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Squalor cookbook

Sometimes you want to minimize the time spent cooking to focus on de-squaloring. The following recipes are deemed "quick" and "easy" by the members who contributed them, and have been categorized by the functionality that you need to cook each dish:

  • Needs a working and accessible stovetop
  • Needs a working and accessible oven
  • Can be cooked in microwave
  • Can be cooked in a crockpot
  • Uses up leftovers


  1. Ground-beef goulash
  2. Hamburger surprise
  3. Dinner in a can
  4. Orange pork chops
  5. Minestrone
  6. Beef roast
  7. Crock pot roast
  8. Beer roast
  9. Easy BBQ
  10. Tuna Quiche
  11. Potato-Hamburger Goulash Stuff
  12. Easy home made mac and cheese
  13. Leftover mashed potatoes
  14. Cream-of-Something Rice dish
  15. Auntie Script's favourite way to cook chicken: one dish meal

Ground-beef goulash


  • 1 -1 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey burger
  • 1 large family size can of vegetable soup
  • 1/3 cup catsup
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Cook loose burger until well done, drain,
  2. Put large family size can of vegatable soup in skillet, (do not add the water the can says to if cooking soup)
  3. Add catsup and 1/2 cup water, simmer until thickened
  4. Serve over rice or whole wheat toast.

Whenever I have leftover rice from the night before I always fix this.


Hamburger surprise

  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • 1 box mac-n-cheese
  1. Brown hamburger; drain.
  2. While hamburger is browning, fix mac-n-cheese according to directions on box.
  3. Combine. Add more milk if necessary to make sauce sauce-ier.

Up recipe to two pounds hamburger and two boxes mac-n-cheese if needed. I've made up to three pounds/boxes with no problems.

The surprise? It tastes pretty good!


Dinner in a can

When you don't have time, energy, or money to get to the store, keep a few cans of salmon in the pantry.

If you dump it in with a few ingredients (an egg & some kind of crumbs, cracker or bread, a little milk), and add flavorings to taste depending on what you have around (lemon juice & capers, dill weed, sliced green onion, pepper & salt, etc), you can form it into patties, saute in butter or oil, & it is quick, tasty, & v nutritious.

Not to mention cheap. (cats love leftovers, lol.)


Orange pork chops

  1. Put pork chops in pan (medium thickness chops).
  2. Add orange juice to cover (I usually just pour in a can of frozen orange juice and add some water.
  3. Add bay leaf, salt, pepper, celery salt, and/or any other spices you like.
  4. Let simmer (probably with a lid) for several hours until pork chops are very tender. You may need to add some water during the cooking if the orange juice is almost dried up. But, if it is just down to a thick glaze as the meat finishes, that is perfect.
  5. EAT! Yummers!

Another version: Cranberry Pork Steaks... substitute OJ with 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce.



Here is an ingredient list so far if anyone is curious (it does have the virtue of being crockpottable, & many ready-made things can of course be subbed for the annoying homemade ingredients.)

  • chicken stock
  • tomato juice
  • a little red wine ('cause i had some extra)
  • browned ground turkey
  • cooked macaroni (mine is nearly dissolved; my advice is add it at the last)
  • cannelloni beans (can use kidney or garbanzo)
  • chopped tomato
  • sliced leeks (no biggie, really, just split, soak or wash, cut if off where it is kinda light green- do not fear the leek. use onion if you want.)
  • chopped garlic
  • chopped zucchini
  • sliced carrots
  • sliced celery
  • chopped savoy cabbage (can sub regular or nappa)
  • chopped swiss chard or beet leaves (i used kale, my mkt was out)
  • the rind of a chunk of good parmesan cheese
  • bay leaf
  • chopped italian parsley (fresh, or don't bother- curly parsley will work too)
  • dried oregano, pepper, salt to taste

cook it up till it seems done. remove bay leaf. grate some parmesan on top. serve with crusty bread rubbed with garlic & brushed with olive oil, and a simple salad.


Beef roast

Many times, I'll just throw a beef roast in the slow cooker, add water and some bouillon cubes, plus whatever fresh herbs or seasoning I have lying around, and let it simmer on low for several hours (most of the time I quick-sear it on all sides in a hot cast-iron skillet first, but not always). Then, I add a bag or two of Reames noodles if I'm in a hurry, or my own homemade noodles if I'm not. I add a little more broth if it needs it and let it simmer until the noodles are done. Normally, I'll add a little cornstarch for thickening (be sure to dissolve it in a little COLD water before adding to hot broth!). Then I'll serve it over hot homemade mashed potatoes, but instant or frozen mashed potatoes work just as well if you're in a hurry or just don't like to mash!


Crock pot roast

I put a chuck roast in the crock pot, cut up some potatoes (don't peel them first if you don't want), half some smallish onions, cut up some carrots, put the potatoes, carrots and onions around the roast, then take a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup and thin them out with a cup of water and dump that over the top. Let it cook all day on low, and we have a one pot meal. The mushroom soup turns into a delicious gravy!


