Casseroles~A Triple Crown - Quick and easy recipes

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Being female, from the south, and something less than a good cook can be a challenge at times. This is especially evident when wanting to be seen as a good cook, i.e. most of the time. Further compounding the issue exists the not so inconsiderable facts that I am not fond of cooking unless feeling somewhat domestic and nostalgic. Yea right, this happens maybe three times a year. On top of that at times I despise the vile task that is kitchen clean up. Even a novice gourmet such as myself knows the best way to avoid kitchen clean up is by not messing up the kitchen, hence my frequent flyer, platinum status in local restaurants.

The sad realities of life dictate that cooking must be done frequently. In an effort to balance the dreaded necessity with my miserly desire to hoard every second of time I can away from work for myself and not our bellies, I have firmly decided that casseroles are by far the best way to do this most heinous task for a very few simple reasons.

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First, and foremost, casseroles, at least in my house, mess up only one main dish, cutlery aside. This is a major plus. Second, while they may take an hour or more to cook, I like to look at how much of my time is required. After all, once I put it in the oven, I’m pretty much done. The casseroles I chose to make take minutes prep time… Tra la la, out the kitchen I can go to surf Hubpages. Lastly, and most importantly, casseroles are the ultimate, best form of cooking, in my opinion, because they can be made for CHEAP.

Let’s face it, anything in today’s economy that stretches a grocery dollar can’t be bad! People used to say one could never be too rich or too thin. In modern times I feel the more practical sentiment would be one can never be too frugal or too well informed.

Enough of Vix’s random thoughts of the moment… on with the eats!

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Pork Chop Casserole


Total prep time - less than five minutes. 

DISCLAIMER - This is of course what I consider to be prep time, not how long it will be before you can eat… Geez guys! No, it takes under five minutes to throw it together and get it in the oven. You still have to wait for it to cook!


Ingredients

4 to 6 thawed pork chops

Cajun seasoning

1 prepackaged box of dirty rice mix

Water


Needed:

Casserole dish with lid

Whisk

Measuring cup

Fire extinguisher (Hey! Keep your comments to yourself, thank you. I’m not that bad in the kitchen, though, yet, the others living in my home insist. I can’t fathom why. Just basic kitchen safety guys and gals. That‘s my story and I‘m sticking to it).


What you actually have to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a casserole dish large enough to accommodate all the pork chops laid out separately, empty the contents of the rice mix.

Using a whisk, mix the rice mixture in the recommended amount of water plus one quarter cup being sure to get any spice lumps out.

Ignore the box’s instructions to add butter or such.

Rub each side of each pork chop with the Cajun seasonings. (This can get hot if you’re not used to it so you might want to go easy the first time). Float the pork chops on the top of the rice/water mixture.

Put lid on casserole dish and bake for one hour.


Serving suggestions:

Chilled applesauce and a light salad

Green beans and cold watermelon slices

Or, to change this up sometimes and have a complete meal in the one dish, add to the rice/water mixture before baking one of the following options…

Peas and shallots

Chopped onions, celery, mushrooms

Chopped red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers


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Mexi Melty Mess

Ingredients:

Left over taco meat

Chopped onion

Pinto beans (substitute any red bean really)

Shredded cheese (four cheese taco blend, or any cheddar)

1 can Rotell tomatoes w/ green chilies

Left over Spanish rice

Sliced Jalapeño (optional)

Cilantro (optional)


Needed

Large casserole dish with lid

Spoon


What you actually have to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Layer ingredients in casserole dish. Begin with a few spoons of the Rotell to coat the bottom of the dish. Mix the onions, beans, remaining Rotell and Cilantro. Layer rice in the bottom of dish and cover with mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese and Jalapeño slices to taste over top. Cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.


Serving suggestions:

Chips and salsa with fresh Avocado slices

Tortilla soup


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Tips

  • Buy pork chops in bulk when on sale. Divide into freezer bags and store to save money in the long run.
  • Use coupons! Yes, those tiny, annoying, full of hard to read, itty bitty, fine print and impending expiration dates slips of paper. Typically, you can spend well over a dollar a box on rice mix. If you watch for sales, and then hit it with some coupons too, you can really get it for pennies. I don’t have to tell you that is the time to stock up. Boxed rice mixes will keep in the pantry for a very long time.
  • Try mixing in leftover veggies to make food dollars go further.

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  • I have tried numerous brands of the boxed rice mix and honestly have found that the generics are just as good so you can save some there, but…The bagged rice mixes cost even less than the boxes and they will work for this recipe. I, personally, have yet to find a bagged brand we like as much. Something about the texture is just kind of funky. Sorry, no disrespect intended to proponents of bagged rice, bagged rice industry workers, producers, families, associates or affiliated subsidiaries. Please do not come after me for being politically insensitive to the plight of bagged rice mixes the world over.


