Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Five 10-Minute Summer Meals

I mentioned that I have been a wee bit uninspired lately. The good thing about that? It gets me thinking about cheap, easy, short-cooking meals. You can go out for burgers or pizza if you want. I won't stop you; it's summer and all. But if you want some nice, fresh, home-cooked meals that won't make you think too hard or heat up your house, and that will taste pretty dang awesome too, here are five.

1. BLT's. Try this one with avocado mayonnaise to blow your mind. Throw in a salad in a bag if you want to make it healthier.

2. Quesadillas with chopped baby chopped spinach. Chop the spinach small and it'll melt right into that cheese. I like to dip them in salsa, guacomole, sour cream, or ranch dressing, but I bet a million bucks that if you've got some leftover avocado mayonnaise it will rock your quesadilla world.

3. Browned Butter Tilapia. Serve it with couscous and some steamed broccoli.

4. Pasta salad with chicken and tarragon sauce. I admit that the pasta will take a little longer than 10 minutes unless you get something nice and small, which you could. You can make this with 1 C leftover chicken or use a can of chicken to make the 10-minute mark. If you've got another 10 minutes, though, boil yourself some chicken and pasta and have a from-scratch meal. Cook the pasta until al dente, run it under cold water until cool. Add the chicken, 1/2 C mayo, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp mustard, and 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon. (We'll have more on this salad later. It's super simple, but super good.) Add some chopped olives if you wish or chopped tomatoes. (Or finely diced cucumber or thinly sliced celery or peas or whatever it is you've got languishing in your fridge.)

4. Omelet with tomatoes, chopped baby spinach, and cheddar. The nice thing about an omelet is that it can act as a sort of catch all. You can throw leftover veggies from the week into it. You can serve it with leftover couscous mixed with any leftover fish/chicken/broccoli/browned butter sauce/avocado mayonnaise you've got and it'll be yum.

Shopping list:
1 bag baby spinach: 1.79
1 avocado: 1.00
1 breast chicken or 1 can chicken: 2.00
1 lb tilapia: 5.00
6 eggs: .60
1 head broccoli: .75
1 box couscous: 2.50
6 slices bacon: 1.25
1 lb small pasta such as baby shells: 1.00
1-2 tomatoes: .75
salad in a bag: 2.50
1 package tortillas: 1.00
8 oz cheddar: 1.79
Total: $17.93 or about 3.59/night for 4 servings.

Other stuff you'll need, but probably have:
lemon juice
tarragon--fresh or dry

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