Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 10 meals in a hurry

I’m writing this blog as much as a favour to myself as to anyone who might be interested in reading it.

I would be the first to admit that I am not one to plan my meals ahead or to want to spend any more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary. While I have great respect for good cooking and admire people, like my husband, who enjoy experimenting with new recipes and fancy ingredients, I tend to cook simple, straight-forward fare, preferably using few pots/pans and requiring minimal prep time.

So, for anyone out there who finds themselves stuck on what to cook for dinner, with the energy to spend no more than about 15 minutes prepping, and yet a desire to have something relatively healthy and balanced to eat, here are my top ten meals-in-a hurry. (Warning: I am a vegetarian.)

1) Bean Chilli
Chop up an onion and garlic and get these frying while you raid the fridge for any peppers or other vegetables you’d like to add. Add some spices (I’m a fan of dried chilli flakes, cumin and cinnamon) and other veggies. Toss in a couple cans of beans (i.e. chick peas, black beans) and some tomato sauce. Simmer and serve.

If you want to make this more of an indulgent comfort food, after simmering for awhile – pour these over a bed of tortilla chips, add some salsa and grated cheese and pop in the oven.

2) Rice and Lentils
I made this one tonight - it’s my fall-back food when I’m feeling the need for something basic and healthy.

On one burner I get a pot of brown rice going. On another, I begin again with onion and garlic – also adding minced ginger and mustard seeds. For spices I’ll use cumin, turmeric and maybe curry powder. Finely chopped red peppers are nice to add too.

When these soften, I’ll toss in a bunch of lentils then add water and stock cubes. Depending on cooking time needed, I’ll add things like kale or spinach after the lentils have cooked for a bit. This all takes about 30 mins to cook – but needs very little prep or fuss.

To be continued.

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