Favourite meal of five ingredients or less. [Recipes]

2010 Jan 28
For those that don't know, I'm a student and as much as I love going to a really nice restaurant, I also enjoy eating simply.

So, I'm wondering: What's your favourite simple meal. Five items (including seasoning) or less.

Right now, mine is as follows:

Thickly sliced bacon
Olive oil

Basically, it's roasted cabbage wedges, which are amazing and nutty and down right delicious (not to mention healthy).

So yeah, that's right, I had a whole head of cabbage for dinner. For directions, the recipe can be found here: www.thekitchn.com

2010 Jan 28
My favourite easy make these days is Pasta & Sauteed Veggies
(ok a wee bit more than 5 items)

Saute Onions, Mushrooms & Peppers in Olive Oil
Add Cherry Tomatoes
Allow things to sweat down, almost caramelize
(total to this point 5 Ingredients)

Dish-up over Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Add a bit of grated Parm

Serve with a nice Red Wine

*Photo is my own... actual dish.

2010 Jan 29
Brunch lady...roasted cabbage>>>sounds delicious, I love raw cabbage.

Try this U.K. student fare:
Baked potato with tuna, mayo (light mayo or skip it if you wish) , sweet corn or chopped green onions and side salad.
The combination of the cold tuna and creamy mayo with the hot potato is really good. Plus the salad should have a balsamic or olive oil dressing to go with the potato and tuna...its all very healthy, satisfying, delicious and filling.

2010 Jan 29
Pasta carbonara with just pancetta/bacon, eggs, cheese, pasta, and pepper. I've been making that since my student days!

Miso soup with spinach, soba, egg/tofu, edamame. Inauthentic but delicious.

These days I've been eating this delicious pea, leek and sauerkraut soup. Healthy and only 5 ingredients if you don't count the olive oil and salt!


A clafoutis-like batter (eggs, milk, flour) poured over sauteed fruit and baked in the cast-iron pan in a hot oven. It puffs and is delicious with lemon and sugar on top for any meal or dessert.

2010 Jan 29
My go to quick meal (on the stove at the moment) is fettucine, potato and green beans tossed with fresh basil and garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Topping it with salt and pepper wouldn't hurt. Yum!

2010 Jan 29
Potage d'hiver

Potatoes and Cauliflower - Herbs/Garlic soft cheese (boursin works well) - pepper and salt

I'll switch in the potatoes and cauliflower for butternut squash sometimes aswell.

2010 Jan 29
A favourite hearty dish is this one, usually made with Debreziner sausage, which I cut in 1/4" slices and brown. I think an extra half pound of sausage is nice as this dish serves 5 or 6 people, or else cut the potatoes back enough to what you’d serve to 4 people. I sometimes cook 3 large cloves of garlic with the potatoes and mash them in with some butter and milk. I use about half of a 1L jar of sauerkraut, though the whole jar can be used when upping the amount of sausage. Some grated cheddar is nice sprinkled on top with 5 or 10 minutes left to cook.

Sausage, Mashed Potato and Sauerkraut Casserole

1 lb fresh country sausage with pepper and salt
4 cups mashed potatoes (instant potatoes makes it a quick meal) [~2 lb potatoes = 4 cups mashed]
1 16 oz can of sauerkraut, drained

Brown and drain fresh country sausage until cooked through. Prepare mashed potatoes by either peel, cook, and mash raw potatoes or make instant potatoes. Now put the drained sausage into a 2 quart casserole dish, place the drained sauerkraut on top of the sausage. Then spread the mashed potatoes over the sauerkraut layer. Sprinkle paprika and a little melted butter over the mashed potatoes and bake in the over at 350 degrees until bubbly. This is a great dish for a Friday night tailgate party, or church potluck or just serve to good friends.

Let's see - sausage, potatoes, sauerkraut, milk (for the mashed spuds, if desired), and butter or cheese on top - that makes 5 ingredients, if you can hold off on the salt, pepper and garlic.

