Level One of the Busy Cook’s Pyramid takes care of three weekday meals with just a small weekly investment of time. Level Two, provides one weekend dinner plus one or more weekday meals. Levels III, IV, and V will help you fill in any remaining meals.
The mainstay of cooking repertoire as a busy cook is a collection of recipes for quick dishes that practically make themselves.
- are easily prepared
- use quick-cooking ingredients
- use minimum equipment
A good practice is to have 4-5 of these recipes in rotation and keep the ingredients on hand at all times. Always having the ingredients on hand for these dishes is an effective way to prevent eating out when you are running late or have an especially busy afternoon.
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* Adapted from Secrets of a Busy Cook by Lynn Nelson, used by permission
My Favorite Quick and Easy Recipes
Lemon and garlic add zest to this easy stovetop pasta dish. Pasta with Parmesan and Lemon Sauce is a delicious vegetarian dinner that is perfect for hot summer evenings when you need something quick that doesn’t heat the kitchen.
Quick fix meals are a huge help when it seems like it would be easier to order pizza or hit the drive-thru on the way home. With only 5 ingredients, Mexican Ravioli is a stovetop recipe that is ready in 20 minutes, so skip the drive-thru and serve up a home-cooked meal.
This super easy recipe is a quick stovetop meal prepared with just 5 ingredients: cooked meatballs, butter, onion, heavy cream, and balsamic vinegar. Serve over egg noodles and add a salad for a full meal.
Looking for an easy dinner? Take advantage of frozen foods to shorten your prep time in the evening. This yummy Tex-Mex dish starts with frozen burritos (you could make your own if you have more time and want a healthier option) and adds easy finishing touches to make it more like homemade.