13 May 2014

15 Un-Recipes

 Pretending to be a creepy housewife who forces you to eat.

I cook almost every day. I think I'm a good cook, probably because I only make food that I love to eat. I also don't look up recipes...because, well, cooking is not actually my favorite thing and why would I want to spend more time on dinner prep actually following a recipe? Besides, washing measuring cups and spoons is not fun, and I rarely have the exact same ingredients that a recipe might require on hand. Sometimes I make something up, and it's not really a hit, and I don't make it again. But I've got a collection of go-to "recipes" that Angel asks for often.

*Warning*: Not all of these are healthy or whole-food friendly. But they are all tasty, if you have the same idea of tasty food as I do.

Here they are:

Chicken Fried Rice
Pan-fry chicken with onions, garlic, and assorted spices (chilies, cayenne pepper, black pepper, etc.) and soy sauce until fully cooked. Add cold, cooked white rice (slightly on the dry side is best if you don't want the rice to be mushy). If you didn't have enough sauce with the chicken for the rice you added, add more soy sauce till it seems sufficient. Make a hole in the center of the rice and drop a couple eggs in. Stir eggs into rice, chop green onions into rice, the meal is done when the egg is thoroughly cooked.

Deluxe Scrambled Eggs
Fry chopped onions and spinach in a little butter. When onions are tender, pour a scrambled egg mixture (eggs mixed with milk) into the pan and mix with veggies. Top with cheese while still in pan so that the cheese melts. Top with chopped tomato and avocado. WAY easier than omelets.

Chicken Fajitas
Chopped chicken breast in a skillet with onions, zesty italian salad dressing, Frank's red hot sauce, cayenne pepper, pepper. Cook till all liquid is gone, chicken is thoroughly cooked and slightly browned. Serve with tortillas and any and all fajita/taco toppings

Vitamin Stew
(This soup is so hearty that even my meat-loving husband doesn't think any meat needs to go with it).
Chop up about 10 different kinds of vegetables (i.e. cabbage, kale, spinach, tomato, potato, corn, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, onion), throw them in a pot with garlic, pepper, and cayenne, and as much water as you deem necessary for broth, and cook till done. Add 1 can of tomato sauce or paste if desired, otherwise you can just add a little salt.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Boil broccoli, celery, onions, and garlic in chicken broth, or if you don't have that, water with a some salt and pepper added. When soft, put the veggies in a blender with a little of the broth, blend, pour into a different pot, add cream or milk, heat but don't boil, and serve. Topped with cheese, it's pretty amazing.

Chicken and Bean Soup
Prepare dry beans by boiling them for hours. In the meantime, put chopped onions and chicken breasts in the crock pot. Pull apart chicken breasts when fully cooked. Dump beans (usually either pinto or kidney or black beans) into crockpot, along with 1 can of enchilada sauce, 1 can of cream of chicken, and a handful of cheddar cheese. Done when all ingredients are mixed together and hot.

Beef roast in the crock pot for forever. Sprinkle 1 packet dry onion soup mix on top. When fully cooked, pull apart with a knife and fork, stir in 1 or 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (depending on the size of the roast), and cook until hot and tasty. Served with mashed potatoes, you'll get lots of compliments and inquiries for your recipe!

Fruit Crisp
Prepare the fruit. If it's a dry fruit, make a sauce, but certain apples and most berries don't need it. (You can add orange juice if your apples aren't juicy!) Mix oatmeal, ground flax, a little flour, cinnamon, brown sugar together with enough melted butter to make it crumble. Bake at 350 or thereabouts till done.

Breakfast casserole
Put frozen hashbrowns or fresh diced potatoes in casserole dish and place in a heating oven to thaw/cook while you mix together enough eggs, milk, and pepper to wet them all down. Pour egg mixture all over the hashbrowns, top with chopped ham (heavenly!) or sausage (also good!). Cook till nearly done, and sprinkle cheese on top for the last 10-15 minutes.

Best Veggie Side Dish
Baby bok choy pan fried with a little oil and whatever spices I feel like. Or zucchini, same thing. Or green beans or cabbage, but those are best fried with turmeric, garlic, and chilis. And I usually add a little water to help my veggies tender up. Neon yellow (due to the turmeric) veggies are the best kind!

Disappearing Chip Dip
This is the chip dip that I've caught friends eating as if it were a casserole. One layer of refried beans, topped with a layer of cooked ground beef, topped with a layer of that cheesy salsa from a can, topped with sour cream, topped with chopped tomatoes and green onions.

Carne Asada Tacos
Tell Angel, "Let's have carne asada." He makes it happen.

Best Hamburgers
Ground beef mixed with Worcestershire sauce mixed with black pepper mixed with tiny chopped onions (yes, onions cooked into the meat).

Veggie Hash
Chop potatoes, leave skins on, and begin frying for hash. Add summer squash, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes (any hard vegetable that fries well). When those are mostly soft, add onions...when everything is mostly done, add spinach or other desired green leafy vegetable, cook till spinach is tender. When the veggies are done, crack a couple eggs on top of everything, stir, and eat when the eggs are fully cooked. I didn't mention it, but it goes without saying, throw in plenty of spices, especially pepper, along the way. If you like meat in your hash you can add pre-cooked sausage or ham when you add the eggs, but I prefer meatless hash.

Baked Fish Filet
Salmon, cod, or tilapia filets, laid out on a baking sheet, sprinkled with all the spices I can think of, orange juice drizzled on top, baked at 450 till done. I chop onions into eighths and let them roast alongside the fish because Angel loves roasted onions. Can be served with brown rice--or whatever you feel like. I often put sweet potatoes in the oven about 45 min to an hour before I put the fish in, then I have an efficient and complete dinner just using the oven.

My cooking philosophy is always go overboard on the garlic.

No, wait, it's always add onions if I'm unsure whether Angel will like what's for dinner.

No, that's not it.

My cooking philosophy is straight from Pirates of the Caribbean 

"Recipes are more like guidelines than actual rules."

*Fine. I know they weren't talking about recipes, they were talking about the pirate code, but it's practically the same thing...


  1. Those look like great go to recipes! I'm not a recipe follower either!

  2. I don't consider myself a good cook either, but I will try a few of these. I have a hard time coming up with breakfast meals especially so thank you for some tips/un recipes here.

  3. mmmmmmmmmmmm....a lot of these are similar to my "go-tos."

  4. HAHA to the last few sentences. My family is Italian, so if we aren't sure of a recipe, we just add more garlic. It seems to work!

  5. These look delicious!! Definitely adding them to my list of things to make this summer!

  6. I have never tried making my own chicken fried rice but I love it. I'm going to try your unrecipe!

  7. I am super hungry now, I am stealing the ones I have not cooked yet. Thank you for sharing!!


  8. Sounds like a good assortment of recipes. I think Fried Rice has to be a hit in just about every culture (and it's so easy). I first learned how to make it from my Thai grandmother (eggs + fried rice); the chicken variation sounds delicious!

    I'm not sure if you do Blogger awards, but I've nominated you for the Beautiful Blog Award if you're interested. Take care!

  9. Ooh my these all sound so delicious! I'm pretty much a recipe follower, unless I've made a particular dish like 30 times, and only then do I give it a go without haha.

  10. Haha, I love this and I might actually try some of your non-recipes! That veggie hash looks pretty delicious and I never would have thought of it. I do follow recipes a lot, but honestly, some of my best meals have come from "Hmm, what's in the fridge/pantry...yeah, I bet I could mix those together with some spices and it'll be interesting...I mean, delicious..."

  11. These are great! I LOVE non-recipes. :-)

  12. I always add more garlic than called for, because I think it tastes better! Once I make the recipe one time, I find it usually needs more salt and/or heat too. But I make it once so I can judge what needs to be added. I'm a recipe follower, but I adjust them for my family's tastes!

  13. Ans now I am STARVING! Come cook for me Rachel!

  14. Garlic and can't go wrong! ☺

  15. Hahaha, loved the title of this, Rachel. The first 4 recipes, veggie side dish and fruit crisp sound right up my alley. Thanks so much for sharing. And you look ADORABLE in that cute apron. =)

  16. I love these! My mom used to make hash out of the leftovers from the week and I always loved it!

  17. These are awesome thanks for the 'unrecipes' love!! :) Garlic and onions are the base for all good dishes so true :) White wine if you're cooking Italian sauces or risotto too :) Happy Hump Day love! -Iva

  18. WOW! I mean wow. I guess now I can live with these "unrecipes" without dying of hunger because I have NO trust on my cooking skills.

