From Frozen to Man-Lunch in About an Hour

My husband called me at 9:00 PM on his way home from work and said, “I’d sure love some home cooking for lunch. Tomorrow is a 12-hour work day”. “Sure”, I said happily and hung up. Then I realized nothing was thawed!! I’d been a presenter at a writer’s guild during the day and had just finished my dinner of sautéed green cabbage and handmade polish sausage. I hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer in the morning, bet you can relate!

So I made Southwest Vegetable & Hamburger Soup and Chicken Drumsticks in Mustard-Ginger Sauce with a side of roasted potatoes. I pulled a package of 6 chicken drumsticks and 1 lb. of hamburger from the freezer. Next, I got 1 big pan and a soup pot, both with tight fitting lids and made the following 2 man-lunches at the same time. I cooked the chicken on the stove, the soup in a plug-in pot on the counter and potatoes roasting in the oven.

Southwest Vegetable & Hamburger Soup

1 Lb. Hamburger
4-6 uncooked corn tortillas
1 ½ C pinto (cooked/drained) or canned chili beans
1 can diced tomato
10 C water
1 C frozen peas
1 C frozen corn
2 C frozen kale

1 TBL molasses
1 TBL sriracha hot sauce or your favorite
1 vegan vegetable stock cube

Herbs & Seasonings
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp +/- salt
½ tsp black pepper

Place frozen (or thawed) hamburger into the soup pot with about 2 inches of water. On high heat, cook until crumbly, adding just a little water at a time as it cooks. Render any fat off and turn the pot to med-low. Add beans, tomato sauce and water. Bring heat up and add base ingredients, herbs and seasonings. Bring to boil, add frozen veggies. Slice tortillas into strips add and stir to boiling soup. When tortillas start to fall apart, it will thicken the soup. Add a few at a time until you like the consistency. Low heat -10 minutes.

This recipe holds up well because I use beans instead of rice which swells up and gets bland or pasta which falls apart after a few days in the fridge. Tortillas give the soup a nice flavor and body, plus gluten-free. The soup pictured in this bowl has been in my refrigerator for 6 days. Also, there’s nothing to chop in this recipe, so I made it very quickly while I also made my other man lunch and potatoes.

Chicken Drumsticks in Mustard-Ginger Sauce & Side of Roasted Potatoes

6 Chicken drumsticks
1/3 C white champagne vinegar
2 tsp salt
3 TBL olive oil

¼ C regular yellow mustard
¼ C specialty seeded mustard
1 TBL ginger puree

5 potatoes (I had Yukon Gold’s)
½ C olive oil
2-3 TBL Herbes de Provence

Place frozen chicken into skillet. Fill halfway with water. Put lid on and boil. Add vinegar and 1 tsp salt. When chicken is thawed through to the bone, remove lid and let the excess water boil off. When the water is dried up, sprinkle the chicken with other tsp salt and drizzle skin and meat with olive oil. Brown on all sides. Turn the heat down low enough so the water and oil doesn’t splatter all over the place, but is still hot enough to brown. When browned, spoon sauce over the top and put the lid on for 30 min on low. Cut medium Yukon Gold’s into big chunks. Place on lined cookie sheet. Cover them in olive oil, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. 425 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until browned and soft.

Southwest Vegetable & Hamburger Soup

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