Fast Food

Easy suppers in no time

You worked all day, spent an hour on the I-40 commute and still need to pick up the dry-cleaning. Who has time to make a meal?
You do!
Before you hit the drive-thru for burgers and fries, consider this: Homemade eats don’t have to take forever.
The following five cookbooks offer quick and easy recipes for family favorites.






“101 Things to Do With a Casserole”

By Stephanie Ashcraft and Janet Eyring
Published by Gibbs, Smith

Traditional Tuna Casserole

1 (12-ounce) bag egg noodles
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, condensed
1/2 cup milk
1 (6-ounce) can tuna, drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed cheddar-and-sour-cream potato chips


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.

Stir the soup, milk, tuna and cheese into the noodles.

Spread the noodle mixture into a greased, 1-quart baking dish. Bake 15 minutes.

Top with the crushed chips and bake 3 to 5 minutes more.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Grandma's Chicken Potpie

2 cups frozen Normandy or California-style vegetables
1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 (10.75-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup, condensed
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon thyme or rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated flaky biscuits


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook and cut vegetables into bit-size pieces.

In a greased 3-quart baking dish, combine all the ingredients except biscuits. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes, then remove the mixture from the oven and stir.

Quickly cut the biscuits in half. Place biscuit halves, cut-side down, over hot chicken-and-vegetable mixture. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the biscuits are golden brown and done in the center.


Makes 5 to 7 servings.


“Family Dinners”

By Janet Peterson, Published by Gibbs Smith


Taco Stuffed Peppers


3/4 to 1 pound ground beef
1 (1-1/2 ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa
2 quarts water
4 large bell peppers
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain the grease.

Add the taco seasoning mix, 3/4 cup water, kidney beans and salsa. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes to blend flavors.

Heat 2 quarts water to boiling in a large saucepan.

Cut the peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds.

Place the peppers in the boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Remove and drain.

Arrange the pepper halves in an ungreased baking dish. Divide ground-beef mixture among the halves (about 1/2 cup in each).

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender but crisp and the filling is heated through.

Top each serving with chopped tomatoes, cheese and sour cream.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Baked Omelet


1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
8 eggs
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup diced ham
1/4 cup diced green chiles
1/4 cup sliced pepperoni (optional)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, milk and eggs together in a large bowl. Add seasoning salt and cheese.

Add the onion, green pepper, ham, chiles and pepperoni, if using.

Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan that has been greased or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until the eggs are set.


Makes 9 to 12 servings.


“Fix-It and Enjoy-It Cookbook”

By Phyllis Pellman Good, Published by Good Books


Baked Scallops


1 pound scallops
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Rinse the scallops and pat them dry.

Place the scallops in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle them with bread crumbs. Toss to coat.

Place in a greased baking dish large enough to hold the scallops in one layer.

Cut butter into bits and divide over the scallops. Pour wine into the bottom of the baking dish, being careful to not disturb the bread-crumb coating.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and turn on the broiler.

Sprinkle the scallops with Parmesan cheese. Place the dish under the broiler 5 to 10 seconds, until the cheese has browned slightly. Watch carefully to keep it from burning.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.


Makes 4 servings.

Pasta Pizza Pronto


2 cups uncooked macaroni
3 eggs
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1/ cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1-1/2 cups prepared pizza or pasta sauce
3-ounce package sliced pepperoni
2-1/4 ounce can sliced olives, drained
1 cup toppings: mix or match sliced mushrooms; diced, cooked ham or chicken; or diced bell peppers
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


In a saucepan, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in onions, Cheddar cheese and cooked macaroni.

Spread pasta mixture evenly on generously greased 14-by-16-inch pizza pan.

Bake at 375 degrees 25 minutes on lower oven rack. Remove from the oven.

Top with your favorite pizza or pasta sauce. Using the back of a spoon, spread to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Top evenly with pepperoni, olives and 1 cup of the other toppings.

Finish by sprinkling with mozzarella cheese.

Return to oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes longer, until cheese is bubbly.

Remove the pizza from the oven and slice with a pizza cutter into 6 to 8 slices. Serve warm.


Makes 6 servings.


“Faster I’m Starving: 100 Dishes in 25 Minutes or Less”

By Kevin & Nancy Mills
Published by Gibbs Smith


Simple Baked Chicken Breasts


4 boneless chicken-breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive or corn oil
1 teaspoon bottled, crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. For easy clean-up, line a large, ovenproof casserole dish or the broiling pan with aluminum foil.

Cut off and discard any fat attached to the chicken breasts.

Rinse the lemon and cut it into 1/8-inch slices. Put the oil, garlic, salt and black pepper into a cup and mix well.

Put the chicken breasts in a single layer in the casserole dish or broiling pan and spoon the oil mixture on top.

Lay lemon slices on the breasts and bake about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is firm and white.

Test a piece by cutting into it to make sure the middle is white, not pink. Large pieces may need to bake another 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with the lemon slices in place. Or cook and serve at room temperature or cold.


Makes 4 servings.


Penne With Indian-Style Cauliflower Sauce


1 small or 1/2 large cauliflower
1 medium onion
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
8 ounces penne


Fill a large pot with water, cover and begin heating over high heat.

While the water is heating, trim and discard the leaves and core from the cauliflower. Cut the rest into bite-size pieces and then set aside.

Peel the onion and cut it into quarters. Put the onion and tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Pour the onion mixture into a large pot. Add the cauliflower, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, black pepper, cloves and cayenne pepper and begin cooking over medium-high heat. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cauliflower is soft enough to be pierced with a sharp knife.

Add the sour cream and stir. Remove from heat and cover until needed.

When the water comes to a boil, add the penne and cook according to directions. Drain and distribute into four bowls. Top with the cauliflower sauce and serve immediately.


Makes 4 servings.


"Mom’s Best One-Dish Suppers"

By Andrea Chesman
Published by Storey Publishing


Stovetop Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Ham & Peas


1 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons butter
2-1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup milk
1/2 pound ham, diced
2 cups frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook the macaroni until just done, about 8 minutes. Drain and return the noodles to the pot.

Place the pot over the lowest possible heat and add the butter, cheese, mustard, milk, ham and peas. Stir until the cheese melts.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Skillet Lasagne


14 ounces flat pasta, such as farfalle
3/4 pound Italian sausage (sweet or hot), casings removed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can unseasoned tomato sauce
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in the water until just barely done; do not overcook. The pasta should still be firm. Drain and set aside.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes.

Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic and sauté another minute. Drain off any excess fat.

Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, basil and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.

Stir again and adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, egg and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a in medium bowl.

Stir the pasta and ricotta mixture into the skillet. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Makes 5 servings.