2010 Jan 29
As a student, I was always looking for ways to make a meal and also have left overs for lunch or dinner the next day. Simple meal: Food Basics sells 2 full chickens for 10 bucks - easy to quarter into pieces. Use simple no-name Shake and Bake (dipping the chicken in milk after you wash the pieces help make it moist and tasty) Add some garlic powder and your favorite spice ie Curry/Cumin and blend them together in the bag with the shake and bake. Shake the chicken and place on a cookie pan or roast pan . Take the potatoes, cut in 1/2 and put them in between the chicken pieces - they bake and with the chicken fat, the bottom turns golden brown and crunchy. About 325-350 until the potatoes are soft in the middle - no more then 45-60 minutes depending on the oven. Cheap, lots of flavour and great tasting !! I have done this with Curry/Cumin, added Italian spices one time as well as Mexican spices to the no-name Shake and Bake - it gives it a unique flavor for the meal at a very cheap price. Give it a try and your your friends will luv ya

Cheers !!!

2010 Jan 29
And the end result is !!! YUM!!!

2010 Jan 29
I've got two that I can think of off the top of my head, so two separate posts for me:

- Steak (may as well go whole-hog and get a ribeye)
- Salt (smoked?)
- Pepper (smoked?)
- Potatoes
- Oil

Steak frites! Yum!

2010 Jan 29
And also:

- Spaghetti
- Salt (for the water)
- Olive oil
- Garlic
- Chilli flakes

If I could add two more ingredients it'd be bread and Parmesan. But even without it's just plain good.

2010 Jan 30
Olive Oil
Swiss Chard

Pour a teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan. Saute one diced onion and a teaspoon of cumin seeds until transparent, then add a bunch of washed and torn swiss chard as well as one diced tomato to the hot frying pan. This will reduce into one full frying pan full of slightly mushed mix of the sauteed veggies. Consume and enjoy a filling and healthy vegan meal.

2010 Jan 30
home canned brown rice, and just about anything simple on top. I like it with just a bit of honey, for starters. But meatballs and gravy are pretty awesome too, and I think I could contact that and still come in at 5 or under ingredients including salt and pepper

2010 Jan 30
Zymurgist, you can brown rice? What's the advantage?

2010 Jan 30
try this site...


2010 Jan 30
Advantage is that I can have a big stack of them in my desk drawer at work and just haul one out and toss it in the MW for 3 minutes. Extremely convenient. I just ran out this week so did up a bunch of them this morning.

2010 Jan 30
Smoked Salmon
Alfredo Sauce
Parmesan cheese and black pepper

Yes, I am aware that makes six but its still delicious

2010 Jan 30
Green Onion
Shrimp noodles
BBQ pork

2010 Jan 31
Mers - Check out Zym's whole rice saga at Canned Rice - www.ottawafoodies.com

It was an interesting post.

2010 Jan 31
olive oil
made into kale chips by roasting, yum.

2010 Feb 1
Not sure how balanced a meal this is per say BUT it is a yummy comfort food and one of my faves - Mushroom Spaetzle!

Ingredients: 1 & 1/2 cups AP Flour - 3 eggs - 1/2 tsp. salt - 2/3 cup water - fresh mushrooms of your choosing - dry Shitake mushrooms.

Fried mushrooms with spaetzle, my own twist is adding more mushroom flavour to the batter by putting some dry Shitake mushrooms into a spice grinder till it is a powder then add into the batter. For an even stronger mushroom flavor make the batter a bit ahead to allow the mushroom powder had a chance to hydrate and permeate the mix.

I have done other flavours by adding spices instead of mushrooms. It depends on what you are going for and if its a main or a side and what it is going with. just make sure the spices are very powdery as you do not want the noodles to be gritty.

2010 Feb 1
shredded carrot
lemon juice

enjoy :)

2010 Feb 1
Thanks, live4food, the new-to-me idea of mushroom-flavoured spatzle is terrific, and the thought of it with fried onions and some sbrinz is very enticing, and maybe a side of smartcookie's carrots would be good with it - yum!

2010 Feb 1
I love this topic! I'm all about simple, no-fuss recipes.

One that I kind of "discovered" (quotes because it's doubtless been done already; I just came upon it on my own) is the following pasta dish:

Garlic and Blue Cheese Shells


Shell pasta (I like shells because they hold so much flavour)
Margarine or oil, or a combo of both
Loads of fresh, crushed garlic
Blue cheese
Chopped green onions (optional)


Saute the shallot(s) in oil/margarine until softened
Add garlic, being careful not to burn (I don't cook it very much as I like a very strong garlic presence. This can be adjusted to suit your taste.)
Boil shells in salted water
Add the shells to the oil/shallot mixture
Crumble blue cheese
Sprinkle green onion over it all
Salt and pepper to taste

Pungent, but excellent!

2010 Feb 1
One that my Gran taught me .. again simple and good. A Blade Beef Roast, nicely marbled. Place into an oven ready pan (I use her old cast iron pot) that has a cover. Add water to 1/2 inch(and some red wine) and cut up potatoes (1/4), carrots, onion and what ever other veggie you have in the fridge. Add them around the roast, an simply add some garlic powder and the kicker ... a package of Instant Onion soup mix on top of all the food. Place in oven for anywhere between 2 -3 hours depending on the size of the beef and how you like it done. (around 325-350 ..more to the 350 range) The Onion soup mix makes a great gravy, with the beef fat and veggies juices. Pot roast at the cheapest and the Best



2010 Feb 1
Hi there, I love this recipe! It's a fantastic looking dish but so so easy. My boyfriend's mother taught me this. Try it and let me know what you think!

You will need the following:

puff pastry (half a package)
one package frozen whole-leaf spinach (about 300 g)
250 g ricotta cheese
2 eggs
half of a whole fillet of salmon

Thaw the spinach in a bowl in the microwave (start with six to eight minutes). When thawed, take out a handful at a time and squeeze out the juice. Chop up the spinach finely.

In a different bowl, add the egg and ricotta and mix with a fork. Stir in the spinach. Add salt.

Presalt the salmon for a day and drain off the water. Take off the skin.

Thaw the pastry, about one-and-a-half minutes on low power. Roll it out with flour into a big rectangle about the size of a placemat.

Plunk the salmon on the pastry. If the fillet tapers to a point, you may have to cut off the pointy bit and put it over the bigger piece so that the salmon roughly becomes a square shape over the pastry. Cover the whole top with the ricotta mixture. Wet both ends of the pastry and fold up over the salmon. Leave a slit at the top to vent the salmon.

Bake at around 400 F (200 C) for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is browned.

2010 Feb 3
Pingu: I can`t wait to try this out! (Probably some time this week.) How large a piece of Salmon is normally used and approx. how thick. Do you think this would work making a few smaller individual portions instead. Reason I am tentative of just going for it is that I normally am not that into fish and haven`t cooked it much.
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I usually make a pickled carrot that is quite different and calls for being shredded BUT I started cutting it into rounds instead. It takes a bit longer for the flavors to permeate but it makes for a great snack.

Note: recipe can easily be scaled down. This will keep for up to several months. Note; after marinating for several days, this topping becomes quite hot. If you like it less or more torrid, add less or more jalapeno as you choose. Remember it takes a while for the full effect to appear.

"Pickled Carrots"
1 lb carrots
2 large or 4 small jalapeno chili peppers - chopped
6 large garlic cloves - slivered
1 tsp oregano
1 c. cider vinegar
2 c. water
1/8 tsp salt

If using as a topping; peel & coarsely chop carrots in a food processor. My variation is to use it is as a side or snack. For this you chop the carrots into thin rounds.

Place the chopped jalapeno, oregano, sliced garlic, vinegar and water into a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for one minute. Add the carrots and boil for one minute.

With a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer the carrots to a bowl. Cool the brine in the saucepan. Pour over the carrots and then chill overnight.

2010 Feb 3
I think some of you folks don't know how to count to 5 :-)

Note that "bread" is not a single ingredient. It is 4 or 5 ingredients itself.

2010 Feb 3
i use the 5 ingredient vegetarian gourmet cookbook regularly (www.amazon.com).

the recipes are just 5 ingredients and there are 250 recipes. many are very similar and i would not consider it gourmet, just healthy, simple food that can be made quickly. also, it isn't 250 different ways to dress-up pasta.

2010 Feb 3
Zym - would you count water as an ingredient in bread?

Otherwise, I'm thinking my olive oil bread with brie and tomato would be my next favourite 5 item meal.

2010 Feb 3
No, but as a brewer I count yeast. And if we are counting yeast we need to count whatever turned the milk into brie :-)

2010 Feb 3
tried this tonight and it was good and took little planning or effort.

tomato sauce

Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti

28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)*
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste (you might find, as I did, that your tomatoes came salted and that you didn’t need to add more) and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese to pass.

2010 Feb 3
Ah, the problem with pasta as an ingredient is that it is also two, if not three ingredients as well.

That said, the recipe Deb posted on Smitten sounds incredible and I cannot wait to try it!

2010 Feb 3
i used crushed tomatoes to make the sauce, since that was what i had in the cupboard. i also used only 4 tbsp butter and it was lots. i didn't add any salt or pepper to the sauce, we did that after serving. i topped with a pinch of pecorino romano cheese, but it didn't really need it. it was very good and the perfect week night supper. i put the sauce on when i walked in the door (took @ 5 mins to assemble), set the timer for 30 minutes, put the pasta on at the 30 min mark and had the sauce and pasta ready at the same time.

2010 Feb 4
Apologies. To me salt, pepper and water are a given. ;)

Agreed on the bread, however it depends on how hard core/cooking from scratch you want to get. After all pasta could also be several ingredients (salt, water, flour, eggs or whatever) but most people just open a bag or box, which to me is fine. Puffed Pastry (flour, butter, salt, and water), I know of very few people who don`t use the frozen. (I`ve made it from scratch, and to me frankly its not worth the effort.) Miso soup could be one ingredient or several (Miso paste dashi soup stock -- which could further be broken down further into some form or combo of: kombu (dried kelp), katsuo-bushi (dried bonito) flakes, niboshi (dried small sardines), hoshi-shiitake (dried shiitake mushrooms) etc.) and so on...

Where do you draw the line? To me unless there are dietary restrictions I don`t see why most people would bother making everything totally from scratch. If you choose to, great but for most there are only so many hours to a day. For a simple easy meal store bought bread and frozen pastry makes sense. As does dried pasta. Make your own stock or not - your choice. Don`t sweat the small stuff.

I have more time then I`d like right now and have been on a make it from scratch kick. If I have the time, and inclination geeking out in a foodie way can be such fun and I am lucky to have a partner who feels similarly. We both go there. Sure one day long ago I made fun of him for making his own breadcrumbs and mayo. A while later he turned it right around, laughed and now bugs me as a counter that I made my own butter (cause I saw it on TV and thought I`d try). Its the fun adventures in food but not the norm.

Some days n you just want to eat. Eventually some of those adventures seep into regular life. Sometimes because it wasn`t as much work as you thought and because it tastes better. Years ago I couldn`t see the point in the hassle and effort in making my own stock but make it regularly now and often roll my own pasta. We spend a weekend or two a year jarring home preserved tomato or veggie puree to later open heat and add spices to make a sauce or whatever but that is just me.

If you`re cooking at all - kudos to you. If you`re willing to share your wisdom and favorite recipes; thanks a bunch!

2010 Feb 4
This desert is quick, easy, always on hand and you look like a hero. We make them in small ramekins as they serve a few functions including portion control, and ease for serving. They can be prepared ahead and then popped into the oven as you are eating dinner or just after if you want a bit of a break between.

