Author Topic: Recipes for someone who has never cooked  (Read 7381 times)

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MrsJWine

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Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« on: May 23, 2012, 12:11:19 PM »
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!


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Utah

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 12:23:35 PM »
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)?

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 12:46:13 PM »
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.)

MrsJWine

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 12:59:51 PM »
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.


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Utah

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 01:05:17 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."
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 01:09:05 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.
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Miriam

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 01:58:41 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.
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MrsJWine

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 02:00:47 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.


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Utah

NyaChan

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 02:04:32 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.

Namárië

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 02:06:47 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.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 02:07:41 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.
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jpcher

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2012, 08:35:54 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

Lynn2000

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2012, 08:48:57 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..
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jpcher

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2012, 08:50:27 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.

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Re: Recipes for someone who has never cooked
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 08:51:39 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!

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