Sunday, January 30, 2011

Less Is More

Have you ever wanted something to eat but didn't want to be in the kitchen all day? Most likely, the answer to that question is YES. Most of you have jobs, children, families, soccer practice and dance classes. Lots of things to keep you busy during the week. But let me tell you, it is SO easy to make things at home using only THREE ingredients!!! I recently moved into a new house, and with being busy with school and watching my niece during the day and packing and moving...Having easy but yummy dinners was a LIFE SAVOR! I have been trying out and thinking up lots of different things, and i figured it would be great for me to share them with you. These recipes are so easy, you could actually make your kids do this while you relax and put your feet up!

Although I am taking classes and trying to learn the more extensive tricks of the trade, I don't always have the time or energy to be in the kitchen for hours. So I am not ashamed to say that I (like most) are not cooking for Food Network, and actually find canned soups and packaged dry ingredients very helpful.

Ranch Drummettets

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil
24 chicken drummettes (wings) about 2 lbs.
*you can also use this on chicken legs or larger portions

Combine the dressing mix and oil in a zip lock bag. Add Chicken and toss well to coat. Arrange on a foil lined baking pan (for easy clean up) and bake at 425* for 25 minutes. Turn over and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Want a little spice? Add 2 Tablespoons of hot sauce to oil mixture.

Okay so yeah...wings are easy to do...but what about pork loan? This is pretty yummy! How many times (especially after the holidays) have you had left over canned cranberry sauce just sitting in your pantry? This is a great way to use it up.

(I don't have a picture for this one, because my camera was packed up in one of the HUNDREDS of boxes waiting to be moved at the time.)

Cranberry-Onion Pork Roast

1 boneless pork loin roast (about two lbs)
1 Can (16 oz) whole cranberry sauce
1 pkg dry onion soup mix

Season the roast with salt and pepper (I also sometimes rub it down with a mixture of instant coffee and brown sugar. YUM!) Place it on the grill over indirect heat, or place on a roasting pan in the oven at about 400* for 30-40 minutes. Stir together cranberry sauce and soup mix. For easy heating, pop it in the microwave, covered, for about 1 minute. Baste the roast with the mixture every 10 minute, until its done. Let the roast rest for at least five minutes before you slice into it! Also if you have any left over basting mixture, heat it to a boil and continue to boil for about five minutes and serve along side the roast as a sauce.

TIP: Lean cuts of meat, like the loin roast, are terrific sources of protein, B vitamins and zinc! They also adapt very well to a wide variety of flavors and cooking methods.

Oven Baked Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 Cup Honey Mustard
1 1/2 Cups french fried onions, crushed

Coat chicken with mustard. Dip into french fried onions. Place onto a lightly greased baking pan. (you can cover the pan with foil and spray with a cooking spray for easy clean up) Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.

What about side dishes you ask? How about these!!!

Onion Roasted Potatoes

1 pkg Onion Soup Mix
4 medium potatoes (about 2 lbs, cut into chunks
1/3 Cup Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450*. combine all ingredients in a 13x9 backing/roasting pan. Bake uncovered, stirring occasionally for even cooking, for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown.

TIP: Keep the skins on the potatoes. The skins are a great source of Iron, Potassium and Fiber!

Oven Roasted Asparagus

12-14 oz of Asparagus spears (tough ends trimmed off)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425*
Place asparagus in shallow baking dish. Drizzle with oil and turn stalks to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast until tender, about 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of asparagus. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cauliflower w/ Onion butter

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 Cup diced onion
1 Head Cauliflower, cut into florets

Melt 1 stick of butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook and stir until onion is brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanch cauliflower in boiling water for about 5-8 minutes. Then melt remaining butter in the skillet with onion. Pour over cooked cauliflower. Serve immediately.

Simple recipes like these have saved me many nights. Whether I was in between grocery shopping days, or just needed to get a meal on the table with ease. I hope that you try these and learn that just because you want a good meal for your family does not mean that you need 20 different ingredients to do it.

Til Next Time...

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