Main Dishes - Fast and Healthy Category

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  1. Contents of Main Dishes - Fast and Healthy

Main Dishes - Fast and Healthy

Family Favorite Meals in Minutes

Tamale Pie

16-18 servings
1 TB oil
1-1/2 Cups chopped onion
3 # lean ground beef
4 Cups (32 oz) medium salsa
4 Cups (32 oz) frozen corn
1/4 Cup chili powder (cut the chili powder in half if you prefer milder food)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cumin
3 Cups milk or water
1/4 Cup butter
2 Cups yellow cornmeal
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can (16) oz large pitted black olives, drained, and sliced

1. Lightly grease 2 - 9 X 13 inch baking dishes.
2. In a 6 qt. pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook about
5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
3. Raise heat to high. Crumble beef into pot and cook until the meat is no longer pink, stirring to break up clumps. Drain any liquid and fat from the meat.
4. Add salsa, corn, chili powder, salt, garlic, and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer mixture for about 15 minutes.
5. In a 3 qt. saucepan, slowly bring milk or water and butter to a boil. When butter has melted, whisk constantly as you slowly pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream to prevent lumping. Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes longer, until cornmeal absorbs most of the liquid and the mixture is very thick. Remove from heat.
6. Evenly divide the cornmeal mixture between the two baking dishes. Pour meat mixture over the top of cornmeal mixture in each baking dish and top with cheese, and olives.
7. To serve immediately, place casserole dish in 400 degree preheated oven and heat until bubbly about 20-30 minutes.
8. Otherwise, cover the baking dishes tightly with foil, label, and date. Store up to 4 months.
9. To reheat: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place covered casserole (still frozen) in oven and bake 45 minutes. remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is hot in the center.

Urban Homemaker

Ginger Stir Fry Chicken

This recipe is adapted from a recipe, courtesy of MaryLu Kusk, editor of The Homemaker's Forum. It's actually quite simple to assemble with a minimum of planning, perfect for busy moms.

1 lb. raw chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
4 TB Bragg's Liquid Aminos
2 TB sesame oil
2 C. pineapple tidbits, drained or fresh equivalent
8 C. Broccoli, fresh or frozen florettes
4 TB Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. garlic, minced or dried
Salt & pepper to taste
18 peanuts, chopped (opt.)

Marinate chicken breast in Bragg's Liwuid Aminos (see "Supplies" section) for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Steam broccoli until crisp-tender and still with it's bright green color (about 3 minutes). Keep warm.
Heat oil in skillet. Stir-fry chicken until cooked. Add ginger, garlic, and soy or Bragg's. Stir well. Add pineapple, cover, and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add brocolli and toss well. Remove to plate, top with peanuts. Serve immediately over hot, steamed brown rice. This is a very versatile recipe. Any vegetable can be substituted for the broccoli, and other lean meats could be substituted for the chicken breast. This is a very staisfying recipe that takes little time and we love it.
Urban Homemaker

Monterey Beans And Rice

1/2 C. med. onion sliced or equivalent reconstituted minced
1/2 C. diced green pepper or equivalent reconstituted dried
2 C. cooked kidney beans
2 TB tomato powder or 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 C. beef bouillon or beef base
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese or 1/4 C. cheese powder
1/4 C. TVP bacon or equivalent turkey bacon, crumbled
dash pepper

Cook slowly, stirring constantly until all ingredients are blended and heated
through except cheese and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add cheese over low heat
and stir until mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Serve over hot, cooked
rice, if desired.
Urban Homemaker

Fifteen Minute Split Pea Soup

4 slices turkey bacon, chopped or 1/2 to 3/4 C. TVP bacon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion or 1/2 C. dried onion
1 C. carrots, chopped or 1/2 C. dried carrots
1 C. celery, chopped or 1/2 C. dried celery
2 C. split peas
7-1/2 C. chicken broth (4 cans) or 7-1/2 C. water with 2 TB Frontier chicken
broth powder
1 TB Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Saute bacon until crisp. Add minced garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Saute
for 2 minutes. Add split peas, broth, and seasoning. Cook at full pressure for
fifteen minutes or simmer 45-60 minutes in stock pot. Blend soup with a
blender for smoother texture before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

Urban Homemaker

Curried Lentils Over Rice

1 TB oil
1-1/2 C. chopped onions, rehydrated
2 cloves minced garlic or 1 tsp. powder
1-1/2 C. rinsed lentils
5 C. water
1/4 C. tomato powder or 1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. curry powder
dash cayenne pepper to taste

Saute onions in oil in a large pot for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute
briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until the
mixture is a gravy consistency (approx. 2-3 hours). If cooked in the
Duromatic, pressure on first ring for 15 minutes and cut the water by 1-1/2
cups. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any of the above spices to taste.
Serve over cooked brown rice, millet, or other whole grain.
(If you must depend on one burner for cooking, cook the rice first or combine
1 C. brown rice plus 2 addtional cups water into curried lentils mixture and
simmer as above.)
Urban Homemaker

Chicken A La King

Over Bread, Toast, or Rice

1-1/2 C. chicken or TVP chicken
1 TB chicken bouillon
1/4 C. dehydrated onion
1/4 C. mushrooms
2 TB dehydrated green peppers (or 1/2 C. chopped
1/3 C. oil
1-1/3 C. milk
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/3 C. flour
1-1/3 C. water

Cut chicken into small chunks or rehydrate TVP. Heat oil in a skillet and
saute reconstituted vegetables. Blend in flour and spices. Dissolve bouillon
in water and add to vegetable mixture. Add milk. Boil for one minute. Serve
over rice, toast, etc.

A free reprint of 7 Day Menu For One Pot Meals In Emergencies, a 5-page
article that originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of The Homemaker's
Forum is available upon request with any order.
Urban Homemaker

Honey Glazed Chicken

Honey Glazed Chicken

With a crispy and flavor-filled coating this recipe will soon become a Family Favorite.

Mix together in a plastic bag:

1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne peppe

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 X 13" baking dish with:

2 TB of olive oil

Dip the chicken in a little skim milk to moisten.

3 pounds of cut up chicken

Drop each piece of chicken into the mixture in the plastic bag and shake to coat well.
Arrange pieces evenly in the baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.


1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 TB soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp. curry powder

Pour this mixture over the chicken and bake an additional 45 minutes or until done. Baste occasionally. Serves 6

This recipes is so good, I think its time for me to make it again soon!!\0

Urban Homemaker

Lazy Day Lasagne

When preparing lasagna for the freezer there's no need to precook the noodles. 


12 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked 
5-6 cups spaghetti sauce 
2 cups cream-style cottage cheese, or ricotta 
12 ounces Mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

In two greased 10x6x2-inch baking dishes, make layers in the following order:  half each noodles, cottage cheese, Mozzarella slices, spaghetti sauce, and sprinkled Parmesan cheese. Repeat. Make certain the dry noodles are completely covered by sauce. Wrap pans completely with foil; label and freeze.  (To make this meal incredibly rich, add one 8-ounce package cream cheese. Pinch off nickel-sized portions of cream cheese and plop evenly over lasagna just before adding the second layer of uncooked pasta.)
To Serve: To thaw, take meal from freezer at least 24 hours before serving. Place in refrigerator. Bake tightly covered at 350° for about 45 minutes, or until edges are bubbly and center is hot. Take cover off during final 10 minutes of cooking time. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is excerpted from Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month by Deborah Taylor Hough. $14.95 Retail. Published by Champion Press, Ltd.

For additional questions, please contact me at or call me at 1-800-552-7323.


Urban Homemaker

Lentil Rice Casserole

Takes 5 minutes to assemble. Economical, too! Lentils and brown rice mutually increase the protein value of the other. Use Sue's Kitchen Magic for the yummier flavor. If you work away from home, make it in the evening, refrigerate, and pop it in the oven to reheat for 20-30 minutes while you change your clothes and relax. Serve it with a colorful vegetable and salad or "hide" it in a burrito with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, and yogurt-sour cream blend. Freezeable! Double or triple the recipe to get some meals made ahead.

AMOUNT: 4-6 servings (about 3 Cups)
Bake covered: 300° F - 2 to 2 1/2 hours

1. Blend all together in a casserole dish except the cheese (wash lentilas and rice, if needed):

3 Cups water + 1 TB Sue's Kitchen Magic  or 1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup uncooked lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1 small onion, chopped or 1/4 cup instanct minced onion flakes
1/2 tsp. basil leaves
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, optional

2. Optional: Cover; let stand at room temperature overnight or for 7 hours for improved nutrition.

3. Bake covered at 300° for 2-2 1/2 hours or until tender and the water is absorbed. Presoaking does not speed the baking. (I cut the water by 1/2 cup and cook the mixture in my Duromatic pressure cooker for 15 mintes and allow the pressure to come down naturally.

4. Stir in grated hceease just before serving; garnish with fresh parsley. For burritos we add the cheese separately while assembling into whole grain tortillas.

This recipe is used by permission from Eating Better Cookbooks Series(6 volumes) by Sue Gregg. All rights reserved.

For more information please email me at or call me at 1-800-552-7323. \0

Urban Homemaker

Beef 'N Broccoli

BEEF N BROCCOLI Very Simple and Tasty 2/3 Cup A.1. Steak Sauce 1/3 Cup soy sauce or Bragg's 2 cloves garlic, crushed OR 2 tsp. Garlic powder 1 lbs. Top round steak, thinly sliced 1 or 2- 16 oz Bags of frozen broccoli, red peppers, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms or similar frozen vegetable combination Hot Cooked Brown Rice* or Whole Grain Flour Tortillas Blend steak sauce, soy sauce, and garlic in a glass dish. Add the sliced steak and stir to coat. The marinade and steak could be placed in a Zip-loc bag in the morning and refrigerated until evening. Remove steak from marinade; reserve the marinade in a bowl. Stir Fry steak in large, lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Remove steak with slotted spoon; keep warm. Heat vegetables and reserved marinade in the same skillet to a b oil; reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp. Stir in beef. Serve wrapped in warmed tortilla or over hot steaming rice. *If you have a rice cooker with a locking lid and timer, you can start the rice in the morning and it will automatically turn on to be ready by dinner.
Urban Homemaker

Five Quick and Healthful Mexican Dinners

by Erin Rogers,

Many of us love the fresh and bold flavors of Mexican cooking, but
these meals can also be very high in fat and calories. But, with a
little planning, you can enjoy many delicious Mexican specialties with
no guilt and with very little prep or cooking time!

There are some simple ways to reduce the fat and calories in any
recipe, while still maintaining excellent flavor. Follow these easy
guidelines to easily incorporate Mexican meals into any diet plan:

* Replace full-fat cheeses with reduced-fat or fat-free
* Replace regular sour cream with light or fat-free
* Reduce or eliminate black olives
* Use fat-free refried beans, or low-sodium black beans
* Use your choice of whole wheat, lowfat or low carb tortillas, or
corn tortillas or taco shells
* Load up on fresh tomatoes, lettuce and salsa
* Go easy on avocados and guacamole, but if you're a fan - a little bit
of either can add a great deal of enjoyment to a meal

All of the following meal ideas can be made with one of many lean
proteins as a main ingredient. Try using ground turkey or chicken
breast, lean ground beef, grilled chicken breast, lean grilled beef
(such as tenderloin or flank steak), meatless soy crumbles, or even
all veggie ingredients (bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.)

Meal #1: Tacos

Season any of the above proteins with taco seasoning. Serve on your choice
of tortilla or taco shell, and add cheese, lettuce, tomato, light sour
cream and salsa. Serve with fat-free refried beans or black beans.

Meal #2: Taco Salad

The only cooking you need to do for this meal is to brown some lean ground
beef or poultry (or use other protein above) - so it's very fast! Load
up on lettuce, tomato, kidney beans and salsa and go light on cheese, sour
cream, and guacamole. Crumble some baked tortilla chips on top and drizzle
with a lowfat Catalina salad dressing.

