When we’re caught up with the responsibilities at work, we tend to forget our hungry tummies. So consider taking some time off to prepare a quick meal that will surely leave you wanting for more. There’s no need to worry, you don’t have to be a master chef to whip these up. All you require is a simple kitchen and the willpower to try something new!
1. RedMart’s Thai Chicken Curry with Crunchy Vegetables and Fragrant Basmati
If you’re craving for something spicy, you’re in luck! You can easily create a hearty meal of Thai chicken curry mixed with French beans, baby corn and eggplants. All the ingredients you need can be conveniently ordered at local online grocery store RedMart as a set, so you’ll only need to put on your chef hat and start cooking!
Ingredients (provided by RedMart):
Red Curry Paste
Other Required Ingredients:
- Bring the rice to a boil with double the amount of water (use a cup to measure) and a pinch of salt. Once boiling, stir a little, put a lid on, and turn the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and set aside when done.
- Wash and dry all veggies and get chopping. Cut the ends off the beans and halve them, halve the baby corns lengthwise and – after disposing of the cap – cut eggplant to large chunks.
- Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Cut them into chunks that are slightly larger than bite-sized.
- Put a big frying pan or a medium wok on the fire and add some cooking oil. Once hot, throw in the chicken and curry paste, and fry for 2 minutes on high heat.
- Pour in the coconut cream and all prepared veggies. Refill the entire coconut cream container with water, swish around and tip into the pan. Let the curry come to a gentle bubble, turn down the heat and keep it on a simmer for about 7 minutes, stirring it regularly.
- If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more water.
- While the curry is bubbling, wash and chop up the fresh coriander leaves (discard the stems).
- Towards the end, add the fish sauce to the pot and give it a final stir.
- The curry is done when the beans and eggplants are cooked but still have their crunchiness.
- Serve with hot basmati rice and sprinkle fresh coriander on top.
RedMart also offers other ready-to-cook recipes and ingredients for you to choose, so feel free to head down to their website and try out the different meals you can make!
2. Macaroni and Cheese
Maybe you were looking for something more western. Why not try your luck on a creamy bowl of macaroni and cheese? If you’re an avid fan of anything cheesy, this recipe is definitely a must try!
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups 2% milk
3/4 pound elbow macaroni
3 cups grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
- Heat broiler. In a large straight-sided, oven-safe skillet, melt butter.
- Remove 1 tablespoon butter and combine with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
- Add onion to skillet and cook until softened.
- Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Very gradually whisk in milk and bring to a simmer.
- Add macaroni and cook, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pan, until tender, about 6 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in remaining cheese and the mustard, and season with salt and pepper.
- Top with breadcrumb mixture and broil until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remember, for the best experience, creamy pastas are best eaten straight after cooking! Savour your cooking accomplishments at its peak, rather than letting it cool and get mushy.
3. Stir-Fried Spicy Korean Noodles
If you’re looking to jazz up your craving for instant noodles, look no further! Try out this heavily Korean influenced recipe of stir-fried spicy noodles that combines juicy chicken with flavourful kimchi. We’re confident that this dish will see you greeting everyone with a hearty “annyeonghaseyo!”
1 packet of instant Korean ramen noodles
1 packet of included seasoning
1 packed of included dehydrated toppings
1-2 tablespoon ketchup
1/3 cup kimchi and its juices, roughly chopped
1 chicken fillet, sliced into thin pieces
1 glove garlic
2 teaspoon cooking oil
1/4 cup noodle cooking water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 fried egg
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chopped spring onions
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Bring a saucepan of water to boil and cook noodles together with dehydrated toppings just shy of al dente. (slightly undercooked)
- In your frying pan, heat oil on medium high heat.
- Add chicken and saute until no longer pink.
- Then add garlic, and kimchi. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Drain noodles, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Add noodles to frying pan, season with seasoning pack and ketchup.
- Pour in some reserved cooking liquid if too dry.
- Toss and mix well, and remove from heat.
- Top with egg, sesame seeds, and spring onions.
- Serve immediately.
The beauty of any instant noodle recipe is its versatility! You don’t have to be restricted to the recipe list above, let your creativity run wild! Feel free to add beef slices, tofu cubes, mushrooms or any other ingredients as you deem fit.
4. FoodBox’s Black Pepper Chicken
If you really need a delicious meal, but you’re desperately short on time, FoodBox has you covered! Their products are quick and easy to prepare, and provide you with yummy meals to keep you going through the busy day. Their Black Pepper Chicken + Rice is a common favourite among the work crowd, with a spicy black pepper sauce that’s not too stinging but tasty enough, and fragrant rice which is made with a special blend of Asian herbs and spices.
You can order the Black Pepper Chicken + Rice meal online on their website.
Ingredients (provided by FoodBox):
2 unopened packs (1 Rice, 1 Black Pepper Chicken)
Other Required Ingredients:
- Place unopened packs in hot water for 5 minutes, then tear open the packs and pour into the tray to enjoy.
- For a more convenient way, tear open the packs and pour into the tray, cover with lid (but not tightly), and microwave for 2 minutes.
- If you’re super hungry, simply tear open and eat, it’s safe!
FoodBox also boasts a few other ready-to-cook meals for the busy working adult, so do check them out if you’re looking for variety! It’s also good to note that FoodBox products can be stored at room temperature, and have a very long shelf life (more than a year!).
5. One-Pan Salmon and Veggie Dinner
If the ever-increasing price of salmon in restaurants has put you off, this super easy to prepare dish might just be what you’re looking for. This simple yet elegant recipe fuses perfectly cooked salmon filets with crispy potatoes, marinated in lemon juice. All you need are the few ingredients, conveniently obtained at your nearest supermarket!
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
2 pounds of small red and yellow potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2 salmon fillets
1 bunch of asparagus, about 1 pound
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread out your potatoes on the pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle 1 clove minced garlic and 1/2 tablespoon thyme over the potatoes.
- Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and then bake for another 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, create your salmon glaze.
- Combine 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoon ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon thyme. Set aside.
- Take the potatoes out of the oven and push them to the top or side of your pan. (Don’t cramp them — Make sure to still space them out a bit.)
- Place your salmon fillets on the pan.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper and brush on the glaze onto both sides.
- Place your asparagus on the pan and top with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon thyme.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. (The salmon should flake easily with a fork when it’s ready.)
- Serve while hot.
6. Steamed Mussels
For newcomers, mussels are the perfect ingredient to begin with! They’re inexpensive, delicious and easy to prepare. They also cook fast, making it perfect for the busy adult looking for a quick meal at home. This one-pot recipe immerses the shellfish in a delicious tomato soup for extra taste, something we’re sure that will leave you very satisfied in the belly department.
1 small leek, well-washed and chopped
1 small brown onion, chopped
1 long red chilli, chopped
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
300 ml white wine (can be substituted with chicken stock!)
2 bay leaves
- Combine the leek, onion, chilli, parsley and garlic in a bowl.
- Add the mussels and toss through.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.
- When the oil begins to smoke, add the mussels and leek mixture, wine (or chicken stock) and bay leaves.
- Cover and steam for 2–3 minutes until all the mussels are open.
- Transfer to a large bowl or serve straight from the pan.
The best thing about mussels is that you’re not restricted; it goes just as well with many other cooking recipes! Once you’re feeling confident, go right ahead and experiment with other combinations.
7. Beef Stew With Carrots & Potatoes
This delicious one-pot recipe is perfect for those looking for a dish to bring to a pot luck event at the workplace! It’s fairly easy to prepare and takes a while to simmer, meaning that you’ll have free time to handle other tasks at home while waiting (don’t let it overcook though!).
4 lbs of pot roast beef, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions, cut into bite size pieces
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup of red wine (not required, just remember to add a little more salt for taste!)
5 carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
3 stalks of celery, cut into bite size pieces
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup of tomato paste
3 1/2 cups of beef broth
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup of frozen but thawed baby peas
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the oil to a large pot and preheat it over high heat until the oil is so hot that it starts to smoke a little.
- Add the beef and season with salt and pepper, cook it for about 5 to 7 minutes or until seared well on all sides.
- Remove from the pan onto a plate and set aside.
- To the same pan with add the onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies develop some color.
- Add the flour and stir well, continue to stir while cooking the flour for about 2 minutes. Add the wine (if using) and using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan to lift off all those browned bits.
- Add the tomato paste and stir well, add the beef broth, the bay leaf and the thyme and rosemary and bring the mixture up to a boil.
- Add the browned meat back in and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover and cook for about 2.5 hours checking on it periodically.
- After 2.5 hours, remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium high, taste for seasoning and adjust if you feel necessary, add the peas and cook for about 2 more minutes.
If you find yourself with plenty of leftovers, don’t worry! Just pop it in the freezer and reheat it for tomorrow’s meal, it’ll be just as appetising as before.
8. One-Skillet Asparagus, Cherry Tomato & Feta Cheese Frittata
The next time you decide to make a simple omelette, why not kick it up a notch and fry up a frittata instead? Think of it as a bigger brother of the omelette, more filling and delectable! This recipe will show you how to take the next big step for egg dishes.
1 bunch (15 stalks) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced small
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or normal tomatoes sliced to smaller bits), cut in half
1 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a skillet over medium high heat add a drizzle of olive oil and add the cut asparagus and diced onion.
- Let that sauté in the pan until the onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, let those sauté for another minute.
- While those are sautéing, whisk in a separate bowl milk, eggs, salt, and pepper until all combined.
- Pour the egg mixture on top of the vegetables.
- Let it cook on the stove for 5 minutes on medium high heat.
- After 5 minutes turn off the heat, sprinkle the top with the feta cheese, and put in the oven.
- Let the frittata cook for 10 minutes, or until the top is set and it is starting to get a little golden brown around the edges.
- Take out of the oven, slice, and serve.
Of course, you can adjust this recipe to your heart’s desires. You can swap out any of the vegetable toppings with any ingredients to your liking, there’s no need to follow word for word.
9. Prima Taste Ready Meals
Known for their delicious instant laksa noodles, Prima Taste has included filling dishes with rice that are just as easily prepared. They include local cuisine favourites, such as Curry Chicken and Beef Rendang, complimented with a combination of white and wholegrain basmati rice mixed with other grains.
They can easily be bought at local supermarket chains, or ordered online at their official website!
Mastering these recipes may not put you on the same level as renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, but you’ll definitely be able to cook a decent meal after work! No longer will you need to hopelessly sigh at the tiny portion of meat in your takeaway order of nasi padang, or have a hole burnt in your wallet after a week’s binge of fast food.
Do you know of a one-pot recipe that every working adult should know about? Tell us about it!
(Featured image credit: J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT)