Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Go-To Recipes for New Moms

My age group and my church activity give me the opportunity to frequently prepare meals for others in need--whether a baby has just been born, a death in the family has taken place, a health problem/recovery is happening, or any other reason a person just might need a meal dropped off. I used to get anxiety over preparing meals. I would carefully search for meals. My choices would change based on the amount of time I had to prepare a meal and the amount of money I had. (Some meals, like lasagna, tend to run a bit more expensive especially when paired with other parts of a meal).

I finally got sick of searching for a meal that I couldn't screw up, could make in __ amount of time, and could afford or get the ingredients easily. I wanted a "Go To" meal. One that when I got a phone call that someone was in need of a dinner, I already knew what I'd be preparing. It helps keep things simple.

Today I'm sharing my two "go to" meals with you. Both are filled with whole, real food, they are family friendly, easy to adapt for larger or smaller portions, and easy to adapt for any allergies--as they are naturally dairy and wheat free.

One Pan Chicken Dinner

(This meal will easily serve two parents and two kids or less, adjust the recipe for larger families)

This recipe is so easy that I don't even measure it out!

-2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
-1 1/2 Cups Fresh green beans washed and cut
-1 1/2 Cups Red potatoes washed and cubed
-Butter or Olive Oil
-Your Choice of Seasonings (Italian Seasoning, Ranch Seasoning, Rosemary/Thyme, salt/pepper, etc...)

Take a 9x13 pan and arrange the staple ingredients into thirds (one third of the pan for green beans, one third chicken, and the final third potatoes). Drizzle olive oil or place pats of butter on each section. Sprinkle seasonings of choice on top (Italian seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, rosemary/thyme, etc..). Cover and cook at 350 for one hour.

Crockpot Beef Stew

-Package 1 1/2 pounds of stew beef
-Vegetables (the quantity and kind may vary), I typically use 1 1/2 cups carrots, 1 cup potatoes, 1 cup green beans, 1 cup peas, and 1 cup corn.
-3 cups water
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
-1 TBSP Oregano
-1 TBSP Parsley
-1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 or 6 hours--vegetables and meat should be tender.

**If I need to thicken the broth, I simply take a little cold water, mix in some corn starch, and pour and stir it into the stew until it reaches the desired thickness).**

Whenever I take a meal I usually include:

-Washed (and sliced if necessary) fruit---strawberries or grapes usually
-Dessert (usually a pan of brownies)
-Breakfast--New moms need breakfast most of all in my opinion.  I usually include a package of granola bars or frozen homemade breakfast burritos (if I have the time)

**I always prepare or package each food item in a container that can be thrown away or one that I purchased at the dollar store so there is no need to return it.

What is your "go to" meal when you need to take someone dinner?

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