Meal #3: Fajitas

While you have several options for healthful ingredients with fajitas, the
fastest way to whip up a fajita dinner is to buy precooked chicken breast
strips and defrost a bag of frozen, sliced fajita vegetables (usually peppers
and onions). Saute vegetables until tender-crisp and serve on small
tortillas with a dab of light sour cream and salsa.

Meal #4: Mexican pizza/tostada

Start with your favorite size of tortilla(s) on a cooking sheet. Spread
with fat-free refried beans, sprinkle on some frozen or canned corn
kernels and a modest amount of reduced-fat cheddar or jack cheese. Place
under broiler until cheese melts. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, a few chopped black olives, diced avocado, salsa, chopped
cilantro and a dollop of light sour cream.

Meal #5: Southwestern Chicken Salad

Start with a large bowl of torn lettuce, add strips of grilled chicken
breast, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, corn, black beans, chopped
cilantro, diced avocado, and salsa. For a quick side dish, spray flour
tortillas with cooking/butter-flavor spray, onion powder, and garlic powder
(chili powder, too - if you like a little kick!) and broil until crispy.
Cut into wedges and serve with salad.

For a change of pace, try new combinations that you maybe haven't
assembled before, such as steak fajitas, or tacos with seasoned meatless
crumbles. By varying the main ingredient in these meals, as well as the
optional toppings, you'll be able to make nearly endless tasty new
combinations according to your own or your family's tastes. And, you'll be
eating quick meals that taste great and won't disrupt your healthy diet!

If you would like to purchase Erin's Cookbook called Healthy Express Cookbook:
101 Fresh, Light & Quick Dinners click on this link.

To download a recipe sampler from Erin, go to this link:

Healthy Express Cookbook: 20 Fresh, Light & Quick Dinners, 2004

Urban Homemaker

Shepherd's Pie


1 pound lean ground meat, browned
3/4 C.chopped onion or reconstituted dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1-2 cans green beans, drained
1 - 103/4 oz. can tomato soup, or 8 oz. can tomato sauce,
3 C. mashed potato, use leftovers or prepare dried potato granules

Brown the ground meat with onions. Drain well. Stir in seasonings and tomato soup or sauce. Layer meat mixture in a 2 quart casserole, top with layer of canned green beans,Heat through. Pour Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350° oven until bubbly and hot. 4-6 servings.

Urban Homemaker

Soup Recipes Tried and True, Savory, and Simply Delicious

This recipe is fast and easy and often requested"

4 medium potatoes, quartered
2 onions, quartered
1 head cauliflower, cut up
2 cups water or chicken broth (homemade is best)
2 Cups milk, water, or broth
1 TB Spike
1 - 8 oz cream cheese, diced
1/4-1/2 Cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Combine vegetables with water or chicken broth in an 8 qt stock pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer vegetables until potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes. If using a Duromatic TM pressure cooker, bring veggies to a boil and allow pressure to stabilize at the 2nd red ring for 5 minutes, allow pressure to drop naturally. Add 2 more cups of milk, water, or broth, diced cream cheese, and butter over medium heat, and stir until cheese and butter are melted. Add the spike and salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve!
Serve with Banana or Blueberry Muffins, raw vegetables, applesauce.


1 TB Chili powder
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomato
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 or 2 canned chipotle chilies, drained Or 1 - 4 oz diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB olive oil
2 cans (15 oz) reduced sodium black beans or 4 Cups cooked black beans
2 Cups chicken broth
1 16 oz can pumpkin or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
1-2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper or to taste

Garnishes (optional):
fresh cilantro
lime wedges for garnish, if desired
1/2 Cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

Saute chili powder, cumin seed, chopped onion, garlic and chipotle chilies in olive oil until onions are translucent, stirring frequently over medium high heat. Add diced tomato, and black beans to sauteed mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a blender and blend (in batches if needed) until pureed. Transfer the mixture back into a soup pot, add the pumpkin puree, and chicken broth simmer for 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve with desired garnishes with cornbread or homemade rolls. The flavor will improve greatly if the soup is made ahead and reheated to be served later.


1 lb bulk Italian sausage
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can Italian style stewed tomatoes, chopped (14 12 oz)
1 can tomato sauce(10 34 oz)
1 cup campenelle or penne or bow tie pasta
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup provolone cheese or fresh mozzarella, diced
14 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Brown sausage in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add onions and
carrots; saute 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic, and saute
another 3 minutes.
Add broth, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce, and bring to boil.
Drop in pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according
to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.
Place 14 cup cheese into serving bowls and pour soup on top. Garnish
with Parmesan and basil.
Serve soup with salad.

"This simple, hearty and flavorful soup will remind you of the bounty of your summer garden. Its assortment of herbs and vegetables will warm you down to your toes. It has become a family favorite with or without the chicken added."

6 chicken thighs, skinned
2/3 cup barley
8 Cups chicken stock or water
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 small carrots, sliced
1 Cup chopped broccoli florets (optional)
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped or 2 Tablespoons tomato
powder (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon thyme
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Put all of the ingredients except the parsley into an 8 qt. stock pot or 5 liter or larger pressure cooker such as a Duromatic Pressure Cooker . Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. In the Duromatic, bring ingredients to second red ring and pressure for 15 minutes; allow pressure to drop naturally. Or simmer the soup conventionally for 1-1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the chicken thighs from the soup. When cooled slightly, remove the meat and cut into bite sized pieces. Return the meat to the soup. Simmer the soup an additional 10-15 minutes if desired. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add the parsley and serve.

