By Brandy, Contributing Writer
Putting together fresh, homemade meals becomes easier once you've got a few basic recipes for soups, sauces, and simple dinners under your belt.
Make Your Own Stock
Many recipes begin with a simple beef or chicken stock. You can learn how to make these nourishing, simple soup bases by reading this tutorial.
If a recipe calls for a cream soup, here's a simple recipe for making that from scratch, too.
From these stocks and cream soups, you can create the most delicious meals from light chicken broth to hearty chicken and rice casserole, and many other delicious dinners!
Make Your Own Soups
Did you know that even the soups with "healthy" labels are often packed in BPA-laden cans? Not to mention the sodium and unwanted other ingredients? When possible, it's best to make your own soups from scratch. I promise, they're tastier, too!
Here are a few easy, nutritious soup recipes:
- Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Vegetable Beef Stew
Make Your Own Sauce
One simple pasta sauce can become your best friend as it will serve for limitless pasta dishes. Ladle over your favorite noodles and serve simply, or layer into lasagnas or baked ziti or spaghetti and top with fresh mozzarella.
Once you make this simple pasta sauce, you'll never want to buy canned or jarred sauce again. It's just that good. And with the irresistible aroma of fresh garlic and olive oil wafting through your house, you'll never be lonely in the kitchen again.
Make Your Own Seasoning Mixes
No need to buy taco seasoning packets that are loaded with MSG and ingredients you can't pronounce any longer. Simply mix up your own using a few pantry staple herbs and spices. Here's an easy recipe for taco seasoning that works great for ground meat, as well as shredded chicken. (Click here for quick tip for easily shredding chicken.)
Again, no need to buy a packet. Make your own chili by simply browning meat, draining grease, and then adding spices from your pantry.
Some Simple, Easy Dinner Ideas
- Red Beans and Rice
- Simple Roast Chicken
- Baked Salmon
- Crock-pot Chicken and Vegetables
- Crock-pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Home-style Chicken and Rice
- steamed brown rice
- simple quinoa
- sauteed vegetables
- baked sweet potatoes
- savory oven fries
- raw vegetables and hummus
- black bean hummus
- garlic mashed cauliflower
It's not hard once you get the hang of a few basics. And really, once you start cooking your favorite things, you develop a deeper sense of taste and preference for those foods, which motivates you to explore even more.