Some of these meals sound good, but some are just ridiculous. Canned sardines on triscuits? Buttered blintzes with sour cream? Scallop ceviche? Boiled lobster with butter? Shrimp with cocktail sauce? Tofu + ketchup??? THESE SUGGESTIONS ARE NOT DINNER! Dinner isn’t just about cooking fast or cheap. All meals should be balanced in some way, or at least nutritious. I can understand maybe canned sardines on fresh bread with a simple salad (or even store bought salad!) on the side…but packaged processed crackers? Please…

234. Celtic Steak:

Take one large or two small red potatoes, chop them up with an onion (as big or small as you like). Saute in olive oil, mixing often, until onions are just about caramelized and potatoes are soft and browned. Add cubes of sirloin steak, medium chunky, and saute to desired doneness.

This can also be made with pork, chicken or shrimp, or all four (adjust shrimp cooking time, as obviously they will cook a lot quicker than the steak, pork or chicken).


235. Quick Pasta Recipe

Make your favorite kind of pasta (I recommend tortellini), drain the water, and pour a can of Campbells cream of chicken soup in and stir.


236.  Sloppy Summer Squash


Saute 1/2 thinly sliced sweet onion and 1 med or 2 small yellow squash sliced to 1/4 inch rounds in butter for 5 minutes. Drizzle with juice from 1 small wedge of lemon. Add 1/ cup of cottage cheese to pan then turn off heat. Stir and top with fresh ground black pepper




Make “enough” soft-style stoneground yellow polenta (8 minutes in the microwave, depending on servings and wattage). Add chopped sundried tomatoes when you add the polenta to the water. With one or two minutes to go, add canned quartered artichoke hearts and generous amounts of goat cheese. Stir and serve.


Alternatively, buy pre-cooked polenta, slice into thick rounds (about 3/4 inch each), top with the sundried tomatoes, artichokes and cheese, microwave and serve. (In that case, I prefer feta to goat cheese, and brush the rounds with olive oil first.)


238.  Toasted Cheese


bread, sliced cheddar (about 1/16th inch slice), Arrange cheese on bread, Toast in oven 400 degrees, 7-10 mins, until cheese is crisp and bubbly, Garnish with Tabasco if desired.


239.  Cheapest, Easiest Waste-not/Want-not Dinner


1/2 package per person of curly Ramen instant noodles (the ones that cost 6/$1.00 or on sale 10/$1.00- stock up!), bring water to boil, while boiling, chop leftover veggies, leftover meats, anything you want to get rid of in your fridge that is still edible.


open the noodle seasoning packets and dump into the boiling water. Then dump in all your miscellaneous ingredients. Lower heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, throw in noodles, stir to soften, then cover pot again and set table, call the gang. Soup will be ready to serve when all have gathered at the table.


240.  Pasta Stefania, for my girlfriend:


- Jar of sliced sun dried tomatoes, mostly drained of oil

- Jar of kalamata olives in brine, mostly drained

- Ricotta cheese

- Can of chopped tomatoes

- About a teaspoon tomato paste

- 3 garlic cloves chopped

- Olive oil for sauteing

- Red pepper flakes (to taste)

- Salt & pepper (to taste)

- Your favorite pasta–I like cavatappi


1. Boil the water for the pasta. Once you start cooking the pasta, saute the garlic until golden in the olive oil, then add the sundried tomatoes and olives. Cook for about two minutes.

2. Add the everything else except the ricotta and stir. Saute until pasta is done cooking.

3. Drain cooked pasta, reserving some cooking water. Add the ricotta cheese to the pasta sauce and stir. Add the pasta and toss. Enjoy!


242. Caprese salad: Pick a vine ripe tomato from your container garden/hydroponic garden/backyard. Harvest a few fresh basil leaves from your herbs.

Get the freshest mozzarella you can. Slice the tomato and mozarella, and alternate slices on a plate laid with basil leaves. Garnish with basil and drizzle with olive oil or a light vinaigrette. Serve with a fresh baguette.


243.  Heres the other one: Green Eggs & Ham


- Pesto sauce

- Eggs (enough to serve, about two each)

- Good ham sliced thick & diced


Scramble the eggs with the pesto and ham. Serve.

Variation: cook up some pasta and toss with pesto. Scramble in a pan with eggs. Delicious!


244. Fried Matzoh Brie


6 eggs beaten or 1 carton of egg beaters

box of Matzoh Crackers, I like the everything flavor.

little oil for pan

Run crackers under the faucet until all wet. Crumble them into the egg mixture and fry in skillet until hot.


245.  If you absolutely, positutely cannot eat sardines, get them in a tomato sauce, or as I do, crush them and mix with a grainy mustard you love. Then spread and eat with a slice of tomato.


246. Another variant on stuffed tomatos — chop defrosted pre-cooked shrimp, mix with a little mayo and pesto, and stuff it into the tomatos. (I like the little ones for easier eating).


247.  Rinse and drain one 12 oz can of your favorite beans (black, cannelini, kidney), pour into microwaveable bowl. Heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds. Over the top, add 2-3 tablespoons of salsa (hot to your taste), some slices of ripe avocado, and 2 poached or over-easy eggs (yolk uncooked). Add pepper, mix so yolks break. Enjoy!


248.  Comfort Tuna-Cheddar Pasta Sauce For Two


This devolved from three different recipes when we came home from a trip and all we had in the house was grated cheese, tuna fish and pasta; I added some of this and a little of that. The spicing is gentle enough that a child probably would be okay with it. It’s now one of my husband’s favorites, I like it too, and it’s so, so easy.


2 TBSP butter

1 TBSP flour

1 c. milk

1 c. grated cheddar cheese

½ can tuna, drained

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper (important)

1-2 pinches of dried oregano

1-2 pinches of dried basil

Dash of cayenne pepper

Dash of mustard powder

Two small drops of Worcestershire (try pouring it into a spoon, or the bottle cap, to avoid getting too much)


In a frying pan or sauce pan, gently melt butter, adding the dry seasonings, and stir in flour.

Add milk.


As it warms, stir in grated cheese and Worcestershire. (Can also add dry seasonings here if you forgot earlier.) Stir to blend. Add tuna. Heat until it thickens and just begins to boil.


Serve over penne pasta (half a box). Have some spring mix with olive oil and balsamic on the side if you’re wanting to redeem the meal with something healthy.


*For doubling, only 3 TBSP of butter are necessary and 2 TBSP of flour; everything else, double.

*DON’T add garlic. I know it sounds like a good idea, but trust me.





- small carton (250g) egg whites

- medium tomato

- 1/2 medium onion

- little chopped cilantro

- 2-3 small, hot green chillies (habaneros for the real heat freaks)

- spices (to taste): turmeric pwdr, chilli pwdr, chopped garlic/pwdr, salt/pepper



- Spray pan with PAM, heat to MedHi/Hi

- Dump in onions, sweat, then tomatos

- Add spice powders, mix

- Add egg whites, scramble a bit, add green chillies

- When done, garnish with the chopped coriander (or cilantro)


Very tasty (to me, anyway), filling and great for low-carb brekker (or dinner).


If you use olive/canola oil instead of PAM, calories go up but so does taste (still extremely low carb, though)


Detailed Caloric/Carb/nutrional info can be calculated using the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference on-line [URL:]


250.  Cous-cous is the fastest thing ever and comes in all sorts of great flavors so I keep lots on hand - per the instructions, its really boil water, add, let sit 5 minutes and its done. You can add ANYTHING to it, fruit, vegetables, chopped chix or meat. Kids love to “make” their own, so put out little bowls of peas, sliced almonds, broccoli florets, raisins, mandirin orange slices, chopped chicken etc for them to add.


I keep this and precooked chicken strips and/or cutlets on hand for my 10 minute meal needs:


idea #1 1 box cous-cous, any flavor

1 package pre-cooked chicken stips, cut up

1 small bag frozen peas (or canned)


boil water for cous-cous and add peas, when water boils, toss in cous-cous grain, stir and take off heat. Let sit 5 minutes, add chicken and serve.


idea #2 1 box chix and broccoli cous-cous

Broccoli florets - fresh or frozen

Precooked breaded chicken cutlets

I can Cambells cheese and broccoli or

cream of broccoli soup


cook up the cous-cous (5 minutes) and broccoli steam or boil (10 minutes), meanwhile, heat cutlets in microwave, (5 minutes) and then heat soup and use as a gravy and spoon over all.


251.  Prosciutto with Frizzled Spinach


- 1/2 pound imported prosciutto, chopped

(Domestic tends to be very salty)

- 1 bag pre-washed baby spinach leaves

- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

- teaspoon of olive oil

- pasta


Boil water & cook pasta


As pasta is cooking, add oil to pan, saute the red pepper flakes & chopped prosciutto together over low heat. (Don’t cook too high so prosciutto doesn’t dry out.) Two minutes before pasta is finished, add spinach to the prosciutto pan and stir in until frizzled. Serve over pasta.


Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.

(May also add in garlic along with red pepper flakes for additional spice.)


253.  Turkish pasta


Angel hair pasta, feta cheese, scallions. Optional fresh basil and/or parsley


Crumble feta cheese in bottom of a large bowl. Thinly slice scallions, add.

Cook pasta and add to bowl. Toss to blend. Add fresh ground pepper to

taste, and chopped basil and/or parsley.


The heat of the pasts melts the cheese–delicious!


254. Standard can of tuna

-Standard can of corn kernels


Drain both cans, put together in microwavable bowl, zap for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 minutes.




1. Pick up phone

2. Place order

3. Pay and tip

4. Enjoy

5. Sleep, wake up, go to work for 12 hours

6. Rinse and Repeat


256. Spinach and Black bean quesadilla


Open 1 can Refried Black Beans (I like Goya)


Spread beans straight from the can onto one flour tortilla and place into a cast iron skillet on high heat (no oil needed)


Place a handful of fresh baby Spinach onto the black bean spread tortilla which is browning on the bottom side


Top with a handful of grated Sharp Cheddar over the spinach and place a second torilla over it and carefully flip with a spatula to brown on the other side.


Serve with salsa, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, thawed frozen corn or any other veggies and a dallop of sour cream or plain yogurt.




1 can green beans

1 can mushroom soup

1 can corn

1 lb ground beef

sprinkle french fried onions on top

1 crushed garlic clove

salt an pepper to taste


258.  Puerto Rican “Pastelon de Platano”


6 eggs

1/2 lb lean ground meat

4 or 5 plantains, ripe but not overripe

4 Tbsps Olive Oil


1: Season ground meat to your liking. Then brown until the meat is cooked but not dry.

2: Slice the plantains lengthwise. Fry the plantain slices over medium heat in two tablespoonfuls of olive oil until lightly brown.

3: Beat eggs in a bowl.

4: In large greased pan, cover the bottom of the pan with a row of plantains.

5: Add cooked meat over the plantains.

6: Pour beaten eggs over meat and plantains.


Let sit for a couple minutes and flip over like an omlette and you have “Pastelon de Platano”



259. sushi rice bowl


microwave enough edamame (frozen, shelled)

cook rice and season with sushi seasoning (premade is fine: rice vinegar, salt, sugar)

open package of surimi(fake crab)*

slice avocado

chop cucumber


serve rice in bowl and offer above toppings as well as toasted sesame seeds, lemon wedges, soy sauce, wasabi

if desired serve green salad with matchstick carrots and ginger dressing on side with even instant miso soup. enjoy!

*smoked salmon works, too as does any leftover mildly seasoned fish


260.  how bout more meals that don’t require cooking at all. fresh veggies, salads, cold soups, fruit, cheese……there are plenty of alternatives to “heat” out there…..


263. Anything green with a dressing of oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin. Put some brocoli in the microwave for 2.5 minutes.


265.  In some butter, grill peanut butter sandwiches made with good sourdough bread and chunky natural peanut butter. Peel, core, and slice a tart apple, such as Granny Smith; sauté apple slices in a little olive oil, brown sugar and curry powder until slightly carmelized but still crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Serve the sautéed apple slices over a bed of greens dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; toss on some chopped walnuts and currants, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the grilled peanut butter sandwiches, cut in wedges.


266.  Salad Bar Dinner -- Put into individual bowls, or piles on a large wooden plate:


Canned corn

Chopped tomatoes

Hard boiled egg (sliced in one of those egg slicer things)

Cucumber slices


Canned Tuna or Salmon



Canned kidney beans

Grated cheese

Leftover pasta

Leftover protein of any kind (bacon, chicken, steak, turkey, cold cuts…)

Toast on the side.


Everyone starts with a bowl of lettuce and tops with whatever they want. Serve with a gravy boat of salad dressing.  An insta- Salad Bar!


267.  When I was in college and grad school, one of my favorite quick meals was to cook 1/2 cup of rice, brown 1/2 pound of chopped meat, and warm 1/2 bag of mixed frozen vegetables (best if it contained pearl onions). Combine these all with soy sauce to taste. It was quick, easy, and well-balanced.


268. Steam broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, tofu and anything else you’d like to add for 8 mins; while letting cooked vegetables shed their steam, mix 1 tsp. miso, 2 tbsp. almond butter, and some water from the steaming pan to a consistency for dipping the vegetables. Yum, nutritous, low calorie with good fats.




Place medium-to-large scallops in lime juice, salt, and pepper and let sit, covered, in refrigerator, for as long as you have time. Drop scallops in to a hot frying pan covered in a thin layer of oil–reserve lime juice/salt/pepper–and use high heat. Cover and cook for about a minute. Repeat on other side. Take remaining juice and cover for about 30 seconds. Stir scallops around and keep on high until liquid evaporates and they are golden brown all around (carmelizing the liquid as it boils down facilitates this) and tender on inside.

Place scallops on a bed of raw, sliced yellow peppers and cover each with a thin slice of fresh jalapeno pepper.


270.  Lemon Shrimp Skewers


271.  Paris Hilton Hot Dog


1 boiled Oscar Mayer all beef weenie

1 fresh warmed hot dog bun






warmed hot dog chili

warmed Judge sauerkraut


1 large glass 1/2 sweetened and 1/2 unsweetened Iced Tea


272.  Shrimp & Scallops in pink sherry sauce over linguine


Melt 1 stick of butter, saute 1 Large chopped onion in butter until softened. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Add 1 cup Sherry. Cook on med heat 5 minutes until alcohol evaporates. Add one small can tomato sauce - heat through. Add 1/4 cup half & half - heat through. Add 1 lb. each bay scallops and medium cooked/shelled/deveined shrimp - heat until seafood is cooked. Pour over 1 lb of cooked (al dente) linguine - cover and let rest for 5 minutes so sauce soaks into pasta…


274.  Lemon Shrimp Skewers


grate lemon peel from 2 lemons into softened butter, mix w/a bit of course salt- set aside. cut same lemons into quarters. alternate quartered lemon cuts w/medium sized shrimp on skewers. coat w/lemon butter and broil, grill for 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp is opaque.


