Tag Archive: base recipe


Here’s another one of my go-to meals! I tend to whip up a batch on the weekends and use it for lunches at work.  This is a throw-together recipe, so I’ll give you best estimates of ingredients — but this is best made with leftovers from your fridge.

Pasta Salad Base:

Ingredients:

  • 2 servings pasta
    1-2 cups veggies
    1 cup meat (chicken/turkey/tuna)
    1/2-ish cup mayonaise or sour cream

I said, this is normally a left-overs recipe for me! Today, I had a cup of shredded chicken, chicken stock, carrots and celery from the fridge and frozen peas. I LOVE peas, so I keep them on hand for this salad! Be creative!

First, measure out two servings of your pasta choice (See the box for serving size):

This one calls for 2oz a serving. Again, this is very flexible – but I find that two servings is just about the right amount. You don’t have a food scale? I’d recommend one! It’s really surprising how much a serving of food really is.

Cook your pasta according to directions. I used leftover chicken stock.

While it’s cooking, dice/chop/shred your veggies. (and your meat if it’s not preshredded/chopped)

Yum…. peas!

I’m not making this up – My Doberman Dakota LOVES carrots. In fact, even if she’s sleeping in another part of the house – the second I pull out the carrot peeler, she’s out from under the covers on our bed and sitting in the kitchen door begging for a carrot.

Could you refuse that face? She got her carrot.

Once your pasta is done, drain and dump into a bowl with your other ingredients.  To make a sauce, use mayo or sour cream (or a combo of both). Use enough to coat all your ingredients, and season to taste.

This makes up about four servings – but your milage may vary due to ingredient quantities!

Yum! Do make sure you refrigerate this or keep it on an ice pack if you’re taking it to work – dairy products aren’t fond of warm weather.

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I’m not a great cook and I’ll be the first to admit it (although my husband will be quickly behind me!).  Many of my meals come from boxes or bags or have their start in one. One of my goals for 2011 is to become a better and a more varied cook, and to cook things that don’t kill my husband!

I have a very large collection of cookbooks, and I’ll be cooking bits out of each of them this year. It’s no “Julie and Julia” epic undertaking, but it’s something!

I first cooked this beef stew about three weeks ago, and have made it once a week since! It’s loosely adapted from the beef stew recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  My mother gave me this cookbook when I was in high school, and she’s been cooking out of an older version since she was young.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound meat, cubed/chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 large potatoes or 3 small potatoes
  • 4-6 carrots
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Serves about 4, total time about 3.5 hours

I buy stew meat in bulk when it’s on sale (or buy a roast and cube it myself) – so I portion it out into 1 lb bags and freeze it that way.

Make it:

Put your Dutch Oven or heavy pot on the stove and heat the oil.  Once heated, add your meat and brown.

Once it’s brown, add three cups hot water and a shake of your salt and pepper. I add a shake or two of Onion Onion from Tastefully Simple – it gives you an onion seasoning without the big onion bits if your family is picky. You could use a real onion here. You’ll adjust to taste later on.

Bring it to a boil, turn the heat to medium low and slap the lid on. Now don’t touch it for at least two and a half hours… this is making your meat super tender.

While I waited, I took advantage of the time and did a photoshoot with Baby P – how could I help it? And since every post can benefit from a gratuitous adorable baby picture…

She’s SO stinking cute! I might be biased though…

Right, back to our stew! After about 2 1/2 hours, pop the top off and take a taste of your stew meat. If it’s tender to your liking, move on!

Chop up your carrots and potatoes into pieces no larger than 1 inch. Add them to your stew, bring to a boil – reduce to med-low and replace the lid. Let cook at least a half hour before testing. Again, cook till tender to your preferences. Test the broth at this point and adjust your seasonings to taste.

Once the veggies are ready, mix a half cup water and your flour (or cornstarch). Add slowly to your stew and bring to boil. Cook until it becomes thick, serve immedately.

I made a quick loaf of bread in the breadmaker to go along with it… yum!

I call this a ‘base’ because you can make it differently every time.

  • Different veggies (onions/celery/whatever is in your crisper)
  • Use chicken instead of beef
  • Seasonings! I’ve used Mrs. Dash, and I plan to try other spices poking around in my cupboard.
  • Adjust the amounts – Jeff LOVES carrots, so instead of just a few carrots I use a whole three pound bag!

This is such a great way to use up left over veggies in your fridge before they go bad.

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