Beer roast

  1. Pour bottle of beer over a beef roast in a slow cooker. Darker beer is better.
  2. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 4-5 hours until beef is tender. May need to add water (or beer) during cooking time.
  4. EAT! I usually add potatoes and carrots toward the end.

Easy BBQ

Put a two or three pounds boneless sirloin pork roast in the crockpot, dump favorite bottled BBQ sauce on top (maybe a cup), cook on low 5 or 6 hours or until the meat can be shredded.

Serve on buns or white bread.


Tuna Quiche

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fairly fine
  • 2 cans tuna, drained
  • 1-2 handfuls green peas
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt &/or pepper to taste

Take a lasagne pan (I always use the disposable foil ones) and layer the onion, tuna, peas (you can even put them in frozen, but I usually put them in a small pan with just a touch of water and heat until they turn bright green), and the cheese. You can use salt &/or pepper if you like. I don't use salt, but find a couple of grinds of fresh pepper is nice.

Take a medium mixing bowl and make a loose mix of biscuit or pancake mix, milk and an egg. It should be a little looser than for pancakes, so it pours easily and should make about 2 cups worth. Pour evenly over the other ingredients in the lasagne pan.

Bake in a 350° oven until the top is golden brown and the pancake mix is all set, probably 35-45 minutes. This takes me about 5 minutes to put together and goes nicely with a salad (I add a sliced tomato and a couple of sliced mushrooms to romaine salad in a bag). Serves 4 as a main course.


Potato-Hamburger Goulash Stuff

  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • 1 bag diced hash brown potatoes
  • 2 small cans brown gravy, 1 large bottle brown gravy, or 2 packets brown gravy mix
  1. Brown hamburger in large dutch oven; drain.
  2. While hamburger is browning, brown hash browns in large skillet (this might take two skilletfuls).
  3. Combine potatoes with hamburger in the dutch oven. Add gravy (or if using packets, add the packets and mix in liquid per directions on packet). You can adjust the gravy to taste, I like a moister meal.
  4. Heat through and serve.

Easy home made mac and cheese

  • Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
  • one cup milk
  • large bag of preshredded cheese.. the tex mex kind works well
  • full bag of macaroni( use whole wheat or vegetable to make it a bit healthier)
  • one cup bread crumbs
  • half cup parmesan (or romano or whatever dried cheese you like more)
  1. Make the soup (with the milk) in one pot while partially boiling mac in another.. (not even to al dente stage).
  2. Drain the pasta well and stir in soup and about half the bag of cheese
  3. Pour into large baking pan.
  4. Toss the bread crumbs the pamesan and about another two cups of cheddar mix together and coat the top of baking pan./casserole.
  5. Cover with foil.. bake at 325° for 20 mins . remove foil and allow to brown.

It sounds involved but prep time is not even 15 mins and once it's in the oven it basically takes no work other than removing foil.


Leftover mashed potatoes

Here's one for left-over mashed potatoes...

...when you don't have any gravy left to go with it.

Take leftover mashed potatoes and stir in 1/2 cup or more of Tostitos® brand "Salsa Con Queso" and about 1/4 cup or more of Pace's picante sauce. Nuke in the microwave to heat up.


Cream-of-Something Rice dish

  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (or cream of broccoli or cream of chicken or cream of aspargus)
  • 1/2 can milk
  • 1 can measured out microwavable rice

Put soup, milk, and rice in microwave safe bowl, cover and cook for 5 minutes on high. Stir and serve as side dish.


Auntie Script's favourite way to cook chicken: one dish meal

We eat white meat only, but this works for anything.

In a large roasting pan or baking dish or corning ware or pyrex, arrange in ONE LAYER ONLY:

  • chicken pieces: as many as you need
  • potatoes: peeled or unpeeled: 2 small per person (approx): cut in half
  • carrots: peeled
  • onion: for 2 people I use 1 onion

Drizzle olive oil OR vegetable oil over everything. OR put a big pat of butter or margarine on the chicken.

Sprinkle herbs, if you've got: rosemary, basil, oregano, whatever. Sprinkle spices if you like: paprika, pepper, ginger, garam masala If you like: put one clove of peeled garlic; a cut-up lemon or orange.

Smush everything around so that the herbs and spices are nicely distributed overall.

Bake at 350° oven, stirring occasionally. Spoon juices over top too. This takes about 1 hour, less if the chicken pieces are small. Smells wonderful while cooking.

Variation: you can use exactly the same technique with SAUSAGES (nice fat farmers or italian or bratwurst).

You can also use other root vegetables: parsnips, white turnips, sweet potatoes, yams.

The trick is to cut things NOT TOO BIG so that they all are ready at the same time.

This is what I made last night after my camping trip. I used a large boneless turkey breast; this takes longer, so I cooked it for an hour before adding the vegetables.