Help! I Need Easy Recipes!

Updated on December 07, 2007
S.M. asks from Omaha, NE
23 answers

Hello! I have to admit that I am not a gourmet cook, and I am getting tired of cooking the same meals over and over again. It also seems that some of my easiest recipes or the fast, convenience foods aren't always healthy options. Does anyone have any simple, healthy recipes that they would like to share with me? My family and I would really appreciate it! :)

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answers from Grand Rapids on

Tastefully Simple products are easy to make.

Crock pot - toss in meat, potatoes and vegtables and spices and water. Gotta love that.

Quesadillas, cheese, chicken and beans (high in protein) add fruit for the a side.



answers from Salt Lake City on

My favorite website is
They have lots of recipes that are easy to follow. They also have a way that you can cook five meals with one grocery bag of items. I love that one! It not only makes cooking easy, but shopping is easy as well!

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answers from Boise on

I am a consultant with Pampered Chef and we have a fabulous new cookbook called "29 minutes to dinner" If you would like more info, let me know!

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Independent Director
The Pampered Chef
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1 mom found this helpful


answers from Duluth on

I just sent this one to someone on here yesterday, so I thought I would copy/paste it. One thing about this recipe is that it uses canned beans. I prefer to use dried kidney beans to eliminate some of the sodium and low sodium v8. But often times, I forget to start early so I can't soak the beans and everyone complains when they are crunchy!

I have a family of seven and this feeds them, no problems.

1 - 2 pounds of hamburger, depending on how meaty you like it
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
2 cans medium chili beans with sauce...not the hormel chili, although I think I did use that once
2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed well (but be careful as they break easily, I add them last to avoid breaking them, they're my girls' and mine favorite)
1 large can/jug v8 - I did it with tomato juice last week and the v8 gives it more flavor
1 large onion, diced, but leaving the pieces big enough for the kids who don't like it to pick out
1 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c frozen corn (optional, my kids don't mind when it's in there, so when I have it, I add it for another veggie)

Brown the burger with onion. Toss in crock pot or large cooking pot. Add rinsed kidney beans and chili beans. Add v8 juice to desired consistency. Add rinsed butter beans and cheese. Heat thoroughly. Although, the longer you let this one set, the more flavor the beans absorb, so I like to leave it in for about four hours in the crock pot. My best friend adds canned mushrooms and olives to hers, but I am the only one who likes it like that, so I will sometimes pull some aside for myself and add those. You can control the heat with your chili beans, I've used half medium, half hot and that was good, too. My kids hate tomatoes so this is a way to get the tomato flavor in without them finding chunks.

I'd look into the magazine Quick Cooking. It's meals that are quick and easy (cause I have a sign in my kitchen that says Dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off!). I try to stay away from prepackaged stuff, TRY. I love to use my crockpot... A roast, sear it on the stove in some oil (I prefer olive) with some onion, toss it all into a crockpot, add a can of coke, and let it go for the day. Or look in the gravy section of the store where they sell the packaged gravies. There are some simple recipes there, too. Today I am throwing together roast meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, stew mix, and water before we go out snowshoeing and sledding later. If I can think of other recipes, I'll let you know.



answers from Boise on

I have a recipe ALL of my kids like and it is super simple, and the adults seem to enjoy it to.

Adjust recipe to your family size but a good rule of thumb is one pakage per person.

Ramen Noodles ( remove seasoning package and put aside for Later)
any frozen veggie ( broccoli is really good or the mixed Veg's
Pre-cooked or defrosted)
And meat of choise (pre-cooked, hamburger, or steak slices
and those rotisserie (SP?) chickens work well)

Cook noodels according to package do not over cook it only takes a few minutes. Place noodles in large fry pan (non sticks best) add a little butter or oil just to coat the noodles then add seasoning packages mix well, add your meat and veggies and serve.

You can do this recipe many different ways just depending on your veggies and meats, we serve with soy sauce sometimes for just a little added flavor. I swear by this because most little ones love noodles of any sort. Hope this helped is also a really good place for recipes for the wgole family.



answers from Boise on

Hi S., I think we all get in a rut at times of what to fix for dinner (I know I do) but subscribe to Kraft foods magazine and they send me a recipe magazine every qtr of great nutritional but easy recipes in them. Best of all its free! just go their [email protected] and you can sign up there or there is a 1-800 you can call too. In the meantime you can go to their website and and print off the recipes as well...most of the ingredients is stuff you usually have on hand wich is what I look for. Below I have listed a family favorite and that I grew up with.

Mexican Casseroll (you can use hamburger meat or cut up chicken)
1 or 2lbs of meat
1 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small to med jar salsa (whatever your favorite is, I usually use mild old elpaso pace)
2 cups grated cheese
1 bag crushed tortilla chips

Pre-heat oven to 350' brown meat w/onion, add soup & salsa.
Simmer about 15min. Layer in baking dish, 1st layers chips, layer meat mixture, layer of cheese. Repeat layering until all gone. Put in oven for 10-15min until cheese is melted. You can add mushrooms or olives to the recipe as well. Hope you enjoy!

