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What is your favorite "go-to recipe" for a quick meal when you are pressed for time or just don't feel like cooking?


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  • 3 weeks later...

Got quite a few, mostly for weekday dinners.

An omelette with some toasted bread is a common one. Cheese, herbs, even pasta whatever is on hand and fill like (BTW leftover pastina + melty cheese is a great omelet stuffing).

Chopped vegetable salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, cabbage is the base) with tahini sauce, boiled eggs, chickpeas, croutons - whatever is handy. Sometimes and Indonesian twist with some fish sauce, peanuts, chili maybe lime or fried shallot flakes. 

Pita with falafel (we buy it fried and keep frozen, reheats well in the toaster oven).

Rice with boiled/fried egg (or century egg, before we run out). Some scallions and/or pickled ginger, chili oi, sesame oil or some dofu ru.

Shakshuka with frozen sauce (in winter) or quick fresh tomato sauce in summer.

Avocado toast, when in season.

SO loves grilled cheese.

And we always have some leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

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~ Shai N.

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  • 10 months later...
On 8/20/2021 at 11:45 AM, blue_dolphin said:

Most of my dishes in this category involve pasta or toast.  I like to keep some tinned mussels in escabeche in the cupboard.  They can go on little toasts with aioli or into a quick pasta like I made last night:

IMG_4224.thumb.jpeg.eaa85cbba382f8b99b58709219805397.jpeg

Cook pasta, drain and return to the pot with all the liquid from the tinned mussels.  Add a splash of pasta cooking water, a dollop of heavy cream or tomato sauce and heat until the sauce comes together.  I like to add diced salt-preserved citrus rind and some of the pulp if it needs salt.  Add the mussels to the pan just long enough to warm them up. 


What brand of mussels did you use?
 

 

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7 minutes ago, Dr. Teeth said:


What brand of mussels did you use?
 

 

My favorite is La Brújula.  I've also used Portomar and they were good, too.  Patagonia Provisions sells "Savory Sofrito Mussels" and "Lemon Herb Mussels" that I've been meaning to try in pasta like this. 

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My go to recipe for those occasions is a shrimp Louie. I always have the ingredients on hand so it’s no big deal to throw it together.

 

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8 hours ago, lindag said:

My go to recipe for those occasions is a shrimp Louie. I always have the ingredients on hand so it’s no big deal to throw it together.

 

That sounds very appealing in this horrific heat (36C today)

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Tonight I'm thinking it needs to be a Taco Salad!  (inspiration by @Shelby)  Our temps are going to be in the  high 90ºsF all week.

Edited by lindag (log)
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On 7/26/2022 at 11:16 PM, MetsFan5 said:

Wine and cheese. 

 

And again tonight, although, forgive me, I may sound like a broken record.  Dinner was supposed to have been chicken cacciatore.  It never happened.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

And again tonight, although, forgive me, I may sound like a broken record.  Dinner was supposed to have been chicken cacciatore.  It never happened.

 


  I did pick up some Chinese food but wasn’t feeling it so I had the same dinner as you.  I need to replenish my cheese supply. Fortunately I have a good local source. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

This summer we have discovered the pleasure of all but burnt cheese.  Stuck in the house for the best part of 3 weeks thanks to Covid saw supplies running short. We had potatoes in the garden and a kind neighbour brought us very fresh eggs on a regular basis.  Once appetites began to return we turned to omelettes.  Potatoes coated in a mixture of oil, cumin, black pepper and salt roasted in the oven, also the odd courgette from the garden thrown into the mix.  Ossau irate cheese from the freezer grated into a frying pan and cooked until golden brown in a cast iron pan then set aside.  The potatoes were then reheated in the pan, eggs added to form a sort of omelette around the vegetables.  Finished under the grill until 

eggs cooked but not overly so.  Browned cheese then crumbled over the top.  Had we had more energy we might have made a salad to go with but in the recovery days from Covid that required too much energy.  The ‘omelette was divided between 2 serving plates and just eaten as it came.  When feeling under the weather this made a tasty and satisfying meal.  Will certainly explore further variations as we resume normal service.  Delicious in this simple form and it seems that there are so many possibilities to use “burnt” cheese in other recipes.  A happy accidental find from the misery of Covid. 

Edited by DianaB (log)
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At least half the ideas suggested here are not what I consider "I don't want to cook" dinners. If I don't want to cook or if I am hungry and cranky for one reason or another, and let's say for the sake of argument there are no appealing leftovers in the fridge, my desperation meals are sardines on toast, grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, or, if I am feeling sorry for myself and also have no bread i can toast, then ramen.  Apple and cheese works too, provided we have crackers. If my husband is willing to take the time to cook pasta I can handle waiting, but ordinarily we don't keep store bought sauces, so it would most likely have to be topped with butter, garlic  and hard grated cheese, and fresh raw tomatoes if in season. These are all basically baby food. When you have a tired toddler (meaning me in emergency situations) it has to be something that takes less than ten minutes and involves no recipes, little or no chopping, no baking and most importantly no thinking. 

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Perhaps “don’t want to cook” meals mean different things to different people?  My thrown together veg in an omelette of kinds certainly falls into that category for me.  I do batch cook but in summer those things (bolognaise sauce, bœuf bourguignon etc) don’t really appeal when the garden is full of salad.  Last week when we were just getting our appetites back after Covid we had cheese and onion sandwiches but I had made the bread and frozen it a while back.  Does that count better than my omelette thing? 😁

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8 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

When you have a tired toddler (meaning me in emergency situations) it has to be something that takes less than ten minutes and involves no recipes, little or no chopping, no baking and most importantly no thinking. 

I’m on board with those guidelines and if the time can be stretched to allow for pasta cooking, I think most, though not all, of the ideas fit the bill. 
 

4 hours ago, DianaB said:

Perhaps “don’t want to cook” meals mean different things to different people?

Absolutely. It even means different things to me depending on the weather, the time of day and how hangry I am 😉

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36 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I’m on board with those guidelines and if the time can be stretched to allow for pasta cooking, I think most, though not all, of the ideas fit the bill. 
 

Absolutely. It even means different things to me depending on the weather, the time of day and how hangry I am 😉

This.

There are times when "don't feel like it" means a piece of bread and peanut butter, or a banana and a handful of walnuts. Other times it's "breakfast for dinner," or something I can throw in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and forget about for a while. I guess the short version is that there's a spectrum.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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46 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I’m on board with those guidelines and if the time can be stretched to allow for pasta cooking, I think most, though not all, of the ideas fit the bill. 
 

Absolutely. It even means different things to me depending on the weather, the time of day and how hangry I am 😉

I was trying to say something along the same lines. Some days it means a quick salad, some days  is it means opening a bag of potato chips.

Edited by Anna N
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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9 minutes ago, chromedome said:

This.

There are times when "don't feel like it" means a piece of bread and peanut butter, or a banana and a handful of walnuts. Other times it's "breakfast for dinner," or something I can throw in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and forget about for a while. I guess the short version is that there's a spectrum.

For me, its'd like last night, when I had dinner with Marie Callender.

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I'd have to think about it.  With two people cooking...one pretty much always can do something.  And the freezer always has lots of stuff in it to eat.  Can't come up with any one thing at all....

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Saturday I made a big batch of Texas style chili--no beans. 2Lbs of cubed steak tips. Separate big pot of RG black beans and a mixed grain for lunches and a small side with the chili. Three chili quarts with beans in the freezer. 3 pints without beans for tacos, chili soup, but not as quick as just plopping a quart in a pot. 

3 times a year, jan/feb, may/June, sept/oct, I make a big master stock when we have a shitty weather weekend. I braise a couple dozen boneless skinless chicken thighs packed with leeks, celery, onions, etc on top. Chicken dinner. Next day, usually a Sunday, blanched greens go in 6-8 quarts. Beans or rice, then chopped chicken and veg, then stock. Labeled 'storm soup'. Literal being good for a power outage or just a shit-show-emotional-storm work day. Straight from the freezer, 30 seconds under the sink faucet, into my baby grain pot...done. Extra credit is a slice of boule from the freezer for some croutons, a sliced avocado, a few frozen dumplings, or tuck in a few more vegetables from the crisper as it thaws/cooks. Frozen peas, corn. Miso. Three inches of paste toms from the tube. Great left alone but I always have something in the crisper that needs using. If I'm running late I can call DH and have him take out a 'storm' and get it going. Always a few in the freezer. Now we have the chili for cooler weather. Usually just what we need on shit-show days. I like that the blanched greens/veg does not get over-cooked being the last to thaw/heat. 

I've been filling my parents freezer for years with similar but recently only pints. 

Screen Shot 2022-08-29 at 6.46.57 AM.png

Edited by Annie_H (log)
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4 minutes ago, Annie_H said:

Saturday I made a big batch of Texas style chili--no beans. 2Lbs of cubed steak tips. Separate big pot of RG black beans and a mixed grain for lunches and a small side with the chili. Three chili quarts with beans in the freezer….

…3 times a year, jan/feb, may/June, sept/oct, I make a big master stock …

I've been filling my parents freezer for years with similar but recently only pints

Excellent food prep suggestions for those who want handy frozen meals but not really an answer to the question posed. At least for me - if I’m hangry, I don’t want to meal prep.  I just want to eat. 
When I was working, I did all my cooking on the weekends, enjoyed the fresh meals and stocked my freezer with frozen lunches, which I also enjoyed. I understand the value but when I got home late, tired and hungry, the last thing I wanted was another frozen meal. If I’ve got the luxury of a fridge and freezer full of condiments, a pantry stocked with tinned fish and dried pasta then I can do better in the time it takes to reheat something from the freezer.  
Vive la différence!
 


 

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