  19. Wow. You are a genious! I just wish I could trust myself to throw stuff together like this. Though I have gotten better about it lately. I may be referring back to this post a lot in the next few months.

  20. These are awesome! I LOVE to cook....but there are nights when I have no time/energy, so these are a great alternative to take out! :)

  21. Goodness, is my tummy rumbling up a storm now! :) I adore cooking and do all of ours (save for the occasional time when the mister bbq's), and like yourself, rarely measure or make the same thing precisely identically time and time again. It's fun to keep tweaking, trying, and surprising yourself and your guests with the latest version of a beloved dish (that isn't to say, of course, that I never make the same thing the same way twice, I certainly do, but I'm all for improvising and putting new spins on dishes as well).

    ♥ Jessica

  22. Those hamburgers sound delicious! We add feta, red peppers, and green onions in our hamburger meet all the time!

  23. I have the same philosophy with recipes! They're more like inspiration than rules for me. :)

  24. I might have to try your chicken friend rice unrecipe. And add kimchi to it.... because kimchi friend rice is the bomb!

    Arielle from Tangled Musings

  25. I´m a fan of fried rice too, Rachel(must be the Asian in me, lol)! Aside from the chopped garlic(I don´t place onions) I usually use chopped bacon/bacon bits/ jamon serrano bits, diced carrots, black pepper, beaten egg and a dash of chopped parsely right before removing the pan from the heat. Makes a complete meal! Will try your chicken version next. ;)

  26. Oh that vitamin stew sounds right up my alley! Do you chop your veggies into pieces or add whole bites? These all sound amazing! susan

  27. I'm the exact opposite! Since I didn't know how to cook and only started a couple of years ago, I had to read recipes or else my dishes will end up differently. But I'm like you when it comes to garlic. More is much much better for me.

    I will definitely try a few recipes here for sure! My first will be the Disappearing Cheese Dip as I'm having a get-together pretty soon. It's something new I can give my guests aside from bottled salsa haha.

    - Karen

  28. The vitamin stew sounds good! I have go-to meals that sort of rotate and are on a planner so I don't have to think too much. But sometimes when I come home and have no time it goes something like... "oh, fish and chips? But the chips take too long. Mexican rice is quicker. But you know what's quicker than rice? Couscous! Mexican couscous. Oh, I have no chilli. But I have zuccini. New definition of "mexican rice" : couscous and zuccini and corn, beans and tomato...

  29. I love all these recipes! When I get home from work, I'm never in the mood to cook (especially in the summer when it's just too hot!) I'm going to pin these for later and use them throughout the weeks. Thanks for saving me some after-work time!

  30. Hahaha I love this!!! Your deluxe scrambled eggs are exactly like my mom's veggie scramble that I love to make when I have no other ideas.

  31. love reading about different recipes and then changing them to meet my needs. Such great inspiration...thanks! Happy Saturday Sharefest

  32. HAHA I love your recipes. Much easier than the crappy books with hundreds of pages that get all wrinkled and stained and torn. Thanks for sharing! The hearty soup one is on my list!

  33. There are tons of recipes that I want to try out .. thank you!! It was the easiest way to read a recipe. I like your style and am much the same; no measurements, everything is from memory.

  34. You have given me so many ideas. I often get stumped when trying to figure out what to make for dinner. A lot of the time I begin with a recipe that I like and then add or subtract ingredients as I see fit.
    Visiting from SITS
    Barbara @

  35. I should not be reading this. I should not be reading this. I should not be reading this...

    I'm currently on a juice detox and your unrecipes are making me all but foam at the mouth, especially the carne asada tacos, and the breakfast casserole, and the vitamin stew. I guess I should be happy you didn't include photos. Otherwise I'd be tweeting you my address and begging you to Fedex me some food :) I'm only half kidding...

  36. I love this post! I love the go-to recipes (we all need them) and I love your writing. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for linking up to the Be.YOU.Tiful link party!