19 April 2012

Quickie Cheesy Dinner

We've all had those days when we've been running errands or taking the kids to the playground or when we've just plain old lost track of time. My answer to that had always been take-out. Taco Bueno, McDonalds, whatever. A couple of years ago, I started getting more health conscious and also began a Prepper lifestyle. So I started looking for quick and easy ways to feed my family healthy meals instead of take-out junk food. I was really inspired by Jan Jackson's 100 Day Pantry. She came up with recipes which can be made entirely out of long term food storage items, or made with fresh, canned or frozen items. And they are extremely adaptable.

My family's favorite is one we now call the Quickie Cheesy Dinner. I believe it started out as the "Creamy Tuna Skillet."

Quickie Cheesy Dinner

In a large pot, mix:
  • 16 ounces of canned chicken or tuna, rinsed thoroughly
  • 8 ounces of spiral pasta
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of low sodium chicken broth (14.5 ounce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 3 cups of frozen or canned veggies, generally carrots, peas, brocolli, cauliflower, or whatever else I have on hand. I prefer frozen, but I keep canned in case we haven't gotten to the store.
Bring everything to a boil, then simmer until the pasta is done, generally about 10 minutes for me. Then add:
  • 8 ounces of cubed Velveeta
  • 1/2 cup of any good cheese. Parmesan, Romano, Sharp Cheddar, they all work.
Stir until the cheese melts and serve it up.

I generally serve it up with fresh biscuits or with black bread. The kids love it! The first time I served it was the first time Princess ever asked for seconds. And recipes like this have drastically reduced our dining out. It's actually quicker than running to McDonalds. From the time we walk in the door hungry to the time I have it on the table is about 20 minutes, and that's if I've had to take the time to make biscuits up fresh. Can't beat it for speedy satisfaction.