Tag Archives: easy

Chard & Mango Salad (or, “Chard Day’s Night”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c kaleidoscope chard, chopped
  • 1 c spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 c parsley, minced
  • 1/3 c mango, diced
  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 c sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled or whatever
  • 1/3 c-ish vinaigrette of choice

chardmangosaladChop, mince, dice and toast! Once the prep is out of your way, these are all handy-licious things to grab out of the fridge and throw together. I might have overdone it on those walnuts, but who doesn’t love their healthy Omegas?


Put a Bowtie on That Chicken

In my pantry today:

  • 1 12 oz can chicken breast meat
  • 1.5 c bowtie pasta, cooked
  • 2 c cabbage, cut small
  • 1/2 c carrots, cut small
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

IMAG0443This is as easy on the wallet as it is on your palette. Drain the can of chicken and rinse thoroughly; set aside. Cook pasta; set aside. Saute garlic in butter and oil over ML for as long as you can stand to — I went about 20m, which wasn’t tough on time since the pasta requires time to cook and the chicken needs rinsing. Turn heat up to M and stir-fry carrots and cabbage for a minute then reduce heat back to the M side of ML and add seasonings, chicken and broth. Let everything simmer while you stir in Parmesan to thicken the broth. Right before serving, mix pasta with sauce/cabbage. Set aside logic and sprinkle a little Parmasean on top for 5 spoons of simplicious!

Tomato-Topped Tortellini (or, “Salad Capricious”)

In my pantry today:

  • Trader Joes® spinach tortellini
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 M sweet onion, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dash asafoetida
  • dash sea salt
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

tortellinitomatoHeat the oils to ML and address it with your minced finery. Turn them back to L and let sit for an hour or two; this seems like a huge investment for an otherwise simple meal, but trust me on the flavor quotient. If you don’t have that much time to invest, don’t worry your heart — this will still turn out beyond edible.

Closer to mealtime, boil/drain your tortellini and prep tomato and cheese slices until the slice:cheese ratio works for you. While the love for cheese can connect almost all of is it also comes with a wide gradient of loves; slice for yourself and don’t look back.

Add your oil, garlic, onions and Parmesan to a pot where you’ve replaced the tortellini drained. Toss gently and let sit for 5m before serving topped with slices of tomato/mozzerella. Drizzle the tiniest bit of balsamic vinegar over the whole shebang, close your eyes and dream of Italy. 5 spoons!

Black Beans ‘n Slaw

  • 1 12 oz can black beans
  • 2 c red cabbage
  • 3/4 c asparagus, minced
  • 1/8 c minced red onion
  • 4 baby carrots, shredded
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 dash asafoetida
  • feta cheese to taste (omit for vegan status)

P1100429This is easier than the ingredient list suggests: start by emptying a can of black beans into a small pot. Add 1 tsp garlic paste, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric and a dash asafoetida; bring to a low boil on MH and reduce to ML once said boil is reached. Cover, let cook for as long as it’s got liquid.

I did use the food processor for a quick few pulses on the cabbage for a closer-to-slaw-without-being-too-tiny-to-care-it’s-cabbage size, and I used a cheese grater on the carrots. Come to think of it, the cheese grater might’ve been a good idea for the onion too, but today a knife did the trick. I dealt with frozen whole asparagus stems, and carefully excised 1/8-1/4″ chips from the top half of the stems. So mix all of that together.

In a small sauce pan, heat oil on ML and add garlic paste. Stir until paste is one with the oil. Mix vinegar with the rest of the seasonings; once pan is hot and paste dispersed stir in vinegar mix. Pour over all the stuff you mixed together from the above paragraph and let sit at room temperature for an hour. Top with your preferred quantity of feta cheese (about 1/3 c here) and serve alongside black beans over rice. These two dishes are surprisingly good together; I ended up mixing everything together and it tasted like the burrito filling you’d get at a fancy, um, burrito filling place… except with no sour cream and little cheese it was a touch less terrible for your health. 4 spoons!


In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1/3 c feta cheese in blocks
  • 1.5 c dry tagliatelle (bowtie pasta)
  • 1/3c olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1-? tbsp unsweetened almond milk

P1100313Simplicity is part of the song for this dish. Start garlic in oil on ML, reduce to L and let simmer until garlic pieces turn the lightest of browns; remove from heat. Take a small part of that and toss with broccoli, add a tsp plain olive oil and garlic/salt. Toss. Put on baking sheet in 400° oven for about 10m. Cook/drain pasta, put back in pot and add garlic olive oil and cubed feta. Toss. Add 1 tbsp almond milk and cover on L. Remove broccoli from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and broil for 30-60 seconds. Take out and pour into pot with pasta. Toss and serve warm. 5 easy spoons!

Holy Taters ‘n Beans, Batman!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 26.5 oz can black beans
  • 3 sm sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 small sweet pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chile de arbol powder
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida
  • dash water

Holy Taters 'n Beans, Batman!As it turns out, I am making a crock pot meal today… but not one which utilizes the free haunch-meat of rodents (April Fools!). A big spicy pot of something meatless was on the menu — in fact, I don’t see any meat happening in the very near future. Not until the image of the half-squirrel LouLou once did bring inside stops suddenly also being in a delicious sauce. Cut your onions, pepper and sweet potatoes. Put onion and pepper into the olive oil already heated to H on the slow cooker scale. Add turmeric and let simmer for a few minutes, then add the beans and remainder of the seasonings. Rinse out the can with a little water and mix it in along with your sweet potatoes. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender… this can be arranged whether you’d like it set before you leave the house bright and early, or whether you want it a little quicker. Either way you’ll get at least 4 spoons for dinner.

London Broil is Falling Down!

In my pantry toady:

  • 1 lb london broil
  • 1 14 oz can pinto beans
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, quartered
  • 1 14 oz  can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 large sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp sour cream

beefbbeansMaking pot roast without actual gravy (or bullion, etc) was a challenge… until it proved to be easy enough for even a dim child. Throw it all in the pot, set it and return in that amount of time (ish). We let the slow cooker run a little longer than anticipated… which meant our worst case scenario here was whipping the fallen apart potatoes in the food processor with a little sour cream. Best worst case scenario ever! The meat-n-beans get 5 spoons, and the potatoes end up only getting 4. I might’ve liked them more about two hours before we got there. Regardless, this is a major win for naked meat!

Processing Leftovers

In my pantry:

cauliflowerleftoversoupEasier than easy! Ask the food processor to deal with yesterday’s leftovers. Scrape it all into a pot, add broth, heat, serve sprinkled with Parmesan… this, paired with the swift brevity of convenience will escalate leftover soup to a 5 spoon dinner.

Blood-n-Guts Halloween Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c cooked red cabbage (freezer storage shout-out!)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can green beans
  • 64oz broth (I kept this vegan with vegetable, but any animal will do)
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

‘Tis near-about the season for drinking blood and eating guts without having to apologize for it! This one is easy and can be eaten in so many ways once settled in the crock pot — the 6 quarts of soup this recipe makes is great for freezing whatever you can’t eat after a day or three. Take my word, however that this won’t need to get punishing for a few consecutive meals. A very basic vegetable soup is like a basic black dress —  it’s easy to dress up or down.

As it is this soup is a pretty rainbow of nutrition in its formative stages, then after a while the anthocyanins will turn the entire shebang into a spooky crime scene photo. See those ingredients up there? Put them all in a crock pot, set it to whenever you want a frightfully good dinner (but give it at least 4 hours to coalesce; the longer it sits, the darker the red).

Last night, we enjoyed ate our bloody slop topped with thin slices of asiago cheese and garlic breadsticks. It was very definitely 5 spoons… of DARKNESS! (moihahaha, et al)

No-Bake Minced Berry Cheesecake (Or “Why My Tongue is Disabled”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 6 oz non-dairy whipped topping
  • 3/4 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp imitation butter extract
  • 1 prepared graham crust
  • 1 c minced strawberries
  • 1 c halved blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar

This one’s easy, especially with a food processor. I can’t justify constant sweets but what else can I do with all the healthy, color-rich berries in my fridge before they spoil? Specifically, these berries still had a few more days before skin-wrinkling, so the clock was ticking on doing anything that didn’t include throwing them into a smoothie. Soften cream cheese, then put it in the food processor with whipped cream, confectioner’s sugar and extract. Blend until smooth then pour into a pie shell you didn’t have to make (in some cases, not having to do the work makes things even more delicious). Gently massage a 1/2 tsp of white sugar into the berries you had meticulously sliced and top the pie. Let the whole shebang set in the freezer for as long as and as hard as you want your pie. Mmm. Pie.

Now, this is one of those big steps for me: I do not like berries. I don’t really much care for any fruit, truth be told. This is an obvious conflict of interest between my health and tastebuds, but by and large I imagine the taste regions on my tongue are a little skewed. My sensory reactions to things began to change around 2003, and for a long time the inside of my mouth (tongue included) was numb. What do these two things mean?

1. Sometimes a delicious meal set before me tastes entirely like dish soap. This won’t happen often, and it certainly wouldn’t deign to be a predictable occurrence.

2. So in the same vein of being able to set my hands in frying pans because I had no functioning pain receptors, once I downed an entire bottle of habanero syrup as a party trick. Because I am a vainglorious idiot. I didn’t feel it, but I did wake the next morning with acid burns that had removed part of the top layer of my tongue. Again, I couldn’t feel any of it; I just don’t really show off that particular muscle in public, which is a perfectly fine outcome by our culture.

What, you ask, do these things have to do with my ever-increasing distaste of fruit? I’m not a doctor (in case you weren’t certain) but I’m guessing the front and middle of my tongue is a little more out of the game than the “sour” receptors. Sour things curdle my face the way a shot of whiskey hurts a teenager’s disposition. I do not like them, condone them or want to see them in my home. And berries are sour as hell. Unless overly sugared or thrown in a smoothie, I want no part of most fruits. Don’t worry, dear readers — I love vegetables enough to cover the fruit thing. And there’s a box of powdered sugar ever at the ready in my cupboards.

And despite the whole “fruit” issue, this still earned 4 spoons.