Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Recipe Requests => Topic started by: MrsJWine on May 23, 2012, 11:11:19 AM

Title: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on May 23, 2012, 11:11:19 AM
I'm going out of town in a couple of weeks. My husband is and has been completely willing to learn how to cook; it's just always easier and more convenient for me to do it, since I'm home, and he's at work. I figure this is a good opportunity for him to learn a few things instead of making sandwiches and frozen veggies for every meal. I'd like for him to make things that have more healthy ingredients than cream of chicken soup and a handful of frozen broccoli. I'm a fan of comfort food myself, but a week straight of it won't be good for him or the kids. Thanks!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Oh Joy on May 23, 2012, 11:23:35 AM
Fun question!

Is there anything he already does well (like cook meat on the grill) or has only had disastrous results trying (like frying eggs)?
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Sheila Take a Bow on May 23, 2012, 11:46:13 AM
How much time will he have for cooking?  (Will he get home half an hour before dinnertime, or will he have more time than that?)

Do you have a slow cooker?

(And would it be possible for you to cook something in advance and freeze it, so that way he can have a break from cooking if he needs it?  A week might be a long time for a cooking novice, at least it would be for my husband.)
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on May 23, 2012, 11:59:51 AM
He makes insanely good quesadillas, but those aren't exactly health food. He's not really terrible at anything; he just has no experience.

How much time will he have for cooking?  (Will he get home half an hour before dinnertime, or will he have more time than that?)

Do you have a slow cooker?

(And would it be possible for you to cook something in advance and freeze it, so that way he can have a break from cooking if he needs it?  A week might be a long time for a cooking novice, at least it would be for my husband.)

He'll be taking a few days off work, so he'll be home all day. We do have a slow cooker.

I usually freeze a meal or two in advance, but both of us would really like him to be able to cook when necessary. There have been times when I've suddenly gotten sick or had to go home for a funeral, and there wasn't any time to do that. It would just be nice to know that I can say, "Hey, hon, can you cook dinner tonight?" The girls eat so little that he probably wouldn't have to cook every night anyway; leftovers from one small meal usually last for another couple of days when it's just me home with them.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on May 23, 2012, 12:05:17 PM
Slow cooker was my suggestion too... it's practically remedial cooking.  "Take items A, B, C, and D, throw them in the cooker, do something else for six hours."
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Ms_Cellany on May 23, 2012, 12:09:05 PM
Slow cooker:

Chunk o' meat (say, chuck roast or stew meat)
can o' diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp each oregano, thyme
2 bay leaves

Cook on low 6-8 hours.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Miriam on May 23, 2012, 12:58:41 PM
Maybe some wraps? Buy some large lettuce, healthy brand of lunch meat, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers...

I'm not a good cook, at all. My mother bought some frozen Alaskan Salmon that I could let thaw for a few hours, then for dinner put salt and pepper on top and bake for 15-20 minutes. It was the easiest thing I've ever cooked. Then I steamed broccoli and carrots for the side.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on May 23, 2012, 01:00:47 PM
Maybe some wraps? Buy some large lettuce, healthy brand of lunch meat, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers...

I'm not a good cook, at all. My mother bought some frozen Alaskan Salmon that I could let thaw for a few hours, then for dinner put salt and pepper on top and bake for 15-20 minutes. It was the easiest thing I've ever cooked. Then I steamed broccoli and carrots for the side.

I like this idea. I hate fish so much I can't even stand to have the smell in our apartment, much less actually cook it. Unfortunately, everyone else loves it. This would be a good opportunity for them to enjoy something they never get.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: NyaChan on May 23, 2012, 01:04:32 PM
My mom gave me this lemon pepper seasoning when I first moved out for college.  I just sprinkled it over chicken or fish and then broiled/baked until it was done.  Pair with some sort of starch/veggie (olive oil, salt, and pepper/cajun seasoning, put in oven or broil) and I was good to go.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Namárië on May 23, 2012, 01:06:47 PM
This recipe might be a little daunting, but if everything is measured and next to the big pot it goes into, it is super easy. It's about 5-10 minutes of active cooking time. It also has the bonus of being filling, vegetarian, and pretty healthy!

Rice & Beans:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed (or minced or whatever.)
1 teaspoons red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 cup sofrito sauce
2 cups rice
2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained
6 ounce jar pitted kalamata olives, drained (can be drained right on top of the beans)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 cups vegetable broth (or whatever broth/water you feel like. If you use brown rice, increase the amount of liquid and time.)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. (I use my stock pot)
2. Add the onion and saute until it gets soft and translucent.
3. Add the garlic, cumin, and red pepper, and stir around for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the rice and sofrito sauce, stir around for about 2 minutes more, or until the rice is completely covered in sauce and smells amazing.
4. Place the olives, beans, basil, and oregano on top of the rice.
4. Pour in broth.
5. Cover and let cook on medium-low heat for 25-35 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Salt to taste.


The person I got the recipe from also placed pork chops on top of the rice. I felt that was totally unecessary, since it was delicious all on its own.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: jedikaiti on May 23, 2012, 01:07:41 PM
Slow cooker:

Chunk o' meat (say, chuck roast or stew meat)
can o' diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp each oregano, thyme
2 bay leaves

Cook on low 6-8 hours.

You can also add in some red wine (or beer - maybe a brown ale or a stout?) and garlic.

Also, he can do chicken - toss in 1 chicken* (whole or cut up, depending on what will fit), carrots, celery, any other veggies he likes, some rosemary, chopped onion, cut up potato (or those little red new potatos, or even fingerling potatos), some white wine, and a few whole garlic cloves**.

* Make sure he knows to thaw it first - I made that mistake the first time I tried to do chicken in a slow cooker, and it wouldn't fit! :-)

** Make sure he knows the difference between a clove and a bulb of garlic, and about how many cloves are in a bulb. I am a bit sensitive to raw garlic, so I'd always cooked using jars of diced garlic. Then I tried to make Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic in my new slow cooker - I knew what a clove was, looked at the outside of a bulb and figured there were ~ 5 or 6 cloves per bulb, and bought accordingly (6 or 7 bulbs). I was wrong. I didn't use ALL that garlic, but I used most of it. The chicken was delicious, but my breath after eating it could have killed Dracula at 100 yards! And my lips tingled when I ate some of the leftovers the next day.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: jpcher on May 24, 2012, 07:35:54 PM
When the DDs were younger, baked boneless chicken breasts or tenders were always useful in so many ways. Once baked, you can use the meat for a variety of meals.

