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Quick and easy cooking
Member Name: historywitch
Advantages: Its quick and easy
I often find myself in the position of having to create meals relatively quickly and with the minimum of fuss, as we have an open plan kitchen/lounge which is none too safe with a toddler. I also have a husband who likes to invite work colleagues round on a regular basis (with the minimum of warnings, naturally) and a number of children who I look after for people, so food needs to be quick, easy, nutritious and filling. I am also often caught out by Swiss supermarket opening hours and the fact that the whole canton shuts down for Catholic holidays, for which there is little warning (my husband rang me in a panic from the UK last week to remind me that it was Easter and there would be no shopping from Friday night to Tuesday morning!). So the recipes also have to be simple.
Here are a few of my most relied upon:
Quick Risotto (Serves 3 adults):
160g risotto rice (any of the types)
one stock cube
Teaspoon of olive oil
600ml hot water
Two cloves of garlic, chopped
One small onion, chopped
Vegetables of your choice, peeled and chopped relatively fine or leftover veg (I usually use one carrot, quarter of a small cauliflower, handful of frozen peas etc).
Optional; grated cheese, crispy bacon, wilted spinach leaves to garnish/mix in
Put the stock cube in the water to dissolve.
Put the oil in a saucepan and when it is hot add the onion and garlic. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the dry rice and fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in the hot stock and throw in the (raw vegetables).
Bring to the boil
Turn the heat down to a low simmer.
Walk away and leave for 15mins.
It will be ready when almost all of the water has been absorbed.
Serve and garnish to your taste.
This makes a lovely accompaniment to other meals as well as a delicious meal on its own. I often serve it with sausages or crusty bread. This is excellent for children if you halve the stock cube- you can add more herbs for flavour. When my daughter was refusing all vegetables I chopped them up really fine and put them in the risotto. They all take on the flavour of the stock and could not easily be picked out, especially the cauliflower. This is also a great way to use up leftover vegetables, just add them a few minutes before you serve, so they warm through.
Couscous (serves 2):
Ah, the student staple. This is a quick and easy meal that takes less than ten minutes.
100 grams of couscous
Handful of raisins
Desertspoon of pesto
Small carrot, grated
Red meat, cubed (we usually use ostrich because that is the cheapest meat we can get here but it works with most red meats)
Spoon of honey
Olive oil (half a dessertspoon)
Put the couscous and raisins in a bowl and add hot water until there is about half a centimetre of water over the level of the couscous. Cover and leave on one side.
Put the olive oil into a wok or big saucepan and put on high heat. When the oil is hot add the cubed meat and a spoonful of honey (to your taste). Stir fry the meat for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Place the meat in a bowl and put to one side.
Mix couscous, pesto and grated carrot together. You can also add grated cheese if you want.
Serve with the meat.
Pasta with stuff:
Quickest and easiest:
Enough pasta for the people you want to serve.
3 cubes of frozen spinach
Handful of frozen peas
Optional: grated cheese, crispy bacon.
Put pasta and spinach in saucepan with water.
Add peas until cooked
Drain and serve.
This one is my guilt free, ten minute maximum, no fuss meal for when Olivia is having a meltdown. Most of the spinach sticks to the pasta but doesn’t overwhelm it and it convinced Olivia that spinach is the very nectar of the gods, so I get to look smug when she picks spinach out of food and eats it first.
A few other quick and easy additions to a meal:
Cream cheese sauce:
Half a pint of milk
Half a tub of cream cheese (preferably with garlic/herbs).
Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt until bubbling.
Add flour and make a paste.
Take the saucepan off the heat and add the milk. Stir and put back on the heat.
Stir continually until mixture begins to thicken.
Add cream cheese
Stir for another two/three minutes.
If its too thick for your taste you can thin it with a little milk.
This goes particularly well with baked/steamed fish or poured over boiled potatoes.
Garlic butter courgettes:
However many courgettes you need for the people coming.
One clove of garlic per large courgette, chopped roughly
Knob of butter
Small amount of water
Put all ingredients in microwave safe jug.
Activate microwave device for three minutes.
Check courgettes are cooked, if not you can put them back for another minute or two.
Can also be done in oven (for 20 minutes or so at 180)
Really spices up a couple of scoops of icecream or an apple tart.
Handful of frozen berries
Teaspoon of sugar
Drop of water
Place in microwavable vessel (one that wont stain)
Microwave for a minute.
My daughter prefers it without the sugar, but she will eat frozen blueberries straight from the freezer. Add sugar according to your personal taste.
Summary: For those days when you just dont feel like cooking a six course banquet.