Metric Kitchen
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:54 AM #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

That's great Ann. Thanks for the calculator. Officially we use grams here but I grew up on ounces. Am always looking for a handy way to convert them.

On the recipe, I don't worry if there's a little more or less of meat or tomatoes. Just adds to the interest. Also, if your lamb isn't diced, it's not the end of the world. I have used lamb on the bone which over the couple of hours cooking simply slips off it. Just don't forget to fish out the bones.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:59 AM #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Avril--keeping the bone on the meat actually adds a lot of flavor to a soup or stew. Less convenience often tastes better... Oh, well!

Slow Cooker or Crockpot Pork BBQ


Use a Slow Cooker for a large piece of meat, up to 7 1/2 pounds.
Use a Crock Pot for 2-3 pounds meat

Ingredients: Gingerale, Pork, salt, pepper, BBQ sauce (rolls, optional) Read the recipe before shopping for ingredients... more information follows.

Fresh Pork Shoulder Roast is good. So are "Country Ribs" which aren't very fatty, and a loin would also be good. Cut fat off the meat, and place it in whichever pot leaves room at the top--about a third, but no less than a quarter of the height of the pot has to be empty.

Add salt and pepper and enough Gingerale from a 2 liter bottle to cover meat. (old "sugar added" Gingerale; not diet)
Cook on low from early morning until mid-afternoon ( a good 8 hours) if using a smaller sized piece of meat. Cook overnight if using a larger piece, and the meat should be falling apart before the next step. Note: If you are around, start off with high heat, then turn the heat down as soon as you see it bubbling. This saves time, and makes an 8 hour cooking possible.

Take the meat out of the pot of liquid using a slotted cooking spoon (there are small holes or slots in the spoon), place on a platter or plate to cool. Then take the cooker insert outside and dump it...and expect dogs to go nuts in that spot.
Clean the pot with liquid soap and a scrubbie to get all the crusty places removed, rinse and dry.

Shred the pork with your clean fingers as you place it back into the pot...leaving out any fat. Add the BBQ sauce you like. If you don't know of one, try "Stubbs" Original or any other that sounds good. Turn heat back on to "low" for another 2-4 hours, depending again on how large the amount is.

Serve with extra sauce at the table. I used the smaller amounts for the two of us, keeping two bottles of Stubbs sauce on hand. And while this is fine by itself, it makes great open faced sandwiches. There were always leftovers to freeze.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:01 PM #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Ann, It all sounds MM good! Thanks for the recipes.

Happy New Year, Rox
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:46 PM #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

Rox, or anyone who wants to, please join in!
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:26 PM #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

just got back from the grocery store. got all the stuff for the Taco soup.
will try it out Wednesday. Cant wait!
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:44 PM #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Interest in very easy cooking?

I wish you could come to my house and cook for me Ann...lol They all sound good.
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