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May 17, 2009 09:31 PM

Stupid easy recipes you really love

A couple weeks ago I came home exhausted with a salmon steak, intending to cook it the way I usually do (bake with lemon and dill.) Opened the fridge. I had most of a container of mild fresh salsa left over from the day before. (I live in Massachusetts - brand name of the salsa is La Mexicana and it's really good.) Sprayed a glass pan lightly with canola oil, plopped in the fish and absolutely buried it in the salsa. Baked at 350 for about 28 minutes - the liquid in the salsa kept the fish incredibly moist.

Anyone else have recipes they love & make when they're tired?

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  1. ok, that sounds delicious, I have to try it! Here's the stupidest easy recipe that I make all the time; in fact this might be too easy to even qualify for this thread:

    I put some frozen fruit in my magi-mix food processor, process for 5-15 seconds, add some fat-free vanilla yogurt and/or honey and process for another 5 seconds and voila: frozen yogurt! It doesn't freeze well but right out of the magi-mix it has exactly the consistency of frozen yogurt and it's fat free!


    6 Replies
    1. re: gdaerin

      When seafood prices allow (I'm also from MA) mussels steamed in white wine and some sauteed shallots or leeks, steamed clams in a tiny bit of water and the broth they make while cooking, and/ or steamed lobster in a small amount of water.

      I also soak great northern beans overnight and cook in water with a bit of oil and lots of dried sage, an easy inexpensive yum.

      1. re: chowfamily

        steamed chincoteague oysters. pretty stupid easy! boil water, add oysters and cover. when they pop open, they're done. delicious. measuring coffee in the a.m. is harder!

        i also love this one: shred savoy cabbage and stir in Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce with chopped scallions and fresh parsley / cilantro.

        1. re: chowfamily

          Bean and Feta salad. Effortless and very tasty. Just combine the ingredients below.

          Any can of beans, rinsed thoroughly (usually use a 3 bean mix)
          About an equal amount of crumbled feta
          supermarket sized bunch of scallions, chopped
          juice of half a lemon
          lots of black pepper

          1. re: flams53

            That. Sounds. Awesome! Have you tried with chick peas?

            1. re: flams53

              ok i love this and do this as well.. but add things from the pantry (most from TJs): kalamata olives, tinned arichoke hearts, tuna. also fresh items: flat leaf parsley, celery, cherry tomatoes. basically, anything i don't have to cook!

              these take no time to prep outside of opening cans and chopping herbs. and, yes, this is great with chickpeas davedigger!

              think i might have to get into the kitchen right now and throw some of this together!!!

          2. re: gdaerin

            My husband and I do this exact recipe in the blender all the time and drink it as a smoothie. It's a great weekend lunch substitute when we're busy. We tend to add vanilla-flavored protein powder too, and depending on the fruit, a little cinnamon.

          3. boxed mac and cheese with browned ground beef
            scrambled eggs
            chicken baked with sketti sauce on top topped with some cheese mebbe
            chicken/pork baked with salsa on top (like you did with the fish above, my husband doesn't like fish)

            8 Replies
            1. re: Morganna

              I go long periods without eating scrambled eggs (more of a soft boiled or sunny side fried girl), and when I do get around to eating them, I'm always struck anew how good they taste - so creamy, almost sweet. Guess that will be supper tonight...

              1. re: Gooseberry

                me, too. scrambled eggs are one of those things that, unlike sandwiches, i like best when prepared by me. i guess that goes for all eggs. i'm picky.

              2. re: Morganna

                yeah! boxed mac & cheese with salsa, side of cottage cheese!

                1. re: lil magill

                  can of beef'a'roni mixed with prepared box of mac&cheese

                  I really shouldn't admit that though

                  can of albacore drained & sleeve of saltines

                2. re: Morganna

                  Hear, hear on the mac & cheese with ground beef! I love cooking up half a pound of hamburger with some garlic, salt, pepper, and a tbsp of flour, and then throwing it into a pot of mac & cheese. Deeelish.

                  1. re: Morganna

                    Sloppy Joes are one of my favorite "stupid and easy" meals. I mix the sloppy meat with boxed mac and cheese for leftovers, yum!

