Gone (for now) are the days when I can spend an hour in the kitchen making spinach butternut squash lasagna complete with homemade marinara sauce.
I hope that I don't have to totally eschew butternut squash lasagna until my children fly the coop, but there's nothing about that dish that can just be thrown together in a pinch. And, right now, I need meals that can be thrown together in a pinch. If I do get to the butternut squash lasagna, which would be nice because it's delicious and nutritious, it will have to be made piece-meal style ahead of time and put together right before dinner.
For me the holy grail of meals, is quick, cheap, healthy, and (this one is pushing it) can be made with local ingredients- this kind of meal is almost a culinary unicorn.
These days, though, the emphasis is on quick.
Here are some meals that truly are quick. I mean really, they can be put together in less than 20 minutes. They may not be the healthiest of fare- none of them feature arugula- but I think you could do a lot worse. And that's my motto for a lot of things right now: If I could do worse, then I'm doing pretty well!
Chipotle Bean Burritos
Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
This recipe calls for shredded rotisserie chicken. I used chicken that I had previously boiled, shredded and frozen. I thawed it the day I made the quesadillas.
Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce
This is really good, and very easy to put together, but only if you make the ranchero sauce ahead of time. I double the recipe and freeze a few batches of sauce. On the day I want to make the enchiladas, I thaw the sauce and then throw everything together (usually in a pinch). Peter suggested buying the ranchero sauce. I've not seen bottled or canned ranchero sauce in the store, but I haven't looked either. The homemade sauce has an excellent flavor, though.
Slow Cooker Enchilada Casserole
I make this every week for a pot luck that we have after our church service. You can totally skip step one. It doesn't make a difference in the end product whether you toast the tortillas or not. You can add whatever you'd like- maybe some additional veggies to make it healthier or ground meat to make it hardier. But people like this and it could not be easier.
Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia
You wouldn't know it from this list, but I do cook more than one type of cuisine. I guess the quickest ones happen to be (all but one) Tex Mex. Nothing wrong with that!
If you have any 15- minute meals, please share them!