I usually marinated the chicken in some lemon juice, garlic, light salt (or left the salt out altogether) and light pepper. Place in a covered casserole dish or cookie sheet (covered with tin foil) so that there is only a single layer. Lightly splash the dish with water (to help steam) Bake for about 20-30 minutes at 325 . . . depending on the thickness of the meat. Test the largest piece with a knife (cut into the meat to see if it's white all the way through.) Do not overcook.*

Then, once a whole bunch of chicken is cooked you can:


Slice it for simple chicken sandwiches.


Cube it for:

Chicken cheese quesadillas -- flour tortillas on a cookie sheet, a little bit of chicken and some of your favorite grated cheese, like cheddar, cover with another tortilla. Bake in the oven at 375 for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted through. Cut into pizza triangles and serve with a small salad or fresh veggies/fruit. This is the kid-friendly version. Your DH can add onions, tomato or peppers for a spicier flavor when he's cooking for you. ;)

Chicken penne pasta with basil pesto sauce -- Boil up some penne pasta (boil extra for the next recipe, this can be done in advance. Drain/rinse and refrigerate the pasta until ready for use.)

Ingredients:

Finely chopped red onion
Chopped garlic (fresh or the kind you find in a jar)
Chopped tomatoes
Chicken cubes
Fresh spinach leaves (this will wilt during cooking, so add more than you think you need . . . about 2 large hands-full.)
Grated Mozzarella cheese
Basil Pesto sauce (I buy it in a jar, some make it home-made.)
Fresh basil (optional)

Amounts vary to taste.

Heat a sautee/fry pan. Once hot, add a tbs. (or so) of olive oil, rotate the pan to spread the oil so that it lightly covers the entire bottom. Add the onions, garlic and chicken. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the pasta, tomato, spinach and pesto. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes or more until everything is heated through. Remove from heat, put into serving bowls, add mozzarella and a bit of fresh basil, serve immediately . . . very yummy with garlic bread on the side.

Again, this recipe can be adjusted for young'uns. Less garlic and onions for them, more pasta and cheese, light on the pesto. Whatever/however you're training your kids to eat.


Chicken/pasta salad -- Using the left over penne pasta from above or elbow noodles boiled and chilled. Chop some lettuce and veggies (tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, radishes, green onions, etc. Whatever your kids like.) Mix pasta, chicken and veggies. Use your favorite salad dressing (I prefer straight mayo ::)) but Italian, Greek or ranch (bacon flavored ranch?) works well. Serve with toast triangles or crackers. For the kiddos, you can simply serve the cold chicken and pasta with fresh veggies on the side along with a ranch dip.


Captain Crunch Cereal with chicken and strawberry milk! ;D (just kidding! :P)


On the breakfast side, there's always omelets. With chicken, spinach and cheese.



Don't get me started on ground beef! ;D




*MrsJ, I simplified these recipes for your DH. I'm sure you know the fine details to these recipes. I hope this helps. ;D
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Lynn2000 on May 24, 2012, 07:48:57 PM
POD to jpcher, I was just about to suggest frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I forget the time/temp for cooking now, but basically you throw two or three onto a cookie sheet (still frozen even) and cover them in some kind of sauce to keep them moist--Miracle Whip, light honey mustard dressing, etc.. I think you turn them over halfway through cooking.

I used to do this all the time for my mom when she was working and I was home during the summer. Although we overdid it and to this day I don't like chicken that much.  :P We always just ate them straight out of the oven, but you could put them on a sandwich, slice them into strips or chunks, etc..
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: jpcher on May 24, 2012, 07:50:27 PM
Maybe some wraps? Buy some large lettuce, healthy brand of lunch meat, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers...

I'm not a good cook, at all. My mother bought some frozen Alaskan Salmon that I could let thaw for a few hours, then for dinner put salt and pepper on top and bake for 15-20 minutes. It was the easiest thing I've ever cooked. Then I steamed broccoli and carrots for the side.

I like this idea. I hate fish so much I can't even stand to have the smell in our apartment, much less actually cook it. Unfortunately, everyone else loves it. This would be a good opportunity for them to enjoy something they never get.

I was surprised. I'm not a fish cooker/eater, but this thread:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=113281.0

gives a lot of good recipes for salmon. With the salmon there isn't a fishy smell.



Thipu1's recipe (about 1/2 way down the first page) is sooo easy and turned out to be the favorite (so far, I haven't made it through all of the recipes in that thread ;).) For your unskilled DH? The only way this recipe can go wrong is by cooking it too long.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: SamiHami on May 24, 2012, 07:51:39 PM
Here's one of our favorites:

1 Jar pepperocini
1 whole chicken
1 packet onion soup mix
1 packet Italian dressing mix

Place the pepperocinis in the bottom of a crock pot/slow cooker. Be sure to retain the liquid in the jar! Place the chicken on top of the pepperocini. Put the packets of soup mix and dressing mix in the jar with the leftover liquid. Shake very well. Pour over the chicken. Let cook on medium for 8 hours. When finished, discard the pepperocinis.

This is a super easy Greek style chicken. My DH absolutely loves it, which makes life easy on me when I don't really feel like cooking!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: whatsanenigma on May 24, 2012, 09:04:14 PM
Here's something really easy:

1 jar your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 bag your favorite pasta (spaghetti, tri colored rotini, shells, whatever)
(basically enough for your family, however much that is)
Per jar of sauce:
1 cucumber
1 regular tomato or three roma tomatoes
1 bell pepper (green, red, orange, yellow, whatever you like)
1 small onion

Chop up all the vegetables.

Then you have two options.

1.  Put the vegetables into a skillet with a little of your favorite oil (olive, corn, whatever).  Heat and brown the vegetables just a little bit. Pour the sauce onto them and stir it all up and let it all get hot.

2.  Put the sauce into a deeper, regular pan and put the vegetables in the pan with it.  Heat it to a boil then turn the heat down and let it simmer until all the vegetables cook down into the sauce, about 20 minutes, or about as long as it takes to prepare and cook the pasta and get it ready for sauce.

