Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Emergency Meals

I'm apparently the last person on Earth to attempt today's WFMW, but I do have a few ideas for quick, last-minute meals. They're all fairly frugal, too. Here they are, in no particular order:

*Fake, Fast, Lower-fat Alfredo (this tastes nothing like real alfredo, but it's still yummy!)
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Simmer evaporated milk, butter and garlic powder until butter is melted. Mix milk and cornstarch. Add to pan, simmer until thickened. Add parmesan. Serve over noodles.

*Broccoli Noodles (our adapted version of the Headmistress' recipe. JunkMale hates broccoli, but he scarfs this down!)
1/2 lb spaghetti noodles
2 Tbs peanut butter (or a mix of tahini and peanut butter)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1 Tbs sugar (or honey)
3 cloves garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
3 Tbs water or broth
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger - but fresh is best)
1 package frozen broccoli (we prefer florets, but whatever works for you)

Cook noodles. Combine all ingredients from peanut butter to ginger in bowl. Saute broccoli in a large pan with a bit of oil. Pour in sauce, bring to simmer. Drain and add noodles. Toss to coat.

*Fish, potatoes, and veggies (usually no more than 30 minutes from start to finish)

Frozen fish filets to feed your family, seasoned as you like
1 potato per person
1 clove garlic per person (optional)
milk (optional)
Frozen or canned vegetables

I get really thin fish filets (usually tilapia), so they cook up in about 25 minutes right out of the freezer. We like to season our fish with lemon juice, smart balance "butter", and garlic. Teriyaki seasoning works well, too. In a real pinch, you could use the pre-seasoned or breaded frozen fish.

Wash the potatoes, then either prick them with a fork and microwave each for 5 minutes (for baked), OR coarsely chop them and boil with the garlic cloves for 15 to 20 minutes (for garlic mashed), then drain and mash all together, with some milk and butter.

Cook veggies in microwave or on stove. Season as desired.

*Grandmother's Chicken soup
cooked chicken to taste
3 cans tomatoes, in juice AND equal amount of chicken broth (or water + bouillon)
1 can corn, drained (or frozen)
1 can peas, drained (or frozen)
1 can carrots, drained (or frozen)
1 can butter beans, drained (or frozen)
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped to manageable size
ANY other vegetable you want

Dump all into a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer until vegetables are done enough. Serve with biscuits! (see below)

*Homemade drop biscuits take no more than 10 minutes to mix (more like 5), 10 minutes to bake and are an excellent meal when split and topped with a scrambled egg and cheese, chicken salad, or even just butter and jelly. Or just use as a side dish.

*A very basic homemade macaroni and cheese takes no longer than the boxed kind - just boil the noodles, mix in a microwave safe dish with shredded sharp cheddar, then microwave for 5 minutes stirring halfway through. Serve with vegetables.

Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more great ideas. :-)

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6 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Laura

    I keep (homemade) breaded, baked chicken fingers in my freezer. In a pinch, put them in a baking dish, cover with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella, and bake until hot. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti. Instant chicken parmesan!

    We'll also sometimes just bake (or microwave) the chicken fingers on their own. Couscous and broccoli cook up in about 5 minutes each for easy side dishes.

    Sauteed chicken breasts are another stand-by in our house. If breasts are frozen, thaw in microwave. Heat some olive oil in a skillet, salt and pepper the breasts. Cook on each side until nicely browned. Check temperature or cut into them to make sure they're done. I like to serve it over bowtie pasta with lemon butter sauce and broccoli, or really with any quick side dishes.

    Not our most frugal meals, but they work in a pinch. (And, well, actually, if I can ever get chicken breasts on sale $0.99/lb again like I got a few weeks ago, maybe it is pretty frugal after all!)

  • Laura

    It may be obvious, but I should mention -- for the sauteed chicken breasts, you don't need one chicken breast per person! I've found cutting it in slices makes it easier for everyone to eat just what they need.

  • Alan

    I cooked a pizza tonight. Impressed? ;->

  • JunkMale

    JunkMale would like to mention that he does not hate broccoli, per se. Hate is a strong feeling, reserved for things like cooked liver or mushy mushrooms. JunkMale will somewhat readily eat broccoli (much more so than in the younger days), because he knows that it's really good for you.

  • Headmistress, zookeeper

    I am glad the Junk Male likes the broccoli recipe.

    I have this recipe for liver that you might want to try.=)

    We used to have single military guys drop in at dinner time on a regular basis. They ate whatever I was fixing. one night one of them ate half a plate of liver before he realized it. He would not finish it, but he did say, "I gotta hand it to you. That is more liver than I have ever eaten in all my life, and I would never have guessed I could eat that much before I realized that's what I was eating."

  • alice

    Enjoy your recipes...you might like these blogs:

    The blog of a mom who packs her husband and two kids adorable and creative lunches everyday!

    Korean Cuisine with lots of great pictures of the prep work.

    I like your blog, you have the courage to be christian and conservative and live the way you feel God wishes you to.