I’m just a fledgling cook, and there are days when I have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner (enter takeout/ramen). But I’ve got fallback recipes of course, favorites I use over and over again. They’re easy to assemble with minimal effort, and usually feed my family for a couple of days. Thought I would share some of these with you today.
Buttermilk Roast Chicken via Smitten Kitchen: Takes next to no effort, although you do have to let these marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. But the results are so worth it, finger-licking juicy chicken that’s unbelievably tender. I usually make this without the paprika, which I never have on hand, and it’s still amazing.
Quinoa and Black Beans via Allrecipes: If you’ve ever had a Chipotle bowl before, this tastes a little like that. Nutty quinoa, sweet corn, hearty black beans, cilantro, garlic, and sauteed onions. I nix the cumin and cayenne, sprinkle a little bit of cheddar on top, slice up half an avocado, and dig in. Can eat this for days without getting sick of it.
Tuna & Red Pepper Pasta via Budget Bytes: I’ve mentioned this one before, it’s got a simple flavor profile but tastes amazing. And it’s pasta, with a ‘sauce’ of olive oil and garlic. Doesn’t get much easier than that. If you’re a wimp like me, leave out the red pepper, or sub in a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
Arugula, Green Bean, and Potato Salad via Smitten Kitchen: Simply the most amazing salad I’ve ever eaten in my life, although I did change the dressing. It’s fresh, light, and healthy. I had 4 helpings of this the other day (couldn’t help myself, it’s too darn good). I’m sure her dressing is delicious, but I had to work with what I had on hand. So I did a simple mix of olive oil, the teensiest drop of balsamic vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a sprinkling of truffle salt, and some water to dilute it.
Quiche: I don’t have a recipe for this, although you can probably google ‘quiche’ and find a million different versions. Sometimes I do potato crust quiche, which I first saw on Larie’s blog. If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll buy frozen pie crusts from Trader Joe’s, which are must defrost vertically or they will shatter, and if I’m feeling even lazier (and healthy-ish), I’ll just make a crustless quiche. There are a lot of combinations you can do, but I usually layer carmelized onions with some sort of meat on the bottom, pile handfuls of spinach on top, dump the egg custard in (4 eggs and 1 cup of milk), and top with a sprinkling of cheese.
What are some of your go-to recipes? Let me know if you try any of these, I promise they’re all supremely yummy and very doable.