Anyone who knows me well knows I'm not much of a cook. It stresses me out, I hate cleaning up afterward & I just don't like it much. Luckily, Michael is an amazing cook! But he's not keen on having the responsibility every night, so I try to help. I've gotten better & actually don't dislike it as much (most of the time). Years ago, I would watch 30 Minute Meals while I was on the treadmill & it motivated me a little to branch out from Hamburger Helper. But really it's been The Pioneer Woman's website that has really helped me. I love her step-by-step pictures. I'm a visual learner & I always feel like I'm doing something wrong, so it makes a big difference for me to see the process from start to end. Pinterest has also been a great resource for new recipes.
I have a few guidelines when contemplating if I'll attempt a recipe:
-Too many steps or too many ingredients = not for me
-I don't mind chopping one or two ingredients but I'll pass on anything with too much chopping
-I hate onions & will leave them out of every recipe even if I know I won't taste them in the end - I just won't do it.
Here are some links to a few of my faves & go-to recipes. I usually half or quarter the recipes since I'm only cooking for two (Alex usually eats earlier than we do).
Beef and Bean Burritos - we make this probably about every other week. It's quick, easy & good. Great go-to recipe when you don't feel like cooking.
Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp - super easy, not a lot of ingredients, spicy & delicious! I serve over rice. After adding the final tablespoon of butter to the sauce, I've found it takes more than a few minutes to thicken up - like around 10-12. Maybe I don't have the heat high enough, but eventually it gets there. Just be patient (unlike I was the first time - I followed the recipe exactly & ended up with runny sauce - it was not nearly as good).
Mexican Chicken & Rice - super easy & yummy (of course I omit the onion). I change up the ingredients sometimes & add green chiles or black beans depending on what I have on hand.
Chicken Enchiladas with Green Salsa - I LOVE this recipe (again, no onion). It's a little more work than some of the other recipes but so delicious. The green salsa makes this dish. Make it first, so you can munch on it with chips while you make the enchiladas. Instead of heating the tortillas in the skillet, I spray both sides with PAM, put them on a cookie sheet & pop them in the oven. A friend suggested it on her blog & I agree it's the way to go.
Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package - easy & good. I don't always have the parsley but it still works without it.
Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas - not a lot of ingredients & oh, so good. Michael's friend makes BBQ sauce, so we always have some on hand. I'm always tempted to drown the quesadillas in sauce. I've used canned pineapple before & just threw it in the quesadillas without grilling it & the end result was still yummy.
Green Chile-Chicken Casserole - I've only made this once (not too long ago), but I plan on making it again. Yummy & simple. I used a rotisserie chicken like I do with the Chicken Enchiladas with Green Salsa. Maybe I'll make it again this week...
Baked Pesto Chicken - I've only made this one once too, but it was good enough to make again. Super easy. I served it with quinoa, but rice or pasta would work well, too.
Quesadillas de Camarones - these were SPICY. We love El Pato sauce. I remember this recipe being a little more intensive than I usually prefer but now that I'm re-reading it, I'm not sure why. It doesn't seem like a lot of steps. Maybe it's because you have to chop veggies (no onions!), the shrimp & grate cheese. Maybe I'm just lazy - ha. But the quesadillas were very yummy & filling.
Anyway, just thought I'd share these in case you happen to be like me & are not a natural in the kitchen. I promise - if I can make these, ANYONE can. I'm always looking for more easy, delicious ideas so let me know if you come across any!