Quickie Meals

The dirty little culinary secrets thread got me thinking about quickie meals since many from that thread falls into the quickie category.

I sometimes find myself in a situation where I just want a quick meal, but don’t want to go the fast food route. In this case I often use this:

Some yetca mein (or other noodle). Cook and drain.
Slice some beef and marinade for a minute in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, and a bit of sugar.
Slice up some onions, and green onions. Grab some other leafy veggy.
Stir fry beef and onions. Toss in leafy veggy and green onions a little later. Glorp in some oyster flavour sauce. Make slurry of corn starch and add in to thicken things. Serve on the noodles.

This meal can be done in as little as 10 minutes. And is yummy. All the ingredients can be found in Asian supermarkets.

But how long to clean up!

Dig it. Get a pint of ice cream if you want a quick meal.

No seriously. Get a package of Ramen Noodles ™ and a head of broccoli if you want a quick meal. Drain the noodles, steam the broccoli, add some grated cheese. Eat swiftly. Quick!

If you have a rice cooker, that’s another option. The problem is that it isn’t 10 minutes from prep-to-eat. It’s about 30 minutes of cook time, but it’s like 2 minutes of actual effort, so you can do other stuff while you wait for it to finish.

Chop up some onions and tomatoes, cook them together for about 5 minutes, and mix it in with the rice. For bonus points, add some curry sauce or whatever else you have in the spice cupboard.

You’re on your own for meat, but stir-fry is good for those in a hurry. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can cook fish in the microwave. Put some oil, soysauce, garlic, ginger, and green onions in a pan and heat it nice and hot while you’re waiting. Then pour it over the fish. It’s quick, but probably not good for beginners.

  • Alan

2 eggs
2 pieces of bread
couple of slices of cheddar cheese (double Gloucester etc, whatever takes your fancy as long as it melts well)

Beat 2 medium eggs with pinch of salt + pepper, add one slice of bread, allow to soak on both sides.
Meanwhile grill or fry 3/4 pieces of bacon.
Once bread has soaked up approx half the mixture add to hot pan (can be same as one frying bacon) and place other slice of bread in egg and soak on both sides.

Cook bread for 2-3 minutes per side until brown and crispy and place on a plate, add a slice of cheddar.

start to cook second piece of bread.

Add bacon on top of cheese and add (if desired) second slice of cheese on top of bacon. Once finished cooking add second slice on top to form sandwich.

Can add sausages and black pudding if really pushing the boat out for that perferct heart attack sandwich.

preparation time, about 2 minutes, cooking time 6-7 minutes.

Wow, that sounds great. But can you batter-dip the sandwich and deepfry it?

Only in Scotland, land of deepfried Pizza.

Says the man from the land of the deep-fried Mars bar.

Negligible. You have one noodle pot that has starchy water. And with high-heat stir frying, your wok or stir fry pan should clean up easily.

Says the man from the land of the deep-fried Mars bar.

Scotland again I belive. We’ve got sausages in batter, burgers in batter, steaks in batter even. But I’ve never seen a deep fried Mars bar outside of Glasgow.

My old standard, Beef Stroganoff:

Ground beef
Bell Pepper
Sour cream
Egg noodles
Paprika, Salt, Pepper, whatever else.

Cook the noodles. 'Nuff said.

In skillet, chop up the beef with a spatula, throw in chopped onions, cook cook cook. After a few minutes, throw in chopped bell pepper, cook cook cook. Salt and pepper to taste, cook. When everything is ready to go, chuck in about a 1/4 cup of sour cream and maybe 1/2 tbsp of paprika. You should get a creamy, pinkish sauce. Drain the noodles, throw into the skillet, toss, and serve.

It takes about 10 minutes start to finish, if you’re handy with the knife and know how to multitask.


3 links of spanish (not mexican) chorizo sausage
2 cheap flour tortillas
crappy bottled salsa, you have some in your fridge right now
tabasco chipotle hotsauce
3 eggs
cheddar cheese

  1. slice up chorizo, put piece of alu foil on baking sheet, put sheet in toaster oven at 400 degrees F
  2. beat eggs with a fork with tabasco chipotle sauce to taste just until they come together. Do not beat until frothy. Do not add water or milk or cream or sour cream or yogurt, just eggs and hotsauce.
  3. put cheese between tortillas, nuke at full power for 15 seconds to stick them together
  4. heat up veg oil in frying pan on medium high heat and crisp up the quesadilla. It should be golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
  5. scramble eggs over very low heat until just barely coagulated, still slightly runny. Set aside.
  6. Turn heat up to high, toss a large glop of the cheap storebought salsa with more hot sauce into the same frying pan and boil it down until thickened.
  7. put quesadilla on plate, top with eggs, top with the crispy chorizo, top with the hot thick salsa
  8. eat

This is very, very tasty.

Texas State Fair. They deep-fried everything imagineable. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Sausages. Ice cream bars (still not sure how that works). Strawberries. Everything.

— Alan

Good energy snack that, it’ll keep you full for a while too. Deep fried though? Yuck.

Pressure cookers are great for when you want fast and easy clean up. Throw white rice, potato, onion, yam, chicken in the pot with a black bean sauce or curry. Toss in a little water, and about 15 minutes later you have a full-on meal with one pan to clean.


My approach to quick meals is to cook up a big batch of something good on a weekend - saturday or sunday. Typically I’ll make a whole ton of chili, or some meat sauce or something.

Then for the rest of the week all I have to do is either boil noodles or microwave the chili and I’ve got dinner.


Alan is wise. I love my rice cooker; a good helping of rice makes an excellent backbone to whatever quick mixings you like–I tend to stir-fry up some chicken to have with. My particular cooker works best when making an amount of rice that pretty much always leaves me a serving leftover, which inevitably I’ll fry up with something in the days following.

If you are looking to reduce cooking effort, many rice cookers have steamer inserts. Using one of these, you can steam some vegetables, and minced meat. Prep work on the meat is fairly quick, and the cooking of it is (to borrow a phrase) set it and forget it.

Since when do quick meals involve chopping, beating, cooking, or 5+ minute preparation times? Anything that involves chopping or slicing will automatically take me 30 minutes to prepare. :? Plus, I’d have to remember to buy the ingredients, etc. If I have to hold a knife or use a stove, then it’s not worth the effort.

When I think of quick meals, I think of cereal. Cold cereal is the quickest, but flavored instant oatmeal is more filling. :)