With parents and kids both living more active lives these days, simplifying things like menu planning can make life a little easier for everyone. Last week I shared my pizza casserole as a nice make ahead dish that goes from refrigerator, to oven to the dinner table. This week I’m sharing ideas from some of my facebook friends. Two are casseroles and one is a simple stir fry idea. All three are delicious. I tweaked each recipe a little based on the quantities of items I used. I hope you try them.
Chicken Divan Casserole
courtesy of Angela DiAnna (and her mom)
3 lg. Boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked (I substituted 2 – 9oz Packaged Pre Cooked Carved Chicken Breasts)
2 lg Broccoli Bunches, cooked (about 1 1/4 lbs – I cut them into bite sized pieces and used a steam bag)
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cu Lite Mayonnaise
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 cu Plain Bread Crumbs
4 oz Butter
Break chicken into bite size pieces. Butter a 9x13 pan. Arrange broccoli on bottom of pan, layer chicken on top of broccoli. Mix soup, mayo, lemon juice and curry powder and pour over top of layered broccoli and chicken. Add cheese to top of this and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Mix together melted butter and bread crumbs and top off casserole. This dish can be covered and refrigerated at this point until ready to bake.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until bubbly and warmed through (about 30 minutes, a bit longer if the casserole has been refrigerated).
Paula's Mexican Casserole
courtesy of Paula Cree
2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 can Sliced Black Olives (4oz size)
1 jar Cheese And Salsa (10 oz size)
1 Enchilada sauce (10 oz size)
8 oz. jar Chunky Mild Salsa
2 cans Whole Tomatoes (14.5 oz size)
1 Box Pasta (16oz size), whole wheat can be used
1 med Onion, diced
Garlic to taste, minced
1/2 cu Grated Cheddar Cheese
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain. Brown ground beef and drain. Mix remaining ingredients, except cheese, together in a large mixing bowl.
Add pasta and ground beef and mix well. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. This dish can be covered and refrigerated at this point until ready to bake.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes…until bubbly. Top with grated cheddar cheese and serve.
Easy 20 Minute Stir Fry
courtesy of Steve Knox
Steve told me that a stir fry is very popular in his home. He takes a trip to his local grocery store and picks up pre cut vegetables in a bag, chicken that is already cooked, a bit of jarred simmer sauce (from Trader Joe’s) and rice. With his wok and a rice cooker, he has dinner on the table in 20 minutes.
Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a work or large skillet to medium high heat (don’t get it too hot or oil will burn). Add canola, vegetable, peanut or olive oil. Immediately add vegetables and toss vigorously until they are tender but still crisp. Add the cooked chicken and continue to stir until chicken is heated through. Add about 1 cup of simmer sauce and 1/2 cup of water and stir to coat. Cover for about 3-5 minutes as sauce reduces and thickens. Remove from heat and serve over rice. You can adjust the amount of simmer sauce according your taste.
Thanks again to everyone who offered suggestions for make ahead dishes or quick preparation meals. If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @MrDomesticDiva.