Super Easy, Inexpensive, Kid-friendly Leftover Use-Up, One-Pot Meals

by on February 7th, 2011
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I’ll admit it: I’m a cookbook addict. I love to peruse the pages looking for new ways with food. One thing I’ve noticed is that too many cookbooks are limited. Busy families need meals that don’t require multiple steps or that dirty a sink full of pans. These recipes are nutritious meals that can be made while helping a child with spelling words or nursing a baby. Ingredients are inexpensive. With my recipes, you’ll never have to make a special trip. They are adaptable to what’s on hand. Using these recipes you’ll use up leftovers, plus have enough for a second night. If you line baking dishes with heavy foil, you can freeze food, remove pre-wrapped in foil and store.

* One-pot, One-Step Lasagna: Lasagna is a contradiction: most everyone likes it, but few people have time to make it. Here’s my solution. Layer these ingredients in a large baking pan in this order:

–frozen meatballs, sausage patties, cooked hamburger, sausage links, deli salami, sliced pepperoni
–16 oz. package of pasta, any kind (do not cook; baking will do that)
–28 oz. can of tomatoes (rinse can and add that juice)
–12 oz cottage cheese, spread over ingredients
–half cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
–1-2 jars of garden combination spaghetti sauce (also rinse)
–8 ounce package shredded cheese
–season with black pepper, oregano and basil
–(optional) layer fresh, canned or frozen spinach on top of the cottage cheese

Bake about one hour at 400 degrees.

* Shepherd’s Pie: This reheats very well and is endlessly adaptable. Layer in casserole dish:

–1-2 # leftover ground hamburger, cubed beef or pork, cooked chicken, canned meat or meatballs
–1# bag frozen green beans, broccoli, cauliflower or vegetable blend
–blend with two cans, any kind, cream soup
–frozen potatoes (tater tots or hash brown, any style) or leftover mashed potatoes

Bake 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

* Cheeseburger stew

–Cook 1# ground beef
–Add 1# pasta plus two cups of water. Cook until tender.
–Drain and add one can cream of mushroom or celery soup and one pound cubed Velveeta cheese. Blend until cheese is melted. Add one can diced tomatoes if desired.

* Thanksgiving casserole

–Cook two cups rice with chopped onion and celery
–Add one can cream soup and leftover cooked or canned chicken or turkey (perfect for Thanksgiving).
–Season with sage.

These meals are always a hit with children.


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