Welcome to our resident Foodie’s first installment of Tuesday’s Tasty Tips by Jane Jarrell.

Every Tuesday, Jane will share a few of her super simple meal ideas that even a tween/teen can cook. (Okay, that even I could cook!) My mouth has been watering just reading her ideas. 

THANKS Jane!! I for one am very excited.

… and thanks for walking the road with me.

The Prepared Pantry

Here are some super simple ways to get your kitchen “groove on”.  Easy going for the novice kids finding their inner chef but tasty enough to avoid pantry lurking for snacks throughout the evening. Stocking the right ingredients, you can cook up creative goodies sure to satisfy.  Here’s how: 


Pasta is one of the cheapest meals around. The mix and match options are endless. Toss with a simple pesto, butter and garlic, rotisserie chicken, frozen or fresh veggies, or whatever is on sale that week. As cheap as $1 a box, pasta is the best ingredient for the super shopper.

Pesto Pasta

Prepare a one pound box of  bowtie pasta, mix with a jar of pesto (I use Classico traditional basil pesto) and add 2 cups of cooked chicken, top with parmesan.

Beans are nutritional powerhouses. With 5 grams of fiber in a half cup of beans, they can help fight colon cancer and also fill you up so you don’t overdo it on calories.

Sausage and Bean Saute

Take a pound of turkey sausage, 2 cups of seasoned cooked rice; one can of black beans with jalapenos. Sauté the sausage and add remaining ingredients
and stir to combine. Top with cilantro and sour cream.

Rice is the most versatile staple. From healthy stir-fry dishes to hearty tex-mex casseroles, pilafs, or cold veggie rice salads, it reinvents itself daily. And it’s super-easy. I prepare it with 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of rice, a tablespoon of real butter and pepper (no salt needed because of chicken stock). Place in microwave on medium high for ten minutes or until stock is absorbed.

Vegetarian Rice

For a quick meal, stir in 2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped, a can of diced tomatoes and a half up of sliced mushrooms.

Oatmeal is a must for breakfast (a comfort food for both kids and adults), a staple for mixing into meatloaf’s and muffins, and an essential ingredient in the classic: oatmeal cookies. Another way to save pennies: skip the pricey cereals at the supermarket and whip up your own granola using oats, honey, or maple syrup, vanilla, nuts, and other goodies.

Homemade Granola

Mix together 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 cup old-fashioned oats. Heat butter and honey in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Stir in sesame seeds and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oats and cook, stirring and tossing  until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Spread granola evenly on a large sheet of foil to cool.

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