Everyone, especially students, need great recipes they can rely on for quick and easy dinners. These three recipes will provide a good start to your collection of favourites to make on a weeknight when time is pressed between lectures and the library. They’re filling, satisfying, and, most importantly, delicious.
Mushroom and tofu stir-fry
Makes 2 servings
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think quick and easy recipe is a stir-fry. Since a stir-fry usually involves dumping the protein, veggies, and sauce into one pan and serving with simple rice or noodles, it’s the perfect go-to meal when you’re pressed for time. In this version, I use only one vegetable so the time spent prepping and chopping them is significantly shortened. Plus, mushrooms are super tasty and add an earthy dimension to this sweet and spicy dish. If you’re a mushroom hater (gasp!), you can replace mushrooms with literally any other vegetable you like, such as broccoli or, if you’re feeling fancy, try rapini or bok choy.
1 8oz. container of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 block of firm tofu, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Canola oil, for cooking
2 teaspoon of tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoon of mirin
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sambal oelek or red pepper flakes
1 cup of cooked jasmine rice
4 fresh basil leaves, torn
Whisk the tamari, mirin, honey, rice vinegar and sambal oelek in a small bowl.
Heat a drizzle of canola oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, garlic and ginger until mushrooms are softened.
Add tofu and cook until golden and the mushrooms are cooked through.
Add sauce and stir over medium heat until it sticks to the tofu and mushrooms and thickens a little.
Serve over rice with torn basil.
White chili soup
Makes 4 servings
This white chili soup is a lifesaver. It takes literally no time to make, and tastes like it was prepared with a ton of love and hard work. The beans and chicken make it super satisfying, and the spices make it surprisingly tasty with very little effort. The store-bought salsa verde (I like to use President’s Choice Tomatillo Salsa) does most of the work here, so all you need to do to is add a pinch of cumin and chilli powder to turn this soup into a flavourful meal with tons of depth and character!
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil, for cooking
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, or 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 14 oz cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
900 mL chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of salsa verde
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & pepper
Sautée the onions and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Once the onions are translucent and soft, add the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, or even sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream.
Red Swiss Chard and Garlic Pasta
Makes 4-6 servings
In this recipe, Swiss chard takes the stage. If you love this vegetable, you will love this dish. If you’ve never tasted it, try it! It’s like a more tender, tastier version of kale. This recipe will satisfy your pasta craving, and the green veggie will take away some of the guilt. Plus, you only need one pot to make it!
1 package of short pasta (I used medium shells), cooked
2 cloves of garlics, minced
1 bunch of red Swiss chard, chopped (should yield about 6 cups)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt & Pepper
Sautée the garlic in a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the Swiss chard and red pepper flakes and cook until the stems of the vegetable soften. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat. Add the pasta and stir in another drizzle of olive oil to make it easier to mix all of the ingredients. Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with a generous amount of nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese and maybe even more cracked pepper.