Friday, February 22, 2013

"Time Won't Let Me!"

Over and over I hear people complain that they
don't have the time to cook a big meal every night
of the week.

Well, no shit, Sherlock...
who does?
(Or perhaps more importantly,
'Who wants to?' since it leads to
the entire kitchen being a wreck!)

My solution has long been to cook one or two big meals
and then simply divvy them up into leftovers and
freeze them. It's quick, easy, and I have found very few
things that don't freeze and reheat well.

I cook either a full course meal and
then prepare containers with a complete
serving of each, or I fix a 'one-pot' meal
(filled with starches, fiber, veggies, protein
all in one dish.)

You can get the new Tupperware that are
microwave safe (don't emit toxins when
heated) at dollar stores for next to nothing,
and it's a fine investment for the ability
to keep fully cooked meals on hand.
(I own about 40!)

With freezing your meals, they're good for
taking lunches to work, and folks who
don't like the same meal 2 days in a row don't
have to dread leftovers in the refrigerator.

By having multiple sorts of frozen meals on hand,
you can even vary your selection of leftovers
for several nights. And fixing several large meals
is a superb money-savings.

Some good suggestions are lasagna, beef stew
(just mix rice in alongside, and corn bread on top to
freeze,) casseroles, soups, chili, and so on.
With meats and rices, make sure you place any excess juices
from the pan in with the leftovers to help them stay
moist when reheating. If there are no
leftover juices, place a few drops of water over the
top of the food before heating.

Always make sure your Tupperware has had the
lid popped ajar when heating, and it's better
to under-heat and heat again than to overheat.

You can also make a huge salad ahead of time
and eat off of it for a few days before the greens get
limp. This saves doing all of the cleaning and chopping of
vegetables every night. There may be some ingredients
you want to store separately (tomatoes) so as to
better preserve the quality of your salad.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cornbread Salad

Take leftover Jiffy cornbread, chilled, and crumble up in a bowl.

Depending on how many pieces you have left over, you'll
adjust the amount of your other ingredients. I just do it to
taste and eyeball it anyway, so....

You want to put a couple of spoons of mayonnaise, just enough
to wet the cornbread. (I prefer Hellman's, Saur's, or Blue Plate,
but everyone's tastes on mayo are different, so use what you will.
However, using a different brand will alter the dish's taste, so be

You can dress up your dish decoratively by adding tomato
slices or sliced grapes, etc on top!
This is one of those recipes that can be altered depending on
'what's available' at the time. Substitutions are encouraged.

After you moisten your base with the mayo, I add a little hot
sauce (to taste,) and; (I add about equal amounts of all my add-ins;)
-chopped onion
-chopped bell pepper
-chunk or shredded pineapple
-diced tomatoes

Add about a tablespoon or so of juice from the canned pineapple (or fresh)

Add a teaspoon of each of the following:
-black pepper
-garlic powder (or minced garlic)
-sea salt

Mix thoroughly and be sure and let it set in the refrigerator for
an hour or two to meld and marinate.

As for substitutions, some that I have used are:
-seedless grapes
-shredded carrot
-chopped celery
-chopped nuts
-crisp corn kernels

Whatever combination sounds good to you so long as you have
an appropriate mix of sweet, tangy, soft, crunchy, etc.

How creamy or how dry you make your salad with the mayo can
be easily adding less at first, and more as needed once you see
what it looks like blended.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Turkey-Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Take 2 pre-made, generic frozen pastry crusts

Chop 2 cups of leftover turkey meat, de-boned and skinned
Chop one medium white onion
Chop 1 cup of broccoli head very fine
Shred 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese

*Place the items in order listed, one layer at a time in pie shells,
evenly spread out.
*Sprinkle evenly the following seasonings (this is the full amount;
divide between the two pies)

  1 tablespoon garlic powder
  2 teaspoons sea salt
  2 teaspoons black pepper
  1 tablespoon crushed basil
  1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1 tablespoon paprika
  (if you like, add 2 teaspoons of curry for more flavor)

Take a can of cream of chicken (or cream of celery) and mix with;
   1/2 cup of milk,
   1 tablespoon olive oil,
   4 eggs
   1/4 cup sour cream
Mix well and pour over the pies, evenly, letting it sink in.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place pies on baking sheet, center of oven for about 45 minutes,
turning halfway through. When properly done they should have
a dark golden brown look to them. You can also do the toothpick
test to make sure the insides are done.

Let cool on a wire rack. Serve one warm and tightly wrap and freeze
the extra for a quick prepared meal later.