"If you use a pressure cooker the soup cooks for 15 minutes"

4-6 slices bacon cooked crisp, drained, crumbled and set aside
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
2 cups split peas, washed (1 lbs)
7-1/2 C. homemade or commercial chicken broth (4 cans) or equivalent
1 TB Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Using leftover bacon grease in a 5 Qt Duromatic Pressure Cooker or 6 qt stock pot, saute the onion, carrots, and celery until wilted, add garlic and saute for one minute. Add broth, washed split peas, and seasonings and bring to a boil. In a Duromatic Pressure Cooker, cover the pan and bring the pressure up to the first red ring and cook for 15 minutes, allow the pressure to come down naturally. If using a stock pot, simmer the soup mixture for 45-60 minutes. Taste the pea mixture to make sure the peas are soft. If so, blend and puree the split pea soup mixture in a blender in 4 Cup batches, reserving 1 cup of soup mixture to be "lumpy". Combine pureed soup mixture, adjust seasonings, garnish with crumbled bacon in individual soup bowls and serve. Note: For higher elevations add one minute cooking time for each 1000 feet of elevation above 2000 feet, if using the Duromatic . For example, if you live at 5000 feet add 3 minutes to the cooking time. Makes 8-10 servings.

Serving Suggestions: Corn Bread, honey butter, pear halves on lettuce.

Serves 6

This recipe is also from my friend Shauna. I made it once and had several requests for the recipe. It is quite simple, and always adaptable to what you have on hand. Use a crock pot to make ahead.

1 Can Evaporated milk
3 TB flour (whole grain, preferred)
2 C. diced cooked ham
2 C. chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
1 TB. olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 C. chopped onion
4 C. water
1 C. light cream
1-2 C. shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. savory
1/4 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
salt, pepper, to taste

Saute the onion in the olive oil until wilted in the bottom of 8 cup or larger stock pot. Stir in the flour. Using a wire whisk over low heat, mix the evaporated milk with the onion/flour mixture. Stir in the water and bring up the heat until the soup base is slightly thickened. Add the ham, broccoli, light cream, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Simmer for up to one hour, depending on how much time you have. When ready to serve, stir in the Cheese until melted, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

6-8 servings

This soup is a great variation to chili, very elegant, and delicious! Serve with hot "good earth" rolls.

3-4 Cups cooked, diced chicken (1 1/2 lbs. boneless)*
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
3 TB flour, whole grain preferred
2 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. chicken broth ( I use Frontier chicken broth powder and water to equal 2 C)
2 C. hot water
1 tsp. cumin, ground
2 C. half and half
2 C. Monterey Jack
1- 16 oz can cream style corn
1 - 4 oz can green chili, chopped
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce - (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, and garlic in olive oil until translucent in a stock pot. Stir in flour over low heat and slowly stir in chicken broth, and water. Heat until thickened slightly. Add cumin, half and half, cream style corn, green chilies, and hot pepper sauce (opt) to the soup base and simmer together for 15-60 minutes. Add chopped chicken, stir in shredded cheese until melted, adjust seasonings to taste. (Don't boil the soup once the cheese is added or it will become stringy.) To serve: garnish with chopped medium tomato and 1/2 C. fresh minced cilantro.

*A quick way to cook up 1 1/2 lbs. of boneless chicken breasts is to pressure cook them in a Duromatic Pressure Cooker for 8 minutes at the 2nd red ring and allow the pressure to come down naturally. While soup base is simmering,

Urban Homemaker


Every mom has those panic attacks when dinner is upon them and preparations have not been made ahead of time. If you will keep some basic ingredients in your pantry, you will be prepared for healthier alternatives to Hamburger Helper, Pizza Delivery, or other prepared/processed foods. If you don't have all the ingredients, substitute or omit the ingredient.

If you keep chopped onions and green peppers in your freezer, or dried minced veggies, you will save even more time. Keep browned ground meat in one pound containers and 2 Cup portions of diced chicken in your freezer to save even more time.

Frozen ground meat can be quickly defrosted in cold water or in a covered skillet over medium heat.


1 lb , lean ground beef
1 onion, finely minced
(use from freezer or dried minced)
1 pkg taco seasoning or 1/4 Cup Frontier Taco Seasoning
3/4 Cup water
2 Cups cooked pinto beans or refried beans from a can or homemade
1 - 18 oz can Enchilada sauce or spicy tomato sauce
1-2 Cups shredded Cheddar or Jack Cheese
3 Cups slightly crushed tortilla chips
1/2 head lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
2-4 TB sliced black olives

Brown the ground beef with onion. Drain well. Add taco seasoning mix with water and simmer until liquid is absorbed. In a 9 X 13 casserole dish, layer the crushed tortilla chips. Top with a layer of beans. Next layer browned ground, seasoned ground beef mixture. Pour enchilada sauce over all. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 375° oven for 20-25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Garnish with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and black olives. Serve immediately.
Serving Suggestion: Offer guacamole, extra tortilla chips, raw veggies such as carrots, celery, radishes, jicama, and cucumbers.

Serve over Bread, Toast, or Rice

2 Cups diced chicken from freezer or a can
1 TB chicken bouillon or chicken broth powder
1/4 C. dehydrated onion
1/4 C. mushrooms (canned or dehydrated)
2 TB dehydrated green peppers (or 1/2 C. chopped from freezer)
1/3 C. oil
1-1/3 C. milk
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/3 C. flour
1-1/3 C. water

Cut chicken into small chunks if needed. Heat oil in a skillet and
saute vegetables. Blend in flour and spices. Dissolve bouillon
in water and add to vegetable mixture. Add milk. Boil for one minute. Serve
over rice, toast, etc.


1 pound lean ground meat, browned
3/4 C.chopped onion or reconstituted dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1-2 cans green beans, drained
1 - 103/4 oz. can tomato soup, or 8 oz. can tomato sauce,
3 C. mashed potato, use leftovers or prepare dried potato granules

Brown the ground meat with onions. Drain well. Stir in seasonings and tomato soup or sauce. Layer meat mixture in a 2 quart casserole, top with layer of canned green beans,Heat through. Pour Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350° oven until bubbly and hot. 4-6 servings.

Urban Homemaker

30 Minute Meals - Fast and Easy

Make Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
By Jill Cooper

Jill Cooper is co-author of Planning for Leftovers, Quick Dinners, and Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath & Beauty

I was having dinner at my son's house the other night and my daughter-in-law had fixed "old fashioned" baked potatoes. You know, the kind you make in the oven and not the microwave. Boy, they were good. It seems that so many things taste better slow cooked in the oven.

