Sometimes, you have very little time or energy to make that delicious meal you’ve been promising yourself all day. Yet, eating well needn’t be time or energy-consuming. Here are some simple yet effective home-cooked meals, as seen in a recent online cooking discussion.
1. Mexican Chicken Tinga
A thread member posts a great recipe for Mexican chicken tinga: cheap, smoked chipotle chilis, tomatoes, and garlic, grilled, puréed, and mixed with shredded chicken. “You can use tinga as a filling for enchiladas, burritos, empanadas, quesadillas, and many more things,” writes the generous chef. Mexican food is a wonderful tinga.
2. Roast Meat
“By far, I think a roast will get you the most bang for your buck,” shares another cooking enthusiast. Nothing beats a roast dinner, especially as it takes little effort. You sear some nice meat — I like a beef sirloin joint — before letting it roast in an oven with par-boiled potatoes. The key move is to save the roasting juices to make a rich gravy — vegetables on the side are also uncomplicated.
3. Pulled Pork
“One of the easiest meals I make is slow cooker pulled pork,” says the next meat lover. I agree with this selection; pulled pork is so simple, and I am surprised anyone would buy the expensive, ready-made version. “Get yourself a shoulder of either bone-in or boneless for less expensive and much better pulled pork,” adds another pork puller, who feels pork loin is too good for this dish.
4. Stuffed Shells
While I had to double-take at this recipe, shells refer to pasta shells — a far cry from stuffing beach shells. The recipe sharer swears by a simple list for filling: “One pound of ground beef, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, and a box of jumbo shells.” Before you think this sounds a little dry, just know that these are smothered in pasta sauce and then topped with the mozzarella. Sounds like Comfort Food 101 to me.
5. Hawaiian Chicken
A divergent alternative comes up after one thread poster shares their crock pot chicken with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. “My wife does something very similar to this, but she also adds a can of pineapple chunks and calls it Hawaiian chicken,” claims a grateful husband. “There are never any leftovers.” Pizza with pineapple may have controversies, but chicken and pineapple are great friends if treated right.
6. Quick Beef Ramen
One commenter explains that she uses a ramen seasoning packet and diced onion, mushrooms, garlic, and sliced carrots. She then uses soy, sriracha, ginger cinnamon, and chili flakes to take the broth to a new level. I will add one important sidenote: boil the noodles separately before dropping them in the broth. If you cook them in the broth, you will ruin it.
7. Garlic Chili Shrimp
If you like crustaceans and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, this next dish will keep any dinner guests happy — at least for an appetizer. It is simple: fry garlic, chili, and prawns in a pan and add a twist of lemon. “Rip up a baguette to serve it with,” the cook offers. “Tastes the bomb and is ridiculously easy.”
8. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Soup is most northern hemisphere countries’ favorite winter comfort dish, and I would bet most people favor tomato soup. There is no better way to serve tomato soup than with grilled cheese. “Oddly enough, my boyfriend said the first time I made him grilled cheese and tomato soup, he knew he was going to marry me one day,” writes an observer.
9. Popcorn Chicken
“I made a recipe for popcorn chicken that all of my friends and boyfriend absolutely rave about,” suggests the next writer. It is hard to go wrong with boneless, crispy chicken nuggets, though this commenter uses chicken breast. I often cook deep-fried Korean chicken, and boneless thighs are superior in flavor.
“You guys are thinking about this too,” jokes a comfort food champion. “Everyone loves waffles, no matter what time of day it is. The slower you pour the syrup, the more impressive you will come across.” Who can argue with this sweet offering — and its soundbite that sounds like Leslie Knope trying to seduce someone? What’s even cooler is that some people say, “Yeah, now just add fried chicken.”