only help my unbelief


Seven easy meal ideas
June 7, 2008, 9:00 am
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I enjoy taking a few hours to cook up something like fiesta chicken pasta or ricotta gnocchi, but sometimes there just isn’t time. Here are a few tried and true dishes – and you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. To make a more complete meal, use two or three of these ideas. Most of these ideas don’t require a whole lot of measuring, which is what makes them easy, I guess.

1. Stir-fry chicken
Hat tip on this one goes to my friend Emily, who used to eat only this almost every night. It’s not really stir-fry, but it is good. Just take a chicken breast and cut it into cubes. Melt some butter in a skillet or wok. Put the chicken in and cover for about 5 minutes. Uncover and add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Cook, while stirring with wooden spoon, until the chicken starts to brown.

2. Garlic onion squash combo
I’m a big fan of zucchini squash and yellow squash, so this is one of my favorite veggie dishes. Chop up a yellow squash, a zucchini squash and an onion. Put all the vegetables in a skillet, then pour about 1/2-3/4 cup water in, depending on how many veggies you have. You don’t want the vegetables to be floating in water, but you want enough so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. As the vegetables cook, add some garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Spaghetti with a twist
I grew up eating spaghetti this way, and I still eat it at my apartment. While the spaghetti noodles are cooking, chop up zucchini squash into fourths, add a little water (see #2) and some garlic powder. When the spaghetti noodles are done, drain, return to pan, add some spaghetti sauce, then put the zucchini on top. Finish off with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

4. Veggie wrap
Take a large tortilla. Spread thin layer of hummus on one side of tortilla (or use an alternative “spread” that you like). Pile tortilla with veggies – I like red and green peppers, onions, lettuce, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers – you get the picture. Sprinkle (or pile) cheddar cheese on top. Fold in on opposite sides, then roll up. To make it even better, stick it in a panini maker or George Foreman grill until the cheese melts.

5. Red pepper “hamburgers”
Take a pound of ground turkey. Dice up an onion and some roasted red peppers. Mix in with ground turkey. Add in an egg, some pepper and a few squirts of Worcestshire sauce. Mix well and form into patties. Can be cooked on a George Foreman grill or in a skillet on the stove. (Note: You can also use regular ground beef.)

6. Vegetarian pizza
Take a pizza crust; it can either be pre-made or the kind you mix up yourself. Make the “sauce” with olive oil, oregano and garlic powder. Use brush to spread over pizza crust. Top with mozzarella cheese, onions, green peppers and mushrooms.

7. Baked macaroni and cheese
Hat tip to Emily again on this one. Cook up some noodles – Emily uses the “sea shell” kind, and it’s really good. Pour in 9×9 or 4×9 pan. Stir in as much cheddar cheese as you want. Then pour evaporated milk over the noodles and cheese until the milk reaches the top layer of noodles. Cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or so.

I hope these easy ideas make your dinnertime better for at least one night!

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