We started talking about how much longer it took to cook them in the oven compared to the microwave. That started me thinking. Yes, it does take longer in actual cooking time but in some ways it is easier. When I bake potatoes in the oven, I get them ready and in the oven an hour before dinner and then just forget about them until dinner is ready. Then, all I have to do is set them on the table and dinner is served.

When I microwave them, I tend to start cleaning them and preparing them at the same time that I'm trying to make a salad and heat up the veggies. While I'm doing all of that, I have to remember to keep turning the potatoes and if I am cooking several, I have to put a few in the microwave and when they are done, pull them out and add more, all of this at the same time that I am trying to prepare the rest of the meal.

Why is it that, even though we have faster methods of cooking our meals, they seem to have become more frenzied and hurried than years ago? Then it dawned on me -- With the introduction of the microwave and the idea that meals can be prepares in 30 minutes, most people do nothing to prepare or plan their meals until 30 minutes before they are going to eat. So 30 minutes before dinner you find yourself trying to thaw something, cook it, and slap it on the table and at the same time talk and deal with tired, hungry, cranky kids. Let's not forget how exhausted you are at this time of day, too.

We need to warm up our ovens and start using them again the way our grandmothers use to do. Here are some tips and ideas that prove that cooking meals in a conventional oven instead of a microwave can be just as quick and easy, not to mention how much more delicious they taste and smell.

I think we underestimate the power of coming home and smelling something yummy cooking. We automatically seem to relax, feeling that "all is well with the world". I really think it can change the whole atmosphere of your home for the evening.

I am not living in a dream world. You can fix meals the way our grandmothers did. I hear some readers saying, "Our grandmothers weren't ever as busy as we are and so they had time to fix large meals." I can hear our grandmothers chuckling at that statement. My husband's grandmother had to help on the farm from early in the morning until evening. She took care of a large home garden, canned, cleaned house every day, did laundry without a washer or dryer and still provided meals not only for her family, but up to 20 farm hands as well. She had to do it all without a refrigerator, microwave, or a grocery store and the nearest water was a mile away from her house.

My mother-in-law would go to work as early as 7 am and work until 9 pm 6 days a week, but she still managed to make three large meals each day. If you're thinking, "That's great if you want to spend all your spare time in the kitchen," consider that they spent less time in the kitchen than we do with less of the conveniences and still managed to have well balanced delicious meals each day.

What was their secret? -- They had never heard of 30 minute meals. Even if they had they would probably have laughed and wondered who would spend so much time on a meal? They knew that the key to a quick meal wasn't how fast you could cook, but how organized you were. You can easily have a meal on the table in 15 minutes if you are organized and plan ahead.

No, this doesn't mean you have to microwave or fry everything to have a quick meal. Slow cooking something in the oven not only makes things taste better but sometimes is quicker.

Our grandmothers' secret to quick meals

1. Keep your meals simple.

2. Be organized.

3. Decide what you are preparing the night or the morning before.

4. Thaw anything you need the night or the morning before.

5. Prepare as much of the meal as you can during the slow time of your day and when you are most refreshed. (This is very important.)

6. Slow cook meats in the oven or in a crock pot.

7. Keep your kitchen clean so you have an uncluttered work area.

Here are some ideas on what to prepare. These aren't elaborate gourmet meals. If you are too busy to cook dinner, then you are to busy to make gourmet dinners. Stick with the basics and keep it simple like our grandmothers did.

Roast: Place a roast in a crock pot or pan. Peel five potatoes and carrots and drop them in with it and turn on the oven. This takes five minutes. Clean and cut broccoli, celery and cucumbers for a salad -- five minutes. At dinner time, chop lettuce and tomato for the salad, adding the already prepared veggies. Then put the meat and the fixings on a platter -- five more minutes. Voila! Dinner in 15 minutes.

Stew: It takes me seven minutes to cube meat*, peel five potatoes, carrots and onions, toss it into a pot and to season it. At dinner time, I put bread or dinner rolls on the table -- one to two minutes and I have dinner in nine minutes.

*Ask your butcher to cube or slice all your meat for you. They usually charge nothing or just a few cents per pound. It saves not only time in cutting but in clean up too.

Chicken: Toss a chicken in a pan or crock pot -- two minutes. Clean potatoes to put in with chicken or to bake in the oven -- three minutes. At dinner time, warm a veggie -- two minutes. Slice some fruit -- three minutes. Dinner in 10 minutes.

Lasagna: Put noodles in a pot to boil -- one minute. Fry hamburger, get out cheese, tomato sauce and the rest of the fixings; mix sauce while noodles boil, 7-8 minutes. Layer everything -- two minutes. Cover and put in the fridge for dinner the next day or that evening. Put the lasagna in the oven to heat while getting out of your work clothes, checking the mail, etc. Set the table and cut a salad -- five minutes. Dinner is served; 15 minutes.

Beef stroganoff: Make your beef stroganoff in your crock pot. (If you don't want to use a crock pot, this recipe usually takes very little time just stirring it up in a pan.) Dump everything but sour cream and noodles, into the crock pot -- three minutes and simmer all day on low. Clean carrots, celery sticks and broccoli for a relish dish (five minutes) and put it in the fridge. At dinner time, boil egg noodles (5-7 minutes). While they are boiling, add sour cream to sauce and set the table. Total time: 15 minutes.

Chili: Mix everything in a pot the night before. Depending what you put in, it should take 5-10 minutes. Simmer throughout the next day.

Soup: Do the same as with the chili.

These are just a general example of ways to fix meals easily and quickly. It isn't really a matter of time as much as it is a matter of being organized and getting things done before you are too exhausted to think.

If you have meats thawed and the ingredients on hand, most things can be tossed together in about the same time as it takes to order and wait to get your food at a fast food place.
Also, remember when you have your oven going to try to cook more than one thing in it. For example, if you are going to be baking a casserole, bake a pan of brownies, muffins or baked apples at the same time.