Option two works well in a slow cooker as well, on the high setting for about an hour.

Either way, prepare the pasta according to the package directions or to your taste, then pour the jazzed up sauce over the pasta and serve, with parmasan cheese if desired.

The vegetable combination can be varied according to your taste, and basically, as long as you don't let the stuff burn, it will taste good, just different, and you might like it more or less depending on how cooked you like your vegetables in the sauce.

But if I can make it, anybody can.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Kaypeep on May 24, 2012, 09:12:26 PM
My SO has never cooked, was never taugh.  I've gotten him to start cooking and he was good with tacos, a pizza kit and salad, and heating things up in the oven.  He has made some other things and he is constantly checking YouTube for videos, which he always seems to find. (How to brown meat, How to cook a lobster tail, etc.)  Maybe you could make at least one or 2 casseroles for him to heat up with some salad or a vegetable on the side?
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Lynn2000 on May 24, 2012, 09:46:51 PM
A couple other recipes. I warn you, my family does not produce stellar cooks--we like things pretty simple and bland. So you might need to adjust to jazz them up a little. Also, I'm not sure if you'll consider them healthy enough--I don't think of them as UNhealthy...

Spaghetti can be super-easy. Boil water, add spaghetti, stir occasionally, taste occasionally to make sure it's done the way you want. At the same time, brown some ground beef in a pot. This is pretty easy, too, you just keep chopping it into bits with your spatula and make sure all the pink goes away (obviously you know this, I'm just saying, even as a non-cook I can handle this). Once the hamburger is browned, turn the temp down and pour a jar of spaghetti sauce over it. This can be left simmering as long as it takes the pasta to cook. You can also add other stuff to the sauce/meat mixture--we like to add canned mushrooms for whatever reason. Then you just put some spaghetti on a plate and top with sauce + meat.

Our chili is a rather similar thing, but with more ingredients. Brown the meat, then start adding stuff like seasoned chili beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, mushrooms--all from cans, one can of each. Add more tomato paste if it's too runny. Let it simmer. It really doesn't take that long to make.

The great thing with these recipes is you can make a lot at once, and the leftovers are really good. If anything it gets even better later. And, it's flexible, so you can throw in extra herbs and spices and veggies as desired (which I bet most people probably would!).
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: blarg314 on May 24, 2012, 09:50:02 PM
For a really novice cook, I'd stick with things that didn't involve a lot of steps or finicky timing, and that doesn't involve multiple dishes. So the suggestions below tend to rely heavily on salads and microwaved vegetables for sides. Pre-washing and peeling the vegetables at the beginning of the week will save time there. The microwaved vegetables can be served with

Some ideas for really simple, healthy meals:

Baked chicken legs, skin on, and sprinkled with cumin and salt (or chili powder, or curry powder) is something I find much easier than boneless skinless, as it doesn't dry out as easily, and the skin gives more flavour.  You could do baked potatoes in the same oven, and serve with a salad, and microwaved broccoli for a healthy and easy meal. You'd need to give him times and temperatures for the potatoes and chicken, and for microwaving the broccoli.

For another night, pasta with ground beef and jarred tomato sauce, salad, and microwaved green beans on the side.

Another really easy pasta dish, good in hot weather - boil pasta, something small and chunky by preference.  While the pasta cooks, chop up some fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives, canned artichoke hearts, some white mushrooms, green onions, cucumber, and  fresh basil or parsley. Drain a can of chickpeas and juice a lemon. Drain the pasta, rinse briefly with cold water, and toss with all the other ingredients, plus some olive oil, salt and pepper, and a small bit of fresh garlic if you want. This is basically a meal in itself, but you could make up a can of soup as a starter. There are lots of ingredients, but the preparation is basically just chopping stuff.

If your budget stretches to it, steak is pretty easy to grill (give him a time/side) and it doesn't matter if it's under-done (unlike chicken and pork). Serve with salad, some microwaved vegetables, and a loaf of bread.

One easy but fun meal - cut up boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bit sized pieces.  Sautee in a frying pan with olive oil on medium heat until well browned.  Cut up a bunch of vegetables into sticks.  Buy some pitas, and cut them up.  Serve the above with various dipping sauces, preferably eaten in front of the TV with a favourite DVD. For dipping sauces - mix Dijon mustard and honey for a honey mustard sauce, use creamy Caesar dressing, or jarred salsa, or mayonaise, or ketchup, or buy some hummus, or some hot sauce. [I came up with this meal when I realized that what I really liked about chicken nuggets was the dipping sauces, not the unidentifiable breaded chicken bits]

Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: buvezdevin on May 24, 2012, 10:06:42 PM
You mentioned that you don't like fish, but other family members do.  So, agreeing with a PP that baked fish is an easy and good way to go.  For many fish fillets, your DH could use some yogurt (unflavored) mix in desired seasoning - or just some salt and lemon juice, dip fish fillets in yogurt mixture then roll in breadcrumbs and bake in 350F oven for 30 minutes (might need more time for really thick fillets).

Coating the fillets in yogurt (or yogurt mixed with mayo) lessens the likelihood the fillets dry out, and can let him include some seasoning or herb.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: whatsanenigma on May 24, 2012, 10:25:35 PM
Here's something else I just remembered.  Chicken (whole chicken, boneless breasts, parts of your choosing) cooked in a crock pot with various kinds of soups (don't dilute the soups) is really good.

For example, two cans of broccoli cheese soup (or one can cream of broccoli soup and one can of cheese soup) cooked with some chicken.  Just before serving, cook a bag of frozen broccoli and put on top of it.  Garnish with shredded cheese of your choice if desired.

Here's another, and yes, it came out of looking for what a meal could be made out of according to what was in the cabinet already.  I tried this and it worked really well.  Two cans cream of celery soup on the chicken, with a can of sliced carrots (heated and drained) before serving.

I bet there are all kinds of interesting combinations there.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Venus193 on May 24, 2012, 10:29:26 PM
South of the Border Oven-Fried Chicken

Chicken parts (breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
1 jar Goya Recaito
1 jar Goya Salsa Verde (medium)
Plain bread crumbs
Adobo seasoning
olive oil

Marinate chicken in equal parts recaito and salsa for 1-2 hours (the two jars will take care of about a dozen assorted pieces).  Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly coat bottom of oven pans with olive oil, and place in oven.  Mix dry ingredients together in bowl.

When removing chicken from marinade, be sure pieces are well-coated.  Coat with bread crumb and adobo mixture and place in oven pans.  Turn pieces carefully after 15-20 minutes to brown on all sides.  Breast pieces may take a little longer than drumsticks. 

Serve with any Goya rice side dish (just follow instructions on box) and a green salad.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: whatsanenigma on May 24, 2012, 10:33:08 PM
Does he know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich? There are ways to jazz that up also.  I like to get a package of sliced american cheese and a package of sliced swiss cheese and use one of each.  If you're careful, you can put a single slice of ham in there also, and even a thin slice of tomato (though depending on how "cooked" you like your tomatoes, you might want to pull the sandwich apart and put the tomato in after cooking instead).   Ranch dressing is a good side, if you like ranch dressing.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: greencat on May 24, 2012, 11:26:31 PM
Lasagna, easy-button style:
One box lasagna noodles
One pound of italian blend cheese
One big jar of spaghetti sauce
Optional: 1/2 pound of ground beef

Meatless:
Follow package directions on box of lasagna noodles.
Turn the oven on to preheat at 350.
Lay a layer of noodles on the bottom of 9x13 pan.
Pour 1/3 of the jar of sauce onto the noodles.
Dump 1/3 of the cheese on top of that.
Put another layer of noodles on top of that.
Repeat until you run out of stuff.
Put the pan in the oven and leave it there for 20 minutes. 

With meat:
Brown ground beef while cooking noodles.  Mix with sauce in a bowl.  Go back to the other directions.


Peanut Butter Pie, stupidly easy:

1 16 Jar of Peanut Butter - not chunky!
2 16 oz containers of cool whip (store brand works for this.)  MOVE THEM FROM THE FREEZER TO THE FRIDGE IN THE MORNING AND MAKE THIS RECIPE AT NIGHT.
1 graham cracker or oreo pie crust.

Mix the jar of peanut butter and one of the two containers of cool whip.  Put the mixture in the pie crust.  Put the other container of cool whip on top of the pie filling.

Baked chicken nuggets:

Ingredients:
Flour
Salt
Pepper
Milk
Chicken
Panko bread crumbs

Turn the oven to 400.
Cut up chicken into small pieces.
Put flour, salt, and pepper into a ziploc.  Wet the chicken pieces with water and then put them in the ziploc and shake.
Take the pieces out of the ziploc.  They should be covered in flour now.
Fill another ziploc with the breadcrumbs. 
Pour a little milk into a plate.  Put the chicken pieces individually onto the plate so they're wet with milk.  Make sure they're completely wet and then throw them into the baggie with the breadcrumbs and shake.  Take the pieces out of the baggie and put them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan or something.  This recipe isn't particularly cookware-specific.
When all the pieces are breaded, the oven should be preheated.  Bake the chicken for 10-12 minutes.  Nugget-sized pieces of chicken cook quickly :)

Weirdly good sauce for fish, chicken, and pork:
1 part mayonnaise
1 part apricot preserves
1/4 part green (Jalapeno) Tabasco sauce
Mix :)  That's it.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Nikko-chan on May 25, 2012, 03:38:36 AM
What about some stirfy? Quick and easy. Just buy a bag of stirfry veggies, some meat,  and maybe cans of water chestnuts or whatever else they like, cook it up and enjoy. he can even use bottled sauces ready to go.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Nora on May 25, 2012, 04:40:04 AM
This is the super-easy first date meal I teach girlfriends who can't cook, but want to feed the guy they've invited over. :)

Penne
Creme fraiche
Pesto
Plum tomatoes
pine nuts
prosciutto

Boil the penne until done. Drain and toss back into pot (superlow heat). Pour a cup of creme fraiche, and half a cup of pesto into the pot with the penne and stir until evenly mixed and warm. Slice the tomatoes finely. Put the pasta on a plate, decorate with the tomatoes, drizzle some pinenuts over it, and put the prosciutto on top.

It depends on the kids, but most adults like it, it's fast, and not spicy or anything.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Namárië on May 25, 2012, 08:36:46 AM
Another one that is good, if you have a rice cooker (with a steamer):

Throw appropriate amount of rice & water (or broth) into rice cooker. Put on steamer pan. Toss on a couple of salt & peppered chicken breasts. Top with mixed, larger frozen veggies (like broccoli, zucchini, etc.). Put on lid, turn on rice cooker. Get distracted for 20 minutes. Return to a cooked meal that just needs some teriyaki sauce drizzled on it. Can be jazzed up with unlimited spices and sauces.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: lowspark on May 25, 2012, 09:19:50 AM
This is my go-to quick ez meal.

Spread a box of stove-top stuffing in a baking dish. Top with cut up chicken pieces (I always use breasts but whatever pieces the family likes will work). Pour a whole bottle of beer (minus a sip or two for the cook if desired) on top. Season chicken as desired -- can be as simple as S&P or add garlic powder or whatever spices sound good. Bake one hour. Serve with salad or any quick easy side veggie.

This takes about five minutes to throw together and it tastes delicious. The hardest part is making a salad!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Ms_Cellany on May 25, 2012, 09:33:27 AM
To avoid the hassle of boiled fingers and torn, sticky-together lasagna noodles, you can assemble it with uncooked noodles. Add a little extra water to the sauce, and the noodles cook in the pan.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Kaypeep on May 25, 2012, 09:49:02 AM
POD the idea of baked chicken legs.  I do baked chicken thighs.  Just sprinke salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and whatever other seasonings you like.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.  Done.  Serve with microwaved string beans or some pasta with butter and cheese.

Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: magicdomino on May 25, 2012, 10:06:05 AM
Does he know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich? There are ways to jazz that up also.  I like to get a package of sliced american cheese and a package of sliced swiss cheese and use one of each.  If you're careful, you can put a single slice of ham in there also, and even a thin slice of tomato (though depending on how "cooked" you like your tomatoes, you might want to pull the sandwich apart and put the tomato in after cooking instead).   Ranch dressing is a good side, if you like ranch dressing.

