The holidays have been a hectic time. But with a new year beginning, make a resolution to keep it calm and simple. Do yourself a favor and make recipes for the family that are easy, tasty, and cost effective.
There are two ways to simplify your meal making process. One is to plan your weekly meals using common ingredients. The other is to make meals that taste like classic recipes, but are a simplified, healthy version with fewer ingredients.
It even sounds simple. Plan your weekly meals based on common ingredients and the use of leftovers. You can cut down on your shopping time, save money, and space in your refrigerator or pantry. Think of ingredients that can be used in several ways, over several days.
There are even meal planning services that use sales from your local grocery store to compile simple recipes for the family and a shopping list for you. One such service is Food on the Table.
For a compilation of easy meals and a printable shopping list, check out Living Locurto.
Want a go-to recipe book for a variety of easy meals? There are recipes out there that are classics, and they require many ingredients and a fair amount of time prepping and cooking. You don't have to give up on the delicious classic recipes for the family, even if you want to pare things down.
One of the best resources for tasty stripped down versions of more involved recipes is the Cooking Light 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook. It provides you with not only a simple recipe, but also a suggestion of what sides to serve with it. There's a grocery list and recipe on one page, and a beautiful photo on the other.
The recipes for the family will make you look like a star chef – no one needs to know how easy it was! If you aren't against using occasional short-cuts, then this is the book for you. Some of my favorites use all fresh ingredients and are always a hit.
Ingredients that are always on hand, like salt, pepper, butter, or olive oil etc... aren't included in the 5 ingredient count, but the list of what you use for the main dish is still very brief, and most call for fresh items.
Here is an example of one easy, but interesting recipe for the family you'll find in the book. Each of them looks and tastes like you went to a lot of trouble, but you'll see how simple they are!
Glazed pork chops: Lean center-cut chops cooked with a sage, onion, Dijon mustard and currant jelly pan sauce is one of the best. The book recommends serving with steamed green beans and rolls.
- 4 4-ounce boneless center-cut pork loin chops (1 ½ in thick)
- ¼ tsp ground sage
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup currant jelly
- 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
Coat large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, place over high heat. Sprinkle chops with sage, salt and pepper, add to skillet and cook1 minute each side. Reduce heat to medium; cook chops additional 5 minutes each side or until done. Transfer to platter and keep warm.
Add onion to skillet; cook over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat; add jelly and mustard and simmer 2 minutes or until glaze is reduced to ¼ cup. Spoon glaze over pork chops and serve .
We found another listing of more than 20 easy 5-ingredient recipes for the family from Better Homes and Gardens that you can add to your repertoire.
So this new year, make a resolution to keep it simple without losing the taste or the variety.