Bow-tie pasta with broccoli, chicken breast and parmesan cheese. Photographer: Hillary Levin/TNS
This one is about real food.
Not fancified, froufrou, food-writer food. No scallops of veal or veal of scallops, no soupçons of crème anglaise or artistically arranged swirls of demiglace.
This one is about real food. This is about the food you cook when you come home after your commute was longer than your work day, when you have to take one kid to hockey practice and another to Girl Scouts and another to band practice, and you’re pretty sure you only have two kids.
When you’re tired and hungry and pressed for time, apparently, you want the nutritional requirements for an entire meal in one dish. These recipes make use of prepared items you get at the store.
BOW-TIE PASTA WITH BROCCOLI, CHICKEN BREAST AND PARMESAN CHEESE
1 pound bowtie pasta, shell pasta or fusilli
Florets from 1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 to 3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
Garlic salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 2 to 3 minutes of boiling, add the broccoli. Drain. Add chicken, garlic salt, butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss. Serve on pasta plates, bowls or regular plates, and tell your family to be happy about it.
TIKKA MASALA NAAN PIZZA
4 naan flatbreads
1 1/2 cups tikka masala simmer sauce (from a jar)
4 chicken thighs, cooked and diced
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 large mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1/2 cup fresh spinach, washed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the naan on baking sheets and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with the tikka masala sauce. Top with the chicken, mushrooms and cheese. Place whole leaves of spinach on top. Bake until cheese is melted and naan is browned at the edges.
PERFECT INSTANT RAMEN
3/4 cup broccoli florets
1 pack ramen noodles with flavour packet (save on sodium by using 1/2 packet)
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 slices American cheese
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias
Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Add the noodles and cook 2 minutes. Add the flavour packet and continue to cook 30 more seconds. With the broth at a low simmer, carefully add the egg. Do not stir; pull the noodles over the egg and let sit for 3 minutes to poach. Transfer everything to a serving bowl, add the butter, cheese and sesame seeds, and mix everything all together. Garnish with scallions.
WHAT’S IN THE FRIDGE QUESADILLA
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 flour tortillas
1 cup cooked broccoli florets
4 sliced mushrooms, sautéed
1/2 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup shredded cheese, such as Colby Jack
Note: These fillings are only suggestions. Use whatever you have leftover in the refrigerator.
Heat oil in a skillet until hot and add 1 tortilla. Cook 1 minute, then remove. Place the other tortilla on the skillet and scatter evenly with the broccoli, mushrooms and tomato. Top with the cheese. Place the other tortilla on top, oiled-side up. Cook 1 minute until bottom tortilla is nicely browned. Flip quesadilla and cook until cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve immediately.
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