I’m a busy mom, and although I enjoy cooking, sometimes it’s nice to spend less then 15 minutes making a nutritious and delicious meal for my family. This is why I’m a big fan of Mark Bittman, the Minimalist food writer for the New York Times. If you’re a NY Times online reader, you’ve probably come upon some of his columns as he often makes the top-ten list on the NY Times web site. Bittman’s recipes are great because he’s a proponent of letting fresh ingredients shine without a lot of fuss and bother. His recipes really are minimalist in that there aren’t long ingredient lists and he uses pretty straightforward cooking techniques. He’s a helpful resource for anyone looking to make quick delicious meals that often use seasonal ingredients.
This summer Mark had a really popular article listing 101 simple meals you could make in ten minutes. It stayed on the NY Times most popular articles list for weeks and is still listed on the main Styles page for the online site. The beauty of this list, and the simple recipes in it, is that it stresses how great meals are often the result of throwing together a few simple ingredients. Great home-cooked meals shouldn’t require elaborate sauces or twenty steps to make. Cooking at home is sometimes as simple as opening a can of beans and adding a few things to the mix, like this recipe:
Open a can of white beans and combine with olive oil, salt, small or chopped shrimp, minced garlic and thyme leaves in a pan. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are done; garnish with more olive oil.
I made this one and served it over angel hair pasta, which took only a few minutes to make. I substituted basil for thyme, as I had some growing in my garden. Not only did I love it, my kids and husband all had seconds.
Here’s another one. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to pass it on to my husband one evening when I don’t feel like cooking:
Brush portobello caps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil until tender. Briefly sweat chopped onions, then scramble eggs with them. Put eggs in mushrooms.
Here’s the full list. There really are 101 great and simple recipes. Not all of them are for everyone, but I’d be surprised if you didn’t find quite a few that you liked. Enjoy!