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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Java Talk: Easy 5 Ingredient (Or Less) Meals



Food is always a hot topic. We all must eat. I just don't have it in me to cook recipes with a long list of ingredients. I get tired just thinking about it. 

So I'm currently on the hunt for 3 ingredient meals. I love my pulled pork in the crock pot recipe, which only requires pork, a can of root beer, and a bottle of barbecue sauce. 

I brown my pork loin in my electric skillet with some spices. Then I put it in the crock pot. I then pour a can of root beer over it. If it's a really big piece of pork, I might pour a bit more.

I cook it overnight on low. (My crock pot goes off automatically after the specified time and stays on warm). Then I pour off the remaining root beer, take a knife and fork and cut up the pork while in the crock pot (it pretty much just falls apart with a little encouragement). And I then pour a bottle of barbecue sauce over it. If it's a big piece of pork, I sometimes use more than one bottle. 

I buy hamburger buns and freeze them. After a couple of days of barbecue sandwiches, I'm ready to freeze the rest of it in individual zip lock bags. 

I really have to freeze it in zip lock bags, because my freezer is small. And zip lock bags of unfrozen food will fit around whatever is already in there.

So when I'm ready for a barbecue sandwich again, I just put one of the baggies in the fridge that day and thaw one hamburger bun. I typically fix some baked beans and add veggie chips. (I like certain veggie chips because they are less salty than regular chips, and I'm not a fan of salt.)

Another meal I found on Pinterest is called 3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken.

The ingredients for this recipe: 
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup French dressing
1 15-ounce can whole cranberry sauce

Instructions: 
1. Lightly grease a slow cooker. Place chicken breasts in a single layer.
2. Whisk together French dressing and cranberry sauce (I didn't have a whisk, so just used a spoon)
3. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6 hours until chicken is cooked through. 

I've made this recipe once. I just had it with vegetables. But I am about to cook it again. And this time my plan is to have it over rice.

Okay, it's your turn. Get a cup of coffee, tea, or a cold beverage and let's talk about 5 ingredient or less recipes. 

What have you got to share with us?
Cozy Little House
58 Comments
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58 comments:

  1. As you know, Brenda, one of my passions is cooking and healthy eating. I don't make anything with packaged products due to all the chemicals/preservatives and sugar in these products. However, I also don't feel like making an elaborate dinner every single night. So, some of my quick go-to healthy meals are salads (with a variety of chopped veggies and toasted nuts and perhaps a sprinkling of feta or crumbled goat cheese for protein); scrambled eggs with veggies and a side of toast; chicken breasts or pork loin roast in the Crockpot sprinkled with mexican seasonings and then a jar of salsa poured over it...shred and serve over rice or quinoa, or stuff into corn or flour tortillas with toppings to make tacos. Another idea is to bake a sweet potato and use whatever leftover veggies and/or meat you have in the fridge to make a stuffed potato.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melanie, I think you have somewhat missed your calling. You should have either been a chef or be writing a healthy food blog.

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    2. Any vegan recipes, Melanie?

      Delete
  2. I make a chicken crockpot recipe frequently that uses four boneless skinless breasts. Make a sauce with one small bottle of Catalina salad dressing, one envelope of Lipton dry onion soup mix and a jar of apricot preserves. Pour over the chicken and cook at least four hours. Serve over rice for a yummy dinner. Exact measurements don't matter, don't be too concerned with how much dressing or preserves you add. It's sort of a sweet and sour style dish that my family can't get enough of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the sound of the preserves! I will have to try this one.

      Delete
    2. My mom used to make this, and I still do! One of our favorites from the crockpot.

      Delete
  3. I've never heard of adding root beer to pork like that. I bet it's good! I love the idea of these simple recipes too. Anything in a crock pot is always good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's delicious! Israel comes running when he knows I'm making this recipe.

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    2. I'd be running right down, too! I love this stuff. Sometimes I use regular hamburger buns and other times I use a whole wheat roll instead. I add a side of a pre-packaged salad and it's good to go! I've switched to the prepackaged salads because I've always hated making salads and now I can add the additional excuse of my gimpy right foot. ☺

      I'm thinking your cranberry chicken dish would be delicious since I like both Catalina dressing and cranberries. Tasty combo, I'm sure!

