(Closed) Easy recipes for the kitchen challenged?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
4950 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I’ve always been a terrible cook, but trying to learn lately. My main go-tos are: 

1. Pesto chicken pasta. 

A box of the pasta of your choice, cooked. A jar of basil pesto. A couple chicken breasts, baked or stuck on the skillet, shredded or diced. Mix it all up, add cherry tomatoes if you want, and you’re done! 

2. Stir fry

In a skillet, combine veggies of your choice and some bite-size pieces of chicken breast. Cook all the way through. At the same time, make some rice. Mix, add some soy sauce to taste, done. 

3. Teriyaki chicken bites

Marinate some chicken breasts (cut into small pieces) in the fridge overnight (or at least all day). Throw it in the skillet to cook it. Rice as a side. It tastes the best if you eat it from a bowl and mix it all up .

4. Turkey quinoa scramble

Brown some ground turkey (usually about a pound). Cook about a cup of quinoa at the same time, following the directions on the package. Add some peppers of any color, garlic, and onions to the ground turkey to cook. Mix it all together. 


And those are my incredibly lazy, basic meals that I always keep around the house. I will often make the last one in bulk and take it to work to eat on for the whole week. 

Post # 3
324 posts
Helper bee

I found BudgetBytes a tremendous aid while learning to cook. It provides step-by-step pictures for every part of a recipe, and every recipe I’ve tried has been delicious. It taught me enough skills to help me gain confidence to branch out a little more. I’ve also found one-pot and slow cooker meals to be great! Less clean up and fewer pots and pans to be fussing over simulaneously.

Post # 4
2267 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

One of the things I had to learn the hard way about cooking is that patience is your best friend. That, and understanding the chemistry behind why food tastes good helps more than anything. 


Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat. 


The tastiest foods have all these things. Try to zero in on flavors you find compelling. Do you like cilantro? Chipotle? Vinegar? Mustard? Identify the things that excite your palette and pop them in places you wouldn’t expect. 


Boil pasta. Drain. Add butter, garlic salt, fresh grated parmesan and whatever herb you like best. Parsley, basil, even lemongrass can add a little zip to an otherwise completely simple dish. 

Take a stock pot. Cut up 3 slices of bacon and fry them in the bottom of the pot. Add chopped onions, salt, and pepper. Cut up some Yukon gold potatoes. Add a can of coconut milk for creaminess. Once the bacon is cooked toss in the potatoes and let them get fork soft. Then add carrots, corn, and celery. You can add some cubed chicken too, if you like. Creamy corn chowder, with some cheese grated on top and a side of French bread, or served in a sourdough cannonball.

Get a rice cooker. Use coconut milk instead of water. Steam some veggies. Add garlic, a dash of Shiracha and Sweet Thai with chili sauce. 


Read recipes. They have a cadence you’ll start to recognize. Once you get the hang of the patterns you can improvise more successfully. 

Post # 5
540 posts
Busy bee

Simple real ingredients will be healthy and delicious. Shop the perimeter and please never make a casserole that calls for a can of cream of mushroom;)

something simple and impressive is making your own salad dressings. Also practicing the art of cooking different kinds of meat in different ways (my favorite is grilling or slow cooker).

Experimenting with marinades, herbs and spices.

its a tasty adventure! I just hate cleaning up after 🙂

Post # 6
837 posts
Busy bee

Love the crock-pot, makes cooking easy. Just throw every thing in and turn it on. There are tons of recipes online.

Post # 7
2796 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Spaghetti Bolognese is easy. Cut up an onion into small pieces, heat some oil in a frypan and cook the onion. Throw in some crushed garlic and mixed herbs.  When the onion is translucent, add ground beef (or ground turkey or pork) to the pan and cook until it’s browned. Add a tin of crushed tomatoes and if you want, grated carrot and zucchini. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. While it simmers, cook pasta according to the directions on the packet. Drain, put into bowls and put the meat sauce on top. Finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Pinterest has millions of easy delicious recipes – it’s worth browsing there.

Post # 10
1592 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

View original reply
shannonagins :  I second the crock pot suggestion. It’s hard to mess up most crock pot recipes. You throw ingredients in the crock, turn it on high or low and it does all of the work for you. 

My favorite crock pot recipes are shredded chicken tacos (seriously the easiest thing ever), chicken philly sandwiches and pot roast.





Post # 11
6414 posts
Bee Keeper

Grilled fish or meat with vegetables/potatoes is super easy; just stick a fillet of fish/chicken breast in the oven for 15-20 mins, boil some new potatoes (20-30 mins depending on the size) and veg (typically 2-8 mins depending on type and size), and hey presto; I usually add some butter and salt and pepper to the potatoes for flavour, and to the chicken you can add cheese for the last few minutes of cooking, or make a pocket by slicing into it and stuff with mozarella or cream cheese and some crushed garlic.

Chilli is also easy: heat 1tbs oil to a large pan, and the add a chopped onion. Lightly brown the onion before adding mince. Brown the mince, and drain off any excess fat, before adding 1 can chopped tomatoes and spices (in the UK you can get packet mixes which are good, or else I usually add 1 tsp each of hot chilli powder, ground coriander, and ground cumin, plus 1 tsp sugar). Stir the tomato and spices in, and then add 1 can of kidney beans in water. Leave to simmer on a low heat for approx 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally. I serve it with either rice, or a baked potato with grated cheese

Post # 14
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I would totally suggest watching shows like Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover, or A Cook’s Tour, to really get you excited about food and different traditions. 🙂 He really emphasizes simplicity on some of the episodes.

Post # 15
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Have you considered trying a meal kit service like Blue Apron?  I’ve used it for about 2 years and absolutely love it!  The easy instructions and pre-portioned ingredients are a great way to start learning how to cook.  I personally can’t speak to how easy it is for a beginner as I was already a seasoned cook when I started using it, but I know many other people who use the service who previously barely knew their way around a kitchen.  For them there was definitely a learning curve, but they eventually got there!  Also, while I love Blue Apron, I know some of their recipes can be a bit more complicated for a beginner.  However, there are several other services out there (Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Plated) that may have simpler recipes and/or less prep, and that may be better suited to a beginner.  You could always try a couple and see what you think!  You won’t even have to find a recipe or shop for the ingredients…they do that part for you  🙂 

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