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quick meal ideas

Guest tearose

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Guest tearose

I'm looking for suggestions. I've been feeling a bit stronger lately. I'm able to cook more meals again but have to be careful to keep it simple. I can't fatigue myself or I'll backslide! I was thinking of coming up with two weeks of meal plans that are simple and can be repeated again in two weeks with only a few changes so people don't get bored. Does any one have suggestions? I just put chili on the list because it only takes ten minutes to put together and it is easy. For all my comic friends...yes, I'll consider pots luck, one pots meals, crock pots and funny bones....hey, I'm even thinking more coherently lately, this is a good sign! I'd better enjoy it while it lasts!!! tearose

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Macaroni & Chesse as wel as hotdogs can be quick. Have you looked into Ramen and the variety of other noodle meals and such that there are out there? They are really delicious. Most of what I can think of are more one person lunch ideas, like tv dinners and instant mashed potato cups :)

It's wonderful that you're feeling stronger! Best of wishes :P

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Tearose - I have a friend at work that has a week's worth of recipes that she makes in one day and puts everything in the freezer, then heats each meal as needed. (She makes everything on a Sunday and gets her hubby to help). I'm not sure if that's do-able for you, but I'll be glad to get some of her recipes and email them to you this week.)

I used to live off of Kate's suggestions in college and loved them, :P They do taste good and are great quick fixes, but because we have such sensitive bodies we need the best nutrtion we can give ourselves. Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and lots of greens are really important. I firmly believe "we are what we eat." (okay, that's the nutritionist in me speaking! :) Look where our McDonald's and Pizza Hut society has gotten us! :(

P.S. I'll also forward you my recipe for "Harvest Stew". It's an awesome dish that is especially great for winter months and is easy to freeze.

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i would be interested in recipes too!

i try not to eat hardly any processed foods and mostly just stick with fruit, veggies, lean proteins and rice or potatos. no gluten and no dairy and some other things i am not sure of.

my mom does all of the cooking and with my restricted diet and not eating processed foods it is such a chore! so, easy recipes....like harvest stew...sound yummy! please post for all to see :)! (if you don't mind sharing!)


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Guest tearose

Thanks star, I'm going to save the mac n' cheese and dogs idea for the days I only can boil water!

Gena, I can smell that harvest stew now! And yes, I'd love kate's weekly plan. I can have my husband help me on Sunday afternoons. That is great planning! Can't wait, tearose

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Okay gals, the combination of ingredients may sound a little strange, but it's quite delicious and my family loves it. The intial prep work of slicing and dicing takes a little time, but it's worth it, especially if you make a double batch to store some in the freezer and heat it up on a cold winter day. (You can also add diced ham to the recipe if you want meat in it, but the mixture of corn and beans gives you a complete protein source and the squash is loaded with beta carotene and other vitamins).

here it is...feel free to adjust according to your own tastes. This serves 4, but I always double it.

Harvest Stew

1/4 cup olive oil

2 onions, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tsp oregano

2 tps drained chopped pimientos (one 4-oz jar)

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in puree (15 oz can)

1 butternut or acorn squash (about 2 lbs) peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 1/2 cups water

2 tsp. salt

2 cups drained and rinsed kidney beans (can also substitute or combine other beans such as pinto, cannellini, etc)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

1. --In a Dutch oven (big soup pot), heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add onions, cook, stirring ocassionally until tanslucent (about 5 min). Add garlic paprika, cayenne and oregano. Cook and stir for about 1 min.

2. --Stir in pimeintos, tomatoes, squash, water and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cook stew covered, stirring occasionally until squash is tender (about 15-20 min). (Sometimes, i microwave my cubes of squash just slightly before I put them in the stew to speed up cooking time). Uncover and simmer vigorously about 5 more minutes until stew is thick and with only little liquid. Add beans and corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in basill and serve.

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Gena-yummy, thanks

I had a few questions about the gluten free diet, how did you know you needed it, was it by choice or necessary? I'm going to have a test for it Mon or Tues.

