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  1. #21

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    We also lose power for long stints at a time living so far out in boonies. If there is a wide spread power outage like we had a couple of winters ago during a freak snow storm that dumped as much snow in one night as we typically get in a year, we can be without power for a week or more. Or it can be sunny, not a cloud in the sky and the power goes out because they are horrible about keeping limbs trimmed away from power lines around here.

    Dh often has cereal for dinner when I just can't bring myself to cook or we have no electricity at dinner time. Quesadillas are another quick and simple dinner. Sometimes I make them with two tortillas, put one in a dry pan (no oil) put some meat and cheese on it. When it is about ready to be turned, I put another tortilla on top, flip it like a pancake and immediately sprinkle a little extra cheese on top and let the second tortilla brown a little. Take it out of the pan, cut it into pizza slices and you have "Mexican pizza", lol! We have a little butane burner that is rated for indoor use and requires no electricity so we use it a lot when the electricity won't cooperate at dinner time. Trying to boil a pot of water on it will eat up a can of butane in no time flat but something like scrambled eggs or quesadillas is doable.

    While not an "I'm not cooking" meal but still quick and easy is ground beef stroganoff. Brown ground beef, dried minced onions (or chop an onion, I keep dried minced onion on hand though. Onion powder is another option if you want less work lol) and a little garlic powder and pepper to taste (I like it heavy on the pepper). Drain, return to the pan and add a can of cream of mushroom soup (or equivalent homemade), 1 cup of water and a beef bullion cube (or 1 cup beef broth). Whisk to combine, bring to boil and then reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally. While it is simmering, cook some egg noodles according to the package directions. When noodles are done, drain the water off, check on the your meat mixture, if it hasn't reduced and thickened enough to your liking (it should be gravy like), add a little bit of cornstarch slurry (spoonful of cornstarch and enough water to make it liquid) and whisk well while still over the heat used for simmering. Serve over the egg noodles. I usually make green beans to go with this and dh likes to have garlic bread with it too if we have it.

    With our various food allergies, most notably my anaphylactic tomato allergy, I can't use boxed "Helper" type meals so I make all kinds of homemade versions. They come together just as quickly as the boxed ones and are cheaper. Cheeseburger, lasagna (I use pureed roasted red peppers in place of tomato sauce) and taco are favorites around here. I have an oriental version I'm getting ready to try.

    Chicken and rice or chicken and noodles which literally are just chicken breasts, boiled in broth then chopped (I usually leave pretty big but still bite size chunks), added back to the pot with egg noodles or rice and usually frozen peas and carrots and boiled until everything is cooked through. Quick, easy comfort food that isn't too terrible health wise.

    My kids love chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot, though I can't eat it due to allergies. Just dump 2 cans diced tomatoes (with or without green chiles, liquid and all), 2 cans pinto or black beans undrained, 1 can chopped green chiles if you didn't use tomatoes with green chiles and a cup of salsa or picante sauce. Put one or two chicken breasts in (frozen is fine) Cook all day on low or if starting at lunch time on high. Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and chop or shred (if you have a stand mixer, put them in the bowl, straight from the crockpot, with a paddle attachment and run on medium speed until shredded), return chicken to crock pot and stir. Top individual bowls with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.

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  3. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by MapleHillAcademy View Post
    We also lose power for long stints at a time living so far out in boonies. If there is a wide spread power outage like we had a couple of winters ago during a freak snow storm that dumped as much snow in one night as we typically get in a year, we can be without power for a week or more. Or it can be sunny, not a cloud in the sky and the power goes out because they are horrible about keeping limbs trimmed away from power lines around here.
    On another note - how to you prepare your food? This is a concern of mine, as our winters keep getting worse.
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  4. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariam View Post
    On another note - how to you prepare your food? This is a concern of mine, as our winters keep getting worse.
    We have this butane burner that does not require any electricity, just cans of butane which we keep on hand. It is rated for indoor use but we usually crack a window open just a little while it is running just to be safe.

    We have also used the grill outside to heat water over a fire or "bake" meals wrapped in tin foil. We want to eventually install a wood stove for both heat and the ability to cook on it in a pinch. On my someday list is a screened porch with a built in outdoor kitchen that could be used during a power outage. Something like this, but screened in.

    Above and beyond that, we are looking into a generator, most people around here have at least a small one. But we will probably use the non-electric options to cook still, generators are expensive to run long term. Also Grandma, who lives next door, has a propane stove so if we want to actually bake something, we can go to her house and do it. It's an older one so no electricity needed to light it if the pilot goes out for some reason.

    Our biggest problem when the power goes out isn't cooking, it's water lol! We are on a well and when the power goes out, the pump can't run. No pump means no running water once the pressure tank is depleted and that doesn't take much! I want to get a solar pump with battery back up. They are really expensive though so for now we just keep jugs of water on hand.

  5. #24

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    Chili (made in the instant pot)
    Chicken tortilla soup (also made in the instant pot)
    Tacos/burritos
    Breakfast burritos/scramble
    Fried eggs over spinach w/ a side of bacon or sausage
    "Mock" eggs benedict w/ spinach & tomato
    Chicken wings w/ roasted potatoes & veggie sticks
    Hot sandwich w/ soup or chips
    A big salad w/ ham/bacon, cheese, and chopped hard-boiled egg
    Cheeseboard (w/ cheese, crackers, hard salami, some fruits & veggies/olives/pickles)
    Churrasco w/ a side salad & guacamole
    Caldo de pollo
    Cheese quesadillas

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What are your "Im not cooking dinner" dinners?