I use whatever sliced cheese is around, usually swiss, with a little bit of mayo mixed with curry powder.  Serve with applesauce or a sliced-up apple.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on May 25, 2012, 10:08:56 AM
Thank you so much! This is enough ideas to get him cooking once a week even after I get back (we've been meaning to do that for a while).
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Oh Joy on May 25, 2012, 10:17:07 AM
It depends on what your family likes to eat and what you consider healthy, but I'd suggest:

Two or three proteins:
* A pile of ground beef crumbles (you can cook ahead of time with onion and S&P and freeze in 1-pound bags to make this first time easy)
* Some simple fish fillets to bake (a bag of frozen tilapia?)
* Whole chicken (I recommend Martha Stewart's double roast chicken recipe for any beginner... http://www.marthastewart.com/316091/double-roast-chicken ... it can be simplified to be just onions on the inside and new potatoes & baby carrots on the outside and leave off the rest).

A couple of whole grains:
* Boxes of pasta
* Microwavable rice
* Wraps

A couple of veggies:
* Frozen broccoli
* Natural spaghetti sauce
* Fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers

A couple of shredded cheeses

He can make wraps, his quesadillas, pastas, and whatever else appeals to him fairly easily from there (depending on his style, he might appreciate a 'menu' from you with quick assembly instructions to just select and grab from).  Once he gets his feet wet that week and figures what he likes to make, you can direct his cooking together from there.

(I see you just posted, but I've already written this out, so here it is anyway).

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on May 25, 2012, 10:22:35 AM
It depends on what your family likes to eat and what you consider healthy, but I'd suggest:
I aim for a protein, a vegetable, and a fruit with each meal. I have very special feelings for potatoes, so I try not to make them too often, or it would be all I eat. :P We don't eat a lot of grains as part of the meal just because it's what the girls gravitate towards, and they would eat nothing else if we let them. When we do eat grains, they're always whole grains (I highly recommend Barilla Plus if you aren't a huge fan of the really strong flavor of whole wheat pasta). Except that brown rice tastes pretty gross with some dishes.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: SamiHami on May 25, 2012, 11:04:33 AM
It depends on what your family likes to eat and what you consider healthy, but I'd suggest:
I aim for a protein, a vegetable, and a fruit with each meal. I have very special feelings for potatoes, so I try not to make them too often, or it would be all I eat. :P We don't eat a lot of grains as part of the meal just because it's what the girls gravitate towards, and they would eat nothing else if we let them. When we do eat grains, they're always whole grains (I highly recommend Barilla Plus if you aren't a huge fan of the really strong flavor of whole wheat pasta). Except that brown rice tastes pretty gross with some dishes.

Have you ever tried quinoa? It's a whole grain and works pretty much anywhere rice would. It's also wheat and gluten free, which is a plus for a lot of us. Very versatile and delicious!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on May 25, 2012, 01:05:35 PM
It depends on what your family likes to eat and what you consider healthy, but I'd suggest:
I aim for a protein, a vegetable, and a fruit with each meal. I have very special feelings for potatoes, so I try not to make them too often, or it would be all I eat. :P We don't eat a lot of grains as part of the meal just because it's what the girls gravitate towards, and they would eat nothing else if we let them. When we do eat grains, they're always whole grains (I highly recommend Barilla Plus if you aren't a huge fan of the really strong flavor of whole wheat pasta). Except that brown rice tastes pretty gross with some dishes.

Have you ever tried quinoa? It's a whole grain and works pretty much anywhere rice would. It's also wheat and gluten free, which is a plus for a lot of us. Very versatile and delicious!

Yeah, I love quinoa. I never thought to use it in place of rice. I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: sweetonsno on May 25, 2012, 07:52:25 PM
Here's a good chicken recipe:

Gordon Who
1 slice of ham (reasonably thick-cut, not the thin kind for sandwiches... you want it about the same length and width as the chicken breast, though obviously not the same thickness)
1 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
1 plum tomato
1 slice of Gouda
salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Get a large square of aluminum foil ready. Put the slice of ham in the middle of the square. Rub a pinch of salt into the chicken on both sides. Put it on top of the ham. Slice the tomato. Put the tomato slices on top of the chicken. Fold the foil over the top to make a neat little packet and seal in the juices. It's still smart to put the packet on a cookie sheet in case it leaks. Set the timer for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, take the chicken out, and carefully unfold the foil just enough that you can put the gouda in on top. Rewrap and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. That's it. Have DH put the entire foil packet on the plate and have a good chunk of bread on hand, as there will be delicious juices.

(The cooking times assume that the chicken breast is about 4 oz. He should probably check with a meat thermometer before eating, as you don't want to mess with undercooked chicken.)

Tortellini Soup
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic (or more), minced
1 big can of petite diced tomatoes
1 or 2 bouillon cubes
1 bag of tortellini (plain cheese is probably best here)
1 bag of fresh spinach

Sautee the onion in the olive oil until becoming translucent. Add the garlic and stir until it begins to soften (but you don't want it burned). Dump in the tomatoes. Fill the tomato can with water and pour that in, too. Toss in the bouillon cubes. (You can also use a can of broth instead of water and bouillon.) Bring to a boil. Add the tortellini. Follow the cooking directions on the tortellini bag/box. About 2 minutes before it's supposed to be finished cooking, add a few handfuls of spinach. Season with salt and pepper (Italian seasonings, too, if you'd like). Serve topped with grated Parmesan and/or shredded mozzarella and a good bread.

Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: mechtilde on May 26, 2012, 11:28:38 AM
Cook spaghetti or other pasta.

Drain.

In the same pan, put 1 jar passata, a couple of teaspoons of dried mixed herbs, maybe a little pepper or jerk seasonming, and a couple of tablespoons of oil. Heat up until just below boiling. MIx in the drained pasta, serve with parmesan cheese on top.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Shakira on May 26, 2012, 01:20:44 PM
This is my favorite easy recipe. My sister even asked me for it when her in-laws were coming for dinner!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
3 lb rump or chuck roast
1 packet onion soup mix (I buy the $.50 store brand)
1 can cranberry jelly
1 bag baby carrots

Put all of those things in the crockpot in that order. Cook on low for 8 hours. Sooo simple and delicious, DH won't eat a roast any other way!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on May 26, 2012, 01:42:18 PM
This is my favorite easy recipe. My sister even asked me for it when her in-laws were coming for dinner!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
3 lb rump or chuck roast
1 packet onion soup mix (I buy the $.50 store brand)
1 can cranberry jelly
1 bag baby carrots

Put all of those things in the crockpot in that order. Cook on low for 8 hours. Sooo simple and delicious, DH won't eat a roast any other way!