Jill Cooper raised two teenagers alone on $500 a month income after becoming disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Jill Cooper is co-author of Planning for Leftovers, Quick Dinners, and Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath & Beauty

Planning Leftovers eBooklet Save money - Don't wait until your refrigerator is full of odds and ends to think about leftovers - Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead Leftovers is the second in the series of "Menus On A Dime" booklets. It includes 15 pre-planned menus and 38 recipes to make your life easier! This ebook explains how you can cook once and eat three to five different meals. Plan Ahead Leftovers includes beef, chicken and ham recipes for the main dishes and includes 10 dessert recipes. The Menus at a Glance page lets you see all of the menu descriptions in one place to make substituting elements for elements from different menus easier. Plan Ahead Leftovers also includes tips to making your own menu plans.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Quick Dinners eBook- is designed to help you with meals you can prepare in 20 minutes or less. Quick Dinners includes 24 recipes, 34 tips, 10 menu plans, dessert ideas and a weekly menu worksheet. Using these easy dinner plans, you can be in and out of the kitchen faster and at a much much lower cost than eating out.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath and Beauty, Great Gift!

Pretty for Pennies is included as a chapter in Dining On A Dime but not in Not Just Beans.
What do foot massage oil, chocolate lip balm and almond lotion have in common? You can find these and other frugal recipes in Tawra's new Frugal Bath and Beauty Guide, Pretty for Pennies. This 32 page booklet contains 33 recipes and 69 frugal tips. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Another article by Jill is Acres of Apples, Frugal to the Core

Urban Homemaker

A Week of Menus, with Recipes and Grocery List








Roast Beef with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Baby Carrots with Dill Butter
Fantastic WW Rolls






Pesto Lasagna
French Bread






Crockpot Roasted Herbed Chicken with Lemon
Roasted Red Potatoes
Green Beans
Peaches, halved
Cracked Wheat Bread






French Dip Sandwiches (From Leftover Roast Beef - Mon)
Raw Veggie Platter






Poached Salmon with
Oven Fries
Horseradish Sauce
Steamed Broccoli
Arranged Pineapple Slices







Meat Counter
3-5 lbs. Beef Brisket, Round, or Chuck Roast
1 - 3-4 lb. Whole Chicken
6 Salmon Fillets or 1-1/2 lbs. Salmon (pref. wild-caught)

5 lb. baking potatoes
8 - 10 red potatoes (as needed to feed your family)

1 lb. whole green beans, fresh or frozen
Bag salad and/or salad fixings of choice for 1 meal
1 lb. bag carrots
2 lb. bag baby carrots
1 lemon
Bunch green onions
Celery stalks
5 tomatoes
Large bunch fresh spinach or kale
8 oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced
Broccoli - bunch - fresh or frozen

Baking/Spices/Canned Goods
Prepared horseradish (not creamed)
2 - 14 oz. cans beef consomme
or 1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
12 lasagna noodles, whole grain if possible
Cooking sherry
1 large jar applesauce
1 - 20 oz. can pineapple slices
Dill weed

1 - 8 oz. thinly sliced Swiss or Provolone cheese
1 - 8 oz. Italian blend or Mozzarella cheese
1 -15 oz. Ricotta cheese
1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese

French Bread (Homemade or Storebought)
Fantastic whole wheat Rolls (Homemade or Storebought)
6-8 Hoagie/Sub rolls

"Buy the largest roast you can afford, so that you have plenty of leftovers for future meals stashed away in your freezer. I have listed many suggestions for beef leftovers at the
bottom of this recipe."

1 - 3-5 lb. Boneless Beef Brisket, Round or Chuck Roast

Duromatic Method:

If you are using a Duromatic TM pressure cooker, brown the roast on all sides over high heat, using the natural release method found in the owner's manual. Add 1 Cup water, cover the roast with one finely chopped onion, if desired, bring the pressure up to the 2nd red ring, and cook the roast 15 minutes per pound. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. Keep the roast warm wrapped in aluminum foil in a warm oven. Allow the roast to "sit" for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Crockpot Method:
Brown the roast on all sides using a large skillet. When the roast is browned, transfer the roast into a crockpot and cover the roast with one finely chopped onion, if desired. Add 1-2 Cups water, and cook over low heat for at least 8-12 hours. Remove the drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup, and keep the roast warm in the crock pot, turned off. Carve after the roast sits at least 15 minutes.

Gravy: Yield 2-1/2 Cups

1 Can of beef consomme OR
Pan juices left over from cooking plus added water to equal 2 cups
2-4 TB Cornstarch (depending on thickness of gravy desired)
1/2 Cup cold water
1-2 tsp. salt or to taste
Pepper to taste

Skim fat from the top of pan juices if using leftover au jus from roast. Mix cornstarch in 1/2 Cup cold water, being sure to get all the lumps out. Bring the beef consomme or leftover beef cooking liquid to a boil in a medium sauce pan.

While the broth is boiling, slowly and gradually pour the cold cornstarch/water mixture into the boiling broth while mixing vigorously with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Bring the gravy to a boil, lower the heat for 1 minute, adjust seasonings. If using consomme you will not need as much salt in the gravy.

Carefully carve the beef roast into thin slices. We ration the amount of meat available for the meal so we have plenty of leftovers for the recipes below to be served on Thursday's Menu Plan.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed baby carrots with butter and Dill weed, a green salad, and Fantastic Whole Wheat rolls. (See pg. 58)
Serves 5-6
Other Possible Uses for Leftover Roast Beef: (Thursday of Week Two)

Beef Stroganoff - Make extra gravy, add 1/2 - 1 Cup sour cream, and sliced mushrooms. Pour over heated leftover beef cubes.
French Dip Sandwiches - Use leftover gravy or beef consomme for dipping sauce.
Barbecued Roast Beef - Slow cook leftovers with 2 Cups favorite barbecue sauce.
Beef Stew - Add cooked carrots, celery, potatoes, onions to diced leftover beef and gravy.
Vegetable Beef Soup - Add chopped carrots, celery, onion, and barley with leftover gravy and water (total 8 Cups) and diced beef. Adjust seasonings.

"Fresh garden flavors mingle with cheeses. Delicious 'year round - but especially when seasonal veggies are available."

12 dried regular or whole grain lasagna noodles
1 Cup purchased or homemade pesto
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 - 15 oz. container Ricotta cheese
1 - 8 oz. pkg. shredded Italian Blend OR 2 C. Mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Cups chopped fresh spinach, OR 2 Cups steamed kale
1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced OR
1 - 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms
3 medium, quartered and sliced fresh tomatoes OR
1 - 28 oz. can whole Italian-style tomatoes
Fresh or dried parsley, Italian style, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large stock pot cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles; rinse with cold water thoroughly, drain well; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together egg, Ricotta cheese, 1 Cup of the shredded Italian or Mozzarella cheese, salt, and pepper; set aside.
3. To assemble lasagna: Lightly grease a 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking pan. Arrange 4 of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the pan, trimming and overlapping as necessary to cover the bottom with 1 layer of noodles. Top with spinach or kale. Spoon half of the Ricotta cheese mixture over the spinach or kale layer, spreading evenly.
4. Spoon one-third of the pesto over the Ricotta layer, spreading evenly. Top with another layer of noodles, trimming to fit. Top with mushrooms. Spread remaining Ricotta cheese mixture over the mushrooms. Spread half of the remaining pesto over the
Ricotta layer. Top with another layer of noodles and the remaining pesto.
5. Drain canned tomatoes, and slice, quarter, or halve tomatoes and place on the top layer. Cover the pan with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining Italian blend cheese. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the lasagna is bubbly. Garnish with chopped, fresh parsley. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
This recipe can be prepared ahead for the freezer but DO NOT add the tomatoes and do not bake ahead. Cover with plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil. Package and label the remaining 1 Cup cheese in a resealable plastic bag. This casserole may be refrigerated up to 24 hours or frozen for about 3-6 months.

Reheating Instructions: Thaw lasagna, if frozen, in the refrigerator for 48 hours before baking. Place thawed or refrigerated lasagna on a foil lined baking sheet. Remove plastic wrap; top lasagna with tomatoes. Bake lasagna in a preheated 375° oven, covered with foil for 40 minutes; uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 10 minutes more or until heated through or when bubbly and cheese is melted. Re-cover and let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8-10

"This easy, delicious crockpot recipe will
make your whole house smell delightful!"

1 whole chicken (3 lb. or larger)
1 lemon, cut in wedges
2 TB fresh Rosemary or 1-1/2 tsp. dried
10 cloves garlic
1/4 Cup cooking sherry, or chicken broth
1 small pat butter, melted
Small red potatoes (as many as desired) cubed
Fresh green beans (or whole frozen green beans), quantity as desired
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean the chicken and pat dry. Add chicken to the crockpot. Drizzle the chicken with butter and then rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Add to the crockpot: the remaining garlic, cooking sherry, and small red potatoes. Add the green beans on top of the potatoes and sprinkle the rosemary on top of the chicken and green beans. Garnish the top of the chicken with lemon wedges as desired. Cook on high 4 hours, or on low 7-8 hours.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with peach halves and Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls, (See pg. 58)
Serves 5-6


2 loaves whole grain French or Italian bread, sliced in half horizontally; can also use hoagie/sub rolls
1/4 Cup butter, optional
1-2 lb.s thinly sliced cooked leftover roast beef (deli roast beef slices also ok)
8 oz. thinly sliced Swiss or Provolone cheese
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix or 2 cans beef consomme
2 Cups water

Heat oven to 325°F. Spread butter evenly on top halves of bread, if desired. On bottom bread halves, layer the roast beef and top with cheese; complete the sandwich with top half of buttered French bread halves. Wrap each loaf securely in aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes or until cheese is melted, then slice each loaf in quarters. Meanwhile, combine soup mix and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the onion soup into 4 individual custard cups or small bowls and serve with sandwiches for dipping. Double and triple as needed for your family.
Serving Suggestion: Homemade applesauce, and tomato and cucumber slices on green lettuce leaves.

POACHED SALMON with Horseradish Sauce
A food processor saves time, but this meal can be ready in 30 minutes or less"

3 Cups water
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Salmon fillets or about 1-1/2 lbs.

Combine water, salt, carrots, celery, in a large skillet. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Add salmon fillets, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Prepare horseradish sauce (below) and add lemon juice and green onions if desired. Serve with oven fries, steamed broccoli, and pineapple slices arranged on lettuce leaves.

Horseradish Sauce
1/3 Cup mayonaisse
1/3 Cup sour cream
3 tsp. prepared horseradish, (not creamed)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped (optional)

Garnish: 1 lemon, wedged (optional)

Oven Fries:
Use Bosch Universal Slicer/Shredder French Fry Blade or similar processing equipment to "French Fry Cut" 8 baking potatoes, or cut potatoes in 1/2" sticks. Mix the cut potatoes with 1-2 TB olive oil and 1 tsp. salt. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir 1-2 times during baking time.

Urban Homemaker

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken
The exotic flavors of Moroccan cooking are just the thing to perk up a week night chicken supper. Serve over couscous for the perfect authentic touch. Makes 4 servings. Prep. time is about 10 minutes. Cooks at pressure about 10 minutes.

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 - 4 lb chicken, quartered, remove skin
1 TB olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 or more garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup Chicken Stock (homemade is best)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 ounces Mediterranean green olives, pitted and chopped, optional
2 TB chopped cilantro

Mix the ground up spices in a small bowl and rub them into the chicken. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a 5 quart of larger pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium high heat. In batches, brown the chicken on both sides turning once, in about 3 minutes, remove and transfer to a plate. Add onion, garlic and cook about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, return the chicken into the pressure cooker, with breast meaty sides up. Lock lid.

Bring pressure up to second red ring and maintain the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the quick-release method to reduce heat, and open the lid carefully (tilt away from yourself so that you block the steam). Remove the chicken and place on a platter and keep warm. Stir in the lemon juice into the cooking liquid, bring up to a boil, and cook over medium heat until sauce is reduced, or slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve the chicken over couscous or hot brown rice, pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with cilantro. Voila, a gourmet dinner in minutes.

Urban Homemaker

Versatile Pressure Cooking

The following information is excerpted from New Harvest Homestead Newsletter.  Here is how Kerrie makes Hawaaiian Pork, Porcupine Meatballs and Beef Stew the fast and easy way:

Kerrie says:  Here is how I do Hawaiian Pork:
Put one large can pineapple juice and pork in the pressure cooker.  I usually use the pork roasts that come in packages of three at Costco, and cut one up in chunks.  You can also use country style pork ribs.  Bring to pressure and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  It will mostly depend on how big your pieces of meat are.  Release pressure, discard juice and remove pork to a baking dish.  Cover pork with a good barbeque sauce, like KC Masterpiece.  Bake in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes.  Sometimes I like to broil it for a minute so the sauce gets thick and glaze-like.  You can eat in chunks with rice or you can shred it and put on sandwich rolls.

Kerrie's Beef Stew

I cut stew meat into bite sized chunks and brown in oil in the pressure cooker.  Add about 2 TBS. of flour, along with some salt and pepper and stir around.  Add liquid to cover meat well.  Bring to pressure and time for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of the chunks of meat).  Instantly release pressure.  Add cut up veggies like potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, mushroom, green beans and whatever else you like.  Add any flavorings you like, such as garlic, red pepper flakes or sauces.  Check to see if you need any more liquid – you don’t need to cover those veggies with liquid.  Bring to pressure and cook another 8 minutes.  Release pressure and its done.  If there is too much liquid, you can thicken it with some flour or cornstarch, or just serve it with some good, crusty bread to soak it up.

Porcupine Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup uncooked rice
2 TBS. minced onion
2 tsp. salt
? tsp. pepper1 crushed garlic clove
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Combine everything but the sauce.  Form into balls.  Pour sauce into pressure cooker.  Drop meatballs in cooker.  Bring to pressure and cook for 7 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes and then quick release under cold water.

 I do my mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker.  I just quarter the potatoes; add some water or broth and salt.  I bring to pressure and cook for about 8 minutes.  Then, I drain the liquid and add the butter, milk and use a potato masher.  I also like to cook a whole chicken with herbs and veggies.  Then, I have chicken for soup, casserole, chicken salad and I have broth to put in the freezer for later use.

Brandie Longoria's Pressure Cooker Rice

2 cups white rice (Basmati or Jasmine works well)
3-4 cups water (depending on how “wet” you like your rice)

Put rice in the pressure cooker with the water.  If I’m feeling tricky, I’ll replace some or all of the water with chicken stock and add a little garlic or other favorite spices.  Put the cooker on the stove and lock it shut.  Cook it on the second or higher pressure for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the pressure come down naturally (about 10 minutes total).
Option:  Sometimes I use a wee bit of saffron in the rice when I can get a hold of it.  I use chicken stock, a little garlic and leftover meat from previous dishes.  Add some cut up vegetables and shrimp if you have it and, VOILA! – you have Paella, a traditional Hispanic dish.  My husband is Hispanic and LOVES the stuff!  Brandie Longoria,  Marietta, GA

Serves 6 with leftovers

Brandie's Pressure Cooker Chicken

This could not be any easier.  Put a whole chicken fryer in a 5 qt. or larger pressure cooker.  If you have fresh herbs, now is a great time to use them!  I put a couple of fresh rosemary sprig, or sage leaves, and half of an onion in the cavity of the chicken.  For a real one dish meal, cut up some carrots, and other veggies and add them around the chicken.  Add ? cup water to the bottom.   If your cooker comes with a steaming plate, use it to lift the chicken off of the bottom.  If the chicken is fresh, pressure cook it on the second or higher pressure for about 20-25 minutes, then take it off of the heat and let is rest until the pressure comes down naturally.  If it is frozen, it may take about 45 minutes of cooking, which means you need to watch the heat a little more often so that the pressure doesn’t get too high.  This amount of time usually works well, but depending on your source of heat (electric, gas, etc.) the times may vary.  Always go by what the manufacturer says.  That is just what works well with mine in the altitude, etc.

When comparing pressure cooker keep the following Kuhn Rikon features and benefits in mind:

TheNew York Times called the Duromatic line of pressure cookers by Kuhn Rikon  the Mercedes Benz of pressure cookers.

It is very accurate in determining when full pressure is reached because of the spring loaded valve.

Years ago, I was helping cook a banquet for 80 people.  I cooked baby carrots in my pressure cooker for 4 minutes and they came out perfect.  My friend cooked them in her pressure cooker, couldn't determine when the pressure was reached and ended up with all her carrots turning to mush.

The Duromatic has a much more precise way of determining when pressure is reached and then cooking time can begin from there.  Marilyn Moll, The Urban Homemaker

Duromatic Cooking Advantages
Tasty, Healthy, Fast Food Fast - Duromatics cook dinner in 1/3 of normal cooking time or less.

Safe - Duromatics are “second generation” pressure cookers with built-in fail-proof safety features that make it virtually impossible for failures to occur. These gleaming, high quality stainless steel pans with thick bottoms eliminate scorching. Six built-in safety mechanisms provide an unparalleled degree of safety.

Easy - The spring-loadedvalve ensures much greater accuracy in cooking time, guarantees superior cooking results, eliminates hiss and whistle of outdated pressure cookers. The design virtually eliminates clogging valves, and is much quieter than cooking with a out-dated weight valve system.

Healthy - Pressure cooking uses little water thereby retaining more of the vitamins, minerals, and natural taste of the food.

Reliable - Duromatics have a full 10 year warranty. (We’ve had ours for over 15 years!)

Economical - Save 70% of energy consumption.
Urban Homemaker
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