                    1. re: EliEats

                      I like the sloppy joes (ground beef and can of Manwich) over white rice Easy and delish!

                    2. re: Morganna

                      You should try the boxed mac and cheese with sliced boiled hot dogs.
                      Squirt some ketchup on top... YUM!!!!!

                    3. I do something similar, with chicken tenderloins. Cover them in canned stewed tomatoes (or try the fire-roasted kind!) and bake, covered, until done. It is INCREDIBLY tender due to the acidity in the tomatoes and moisture. Perfect with rice and green beans or some such combo.


                      14 Replies
                      1. re: kaaris

                        In a similar vein - my corner butchershop/deli breads and fries boned and skinned chicken breasts every day. They're usually pretty big - the size of a dinner plate! If I'm feeling lazy but want a hot, cooked meal, I'll pick one up, along with a jar of Rao's marinara sauce or plain, old chopped tomatoes and some fresh mozzarella. Top the chicken with the sauce/tomatoes and sliced cheese and bake in the toaster oven until bubbly. It's a one-casserole, three-ingredient dinner. Just add some salad and a hunk of bread.

                        1. re: Deenso

                          I almost bought a jar of Rao's at the store the other day - is it better than my favorite,
                          Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce? I know about Rao's, so I think I'll try it.

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            I haven't tried Newman's Own, so I can't say which is better. Suppose I'll have to pick some up and give it a shot.

                            1. re: Deenso

                              Please report back. I think Rao's is great (albeit expensive).

                              1. re: gsElsbeth

                                I know Rao's is expensive, but have seen jfood reference making it at home. Here's a link to the recipe courtesy of Caitlin McGrath (from the ravioli thread):

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  Thanks K. Jfood always has a few jars that he "cans" this sauce in the basement. The major comment on the recipe is that it takes longer than 1 hour. Likewise jfood uses his immersion blender to get to the correct consistency.

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    Actually, I usually make my own sauce for pasta. It only takes as much time as it does for the water to come to a boil and for the pasta to cook. And, of course, it's much less expensive to do homemade. But I always have a jar of Rao's in the cabinet for the nights when even that little bit of prep is too much to ask of myself.

                                    1. re: Deenso

                                      I tried the sausage kind and found it to be just ok...which Rao's sauce do you like?

                                      1. re: bythebayov

                                        why is rao's so expensive? btw, if y'all want the recipe for rao's, i've got it bookmarked somewhere, and will find it.

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          HA HA...I linked to it upthread (above jfood). We really could be twins, couldn't we? ;) I'm with you--why IS it so costly?

                                          1. re: bythebayov

                                            I haven't tried the sausage, but the marinara is fine when I need something quick. My husband likes the puttanesca, as well. But I only use these in a pinch, when I just don't have time to throw together my own sauce.

                                            1. re: Deenso

                                              I have used Rao's and was not impressed. I was impressed by Muir Glen and the $1.75 Barilla roasted garlic sauce however. The Barilla only has good ingredients and huge chinks of garlic. It's quite delicious for a jarred sauce and much better than the overpriced Rao's.

                                  2. re: bayoucook

                                    oh we've known Sockarooni Sauce for 30 years, it really is 'that' good. but Rao's OMGOODNESS to me anyway worth every darn dollar.

                              2. Steam a globe artichoke for about 45 minutes to an hour and just mix together some mayo, lemon juice and salt and pull the leaves off and dip them...awesome.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Den

                                  I microwave mine for 8-10 minutes then mix mayo and soy sauce for dipping.

                                  1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch

                                    I make a good vinaigrette with mustard and balsamic vinegar, and herbs if I have them. But I use my whisk attachment on my hand mixer to whisk it so it emulsifies. Love artichoke with vinaigrette!

                                  2. re: Den

                                    I do the same for a simple meal, except I add dried dill weed to the mayo/lemon mixture. Adds a nice zing. And if I can manage I make a wild/white rice mixture up in the steamer, with some chicken broth. Tastes really yummy with the artichoke.

                                    1. Well this does have 5 ingredients, but always in my fridge but this time I had like 1/4 cup of everything. And no recipe. Everything left over that I didn't want to throw out and wanted to use some how. Well, came how late, took a piece of foil, sprayed with Pam, added like 1/4 cup or so of frozen spinach, a small frozen chicken breast, topped with 1/3 can chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons or so of ricotta and the remaining 3 or so tablespoons of mozz. folded up, oh yeah, s/p and I think the tomatoes were Italian diced). Folded up and baked. I did cut open or use one piece of cookware. Baked for 30 minutes and ate. Amazing flavor, great simple no work. Some parm would of been good which I did add as a garnish. I think I used my parsley just to give it flavor and color more than anything but not necessary. I just always garnish my food. We eat with our eyes right.

                                      Well mine does have 5 but all leftover easy and you could easily leave out one of the ingredients. But the leftover would of been thrown out otherwise so why not?

                                      Second cream cheese with cocktail sauce, crackers ... I know an old fave, but still good

                                      Desperate, I hate ramen noodles usually, but I had a pack, some left over BBQ chicken from that day, and a roasted onion salad I had made. Almost a relish for the BBQ. Well I made the soup thick, put the chicken in, put the onion relish in Took a leftover roll, melted some cheese on it and ate my soup and dipped the bread. It was great.

                                      1 jar of plum sauce, 4 chicken breasts and 1 cup of frozen onions or fresh but I used frozen. Cooked in the oven for 30 minutes. Served over two bags of uncle bens 90 second bagged rice, one was white, one wild. We mixed them.

                                      Considering we were cleaning a boat from fishing all day, starved, no food other than frozen chicken, the sauce and rice and well we did have frozen beans which I also heated up. It was either that, toast and splitting a few baby carrots, beer which was good or pizza 90 minutes later. The guy whose place we were at had no idea what plum sauce was. Well he learned. It was great. His spice cabinet consisted of s/p and Italian so s/p it was. I have to admit, for what it was, pretty good.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                        I don't do ramen either, as a rule- but was REALLY happy with it after I dosed it with some Tiger Sauce a few drops of sesame oil and some chopped scallion. Also love to scramble a raw egg, then pour it in when the water boils- great stuff.

                                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                          I make ramen (make it brothy, not dry) then add in a raw egg at the last second of cooking, mix and add any leftover meat or veggies (I like peas, bean sprouts, carrots, etc) to the broth, the egg thickens the broth and makes it taste like egg drop soup. I then I top it with sweet chilli sauce (big bottle, philipino, I think) ...mmmmmm v. comforting!

                                          1. re: bythebayov

                                            YOu put the chili sauce in the soup?

                                            1. re: lilmomma

                                              Every once in a while, I like to coddle an egg in the broth. I usually add a few drops of sesame oil and some scallions and sriracha, too.

                                          2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                            i do ramen. i admit it. i add some tom yam paste -- the base for hot and sour soup -- and sesame oil, whatever veggies i may have. i will add a boiled egg halved sometimes. (i also do cheerios for dinner. just plain with milk.)

                                            1. re: lil magill

                                              yep, i'll doctor ramen, too -- usually with fish sauce and lime juice with scallions, and toasted sesame oil. i know the sodium is not good FOR me, but sometimes, i just gotta have that little salty noodle fix.

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                love ramen with egg dropped in at the end then add sweet chili sauce and slurp up, guess was a college comfort food for me and I still love it many years later (pretty good hangover cure too btw).

                                                1. re: bythebayov

                                                  Love this one: Cook Ramen noodles as directed, needs to be soupy. Brown 1/2 lb ground beef or chuck, drain off grease. Add to noodles with canned sliced water chestnuts. Add sliced mushrooms tp make it even better. Yum. (Don't leave out the water chestnuts).

                                            2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                              Wine Ramen:

                                              Discard MSG packet.
                                              Sautee an onion or some shallots (minced).
                                              Add a sprinkle of sugar, half a bouillon cube, and about a half cup of red wine.
                                              Cook till it thickens.
                                              Prepare noodles, drain, coat them in onion/wine sauce.