For context: I have a friend who is currently in Oregon for an internship (hey girl, what’s up?) and will be learning to cook while she’s away. She asked for recipes and apparently, I had a lot to say. So for anyone else out there looking for some quick and easy stuff, here you go! In this blog, I’m also including tips from experience.
Disclaimer: Not a professional chef. Not saying this is the right away to do things. Your mileage may vary.
Right away, I’m going to tell you that I don’t buy fresh produce as often as I probably should. I’m terrible at using produce in a timely manner and unless it’s a fruit, it’s probably going to end up rotting in my produce drawer. I’m trying to get better about it but bags of frozen veggies fill my freezer as I type. This may help you because then you don’t have to worry about things spoiling if you’re having a stressful day.
Which brings me to… Stir Fry (Meat + Veggies + Sauce). Next to adobo (which I’m sure someone else will give you a recipe for), this is probably the easiest thing you can do from scratch.
- Choose your meat (I use boneless frozen chicken thighs), cut it up with some oil and fry it on a medium heat (while stirring occasionally, of course).
- They sell bags of mixed veggies (such as broccoli/carrot/cauliflower). Get them and toss as much as you want in once the meat is cooked enough. If you put them in frozen, let it cook until you can pierce it easily with a fork.
- Then toss in some sauce (I use oyster) and mix it around until every inch is coated. Use a little at a time. It’s real easy to put more, but not take out. Sometimes I lower the heat all the way down and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Pro-tip: This can easily turn into curry. Instead of the regular sauce, add some water and bring it to a simmer until the veggies are pretty soft. Plop in some curry cubes (like golden curry) and let it melt. BAM. Curry.
Spinach Lasagna. (Lasagna Noodles. 2 jars Marinara Sauce. Mozzarella. Cottage/Ricotta Cheese. Spinach)
Tips: They sell oven ready noodles. You don’t have to cook them, just make sure that there’s enough liquid on each noodle to make it soft. ALSO you can totally just get cans of diced tomatoes instead of a second can of pasta sauce and mix them with your sauce (incl. liquid) to get more bang for the buck.
- At the bottom is pasta sauce. Then layer as follows *Noodles, Ricotta/Cottage Cheese, Mozzarella, Spinach, Pasta Sauce* 2 times. Top with layers of noodle, pasta sauce and mozzarella.
- Bake for 25 – 30 min at 350ºF or until cheese looks melty. To prevent too much browning, you can use aluminum foil on top.
Variations: You can add mushrooms if you would like. I use Cottage Cheese because I like the flavor (it may be cheaper?) but it can make it a bit more liquidy if you’re into that. Also, I like Italian Sausage Pasta sauce. It tastes like sausage.
Baked Salmon (Salmon + Green Beans + Seasoning* + Olive/Sesame Oil)
* Could be salt and pepper; my personal favorite flavoring is sesame oil, pepper, salt, brown sugar and some lemon juice (or just lay lemon slices on top)
- Rub the salmon fillets with your choice of seasoning and oil, let sit for a little bit. Coat the green beans (or your choice of veggies) in oil and season (I do salt, pepper, lemon).
- Pop everything onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min. I usually slice my fork down the middle to make sure it’s done baking (cause hey you have a few more for pics anyway).
- For extra lemon, squeeze juice on before eating.
Tip: You can use whatever veggies you want but note that carrots and potatoes will take longer to cook. Usually, I pop the carrots in the oven for 10 min while the salmon marinates and then add the salmon and green beans for another 10-15 min.
Tinaktak is also really easy to make but that depends on whether or not you have access to coconut milk. If you do, I can add that here. One pot pastas are generally good. I loooove pastas, in general. Pastaroni (with added veggies) is my favorite lazy meal. Pasta water can help thicken sauce. You can try to add just enough water to boil and add your sauce and stuff to your freshly cooked pasta in the pot, no colander needed. Although, make sure to undercook the noods a little bit because pasta stored in sauce can make it too soft.
Also, here’s a link I found recently: https://thedgafmom.com/theblog/what-to-make-for-dinner-tonight