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Fast cooking with few ingredients?





Crinoid
I actually have a problem with finding recipes online. Entering "simple" and "fast" in a search box shows 1.5 hrs baking with several unusual ingredients...

Can you help with advice on preparing fast, simple and healthy food for an adult, without spending hours 3x a day on its preparation?

Note that I do not have a freezer chest for cooking once a week, and usual refrigerator has auto defrost feature.

Thanks.
pampoon
I'm not sure what you consider quick and easy, but a simple Google search brought up at least one good website with some recipies that I think are pretty easy.

www.eatingwell.com/recipes/collections/quick_healthy_dinner_recipes.html

And there are plenty others here that are pretty good.

Amazing what a quick Gooogle search can bring you Wink .
deanhills
Crinoid wrote:
I actually have a problem with finding recipes online. Entering "simple" and "fast" in a search box shows 1.5 hrs baking with several unusual ingredients...

Can you help with advice on preparing fast, simple and healthy food for an adult, without spending hours 3x a day on its preparation?

Note that I do not have a freezer chest for cooking once a week, and usual refrigerator has auto defrost feature.

Thanks.

Tinned salmon and tuna make for quick meals. You can put a salad together with some lettuce, tomato, onion and the salmon/tuna and a nice dressing. If you prepare the lettuce ahead of time by washing the whole head after you have bought it, and store it in plastic containers, it would be very easy. For warm dishes, pasta/noodles seems to go a long way, with tinned salmon or tuna, onion, garlic, little oil with some herbs.

There are some very nice soups, not the cheap ones, but the liquid ones such as Cocolut based Thai soup. I sometimes use it to mix it into a frozen Thai dinner for a really quick meal.

You can get fresh salmon/fish/shredded beef, and make stir fries with them with veggies. That is quite fast.

You can also have smoothies, if you feel that way. Some skim milk, half cup of frozen fruit, and protein powder would do for an occasional meal. You can add some yochurt to it if you would like it to be a bit heavier.
Crinoid
Thank you both! The second response fits more to my idea of easy food preparation, even with no cooking at all.
Now I remember that the thin cut meat, almost shredded, could be fried two times faster than the larger pieces, and broccoli are ready faster than potatoes. “Chicken and broccoli diet” is another good version - when skinless, boneless chicken breasts are on sale. Thanks for the links!

Slow cooking and baking use more electricity or natural gas, so if there is any other choice, I would go for it.

"Simple" doesn't include too much not essential for a proper nutrition elements, like different kinds of herbs, salsa, jalapeños, fresh cilantro, red onion, Monterey Jack, hot sauce, cornbread, cumin and cayenne. And tablespoon of chili powder will make me if not dead, than not too far from it Laughing

Now added "hurry" in my search Smile
I hope that you understand that not everyone agrees spend significant part of own life on cooking (shopping for ingredients, preparing them for a cooking and cleaning a lot afterward), just as another person will not do digging for a pleasure.
furtasacra
There's a lot of good recipes here

http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/recipes/

that don't call for a lot of ingredients and take about half an hour to make, and you can watch Everyday Food on PBS to see if they look like your cup of tea first.
missdixy
Taco Salad!! I make mine the healthy vegetarian way (with low-fat shredded cheese, low-fat sour cream and morning star ground 'beef'). Just cook the beef with some spices (or by itself), put it inside of those big round taco shells or spread it over some tostada chips. Then, add some lettuce and shredded cheese and sour cream and salsa and sliced tomatoes if you want and even a bit of guacamole. Delicious and fast and if you use low-fat ingredients and either turkey ground beef or vegetarian morning star ground beef, it's pretty healthy.
handfleisch
Healthy fast 30 minute Indian-style meals

part 1: the base. But oil in pan on med.high heat, and if you have them, throw in black mustard seeds and caraway seeds. When they start to pop, turn down heat, throw in chopped onion and all spices into the oil, cook a couple minutes still onions getting transparent.

This base can be used for a variety of meals. Best spices are the Indian curry mixes, like Tandoori, etc.

The variety of meals:

Rice with veggies and tofu (Biryani)
This one only take one pot.
put 1 cup frozen corn and 1 cup frozen peas in hot tap water for a couple minutes to thaw, cut up tofu. Put tofu into oil in the base in the pot, stir fry it up till it's looking browned and even crispy.
put in one cup of uncooked basmati rice. Drain the peas and corn and toss in pot on top.
put in 2 cups of water. Turn up heat to high til it boils. Then turn down to lowest heat and cover. In 20 minutes it will all be done.

