If the blog name didn’t give it away, I’m from the south. Southern Louisiana to be more specific. And if there’s one thing that the south got right, it would be the food. It is seriously amazing down here. Good thing too, because I love to eat! But because I’m also a struggling millennial, I’m a little low on the dining-out funds. Which works because I absolutely love to cook! I seem to have a knack for it as well, though baking is a whole other story.
The problem with loving to cook and being from the south is that 95% of the things I know how to cook are meant to feed a small country. Which is great if I liked leftovers, but if you read my Why You Should Be Meal Planning post, then you know I generally don’t. There are a few exceptions of course, mostly in the form of soups/stews/sauces or things I can turn into a different dish. Anyway, getting back on track….my point is that cooking for 1 to 2 people can be a challenge.
I honestly love cooking for a crowd, if only to have everyone compliment my cooking! So cooking for just myself or just my fiance and I seems boring by comparison…or seems like too much work..the list goes on. But after cooking for myself for quite a few years, I finally have my holy-grail list of recipes. My go-to meals that are easy and delicious!
Favorite Slow Cooker Meals:
I love my crock-pot. It is probably the most frequently used thing in our kitchen right behind our coffee maker. Most of my favorite meals are cooked with this baby, but only because I’m lazy. All of these can easily be done on the stove instead! The only downside to a crockpot – cleaning it! Any time I cook in my crockpot, I always use these liners. It saves me SO much time on clean-up!
- Baked Potato Soup
If you saw my post earlier this week, then you saw we were actually prepping quite a few of these freezer meals! For each gallon sized bag: 3 large potatoes (peels and chopped), 2 cups of chicken stock, 1/4 stick a butter, 1/4 chopped/diced onion, a few cloves garlic (chopped/diced). Freeze. When ready to cook, put in slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. You may need to mash the potato a little bit before serving. Best served with all your favorite baked potato fixings!
- Beef Stew
Beef stew is literally so hard to mess up. Grab a packet of stew beef, a generic beef stew seasoning packet, chopped potatoes and carrots, a little minced garlic and chopped onion and throw it all in there for a few hours with a few cups of water. Turns out great every time! Plus you can freeze leftovers, which means I can make it in bulk!
- Spaghetti Meat Sauce (you can do meatballs instead)
Like the beef stew, super easy. Throw a packet of ground beef (or turkey), sliced mushrooms, onion, garlic, and a jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I use Prego) in there and let it cook for 5-6 hours on low, 3-4 on high. Occasionally stir to break up the beef as it cooks. Salt and pepper to taste. Also freezes well!
Same as above two – get all the stuff, throw it in. Freeze leftovers.
Other Favorite Meals:
- Grilled Chicken and Pesto Pasta
It seems like we eat this at least once a week! We planned to make homemade pesto one night, but had so much trouble finding pine nuts we just gave up. We came across Classico Pesto Sauce in the store, and have used it ever since! Just season and cook a chicken breast, cook pasta and mix in with pesto, and serve everything together on a plate with some freshly grated parmesan.
- Grilled Chicken and Salad
The best part of this super-simple meal is that you can make a few small changes and it turns into a different meal. While the base of chicken and lettuce stays the same, your seasonings and toppings change it completely!
I usually always make these to get rid of steak leftovers from the night before. While you can buy frozen and pre-cooked sliced chicken or steak, I prefer to just use my leftovers. Either way, super simple!
Ground beef + taco seasoning. That’s pretty much it. You can heat up shells or use tortillas, and add toppings. Easy peasy.
- Wine and Cheese Night
The ultimate lazy person meal. And also one of our favorites. Grab a few cheeses, some prosciutto and other meats, crackers, olives/fruit, and your favorite bottle of wine. Go to town!
- Homemade Pizza
I actually got this super easy pizza dough recipe from a friend back in grad school, and have been making my own frozen pizzas ever since. Just make the dough, roll out, add toppings, and bake. They also freeze really well, so we usually make quite a few to keep on hand!
And that’s my list! Easy right? “But Cameron, you’re from the south. Where are all of those delicious southern recipes and dishes?”. Don’t worry everyone, I’ve got that post coming soon. If you don’t want to miss it, be sure to subscribe below!
I’m also going to be sending out an exclusive DIY Menu Board tutorial to my subscribers (see below), and you don’t want to miss it!
What are some of your favorite meals to cook? Do you like to cook?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!