Easy Food Hacks/Recipes - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Easy Food Hacks/Recipes


Between the threat of COVID and my dad's retirement we eat at home all the time now. But you can only have things so often before they get boring; I can't count the number of times we've had hot dogs or taquitos over the past few months. So lately I've been looking up food "hacks," or quick and easy recipes to spice up things we've got at home. I was wondering if anyone here had some to share -- just anything that's fairly quick and easy to make. I'll start with a few of my favorites.

- Frito Pie: Heat chili (I like Nalley original) with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions on stovetop until bubbling (or microwave if you're lazy). Serve over fritos in bowl.

- Creamy Sriracha Ramen: Boil ramen noodles as instructed on package, then drain. Put about 1/8 cup of butter into a bowl, and dump noodles over it. Add sriracha and red pepper flakes to taste, and stir well. Try with Oriental flavor packet if you don't mind the MSG.

- Spicy Peanut Ramen: Boil ramen noodles as instructed on package. Stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Pour into a bowl and add sriracha to taste. Try with Chicken flavor packet if you don't mind the MSG.

- Bacon Hashbrown Burger: Heat a little oil on high heat. Add frozen hash browns, chopped onions, shredded cheese and pre-cooked, chopped-up bacon. Stir frequently until browned. At the same time, brown hamburger patty in a separate pan; season to taste. Toast ciabatta rolls in pan with burger. Put down one side of the ciabatta bun on a plate and load with the hashbrown mix; add the burger and the rest of the hashbrown mix; top with the other bun. Try BBQ sauce for a little extra kick.

I think next I'm going to try ramen with soy sauce and garlic, as I've heard that's pretty good. Also a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. I know there are a lot of things you can do with eggs but I've never been a fan, so I skip those.

Anyone else have some they'd like to share?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 08:23 PM
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Not really since I hate cooking and don't really try anything but my brother was making microwavable mug chocolate cakes a while ago I think using like drinking chocolate powder or maybe chocolate bars sometimes and then cake ingredients in a mug. Well you can find recipes for that on Google since I just searched. As I say I haven't tried that myself though.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 08:33 PM
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Get a Japanese or Korean rice cooker. Just need to wash the rice for a couple minutes then dump it into the rice cooker with the appropriate amount of water and voila. I usually make a batch of it once a week. Stays edible for at least a week in the fridge. If you are cooking for a family I guess you would make rice 2-3 times a week. If I had a car, I'd buy one of those 20 pound bags.

Rice goes well with most everything (beans, stir fried veggies, curry, tofu, etc.) and is very cheap. It is also quite filling compared to bread. Usually I feel full for at least 5 hours. With bread I get hungry again in 3 hours or less.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 09:23 PM
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It's not as good as on the stove but sometimes I'll spray a little oil in a ceramic bowl, pour in some beaten eggs (or egg beaters or liquid egg whites) and cover and stick in in the microwave until they're fluffy done. It's good for lazy times when you really don't want to clean a dirty pan and spatula and so forth.

I also make eggs this way in Sistema steamer cups. I sometimes put mayo or cottage cheese or sour cream on my eggs. This definitely can make up for the lack of pan fried yum with microwave eggs. That and lots of black pepper.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 10:15 PM
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Tuna sandwich - just mix two cans tuna with mayo to your taste, slap between bread.
Dried lentils - Takes 30 minutes to cook, add curry spice or chili spice mix, eat with rice. Can put in tomatoes/salsa too for acidic taste.
Fried eggs - Just heat oil in pan on medium, crack the eggs into it and leave it alone til the whites are solid enough. Eat with rice, soy sauce and tobasco/sriacha if you like heat.
Kim Chi/Pickled vegetables - These can be an instant meal with rice.
Oatmeal - Can add anything to it for endless variety: banana, raisin, peanut butter, honey etc etc... Cook as batch and you can just heat up a bowl in the morning and add your toppings.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies so far! It's interesting to see what people come up with.

@Persephone The Dread

I like cooking but usually I'm too lazy to do anything fancy, or anything that requires a lot of time. We make Jambalaya every few weeks -- it's freaking DELICIOUS but it takes like an hour to prepare. Fortunately we typically make a large enough batch for leftovers, though lately we've been giving a lot to some friends of my parents because they've been helping us out. I've seen stuff about microwavable mug desserts; I'll have to look into that, it sounds good!

@komorikun

I love rice but I don't eat it nearly enough. We have a combo rice cooker and steamer that works pretty well. And we buy big bags of it at Sam's Club. The problem is I always feel like I have to do something fancy like stir fry when I make rice; I need to find some simpler combos that don't require lots of fresh veggies or meats. I wonder if frozen veggies would work with rice somehow... maybe throw them into a pan and stir-fry with the cooked rice or something. Or maybe just add butter and some seasonings like soy sauce or sriracha. I'll have to Google it; thanks for the idea.

