What's cookin', good lookin'?

You’re welcome! Slow cookers are usually pretty good for easy, low prep work when you find recipes that don’t require pre-cooking of ingredients. Having a few basic canned foods on hand can also help, as they can serve as bases for other foods.

What do you normally use as a packaged base? I wonder if I could offer some simple tips on having bases that aren’t necessarily packaged but are easy enough.

I wasn’t the best cook either for a while, but I’ve become more comfortable in the kitchen in the last several years, and I’d love to offer any help I can :slight_smile:


How much prep is too much?

This is one of my favorite recipes: Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken

I usually use precooked chicken (breasts that I’ve cut into bite sized pieces, cooked with salt & pepper, and frozen for later), so I only need to cut up the red bell pepper & any fresh veggies I want to serve it with (broccoli or broccoli & carrots). The thawed chicken gets dumped in after the cashews & peppers have cooked for a minute or so.

I serve it with rice and roasted or steamed veggies (fresh or frozen work).


Basically, if the recipe is too more complicated than hamburger helper, then I’m probably not making it except for special occassions… Lasagna, Boxti and stew, mash potatoes, black bean soup.

The chicken looks like it might NOT be tooo far off.


Most days, I have no motivation to cook. But, if I have something I can basically just reheat, I’m good. So, when I feel up to it, I make a big batch of something easy…

  • sweet potatoes: wash, trim the ends, throw them in a lined casserole dish, roast for 90+ minutes at 350-ish, scoop into Tupperware and freeze until I want them

  • chicken: toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and roast, portion and freeze

Then, I just reheat them with some frozen veggies, and it’s an easy and healthy meal that takes five minutes to prep.

I was a latchkey kid, so I would usually have to make myself something to eat. Potato soup, plus frozen veggies and some sausage, simmered until everything is hot was one of my favorites (I sometimes still make this with leftover mashed potatoes, meat, veggies, and broth).


Midsummer is one of the main Swedish holidays. Traditional food is pickled herring with boiled potatoes. Chives, sour cream, mosquitos… Maybe grilled something or other. We didn’t feel like traditional this year.

We’re going super meaty instead :sweat_smile: Lovingly cooked low and slow with some smoke. Did I tell you we’re just two people? We’ll eat pork shoulder for days.

Full disclosure: I’m in charge of making coleslaw and boiling potatoes. Husband is the one that enjoys cooking something for half a day (or more).


Are any of these closer to what you’re looking for?:

Ravioli Lasagna - I usually have to bake it longer if I use frozen ravioli


Taco Pasta

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1.25 oz taco seasoning mix
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz shell macaroni, cooked & drained
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies (can be left out)
  • 1.5 c shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Brown & drain beef. Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, green chilies. Stir in macaroni.
  2. Place in 9x13 pan, top with cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

I usually skip baking it & adding cheese. I just make sure it’s heated through & let people add however much cheese they want to their bowls. You can probably cook the pasta with the rest like you do for hamburger helper - I’d add it with some broth and/or water after mixing in the seasoning/sauce/chilies.


30 minute chili (from Taste of Home: Simple & Delicious)

  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I just use frozen chopped onion)
  • 2 cans (16 oz each) chili beans, undrained
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water (I leave this out for a thicker chili)
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1 envelope chili seasoning mix
  • 2 T sugar
  1. Cook pork sausage & onion. Add remaining ingredients. Boil & reduce heat.
  2. Simmer covered 20 minutes, stirring often.


BBQ Turkey Sandwiches

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 T finely chopped onion (I just use some onion powder)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I usually end up using a little more)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • cheese (optional)
  1. Brown turkey with onion. Drain.
  2. Stir in bbq sauce, brown sugar, mustard, salt. Cook over low heat until heated through.

This was originally a recipe similar to these bbq cups, but I just eat the bbq meat mix on hamburger buns with optional slices of cheese because it’s easier.


