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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meat Loaf - no tomatoes

Approximately 16 to 20 ounces of the best hamburger you can afford    

cooked vegetable medlee (onions, carrots, and celery)
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 or 3 eggs

Turn on oven to 350 degrees.  choose your pan - a nice round skillet is good - or a loaf pan.  I like to line it with parchment paper.

1.  Put 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal in a small cup - and 6 tablespoons of very warm water - stir and set aside

The veggie medlee is the most time consuming part of this meal
I sometimes make enough for several meat loafs and freeze amounts appropriate for the next time I make meatloaf
one onion - chopped
3 medium carrots chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
 In a medium skillet add a little oil and then saute veggies until reduced in size by about 2/3.  You can also microwave them if you don't actually want to spend the time cooking them in a skillet.

Put your hamburger meat in a bowl
add salt and pepper to taste - and any other spices you might like
stir in your flaxseed mixture
stir in eggs - add an extra egg or two if you have plenty of eggs - or if you like you meatloaf very firm
stir in veggie medlee

dump it in the pan you have ready and stick it in the oven.

Cook until it is bubbling at least a little in the middle.
This is about 45 minutes - a loaf takes a little longer - a bigger pan takes a little less time

If you want to add baked potatoes to this meal I usually get the potatoes clean - and microwave them until about half done.  Then wrap in foil with a little bit of butter and salt.  Here's a hint - small potatoes cook faster than big potatoes.  Test to see if they are done by squeezing  both end of the potato toward the middle.

Meatloaf makes a very good sandwich.
Left over meatloaf makes a very good Shepherd's pie.

Regarding the veggies - If you family is prone to pick out veggies - mush them up to the point they blend in with the meatloaf and are basically impossible to pick out.  If they like veggies you can leave them in bigger lumps.  Remember - it is always about cooking what works for you and your family.  Never be afraid of changing a recipe to suit yourself - or adjusting a recipe according to the ingredients you have on hand.

Seven Minute Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Seven Minute Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

If you are wondering how to fling a meal in the oven less in less than then ten minutes you will probably find this recipe interesting.  It takes five ingredients.  Cook time is longer than seven minutes – but actually getting it into the oven is really seven minutes or less. 

Here is what you need.

1.  12 or 14 oz can of chicken or turkey – don’t drain it
2.   4 oz can of diced green chilies
3.  3 to 6 ounces of cheese – sliced or shredded
4.  8 oz sour cream   - plus or minus – depending how much you actually have on hand
5.  5 8 in corn tortillas  This is a gluten free meal – you can use wheat flour tortillas if you like them – but this is a good recipe for anyone who eating gluten free or is at least trying to cut back on wheat. 

8 inch skillet or pan
Oil to grease the pan

Step number one
Turn on the oven to 400 degrees
Put a dab of coconut oil or oil of your choice in the pan and stick it in the oven – it will warm up while you are mixing up the meal.  Being warm when you put in the meal helps keep sticking to a minimum.

Open the chicken and chilies – dump them in a medium size bowl – don’t drain anything.
Dump in the sour cream – just estimate the amount by the size of the container – for instance – if you have a 16 oz container – put in around half.  Fling it in the pan cooks don’t usually measure much of anything because it takes too long and messes up to many pans. 
Stir it all up
Take you skillet out of the oven and put one corn tortilla in the bottom of the pan.
Spoon approximately ¼ of your chicken mixture on the tortilla and spread it around.
Put about ¼ of your cheese on top of that.
Put your next tortilla, repeat
And repeat
The fifth tortilla is the top.  It needs to cut in several pieces to keep it from curling up.  Lightly spray with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt.
Put in the oven – and bake approximately 30 minutes.

Everything is already cooked – so all you have to do is get it hot enough to melt the cheese. 
If you are short on tortillas – or don’t have any at all – a variation of the recipe is to use crushed tortilla chips in place of the tortillas.  The assembly is the same – a lay of crushed chips – layer the chicken and cheese – another layer of crushed chips – and repeat until everything is in the skillet and nothing is left in your mixing bowl.  Actually –I sometimes put a layer of crushed chips on as the top layer anyway – because it looks nice and tastes good. 

While the meal is cooking – you can either rest – or get another chore done around the house.

This recipe is easily doubled and baked in two pans.

Everything except the sour cream can easily be stored in your pantry – so stock piling ingredients for this meal is a good idea providing your family actually likes it.  Remember a working pantry contains food supplies that you and your family will actually eat.

I have found that one recipe makes 3 meal size portions.  I don’t serve it with anything else.  My husband may add some chips to go with his.  It could be served to four people as the main dish providing you added a side dish or two. 

In addition to being affordable, quick, easy, and tasty – the prep for this meal only messes up one bowl and one spoon so clean up is easy too.

And remember as with any recipe – don’t be afraid to personalize it.  I sometimes cut up  some fresh cilantro and stir that in with the chicken.  It gives is noticeably different taste.

Fling it in the pan cooking is my personal style of cooking – I love to have something that tastes good on the table in a remarkably short amount of time.  I love recipes that have few ingredients, with most of those ingredients being easily stored in the pantry.  If you too are a fling it in the pan cook – please share your easiest and quickest recipes