Simplify Your Time

Simple Meals … UWYH Stew

I hate to cook.  Okay … hate might be too strong of a word … let me think of another one.




Nope … hate works.

I love food and seem to collect recipes I know I’ll never make plus love a good cooking show on The Cooking Channel or Food Network … especially the ones where you’re only given a toothpick to cut meat or have to juggle cleavers while wearing clown shoes.  Those are awesome!

But actual cooking … nope.  Not a fan.

Luckily I married a man who doesn’t mind it.  So the majority of the cooking that goes on in our house is done by him and it’s been that way for years.  When the kids were little and he was at work, I would declare it to be “junk food night” and pretty much let them eat whatever they wanted.  Popcorn with a tub of icing?  Sure!  An entire bag of Cheetos with pickles?  Why the hell not?  They all survived it (mostly) unscathed!

The kids have all moved out, but I still don’t cook.  However, there are a few things I like to eat that D won’t … mostly things with vegetables as the main ingredient instead of nine varieties of meat.

I make this stew using whatever we have in the cabinet pretty much every year.  It’s very veggie heavy, so D is not a fan … but you can add cooked, drained, rinsed ground beef to it if you like.  You just gather up what you already have … hence the name UWYH (Use What You Have) Stew.


The ingredients for the latest batch were:

canned carrots

canned green beans

Minestrone soup

tomato soup

tomato sauce

diced tomatoes and green chilies

dry onion soup mix


You dump everything in a large pot, add however much water you want, bring to a boil for about 10 minutes then turn it down to low and let it simmer for about an hour.  Ta-da!  Dinner!

I ate it with wheat crackers and the best shredded cheese on the planet (Tillamook brand) and it was DELICIOUS!!

If you’re trying to cut back on salt, there are low sodium versions of pretty much everything I used.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Check expiration dates on the cans and get rid of not so great looking ingredients.  I’m sure this carrot was a great guy who treated his carrot wife like a queen and was a lot of fun at parties, but he had to go.

I have several friends (yes, I have friends) who have school age kids and their evenings are frantic, but they seem to make them more franticer (not a word … don’t care) by trying to cook elaborate meals on a school night.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Find simple meals and spend that extra time getting other shit done.

My kids survived “junk food nights”, so yours will (probably) be okay if they have to eat a sandwich once a week.

For more about my Use What You Have approach to life … click here.

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