Mmmm... I'm adding potatoes, but that sounds delicious!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Instantkarma on May 26, 2012, 01:45:01 PM
It depends on what your family likes to eat and what you consider healthy, but I'd suggest:
I aim for a protein, a vegetable, and a fruit with each meal. I have very special feelings for potatoes, so I try not to make them too often, or it would be all I eat. :P We don't eat a lot of grains as part of the meal just because it's what the girls gravitate towards, and they would eat nothing else if we let them. When we do eat grains, they're always whole grains (I highly recommend Barilla Plus if you aren't a huge fan of the really strong flavor of whole wheat pasta). Except that brown rice tastes pretty gross with some dishes.

Have you ever tried quinoa? It's a whole grain and works pretty much anywhere rice would. It's also wheat and gluten free, which is a plus for a lot of us. Very versatile and delicious!

Yeah, I love quinoa. I never thought to use it in place of rice. I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks!

Its also really really good in stuffed peppers or tomatos. 
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: kkl123 on May 26, 2012, 02:06:04 PM
Most casseroles are quite easy... I'm particularly fond of the deconstructed cabbage roll sorts of things: two vegetables, starch and a protein, all layered up like lasagna (http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cabbage-Roll-Casserole or your own recipe, done in the same fashion) or things like Ropa Vieja ( http://thequickanddirtycook.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/the-colombia-restaurants-1905-salad-and-ropa-vieja/ ) (substitute any cheap, long-fibered beef roast for the flank steak -- this is po' folks food, stretched and stretched with rice (though we like it over noodles or wrapped up in a tortilla, and if I really want to make DH's day, over mashed potatoes.)

I do have one concrete suggestion for you: buy him a chef's thermometer ( http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/27040-taylor-commerical-digital-instant-thermometer.aspx is a decent one for the price) and give him a chart of internal temperatures of "done" for various foods. For instance, baked potatoes are done at
210oF/99oC, bread at 190-200oF/88-93oC, etc.  Takes a lot of the guesswork out of things when you're a newbie, and it's better food safety, too.

Many years ago, I was about 4 and my mom was very ill with asthma.  Dad decided to cook supper for me, and fried a big ham steak in the cast iron frying pan (and ham was much fattier then than it is now), then then took out the ham and fried some eggs, then dumped in a can of Campbells tomato soup and some milk -- without dumping out the grease.  It was like nothing I'd ever seen before when it was presented to me... clotted tomato soup with about an inch of fat floating on the top.  I tried a couple of spoonfuls, refused more, got a spanking, and then went to ask The Ultimate Authority if she would please get better real soon, because daddy's cooking was going to kill me...
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 30, 2012, 10:03:23 AM
Not sure if you are still looking for ideas, but I went on assignment for 4 months and my non-cooking DH had to come up with meals for him and the kids that wasn't spaghetti.  I created him a cookbook of the easy stuff that takes under 45 min

Chicken with lemon and capers, served with frozen green beans and uncle ben's Brown and Wild Rice
Buy thin sliced chicken breasts (or thinly slice your own), mix flour paprika, salt and pepper.  Dredge chicken and saute for 2 min on each side in olive oil.  Remove chicken, add some diced garlic and saute for 1 min, add a cup of chicken stock and reduce by half. Squeeze in juice of a lemon and a few tablespoons of capers.

Pasta Puttenesca (Lots of recipes on the web) served with steamed brocolli and bread

Grilled Fish Tacos served with Mex Rice mix and sliced melon
Season a white fish with cumin, chili powder, salt and lime juice and let marinate for 30 min.  Grill outside or in grill pan.  Serve with corn tortillias, shredded lettuce, and preferred salsas, we like a verde.

Baked potatoes topped with chopped bbq (bought from the store) and grated cheese

Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers (this is not hot), penne pasta, and a frozen veggie mix of their choice.
Wash chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, season with salt and pepper.  Brown on each side in a skillet.  While browning, take 3 or 4 jarred roasted red peppers and slice into think strips.  Remove chicken, saute about a tablespoon of minced onion for 2 min and then a couple cloves of garlic.  Immediately add a cup of white wine and the peppers.  Cook covered for 30 min.  Let sit for an additional 10 min before serving.  Serve with sauce over the cooked penne.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Venus193 on May 30, 2012, 06:03:04 PM
Red Clam Sauce

1 can whole baby clams (with juice)
1 jar Arrabiata, Fra Diavolo sauce, or Roasted Garlic pasta sauce

Empty both can and jar into saucepan, heat to bubbling; serve over pasta.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: nrb80 on May 30, 2012, 06:59:14 PM
A weekly dinner menu from us:

Daily - cut up veggies and hummus while I'm finishing dinner

Day 1

4 chicken breasts (for leftovers), cut into nugget sized pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Cornmeal, breadcrumbs, flour

Combine all ingredients except coating  in bowl.  Let sit in fridge up to 24 hours, at least 30 mins.

Dredge pieces in coating

Cook in 400 oven 15 mins (until done).

Salad from a bag
Cornbread (I made it, but bought is just as good).

Day 2
Fresh ravioli from Trader Joes.  Boil according to directions.

1 jar sauce, heated.

Place naked raviolis on plate.  Arrange sauce in small dish.  Call it pasta nuggets.  Don't ask me why it works with little kid logic.

Day 3

Scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, and toast. 

4 eggs
2 tablespoons of milk
Salt
Butter

Mix everything but butter, place butter in hot pan over medium and melt.  Add egg mixture.  Move around with spatula.

Use precooked microwavable bacon (Trader Joes has it).
 

Day 4

Flank, skirt, or other cheaper steak of similar type
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
.5 cup vinegar
.25 cup oil
3 cloves smashed garlic

Combine everything except steak, pour over steak and let marinate all day (or set in marinade the night before) in fridge. 

Heat oven-safe pan to high, place steak in and let cook 30 seconds, flip and cook another 30 seconds.

Place in 400 oven 8 minutes (longer for more doneness - my family likes it rarer).

