Recipes for the Lazy

Spaghetti and Clam Sauce

  • spaghetti  –   as much as you want
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic  –  chopped
  • 1 can chopped clams
  • fresh parsley  –  chopped  –  I use 1/3 to 1/2 of a bunch from the grocery store

Cook the spaghetti while making the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over low to medium heat.  Sizzle the garlic in the heated oil a minute or two.  Empty the contents of the can of chopped clams into the olive oil / garlic mix.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  Cover and simmer until the spaghetti is done.   Ladle the olive oil / garlic / clam / parsley sauce over the spaghetti.   I like a lot of Parmesan cheese on the mix.  –  Based on a recipe for clam sauce in the Joy of Cooking.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 medium to large onion  –  chopped
  • 1 ham steak cut into pieces
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t cayenne pepper if you like a bite to your food
  • 3 or 4 medium sized potatoes  –  sliced
  • 3 T flour  –  I use whole wheat

In our grocery store we can buy a packaged oval of uncooked ham  –  about 9″  x  6″  x  3/8″ –  a bit over 1 lb  –  which works great for this recipe.  Combine the milk, onion, ham, and pepper(s) in a dutch oven.  Cover and heat over low to medium heat.  Meanwhile, slice the potatoes and sprinkle with the flour.  When the milk / onion / ham mixture is hot, add the potatoes / flour combination.  Mix everything well in the dutch oven.  Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes over low to medium heat (until the potatoes are tender enough to eat  –  if you overcook the ham will lose flavor).  Stir often, as the mixture tends to scorch  –  does not affect the flavor of the rest if you forget.  –  Based on a recipe for scalloped potatoes in Lets Cook It Right, by Adele Davis.

Black Beans

  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large can tomatoes
  • pepper – cayenne and(or) black
  • water

Soak the beans, as directed (look on the back of the bean bag or in your pressure cooker book).  When the beans are finished soaking, start cooking the sausage in a large pot (or pressure cooker) over medium heat.  When the sausage is about 2/3 cooked, drain off most of the fat and add the onion. You should be stirring the sausage, then both the sausage and onion, off and on.  When the onions are somewhat cooked, add the beans, tomatoes, and pepper.  Add as much water as your bean recipe calls for for plain beans (look on the back of the bean bag to get an idea of how much is needed, if the beans are not cooked in a pressure cooker).  Cook as long as directed for plain beans.  This is my recipe.

Bulgur Wheat

  • 1 part bulgur wheat
  • 3 parts water – heated (I use the microwave)
  • 1 bullion cube for each cup water – dissolved in the water
  • 1 T vegetable oil to each cup water
  • chopped onion and garlic – as desired

Basic Recipe: Heat the oil in a frying pan, over medium heat.  Sauté the onion (and garlic if using) in the oil.  Add the bulgur wheat.  Stir well to coat and heat the wheat.  You should have heated the water with the bullion cubes by now.  If necessary, mash the bullion cubes in the water until they dissolve.  Pour the water into the frying pan and mix well.  Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes.

Variations: Add ginger and soy sauce, with cooked, chopped meat such as chicken or pork. Or. Add tomatoes, with Italian seasonings. Or.  Any meat / vegetable / seasoning mix you like would probably work well.  Based on a recipe from Lets Cook It Right, I think.

Stir Fry

  • 1 lb mixed frozen vegetables – any mix you like
  • 3/4 to 1 lb raw meat – cut into pieces
  • vegetable oil
  • soy sauce

Put some vegetable oil in a frying pan (I prefer olive oil) and heat over medium heat.  Put the lb of frozen vegetables in the pan and shake or stir to mix the vegetables and the oil.  Heat for awhile, shaking or stirring from time to time.  As the vegetables thaw, add the meat.  Continue to shake and stir while the meat and vegetables cook.  Splash soy sauce on the mix as the mix cooks, stirring or shaking the contents of the frying pan.  Put in as much soy sauce as tastes good to you.  You can cover the frying pan at this point and let the contents simmer for awhile.  When the meat and vegetable are cooked, serve.  Cooking, from start to finish, only takes 10 to 15 minutes, I think.  This is my recipe.

Sloppy Joes

  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 to 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 3/4 to 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can minestrone soup

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Sauté the bell pepper for a few minutes.  Add the ground beef.  Cook until almost done (stir to break up).  Add the can of minestrone soup.  Stir the mixture well, then cover and heat for a few minutes over low to medium heat. The bell pepper should be fully cooked.  Serve on hamburger buns.  This is my parents’ recipe.

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

  • 2 bratwurst
  • 1/2 can sauerkraut

Put the bratwurst in a frying pan with a little water.  Put over medium to high heat on the stove.  When the water is evaporated, take the frying pan to the water faucet to add some more cold water. Put back on the heat.  Do this two or three times, until the bratwurst is browned on two sides.  At this point, add the 1/2 can sauerkraut.  Use a fork to spread the sauerkraut out over the bratwurst and pan.  Cover and cook over medium heat until some of the sauerkraut turns brown (about 20 minutes).  Then the food is done.  Delicious.  My recipe, discovered serendipitously while wanting to finish some work rather than keep an eye on my cooking.

French Dressing

  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C non-hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C vinegar
  • 1/3 C ketchup
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C honey or the equivalent of any sweetener, such as truvia

Non-hydrogenated vegetable oil can be found at health food stores and food co-ops and sometimes in regular grocery stores.  I usually just mix all of the ingredients in a measuring cup and then pour the dressing into a suitable dressing container.  Be sure to mix well before pouring the dressing into the dressing’s container.  Store the dressing in the refrigerator.  The measuring cup should be specifically for liquid ingredients and hold at least 1 1/2 cups.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe in a cookbook put together by the PTA of my hometown (Hull, Massachusetts) way back in the 50’s.

Salmon in the Microwave

  • 1 frozen salmon fillet (I buy 4 oz frozen fillets.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 t olive oil
  • 1 t butter
  • herbs (I use chives, parsley, and basil from my garden.)

I use a Córelle soup bowl to cook and serve the fillet.  Start by defrosting the fillet.  I use the defrost setting for fish on my microwave.  Four ounces is about 0.3 lb.  Put the salmon in the bowl, put the bowl in the microwave, and run the microwave on defrost.  When thawed, peel the skin off of the back of the salmon and throw away.  Leave the liquid from the thawing in the bowl and put the salmon back in.  Salt and pepper the salmon (I salt and pepper both sides).  Juice the lemon (I use an old fashioned glass juicer) and pour the juice over the fillet.  Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon.  Place the pat of butter on top of the salmon.  Using scissors, cut the herbs in to small pieces over the salmon.  (I use about 2 leaves of basil, 3 leaves of chives, and 1 or 2 sprigs of parsley, all of which I grow.  If you do not have fresh herbs, you can try dried herbs or not use any herbs at all.)  Place a  saucer over the bowl and put the bowl in the microwave.  For my 1100 W microwave, I cook on high for about 40 seconds.  I let the fillet sit for a few minutes to finish cooking.  You can eat the fillet directly from the bowl.  The liquid left in the bowl is good, too, and should be full of nutrients.  I always sip the liquid, too.  This is my own recipe.