A. McConnell
SAHM of 2 boys 9 & 2



answers from Milwaukee on

I find that soups are very easy and fast to make. My 4 year old favorite is chicken noodle that is mostly made from scratch. I use rotisserie chicken then carrots, celery, onion, corn,a box of chicken broth and of course some noodles. I thicken it a little with a corn starch slurry. He just loves this and it is healthy and hearty on a cold winter night.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I put this on another post recently, but it is our favorite. Put about 4 chicken breasts in the crock pot. Season with whatever you like, we like Montreal Chicken seasoning. Cover with 2 cans of cream of chicken soup. Cook all day. 30 minutes before serving, add a brick of room temp cream cheese. (I just leave it out all day and have never gotten sick. :) After the cheese has warmed mix it into the soup and then serve over egg noodles or rice. We love it and it is soooo easy.

I also use frequently.

Good luck.



answers from Milwaukee on

When my son was born, we started preparing meals at Dinner By Design and LOVE it. I go once a month while my husband stays home with our son, and it takes me about two hours to put together 12 healthy, tasty meals. We buy the six meal package, then half-size each meal, so we end up with 12 meals for about $120. (A half-size meal serves 2-3 people, with, for example, three good-sized chicken breasts.) We figure it saves us money because we aren't buying the unique ingredients (that would mostly go to waste in our pantry) and because we no longer go out to eat as often. And the food is fantastic--like restaurant food at home. But perhaps one of the best features is that every meal comes with easy cooking directions, so my husband (who's not very experienced in the kitchen) can easily prepare the meal if he gets home before me. Takes the pressure off!



answers from Des Moines on

I love this recipe- and my 16 month old even loved it! It's super easy and is even a good dish for casual dinner guests. It makes 4 servings:

Orange glazed pork chops
1 6oz. package stove top stuffing mix for pork
1 11 oz can mandarin orange segments, drained, chopped
4 1/2 inch thick pork chops ( I use boneless)
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup margarine

Stir stuffing crumbs, contents of seasoning packet, 1 1/2 cups hot water, oranges and 1/4 cup margarine (cut up), just until moistened, set aside.
Spoon stuffing into 12X8 inch baking dish. Top with chops. Mix marmalade and mustard, spread on chops.
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until chops are cooked through.

I also have this cookbook we picked up on the clearance rack of Borders- it's called "The Best 1001 short, easy recipes" it has great, super easy recipes and the ingredients are usually stuff you have around your house. And even if you don't have all of the stuff, you can improvise a couple ingredients and still have a great dish.

Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I signed up for Food and Family magazine at (it's free!). They have all kinds of recipes in the magazine and online. Also, is another excellent source for recipes. Look under the show "Healthy Living" for healthy recipes.

I know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut of the same old dishes. One of my favorite new dishes is "Mexican Lasagna" by Rachael Ray (you can find it on Easy, healthy and tasty!



answers from Milwaukee on

The key for me is alot of planning. When I get the weekly ad for the grocery store I sit down and plan the meals for the next week. I use alot of Rachael Ray recipes that are quick and easy at,, just to name a few sites I use. You can pick a day of the week and prep foods for the week that you will use in recipes to cut down on prep time during meal preperation.
If I know I have to work all day I will prep a meal in the crock pot the nite before and turn it on before I go to work. AThen when I come home the food is ready. A good example of this is I buy a pork shoulder and put it in the crock pot with a jalepeno, and a onion and 1/2 c water. I put the timer on for 8 hours. When I come home I shread the meat and add barbecue sauce and we eat pulled pork sandwiches.



answers from Provo on

Oprah had Jessica Sienfield, Sienfeld's wife on the other day with a cookbook that I am dying to get. It is called Deceptively Delicious. She cooks with pureed vegtables and the kids just gobble them up. It is comfort foods like chicken nuggets and mac and cheese but I was amazed at how much was gone after these kids were given the food. My kids don't do too bad with veggies but the idea of getting more into them is a great incentive. I have some other crock pot meals if you are into those...just send me a message and I will forward them on.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi, S..
You might want to check out Menu Mailer ( You can choose from lots of different menus (vegetarian, frugal, low fat, crock pot, etc.). They have lots more options than when I signed up a long time ago and did it for about a year. I would usually choose two recipes out of the 6 and include those items in my regular shopping list, and then stick to regular favorites (tacos, noodles & broccoli, etc.) for the other nights. There were also leftovers to use that covered the other nights.

I have a friend who goes to and chooses two recipes for each week that she thinks look good. She then cooks enough of those two meals for at least two nights of leftovers each, so that's six meals already planned. The last night is either more leftovers, or they go out or just have eggs or something. They still get variety because she makes different things each week, they just don't get that much variety for that week. ;)




answers from Salt Lake City on

Here are a few recipes that I had saved on my computer. I know that for me I like to put things in the crock pot then it will be ready for when we come home in the evening. I hope this helps you out.