Today’s lunch (for me, kids just wanted leftovers):
Fajita omelette and toast

@Animegirlie - if you like eggs, they’re another low-prep meal. I just fry up some frozen fajita veggies in butter/olive oil, dump in some scrambled eggs, and serve with toast or with cheese on a bagel.


OH These are good!! thank you

ETA @jellybean - I realized after you replied that I left out a word!! stupid phone typing! the cashew chicken recipe looks like it is in my wheel house :smiley:


@Abbeeroad posted this a while back and I make it all the time. and it’s flexible. I’ve made it with ground turkey, ground beef, chicken breasts, etc.

I skip the onion. I often use jarred pickled jalepeno slices instead of fresh. if I am out of Ro-tel, I use salsa, if I don’t have fresh cilantro, I use freeze dried. it’s a very forgiving recipe.


Also maybe check out this thread


You’re welcome! I love easy recipes :grin:

Here are few more that I like to make:

Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken - I don’t usually make it in the slow cooker. I just mix up the sauce, add some chicken broth & cornstarch, and heat it up on the stove. Then I add in precooked chicken breasts or shredded chicken (from chicken I cooked & froze or just a rotisserie chicken) & cook until the chicken is heated through.


Korean Beef & Rice - I usually use garlic powder instead of minced garlic cloves & leave out the sesame oil and the green onions.


Taco Salad

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup (1 packet) taco seasoning
  • bag of salad mix, 18 oz?
  • whatever veggies you want (I usually leave them out or just add some cherry tomatoes)
  • shredded cheese (taco/fiesta/cheddar/etc)
  • salsa
  • tortilla chips or doritos
  1. Cook ground beef. Drain & add taco seasoning.
  2. In large bowl, mix salad mix, veggies, shredded cheese. Add salsa and taco meat & mix together.
  3. Crush chips & mix into salad.

I usually make this for lunches - just leave out the chips until you’re ready to eat if you want them to be crunchy.


Chicken Quesadillas

  • tortillas (I usually use burrito size)
  • shredded chicken (you can also use leftover taco meat)
  • shredded cheese (taco/fiesta/cheddar/etc)
  • taco seasoning (optional)
  • taco sauce and/or salsa
  1. (optional) Heat up chicken with taco seasoning & some water.
  2. Heat large nonstick pan over medium or med/low heat (I don’t remember which, low enough that you can heat the quesadilla for a few minutes without burning it).
  3. Add tortilla to pan. Sprinkle half with cheese, add chicken, add more cheese. Fold other half over cheese. Heat until bottom layer of cheese has started to melt. Flip & heat until cheese is melted & heated through. You can heat it covered, but I usually don’t bother.

I usually make these with Mexican Rice (leaving out the cilantro & using garlic powder instead of minced garlic). If I use a large can of tomato sauce, I’ll freeze the leftovers by the tablespoon in ice cube trays to use next time I make this rice. (1/2 cup = 8 T)


This one is a bit more work if you don’t buy the veggies shredded, so I don’t make it too often, but it’s not too hard.

Chicken Yakisoba (another Crunchy Creamy Sweet recipe - I’ve liked most of them I’ve tried)

I usually use precooked chicken and frozen mushrooms, so I just have to cut up the red pepper (& cabbage & carrots if I don’t buy them shredded). I think I added the chicken & mushrooms with the pepper & carrots.


Another one that’s a bit more work, but not too hard.

Chicken Burritos (Better Home & Gardens New Cookbook, 16th edition)

  • 8 8-10" flour tortillas
  • 1.5 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup bottled salsa
  • 1 3.5 oz can jalapeño bean dip (I’ve used refried beans when I couldn’t find this)
  • 1 tsp fajita seasoning
  • 8 oz monterey jack or cheddar cheese, cut into 8 sticks (or just buy cheese sticks)
  • shredded lettuce (optional)
  • bottled salsa (optional)
  1. Wrap tortillas in foil, heat in 350° F oven 10 minutes or until warm. Mix chicken, 1 cup salsa, bean dip, fajita seasoning.
  2. Place 1/3 cup chicken mix onto each tortilla near the edge. Top with cheese stick. Fold in tortilla sides, roll up starting with filling edge. Place tortillas seam side down in greased baking dish.
  3. Bake uncovered in 350° oven for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with lettuce & salsa.

I’m not very good at rolling up the tortillas, but they still turn out ok (even if some burst, lol). Served with Mexican Rice:


Love it! Thank you. Book marking all of these!


Today’s breakfast.

Had a couple sweet crepes left over, so I fried a couple eggs, put one in each crepe, topped with a little cheese, spinach, green onion, and chopped basil.

Really could have used some tomato and some other kind of green to go with the sugary crepe, but meh, wasn’t bad.


I’m the one that wanted chicken hearts as the protein in our curry, so I get to clean them. :grin:


The girl wanted pulled pork for her bday dinner, we made it in the crock pot and OMG it was amazing. No photos because it got gobbled right up, lol. We used this recipe, it’s a keeper.


I do something very similar. with pork or chicken. Except I leave out the BBQ and people add it to taste. it freezes good too.

I made these last night


Fingers crossed I get these next sweet gorditas made very well.

It took a lot of arguing with myself, but I decided to make strawberry rhubarb instead of blueberry. :cry:

This time for the beans, I only somewhat softened them. Hopefully they’ll soak up all the liquid from the fruit.

What I’ll do, I’ll cook the fruit down over low heat (with two tablespoons of butter for the extra moisture). Then when I add the beans to the fruit, then I’ll add the sugar. Also, I think I’ll only add a little ginger, so it doesn’t over power the strawberries. At least, that’s the hope. Have to wait and see.


Nope! Didn’t work. Even added some corn starch and some corn flour trying to thicken it up. Crud! Well, the only thing to do is chill and see what happens.


Anybody like Thai curry? It’s pretty easy and very flexible.

Start with curry paste,

There are several flavors; our faves are red and yellow. Best is to saute the paste, but still good if you skip that. Basic recipe on the label.

Chop up your favorite veggies.
Watery veg like cabbage and zukes make the sauce thinner, but still tasty. Can cook separately, drain, and add if you don’t mind the extra work.
Pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, celery, water chestnuts, onion, garlic are all good. I hate bell peppers, but maybe you like them.

Add the curry paste, veggies, meat if desired (I like chicken; shrimp should be added at the very end).
Pour a can of coconut milk over, then slow cook or simmer until veggies are tender and meat cooked.

Serve over rice.
First bite tends to be quite spicy, but not tastebud destroying.


We celebrated Mr. Road’s 40th yesterday with a small group of friends (and lots of kids, lol). I made what felt like all the things but only got a couple pics…

Watermelon jello cups (I thought these tasted awful but everyone loved them apparently, lol…they sure looked cool!):

Look at the gorgeous color on that cabbage (for coleslaw):


A couple days back, I had the idea to make some mushroom rice…I had most the stuff, and could fake it for other things…and here I’m saying too much…JUST GET TO THE POINT, DAG NABBIT…

Ok, Ok! I began toying with boiling sunflower greens. So far, made a stock with them, and today added them to a basic lentil to get a sense of the flavor…My word, they’re actually not bad at all. Sort of a cross between a basic green flavor mixed with a hint of sunflower seed flavor. (Note: Yesterday I ate some Arby’s with Horsey Sauce and couldn’t taste the horseraddish…So I do question if my tastes have been majorly dulled…I am almost half a century, after all, heh).

Next trial, I’m going to make a sunflower leaf tea with peppermint. (We’ve been extremely wet, more so than anyone up to 70 has ever seen before), so my peppermint is growing quite nicely. So are the volunteer sunflowers, heh.

Just made a tea with sunflower leaves and peppermint leaves. Not too bad. I could see myself drinking this.

Oooooooh! I bet this could make a twist on the gorditas…Mental note to self…Try that. I got some black beans to make a black refried bean to fill the next batch I make.