“I don’t feel like cooking” can be tricky in the summer, so my challenge is this: keep an eye out for quick, easy, and delicious recipes.
With summertime so much fun, there’s no need to waste time cooking elaborate dishes. Instead, stick to simple foods that taste great without putting in too much effort. Try this 5-minute breakfast, cucumber puree with just 3 ingredients, and this 30-minute pasta meal that’s incredibly low-effort with maximum flavor.
This pasta uses the wok-cooking method, which is also known as “dumping some raw pasta and liquid into a skillet and crossing fingers until it’s cooked through.” The lemon, pepper, and Parmesan blend is so good, and a bowl of this on the porch with a glass of something cold is all you need for a quick break before heading straight back into the summer fun.
Quick Skill Pasta with Lemon and Pepper
Total time: 25 minutes Serves: 2-4
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 whole lemon
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a large covered skillet to a medium to high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and pasta. Stir the pasta in the skillet for a minute or so to coat it with the butter and toast it lightly. Pour the broth into the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cover the pan and allow the noodles to simmer for 15 minutes, flipping once during the cooking time. While the pasta is cooking, peel the lemon and cut it in half. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and stir the pasta again; Ripe taste. When the noodles are cooked through (you may need more broth or some water depending on the type of pasta you choose), add the rest of the butter, the juice of half a lemon, half of the lemon peel, and Parmesan cheese to the skillet.
Use tongs to mix everything together, taste as you go and add salt and pepper until the pasta is very tasty. If the noodles are dry, sprinkle more broth or water to get a bit of the sauce that coats the noodles evenly.
Serve with extra pepper, the rest of the lemon peel, and more Parmesan if you like. Enjoy!
Butter: I prefer cooking with salted butter for extra flavour. If you don’t use salted butter, expect to add a pinch of salt to the finished dish.
Pasta: This recipe is delicious with whole wheat spaghetti, but any other long pasta you like will work just fine. Pay attention to the cooking times on the packaging; Thinner pasta will need a little less time, and thicker options like linguine may take a little longer.
Cucumber season: It’s time for summer products!
When it comes to eating seasonally, one common complaint is “I’m so sick of ______ at this time of year.” Fair enough: Sometimes eating seasonally means we end up with too much of one thing at once.
However, the bright side is that this can lead us to come up with new and innovative ways to use the products we have a lot of. At the moment, the option is everywhere. Cukes are somewhat of a universally loved vegetable, but they’re still a bit tiring after weeks and weeks of always having plenty of them on hand.
If you are bored with cucumbers but don’t want to waste it, try some of these ideas to put them to use!
Sliced and served with ranch dressing (duh!)
Diced and chopped with tomatoes and Greek sauce
Small pieces mixed with pasta salad
Grated in tzatziki dipping
– Cut into thin slices and made from vinegar or cucumber salad that contains mayonnaise
See you at the Saturday market!
3-ingredient cucumber puree
Preparation: 20 minutes, Quantity: 2-4
- 4 small cucumbers, pickled or Persian style
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Half a teaspoon of sugar
1. Cut the cucumber into small pieces.
2. Arrange the cucumbers in a single layer on a cutting board, and put a baking sheet or frying pan on top. Move the griddle or pan back and forth over the cucumber, pressing down slightly, to crack the cucumber slightly.
3. Transfer the mashed balls to a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and stir.
4. Let the cucumbers sit and drain for 30 minutes, until ready to eat. Taste and add a pinch of salt or sugar if you like.
5. Serve with everything.
Change the flavor of mashed cucumber the way you want it! A drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkle of sliced green onions or fresh herbs, or a few drops of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar are all delicious additions to the basic recipe.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
5 minute breakfast, that way!
Well, we’re not overstating things, but we do agree that peanut butter cups are simply the best dessert out there, right?
So why not take that flavor profile, have it for breakfast, and describe it well? This is exactly what we do.
You recently told me (gratitude) that “You always bring us the same breakfast and do you know how boring that is?” Naturally, I turned to Candy for Breakfast as the answer.
Not really, but I see the point that sometimes breakfast can get a little stale, and a bit repetitive.
This chia pudding is a dream: It stirs in 5 minutes, can be made dairy-free, has a bit of sweetness from honey, is gluten-free, and tastes as serious as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I served this dessert with sliced candy on top, but for breakfast, it’s equally delicious, totally satisfying and certainly not boring.
Bonus points for: Cold breakfast on hot days other than cereal. Maybe fun to make it on vacation? Hope you like this!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
Preparation: 5 minutes, serving: 4-6
- 2 cups milk (any kind)
- 1 cup heavy cream (semi-dairy-free coconut cream)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- Half a cup of honey
- Half a cup of chia seeds
- Peanut butter cups, optional for garnish and serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and honey until smooth and not lumpy. Taste and add more honey if you like.
Add chia seeds and cover the bowl. Leave it for at least 4 hours or overnight until the chia seeds are full. If the mixture seems fluffy, stir to soften and leave for another hour or so (if you’re not waiting all night).
Serve the pudding topped with peanut butter cups if you’re using it. Enjoy!
Recipe notes + tips and tricks:
Milk and Cream: I like this with whole milk and heavy cream. For dairy-free products, use a combination of any dairy-free milk you like + coconut cream or non-dairy yogurt instead of heavy cream. For a lower-fat version, skim and half-fat milk work well.
Peanut Butter: Peanut-free almond butter, or nut-free sun butter.