Bean and Rice Burritos

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Another one from the dawn of my culinary bachelor past. This dish is easy, cheap, nutritious, and delicious. It's so easy, I've lost the recipe, I haven't made it in 5 or more years, and still I was able to figure it back out from scratch.

This is a classic easy weeknight meal. Make some rice (20 minutes), build the burritos (5 minutes), and bake for 20 minutes, and you're done. The main ingredients, rice and beans, are pantry staples. The most expensive ingredient is the cheese, but it's good to keep some cheese around for cheese emergencies (though, in my opinion, the only emergency is not having cheese).

Get the recipe for Bean and Rice Burritos

bean and rice burritos on
a plate

Lentil Marinara

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I'd never tried lentils before, which is a shame because they're great. Easy to make and nutritious, lentils are a good staple to have in your pantry. They're like dried beans, without the lengthy overnight soaking before use.

Since I also had a bunch of tomato sauce makings about, I decided to see if they could be combined. I had previously made a red bean and tomato sauce recipe, but beans are large and chewy, and the end result was unappetizing at best.

However, adding 1 cup of red lentils and 2 cups of water to my tomato sauce recipe turned out wonderfully. I just added the lentils and water immediately after everything else, and let the whole thing simmer for 25 minutes until the lentils were tender. The lentils added some flavor and a bunch of protein, so it's a good option for vegetarians (the parmesan cheese I added stopped it from being vegan). Added together with some roasted broccoli and I had a nice, healthy meal.

Tomato sauce with red lentils and roasted broccoli

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni

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Is it still considered Hamburger Helper if it's made with Italian sausage? If it's not made with powders from bags that come in a box? I'm not sure if the difference is that distinct...

This recipe for Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni from The Girl Who Ate Everything is uncannily similar to the Spicy Penne and Sausage I've made once in a while. They could be twins. Feel free to add parmesan to this, or basil to that. Peas could go well with this, or maybe some bacon.

In the end, it was easy, inexpensive, and good, which is exactly what a busy weeknight needs. It's adaptable to what's in the kitchen, provided you've got some cream or half-and-half on-hand (have I convinced you yet of their overwhelming utility?).

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni in a bowl with
parmesan

Breakfast Burritos

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Over the last year and a half, I've been levelling up my basic cooking skills, like sauteéing and improvising. So, since I had some tortillas from the chicken lunch wraps, and some mushrooms from last night's chicken with white wine, I decided to try making another breakfast burrito.

Unlike the last breakfast burrito, this one had mushrooms and onions, and no rice. To get the most flavor possible, I sauteéd the onions and mushrooms until golden brown and delicious. Then, I turned off the burner, and with the remaining heat, scrambled the eggs. I assembled the lot into a warm tortilla, and for a finishing touch, added some salt, pepper, and tabasco.

I wish I could eat like this every morning. Having a nice, relaxing 30 minute, freshly-made breakfast. Maybe I need to start getting into the habit...

Breakfast burrito with egg, mushroom, and onion on
a plate

Gruyere Shrimp Risotto

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I love risotto. It takes some effort, but that effort is rewarded with a delicious, creamy, flavorful rice dish. I've been making risottos for a while. I made a mushroom parmesan barley risotto with poulet au vin blanc, a few months back.

This gruyere and shrimp risotto was a departure from the recipe I found, which called for asiago and a pressure cooker. I made mine in the classic way, on the stove, slowly. I had some gruyere left over from the potato dauphinois a few weeks ago, and some shrimp that were starting to get a little freezer burn (leftover from shrimp etouffee).

It turned out amazing. The gruyere is sharp but not overpowering. The shrimp lends a wonderful flavor. And it went great with the poulet, which I'm always a fan of.

See the gruyere shrimp risotto recipe

Gruyere shrimp risotto with poulet au vin blanc and roasted
cauliflower