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Oct 7, 2007 09:29 AM

Real food needed on tight schedule- help!

I love to cook by my schedule is intense right now. I'm looking for recipes for good food that are not time consuming to prepare. I have a crockpot. I have no dietary restrictions and I enjoy food from all cultures. I'll eat anything but processed food. Thanks in advance.

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  1. One of my favorite super simple delicious things to make is a quick vegetable soup. I start with a boxed premade chicken stock which I always keep on hand. Then use whatever vegetable is good in season. My favorite is asparagus. Just boil it in the stock, puree, add salt & pepper and a little butter if you like. It's so delicious and takes no time or effort. (I use a stick blender so I don't even have to take it out of the pan.) If I want a more substantial dinner, I roast a chicken with it (stuff a little garlic under the skin, rub it with olive oil and and season it with salt & pepper) or pick one up at the market already cooked.

    I also like to make simple, flavorful pasta inspired by what I ate in Rome. Boil some pasta. In a saute pan add some olive oil and fry up some pancetta cut into small chunks. When it's crispy take it out and put it aside, but keep leave the fat in the pan. Then you can quickly saute up some leafy green vegetable like chard in the fat and toss the pasta in it with a little of the reserved pasta water. Add some parmesan cheese and you have a very flavorful quick meal.

    1. ktm is on track with soup and pasta.. I will add stir fry to that as well. One key is to learn how to make these soups / pasta / stir fry's with what happens to be in season and in the fridge without a recipe, being able to throw stuff together without finding and referring to recipes really helps cut the time down. here's my favorite pasta non-recipe:

      When you cook a meat (crock pot or other), make sure you have some left for further meals -- omelets, burritos or queso's, sandwiches, salads...

      1. omelettes are quick as well.

        george forman grill--veggies and chicken or fish or turkey or beef patties

        spaghetti squash is a lower cal and lower carb starch--nuke in micro, pull out strands and toss w/ garlic, olive oil, and parm; serve alongside some blackened broiled fish.

        butternut squash is another great quick side, esp since TJ's and other markets sell it prebagged and chopped... i like to nuke and mash it.... or puree w/ a little cream, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and sage and serve it over broiled white fish.

        Paninis are good and fast... meat, cheese, spreads (or any combo thereof)... press.

        Couscous salads are great since couscous cooks in 5 minutes... Personally, I like to add sundried tomatoes, cippolini onions, currants, arugala, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, seasoned rice wine vinegar, olive oil, and basil.

        Whole wheat tortillas make a great palate for quesadillas, burritos (breakfast ones are fast), or wraps.

        1. Curries.

          Forget all that rubbish about grinding your own spices. Get thee some Pataks and some meat-of-choice and cook in your crock pot.

          When you get home, throw some rice in a rice cooker and Micro-nuke some pappadums.


          1. Yeah, what PG said, get a rice cooker to go along with your crock pot. You can cook other grains as well as rice, and have a hot meal in the crockpot with some grains to put under it on the plate. This is what I rely on when on a deadline. It saves me from resorting to processed frozen food, which is basically an abomination. Here are a few cookbooks that I use when the need arises: