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MSTP Foodies: Easy Recipes

Posted by on Monday, February 27, 2017 in Life in the MSTP .

If cooking complicated meals is something you love to do, and enjoy spending your time on, that’s awesome. However, whether you’re studying for exams, on the wards, or living in the lab, sometimes you just don’t have a lot of free time. If you’re like me, and you spend what little free time you have playing with your cat, here are some quick and relatively healthy recipes that even the most busy, inexperienced, or unwilling chef will enjoy.



Breakfast Omelet Muffins
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25-30 minutes

My mom always told me to eat breakfast, but I am not a morning person, so I always avoided cooking breakfast in the mornings, until I found this recipe for egg-based breakfast muffins that taste like delicious mini quiches. They’re perfect for cooking on a Sunday night, and will last you every morning for the rest of the week. This recipe is adapted from “A Protein-Packed Breakfast to Grab on the Go” by Leta Shy. Leta suggests making your own turkey sausage. I assumed that was a joke, and I bought Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage Crumbles instead. Just don’t try to use paper cupcake liners because the egg will stick to them.

8 large eggs
1 cup pre-cooked turkey sausage “crumbles”
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon chives

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.

  4. Add the broccoli, cheese, tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly.

  5. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups.

  6. Top with chives.

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.



Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

This recipe was adapted from one of Cooking Light’s cookbooks, Fresh Food Superfast. The key is to have some cooked chicken breasts ready to go and in the fridge for days when you need to come home and cook a 15-minute, yet healthy and delicious, meal. This is Matt’s and my go-to dinner because it is so fast, but tastes so good.

1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel), undrained
1 (10 oz.) can corn kernels, drained
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
2 diced avocados
1 lime
Tortilla chips (optional)

  1. Combine broth, water, tomatoes, and corn in a pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Stir in chicken, and simmer for 2 more minutes.

  3. Top with avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, and crumbled tortilla chips (optional).



Lamb with Tzatziki Sauce
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

This recipe was also adapted from Fresh Food Superfast. The original recipe suggests putting the lamb and sauce in flatbread wraps, but we usually put it all on top of romaine lettuce to make a salad.

3/4 pound ground lamb
1 cup chopped onion
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 Mediterranean-style white flatbreads (optional)

Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 minced garlic cloves

  1. Combine all ingredients for the Tzatziki sauce in a small bowl.

  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with olive oil.

  3. Add lamb and onion. Cook 8 minutes until lamb is brown.

  4. Drain and stir in salt and pepper.

  5. Chop romaine lettuce. Put lamb mixture on the lettuce. Drizzle Tzatziki sauce over the lamb.



Shredded Pork Tacos
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

This recipe was adapted from Crock-Pot: 5 Ingredients or Less and shows how amazing crock-pots are. If you don’t have a crock-pot, I suggest getting one, because they are magic. Dump the pork and salsa in the crock-pot in the morning, and come home to your apartment smelling delicious with only about 10 more minutes left before dinner.

2 pounds boneless pork roast
1 cup salsa
1 can (4 oz.) chopped mild green chiles
Pinch of garlic salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
Corn or flour tortillas (optional)
Diced tomatoes, cheese, shredded lettuce, avocado, and/or jalapeño pepper slices (optional toppings)

  1. Place pork roast, 1 cup salsa, chiles, garlic salt, and black pepper in Crock-Pot. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hrs.

  2. Remove pork and shred with 2 forks on a large cutting board.

  3. Serve on tortillas with sauce and/or desired toppings.

Note: this dish is pictured with toasted broccoli.  Toasted vegetables are an incredibly easy side to add to any of these meals.  Chop them up, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, broil for a few minutes to brown, salt, and drizzle with lemon juice.  You can do this with just about any vegetable, but we’ve found broccoli and cauliflower to be particularly tasty cooked this way.


Smoked Paprika Salmon20170129_172015.jpg
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

This recipe was also adapted from Fresh Food Superfast. We have a stash of frozen salmon in the freezer for this recipe.

2 salmon fillets
Cooking spray

Ingredients for Smoked Paprika Rub:
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated orange rind (optional)

  1. Preheat broiler.

  2. Combine all ingredients for the Smoked Paprika Rub in a small bowl. Rub over tops of fillets.

  3. Place fillets on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 10 minutes.

Note: this dish is pictured with edamame.  You can buy this frozen, boil it for a few minutes, add salt and go.  Super easy, super filling.


Chickpea, Feta, and Orzo Salad with Cucumber-Thyme Relish20170218_183136.jpg
Prep: 7 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

This recipe was also adapted from Fresh Food Superfast. We added a lot more cheese than the recipe originally called for because cheese is the best food group.

1 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 (16 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Pinch of salt
1 cup crumbled feta cheese with basil and sundried tomatoes

Ingredients for Cucumber-Thyme Relish:
11/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions.

  2. Combine ingredients for Cucumber-Thyme Relish in a small bowl.

  3. Drain orzo and rinse under cold water. Drain well.

  4. Combine tomatoes, chickpeas, orzo, salt, Cucumber-Thyme Relish, and feta cheese in a large bowl.