The election is now behind us and whoever you voted for, we can all agree its time to move forward! Now we can occupy our brains with the holidays instead! Which unfortunately for many can be just as stressful, especially when you cannot rely on take out. I, like many of you have a endless list of things to do: keep the children alive and fed, go to school meetings, do laundry, clean, pay bills, juggle all the activities, work and do more laundry, so I completely understand that dinner needs to be done in 10 minutes time most nights. Especially with the holidays coming, our time is even more limited. These are three of my go to super fast recipes for when dinner needs to be on the table ASAP and hopefully help keep your stress levels down!
Kielbasa and Peppers with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Turkey kielbasa (make sure it is GF if you need it to be), diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 package of already made mashed sweet potatoes (I like Wegman’s) or a couple of large sweet potatoes
Heat your cast iron skillet (or sauté pan) over medium heat with the olive oil in it. Once hot, add kielbasa and peppers, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. While that is cooking follow the instructions on your mashed sweet potatoes (or just microwave a couple of sweet potatoes-remember to poke holes with a fork!- and serve with a little butter, salt and pepper). You can either leave out the kielbasa for a vegetarian meal or substitute leftover turkey, chicken, steak or your favorite already cooked sausage.
Asian noodles are always a hit in my house and are a great option for an easy weeknight meal. Healthy, tasty and a great alternative to take-out.
Asian noodles with shrimp and broccoli
1 package of Maifun Rice Sticks or your favorite noodles (GF if you need them to be)
1 pound of shrimp (frozen or fresh, even faster if already cooked!)
1 head of broccoli, roughly chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon fish sauce, optional
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons of ginger (either this stir-in paste from Gourmet Garden or minced fresh)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 Tablespoons lime juice
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
Cook noodles according to package. Add the broccoli to noodles with 3 minutes left in cook time. Drain all. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar and rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss noodles and broccoli with sauce. Toss in cooked, peeled shrimp and its ready to serve. I serve it with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts and a couple splashes of siracha. A squeeze of lime juice is also a great way to finish the dish.
If shrimp are fresh or thawed and not cooked, this can still be a quick meal, as long as they are cleaned and deveined! Here is a quick delicious way to cook them. Mix 1/8 cup vegetable oil, splash of sesame oil, 4 cloves of garlic – minced and juice of ½ a lime. Toss with the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side in a 400 degree oven. Cool, peel and toss with noodles.
This dish is extremely versatile. It would also be great with, zoodles (zucchini noodles), rice or cauliflower rice in place of the noodles. You can easily substitute tofu, scrambled egg, leftover chicken, steak or even turkey from Thanksgiving. It is good hot, room temperature and cold.
Having these jack-of-all trade meals in your back pocket will make dinner easier to make with what you have on hand.
Pasta with Pink Sauce
1-16 once package of spaghetti or your favorite pasta (gluten free of course if you need it to be)
1 jar of pasta sauce (or one 15 ounce can of tomato sauce)
4 ounces (1/2 block) of cream cheese
Cook pasta according to package. While water is boiling, pour pasta sauce into sauce pan and heat on medium. Add cream cheese and stir until combined. It will be clumpy. While pasta is cooking pour pink sauce into a large serving bowl and then add drained pasta. Stir and serve.
This is a great base to add whatever cooked vegetables, leftover turkey, chicken or shrimp if you like. I recently made this and served steamed green beans on the side. Stop and Shop steam in the bag green beans. My husband liked them more than when I buy green beans, clean them and steam or roast. Lesson learned! I don’t need to exert the energy!
These three easy dinners will hopefully make your busy nights less stressful and your holiday leftovers easier to finish and disguise! What are your favorite ways to use leftover holiday food? Comment and let us know! I am working on creating Pins for Pinterest for these recipes, so for now just follow me on Pinterest or follow this page and you will be the first to know when you can save these recipes!