Boiled potatoes - just boil little potatoes until fork tender and toss with butter and salt

Asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Lemon

Toss everything except lemon, put in 400 oven 20 minutes.  Take out and squeeze lemon over it.

Day 5

Tilapia filet
Salt
Glugg olive oil
Slices of lemon

Sprinkle salt over fish filets, let sit 5 mins

Place foil in baking dish

Put fish filets in pan,  glugg olive oil over, place lemon slices on top

Bake 20 mins at 350, or until it flakes with a fork.

Microwave some frozen broccoli

Make couscous according to box (5 mins)




Each is less than 30 minutes from start to table if the marinade is done earlier.

Good luck to him!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MommyPenguin on May 30, 2012, 07:13:25 PM
One thing I'd think about, MrsJWine, is looking at recipes that don't have too many ingredients.  I think recipes requiring 6-10 spices, plus various other ingredients, are intimidating to new cooks.  Also, avoid ingredients that are unfamiliar.  I have no idea what quinoa is, there's no way I'm going to try a recipe when I don't know what it looks like or where to find it or how to use it.  You know?  Especially when he's new.  I'd also consider some "convenience" things... like chicken seasoning packet, so all he has to do is defrost the chicken and add the spice and cook it, etc.  I think that baby steps are in order for a new cook.  :)
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: JenJay on May 30, 2012, 07:17:53 PM
A couple of our favorites that also happen to be really easy -

A mildly spicy chicken soup -
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-chicken-tortilla-soup/detail.aspx
I start with that but use 4 raw chicken breasts, leave out the corn and tortilla strips and add a can of rinsed black beans. DD and I garnish it with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Zuppa Toscana, really good! This has the potential to be really unhealthy but I buy organic full fat cream and sausage and bacon that are uncured and have no fillers, hfcs, etc. so I'm comfortable making it a couple times per month. We tend to go low sodium so we found the first batch to be a bit salty. Now we do 6 cups of broth and 4 cups water.
http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/olive-gardens-zuppa-toscana-soup-recipe/

We make an amazing meatloaf that the kids devour -
1lb mild Ital. sausage
1lb ground turkey (can use burger)
2 cloves minced garlic (or a few shakes of powder)
onion to taste (we aren't big fans so I just do a bit of powder)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 egg
1/4C milk
1/4C grated Parmesan
1/2C almond meal (this is our breadcrumb substitute)

Mix everything well, I use my stand mixer. When it's well blended dump it onto a broiling pan and form it into a loaf shape. Bake at 400 for 45 mins. These can also be made into meatballs and baked at 375 for 30 minutes.

Do you have an account at allrecipes? I didn't know how to cook at all until about 8 years ago. One day I realized I was a SAHM to 3 kids aged bitty, 2 and 3, with a husband who loved to cook but worked 4pm to midnight, and maybe I ought to learn to make some dinners. lol. I'd browse the site for anything with a high rating, familiar ingredients and easy instructions. Maybe you should introduce him?  ;)
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Isometric on May 30, 2012, 07:28:44 PM
I know you have plenty here, but I'd just like to add that kid's cookbooks are extremely handy for those who aren't super chefs! I recieved a great one when I was a kid, and still use it today for easy, quick dinners! Most of the mains have some kind of vege and protein, and are very easy to follow.

Or since you love potatoes (like me!), we have fairly healthy baked jacket potatoes at home - he can soften in the microwave , then pop in the oven to crisp up. We top with things like butter, cheese, baked beans, ham/chicken, kidney beans or chick peas, and lots of salad - cucumber, tomato, lettuce and capsicum all work well! With some lite sour cream on top.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Instantkarma on May 31, 2012, 11:42:10 AM
One thing I'd think about, MrsJWine, is looking at recipes that don't have too many ingredients.  I think recipes requiring 6-10 spices, plus various other ingredients, are intimidating to new cooks.  Also, avoid ingredients that are unfamiliar.  I have no idea what quinoa is, there's no way I'm going to try a recipe when I don't know what it looks like or where to find it or how to use it.  You know?  Especially when he's new.  I'd also consider some "convenience" things... like chicken seasoning packet, so all he has to do is defrost the chicken and add the spice and cook it, etc.  I think that baby steps are in order for a new cook.  :)
Quinoa is a grain, you cook it like rice and it's really yummy - easy to!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Venus193 on May 31, 2012, 02:17:12 PM
Some frozen items have recipes on them as well.  The Seabrook Farms frozen Creamed Spinach has a great baked potato recipe on the box.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: amylouky on May 31, 2012, 02:43:53 PM
My favorite:

Chicken Ole:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes w/green chilies
Chili powder to taste (I use about 2 tablespoons)
Shredded cheddar cheese (about a cup, again, to taste)
1 can sliced black olives (optional)
Sour cream for topping

Mix together corn, tomatoes/chilies, olives, and chili powder. Put chicken breasts in a 9X13 baking pan (sprayed with cooking spray). Top with corn/tomato mix. Bake at 375 for 45 mins, then top with cheddar cheese and bake for another 15.
Serve with sour cream and tortillas if desired.

This makes a great freezer meal too, as you can just mix the corn/tomato stuff up, stick it in a bag with frozen chicken breasts, and thaw the whole bag out and dump it in a pan when you're ready to cook it.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Frog24 on June 01, 2012, 12:28:32 PM
"Homemade" mac & cheese:

Noodles
1 can cream of something soup (mushroom/chicken/broccoli)
1 c shredded cheese (cheddar/mozza)
1 tbsp butter
4 slices smoked turkey breast
pepper


Boil whatever noodles you have in the house, but do not salt the water.  Drain the noodles. 
Using the pasta pot, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Once melted, add the soup and pepper, but no water.  Stir the soup often until it heats through and is liquid.
Slice up the cold cuts into little cubes or strips.  Add to the soup.
Stir in the cheese, 1 handful at a time.  Make sure the cheese is melted before adding in the next handful of cheese.
Add the pasta back in and stir to coat.

No salt is required because the cheese and cold cuts provide the saltiness.

The options to "spice" this up are endless.  You can cook mixed frozen veggies with the pasta, add various spices to the cheese sauce, change up the cheese types, or steam some broccoli as a side dish(which is how we ate it last night). 

I found this much easier than making a traditional "from scratch" cheese sauce.

