Home > Top Ten > Top Ten: Easy, Quick and Delicious Recipes So Dad Can Do The Cooking On Mother’s Day (or more realistically, so mom can make something easier than usual)

Top Ten: Easy, Quick and Delicious Recipes So Dad Can Do The Cooking On Mother’s Day (or more realistically, so mom can make something easier than usual)

Chef_RamsayWhether you’re a husband looking to do something nice for Mother’s Day (this weekend, folks) or a mother in need of more recipes (and more time) this Top Ten may be for you. The following meals take very little time to prepare and are enjoyed by my 3 and 5 year olds, special needs teen and husband alike, which has to mean it’s more than empty bragging when I offer these meals up as solutions to the dinnertime crunch.

The recipes that follow only call for a few ingredients, require even fewer steps to prepare and as an added bonus don’t really need to be measured that carefully. Like garlic? Add some more. Don’t like onions? Nobody will miss them. In the end, chances are in your favor that the meal is going to look good and taste even better.

For those of you mothers who (like me) plan to cook dinner on Mother’s Day as usual (and be spoiled in other ways, of course!), maybe this list can bulk up your “I don’t feel like cooking but this barely counts and is better than take out again” recipe collection. Add a loaf of bread, salad or some green veggie (frozen peas count) to most of the meals below and you have a complete, delicious, and most importantly, easy dinner on the table.

1. Polish Sausage And Cabbage

Ingredients: Kielbasa, 2 lb. any kind; 3-4 potatoes, peeled and diced; one head cabbage coarsely chopped; 4-6 cups of chicken broth.

I leave this in the crockpot for 4-6 hours (or longer) for supreme ease, but I’m sure you could put this in a large pot on low and stir it up occasionally for a couple of hours instead. Cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces and place all ingredients into crockpot, set to low and check it in 4-6 hours. It will look kind of mushy but tastes amazing. I usually serve with a salad and crusty rye bread for dipping.

2. Easy Oven Crisp Chicken

Ingredients: Butter or cooking spray, seasoning salt (or garlic salt if you don’t have seasoning salt), split chicken breasts with skin and bone (any boned chicken parts work here though).

Spray a baking sheet with PAM and place chicken pieces onto it. Brush chicken pieces with melted butter or spray with more cooking spray. Lightly coat each piece with seasoning salt, garlic powder or salt, or some combination to your liking. Put into preheated over at 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. I often serve this with bread or dumplings and peas.

3. Beef Roast and Dumplings

Ingredients: 3-4 lb. Beef roast, 1 onion, 2-3 cups flour, pinch of salt, 2 eggs.

Tip before starting: This one works best if you can put a thermometer into the roast beforehand and leave it throughout cooking – we have one that reads the temperature outside of the oven so that I don’t have to open the door and let the heat escape. If you don’t have one, try to not open the oven door until the end and put it back into the oven if the temperature isn’t quite to your liking, but I have found this formula to be quite successful. Also, the resting of the meat before and after cooking are essential to a tender roast. Resist the urge to poke and prod!

Roast: Thickly slice an onion and place slices along the bottom of a casserole dish. Place roast on top of onions and coat with garlic powder, liberally. Do not salt roast. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and let the roast sit on the counter until it gets closer to room temperature, around 30 minutes or so. Place roast into oven for 20 minutes at 500, and without opening the oven door lower the temperature to 250 degrees after twenty minutes. Continue roasting at 250 for 17 minutes per pound of meat (so for a 3 pound roast, 51 minutes more) without opening the door. We like our meat medium rare so when the roast reaches 123 degrees internally I remove it from the oven and let it sit another 15 minutes to finish cooking. For a medium finish, leave in the oven for 20 minutes per pound, and for well done, I’m not exactly sure – who wants to eat well done meat anyway?

Dumplings (a huge favorite in our family): While roast is cooking, mix flour, a pinch of salt and two eggs, adding water until dough is just moistened. After roast has been removed from oven and is resting, drop spoonfuls of dough into a boiling pot of water and stir occasionally until all dumplings are floating at the surface – about 10-15 minutes. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl with melted butter. These are amazing with a beef roast and even better with some gravy or au jus on the side!

4. Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients: 1 lb. of frozen broccoli pieces, 32 oz. of chicken broth, 1 brick of velveeta cheese (I know it’s gross but it really does the trick here)

Bring chicken broth to a slow boil and add velveeta, one small piece at a time to the pot, stirring often. Add frozen broccoli and cook around 5 minutes more. This is a favorite dinner of my kids (I often add other frozen veggies like peas or carrots) and is usually served with crusty bread and a side salad.