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Years ago I tweaked the recipe for a one pot meal for our hired men.

    3-4 lb Pork Roast or Pork Loin
    1-1/2 cups of rice
    1 – can whole cranberries
    1 – pkg. Lipton dry onion soup mix
    2 – cups Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing
    ¼-1/2 cup Soy Sauce, to taste
    Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
    Salt & Pepper


    Pour rice in bottom of crock pot. Salt & Pepper pork roast then place over top of rice. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cook on high for 4-5 hrs.

    Adder: 45 minutes before done cooking. Place a can of water chestnuts and a bag of frozen mixed veggies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One talent I do not at all possess is "tweaking" food. I'll have to try this. Sounds good!

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  6. Dorthy Lynch Dressing is Nebraska's better version of French dressing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I make a lot of different meals, with lots of ingredients or not....But one thing I love is ground beef. I eat this more than any other meat, mostly because I can do a LOT with it. I love to make meatloaf, with my favorite style of meatloaf using a jar of salsa as one main ingredient. This cuts down on the prep work, and it has seasoning in it. You could also use a jar of spagetti sauce to make meat loaf, instead of salsa.
    If you brown up ground beef with chopped onions and green peppers(or red or yellow) and garlic and maybe celery, you have the base for a TON of dishes! You can go from there to Italian red sauce, tacos or burritos or enchiladas or quesadillas...get it? You can add rice etc to make Dirty Rice. You can use this as a base for stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, sloppy Joes etc...so, this is my quick easy tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to have a great meatloaf recipe, but I've lost it. I need to find one to go in my casserole crock pot.

      Delete
    2. I mix about 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef, about 2/3 jar salsa, an egg, a little(less than a 1/4 cup milk and bread crumbs, along with garlic powder and a dash of Liquid Smoke and a dash of Tabasco Sauce. You just have to see how it looks, as far as amounts of bread crumbs and salsa. You can cook it in the slow cooker. I usually let it o for a few hours on high, as I can't wait. You could cook on low for several hours...on high, it gets hot enough to brown the top. Good luck!

      Delete
  8. An easy quick meal we eat often is a jar of spaghetti sauce mixed with half of a pound of cooked lean ground beef, then pour over any type of cooked pasta. Top with grated Parmesan and a side of garlic bread if you like. You can make your own spaghetti sauce easily too if you want from a can of tomato sauce or your own garden tomatoes puréed with added Italian seasonings to taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to figure out a spaghetti recipe where I don't have to boil the spaghetti, since I don't have a stove. I used to have one that was made in a skillet, where I could use my electric skillet, all made at once, but I've lost it.

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    2. Ingredients
      1 pound lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken
      1/2 onion, finely diced
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
      2 26-ounce-jars pasta sauce
      1 cup water
      1 pound spaghetti noodles
      1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
      Preparation
      1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the oil, meat, onion, garlic powder and salt for about 5-7 minutes, until cooked through. Drain excess fat.
      2. Pour one jar of pasta sauce and 1 cup of water in the bottom of the slow cooker.
      3. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and place them on top of the sauce.
      4. Add the cooked meat the crock pot, sprinkle with the cheese, and cover with the second jar of pasta sauce.
      5. Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 2- 2 1/2 hours or low for 6 hours
      6. Remove the lid, stir to combine and mix everything together.

      Delete
  9. I recently bought a cookbook with "1,000 quick and easy recipes." It's a compilation of three, four, and five ingredient recipes rolled into one book. If a recipe has a long list of ingredients, my eyes glaze over and I quickly turn the page. When I saw this cookbook, I snatched it right up! To go with some crock pot chicken I am making for supper tonight, I'll make the four ingredient "Creamy Cabbage Bake." Place shredded cabbage in a buttered casserole dish, top with cream of celery soup diluted with 2/3 cup milk and bake covered at 325° for 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. I'll use my homemade cream of chicken soup instead of cream of celery soup. The book seems to be out of print, but Amazon is selling some used copies for less than one dollar.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1597690015/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't had cabbage in ages, but I love it!

      Delete
    2. This cabbage recipe sounds awesome! I love cooked cabbage but just never make it. I'm going to try it. Pacific brand cream of chicken and cream of mushrooms soups are one hundred times better (and healthier) than any of the other canned creamed soups! Also.. I have to eat totally gluten free, and those two Pacific brand soups are gluten free. I'm going to try to get this cook book!

