Resources for meals that are GENUINELY quick and easy to make?

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If you can get ahold of the back catalog, I recommend an older cooking show called “Good Eats”. The host goes over a lot of the internal logic of cooking and why things are done the way they are. Eventually you start learning how to put together recipes yourself instead of relying on other people’s instructions so much.

Sagasujin

I cannot recommend Budget Bytes enough. The epitome of East Cheap and Healthy plus very simple recipes. I learned to cook in college from this blog.

ProfChubChub

I really like Skinnytaste’s recipes. They’re easy to follow and always turn out tasty. More generally, I would look for “one pot”, sheet pan, or crockpot recipes. Those are usually straightforward, and consist of a lot of soups and pastas that allow for a huge margin of error. I mostly used those in college when I was first experimenting with cooking.

nightmareinsouffle

Got one for ya: parmesan chicken, only 4 ingredients. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a bowl in the microwave. Be careful, it melts fast. Dip skinless boneless chicken breasts or strips in the butter, then into a bowl that has 2 parts bread crumbs (comes in a cardboard cylinder) mixed with one part grated parmesan cheese (the butter is just to help the breadcrumbs and cheese stick). Put in a baking dish, salt and pepper if you like, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. You can tell when the chicken is cooked thoroughly when you stick a fork in, take it out, and then clear liquid will come out of the fork holes. One of my faves, hope you like it!

IHeldADandelion

Learn some basics, one by one: – how to cook pasta — top tips: use more water than you think you need, put more salt in the water than you think you need, taste the pasta every 30 sec after the first 8 min until you like the texture, save the last little bit of the pasta water to use in your sauce – how to cook rice — top tips: find a rice variety you like and cook with it consistently, try a few different cooking methods to find one that works for you (open pan/closed pan/microwave) – how to cook eggs (scrambled, boiled, fried) – how to cook vegetables (sautéed, roasted) – how to cook protein (meat and substitutes) – how to cook bases for sauces (white, red) From these basics you can make essentially infinite combinations of quick and cheap meals. Learn some principles: – prepping/cutting — cut things into equal sizes if you want it all to cook at the same rate — cut things into different sizes for variation and texture (you’ll have to play with your timing and temperature control) – timing and temperature control — cooking things at a low temperature for a long time will tend to make things rich and mushy (think stews, roasted vegetables) — cooking things at a high temperature for a short time will tend to make things light and crispy (think steaks, stir fried vegetables) — use your sense organs: eyes, ears and nose to help you keep on top of timing and temperature control (and avoid burning things) – seasoning — taste, taste, taste! You’ll know your food is seasoned correctly when you taste it and feel your mouth juices running. If they’re not, add a little salt/pepper/lemon juice/vinegar/sugar/spice and taste again.

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