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Simple Dinner Ideas

Simple Dinner Ideas
With our hectic and busy lifestyle, we seldom have the time or inclination to slave around the kitchen. So what we need are some simple dinner ideas that can be prepared in less time and with minimum of fuss.
Rimlee Bhuyan
When you come home tired at night, the last thing you want to do is cook an elaborate dinner. But it is also important to serve nutritious and healthy food to your family. Avoid the temptation to order from those take-away joints as you can cook delicious food in a matter of minutes with some simple dinner ideas.
Quick and Simple Ideas for Dinner
Grilled Steak Salad
What can be more simple than preparing a salad. This steak salad is ideal for weekdays as you can prepare it in less than 10 minutes. By making the dressing the night ahead, you can save on time.
  • 500g rib eye steak
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head lettuce
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
To prepare the steak, season it with salt. Brush the steak with oil, and grill it on very high heat. Once the steak is done, transfer it to a chopping board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and you have a thin dressing. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the chopped cucumber, tomatoes and red onion. Chop the mint and cilantro and add to the bowl.

Slice the steak into thin slices, making sure you cut it across the grain. Pour the accumulated juices into the dressing and mix well. Drizzle some of the dressing over the lettuce mixture and toss. Place the salad on individual plates and top each serving with the sliced steak. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the steak before serving.
Quick Roast Chicken Drumsticks
Everybody loves chicken and this is one of the quickest recipes. You can marinate the chicken pieces in buttermilk in the morning and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.
  • 8 to 10 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of mustard paste
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
Take a plastic zip lock bag and add the buttermilk, minced garlic, cumin powder, honey, mustard paste and the vegetable oil. Add the chicken drumsticks into the plastic bag and rub the marinade into it so that the drumsticks are well coated with the marinade. When you are ready to cook dinner, remove the chicken drumsticks from the bag and arrange it on a roasting tin lined with aluminum foil. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and cook in a 320º centigrade for 30 minutes. Serve this with a tomato and feta salad.
Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms
When you are making this recipe take care not to overcook the salmon. Overcooked salmon loses all its flavor and tastes dry.
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 100 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper and then grill them for about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the salmon from the grill to a plate and cover with an aluminum foil.

In a pan, fry the sliced onions and minced garlic until they turn golden. Add the shredded red cabbage along with little salt and cook until the cabbage has wilted. Now add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and remove the pan from flame. To serve arrange a piece of salmon along with the shiitake mushrooms and red cabbage.
Flank Steak with Orange and Ginger
There are times when nothing but a big hearty steak dinner can fulfill your hunger. Here is an easy flank steak recipe that is quick to prepare.
  • 1kg flank steak
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped
In a medium-sized glass bowl place the flank steak and add the orange juice, olive oil, grated ginger, ground coriander, freshly ground black pepper and coriander. Leave the steak to marinate for 4-5 hours.

Remove the steak from the marinade, sprinkle it with salt and pan fry or grill for 4-5 minutes on both sides. Transfer steak to a chopping board and let it rest for 7-8 minutes. Slice the steak into thin slices across the grain and serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
You can make some variations with the ingredients to suit your taste and come up with some delicious recipes. Cooking methods like stir frying and steaming not only cuts down your cooking time but also helps in preserving the nutrients of the food.