As to other one dish wonders, how about tuna and noodle hotdish

1 large can tuna in water, drained, or one pound fresh, diced

1 can cream of mushroom soup, or 1 small package diced/sliced button mushrooms in a craem sause (melt butter in sause pan, add flour to thicken just like rue, add milk/cream, let thicken add mushrooms)

1 can or 2 cups peas, with juice in can

onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste

if you like it and can have it, 2 tablespoons of mircle whip

boil noodles, we use elbow, spagetti, bow tie, shells, whatever is on hand, I have even used mixed rice

Another one of our favs is grilled cheese and soup, vary it by doing meats with cheese or even peanut butter and jelly, my kids love it. I really like meatless spagetti, use portabella mushrooms instead, just dice.

happy cooking, Blackwolf

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The tuna dish sounds really good. I'll make it with my gluten free noodles. My stepson loves tuna, so I'm sure he'll enjoy this.

I have celiac and I was dx'd via blood test and small intestine biopsy. If you're having the blood test make sure you've been ingesting gluten in your diet. If you've been eating gluten free, then the test may show negative. I had pretty severe digestive and neurological symptoms until I went gluten free, they hit me all at once. Some people only have minor symptoms like gas, bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation, brain fog, iron deficiency, etc. These are common for a variety of conditions, so it's often hard to diagnose. Thank God they now have simple blood test for it.

Even if you don't have celiac, you still may be gluten or wheat intolerant. Many people with sensitive immune systems do better avoiding wheat, rye, barley and oats. Good luck and keep us posted.


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if celiac runs in your family....get it checked out!!!!!! it is worth it! it could be the culprit of your symptoms! (not bieng dramatic here....just definitely check in to it and rule it out!)

plus, many of us benefit from gluten-free or dairy-free diets.

blackwolf....more on why i did the diet later! K? i will try to rmeember!

gotta go eat dinner! (speaking of food....:)) i am ruled by my stomach...


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Thanks Gena, Emily and Kate,

I was supposed to have the test Friday, but they couldn't find a site to get a draw from, which really isn't that uncommon for me. The more they poke and prode the worse it gets. I was told that I have an unusually strong vascular reaction.

I'm already "dairy free", as in I drink either soy milk or Dairy Ease and eat mostly yogurt products, I have been lactose intolerant for many years (about 15 now). I already avoid rye and barley and was cutting down on the carbs anyway, I guess that if I have to, going gluten free won't be to much harder. My only real trouble would be my soy meat products. I love Morningstar Farms, they make burgers, chicken, sausage, bacon and hot dog substitutes. They taste good and are low in calories and fat, but the first ingrediant is wheat gluten.


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I think we all are ruled by our stomach, that and the rest of our digestive system :P

and I mentioned getting it checked out to my dad (definatly not the person to go to in any form of..anything) but will definatly note it and ask my mom about inquiring with the doctors, I know she had at one point taken note about it but that was before I was diagnosed and one of the small things lost and stuff..that so didn't make sense :)

And maybe you can see about cutting back on gluten on everything but those even without the test, that way you can see if less of an intake helps or not?

Best of luck and best wishes! You are all in my prayers :)

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Tearose, I just made the easiest thing tonight for the first time, and it was quite delicious!

Parmesan Chicken Breasts

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

In large bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley & paprika. Mix well. Dip chicken in melted butter, covering thoroughly. Dredge chicken in crumb mixture, coating well.

Arrange chicken in lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven 45 minutes.

I love delicious recipes that don't require a gazillion ingredients, and this is definitely one I'll make again and again. (You can serve this plain w/veggies or something on the side--or serve over spaghetti w/tomato sauce...) I halved the recipe and wish I hadn't! Yum!

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I've got a yummy dish, and it's sooo easy! 5 minutes tops for preparation!! And...it's guaranteed to keep your family coming back for more :) My boys are the pickiest eaters alive and this is their favorite.

