Elle’s Edit: My Favorite Easy Recipes

If you know me, I don’t cook. The one time I cooked using my oven, I left my oven on for 12 hrs straight #oops. But I’m trying!

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I don’t know about you but to me cooking is a chore. I think it’s really the planning part (figuring out what to cook) and then of course the dreaded cleanup. I. Hate. Dishes. Even though cooking isn’t my favorite thing to do, I try to “meal prep” every Sunday and bring my lunch 3 out of the 5 days during the week. Why? Well, NYC is expensive and I can’t really afford a $12 lunch every single day on top of my rent and life expenses. When I first moved out on my own, my mom did something sweet and made copies of every single recipe in her recipe book (she is an angel). This recipe book has over 100+ recipes and is kind of overwhelming. The problem here is that each one of these recipes calls for like 20 different spices and man spices are expensive. What’s great about being at home (my parents home) is that they have all the ingredients in the pantry. Elle on the other hand does not have a pantry the size of my bedroom in my tiny NYC apartment. To be honest, I think I’ve opened up her recipe book maybe twice (sorry mom!) and found myself on Pinterest searching “easy recipes” on the regular.

If you are anything like me, you want something simple, relatively inexpensive, yet tasty for lunch/dinner every day..right? Well to make it easier for y’all, I’ve round up my top recipes that you should try this upcoming week!

Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

These are the bees knees. I’ve made these a couple of times and boy are they tasty and easy to make. Side note- my grocery store didn’t have the specific dressing in the sauce so I just found another sesame ginger dressing that worked just as fine. Another side note- my mom and I went to a cooking class in Dec and the proper way to cook quinoa is actually putting it into a pot with a bit of olive oil and cooking it until you smell it. THEN you put in the water and let it cook. This will actually cook the quinoa better and make it much more flavorful. #You’reWelcome

Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad

Fun fact- I love Chinese chicken salads. Obviously the chicken tastes better when grilled but again #nyclife I don’t have a grill so I just simply bake the chicken. This recipe has a couple annoying ingredients that you have to buy but once you have them you have them!

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

I love this salad especially for fall because of the sweet potato. It is so tasty and keeps you full during the day until dinner!

Lemon Pesto Penne 

I have to make a couple substitutions here because I’m allergic to tomatoes but I just switch out the tomatoes for red pepper. It also calls for Feta Cheese so I substitute that for parmesan. Another fun fact- I am so picky when it comes to cheese. I know, not normal. I only like parmesan, cheddar (the cubes), and pepper jack. That’s it.

White Chicken Chili 

This is a staple for me in the winter. I love it oh so much and the best part is that it is so easy to make since it is made in the crock pot. AMAZING. I can’t wait for it to be fall/winter so I can make this at least once a month!

Homemade Taco Salad

No link for this one because it comes from ME. Yes, you read that correctly. What I do is take some ground beef and season it with the Trader Joes taco seasoning (or any taco seasoning) and cook that in a pan. Then in another pan I sauté some red pepper and onion. Then I heat up some black beans. THEN I just chop up some romaine lettuce and voila, you have a tasty taco salad!

What are your favorite recipes to cook for lunch/dinner? Please send me all the ideas!

Thanks for reading Elle’s Edit. If you have any topics that you would like for me to discuss, feel free to email me at elle@itscasualblog.com. I would love to hear from you! xo

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