@WillYouStopDave

I've tried getting into eggs so many times but I just don't like them. Except on a burger; that's good stuff. I recently tried making a breakfast scramble with hash browns, onions, cheese, bacon and eggs. But I used too many eggs so it overpowered the flavor of everything else. Plus I didn't feel good afterward. I've got a dairy intolerance so maybe that's why, though nothing seems to affect me quite as acutely as eggs.

@firelight

Tuna = stinky fish! Always hated the stuff. Oatmeal is a good idea though; we have a big canister of the Quaker oats. Wonder what I can make with that...

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 02:51 AM
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@Tetragammon

I hadn't heard of Jambalaya before but that does look good.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 03:42 AM
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I use to always mix Jambalaya with wheat toasts. A pot will last me a nearly whole week like this.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 09:20 AM
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If you can get brown lentils, something really awesome you can do - Pasta with pan-fried lentils and soy sauce: boil lentils for 15 to 20 minutes, so that they're cooked but not too soft. If you can get your hands on some garlic, add some chopped garlic to the next part, it goes really well with the lentils. Pan-fry lentils in olive oil, while boiling pasta of your choice. You'll know when the lentils are done when you see a bunch of foam. They get somewhat browned and the taste is so different compared to regular boiled lentils. If the lentils are too crunchy, you would need to cook the lentils longer next time in the pot. Add soy sauce (I use tamari) to lentils. Mix with pasta.

Something more simpler - just toast with olive oil.

I guess you eat a lot of ramen? I used to like to eat it raw, just break it up in the package before opening it. Sparingly add some of the seasoning to it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 12:43 PM
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- one-pot pasta recipes (for example, I like Martha Stewart's)
- frozen french fries and frozen hamburger patties are quick and easy to make
- pasta with garlic, parsley, and parmesan (chef John's "Aglio e olio" recipe is good)
- pasta with pesto (I can share my recipe if you want)
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 01:33 PM
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Yeah, pesto is very easy to make. Just need a food processor. Only thing difficult about it is some parts of the year basil is very hard to find.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veron View Post
- pasta with garlic, parsley, and parmesan (chef John's "Aglio e olio" recipe is good)
I just watched that one a few days ago. It looked good, so I may have to try it sometime soon.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 01:52 PM
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Just learn how to make a basic pasta sauce - onion, garlic, cannned tomatoes, tomato paste ect - then you can make variations on it to make a beef casserole (if you're not a vegan), add chicken - whatever.

Or make stir-fry's. Get decent chicken breast from the shops, add some baby broccoli or beans or bok choy and some soy sauce and honey and have it with rice. There's nothing much simpler to make than that. It's very easy and there's no crap in it.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 02:42 AM
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Most of the stuff I cook takes 1-1.5 hours, so it's a bit of a challenge to think of some quick things!

- My definite number one will be pasta with chilli & garlic. Put pasta to boil. Chop chilli (or use dried chilli flakes), chop garlic (I like 4-6 cloves). Heat a little olive oil in a pan with chilli and garlic. Once the oil is infused and the garlic is crunchy, pour this over drained pasta. Add grated cheese if you like.
- Scrambled tofu on toast. Toast bread. Drain tofu, scramble in a pan with a bit of margarine/butter and smoked paprika/sliced spring onions. Put on toast. I preferred this to eggs even when I used to eat eggs.
- I no longer eat fish or dairy, but this used to be something I loved in the past: buy hot-smoked salmon (or other fish), flake it (or buy flakes). Mix with creme fraiche (or sour cream, or even plain greek yoghurt). Eat on toast.
- Rosti: grate a potato or two (use the coarser side of a box grater). Grate an onion. Mix both, drain any liquid. Season. Heat oil in a pan. Flatten down and press the mixture into the pan to form one large cake. Cook on medium heat, then turn it upside down (with a spatula or a plate). Cook until crisp on both sides and cooked inside. You can eat this with bacon/eggs/sour cream/etc. I just like it plain.

But if I wanted to cook fast and easy meals all the time, I probably would invest in a George Foreman-type grill. Grilling things is easy and relatively healthy.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
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Just learn how to make a basic pasta sauce - onion, garlic, cannned tomatoes, tomato paste ect - then you can make variations on it to make a beef casserole (if you're not a vegan), add chicken - whatever.
I am lazy. I started with Prego and eventually moved to Classico. I found Classico to be the perfect blend of easy, cheap and delicious.

/WYSD
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave View Post
I am lazy. I started with Prego and eventually moved to Classico. I found Classico to be the perfect blend of easy, cheap and delicious.
Sorry mate - I don't what that is. Are they brands of pasta sauce?

I used them a bit ages ago until I learnt how easy it was to make my own. As long as you add some salt and (they say) a touch of sugar it'll be fine. I think it takes a bit of the acidity away or something.

My wife's from an Italian background - and she says I make better pasta sauce than her, so I guess that's something. I'm not really much of a cook but there are a few things I can do okay.
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