If you’re looking for a way to add more fresh ingredients to your diet, look no further than this list of delicious and simple meals. These recipes come together in less time than it takes to drive through a fast-food restaurant, so there’s not much excuse not to try them!
1. Chicken Satay Skewers
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 8 wooden skewers
- 1 tablespoon of ginger paste or grated ginger root
- 2 teaspoons of honey
To begin this dish, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, prepare a baking sheet or a broiler pan with aluminum foil and cover it in nonstick cooking spray. Place the cubed chicken on the sheet/pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper—Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the oven. Let cool before handling again. While your chicken is cooking, prepare your marinade by combining all ingredients in a bowl. If you have one at home, you may need to use an immersion blender. Once mixed well enough to evenly distribute all ingredients throughout each other’s respective molecules, pour over chicken cubes until completely submerged under liquid levels (i.e., no dry spots). Put back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes before serving warm alongside rice pilafs.
2. Boa Buns
You will find that steamed bao buns are the perfect way to start a meal. They’re easy to make and delicious. They are made from an unleavened dough that is given its first rise in the refrigerator overnight. It’s then rolled into squares filled with a mixture of ground pork and cabbage, then folded over into half-moons and sealed with water or egg yolk before steaming them until they’re cooked through (about 15 minutes).
- 1/2 lb. pork belly, thinly sliced into medallions and cut in half if too large for your steaming container (or use ground pork)
- Hoisin sauce to taste
- Baby cucumbers or pickled radishes
- Sliced Fresh cilantro leaves or chopped chives
- Steamed buns 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Mix the flour and baking powder. Add water until you get a slightly sticky dough that can be rolled out into a ball (about 1/2 cup). Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Shape into tablespoon-sized balls; cover with plastic wrap while working through remaining batches of dough. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before steaming or frying them in oil at 350°F until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes per side, depending on the size of the bun (smaller buns will take less time)
3. Mango Sticky Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Fresh basil (or 1/3 cup dried)
- Lime juice to taste
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. For a thicker consistency, add more mango; for a thinner consistency, add more water or ice cubes. Add salt and pepper to taste. The flavor will intensify as it sits in the refrigerator over time, so make this dish at least an hour before serving—the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better!
4. Green Mango Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing
- 1 green mango, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 avocado, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- A handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely
For the dressing:
- 2 teaspoons lime juice or lemon juice (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. You can also make this salad earlier and serve it chilled. If you do so, add the avocado just before serving, so it doesn’t get brown.
5. Baked Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce & Sesame Seeds
- 1 lb salmon filets (skin removed)
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds (plus extra for garnish)
Baking salmon is a simple way to prepare this delicious fish, and it works well with any salmon. You can make your teriyaki sauce or buy one from the store. This recipe makes enough for about two pounds of salmon (which should feed about four people). If you’re not serving that many people, halve this recipe and use half as much chili sauce instead of leaving out the ginger and garlic altogether. Adding sesame seeds to baked salmon is tasty, but if you have other nut allergies in your family, leave them off!
There’s no denying the fact that cooking can be complicated. But don’t let that stop you from getting started. Cooking is a fun way of spending time with your family and friends and is also good for your health. Once you start trying new things, it will become second nature for you to experiment with different ingredients in your kitchen. So if you’re looking for a new hobby or something to do with your free time that doesn’t involve spending money on expensive ingredients or fancy equipment, then cooking might be just what you need. There are plenty of easy recipes that you can try.
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