275.  10 min quesadillas (see also #66 & #141 for variations.


Need:       flour tortillas (2 per quesadilla), shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream

Optional: onions, red peppers


(1) Heat oven to broil

(2) While oven is warming, slice onions & peppers and then saute them in olive oil.

(3) Lay tortilla on baking sheet and sprinkle generously with cheese.

(4) Add onions & peppers

(5) Add more cheese on top and then place a second tortilla over top of the first.

(6) Put in oven for 1 minute. Then flip over and broil other side for another minute.

(7) Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with salsa and sour cream.


Another various is to shred or cut BBQ chicken into pieces and add that with onions to the filling and then serve the BBQ quesadillas with sour cream. Also very tasty and the whole thing takes less than 10 min!


276.  Brie Fruit Salad- Great for a hot summer night.


Wedge of gooey room temp brie

Sliced avacados

Sliced peaches


French baguette

Combine avacados, peaches and grapes in a bowl. Top with gobs of the brie. Gently toss. Let sit a few minutes until brie has coated everything. Serve on top of sliced baguette.   


278.  A Cuban favorite when you forget to think about dinner: fry two eggs, put on top of a bowl of white rice (we always have cooked white rice), add salt and pepper, mix it all up and eat . . . yummm. Kids love it.


315.  #278….this is #258(I’m a mutt; Cuban-PuertoRican)…just had eggs and rice last night…


279.  Frozen spinach, diced vine tomatoes, sweet onions and mushroom. Saute in a pan until onions are translucent. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin. Add strips of chicken or turkey breast (deli sliced turkey works the same) and top with mozz. cheese.


Goes great with a wrap, pita bread or pasta.


280.  Grown up tuna salad…


- Can of nice tuna, or chopped leftover grilled tuna

- Pesto

- Chopped sundried tomatoes, or sundried tomato spread

- Olive oil

- Lemon juice

- Capers


Drain tuna, mix in other ingredients to your liking. Stuff it in a pita along with a handful of raw baby spinach leaves, put it over a spinach salad, serve with crackers, etc.


281.  Chicken Mallory (Spontaneously named when my son asked What’s for dinner? Mallory had just been located on Everest.)

In a large skillet over medium heat. Add frozen chicken tenders (Costco has them by the bag-full), frozen peas, cubed cheese - pepper jack and/or cheddar, jarlsberg, or other firm creamy textured cheese, and a jar of pasta sauce. Cover and cook until chicken is done. A side of garlic bread and additional veggies makes this an easy meal. Omit cheese for a lower-fat version. Any frozen veggie does well in the dish.


282.  Big green salad with tomatoes, shredded carrots, cucumber slices, red & yellow peppers, kidney or garbanzo beans drizzled with oil & vinegar, with cottage cheese on the side.


283.  Summer Jersey Tomato Sandwiches


You need a loaf of great Italian or French bread, 2 or 3 ripe tomatoes (Jersey preferred, but I’m prejudiced), some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh basil.


Slice the bread into 1/2-hoagie size pieces, then slice pieces lengthwise. Brush insides of pieces with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, then place under broiler until just toasted.

Slice tomatoes about 1/2-inch thick. Place on toasted bread, a pinch more salt, pepper if you like it, a few coarsely chopped pieces of the fresh basil, maybe a drizzle of olive oil. An outstanding summer treat — if you have leftover grilled vegetables (peppers, onions, portabellos), they make a great addition to the sandwich, too.


284.  Tuna Pita Pizza


Toast a pita bread in a toaster oven or regular oven

Spread sundried tomato paste and anchovie paste on pita

Then add some drained tuna from a can, black olives, grated parmesan.

Put back in toaster oven on bake for a few minutes until cheese melts and tuna warms


Sausage Pita Pizza

Toast a pita bread in a toaster oven or regular oven

Spoon a few teaspoons of pesto on top

Top with thinly sliced roma tomato (or sundried tomato paste or any tomato sauce), a few halved mozzarella balls, Amy’s precooked sundried tomato chicken sausage (sliced) (or any other precooked sausage) , grated parmesan

Put back in toaster oven on bake for a few minutes until cheese melts and other ingredients warm through


285.  Tomato Pie…Best with Summer Tomats…


Bake ready made pie crust for 5 min


Layer Swiss Cheese

Thick slices of your favorite fresh tomato

Salt and Pepper

Back into oven until crust is fully cooked


Drizzle with Olive Oil…Delish!


286.  Slovakian Haluski


Fry bacon (3 to 12 pieces)

Break into small pieces and leave a tablespoon of bacon grease in pan.

Chop one head of cabbage, big or small, stir fry with bacon until tender. Add salt and pepper.


288.  Chili Rollups


1 can chili

1 can rice and beans

1 package soft tortilla “wraps”

sour cream

shredded cheese

hot sauce (optional)


mix, heat, spread, sprinkle, roll and eat!


289.  Salsa pizza


Top toasted whole wheat pita or flat bread with salsa, shredded cheese and whatever else you like ( I like sliced jalapena peppers and leftover chicken if I have it). Toast the whole thing again in toaster oven until cheese is melted. Nice, crispy, and not too bad for you!


290.  Response to Post #267 (Former Student):


Growing up in India, this was a favourite meal/snack! Its is called “kheema-rice” (kheema = ground/minced meat), with a few twists:


- usually only green peas, no other veggies

- sliced onions usually sauteed b/f adding/browning the meat

- Spiced up: meat masalas, cloves, chillies, etc.


291.  the best italian ever:


1 loaf of crusty french bread cut into thirds;

1/4 lb. of prosciutto, razor thin;

fresh roma tomatoes, sliced;

fresh basil;

fresh “buffalo” mozzarella, sliced;

extra virgin olive oil;

balsamic vinegar.

this one ain’t hard. i like to combine equal parts of vinegar and oil in an old ketchup sqirt-bottle (the old red kind you might find on a diner’s table). drizzling works too - drizzle the oil first or the vinegar will just soak into the bread. squirt or drizzle the oil and vinegar onto the bread; add about 1/8 lb. of prosciutto per sandwich; layer on the mozzarella, basil and tomatoes; give another shot of the oil & vinegar. eat.

if your girlfriend is a vegetarian, like mine, use the extra bread and proscuitto for a sandwich for lunch the next day.

thanks to the italian cafe on broad street in boston for the sandwich.




One can tomato soup (tomato bisque for richer flavor)

One can tuna

One can vegetables (green beans are best)

1/2 cup rice (optional)

Some nice bread


Mix top three ingredients together (add optional rice)in bowl.

Heat in microwave for 3-5 minutes.

Eat with bread.