      Delete
    3. Hi Marilyn--when I made this the other evening either my oven wasn't heating properly or 30 minutes wasn't long enough or the temperature needed to be higher because the cabbage was a little crunchy. It tasted good but I like it a little softer. I have to eat gluten free too, so I'm always looking for easy gf recipes. Hope you can find the cookbook!

      Delete
  10. I can of black beans (rinsed) 1 jar of salsa (your choice of "heat") 1 box of chicken broth. Heat through and puree with your immersion blender or regular blender in small batches. Top with sour cream and we like to make cornbread with this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that sounds easy and good and we always have those items on hand.

      Delete
  11. Oh, that sounds good. I love cornbread with most anything and I cook it a lot!
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the summertime, I like cornbread salad.
      Make cornbread add bacon bits, jalapeño peppers, onions cook normally.
      Take Red, yellow, green, orange bell peppers...cut in half and chop.
      I can pinto beans rinsed drained.
      I can whole kernel corn drained.I
      I cup grated extra Sharpe cheddar cheese.
      1 bottle ranch dressing.

      Layer half cornbread crumbled, pour 1/3 dressing over bread...add in half chopped peppers, then add half beans and corn, then another 1/3 dressing, then cheese...then repeat with rest of ingredients..
      You get plenty of protein with the pinto beans.. This is sooooo good.

      Delete
    2. In the summertime, I like cornbread salad.
      Make cornbread add bacon bits, jalapeño peppers, onions cook normally.
      Take Red, yellow, green, orange bell peppers...cut in half and chop.
      I can pinto beans rinsed drained.
      I can whole kernel corn drained.I
      I cup grated extra Sharpe cheddar cheese.
      1 bottle ranch dressing.

      Layer half cornbread crumbled, pour 1/3 dressing over bread...add in half chopped peppers, then add half beans and corn, then another 1/3 dressing, then cheese...then repeat with rest of ingredients..
      You get plenty of protein with the pinto beans.. This is sooooo good.

      Delete
    3. I've never heard of this! I do crumble up cornbread in a bowl of beans or black-eyed peas.
      Brenda

      Delete
  12. I love a good crock pot of beans! I pound beans, a leftover piece of grilled meat, and a cup or so of pico de gallo (usually also leftover). That Cranberry chicken is exactly like my Cranberry pork loin or turkey breast - the great thing is that it's interchangeable. Also, we have discovered quinoa. A can of drained black beans, a can of drained corn, 1c quinoa and 3/4 c. broth. Change it up by adding or subtracting various veggies and add extra leftover protein if you like. Cover and cook in skillet until the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid. Last night's version had black beans that I cook in the crock and freeze in baggies, some leftover salsa, a few extra frozen, chopped shrimp, cumin and garlic. It was wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. How do you cook quinoa? I don't think I've had it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See above - but the box will give the basic info. For my skillet meals I use slightly less water than quinoa. If you are adding veggies that have high water content, like tomatoes, it will all even out. You can always add a little more to the pan if it looks like it's sticking. Quinoa is a complete protein and tastes like whatever you cook it with. So good!

      Delete
  14. My hubby makes pulled pork with root beer, too, and it is good! I like easy meals also, I am not a fan of cooking!! ; )

    ReplyDelete
  15. 3-4 chicken breasts
    6-8 Tablespoons ranch dressing
    6-8 slices bacon
    4 ounces cheddar cheese or colby jack cheese
    Place chicken breast in baking dish. Spread one or two tablespoons of ranch dressing on each chicken breast. Size 1 or 2 pieces of bacon to fit chicken breast and layer on top of ranch dressing. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Top with cheese and return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
    You can scale this recipe for more or less chicken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum, this sounds quite flavorful!

      Delete
    2. I do something similar with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Flatten each breast, spread with a soft cream cheese (you can use flavored ones--chive, veggie, etc--or use plain and season as you like). Roll the breasts and place in baking dish (I do mine in the toaster oven) and place bacon on top. Bake same as above recipe.

      Delete
  16. My fallback is a pot of dried beans cooking and cornbread to go with it. Tonight it's pinto beans cooked in beer and beef stock withl seasonings. I'm adding in chopped cilantro tonight as I had some in the fridge.

