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Easy Dinners for When You’re Pressed for Time

November 16th, 2011

The following is a guest blog post:

Some people consider easy dinners to be takeout. It’s pretty easy to call in your order to a nearby restaurant and then go and pick up your food. But doing so often isn’t necessarily easy on your pocketbook, especially if you have a spouse and kids. You can save a lot of money cooking your meals right in your very own kitchen. And it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are three easy meals you can cook for your family:

Quick Stroganoff

In a separate pan, boil about 2 cups of water. Using a medium pan, brown your ground meat of choice and flip once edges turn a light brown color. While other side is cooking, season with salt and pepper or other favorite seasonings. Add a handful of egg noodles and let cook for 5-7 minutes (Instant rice may be substituted). Remove noodles from fire to drain water, rinse, and cool. Use a spatula to break down meat to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly. Add a small can of creamed chicken or mushroom soup and mix together with cooked meat. For a more saucy taste, stir in a ½ cup of milk or half & half. Let mixture sit for five minutes before serving over egg noodles.

Easy Quiche

You can eliminate a lot of time by buying a ready-made pie crust at the grocery store. Prepare as instructed by manufacturer. While crust is baking, begin with about six medium or four large eggs for one 8-inch pie crust. Using a large bowl, crack and beat eggs. Remove pie crust from oven, turn to 350 degrees, and fill with chopped ham, bacon bits, broccoli florets, chopped spinach, or any vegetable of your choice that is cut small. Follow with shredded cheese that can be one or any combination of the following – cheddar, gruyere, Monterey jack, Swiss, or parmesan. Pour beaten eggs over ingredients and place in oven for 30 minutes or until browned.

Fried Vegetable Rice

No need to order out when this can be made in less than 20 minutes. Using a large shallow pan, fill with a ½ cup of diluted chicken broth and add one cup of mixed vegetables. Cover for 10 minutes and add two cups of instant rice. Stir in one cup of hot water and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir from bottom after the first 5 minutes to prevent sticking. Add bean sprouts or parsley to garnish and serve as an entrée or as a side dish with fried or rotisserie chicken from your grocer’s hot deli section.
Making enough of this for a few days can make a difference in your budget as well as your time. While people are putting in longer hours at their jobs, this is a way to ensure that you will have a home-cooked meal right at your fingertips without any delays.

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