293.  My roommate taught me this easy and filling dip:


Drain and rinse a can of black beans and a can corn. Mix with chopped onion, tomato, avocado, salt, pepper, and ranch dressing. (Or, if you have any left over fresh salsa, use it instead of the ranch). Eat with thin tortilla chips. Also a good quick fix for potlucks:)


294.  Inspired, or reminded,  by 238:


Butter both sides of two slices of white bread. Make them into a sandwich filled with medium-thick slices of Velveeta, one slice deep), fry over medium heat until the outside is golden brown and the Velveeta is melted. Remove from pan to a plate, cut thru the sandwich diagonally, open up sandwich and fill it with one layer of drained bread and butter pickle slices, reclose. Hmmm, and your fat quota for the year.


295.  Pasta and Walnuts


Cook (12-16 ounces) bowties or rotini (will catch the walnut pieces)

While boiling, mince some garlic (the more the better) and add to fry pan with some olive oil (a lot (up to 1/3 cup) because it makes the sauce coat the pasta better

Cook one minute and add at least 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts stir frequently about 3 minutes (I don’t mind if it burns, hopefully yours won’t)

Add 1 -2 bunches chopped broccoli or cabbage

Add 1/2 cup of pasta water, cover and boil 3-4 minutes

Mix with drained pasta and parmesan cheese

Add some chopped parsley (for texture and for garlic breath)

(adapted from Natalie DuPree)


296.  Here are 3 easy steps in - truly - 10 minutes, provided you go through the motions like a hungry chef:


1. Put a chopped onion and chopped chili pepper into an oiled hot skillet; one minute later add a can of chickpeas and sprinkle some balsamic vinegar on top; and in another two minutes add the best jar of tomatosauce-with-tuna you can find. Why tuna? I don’t know - beats meat. Cook together like the dickens for 5 minutes or so.


2. While this is going on, treat yourself to an hors d’oeuvre of cherry tomatoes, jarred peppers and some cheese, and eat them alternating each one-by-one. This way, you get the hot & acidic (peppers), the crisp & cool (tomatoes), and the soothing & neutralizing (cheese) sensations going on in your mouth all at once.


3. Go back and take the “Chick Pea Stew” off the stove, add a low-fat unflavored yoghurt on top to balance out the spicy feel of the chili peppers, and enjoy.


297.  not fancy or particularly healthy- but delicious with an Indian kick


Heat onions and cumin and garlic in a pain

Put in ground turkey- spice it with tumeric, red chili pepper, some ginger salt and pepper- cover and let simmer

break two eggs, into pan, add a little more of the above mentioned spices. scramble

add chopped tomatoes and green peppers, take off heat

Put on top of crispy rice, and enjoy a spicy meal


298.  Buy a supermarket roasted chicken and 2 bags of salad, Eat well for several days


299.  Bachelor dinner: Boils egg noodles or pasta. When there’s one or two minutes left to cooking time, add a can of corn (or some frozen veggies of whatever type you like). While the stuff is boiling, grate some cheese (whatever you like….jack, fontina, add in some parmesan if desired), and add the grated cheese to the drained pasta mixture. Add a can of tuna, or diced cooked sausage, or bacon, or whatever you have on hand. One pot, with whatever you have on hand!


300. Melt some butter in a non stick skillet. Add a some crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese. Let it melt. Stir in cooked pasta. Top with fresh cracked black pepper and nutmeg.


301.  As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.

         — Posted by Scarlett


302. Prep time less than 5min- wait time 30-45min


I love my rice cooker. I use it not only to cook plain rice but also to make pilaf and other dishes. I don’t even want to stand near a boiling pot during summer..(I live in the Midwest)


Here’s one idea for rice cooker cooking:

combine white rice, canned tuna/chicken, shredded carrots, chopped green onions and fish/chicken/veg broth. season with soy sauce/salt

You could add a bit of sesame oil or other oil, or leave it virtually nonfat.


Sprinkle with roasted sesame seed before serving.


303.  Warm Vegetable Wrap


Thought it might seem a bit bland to carnivores, this is actually an extremely filling, delicious, and easy dinner option that feeds two.


Cut 1 bell pepper (any color), 1 white onion, 1 cup mushrooms (I prefer oyster but anything works), and a few cloves of garlic. Butter a pan with a tablespoon or so of butter (though I use Smart Balance and it tastes absolutely fine) and lightly saute the vegetables - don’t overcook them until they’re soft, you want a little crunch. When finished, salt & pepper generously with your finest and wrap in a few warm tortillas. For extra/different flavor add some hummus, good salsa or aioli, peanut or soy sauce, etc. The key is keep it light to enjoy the greens.




 Most people buy small-curd cottage cheese: Big mistake! Large-curd cottage cheese is so delicious and creamy it makes you want to savor every curd. And it has so much cream in it, it stays fresh a LONG time. You can safely eat it at least a month past its date. Keep it in the fridge always.


For a quick, delicious, filling lunch, add a large-diced green apple to a cup or two of your large-curd cottage cheese. Eat that like a salad.


For a truly quick & dirty meal in front of the TV, just use Doritos or any other tortilla chip to scoop up your cottage cheese like a dip. Corn chips and cottage cheese taste great together.


305. Basil chicken -- I grew up in India and this is my family’s favorite recipe:


For the marinade (grind in a small belnder or cuisinart)


1/2 cup basil leaves

5 cloves garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 T olive oil

1 T fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste


Toss 1 1/2 inch pieces of chicken breast in this marinade the day before.

When ready to eat, shake off excess marinade and broil for 10 minutes turning it once. Otherwise spray frying pan with cooking spray and cook in the frying pan for 10 minutes tossing and turning. (Marinade can be used with salmon too)

Serve with salad and organic wheat bread from Whole Foods for a complete meal.


306.  Shrimp Scampi


cook angel hair pasta… while its going, cook a vidalia onion with garlic in extra virgin olive oil until onions are translucent. add some white wine and let the alcohol cook off. add a can of diced tomatoes (i like del monte organic with basil and oregano) and let it simmer for a bit. when the pasta has a few minutes left, throw the shrimp in with some lemon juice and cook until done. toss in some fresh parsley and serve with some delicious bread to sop up all the extra sauce.


another one i like is cook some garlic in some olive oil, add some lemon zest and red pepper flakes, and cook slices of zuchinni and yellow squash, serve over pasta.


OR (hahah I guess I like a lot of pasta)

cook some pasta (penne, maybe) take some frozen brocolli cook in olive oil thats been heated up with a fair amount of red pepper flakes. then add a few tablespoons of pasta water and cover, let it cook for a few more minutes until done. toss the pasta with the broccoli and all of the leftover olive oil water that it cooked in, and chop some roasted red peppers and toss those in as well. season with salt and pepper, and top with loads of pecorino romano.


307. On the Hottest Day of The Year, or whenever you decide, buy a pint, quart or half-gallon of your favorite ice cream, sorbet, or frozen dessert. Grab a spoon, head outside and try to eat it before it melts. This was a family tradition.




 To #261, I think if you copy the link in your browser’s address field, you will be able to access the Reader’s Comments after today. I did this with “I Love It, It’s Perfect, Now It Changes” from two days ago, and I can still pull it up.


309. Very Interesting Ideas, but better if the vegetarian ones had been listed separately.


310.   cube 1 pkg silken firm tofu, sprinkle with chopped scallion and handful bonito flakes, drizzle ponzu sauce.