BBQ Ribs (Crock Pot)
1 large onion 1/3 c. oil
¾ c. water 2 tsp. salt
¼ c. lemon juice 3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. pepper ¾ c. ketchup
2 lbs. country style spare ribs boneless

Mix all ingredients into a bowl, then add ribs and refrigerate over night. Next morning put into crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or longer.

Stove Top and Hamburger Casserole

1 box Stove Top Stuffing Mix 1 lb. hamburger
1 small onion, chopped salt and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup ¾ can milk
Tater tots grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make Stove Top according to directions; spread on bottom of pan or dish. Cook hamburger, onion, and salt and pepper; drain fat. Add soup and milk. Spread on top of stuffing and top with tater tots. Bake 20 minutes. Top with cheese and return to oven to melt.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi S.,
I too am signed up for the free Food and Family Magazine, it really is easy, I think a magazine comes 4 times a year, I also like Thats great for if you want to make something but dont know how, just look it up there and usually there are a bunch of different recipes and they say if there easy or hard. there rated by other people.
Family Fun magazine has a website with great recipes that are kid fun.



answers from Lansing on

a favorite of my family has always been chicken parmesan.

Take breaded chiken patties (or chicken breasts for healthier alt.) lay in 9x9 dish. Pour spegetti sauces over and cook until bubbly (30min. or so). Sprinkle with shredded cheese--my kids like motz. better than parm. Cook until melted. Seve with garlic bread and veggies or salad.

This is quick and good!



answers from Madison on

I had a cookbook at one time called Help my apartment has a kitchen......they are easy recipes that take little time and few ingredients. it was written by a guy that got sick of pizza while he was in college and kept calling home to mom asking how do I make that. I hope this helps



answers from St. Cloud on

I find myself fed up with eating the same food as well. I have recently tried an egg bake recipe. Very simple and delicous. You can use whatever meat you choose. Cook the meat and place it in a cake pan, rip apart 4-5 slices of bread and add to the pan. Scramble up a dozen eggs (i add a little milk to), add to the pan. Place cheese of your choice on top, I use cheddar. Bake for 1 hour at 350. You can even do some or all of the steps the night before, adding cheese right before baking. You can also add tomato's, onions, peppers, or whatever your family may like. Good Luck.



answers from Boise on

Anything in the crockpot. I put a couple of chicken breast in the crockpot with a couple of bottles of marinade and set on low, and cook them all day. They are wonderful, then about 1/2-1 hour before the chicken is done, I then make my vegetable, ie peas, carrots, etc...and put rice on or a couple of rolls in the oven...and wa la you have a full balanced meal with ease...Lemon chicken is my fav.



answers from Milwaukee on

These are 2 of the easiest recipes that my family eats over and over and enjoys.

Tomato Basil Bow Tie Pasta
1. Boil Water- add pasta (we use the Bow Tie style/but whole grain is healthier)
2. Chop a few fresh tomatoes, toss it in a bowl. Add a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, some shredded Parmesan-Romano Cheese (you can use one, the other or both) and a sprinlle of dried basil. Stir it up (I put a lid on the bowl and "toss" it a few times.)
3. Drain Pasta, add to the tomato mix and toss.
4. Yum!

Berry Salad
1. Prepare a bed of greens. You can use Baby Spinach, or Green leaf lettuce (I would not use Iceburg)
2. Add a handful of raspberries, strawberries or/and blueberries.
3. Drizzle a raspberry vingarette and top with sliced almonds.
4. This is a great side salad and a way to "hide" the leafy green flavor most kids despise.

Another simple way to eat healthy is to replace white breads and rice, with whole wheat and brown rice :)



answers from Salt Lake City on

One of our favorite recipes is a salsa chicken that is done in the crockpot and can be used for nachos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. We aren't really big meat eaters so this serves 2 adults and 2 kids but you can increase it to feed however many.
1 chicken breast
1 C. Salsa (fresh or bottled)
Let that cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Take the chicken out, shred, and return to the crockpot for another 30 minutes to an hour adding more salsa if needed. At this point I usually add black beans, kidney beans, and some fresh green pepper and onion.

If you add a lot of salsa you could serve this over rice as well. It works really well with roasts too! The tomato makes the meat really tender and really yummy.



answers from Green Bay on

I noticed that most of the previous posts mentioned nothing about making a recipe 'healthy'. Really, most recipes can be converted to a healthier alternative - make sure that there is no MSG (this includes hidden forms like yeast extract, etc), no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, use organic produce, cage free - vegetarian fed eggs, no antbiotic/hormone meats - grassfed when possible, cook/fry/bake with unrefined coconut oil, olive oil and vinegar for fresh veggie salads, ...

Try to cut down the amount of grains and increase meats and veggies and essential fats.

Hope this helps!

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