Sunday, November 13, 2011

15 Quick, Easy Meals

Are you having trouble getting supper together? Or perhaps you stand looking into the fridge wondering what to cook for supper. Here are 15 ideas (enough for 3 weeks of week-day suppers) for quick, healthy meals from my recipe book.
  1. Chilled lentil salad: Open a can of lentils, drain and wash well. Add to a bowl. Chop up some fresh coriander and a two chopped tomatoes, add to bowl with lentils. Sprinkle with a little chopped onion and a little garlic powder, the juice from a lemon, salt and pepper, and some Parmesan cheese. Toss together and put in the fridge for a couple of hours beforehand.
  2. Moroccan couscous: Heat up two cups of vegetable or chicken stock in the microwave until boiling. Once done, add one cup of couscous, let set for five min. Meanwhile, chop up some dried apricots and fresh coriander. Have some chopped walnuts and raisins ready, along with a chopped fresh tomato and a little olive oil. Once the couscous is ready, add all of this and fluff. Add salt and pepper. Serve on the side with cooked lamb or pork chops.
  3. Indian Chickpeas: Open a can of chickpeas and drain, rinse off well. Add to an oven dish. Pour a bottle of low-fat Indian Butter Chicken sauce over top and put in the fridge over night to marinate. Take out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking (if possible), then roast at 375 degrees for about 45 min and serve over rice with steamed broccoli. The chickpeas can be replaced with cubed, thawed chicken as well. 
  4. Shrimp and Asparagus stir-fry: Break off the woody ends of asparagus, chop into one inch pieces. Heat up a skillet with a little oil, then add some onion and garlic, sauté. While that is cooking, take the tails off of shrimp from a thawed shrimp ring. Add the asparagus, sauté until bright green. Add shrimp just to warm up. Add your favorite stir-fry sauce (soy sauce, teriyaki, sweet and sour, mushroom soup, etc.) then serve over rice.
  5. Smoked Salmon Bagel Sandwiches: Toast a small multi-grain bagel, scrape some plain cream cheese on it while it’s still a little warm along with some fresh dill. Add a thawed slice of smoked salmon, two slices of tomato and a little lettuce on top.
  6. Mexican bean salad: Open a can of black beans, drain and wash off. Add to a bowl. Do the same with a can of corn niblets, add to the bowl. Add a bottle of salsa (hot or mild) and some chopped coriander. Stir and let set in the fridge over night before serving, if desired.
  7. Fusion rice: Heat up a skillet with a little oil. Add the rice and spice mix from a box of Dainty Indian rice with ¼ cup of water. Add chopped celery and chopped dried apricots. Sauté until liquid is absorbed, and if necessary add another ¼ cup water. Meanwhile, take the tails off shrimp from half of a thawed shrimp ring. Add the shrimp when ready along with some shredded carrot, sauté until shrimp is hot then serve.
  8. Homey rice with ham: Open a package of Dainty chicken rice. Heat up a skillet and add the rice and spice pack. Add some frozen peas and chopped ham. Cook together, at the last minute add some shredded carrot and let that cook a little. Serve.
  9. Calzone: Dethaw a piece of puff pastry. When soft, cut into two or three squares. Crack two eggs, but only keep the whites and have ready in a small bowl with a brush. Heat up the oven to 375. In the middle, add pepperoni, cooked sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. your fav pizza toppings and cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and fold one edge onto the other to make a triangle package. Seal with a fork, brush the pastry with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 min in the oven.
  10. Tomato-bacon pasta: Chop up an onion, a box of cleaned mushrooms, and about 7-10 chopped pieces of bacon (depending on your preference) on a cutting board. Clean a box of cherry tomatoes. Heat up a hot skillet, add the bacon. Cook down until reduced and starting to brown. Add the onions and mushrooms. Meanwhile, heat up water for pasta, one with nooks and crannies like macaroni or fusilli. When the pasta goes into the pot, set the timer for the cooking time. 5 min before the pasta is done, add the tomatoes to the bacon skillet and with a spoon, gently pop all of them. When the pasta is done, drain and add to tomato-bacon sauce. Toss well. Serve.
  11. White pizza: Get a premade pizza crust and sauce from the grocery store. Preheat the oven to 375. On the crust, slather with Ranch dressing, except for the margin edges. Sprinkle lots of mozzarella cheese over top. Add some cooked crumbled bacon, sausage, chopped spinach and chopped tomato. Bake in oven until cheese is brown and the crust is golden brown around the edges, about 15-20 min.
  12. Orzo Pasta Salad: Chop up some cleaned celery, tomato and a little onion. Add to a bowl of leftover orzo pasta, or any leftover pasta. Coat with some Greek salad dressing. Add chopped black olives and feta cheese if desired, stir together and let sit at least one hour before eating cold.
  13. Mushroom beef, potatoes and veggies: Heat up a skillet and brown some thawed ground beef. While that is happening, chop up an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, and a box of mushrooms. Once the meat is mostly browned, drain off some of the fat and return to burner. Add all chopped ingredients and let soften. Add a can of cream of wild mushroom soup, mix together. Serve overtop of mashed potatoes and have something green like peas on the side.
  14. Puréed vegetable soup: Boil a vegetable of choice (like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, squash, carrot, parsnip, leeks, etc) in either chicken or vegetable stock with the addition of a clove or two of peeled garlic. Once the vegetable is cooked, add everything to a blender and purée until smooth. If it is too thick, add more chicken stock or even add some evaporated milk to make it a nice, creamy soup.
  15. Sautéd Succotash: Chop up an onion. Heat up a skillet with a little oil. Drain a can of red kidney beans and dethaw 1 cup of corn. Wash the beans well. Add onion to skillet on medium heat, sauté. Add a little vegetable stock if liquid is necessary. Season with salt and pepper, let cook until the skins of the beans pop, about 10-15 min.

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