For those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while now, you know that I recently moved into my very first apartment and it’s been a whirlwind of getting used to this whole new side of adulting. For me, a big adjustment of that was learning how to cook for myself since I’d become so accustomed to eating in the dining halls for the past two years (a perk of dorm life that I really miss these days!)
But over the past few months, I’ve curated a handful of recipes that are quick, simple, and easy for anyone who’s nervous about cooking and needs some ideas on where to start. Below is a list of my favorite dishes with a few tips to get you started on your cooking journey!
An all-time favorite!
A year ago, I never would have touched a plate of pesto pasta, but now, it’s become one of my favorite dishes to create! For this dish, all you need to do is boil some water, put in your pasta, strain the water, and then add the pesto! It takes fifteen minutes and I like to add a little bit of shredded parmesan cheese to the top to add some flavor.
Not only is this meal easy and delicious, but you’ll usually have leftovers that’ll last you a couple of days!
Another favorite recipe of mine that’s a bit longer, but totally worth it.
I adopted my mom’s recipe in which you take a cutlet, roll it in breadcrumbs, soak it in egg, and then roll it in breadcrumbs one more time. From there, you’ll add the cutlet to the pan with some olive oil at medium heat. After it’s cooked on one side, remember to flip it until the inside is white! As I said earlier, this recipe takes closer to an hour (even longer if you have a lot of chicken), but it tastes amazing which makes the whole thing worth it!
My roommate and I always end up eating most of the chicken in one sitting because it’s just so good!
In the same realm, I’ll also buy a bunch of chicken to make fajitas!
For this, I buy some onions and red peppers (depending on what you like in your fajita, you can get any vegetables you want) and I cut them up to a preferred size. Then, I’ll take the chicken and roll it into fajita seasoning (Note: you can make your own seasoning, but I typically buy the pre-made seasoning at Hy-Vee!) and then I add the chicken to a pan at medium heat. Be sure to flip the chicken when necessary, and when it’s all done, add the onions and red peppers to the same pan.
If you want a little extra flavor, take a lime and sprinkle it over the whole dish. From there, you’re ready for your wraps! This is one of my favorite dishes to make and my boyfriend has begged me multiple times to make it for him as a result!
This is a new recipe I discovered and it’s amazing!
For this dish, you’ll boil your rice and then take salt and pepper to grind into the beef. When that’s done, put the beef in a separate pan at high heat and keep grounding it until the inside isn’t raw. When the rice is soft and the beef is cooked, you can add the two together and sprinkle on some teriyaki sauce (I personally like the brand Veri Veri). And that’s it!
It’s a super easy meal and it’s perfect if you’re looking for some protein and grains to rejuvenate after a long and hard day.
Four Cheese Tortellini with Garlic Butter Sauce
My most recent recipe (you can see by the title that I’m getting more deluxe!) that I tried out last night and absolutely loved it!
For this recipe, you’ll need chicken broth, four cheese tortellini, cornstarch, garlic, basil, butter, and parmesan. First, you’ll boil 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and add the tortellini until soft. Then, you’ll take 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and mix them together in a separate bowl. After that, in a separate pan, you’ll add 4 tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Then, you’ll pour the broth/cornstarch mixture into the buttered pan at medium heat, let it cook, and then take 2 teaspoons of basil and 2 teaspoons of garlic and add it until the whole mixture is simmering and thick. Then, you’ll strain the tortellini before adding it to the pan. You’ll coat the tortellini and then you’re ready to serve it!
This recipe is definitely more precise in its measurements, but it’s worth the time it takes to get it right! The garlic butter is the perfect coating for the tortellini and I’m excited to dig into the leftovers I have this week!
Those are just a few of my favorite recipes since I’ve started my cooking journey! I’m sure I’ll experiment with my cooking over the next couple of months, but for right now, I’m happy with the baby steps I’ve managed to make.
Tune into my next blog post next month and thanks so much for reading! I hope the recipes helped!