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Check out some of the fantastic things going on with coupons

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How do you really feel about having to cook every night?

  • Fine. Who can object to the four food groups, alcohol, nicotine, sugar and chocolate?
  • June Cleaver wishes she was me.
  • Is that with all the gadgets in the kitchen?
  • Take out calls to me seductively.
  • A home cooked, wholesome meal will shut up my mother-in-law.
  • Cooking rules! Real men cook bacon shirtless.
  • Who cooks? Pizza delivery is on speed dial and one click ordering online.
See results without voting

The real reason casseroles were first invented…

Was to save time and effort, so people could get onto to do fun stuff!

This is why casseroles were invented

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Comments 17 comments

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

super hub- or cooked up hub whatever.. I still voted up and Freakkin' awsome


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The best weapon for the kitchen-hating, anti-cook is the slow cooker. Just drop in your ingredients in the morning (or even the night before!), cover, and flip the switch on low. If you do it the night before, you don't even have to thaw first. In fact, with a beef roast, you don't even need a liquid!

It won't overcook, and there's just the slow cooker dish to clean!

Nice Hub!


Anaya M. Baker profile image

Anaya M. Baker 5 years ago from North Carolina

I'm laughing my butt off at this, because I don't cook, hate to cook, hate dishes, and am very protective of my time...so, when I do cook, its ALWAYS casseroles.

Sometimes I'll get adventurous and make scalloped potatoes or something, but most of the time I just throw some noodles in a casserole dish, add a can of chicken or tuna, frozen veggies from the freezer, and some type of sauce- alfredo, cream of mushroom soup, whatever as long as it comes in a can or jar. Top with shredded cheese, and bake for 45 minutes. Ghetto-tastic!


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

I love the way you presented these recipes, and they sound really good! You could add a sponge to apply water that looks like sweat to impress invited guests or relatives who show up hungry!

Both of these recipes sound like they would work for one of my specialties: leftover scrambles. Scoop some leftovers into a frying pan; heat; fold in a couple eggs; top with grated cheese.

I was going to vote for the alcohol and nicotine option, but I noticed Anaya was here. I voted for cooking bacon shirtless so I could impress her with how much pain I can take!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Frank ~ Thanks bunches :)

WillStarr ~ "kitchen hating anti-cook"... classic! Hmm, gonna have to try one of those. It sounds perfect for work days. Thanks!

Anaya ~ Right! "Ghetto-tastic" sounds good to me. It's crazy how we are expected to work ten hours and then come home and do housework. Thanks for your kind comment and happy hubbing!

Tom ~ Oh, good one! I have to remember the sponge, that's good. Hmm, I'm with ya on the leftovers until you hit the egg. I know, I know, it's a personal fault but I can't do anything that came out of the wrong end of a chicken. Well, I don't know about Anaya... but I'm impressed! I use the lid as a shield! God Bless.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

You cook bacon topless?! You could have a top-rated cooking show on HBO or Showtime! Here comes a splatter right at her. No, it didn't get her! She jumped out of the way! Let's watch that in slow motion! ;^)


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Oh my God! That is NOT what I meant! I use the lid as a shield yea, to keep it from splattering on my shirt!

Yes, I admit to the cowardice and I'm ok with it.

ROFL Tom!


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

It's probably better for you and your family if you cook bacon with a shirt on, but it makes the pitch for a cooking show a bit less attractive.

Nice to meet you! I'll see you around!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Tom ~ Nice to meet you too. Check out "Bitching Kitchen" (sp) on the Food Network I think... bet you will love it! Happy hubbing.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, this was really funny! I couldn't stop laughing, this is how it should be in the kitchen! lol great stuff! cheers nell


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Nell ~ Thank you so much. After reading more than one of your cooking related hubs, I know you are the real deal in the kitchen. Me? I just kinda wing it when I have to. I greatly admire those dedicated cooks, you know the ones who know what every kitchen tool and appliance was designed for, but will never be one of them. It's just too labor intensive and then what happens? Someone comes along and gobbles up all the hard work! Geez! :) Happy hubbing Nell!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

... even your food and recipes hubs are poetic in their telling of a good story (good food and how to prepare it)

and the delivery ....is impeccable - you are so good with words and as I can see pretty good in the kitchen too - a true renaissance lady you are - lake erie time 3:14am - ended my evening with Pink Floyd and one final look at the full moon over the lake.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Dearest Epi ~ You, sir, are a true gentleman in the grand tradition. You always make me smile be in in your poems or your comments. Thank you and God bless you.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Interesting , informative and very funny.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Sueswan ~ Thank you. I'm glad you found it funny. Have you spoken to my family? They say the same thing about my cooking. God bless and happy hubbing!


ChrisPatrick profile image

ChrisPatrick 4 years ago from West Coast long ago.

Just my kind of cooking. Thank you.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Chris ~ Thank you. Enjoy!

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