 1. Saute 1/2 inch chunks of washed, dried unpeeled zucchini in garlic and olive oil with leftover cooked pasta (or potatoes) until zucchini is slightly browned. Plate over washed and dried lettuce or other greens and top with coarsely grated parmesan, black pepper and (optionally) chopped sundried tomatoes.


2. Mix about a cup of breadcrumbs, a chopped tomato (canned is OK) parmesan or any other grated cheese, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Mound into 2 upturned portabello caps w/ stems removed and bake at 300 in a toaster oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve hot, room temp or chilled or (even better) the next day (refrigerate).


Variations: add drained cooked crabmeat or tiny bay shrimp to the breadcrumb mix.




 I am so hungry after reading all these recipes I may eat the whole fridge. What a hoot this is.

When the kids were little it was beanie weenies. But since it’s just me and the fella now I think our favorite quick meal is lovely omelet with some yummy cheese and maybe a veggie. If the tomatoes in the garden are ripe then warm tomatoes with salt a smitch of olive oil and some bread makes us happy happy. Especially if you add a nice glass of wine. Cheers all.


313.  Eggplant and Ground Pork Stir Fry


Heat oil in pan - lightly fry chopped garlic and ginger. Add ground pork which has been seasoned with soy sauce and a little sherry - brown. Add chopped eggplant to pan (Asian eggplant is best with this) and fry until browned. Add a little stock, soy dash sugar, chopped green onions, chili pepper and additional soy sauce to taste if desired, and braise, covered, until eggplant has absorbed liquid. Hau chr!




 Summer Snack Roll:


I thin slice of deli meat (rare roast beef for me), 1 thin slice pepper jack cheese, 1 baby dill pickle. Preferred condiment Roll. Eat.


Cooffe Cake Ice Cream Sandwich:


1 round cinnamon-y yeast coffee cake, 1 pint ice cream. Microwave coffe cake 1 minute or so till just warm. Slice horizontally with bread knife. Spoon ice cream over lower layer. Place upper layer of coffe cake on top of ice cream layer. Gently press together with an appropriate sized pan. Slice and serve while cake is still warm. (Vanilla ice cream is usually best since yeast coffee cakes are already very rich.)




 Quick and delicious meal I make once a week.

1lb Salmon and 1lb Asparagus cleaned and trimmed

Roast salmon on baking sheet w/ S&P & EV olive oil 12 min 425

Add Asparagus w/ S&P & EV olive oil on separate baking sheet to oven 8 min

(total 20 min for salmon!) Tent fish w/ foil let stand 5 min. serve hot or room temp

Serve with lemon. Optional: Flavor mayo with tarragon, chives, or dill w/capers, makes a great sauce.

Serve with baguette and salad. .

This is a real throw together meal that’s all about good ing. also easy party food.


317.  Sloppy Joes


ground beef


Heinz Chile Sauce

hamburger bun


Saute onion and ground beef. Add Heinz Chile sauce. Throw onto a bun.




 Pan-seared Asian Tilapia



2 Tilapia filets

4 tbsp hoison sauce

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil



Cut filets into halves (for ease of flipping).

Mix sauces and oil and coat filets.

In a non-stick pan, on med. heat, fry filet for 4-5 min. each side.


Serve with rice. Garnish with lime and cilantro.

Flip once.


319. Perfect Stovetop Cheeseburgers


(this is a modified recipe that I got off of the Food Network website for James Beard’s Favorite Hamburgers)


Gently mix ground beef with finely chopped onion, Worcestershire sauce and a splash of heavy cream

Gently form into patties - do not press.

Heat a cast iron or aluminum skillet with butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.

Cook burgers for 4-5 minutes per side or to desired doneness. Top with sliced American cheese 30 seconds before removing.

Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion, pickle, ketchup.


320. For the vegetarians: This is what I do when I want an entree in a hurry. I keep frozen Quorn in my freezer — the best fake meat I’ve yet found, actually a pretty good substitute for chicken breast. Thaw bite-size pieces of Quorn in a bowl in the microwave while you mix together in a small bowl:

–plain yogurt

–lots of tandoori spices (I love the mix from Penzeys)

–other, similar spices that take your fancy; paprika, a pinch of garam masala, cumin, coriander.


When the Quorn is thawed, add the spiced yogurt, mix together, and put it back in the microwave for about a minute, until the yogurt is hot too. Serve. I know this sounds weird, but it’s kind of an instant marinade and it’s really good!


321. 1) Protein Pesto.

Boil rotini or medium shells. Meanwhile, smash one slab of soft tofu into a paste in a big bowl. Add 3-4 heaping tablespoons pesto. When pasta is ready, drain and place in bowl with pesto mixture. Mix well, add additional pesto to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with grated romano and crusty bread.


2) Cecamariti (husband-blinding dinner–he’ll eat so much he’ll go blind)

Chop up and steam/blanch 1 bunch broccoli rabe, set aside to cool. Open & drain can of cannelini beans. Take large cubes of day-old bread and sautee them in olive oil with chopped garlic to taste. When cubes are browned, add beans, greens, heat, drizzle with extra olive oil, and eat.




This maybe slightly more than 10 minutes to make but super easy and good…

-Prepared pizza crust

-Pizza sauce (1 cup tomato sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tsp each dried oregano, basil and thyme)

-1 onion thinly sliced and sauteed in olive oil until transculent

-Shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese to cover pizza (1 cup or so)


Cover crust with pizza sauce, then onion, then cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with proscuitto and arugula. Slice up and enjoy!


323. Two Oninons, Three Pepers and Sausage


Slice two white or yellow onions into medium thin slices. Cut three red, yellow or orange (or mix thereof)pepers into medium thin strips. Add both to a hot, fairly deep frying pan (2T oil maybe)and cook until onions are starting to wilt. Add your choice of sausage (we prefer chicken/apple or chicken/spicy). Cook until sausage is hot.


324.favorite is #28 San Francisco’s New Joe’s Special-one can also add sone sliced mushrooms with the garlic and onion! Here’s quick Egg Fu Yung: In a bowl mix a large fistful of washed, drained bean sprouts, 1/2 cup of left-over finely chopped meat, 1 minced green onion and 4 beaten eggs. Ladle saucer-size portions of mixture into skillet heated on High with 3 tbs. peanut oil. Press flat in skillet like a pancake, brown both sides, drain on paper towel. Microwave 1 can/jar of chicken gravy mixed with 1 tbs soy sauce and pour over egg fu yung patties.


325. Smoked salmon trim on a baked potato with sour cream or greek yogurt, and capers and pepper.


326. Salmon Salad (also can use Tuna)



1. A 7.5 ounce can of Red Salmon (pink is not as tasty or healthful). Sure, you could use Tuna, if you like.

2. A whole bag of the prepared salad greens, common now in a variety of brands in all grocery stores (I like the combination which they call “Spring Mix,” but the one named “Field Greens” is nice as well).

3. Four tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (get the sweet Modena variety).

4. Three tablespoons of light (tasting) olive oil. If it doesn’t say “light tasting,” it will seem too oily for most people. Spend a little more and get a better quality Italian olive oil.

5. About a teaspoon of a commercial “all purpose” spicy seasoning preparation. Get one which includes a nice pepper combination (there are so many in the market that are really quite excellent). I like the Louisiana style. Of course, if you have your own favorite spice combination use that.