    Other times it can be black-eyed peas and brown rice. Dried beans are still pretty inexpensive too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always fall back on beans and cornbread too!

      Delete
  17. Rustic smashed potatoes. Bake small red or new potatoes in a casserole pan in the oven. When done, smash with a meat mallet. Top with pats of butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt per your taste. Top with a cup of shredded cheddar or mixed cheese. Put back into the hot oven to melt the cheese till bubbly. I often top mine with bacon and sliced sweet or spring onion. Yum. Sheila

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds good. I've never made anything like it.

      Delete
  18. I made my go - to sandwiches today. We went to the beach for the day and I needed a quick supper. My kids love these! Grab a pack of Hawaiian dinner rolls and split them in half with a serrated knife. Cover with Turkey or ham sandwich meat and then cover with Swiss or American cheese. Put the roll tops back on. Melt about 1/4 stick of butter, add a dash of worshershire, some minced onion, pour it over the sandwiches and bake covered with foil for about 15 minutes. These are quick and easy but so good. Perfect to take to a gathering too.
    I'm loving this series Brenda! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crockpot beef- 1#beef stew meat browned, I can Campbell's French onion soup, 1 can Campbell's golden mushroom soup (make sure it's not cream of mushroom!). Add browned stew meat to crock pot, pour cans of soup over meat. Set to low for 6-8 hours. Serve over egg noodles.

      Delete
    2. Those are called Funeral Sandwiches!

      Delete
    3. Regardless of what they're called, it sounds delicious!

      Delete
  19. I think this is a local thing..Mom made it a lot when we were kids as it is cheap, filling and good and we didn't have much money..This is sort of a macaroni soup...Cook and drain 1 pound of elbow macaroni..return to pan...add 2 cans of evaporated milk and 1 stick of butter/margarine..reheat until butter is melted and serve in bowls..salt and pepper to taste..it may sound strange but it is good..I have been using my Crock Pot a lot lately and looking for more simple recipes for it..Thanks for all of your recipe ideas ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this series also. I need some low sodium ideas with few ingredients, crock pot would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great series! This is tasty and can be adjusted for serving size. 4 boneless chicken breasts, 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained, one can of Mexican corn, rinsed and drained, and jar of your favorite salsa. Put all in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8. In the last hour put block of cream cheese on and finish cooking. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  22. First: boiled spuds with cheese. Peel or don't peel spuds and quarter each spud... boil until almost done. Drain.... place shredded cheese over the spuds or you can lay slices of cheese on top... pour some milk over it all so about an inch in the bottom of the pan... cover with lid and simmer on low for 10 min or so. Serve with a little butter!

    Second: Meatloaf recipe so easy and good! Use 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey burger (we always use turkey burger). Place it directly in your meatloaf pan. Add: cracker crumbs or bread crumbs (I use gluten free), some minced onion or fresh cubed onion to taste, 1 egg, about 1/2 cup milk and 2 cabs of worchestershire sauce, fresh garlic to taste or minced garlic from a jar, pinch of salt. Now use your hands and mix it all up right in the pan! Pop in oven for 15 min at 400, and the 30 min at 350. Yummy! My mom made this and I still make it and everyone loves it.

    Third: a great use for leftover spaghetti - fried spaghetti! Just dump the spaghetti in your fry pan that has some melted bacon grease (the best, but can use butter or olive oil)... and "fry" it on hot until it starts browning, then turn it down. Once cooked through, serve with veggies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd have to make mine in the crock pot. Haven't tried meatloaf in the crock pot yet. But I have a casserole shaped crock pot as well as a regular one.

      Delete
  23. I just had dinner - a very simple pasta+brocoli+cauliflower meal... It does have a little more than three ingredients as once the pasta are cooked, I had a little olive oil and some chives on them, then I just had the brocoli and cauliflower. It takes all in all 15 minutes to cook. Happy cooking!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I make cube steaks by dredging them in flour and browning quickly in a pan. You could skip the browning part though. Just flour them and put in the crock pot with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup soy sauce and cook on low for 6 hours. The flour makes a gravy. I also add mushrooms and/or a cut up onion. It is similar to country-fried steak or Swiss steak.

    ReplyDelete

I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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