I don’t know about you, but I’m all about easy recipes. I love tasty recipes, but at the end of the day, I just want to get a meal on the table. If you were to look at my favorite, you’d see that many of them require only a few ingredients beyond what I keep in the pantry. For the times that you need something easy and tasty, sticking to a “five ingredients or less” guideline (not including water, salt and pepper, and a cooking fat) can help focus your grocery list and simplify your days. Here are some ideas to help you do that.
One of my favorite go-to meals is a French dip sandwich. I use my oven’s broiler setting to toast hoagie rolls and melt cheese onto them before I add caramelized onions and roast beef slices. We dip the whole thing in hot au jus gravy, and the end result is melty, flavorful goodness in five ingredients. I don’t typically love sandwiches, but I look forward to this meal. Because it’s so simple, the flavors that come with high-quality ingredients make a big difference, so I try to buy bread, cheese and meat that’s a step up from our ordinary. Try it with other sandwiches, too. Next time you’re at a deli, take a closer look at their menu and see if you can recreate your favorite sandwich, or look through some of these recipes for more ideas on how to make a simple sandwich sing.
No matter how many nutritional fads may come and go, it’s generally accepted that it’s healthy to eat from a variety of food groups. You can vary it for your preferences and diet, but I try to include a protein, a starch and a vegetable in my meals. It’s healthy and gives a guideline to plan meals around. It also makes simple recipes feel more well-rounded. Stir-fried vegetables and chicken with rice is one of our favorites because we get a tasty combination of flavors and textures without much effort. If you have a meal you love that doesn’t include veggies, you can keep some baby carrots, snap peas or cucumber on hand to steam, eat raw or throw in with some lettuce to make a salad — it’s easy and healthy. Looking for inspiration? Try some of these healthy, five-ingredient recipes to add to your rotation.
Almost every week, I make a dish with pasta and meat. It’s easy, cheap, and I can vary the meat and the sauce with little to no effort. Marinara sauce, pesto, Italian sausage, ground beef, chicken and different pastas allow for endless combinations. The best part? My grocery list is short, and I can get a variety of meals on the table without learning a new recipe. It doesn’t have to be pasta, though: Find what basics you like to come back to and then look for ways to switch them up. Try it with fish, rice, chicken, salads — whatever you enjoy cooking and eating.
If you want more easy recipes to keep in your arsenal, join us for our Five Ingredients or Less class! To register call 405.377.3333. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Abby McCain is the Communications and Marketing Secretary at Meridian Technology Center.