You can make a ton of different meals with this one recipe by changing the grain (try millet, barley, couscous, etc but check for cooking times) and changing the veggies and the spice mix. You can substitute mushrooms for the tofu.

Thick Red Lentil or Mung Bean Soup (Sabzi)

One pot also. With the base (Garam curry spice is best with lentils), put in 1 cup of red lentils and on top thawed string beans, or fresh cut tomatoes, and a few leaves of spinach or parsley or any green. Again, put in water, 2.5 cups this time, bring to boil, turn down to low heat and cover. Give it 25 minutes.

You can subsitute mung beans, they cook quickly (most beans don't).

You can get a ton of different meals from the recipe by changing the spice mix and the veggies. You could even try different lentils, but check the cooking times. Red lentils cook up fast.

OK those are too basic ones. Off the top of my head there is also

Quesadillas/Burritos
Cut up cheese, put spinach, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes or even lettuce into a tortilla, maybe some pepper or a spoon of salsa.
You could put in some refried beans (canned) or leftover rice from the above Biryani. Don't overfill the tortilla stuff will fall out during cooking, better to make 2 tortillas instead.
fold the tortilla in half, put in pan with oil under very low heat, turn them over before they burn (4 minutes?) and cook the other side, and you have it.


Another quick and cheap food idea is to half-bake a whole bunch of potatoes (45 in the oven) and then save them for stir frying:
Half-Baked Stir Fry Potatoes

slice up half-baked potatoes, some onions, carrots (sliced thin), green onions, shallots, bell peppers, etc.
put oil in pan, get it hot, throw in onions and potatoes and carrots (any hard veggies you have), salt, pepper, maybe hot sauce or whatever.
when potatoes are looking done throw in bell peppers and the softer veggies.
Takes about 10 minutes.

OK I have more if anyone is interested.
deanhills
They are excellent Handfleisch, so if you have more that would be great. What I am particularly interested in are the spices you cook with at the beginning of the frying. Which spices do you generally use, and for which dishes?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
They are excellent Handfleisch, so if you have more that would be great. What I am particularly interested in are the spices you cook with at the beginning of the frying. Which spices do you generally use, and for which dishes?


Essentially, find all the different Indian masala spice mixes you can, like Tandoori, Garam, Sambar, Kari, Chat, etc., and check the recommendations on the package. Tandoori for tofu, Garam for beans and lentils, Chat to sprinkle on salads, etc etc.
peaceupnorth
PANCAKES! my favourite

One cup of whole wheat flour (or half and half whole wheat and white)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (cow or soy) or water
2 TB oil (optional)

Combine dry ingredients, and then add milk and oil. Stir until just mixed (can be a little clumpy)

Get a cast iron or non-stick pan or griddle nice and hot. Add a little oil to pan if it is cast iron, and spread it around. Pour little pancakes, like 1/2 cup each. Cook 5-10 minutes... the middles should be done. Eat with jam, peanut butter, or honey, or butter and maple syrup.

This is an easy vegan recipe... and if you triple it it makes lots of pancakes for the family or friends. You can experiment with adding berries, bananas, nuts, etc to the batter. They are good with cinnamon sugar too...
deanhills
peaceupnorth wrote:
PANCAKES! my favourite

One cup of whole wheat flour (or half and half whole wheat and white)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (cow or soy) or water
2 TB oil (optional)

Combine dry ingredients, and then add milk and oil. Stir until just mixed (can be a little clumpy)

Get a cast iron or non-stick pan or griddle nice and hot. Add a little oil to pan if it is cast iron, and spread it around. Pour little pancakes, like 1/2 cup each. Cook 5-10 minutes... the middles should be done. Eat with jam, peanut butter, or honey, or butter and maple syrup.

This is an easy vegan recipe... and if you triple it it makes lots of pancakes for the family or friends. You can experiment with adding berries, bananas, nuts, etc to the batter. They are good with cinnamon sugar too...
I'm lazy. If I feel like pancakes, I would take one of Aunt Jemina's mixtures, the one that just needs water for mixing, and then improvise by adding whatever I feel like adding, like cinammon or blue berries, frozen fruit in the mixture. Just too messy to make these things from scratch, especially for someone like me who just do not like cooking and fiddling with ingredients that much.
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