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November 12, 2007


Dara Edmondson

Hi Nancy;
This one is easy and a family favorite:
Pizza Casserole
Roll out 1 Pillsbury pizza dough in a 9x12 pan. Bake according to directions. Remove from oven, top with red sauce, browned ground beef or turkey, then shredded lowfat mozzerella and return to oven until cheese is just melted.
I use a pizza cutter to cut and serve with a green salad - everyone is happy!

Katie Reus

There's only two of us, but to keep dinner's simple and easy, I shop once a week, and have a menu planned for M-F. (Saturday and Sunday's are usually lazy days, so popping a frozen pizza in the oven isn't unheard of) Also, I tend to buy pre-bagged salads, and pre-cut frozen (low-fat) chicken breasts in the interest of saving time, if not money :) And, I always keep 'prep-free' items stocked in my pantry like dry pasta and pasta sauce in case unexpected guests stop by and I need to prepare a big meal quickly.

Pat Clay

My husband is the cook in our house. He makes mealtimes easy by chopping and/or preparing ingredients eaarly in the day and storing them in the fridge. Then all he has to do is the easy part when we get hungry. Never takes too long.

Nancy Robards Thompson

Oooh, Dara, sounds yummy! I'll definitely try it.

Nancy Robards Thompson

Katie, I don't know if I remember how to cut up lettuce any more! The bagged greens have definitely become a staple in our house. Have you ever tried the Caesar kits? I was surprised by how good some of them are – and I’m usually pretty picky about my Caesars. I’ll give the frozen chicken breasts a try. Would be nice to know there’s something in the freezer in a pinch. Thanks for the tips!

Nancy Robards Thompson

Pat, let’s hear it for men who cook! What a hero! Prepping ahead is a great idea. Thanks for sharing the tip.


When you begin meal preparation make several meals at a time.This can be a variety of chicken recipes at one time. It is more efficient by roasting several chicken breasts, as well as roasting a pan filled with lovely veggies for mealtime and a chicken stew. During this time you can have the slow cooker on with the meal for that evening.

Nancy Robards Thompson

Great idea, Ellie! Thanks so much for posting.


Hey Nancy! Great sounding recipe! I love leeks. And I totally agree about the good and easy approach to cooking. That said, though, I think our ideas of easy may vary a bit. I tend to try and throw things together from what I have in my pantry and fridge at the time, so I don't have to make a run out to the grocery store. And leeks are something I don't tend to have on hand often.
Funny thing, though. I was just today reminded to look in an older cookbook I have that I love--Moosewood Cookbook--to find a recipe there I've tried before and really love. It's for popovers and they're very easy. I'd post it here, but I think I'd be infringing on copyright. But you've inspired me to try them out again.


Nancy, I'm a big fan (especially since I live alone) of things that require little more than throwing together, and if it can be done by turning on the crockpot early in the day, even better. I do it with stews, chili, soup mostly, because it freezes better -- and then all I have to do is thaw it!

World's Best Vegetarian Chili

1 12-oz bag Quorn Crumbles or other meatless "burger" crumbles (Quorn is made from 'shrooms, so don't get if you're allergic)

1/2 - 1 whole onion (according to taste)

1 28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (yumm)

2 cans chili beans (drain if you want)

1 envelope favorite chili seasoning

Extra garlic

Chop onion, open cans. I like to quickly saute the onion before adding to the pot. Throw everything together except the meatless crumbles -- add that about 30 minutes before you're serving. The longer it cooks or sits, the better the flavor. This gets really thick, so add veggie broth to thin it if you want. I'd add it at the end, though. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with shredded cheese and/or French bread. Yummm..... and it can all be done organically, which is even better.


My favorite, super easy meal is chicken breasts cooked in Italian dressing in the crockpot. It comes out incredibly tender and can be eaten so many ways. It's perfect over a salad, with a potato and veggies, served over rice and so many more ways. Make extra for leftovers for an even easier meal.

Nancy Robards Thompson

Sandy and Lorena, the chicken and chili sound delicious! I’ll try them. Debbie, I have the Moosewood cookbook, too. I’ll look up the popover recipe.


Hands down, our quick and easy favorite is a home version of Pebbles Restaurant's Nutty Cheesy Salad. The basic mix: field greens, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, shredded fontina cheese, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame sticks, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. You can add grilled chicken if you like, but it's filling and yummy without. And it's a big hit at potlucks. ;-)

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