6. Two nice sized tomatoes (maybe two to three inches in diameter). Stay away from cherry tomatoes (merely a fraud foisted on the public by cost-cutting restaurant moguls). Remove the core with a paring knife like you would an apple. Then slice in wedges and then slice those wedges in half… this way the tomatoes are a proper size to be eaten along with the other bits of the salad. Otherwise you end up with large chunks of abandoned tomato at the bottom of the bowl after everything else has been eaten.

7. About a quarter cup of grated cheese (you can just grab a handful). Use the cheese you prefer. They have Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone, Muenster, Swiss (and more) all in nicely prepared bags at every grocers. Grate your own if you have the time.(…but, who does?)


Preparation: Toss everything in a large glass bowl (go buy a nice two quart clear glass bowls. Buy several, in case you need to prepare salads for other people too). The clear glass enables all of the ingredients to be viewed from any angle (enhances the experience). Use a couple of large forks (even one dinner fork will work) to mix it all up from the bottom in circular motions so that everything gets covered with your spices and the “oil and vinegar.”


Serves one person grandly… especially if you are working off a few pounds. Two health-minded “lunchers” can enjoy one bowl as well, but I don’t usually like to share mine… so I fix more if I have guests (justifying the purchase of several large bowls).


328. If you always have a package of whole-grain flat bread and a bag of ready to use cole slaw (shredded cabbage only, no dressing) on hand, you’re ready for a quick meal using any odd leftovers.

Lightly spread salad dressing or cream cheese on a piece of thin flat bread, then sprinkle the shredded cole slaw in a thin layer. Don’t make any layer too thick or it will be hard to roll.

Add small bits of whatever you enjoy — I recommend paper thin slices of turkey and sliced olives.

Roll tightly and slice diagonally.


329. put two quarts water in stock pot, add salt, set to boil. Pick up phone and call local pizzaria, order medium onion, mushroom and pepperoni pizza. Wait for water to boil. Answer doorbell. Open door, pay for pizza. Turn heat off water. Let water cool while eating pizza. Pour water down drain.


330.Asian Salad (Chicken Optional)


Lettuce (whatever kind you prefer)

Frozen edamame

Slided cucumbers, carrots, green pepper and whatever else you like on a salad

Canned mandarine oranges

Paul Newman’s Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing

Sliced almonds

Frozen chicken strips (optional)


1. Boil edamame then put under cold running water to cool.

2. Microwave chicken strips

3. Make green salad

4. Add edamame, chicken strips, mandarine orange pieces and sprinkle with sliced almonds

5. Add dash of Newman’s dressing.


Serve with french bread.


331. Bean salads are my favorite 10 min or less meals when you use canned beans - drain and then pour a bit of boiling water over then sit a few minutes and drain again so the beans get a bit softer and soak up the dressing (use whatever you like or make your own). Add bell peppers, artichoke hearts, onion, or any other raw vegetable that suits your fancy then add some sort of fresh herb that is good raw (eg. basil, dill, cilantro). Chill and eat whenever you have a Jones for something fresh an lovely! (see article by Bittman a few weeks ago for a few nice recipes that you can doctor up with extra veggies.)


To truly have an effortless meal in the dog days of summer you must also minimize cleanup, prep, kitchen temperature and have the ingredients in hand.


Avoid using any cooking pan, pot or utensil you will have to SCRUB over hot water in the sink when you are done unless you are lucky and have a dishwasher. (sorry broiler fanatics - I love the taste but washing that pan just kills me!)


Use the fewest possible number of pots, bowls, knives, and cutting boards.


Keep the ingredients list simple or use whatever is about to spoil to make a “last chance” salad or stirfry


Don’t turn on the oven.






333. Cuban Quesadillas


On a 9″ whole wheat tortilla, add two slices of swiss cheese, two slices of turkey (replaces the roat pork), two slices of ham. spread mustard and or mayo. add thin sliced dill pickles. Fold in half and grill on a skillet with butter or oil until cheese melts. Put some pressure on it. Tastes just like a cuban sandwich!


334. Saute a chopped onion and some garlic in olive oil, add some chicken breast tenders or cubed chicken breast and cook for a couple of minutes longer. Add a package of frozen chopped spinach and break up while cooking, and then add one can each of chicken broth, diced tomatoes and drained garbanzos. Add some red pepper flakes. Simmer a bit. Add salt if you need it. Serve in bowls with grated parmesan.




one can quality tuna in oil

one can Joan de Arc chili beans

open cans

drain tuna to taste

heat beans in pot over stove

dump tuna into hot beans

stir once





–steamed mussels (in beer, of course)

–crusty bread

–sliced plums and zucchini tossed in a vinaigrette

topped with crumbled goat cheese


— Posted by xanthe



 No carb spagetti: slice any summer squash into matchsticks and steam or saute. Add whatever sauce you like to the pan, top with whatever cheese you have, y voila, no carb pasta! Very satisfying.


Note: shake squash as it cooks to dry it out as it is 110% water.




 Grad School Delite:

Make a box of mac n’ cheese with white cheddar sauce (Kraft makes a good one, so does Annie’s).

Add a can or packet of quality drained tuna.

Add a cup of frozen peas or brocoli florets.

Mix, add freshly ground pepper to taste.

Super good.


339. Another Brie recipe (thanks to reminder from #276)


Tear brie into pieces in a large bowl. Add chopped fresh tomatoes and torn basil leaves. Add 1/4 cup of good olive oil.


Go away and have fun in the sun for 1-2 hours. Then boil fresh angel hair, drain and add to bowl while piping hot. Toss well, add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Yum.


340. Pasta con Broccoli


The broccoli falls apart and becomes a creamy sauce for the pasta.


penne or other cut pasta

a roughly equal amount of broccoli florets

few Tbs good quality olive oil

Sufficient freshly grated Parmesan (the real stuff)

hot chili flakes or whole dried pepper

crushed clove garlic

anchovy fillet



Set salted water to boil. Put olive oil in a small saucepan with garlic, pepper, and anchovy heat so garlic sizzles and then remove from heat. When water boils add broccoli and pasta, stirring occasionally. When pasta is ready reserve some of the pasta water and drain pasta and broccoli through a fairly fine-pore colander. Return pasta and broccoli mix to the pot. Add the oil strained through the same colander you used to drain the pasta, a bit of the reserved pasta water, the Parmesan cheese and stir. If dry add more olive oil or pasta water.


341. Bruschette Depending on how many you make, this can really be done in 10 minutes.


Turn on oven first - about 350 degrees.

Make some toast, or use some leftover toast.

While toast is toasting, thinly slice (not thicker than 1/8″, ideally - as thinness enables quick cooking) as many tomatoes as you need to more or less cover your toast - just one layer thick, with a little overlap here and there. Two tomatoes are enough for ten pieces of toast.


Whack a clove of garlic with the base of your palm and peel it. Lightly scratch surface of each piece of toast with the the garlic - zip-zap-zip.


Chop or rip up (ripping means less washing-up time) any nice fresh herbs you have - esp. basil, but also oregano, thyme, tarragon…


Lay out toasts on cookie sheet, ideally one with a rim… because then you give each one a good dose of olive oil - about a tablespoon each, depending on the size of the bread. More oil is better than less.


Quickly place the tomato slices on the toasts. Put some salt in your palm and sprinkle a little over the tomatoes.

Put a few of the herbs on the tomatoes.

Pour a little extra olive oil on top.

Put tray on a shelf in the middle of the already hot oven for 5ish minutes.


342. Ro-tel Chili

This is a recipe born on a Monday night after my kids’ dance lessons, when the three of us were starving and didn’t want to make a run to the store.



lb. ground beef

8-oz. can tomato sauce

10-oz. can ROTEL tomatoes and chilis

16-oz. can great northern white beans


Brown the ground beef and drain. Add everything else, plus salt and pepper to taste, and a little chili powder if you’re feeling authentic. Simmer while you toss the cans, set the table and get everyone out of their dance clothes.


My kids called home from college to find out how to make this. They are now grown and have their own families, and this has become one of their favorite go-to recipes in their homes.


343.Smoked salmon open-faced sandwiches with fresh tomato and mozzarella salad:


For the sandwiches:

- Lightly toast bread of your choice (dark pumpernickel is good)…this is the only step that produces any heat!

- Mix some capers and finely chopped green onions into creme fraiche (quantities to your taste)

- Spread the creme fraiche over the toast and top with a good-quality smoked salmon, with an optional fresh dill garnish


For the salad:

The best ripe tomatoes you can find (ah, summer!)

Fresh basil leaves

Fresh mozzarella ball

Good-quality olive oil (extra virgin, cold press)

- Slice tomatoes and mozzarella, then arrange on plate, alternating and overlapping the tomato slices, mozzarella slices, and basil leaves. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.

[You could substitute a homemade pesto for the fresh basil.]


Enjoy outside with a light, dry wine or other summer beverage of your choice. Voila!





Orzo (Barillo is an excellent brand)

Fresh shrimp (cleaned, about 1/3 lb. per person, more if you have a cat)

Small red and yellow peppers (green are also good), thinly sliced

Half of a small Vidalia or Spanish onion, thinly sliced

Several cloves of garlic, chopped


Olives (I used oil-cured black olives)

Good olive oil

Fresh or dried herbs, like basil or rosemary, optional

Thin asapargus spears, trimmed

Salt and fresh black pepper to taste


Put some water up to boil in a large saucepan and add salt. When it comes to a boil, add orzo and stir occasionally. (This requires about nine minutes to become nicely al dente.)


Meanwhile, add the chopped garlic to a bowl with the shrimp, add a small amount of olive oil and paprika, and stir to coat shrimp.


Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil and either grill on a stovetop grill or saute, turning several times. Depending on the thckness of the stalks, these should take under five minutes to become tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.


Coat the sliced peppers and onion with a small amount of olive oil (or Pam) and either grill on a stovetop grill or saute, until tender, stirring often. Remove from grill, season to taste, and set aside.


Quickly cook shrimp in same pan - either grilling or sauteing -until translucence is gone on both sides. (You shouldn’t need to add olive oil, but do so if it seems necessary.)


Drain orzo, put in original saucepan or serving bowl and add a small amount of olive oil and stir in some olives. (I added a couple of finely chopped basil leaves and pressed a bit of raw garlic into the pasta.) Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and stir to combine.


Serve with the orzo as a bed for the pepper and onions, and top with the shrimp. Add salt and pepper as desired, and serve with the asparagus spears as a side dish.




 Now #156, don’t be elitist. Some of these ideas are unorthodox and maybe less refined than Martha’s, but don’t knock them ’til you taste them. And frankly, most of these recipes are quite affordable for those of us with several to feed on a budget.




 OK, this isn’t a real meal, but it’s the first dish to go when I have people over. And it takes less than 10 minutes:


Easy Cheezy Hot Dip (aka ‘White Trash Dip’)


1 1/2-2 cups store-bought chili w/meat

8oz. block of cream cheese, softened

8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


jalepeno slices, sliced olives, etc.


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cream cheese evenly on bottom of 8″x8″ glass dish. Pour chili evenly over. Next add any ‘extras’. Finish up by sprinkling the cheddar over. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with hearty totilla chips, or whatever you like. Yum!




 Brown an onion in canola oil add 1 pound grass fed ground beef, when brown add salt pepper, 1-2 cups fresh or frozen corn, 1 cup of ketchup and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Serve over whole wheat elbows using pasta water to thin a bit if needed. Don’t fancy it up.




 Just a big thank you to Mark Bittman for a huge list of recipes that easily adaptable for one person, or, at most for two meals. I won’t have to buy huge amounts of food or make a recipe for 4-6 and eat it daily until it is gone. And the variety is wonderful!




 Mini meatball soba


1/4 lb. ground beef

powdered garlic

fresh nutmeg Saute mini meatballs.


boil soba noodles

add memmi flavoring or mix good soy sauce with a little sugar.


Add to the mini meatballs and slurp!


351. Easiest couscous (sort of like paella without the work):


- 1 Cup of your favorite flavor broth (I always keep a resealable box in the fridge)in a “big enough” bowl

-heat 2-3 minutes in microwave

-Add 1 Cup couscous

-cover with plastic wrap and leave it alone for 5 minutes (or until you’re ready for it)

-fluff with fork

-add veggies, raisins, chopped herbs, and/or sliced/chopped remnants of whatever leftovers you have handy

-drizzle with olive oil

-try adding a cinnamon stick to the broth while cooking (remove before eating) or some allspice or fresh nutmeg


352. Mini meatball soba


1/4 lb. ground beef

powdered garlic

fresh nutmeg Saute mini meatballs.


boil soba noodles

add memmi flavoring or mix good soy sauce with a little sugar.


Add to the mini meatballs and slurp!


options: add cubed tofu and chopped cilantro


353. Summer Tomato Sandwiches


Best made with soft white bread — the kind you’re embarrassed to buy — schmeared with mayo and slices of summer tomato. kosher salt & black pepper. mmmmm.


354. Salade Decomposee


Toss all leftovers in refigerator in a mustardy vinaigrette. Top with soft-boiled or poached eggs if desired.


356. I learned #21 from a cooking class I was translating for in Tuscany one summer - but even better, chop up all the ingredients first and let them rest with some olive oil together in a bowl while the pasta is cooking. The extra time together allows the flavors to blend more. With fresh ingredients, you hardly need salt or pepper. Buon appetito!


357. Fresh broccoli, fresh cauliflower, and your other favorite vegetables cut up and cleaned (if you don’t know what works for you trial and error will guide you) steam them in a steamer about 8 minutes and last minute grate your favorite hard cheese - Swiss or other more aromatic cheeses add great deal of flavor to what is essentially a bland meal. Voila you got yourself a lovely light dinner.


Chilled tomato juice with a dash of lime juice and cayenne pepper is optional.



Boil some quick rice, simultaneous to sauteing some butter, garlic or onion with hot sauce to your taste. Throw in smidgens or bunches of whatever you’d like, from veggies to seafood, chicken to veal (all pre-cooked of course, like in leftovers except if using seafood). Stir in the buttered hot sauce and enjoy. Top of the meal with salad and or toasted garlic bread. Make plenty because the family will want more.


359. Cold Cucumber Soup - particularly lucious on a hot day.


3 peeled and de-seeded English cucumbers (easiest way to de-seed is to halve and scrape down the middle with a grapefruit spoon.


