**Editor’s Note** I originally wrote this post in the height of the shutdown in Louisiana. I know that many people find quick meals helpful so I wanted to update it as I added more recipes to our rotation. (1/31/2021)
I don’t know about you but I am cooking more than I ever have in my life. I love to cook and I cook a lot during the week regularly but being home all the time has been in overdrive.
I have been using this as an opportunity to cook some new things or some more complicated recipes that I don’t have time for. Things like lasagna, baking pies and I am planning on making rack of lamb for Easter Sunday.
Even though I am enjoying cooking I also find myself reaching for those simple easy meals. Our stores are getting back to being fully stocked but it’s still hit or miss with certain items. Simple is definitely better these days when it comes to ingredients. I rounded up three of my favorite simple meals that are easy and delicious!
A while back I noticed that my kids would eat anything if it was in a meatball form. I am all about not battling with kids over meals so when I find something that works we roll with it. I started making all kinds of things into meatballs. These are just a few and how we serve them.
1 lb ground meat
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet add your rolled meatballs evenly spaced. Depending on how big my meatballs are will dictate the cook time. Smaller meatballs I bake for 20 minutes for larger ones I cook 30 minutes.
The kids like meatloaf on it’s own but sometimes we all want the end piece and making it into meatballs just makes it easier. I use the Joanna Gaines Magnolia Cookbook for this one with a few of my own changes.
1.5 lbs ground meat
1/4 cup onions caramelized
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers
1.5 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
ketchup to coat each meatball
Cooking directions are the same as above.
**I am working on more meatball recipes. I have a buffalo chicken and a Mediterranean idea that I am trying in the next few weeks and will update here.***
BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato
BBQ chicken in the crock pot is about as simple as you can get. I put my chicken in the crock pot on low for 4 to 6 hours depending on how much chicken I have. Halfway through I add the BBQ sauce directly on top of the chicken in the crock pot and cook the remaining time. When the chicken is nice and tender I shred it.
About an hour before dinner I put my sweet potatoes into the oven at 400 degrees. They just tasted better to me in the oven. When they are finished I scoop out come of the inside, add the shredded BBQ chicken. I top it with a little spicy seasoning like Tony Chachere and brown sugar and return to the oven on the top rack for 5 to 10 minutes.
Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Tuna Pasta & Peas
This recipe is from Mealime. I feel like this is a fancy tuna noodle casserole.
2 cans of tuna (6oz cans)
1 cup peas
2 cloves garlic
8 oz heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan
12 oz pasta
Cook pasta 8 to 10 minutes. In a separate pot coat bottom with butter and add minced garlic. Add peas and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add cream and simmer. Add your pasta back into the pot and top with Parmesan and tuna. Combine and serve.
Sheet Pan Protein and Veggies
This is the easiest and simplest recipe because you can make it with anything you have in the fridge. I use chicken or sausage for my protein. Veggies can range from potatoes, sweet potatoes, red onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, brussle sprouts, broccoli, squash and anything else you would bake in the oven.
To cook. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray (I love the coconut oil one from Trader Joes). Top with chopped veggies and your meat. I try to cut everything in similar sizes to get them to cook at the same rate. Spray with olive oil, shave garlic on top and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
When we serve this we top with a little balsamic vinegar or Parmesan cheese.