While eating out can be fun , there's something about a simple, home-cooked meal that's much more relaxing and restorative after a busy week. As I'm usually the one doing the cooking, it's a nice change of pace to sit back and let my boyfriend take over in the kitchen.
Although he may not be the most skilled chef, he manages to create some deliciousdishes (hint: youtube and ChatGPT). Today, I'll be stealing and sharing three of my favorite meals he has prepared for me so far. When I said easy meal, these are all 100% American fusion with ingredients that can be easily found in local supermarkets. Enjoy these recipe with only the two of you, or invite some of your friends over and hangout for the weekend!
Fool-proof Laksa Ramen
Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup dish that originates from Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Singapore. It is a flavorful and aromatic dish that typically consists of a rich and creamy coconut milk-based broth, combined with a blend of spices, herbs, and various toppings.
This recipe for an American fusion version of laksa is easy to make and uses ingredients that can be found at most supermarkets. It is a great way to introduce the flavors of Southeast Asia to your home kitchen.
Serve for 4
Laksa Paste (feel free to play with the portion to personalize your own version):
- 4 shallots, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons curry powder)
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (adjust to taste)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Salt, to taste
- 4 packs of Shin ramen noodles (ditch the flavor packs) / thick rice noodle / spaghetti
- Bean sprouts ( or shredded cucumber/ iceberg lettuce)
- Sliced green onions
- Lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Your choice of protein
Prepare the Laksa Paste:
- In a food processor or grinder, combine the shallots, garlic, curry powder, and Sriracha sauce. Blend until a smooth paste forms.
Make the Laksa Soup:
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the laksa paste to the pot and sauté for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and bring it to a simmer.
- Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce (or soy sauce), and brown sugar. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Season with salt to taste.
Prepare the Ramen Noodles and Shrimp:
- Cook the ramen noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Prepare the frozen shrimp according to the package instructions.
Assemble the Laksa Ramen:
- Divide the cooked ramen noodles among serving bowls.
- Ladle the hot laksa soup over the noodles.
- Top with cooked shrimp, bean sprouts, sliced green onions, and fresh cilantro leaves.
Serve and Enjoy:
- Serve the Laksa Ramen hot with lime wedges on the side.
- Adjust the spice levels by adding more Sriracha sauce if desired.
- Feel free to garnish with additional toppings such as sliced jalapeños or fried shallots.
- Top your Laksa Ramen with your choice of proteins: cooked shrimp, bacon or even simply throw in some store-bought
Chicken Pita with Tahini Sauce
Chicken pita is a delicious and easy-to-make Middle Eastern dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal or a lunch on the go. The chicken is typically marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and then grilled to perfection. The pita bread is then split open and filled with the grilled chicken, your favorite toppings, and a drizzle of tahini sauce.
This recipe is simple to follow and can be made in just a few minutes. The star here is the easy tahini sauce. All you need is some chicken, pita bread, tahini sauce, and your favorite toppings. This meal is sure to please everyone at the table, and it's a great way to use up leftover chicken.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 pita bread rounds
- Lettuce leaves
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced cucumbers
- Sliced red onions
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt, to taste
Prepare the chicken:
- Preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
- In a bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin, ground paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Brush the chicken breasts with the spice mixture.
- Grill the chicken breasts for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and nicely charred.
- Remove from the grill and let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Then, slice it into thin strips.
Make the tahini sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together tahini paste, lemon juice, water, minced garlic, and salt until smooth.
- Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed.
Assemble the chicken avocado pita:
- Warm the pita bread rounds.
- Spread a generous amount of tahini sauce inside each pita.
- Fill the pitas with lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, sliced red onions, grilled chicken strips, and sliced avocado.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve and enjoy:
- Serve the Chicken Avocado Pita with Tahini Sauce immediately.
- You can also serve it with additional tahini sauce on the side for dipping.
- For the guilty pleasure, get some fried from some fast-food restaurant and stuff them into the chicken pita. It’s guilty and distressing at the same time!
Easy African Beef with Peanut Butter Sauce
East African peanut butter sauce with beef is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy staying-in night. The peanut butter sauce is creamy and rich, and it pairs perfectly with the tender beef. The dish is also packed with nutrients, thanks to the peanut butter, beef, and vegetables.
This recipe is simple to make and can be easily customized to your liking. You can add or remove vegetables to suit your taste, and you can also experiment with different types of peanut butter.
If you are looking for a delicious and nutritious meal that is sure to warm you up, East African peanut butter sauce with beef is a great option. It is a hearty and satisfying dish that is sure to please everyone at the table.
- 1.5 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups beef broth
- Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- ( or add any desirable veggie and squash)
StepsFor The Beef
- Brown the beef:
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the beef stew meat to the pot and cook until browned on all sides.
- Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
- Sauté the aromatics:
- In the same pot, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger.
- Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the spices:
- Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Combine the tomatoes and beef:
- Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) to the pot.
- Stir well to combine.
- Return the browned beef to the pot.
- Cook the beef:
- Pour in the beef broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
- Let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beef becomes tender.
- Prepare the peanut butter mixture:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter with a ladleful of the hot liquid from the pot until smooth.
- Incorporate the peanut butter mixture:
- Stir the peanut butter mixture into the pot, ensuring it is fully incorporated into the sauce.
- Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Adjust the seasoning:
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve the dish:
- Serve the African Beef with Peanut Butter Sauce over cooked rice or with a side of your choice, rice, potato or steam veggie.
- Garnish and enjoy:
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.
- Enjoy the flavorful African Beef with Peanut Butter Sauce!
Like we always say, let’s make your home a cozy nest. Cooking at home and dining together is a powerful way to recharge and connect with your friends and family. When you cook at home, you have 100% control over the ingredients that go into your meal, which can help you to eat healthier and feel better from the inside out.