So this week I didn’t make it to the grocery store and needed to make space in my cabinets. A slew of canned goods were demanding my attention. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share three easy, quick recipes that are healthy and tasting pretty good. The first is perhaps my favorite in no small part because it requires the least amount of prep and ingredients. The second is recipe makes for some excellent lunch fair. Finally, the third is perhaps the best tasting. All of these recipes are no more than 40 minutes total, including prep and cook time.
As someone raised in the Midwest, casseroles are something that are quite familiar. “Hot dish” is the typical regionalism. This recipe isn’t quite at that level but it does require a casserole dish. I have a great Pyrex dish that’s about 7.5 x 11 that is perfect for this recipe. If you don’t have a dish like this, just use a cake pan making sure you butter it well or sprinkle a bit of cooking oil around so that nothing sticks too much.
1 can of artichoke hearts (15 oz.)
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of garlic pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or tenders)
What I really like about this recipe is that all the ingredients can be purchased and then squirreled away for use well down the line. I tend to make this when I don’t know what else to make for dinner.
1) Drain the water from the artichoke hearts. If you want, chop them in half and squeeze out the extra water in them, but this is entirely optional. In a medium sized bowl mix all the ingredients together.
2) Once the ingredients are all mixed, set the bowl aside. Take the chicken and cut it up into strips (if you’re using tenders you can just skip this). Lay the chicken out evenly in the dish.
3) Then spread the mixture in the bowl over the top of the chicken trying your best to cover is all. Don’t worry about getting it between all the chicken pieces, just make sure it covers the entire top. Your oven should be preheated to 375. Toss the dish into the over and let it bake uncovered for at least 30 minutes. Your finished product should resemble this:
Sriracha Black Bean Burgers
I hate frying anything. So, I tend to bake a lot of food. In the summer it can be a pain, just making the entire house ridiculously hot. Fortunately, I have an old George Foreman Grill and this gets the job done. For this recipe, I used the oven.
1 can of black beans (16 oz.)
1 red bell pepper
A third of a cup of scallions or green onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of cumin
1.5 cups of quick oats
A third of a cup of sesame seeds
A third cup of sriracha (or a half cup of BBQ sauce)
1) Rinse and drain the black beans. If you’d like, mash them up.
2) Chop up the bell pepper into manageable pieces that can be put into a food processor. Toss the pepper, onion, garlic, and beans into the food processor and chop it all up. Then add the egg, oaks, sesame seeds, cumin, and sriracha and mix it all together.
3) Dump the food processor mixture into a bowl. Add more oats if necessary to thicken up the mixture. If you want to have a firmer mixture to form into patties, put the bowl into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. I tend to skip this step.
4) Put a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet (aluminum foil would work as well). Dole out the mixture into dollops that form patties of about two inches wide maybe half an inch thick.
5) Bake these at 375 degrees for at least 10 minutes. You don’t have to flip them but it doesn’t hurt to do so. The burgers are dry but depending on how much sriracha used they can have a satisfying bite.
This is a good recipe to make ahead of time & freeze into patties.
Tuna Fish Melt
This recipe started out as Tuna Fish Cakes but I could never get the patties to stay together. However, I love it because there’s no way mess this up. Even the cooked mess tastes brilliant. For this, I use my George Foreman grill.
2 cans of tuna
1 cup of Panko
1 cup of water
1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of shredded carrot
Quarter cup of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
Optional: 2 tablespoons of sriracha
1) Mix all ingredients into a bowl and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.
2) Using an ice cream scoop, put a dollop on the grill or skillet. I can usually fit three scoops on my Foreman Grill.
3) Usually it only takes about five minutes for each group of dollops to cook. The mixture usually yields about nine scoops. As mentioned, I can never get actual cakes made intact. The dollops usually slide off the grill without difficulty, a fork or a spatula will do the trick. It doesn’t look pretty but it tastes good.
4) I like to serve this by itself or on toasted sourdough.