As a mom of many, one of my challenges is finding meals that take less time and money. We have tried several that we LOVE and I wanted to share them with you.
Brace yourself: this may be the easiest recipe in the history of EVER. And get this: it fed us twice and it cost around $5.
Crockpot Mexican Chicken
- 1 jar of your favorite salsa
- 3½ cups water
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1 lb. dry pinto beans, rinsed
- 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning (1 packet if using store bought)
- 2 ounces or more light cream cheese (totally optional – just adds creaminess)
- salt to taste
- Place the pinto beans, salsa, and water in a slow cooker or Crockpot. Stir to get the liquid in and around the beans. Place the chicken breasts on top. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- After about 3 hours, remove the lid and check on the mixture. Stir to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom and add a little more water if necessary. Don’t open the lid more than once or twice – it adds to the cooking time.
- When the beans and chicken are cooked, gently shred the chicken with two forks. It should shred very easily. Add the taco seasoning and cream cheese (optional–I didn’t add it) and let the mixture sit for another 15-30 minutes. Serve with rice, tortillas, or chips. Top with avocado, cheese, and cilantro.
Ham and Potato Casserole
Photo from: I Can Teach My Child
(Note: For this and similar recipes, I don’t really measure ingredients in order to simplify things. I gauge the amounts by what I know will feed our family.)
This a fantastic way to use left over ham. I purchase a whopping ham at Aldi (approx. $18) and divide and separate it into small ziplock bags. One ham contributes to about 7 meals in the form of casseroles or soups.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cube 4-5 medium potatoes, and boil until soft, but still firm.
Combine the potatoes with 2 cups of frozen corn, 2 cups of cooked ham in a large casserole dish and set aside.
In a saucepan saute 1 tablespoon chopped onion in 1/4 cup of butter for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup flour until blended well. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. (I add some chicken broth and bacon grease, if I have it, to this mixture.) Bring the mixture to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and pour over the ham mixture. Mix well.
Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 25 minutes. Then remove foil and cover with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese. Re-cover, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.
Secret ingredient: bacon grease
(This recipe was found and modified from allrecipes.com.)
Creamy Chicken Soup
Any recipe I do, I prefer to not actually have to follow a recipe. I’m random like that. And this recipe is my favorite “impromptu” recipe.
It is versatile, you can add or subtract, using the ingredients you have on hand, and it ends up being yummy every time.
Here are the basic ingredients:
- chicken breast (1-3)
- fresh garlic
- bell pepper
- chicken broth
- cream or milk
- cheese (pepper jack, cream cheese, parmesan, cheddar–the more the better!)
- (Optional: add corn, beans, rice, etc.)
Sear/cook the chicken breasts in olive oil all the way through and lay aside. Add more oil if necessary, and saute onion, garlic, mushroom and bell pepper. Amount of ingredients depends on size of dish you wish to prepare. Chop chicken and other stuff in food processor until semi-fine.
Put everything in a pot and add about 2 cups of chicken broth. Make a quick roux (butter and flour) separately and pour in to thicken. Add milk if more juice is desired. Melt cream cheese and add, as well as other cheeses. Basically, just keep adding yummy stuff until it’s perfect. This soup is so good, you can serve it to guests.