1 cup + 1 tbsp per serving plain low-fat yoghurt or low-fat sour cream


1 small jalepeno pepper, seeds removed (optional)


1-2 chopped scallions


1 clove garlic


1-2 tablespoons chopped chives


Puree cucumbers in a food processor until smooth, add jalepeno, scallions and garlic until incorporated. Add yoghurt or sour cream and process until smooth. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time and process until reaching desired consistency.


Salt and pepper to taste


Serve in chilled bowl, topped with the reserved yoghurt/sour cream and chives


360. I forgot my favorite - BMT’s


Cut a good loaf of crusty bread in half lengthwise. Cover both sides with extra virgin olive oil. Add a layer of thickly sliced tomatoes, then a layer of fresh basil, and then a layer of fresh mozz. Put it under the broiler or in the oven for approx. 10 minutes.


361. A delicious cold salad with little prep required:

-wild rice

-chopped walnuts

-dried cranberries

-chopped scallions

-olive oil

-rice vinegar (not flavored)



362. Easy Creamy You-Won’t-Believe-It’s-Low-Fat Mushroom Rice


-Boil-in-a-bag brown rice

-Sliced fresh mushrooms

-teaspoon olive oil

-1/2 can of 98% fat-free condensed cream of mushroom soup

-Fresh chopped parsely (optional)


Cook boil-in-a-bag brown rice. While it’s boiling slice, then sautee, some fresh mushrooms in a tiny bit of oil (use a teaspoon or two of water or boxed chicken broth if mushrooms stick). When rice is done pour over condensed mushroom soup (no need to heat-up, the heat from the rice keeps the dish hot). Stir in the fresh mushrooms.


Fresh parsley would also be tasty to mix in at the end. You can also add a tablespoon of low-fat sour cream for extra smoothness.


So creamy you won’t believe it’s low-fat!


363. Italian Green Beans


1 package chopped/cleaned green beans

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

A few teaspoons grated cheese of choice

A few teaspoons olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Boil green beans for about 2 minutes. Drain. Put them in a bowl. Mix with garlic, cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Delicioso!


364. Spinach-Pesto pasta

Boil water and cook pasta (spaghetti or linguine). Meanwhile, coarsely chop a few handfuls of baby spinach, some walnuts, and very thinly slice some red bell pepper. Drain cooked pasta, reserving 1/2 c. or so of the cooking liquid. Toss spinach, pepper, and walnuts into cooking pot with a couple of spoonfuls of store-bought pesto and enough water to thin slightly. Saute until warm and the spinach is just wilted, then stir together with pasta and serve with parmesan.


365.Asian Noodle Salad


1 bag salad mix, preferably Asian greens or Herb mix

1 package buckwheat soba noodles

1 package Teriyaki-flavored baked tofu, diced

chopped scallions

sesame seeds for garnish



sesame oil

rice wine vinegar

mirin (Asian cooking wine)

chili pepper flakes


1. make soba noodles according to package directions.


2. meanwhile, mix dressing ingredients to taste in bottom of large mixing bowl. Mix in salad greens and put onto plates.


3. when noodles are ready, drain and put back in pot with a little sesame oil. Arrange noodles atop salad greens on plates. Alternate: use chili oil instead of sesame for extra kick.


4. top with tofu cubes and scallions and sprinkle with sesame seeds.





367. French Pan-fried Hamburgers


1 lb. ground chuck

1 slice homemade-style white bread

1/4 c. milk


ground black pepper

White flour for dredging

2 - 4 T. oil for sauteeing

1/3 c. sour cream

1/3 c. beef consomme


potato chips



Shred the bread into bits and soak in the milk, then add to the ground chuck in a mixing bowl and mix thouroughly. Season the flour liberally with salt and pepper and place in a dish. Form the ground chuck into patties and dredge each in flour. Heat the oil in a skillet, shake the excess flour off the patties, and fry for a few minutes each side, depending on degree of done-ness desired. Turn down heat if the pan scrapings start to burn. Remove the finished patties to a dish and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add the sour cream and the consomme to the pan and scrape the bottom(use more sour cream and consomme if you want more sauce). Stir until thickened. Serve each hamburger with some of the sour-cream/consomme sauce over it. Serve with potato chips on the side of the plate (or, though this takes longer, french fries that you put in the oven before you began the hamburgers).


368. Can of beer and a sack of McDonalds cheeseburgers.


369. In a medium fry pan over medium heat, saute minced garlic and chopped onions in a little butter and olive oil. Add a quarter pound of lean ground sirloin. Stir til done. Serve over cut up romaine lettuce and top with Chinese noodles, sliced cherry tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream. Yum!


370.Indoor-grilled fish

-take some defrosted fish steaks (tuna, salmon, or swordfish is best), lay on large sheet of tinfoil.

-Spice with garlic powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

-Pack the fish above and below with slices of vidalia onion and lemon.

-Wrap up with the seams on top (so as not to drip on the grill).

-Lay on a George Foreman grill or panini maker, cook until done (about 8 minutes).


One-pot penne

-toss “enough” penne into a pot of boiling water

-while pasta is cooking, chop broccoli florets (froze ones are fine), Morningstar farms tofu breakfast sausages (pre-cooked), and/or green pepper.

-toss broccoli and other vegetables into the pot with the pasta with about 2 minutes left to cook

-drain and rinse pasta and green vegetables

-toss back into the pot, slather with store-bought sauce, and stir in “sausages.”


One final thought — quesadillas can also be made deliciously on a large George Foreman-type grill.


371. Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

–To cubes of seedless ripe red watermelon, add crumbled feta, and julienned mint. You have to try this. It’s amazing.


Skillet Fish

–Sauté a small chopped onion and a chopped poblano pepper in olive oil in a large skillet for about 3 minutes. Add a can of good-quality diced tomatoes with juice, a couple cloves of chopped garlic, sliced olives (pitted kalamatas are good), capers, add a splash of white wine, stir the mixture and cook down for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper a piece of white fish, and lay it on top of the tomato mixture in skillet. Put a lid on, and let it simmer away for however few minutes it takes until the fish is cooked through–this depends on thickness. Add fresh chopped herbs like thyme, parsley, basil–or dried herbs like a good herbes de provence blend. Taste for seasoning. It’s ready to eat and SO good. (Try another version made with Indian curry, omitting the olives and capers, and adding a bit of coconut milk before the fish).


372. Ceamed Tuna on Toast.


1 can cream of mushroom soup…add 1 can of milk, instead of water, to mixture

1 cup frozen peas

1 6-ounce packet/can chunk light tuna packed in water, drained

Add peas and tuna to soup. Stir for a few minutes till mixture is well blended over medium/low heat.

Serve on either two pieces of open-faced toast or a toasted English muffin. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 2 hungry adults.

Not a bad supper when you’re broke.


373. chicken and broc stir fry:


dice chicken, cook in pan with a little olive oil until 80% done, add frozen broccoli, sprinkle with a mixture of soy sauce and minced garlic, cover and cook for 5 or 10 minutes…yummy! serve over rice if you’re feeling fancy.


374. I race on sailboats and we devour these sandwiches between races.

Light meat put between bread of your choice.

Slice of jack cheese

Slice of tomato

Slice of avocado



Serve with fresh blue berries and water melon bites.

If you’re losing, these sandwiches will perk you up. If you’re winning - what the heck, add a bag of chips.