Frog 

Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on June 01, 2012, 01:58:37 PM
You guys are great! Thanks again.

One thing I'd think about, MrsJWine, is looking at recipes that don't have too many ingredients.  I think recipes requiring 6-10 spices, plus various other ingredients, are intimidating to new cooks.  Also, avoid ingredients that are unfamiliar.  I have no idea what quinoa is, there's no way I'm going to try a recipe when I don't know what it looks like or where to find it or how to use it.  You know?  Especially when he's new.  I'd also consider some "convenience" things... like chicken seasoning packet, so all he has to do is defrost the chicken and add the spice and cook it, etc.  I think that baby steps are in order for a new cook.  :)
Quinoa is a grain, you cook it like rice and it's really yummy - easy to!

Yes, it's pretty simple. It's really delicious if you toast it dry in the pan before adding water. It can be pretty expensive, though. Here I can find it for about $3/lb, but back in Wisconsin, I think the cheapest I ever found it was $7/lb.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on June 13, 2012, 01:59:17 PM
You guys are great! Thanks again.

One thing I'd think about, MrsJWine, is looking at recipes that don't have too many ingredients.  I think recipes requiring 6-10 spices, plus various other ingredients, are intimidating to new cooks.  Also, avoid ingredients that are unfamiliar.  I have no idea what quinoa is, there's no way I'm going to try a recipe when I don't know what it looks like or where to find it or how to use it.  You know?  Especially when he's new.  I'd also consider some "convenience" things... like chicken seasoning packet, so all he has to do is defrost the chicken and add the spice and cook it, etc.  I think that baby steps are in order for a new cook.  :)
Quinoa is a grain, you cook it like rice and it's really yummy - easy to!

Yes, it's pretty simple. It's really delicious if you toast it dry in the pan before adding water. It can be pretty expensive, though. Here I can find it for about $3/lb, but back in Wisconsin, I think the cheapest I ever found it was $7/lb.

I usually make a big batch of quinoa and pull it out whenever I need a starch.  Try adding some lemon juice and lemon zest to the quinoa - very tasty that way. 
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MacadamiaNut on June 13, 2012, 02:30:41 PM
Just tagging on to learn a few things and to remind myself to finish reading the thread later when I have time!  Don't mind me - please carry on :)
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Venus193 on June 13, 2012, 08:02:50 PM
Pasta Primavera for 4

4 oz extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
4 tsps Italian seasoning

4 cups vegetables; take any three of the following:

8 oz dry pasta, preferably vegetable, whole wheat, or protein-enhanced (like Barilla Plus)

Half an hour before cooking:  Infuse olive oil with garlic and Italian seasoning.

Prepare pasta according to al dente instructions.  Four minutes before end of pasta boiling time, add vegetables to pot.  Drain well, add infused olive oil, toss, and serve.  This also tastes good cold.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on June 13, 2012, 08:13:33 PM
Slow cooker was my suggestion too... it's practically remedial cooking.  "Take items A, B, C, and D, throw them in the cooker, do something else for six hours."

No kidding.  Using the slow cooker is my favorite way of cooking.

One of my favorite recipes is Taco Soup.
1lb ground turkey breast/ground beef
1 onion chopped (I personally use onion powder)
1pkg ranch dressing/dip mix
1pkg taco seasoning
1 can pinto beans
1 can (though I tend to use frozen) corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chili (I use 2 though for our family of 4)

Brown the meat with onion, then mix in the ranch powder and taco seasoning.  Drain the fat and then pour the meat mixture into the crockpot and mix with the rest of the ingredients.  Cook on low and it should be done in about 6 hours.
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: jpcher on June 14, 2012, 02:34:13 PM
MrsJWine -- Did you have your week away yet? How did DH fare with the cooking?

Is he having fun learning? Are you having fun teaching?

What are his successes?




Curious minds want to know  ;)
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: MrsJWine on June 14, 2012, 03:02:53 PM
MrsJWine -- Did you have your week away yet? How did DH fare with the cooking?

Is he having fun learning? Are you having fun teaching?

What are his successes?




Curious minds want to know  ;)

I just got back a couple days ago, and it's been kind of crazy the last few weeks, so we haven't really taken the time otherwise to find things that would be good for a beginner. He did cook while I was gone, but he didn't try anything new, really. I'm a little annoyed, but I'm also glad he didn't get pizza every night. For instance, he cooked some chicken breasts on the George Foreman grill one evening. With no seasoning. He said it tasted pretty good after adding salt and pepper, but I'm glad I wasn't here. :P So, maybe next time. I bookmarked this thread so he can refer to it if I'm gone again anytime soon. Thanks!
Title: Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 14, 2012, 03:55:32 PM
I have a few suggestions. I love to cook, so do DH and DS, so we always have good stuff at home!

Chilaquiles

24 6" corn tortillas, cut into 1" pieces
2 teaspoons of oil
1 sweet or regular onion, medium chop (You need 1 1/2 cups total)
1 lb ground chicken, turkey, or lean ground beef
4 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups shredded cheddar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the onion pieces on two rimmed cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes, shaking the pans halfway through cooking. Place oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté 1 cup of the onion until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Add chicken, cook until no longer pink, stirring often. Add tomato juice and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 10 - 20 minutes. Place baked tortilla pieces in a non-reactive baking pan (stainless steel, ceramic or glass). Pour the sauce mixture over the tortilla pieces. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then the remaining onion. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until bubbly. You can serve this topped with sour cream, olives, avocado, or anything else that sounds good.

Vegetable Noodle Stir-Fry
2 packets Ramen noodles
1 bag cole slaw mix (carrots and cabbage)
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 lb raw shrimp, scallops, chicken, beef
1 - 2 cups chicken broth
Soy sauce to taste

In a large non-stick skillet, add a teaspoon of oil, once it is shimmering, add the cole slaw mix and mushrooms, sauté for a few minutes, stirring often. Add noodles and enough chicken broth to rise halfway up the side of the pan. Cover the pan, steaming the noodles and vegetables for five minutes. You can either cook the protein in a separate pan or transfer the vegetable and noodle mixture to a bowl, then cook the protein. You can top this with bean sprouts for an added crunch.

I recommend the Cook's Illustrated family of magazines and websites for anyone learning to cook. Their recipes are tested to be fool proof.