I hate to cook sooo much. Cooking to me is a chore, on par with cleaning the toilets. I’ve tried to change my mind about it and like sushi, it’s never going to happen. My culinary expertise extends to my middle school, home-ec education.
Despite attempting to get by and do as little cooking as possible, I had kids; 2 in fact. I didn’t want them growing up like I did where every night we ate out or at my father’s restaurant (ironic isn’t it?). Sure we had 1 home cooked meal a week and this was on Sunday nights. It was the one day our dad was home from the restaurant and would cook for us.
So I improvised. I found meals that are on my level (moron) that are quick and easy, yet seem home-cooked. I always get pissed when recipes claim they are quick and 1 hour later, the meal is done. Nope, these are my level of quick. They’ve tasted really good and I’ve made them over and over. Prep time ranges from 5-15 minutes and that’s it. No “just kidding….now you have to make xyz…..” as recipes tend to fool you. The one thing you NEED TO GET is a crock pot. Seriously, fork over $20 bucks and grab one. Next, get crock pot liners (Kroger now has the generic ones) so you never have to clean that nightmare out.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sammies (serves 8)
Put the following in a crock pot: 1 pork tenderloin
Pour the following on top:
- 1 can of root beer
- 1 bottle (18 ounces) of bbq sauce
Cook on low for around 7 hours. Shred, done.
Shrimp and Red Pepper Pasta (Serves 4)
I make this loosely following the ingredient quantities. It always turns out delicious! The key is to ensure you buy everything pre-sliced and pre-thawed so it’s just a matter of you tossing together.
- 3/4 cup ranch dressing
- 3 ounces of shredded Parmesan cheese
- angel hair pasta
- 1 pound of medium shrimp (I usually thaw out shrimp)
- 1 jar (12 ounces) of drained, pre-sliced or diced roasted red peppers
- 1/2 pre-sliced fresh mushrooms
- Fresh basil (about 1/2 cup if using fresh) or dried basil to taste
Combine ranch dressing and Parmesan cheese. Set aside. Cook the pasta as directed, drain, set aside. Melt butter in skillet, cook mushrooms for 2 minutes, throw in shrimp, cook 3-5 minutes. Combine hot pasta, salad dressing mixture, basil and shrimp mixture.
Freezer To Plate Meals (Says it serves 4 but more like 2 hungry adults, but then again, I do overeat)
I am obviously not being paid to write this post but this meal helper is delicious when followed right. Because we eat like 400 pound men that have spent the last 2 weeks in a POW camp, sometimes need 2 boxes. You can check it out here. You can purchase at Kroger, I know for sure. The chicken marsala is my favorite with the lemon garlic herb a close second.
The directions are on the box but you literally place 2-4 frozen chicken breasts and place in a baking dish as well as the dried pasta in the box, add the water they advise to add, spread the sauce on the chicken. I can’t remember if you cover with foil or not but the directions tell you. The meals taste like you’ve been slaving for hours. Prep time is like 5 minutes.
Marinated Flank Steak
I could roll around in steak if it were socially acceptable. I love steak more than my Chihuahua, not gonna lie. I found this super easy marinade. The worst problem I’ve had is remembering to marinade in the morning so it’s ready when I get home from work.
Ingredients (I know it’s a lot but have your kids get it out, it’s summertime and they should be pulling their weight around here)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I have omitted when I don’t have)
- 1.5 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 2 minced garlic cloves (just get that jar of already minced garlic; it works great!)
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1.5 pounds of flank steak
7-12 hours before chow time- Put everything except the steak in a large freezer bag. Seal the bag and mix the ingredients by massaging the plastic. Throw the steak in now, make sure all the ingredients coat the meat, let out excess air and refrigerate until use.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat, throw the meat on, throw out the marinade. Grill for 5 minutes per side or till it’s not mooing anymore. I have also cooked this with my broiler. You can do this by pre-heating the broiler as well as the broiler pan. Once it’s all super hot put the steak in. 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare.