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    Silly question!
    sssfletcher posted: is a really silly question...BUT....after the way the last 2 weeks have been going and feeling completely exhausted....It is taking everything out of me to make dinner for my family - and the truth is that they need to eat!!! lol!!! Does anyone have any ideas for those really simple meal ideas for days that are just tough? I have been trying to double up on things I am making so that I can pop one batch into the freezer for another day - BIG BLESSING on those days that I just can't manage! What are some of the things you do on those 'not so good' days?!?!
    katmandulou responded:
    Here's my fave recipe - especially in the winter - it's quick and soo good! I adapted it from a Betty Crocker recipe

    Skillet Goulash

    1 lb. lean hamburg
    1 med. onion, chopped
    1 - 16 oz. can tomatoes
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1/2 cup water
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/4 tsp. basil
    3 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked fine noodles

    Large skillet (I like using an electric skillet.)

    (serves 4-6)

    1. Brown hamburg and onion in large skillet. Drain off fat.
    2. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, breaking up tomatoes.
    3. Add other ingredients, and heat until boiling.
    4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
    5. Add a small amount of water if necessary.

    Add stuff you like - mushrooms, a 10oz-ish package of frozen veggies, different pasta shapes. I've been using garlic powder and oregano, and I don't like pepper. It takes 7-10 minutes to prepare, and 15-20 minutes to cook.

    teelady1 responded:
    Do you have a crock-pot or slow cooker? I love to cook in my crock-pot - that helps a lot with reducing the amount of cooking at dinner time. Soups, stews, chili, etc.

    I will cook pork chops with BBQ sauce for sandwiches (meat falls of the bone and shreds easily).

    Take some chicken breasts with a jar of salsa and a package of taco seasonings. Shred up chicken for tacos or burritos!
    maggiethedoglover responded:
    Pot Roast: Take a fresh or frozen chuck roast, put it in a casserole or even a tin 9 by 12 pan. Add 2 bags of beefy onion soup mix and 3 or 4 cups of water. Cover tightly and bake at 350 for at least 4 hours or more if it was frozen. Meat should be falling apart and not stringy when done.

    Pork ribs: Put whole slab of ribs on large cookie sheet (with edges). Season with cajun seasoning both sides. Add 2 cups water to pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for several hours. Remove foil and any leftover water. Meat should be falling off the bones. If you like sauce, spread open pit or whatever you prefer on both side and return to over for 15 minutes. Mmmm....

    Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats - Voltaire
    missshortyd replied to maggiethedoglover's response:
    Take Chicken (I like thighs more flavor) how many pieces you need season to taste pour one can cream of mushroom soup one can cream of celery slow cook until tender pour over noodles or rice .

    angelswife responded:
    I use a crockpot a lot---I can start a meal in the morning when I have a little energy, and it's all done by dinnertime.

    I make a lot of soups...this is one of my favorite recipes. I don't use the peppers because I'm allergic to them, but the soup still comes out fine.

    [br>(SLOW COOKER) GINGER CURRY LENTIL SWEET POTATO SOUP[br>[br>2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped (About 3 cups)[br>1 cup dry brown lentils[br>1 cup chopped onion[br>1 medium fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped[br>4 cloves garlic, minced[br>3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken or vegetable broth (or use homemade)[br>1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained[br>1 Tbsp curry powder[br>1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger[br>3-4 cups lightly packed kale or spinach, roughly chopped[br>1 tsp kosher salt[br>Freshly ground pepper to taste[br>[br>1. In a 4-5 quart slow cooker, combine sweet potatoes, lentils, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Add broth, undrained tomatoes, curry and ginger.[br>2. Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours or high heat for 31/2-4 hours. Add the kale or spinach, salt and pepper during the last half hour of cooking.[br>3. Check for seasoning. Garnish as desired with chili peppers, sour cream, yogurt or crushed red pepper.

    angelswife replied to angelswife's response:
    I didn't mean for it to come out like that, with all the HTML tags. That's not how I put it in! I'm on my way out to do an errand now but 'll redo it when I get back.
    rudyandirmouse responded:
    Hi ssflecther, Linda R here and I love crock pots. You really can cook anything in them. What I do is on the days I feel well I take out the crock pot and make large meals. I use chicken or meat, veggies, etc and when done I then seal them and put them in the freezer to use on days when I don't feel up to cooking. I have soups to full meals out in the freezer now and since I've been in a flare and dealing a cold this past week it's been a God send/ save for me to have them out in the freezer. DH just goes to the freezer and takes out a bag of what ever he wants to eat, microwaves it and so done!

