17 Low-Pain Dinner Recipes

by VK

My friend, Terry, asked me for some “easy-ish” dinner recipes. She writes:

I typically do not want to spend any more than 1/2 hour on prep. Cooking time doesn’t matter; once it’s simmering or baking, I don’t care.

This might not sound like a challenge to you, but I’m the type of person who slices, dices and chops throughout the day then stashes my ingredients in bowls in the fridge until I’m ready to really get started on making dinner. So, after scratching my head a bit, I decided to delve through my archives. Whaddya know, it turns out I do have some “easy-ish”* recipes among my various blogs!

(*NOTE: When I say “easy-ish”, it really depends on your knife skills. Some people spend 5 minutes dicing an onion that only takes a minute for someone else. If the prep work seems like a chore, use a food processor’s slicing blade, or buy pre-sliced veggies from your grocery store’s salad bar!)

1. Here’s an baked salmon recipe that’s diet-friendly, too.

2. What could be easier than a pot roast you stick in the oven and ignore? Made with eye of round — a less-expensive cut that comes out surprisingly tender when cooked this way — this one’s easy on the budget. Plus, the leftovers make for great roast beef sandwiches, au jus or not.

3. My family loves crockpot Steak Pizzaiola served with salad and a crusty loaf of bread.

4. While we’re talking about crockpots, here’s my Sin-free crockpot lasagna. (Now that I’ve looked over that recipe again, I think we’ll be having it later this week.)

5. Then there’s my Slow Cooker Chicken with Olives, that’s not only a one-pot meal but my most-searched recipe.

6. One more for the crockpot, this is the easiest BBQ chicken I’ve ever found. Serve it on warm rolls with tossed salad and jacket potatoes for the taste of summer barbecuing any time of year!

7. We try to keep an eye on carbs around here (okay, we don’t, but I sound SO much more ‘with it’ when I claim otherwise), so I came up with a flourless chicken piccata. (Bonus recipe: substitute peeled shrimp for the chicken!)

8. Speaking of shrimp… how about super easy shrimp linquine?

9. I almost hesitate to share this one, because it’s my 5-star recipe and I’d hate to find out that everyone who’s raved about it has actually been lying. But here’s a 10-minute Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Butter Glaze that’s delicious enough for company.

10. We love soup in the winter, especially because it gives me a chance to sneak veggies into my family’s diet. This Southwestern Turkey Soup is my go-to on the day after Thanksgiving, when I’m trying to use up turkey, but I’ve been known to make it with leftover roast chicken, too.

11. And here’s a chicken tortilla soup, too!

12. This Garlicky Chicken with Spinach just needs a side of rice, mashed potatoes or quinoa cooked in broth to make a complete meal.

13. AND 14. Love lamb? Here are two ways to try it: lamb ‘piccata’ patties, and herbed leg of lamb. Yes, they really ARE easy-ish!

15. Too tired to cook from scratch? Try this Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings.

16. More interested in a sandwich? This Muffaleta recipe makes a filling dinner… and the next day’s lunch… and the day after that….

17. Finally, here’s a spicy and hearty beef stew recipe that was handed down from my great-great Aunt who made it without the veggies, as did my mom. I added veggies to make it a one-pot meal, but it’s great either way.

3 Comments to “17 Low-Pain Dinner Recipes”

  1. This is wonderful. I didn’t expect you to think so hard about it or delve into archives, but then again, I suppose I assumed you could just toss off recipes at the drop of a hat. I have read through them all and bookmarked the page to refer to it when needed or when short of inspiration. Thank you so much! Mwah!

    (p.s. I told my son about you making your own cheese and bread, and he was — is — so impressed.)

  2. No problem! It’s actually harder for me to come up with ideas for you off the top of my head, because I tend to “cook by feel”.

    For instance, right now I have 3 lbs of short ribs roasting in my oven. I’m going to cook the fat out of them for an hour at 350F. (No I don’t know the Celsius equivalent off the top of my head… I’m from Kansas! lol) Later this evening, I’ll move them to the stove top and cover them with tomato saice, throw in some parsley, thyme, bay leaves and salt, add some sliced onions and maybe some beef broth (depending on the taste), then simmer them for a couple of hours. What measurements on the herbs? Hard to say, since right now I have fresh parsley and thyme in the garden and will just keep grabbing some until it tastes right.

    I’ll be serving that with mashed potatoes and a baked dish consisting of sliced artichokes (cut the leaves off at their base, slice the artichoke into quarters, pull out the choke and slice what’s left into 1/4 inch pieces), chopped onions and diced tomatoes that I sauteed in olive oil. More herbs from the garden will wind up in there, along with some sea salt and white pepper, then I’ll top it with fresh mozzarella slices and grated parmesan cheese before popping it into the oven for an hour.

    See why I dug through the archives now?

    And tell your son thank you! I’ll post a recipe on making your own cream cheese sometime soon, along with an incredibly simple bread dough. It stays in the fridge for up to a week, so I grab some to bake a fresh loaf on some days, and fresh rolls on another.

    That’s really my “big secret” — spending about 3 hours over the weekend washing and blanching veggies, whipping up dough, making pizza crust and putting fresh meats into bags with brine before transferring them to the freezer. It makes the rest of the week VERY easy.

  3. Wow, do not — repeat DO NOT — try that artichoke dish, above. I’d come up the technique (slicing the edible part only of the artichoke) from one recipe, added the flavors that I like and topped it with the tomatoes and cheese because I had plenty of each.

    The flavor was fantastic, but the technique needs work. It’d probably work great with frozen artichoke hearts, but it’s just to hard to get to just the heart on a fresh one. We had to toss it out because there were too many tough leaves.

    Darn it!