Swiss Chicken Casserole (crockpot dish)

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I prefer 5-6 thinly sliced ones)

6 slices of swiss cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup Milk

1 stick of MELTED butter or margarine

2 cups of Stove Top Stuffing Mix (chicken flavor)

Wash chicken and layer in bottom of crockpot, uncooked. Top with slices of swiss cheese. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of mushroom soup and milk. Spread mixture over top of cheese. Top with uncooked stuffing mix, then melt butter and our evenly over the top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Serves about 4. Yummy!!

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Easy Crock Pot Stuff:

Turkey & Potatoes:

1 frozen turkey breast (a real one)

1 jar turkey gravy or 1 can cream of mushroom soup

2-4 baking potatoes

In the morning, put the frozen breast in the crockpot. Top with the gravy or soup, cut the potatoes in half and place on top and turn it on low. In the evening when you come home it will be ready to eat. Add some cranberry sauce and stuffing mix and you have a mock Thanksgiving dinner. I have also used quarters of acorn squash in place of the potatoes. The gravy and soup is optional and since the turkey breast is placed in the crock-pot frozen you don't even need to add any additional water. I have used apples, lemons and different spices to change the flavor. The leftover turkey is great for sandwiches or burritos.

1-2-3 Split Pea:

1 ham bone (with some meat remaining, all fat removed)

1 bag split peas

1 package Knorrs vegetable soup mix

7 - 8 cups of water

In the morning, place everything in the crockpot and turn it on low. In the evening, all you need to do is remove the ham bone, shred any remaining bits of ham and return them to the soup. The vegetable soup mix adds all the spices and the carrots, onion, celery that you would normally spend time chopping up. I first made it this way when I ran out of time one morning and it was so good that it is now my standard method. If you don't have a ham bone, I have used a smoked ham shank from the meat market (it cost a couple bucks) or you can ask the butcher if they have any ham bones to sell.

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Guest tearose

This is great, I'm going to start using these right away. I like that they are easy and varied and nutritious. My family will be so happy too! You folks are so kind and helpful. Thank you, tearose

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Good post!

I follow a diet of no wheat/gluten, no dairy (except butter and eggs) and no sugar/sweetener, plus I eat very little processed food. It really does cut down on meal options, especially when you take out the "cream of whatever" canned soups that used to be a staple of my dinners!

Meat loaf and homemade chicken-veggie soup are staples for us, but here are a couple of quick and super easy things we enjoy, and they can easily be doubled and frozen/reheated:

Fake Shepherd's Pie

1 15-oz. can mackerel or salmon, plus about 2 Tbsp. of the juice retained

2-3 cups fresh mixed veggies, chopped to bite-size (if I'm too tired to do all the chopping, I will use about 10 oz. frozen or canned mixed veggies)

seasonings of your choice (sometimes I use dill; more often I use chives, cilantro, sweet basil, marjoram)

prepared mashed potatoes (about 4-6 servings)

Mix together fish, fish juice, veggies and seasonings. Place in bottom of casserole dish. Spread prepared mashed potatoes over top. Bake in 375 oven for about 35 minutes until top becomes slightly browned and bubbly around the edges. (Adjust time for frozen vs. fresh vs. canned veggies and for size/shape of baking dish.) Serves 4. (I like to then top my serving with butter and sea salt.)

One-Dish Dinner

1 pkg. turkey kielbasa, sliced in about 1/2-inch pieces (can also make this with ground meats, thinly sliced steak, chicken or turkey chunks, catfish, tofu, etc.)

fresh or frozen mixed veggies

medium onion

seasonings to taste

optional: lentil pasta (cooked) or brown rice

Brown the meat and onions together, using a little virgin coconut oil. Add spices. Add freshly prepared pasta or rice, if included. Heat until flavors are blended. (I add a little coconut milk if pasta or rice is used.) Serves 2-4.

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Just to add two of my recent quick meals that are enjoyed in my family (we are lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian)

"Nigerian" peanut stew

fry one medium onion and one green or red pepper (chopped)

When onions are clear, add powdered cumin to taste

add either one cup water or 1/2 cup tomato juice and 1/2 cup water

Allow to simmer. Meanwhile open can of dark red kidney beans. Pour off liquid and mix with about 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter til a thin paste.

Add the peanut butter mix and the beans to the stew and cook for several minutes.

If you like, add garlic to the onions. Salt and pepper to taste, as desired. Good with couscous that cooks in minutes. Otherwise pasta or rice are also fine.

I also make pita bread pizzas frequently. Using:

Food for Life (or similar brand) 7-grain pita bread

cover with tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce, as desired

shredded cheese

any other toppings as desired (mushrooms, olives, herbs)

cook in 400 degree oven on baking sheet for about 12 minutes.


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I have been creating wheat-free recipes for years now growing list below:


We are vegetarians, but when I first was diagnosed with wheat+ sensitivity and candida, I had to also give up dairy, eggs and sugar for the better part of a year. My diet is more flexible now, but I still use a rotation diet -- I do not repeat a food eaten one day for the next 3 or 4 days. And I only eat eggs or cheese once a week.

Even so, some days opening a can is the only thing my system can handle. I try my best to put a little pizzaz into the standard fare. For instance, last week I sliced up some veggie hotdogs and placed them into a can of veggie baked beans -- then added two handfuls of fresh cranberries and heated it up until the berries popped. Kids thought it was a cool twist. But then again, my kids will eat amaranth porriage in the morning and think I am Emeril. Bless their hearts.

Good luck in your healing journey.


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I thought I'd share this recipe for curried vegetables--I made it this week, and it was fantastic. What I like best about this recipe is how imprecise you need to be to make it work. And it's really easy and doesn't take too much time. I'll give you the basics--and I'll add a few notes about how to improvise.

Curried Vegetables

2 TBL olive oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices

2 potatoes, cubed and steamed (or parboiled) until just tender

I ALWAYS use the ingredients listed above, tho I tinker with the seasonings depending on how big a batch I'm making. The original recipe only calls for the cauliflower in addition to the above. Start with these spice measurements and add more. (Take a med strategy and titrate up! :D )

Vegetables to include--pick and choose from these, or use your own imagination and whatever's in your fridge. This dish provides a great way, by the way, to use up small amounts of veggies you may have in the bin.

1 cauliflower, separated into pieces

green beans




red peppers



(Don't even think about using all of these! You just need one or two with the potatoes and tomatoes.)

Heat the oil and mustard seeds in a large nonstick skillet on high heat. Cover and cook until the seeds pop (like popcorn). Reduce heat to medium and dump in everything else. Stir to coat all the veggies with the spices--add more if you like. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are all tender, stirring every now and then. Add a little water or tomato juice if needed to simmer/steam the vegetables.

Serve over basmati rice--or eat it plain. Yum.

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well, a standard in our house is a plain old roast chicken in the oven.

we love our local free-range chickens, but a grocery store chicken will do!

i am a BIG eater, so nothing lasts long here, but a chicken serves as leftovers for sandwiches, dinners, etc.

you can rub some herbs, kosher salt, etc. under the skin and stick a lemon up the butt (sorry! all that talk from tearose on an earlier post! just teasing you tea rose!)

it is soooo yummy. i can post the exact recipe if you want, but a standard roast chicken is always good and easy.

we also love salmon, salmon, salmon...one called honey-baked and also poached salmon. you can make a couple of pounds or more and eat it leftover.

i am too pooped to actually get up and get the salmon recipe, but maybe later! sorry.

pots of veggie soup are good...you can use a bunch of frozen veggies instead of chopping the fresh.

hmmm...hwat else are standards?

i don't know, i am high-maintenance in diet dep't. my mom has to cook, cook, cook b/c nothing processed or with gluten or dairy sits with me.

later alligators!

i am too tired to be trying to be coherent...


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yum, you guys are making me hungry!

I like to keep some pre-made pizza crusts (such as digiorno crusts) around. When I need a quick meal I add a can of spaghetti sauce, any toppings you prefer and cheese. Throw A dash of italian herbs on top and put it in the oven. (it's even good as leftovers)

I realize this isn't anything new but it's much healthier than store bought pizza and it's quick and easy.

Hope this helps,


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