Meals in 20 minutes: One-pot wonders

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Some days, there’s just no time to make an elaborate meal.  Some days, I just don’t feel like cooking.  Whatever the excuse, sometimes less time in the kitchen is more.  This week I bring you meals that are ready in 20 minutes and only one pot to clean – who doesn’t love that?

By and large breakfasts are faster to make than dinners.  I hadn’t heard of migas before, which is what initially caught my attention.  When I read the flavor profile in this one, I knew my husband would like it.  Even better, they’re not completely out of the box for me.  I like to stretch my boundaries, but I also like to know what I’m doing when I start.  Migas, from what I gather, are scrambled eggs with bold flavors and more texture.  For me and my house, we can’t go wrong with that.

Slicing and dicing the veggies takes a bit of time, perhaps half your 20 minutes (depending how fast you are) but the actual cooking process for everything is relatively short, so it balances.

San Antonio Migas (from Food Network Magazine)

San Antonio Migas
A new twist on scrambled eggs.
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 corn tortillas, sliced into 1/2″ strips, then cut into 2″ rectangles
  • 1/2 Cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 C chopped sweet onion
  • 1 – 4oz. can green chiles, drained
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 C shredded pepper jack cheese

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 Tbsp. water vigorously.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the oil and melt the butter.  Add the tortilla strips and cook until crispy.  Remove the strips to a plate with a paper towel to soak up excess grease – this keeps them crispy.

When you’ve removed the tortilla strips, add the chiles, bell pepper and onion to the skillet.  Salt and pepper to taste, then cook until tender.

Add the eggs to the pan, season with salt, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Stir to scramble and combine, until most of the moisture has cooked out.  Take off of the heat, top with tomatoes and cheese.

This next one-pot wonder came to me as I was reminiscing about the cheap and easy ways I got by in college – when I could no longer stand Ramen.  What I used to do (and is still very tasty) was to make a family sized box of Mac’n’ Cheese, then add a drained can of tuna, frozen peas, and chili powder.  Don’t judge, you’d be surprised how good it is.

However, I’ve grown up some, I’m more wary of chemical-packed foods, so I’ve dressed this up a bit.  My husband isn’t a fan of food that swims, so I had to swap out the tuna for ham steak, and we think cheese is the art of the udder, so we welcome all kinds into our pasta parties.

If you don’t like Swiss or jack, swap it out for a cup of your favorite…I’m thinking it may be fun to try and feta and goat cheese in this, since the possibilities are seemingly endless here.  Same goes for the peas, they can easily be changed out for other veggies.  I just suggest they be frozen to ensure proper doneness.  That’s also why I went with ham, since ham steaks are typically prepared and ready for consumption cold.  Once in the pot, the ham and veggies are just needing to get heated through, no extra prep needed.  If you go with ground beef, bacon or chicken, you’ll have to prepare that ahead of time.

Make-a-Meal Shells and Cheese

Shells and Cheese
Hearty, cheesy, one pot wonder.
  • 1 lb. small pasta shells, or other small pasta of choice
  • 3 C milk
  • 2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 C shredded Swiss, or jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lb. cubed ham steak
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • Hot sauce of your preference (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the milk and shells, stirring occasionally until al dente.  Stir in the cheeses, Dijon, ham and peas.  Cook until cheese has melted, and peas are cooked through.

 

Tip of the week: Reuse the perforated plastic bags used for grapes to store washed greens — the holes allow air to circulate and prevent moisture from collecting. Greens will stay fresh for about three days. (a great idea from Foodnetwork.com)

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