    Hope that helps and I hope you don't have too many more days when you feel completely exhausted.
    Gentle hugs, Linda R
    jennagale76 replied to rudyandirmouse's response:
    I've found the easiest meal for my husband, and he loves it. Bake a roll of refrigerated buscuits and buy a can of Campbells sausage gravy. Bake biscuits, microwave gravy, done. My kids and I don't eat it but he loves it. He thought I made the gravy it was so good.
    Anon_57995 replied to angelswife's response:
    I had all of the ingredients (except fresh jalepeno)and this sounded so delicious that I put it in the crock pot hours ago.
    I even have fresh ginger I use in tea.

    I have jalepeno in the jar so I'll add it at the end.

    OMG, it smells heavenly, too.
    I do not eat meat so used vegetarian broth.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Pinterest has hundreds-to-thousands of crock pot recipes.
    booch007 responded:
    I am similar to LindaR, but I always have a sauce made in the house. it is versatile to use for so much and fast. I like a lamb shank (spaghetti) sauce "gravy". I make more then we need and put a quart in the freezer....sometimes with meat if it is left and sometimes not. I also use my pressure cooker to brown the lamb and pressure cook it in 45 minutes....DONE. Then to the sauce for an hour. Lots of basil goes with lamb.*

    Then when the pot has about an inch of sauce to it...I make vegetable soup with the fragrant tomatoe base that is there....I brown onions and then fresh carrots and diced potatoes...with a bag of frozen veggies (with the lima beans). This makes more then enough and again I freeze a Quart to 2 quarts of what I make.

    Then on the bad day..I can quickly go to the freezer and wa-la...the meal or the start of one. DH like a big meal too alot.
    So often he will bring home the center of the meal and I make the veggies and can add the soup...or have pasta waiting to start his meal with little effort.

    I am blessed we own a deli and catering business and he will just make the meal if I am in bad shape. The other problem I have is I am gluten free so we have to be careful what is here in the house.

    Good luck, I like this post I took a few ideas from it!! Nancy B
    franr responded:
    This group is a riot not only can they give you health information but also some are great cooks.I am Italian and It is easy to make a large batch of sauce that can be frozen for a later time. Sautee olive oil,garlic,basil,salt,pepper, add a can or two of tomatoes cook about 45 min. And use any type of pasta you like. Enjoy.i t is easy. f you want you can add any meat that you want to the sauce, Enjoy! Fran
    BetteK replied to teelady1's response:

    Have you found the new Reynolds crock pot bags? Put one in before your food, and you don't have that stuck-on gook in your crock pot.

    We grow our own beef and pork. I do not like fatty meat. If a roast is the tiniest little bit fatty, I cook it in the crock pot. All the fat cooks out. (Sort of like bacon does if you leave it in the pan til it's crisp.) I use a little more liquid in the bottom of the pot than I would have with leaner meat. This way the fat is on top and can be skimmed off with a gravy or soup ladle.

    I use bay leaves on pork roasts, lots of pepper on beef. I like to add carrots, onions, a can of diced tomatoes, and potatoes to a pot roast. Being of German decent, we like some sauerkraut or kale in the microwave for a vegetable with our pork. I get this ready in a microwavable bowl right after I plug in the crock pot. That way my son or husband can nuke them if I'm out of it by evening.

    I always make enough for 2 meals when I do a roast or a whole chicken. The leftovers can go in a microwavable container, the crock pot, or the freezer for a quick, homemade dinner on a bad day. (The only problem is if I am out of it for a week or so and hubby doesn't use the leftovers. Oh, well, the dogs have to eat too.)

    Hope this helps someone out there in fibroland.

    teelady1 replied to BetteK's response:

    Yes, I do use those bags in my crockpot! Great for chili and BBQ recipes! Love anything that means less cleaning for me!

    This last week I made a pasta sauce and at the end of the cooking time I cooked the spaghetti in the sauce in the crock-pot! One less pot to clean.

    Tee lady
    xperky responded:
    Lou, I use that "American Chop Suey" type skillet meal often. It is good and quick. Green beans are great with it too.

    Angelswife, I have 2 sweet potatoes that need using, and that soup sounds good and healthy. Will be making it soon!

    I also love those crock pot disposable liners for my heavy 6-qt pot. My 4.5-qt pot is easy enough for me to soak and lift so I save them for the biggy. I look for coupons and find them cheapest at my local WalMart.

    Another meal for desperate nights is to bake some Tyson breaded chicken tenders and some frozen fries. Make a cajun chicken sandwich using the chicken, mayo, black, white, and cayenne pepper, and a sliced pickle between a hamburger bun. Serve with the fries and some carrot and celery sticks. So quick and easy cleanup with foil-lined baking pans. I think the cleanup is the hardest part!

    Yet another easy one is to take a jar of spaghetti sauce, a jar of hot water, some crumbled feta, Italian herbs, a 16-oz box of uncooked Riggatoni and stir together in a 13x9x2 pan. Cover snuggly with foil. Bake at 375* for 35 mins. Uncover and stir. Top with 8-oz mozzarella cheese. Bake for 9 mins. Yum!
    With Compassion,

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