Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This time of year often breeds that feeling with all the shopping, and doing, and holiday parties to go to. There is a lot going on during the holidays, we all know that. For me the feeling of being overwhelmed this time of year very quickly leads to feeling depressed because I feel like I’m spinning out of control and I should be better prepared for life. It’s in those times that I need a little comfort food.
Comfort food, to me, is something that should be easy and fast to make, doesn’t break your budget, is preferably served hot, and is carb heavy. This is not health food, I’m not going to sugar coat that. But once in a while it’s ok to eat something that is unhealthy, if it helps you keep your mental health in check. And the following recipe is one of my favorite recipes to make when I’m stressed and overwhelmed.
Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Prep time:5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
2 cans of Campbell’s chicken and stars soup (or the store brand equivalent. You can also use chicken and rice, or just regular chicken noodle soup, or pretty much any soup you like.)
1 small to medium size can of canned chicken (I prefer the white meat kind , but any canned chicken will do. Get what you can afford. Do not drain the juice from the can before using.)
1 small bag of mixed frozen veggies (Think the mix you got in the school cafeteria when you were little: corn, peas, diced carrots, chopped green beans, lima beans etc. If you prefer, or already have on hand, canned veggies work just as well for this too, just remember to drain them before use.)
2 cups bisquick baking mix
2/3 cup of milk
In a small bowl, mix the 2 cups of bisquick and the 2/3 cup of milk together until a soft dough forms, it’s ok if it’s a little lumpy. Set this aside for a couple minutes. Now in a large stock pot put the 2 cans of soup, the canned chicken (DO NOT drain the liquid off before hand, put that liquid gold right in the soup.), and the veggies, and bring the soup mixture to a boil. The Campbell’s canned soup is condensed, so you should dilute it. Usually the cans say one can of water per can of soup you use, if you do that this will come out a little thicker than “soup”, which I like. But if you want a thinner soup (or you’re trying to stretch one pot to feed extra guests) add a third can of water to the pot. Once you have the soup boiling for a couple minutes, spoon the bisquick dumpling mix onto the top of the soup in little ball shapes. Make them as big or as little as you want, it’s up to you(they cook the same either way), and don’t flip out if they sink a little bit at first, they’ll come back. Once all the dumpling mix is spooned onto the top of the soup, continue to simmer the soup on medium heat UNcovered for 10 minutes, then COVER the soup and simmer it on medium heat for an additional 10 minutes. Now it’s done, spoon this comfort food into bowls, make sure everyone gets a dumpling, and chow down.
This is great for those nights between the thanksgiving and christmas madness when you don’t really feel like cooking, but don’t want to order pizza either. In total you can make a meal for 6 for less than $10-$14 depending on what you have in your pantry, and what you can get on sale. This is a pretty big hit with most people I make it for, and it’s especially popular with kids. I hope your family likes it as well too, and remember, the holidays don’t have to be “perfect” or stressful. Just enjoy family time and don’t sweat the small stuff.