These are just a few go to meals that are great to have since almost all the ingredients can be bought ahead of time and stored, this means you can stalk up on them when they go on sale. They are also quick to make and you can even get the kids involved.

Beef Stroganoff

1 can cream of mushroom soup (you can sub any condensed cream soup your like)
4 cups spiral pasta (any pasta noodles of your choice)
1 cup frozen peas
1 pound lean ground beef (you can use ground turkey or chicken for a healthier option)
2 tablespoons milk
  1. Boil noodles to desired cook (I like my noodles a little al dente)
  2. Drain noodles once cooked and return to pot (ensure as much liquid as possible is removed before returning them to the empty pot)
  3. In a separate pan cook ground beef thoroughly, drain any excess oil and liquid from the meat once it has been cooked.
  4. Add the can of condensed soup, peas and 2 tbsp of milk to the ground beef; stir until you have a sauce.
  5. Add sauce mixture to the noodles you have drained and set aside in the pot, mix until the noodles are fully covered in the sauce mixture.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can add anything to it and mix it up, if broccoli is on sale, I toss that in, you can use any veggie you like that is in season, or on sale in your frozen food section. You can also add spices to it; I like to add paprika or cayenne pepper to give it a kick. This recipe serves about 4 people.

Tuna Casserole

1 can cream of mushroom soup condensed
1 can of peas, drained
3 cans of tuna in water, drained
5 hard boiled eggs cut up into cubes (I use an egg slicer and slice length and width wise)
1 bag of ruffled chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix together tuna, peas (drain cans first), chopped up eggs and mushroom soup, crush 2 handfuls of chips into the mixture and save 2 handfuls for on top.
  3. Place mixture in an 18" casserole dish (smaller and higher or longer and thinner) create even layer.
  4. Lightly crush about 2 handfuls of Chips onto and place in oven
  5. Cook for about 30 min at 350F (or when the top starts to bubble and turn a light brown).
This recipe serves about 4-5 people

Soy Sauce Chicken and Rice

1 Beef bouillon cube (You can substitute 1 cup of beef stalk)
1 cup, water boiled water
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
½ - 1 tbsp. corn starch
2 tbsp. water
1/4 cup chopped onion (or shallot)
4-6 chicken thighs (for a healthier option remove skin and excess fat)
1 cup corn (frozen)
Green veg of choice (I go with a bag of spinach or 4 cups broccoli fresh or frozen.)
2-4 cups cooked rice of choice
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Add bouillon cube to boiled 1-cup water and dissolve
  3. Add soy sauce to water mixture
  4. In a high 2-4 quart casserole dish place chicken thighs and chopped onion, then pour on liquid mixture
  5. Base chicken in liquid and place in oven for 40-45 min or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Cook veggies and set aside.
  7. Mix rice and veggies together, serve beside chicken
  8. Take the liquid mixture left over from the chicken and pour into small pot, mix corn starch with 2tbs water until dissolved add to sauce mixture.
  9. Boil sauce mixture on medium heat until thickened
  10. Pour sauce on each plate over rice and veggie mix

Lentil Soup

2 Large cans low sodium chopped tomatoes with juice
1 can (rinsed) chickpeas
2 cans (rinsed) lentils
1 can (rinsed) white kidney beans
3 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 medium onion (not a fan of onion leave it out leave this out)
4-8 cloves garlic (I love garlic so I just add more)
2-3 bay leaves
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 dried chili pepper (if you like it hot add more, not so hot, omit it)
2 cups chopped celery (you can also use one cup chopped celery root)
5-6 leaves of fresh oregano or 1 tbs dried
  1. Chop onion and garlic to desired size (I like chunks for my garlic)
  2. Chop up celery or celery root
  3. Open and drain liquid from the cans of beans
  4. In a large soup pot heat olive oil then add garlic and onion, stir till browned
  5. Add in the 3 cups of water and the bouillon cube
  6. Toss in celery, tomatoes, beans, bay leaf, chili pepper and oregano
  7. Bring mixture to rolling boil then reduce heat, stir often to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
  8. Add extra water for desired consistency
  9. For added nutrients you can add in and veggie you like. I like to add in kale or spinach, whichever is on sale at the store, you can also add in frozen veggies

Whole Roasted Chicken

1 chicken, whole, with innards removed
1 apple
½ lemon cut into quarters
1 tbsp seasoning salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp oil (I like grape seed oil.)
4 garlic cloves
½ cup water

Preheat oven to 450F. Get a roasting pan (if you do not have a roasting pan, you can also use a glass dish that fits the chicken with about 1 inch or higher around). Mix seasoning salt, pepper, paprika together. Place chicken in pan cut apple into quarters (no need to skin the apple) place the garlic, 2 apple quarters and the lemon quarters into the chicken cavity. If you cannot fit it all try and get a bit of each, with the left overs place them in the pan with the chicken, remember to try and close the cavity opening with the chicken skin using toothpicks.

Take the oil and rube the chicken with it until coated, then take the seasoning mix and coat the chicken with it. Once the chicken is dressed and stuffed, ensure it is facing breast side up in the pan. Add the ½ cup water to the pan and cover with tin foil. Place chicken in preheated oven at 450F for 30 min. After 30 min reduce heat to 375F, remove the tin foil and baste the chicken with the juice at the bottom of the pan, baste chicken at last 3 more times before removing it.

Cook chicken until the internal temp is 165F, another 20-40 min depending on your oven. To save time you can cook any veggies you like with the chicken.

The best thing about cooking a whole chicken is that you can use the left over juice to make a chicken broth. To make a chicken broth from left overs I like to save any celery ends I was going to discard along with the ends of parsley (the stems) and any onions that I haven't used. All you need is the chicken, a few bay leafs, celery, onion, parsley, pepper, salt to taste, some garlic and onion powder. I sometimes add a veggie bouillon cube. Boil for about 20-30 min then let simmer for an hour. Strain the liquid and you now have chicken broth.

Helena Barclay