Crumble topping is usually keep in the freezer and we use a bit at a time as needed: 1 cup brown sugar - 1 cup AP flour - 1/4 cup butter, mixed in my hand (also optional are oats)

Fillings can be varied our fave is usually apple or includes it, but feel free to experiment with it. Toss in rhubarb, berries or anything of your choosing. (Yes because of this the ingredient count can go way up but doesn`t have to.) The important thing to note is that we fill the containers in a heaping way to help measure the ingredients before cooking. Frozen works well too and there is no need to thaw. Toss the fruit into a frying pan to cook and to reduce the liquid. Feel free to add in sugar/honey, cinnamon or any spices you think would go. Once softened dish into the ramekins and top with the crumble. Put onto a tray and pop into the oven. (Works great in a toaster oven, if you`ve got one.)

Warning; they`ll smell great but you must wait a while after taking them out of the oven as the`ll be really hot! Serve the ramekins on plates to protect your table.

(Pictured is an apple, strawberry and blueberry crumble, sweetened slightly with a bit of honey.)

2010 Feb 22
a quick pasta that is delicious. i tried the cook's illustrated version, but a day later smitten kitchen posted her version. use good quality cheese!

here is smitten version. i used less olive oil - 2 tbsp and i mixed the cheese as a sauce before tossing with the pasta. the cheese seized up, but was still delicious. next time i will try it this way.


Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound dried spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Cook spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.

Dry out your pot, then heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add drained spaghetti and 1 cup of reserved pasta water and jump back, this will splatter mightily, also known as “I made this three times, and never once learned my lesson. Do as I say, not as I do.”

Add butter, 3 ounces cheese and ground pepper and toss together with tongs. Taste, adding more pasta water, cheese, & pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, sprinkling with reserved cheese and an extra grind or two of black pepper.

2010 Feb 22
lately i have been eating an insane amount of caesar salad. romaine, fresh parmigiano-reggiano, lisa's vegetarian caesar dressing, fresh croutons & simulated bacon bits.

2010 Mar 1
If you're not sick of cabbage I present sweet and sour cabbage. Great for making ahead for weekday lunches because the flavour only improves as the week goes on. The downside is that most of the flavor comes from the onion. Post-lunch breath freshening is a must ;)

I apologize that my measurements are lacking. You want to use more vinegar than oil (2:1 ratio), and have enough liquid to solidly coat all the cabbage. Ideally you make the day before you eat as the vinegar needs time to soften the cabbage.

1 head of red cabbage, chop it up into bit size chunks or shred it, whatever you like best
1 red onion, finely chopped
Apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
Roughly a cup of golden raisins

Optionals (I know, I know, this is kinda cheating on the 5 ingredients rule!):

Spoon or two of sugar if you want things sweeter
Some rosemary, finely chopped

2010 May 25
Angel hair pasta
olive oil
1 chilli

You usually add crab or some seafood but without it is good too.

2010 May 25
goats cheese
good, fresh tomatoes
fresh lemon zest and juice

(I add in olive oil, salt, pepper too)

The goats cheese, garlic, lemon make a delicious creamy sauce when mixed with the hot pasta. The tomatoes really need to be ripe and good quality, they make the dish!

2010 May 26
cheese tortellini
feta cheese
lemon juice
grapeseed oil

My favorite cold pasta salad for summer: Add the crumbled feta to the cooked tortellini. Put 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and 4 Tbsp of the oil into a small jar with a Tbsp or so of dillweed and shake to combine. Pour over the pasta/cheese and chill. Depending on the saltiness of the feta (some are saltier than others), you may want to add a bit of salt.

2010 May 26
Flank steak, olive bread, cherry tomatoes, bbq sauce.

Slice 1/2 inch slices of flank steak. Marinade for 20 mins in your fav bbq sauce.

Cut bread into 1-1.5 inch cubes.

Skewer tomatoes, bread and steak (folding steak like an accordian)

BBQ med heat for about 5 mins.


2010 May 26
I don't know if it's been mentioned, but:

Olive Oil

and any two of the following:

2010 May 27
Tomatoes, wedged.
Avocado, smashed
Lime juice, squeezed
Garlic, crushed/pressed/grated
Meat or legume of choice, cooked.