5. English Muffin Pizzas

Ingredients: any kind of tomato sauce, olive oil (if you want to be fancy), brick of mozzarella. Optional: pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, peppers, canned pineapple, breakfast sausage, cold cut ham.

When my husband is working late (which is most of the time), I sometimes set the kitchen up buffet-style and let the kids make their own pizzas. It provides a fun craft activity before dinner and helps fill the tricky evening hours before bed. And the kids are much more liable to eat something they made themselves. I give each child 2 english muffin halves and a big spoon. They add sauce and thinly sliced mozzarella cheese (to avoid the mess of the shredded version) and whatever other ingredients are out that night. I bake them all for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees. Tip: If adding onions or peppers I find it helpful to saute them in a pan ahead of time to eliminate some of the liquid and to cut down on cooking time.

6. Chimmichangas

Ingredients: 10 flour tortillas (burrito size is best), 1 lb. ground beef, 1 can black beans (drained), 1 can corn (drained, any kind), 1/2 cup salsa (any kind), 1 diced onion. Optional: sour cream, cheddar cheese, can of enchilada sauce, can of sliced black olives.

I think James would have this meal 5 times a week if I offered it. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes then add ground beef and brown. into the same pot add salsa, beans and corn until you have a thick sludge. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into the center of a tortilla and roll it up, closing off both ends. Place seam down into a greased casserole dish. I fit 8-10 of these into a 13X9 casserole easily. For added tastiness (and mess) top filled tortillas with a can of enchilada sauce, thinly sliced or shredded cheddar cheese and black olives (I usually make some plain for the kids and some messy for the adults). Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. My kids love to dip these into sour cream and we eat halved avocados as a side.

7. Amazing Chicken Salad (for sandwiches, crackers or with a real salad on the side):

Ingredients: Rotisserie chicken (I hate to give up this secret but am taking one for the mom team), 1 cup mayo (we prefer the real deal here…. yikes), 1 cup grapes, halved; 1 stalk celery, finely diced; 1/4 cup onion, finely diced (or easily omitted); 1-2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce to taste; salt and pepper to taste. Serve on bread, crackers or a green salad to your liking.

Rip up a rotisserie chicken into tons of small, soft, delicious pieces and put into a large bowl. Add grapes, celery and onion and mix together with chicken. In a separate small bowl mix mayo with Worcestershire sauce and black pepper and then mix both bowls together. This is a very versatile dish that can be brought on picnics or served over a green salad for a fancier meal. The rotisserie chicken really does make the difference but any cooked chicken will do in a pinch.

8. Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup (crockpot)

Ingredients: 4-5 Boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces; 1 jar of salsa (any kind); 1 8oz brick of cream cheese, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of pinto beans, 1 can of corn. Optional: sour cream, tortilla chips, avocados served on the side. Secret bonus trick (sigh): take flour tortillas, gently press them into microwave-safe bowls with damp hands, and microwave for 60-90 seconds, checking every 30 seconds. Let cool. Voila, a crisp tortilla shell bowl to serve the soup in. A little extra work, but it looks fancy and besides, doesn’t she deserve it?

Place cut up chicken, salsa, beans and corn into crockpot and leave on low for around 4 hours. 30 minutes before the meal is done place the block of cream cheese on top, stir right before serving. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for large groups. I often make the Dole Southwest salad kit as a side.

9. Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients: 4-5 Boneless chicken thighs, 16 oz. package of mushrooms, 1-2 bell peppers (any color), 1 onion, 2 14 oz. jars of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, garlic powder to taste, 2-4 TBSP of sugar.

Saute onions and peppers in a frying pan for 5-6 minutes and place into crockpot. Add chicken, mushrooms and tomato sauce. Add garlic powder and sugar and cook for 4-6 hours on low. I serve this with a caesar salad and bread for dipping into the delicious sauce.

10. BL(A)Ts

Ingredients: 2 slices of bread (per sandwich), any kind; 1 avocado (will make 3-4 sandwiches), 1 lb. bacon, iceberg lettuce or spinach (depending on whether or not you want crunchiness or flavor), 2 slicing tomatoes (1 tomato makes 2-3 sandwiches depending on how much you like tomatoes – I like heirloom but any kind will do), mayo.

Cook bacon, slice up avocado, tomato and lettuce. Toast bread if desired. I usually place all of the ingredients out on the table separately (unless I am making them ahead of time for a picnic) and let everyone create their own sandwiches. I often serve this with a salad and fries at home or a bag of chips and fruit if on a picnic.

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Feel free to add your own recipes in the comments section or email me with questions if something’s not working out (or if I missed a glaringly obvious step).

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