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Simple Meals Homeschoolers Can Make & Share, Part 2

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In our last article we shared two recipes your homeschooler could make and share. Here are two more recipes to try!

Spaghetti Bake

Most kids love spaghetti with sauce and the Spaghetti Bake is an easy dish that can be made earlier in the day and then cooked later for dinner. Younger children will need help with browning the sausage or ground beef if you are using it (though some stores sell pre-cooked meat crumbles that can be used in this recipe as well) and boiling the noodles. Older children should be able to handle most of this themselves, though they may need assistance or supervision draining the spaghetti noodles. Spaghetti bakes are also simple enough that they give an opportunity for your budding chefs to try their hands at experimentation. Let them substitute or add some parmesan shreds to the mozzarella, or replace the oregano with Italian seasoning. They can also sprinkle on a small amount of red pepper flakes below the cheese to kick up the spice level if your family likes it hot.

Spaghetti Bake

Serves 4

● 1 lb spaghetti noodles

● 1 lb ground beef, Italian sausage, or soy crumbles

● 1 16 oz jar spaghetti sauce

● 1 tsp dried oregano

● 16 oz bag of shredded mozzarella or dairy free mozzarella

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Boil a large pot of water and cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large or medium-sized skillet, brown the beef or sausage over medium heat until it is completely cooked. Drain off the excess fat.

3. Add the spaghetti sauce to the pan and cook until heated.

4. In the pot you used to cook the noodles, combine the spaghetti sauce mixture and the noodles.

5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan. Cover with the cheese and oregano. Cook for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is a more intermediate dish that requires a bit more stove skills and the somewhat challenging task of placing a top pie crust on top. Younger children can help with

shredding the chicken breast and measuring ingredients. Older children can help with cooking the filling on the stove and adding the thickening mix of flour and broth. This is a good lesson in the importance of paying attention to the dish you are preparing as the thickened filling can burn or stick if it is not stirred frequently enough. As always, you can of course substitute your own cooked chicken, homemade pie crust, and fresh vegetables. The pie can also be frozen and cooked later; if cooking from frozen, cook for 30 minutes at 425 and then turn the oven down to 350 for another 30 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 4

● 2 frozen pie crusts

● 1 rotisserie chicken

● 1 tsp canola oil or butter

● ½ cup chopped onion

● ½ cup southern style hash brown

● ¾ cup frozen peas and carrots

● 1 rib celery finely diced

● 3 cups of chicken stock or broth

● ¾ cup flour

● ½ tsp poultry seasoning

● ½ tsp dried thyme

● 1 tsp paprika

● Salt

● Pepper

Instructions

1. Remove the breast meat from the rotisserie chicken and shred 2 ½ cups of meat (reserve the rest for another meal).

2. Lay one pie crust upside down on a piece of wax paper to let it thaw.

3. Preheat oven to 425. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil or butter.

4. Add the onion and celery. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the chicken, peas & carrots, hash browns, poultry seasoning, thyme, paprika, and 2 cups of chicken stock. Heat for about 10 minutes, until all ingredients are hot.

6. In a small bowl, mix the flour and remaining cup of chicken stock. Add the mixture to the other ingredients in the saucepan. Stir frequently until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour as much of the mixture as necessary to fill one pie crust (reserve the rest for another meal).

8. Carefully take the other pie crust on the wax paper, fold it, flip it over onto the lower (filled) pie crust, and unfold to cover. Crimp the edges and cut 3-4 vent holes in the top with a knife or fork.

9. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the pie crust is brown.

Let us know when you and your homeschoolers make these meals! We would love to hear from you! E-mail us at mmartin3275@gmail.com.

 

Written by Michelle & James Martin

Michelle Martin was born into a musical family and has been teaching music for over 20 years. Besides teaching piano and voice, Michelle is a performer, a choir director, a writer, a composer, and a homeschool mom. Most recently she has published three music curricula through Schoolhouse Teachers. Music has always been a passion for Michelle, and she believes exposing a child to music is just as important as learning math or science. Michelle lives with her husband, Jim, two daughters, Zoe and Eva, and a myriad of furry and aquatic friends.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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