Danielle is a longtime freelance writer. Her work often focuses on food and cooking.
We all have those nights. You come home from a long day of work and you simply can't decide what to eat. You ask your significant other and get caught in that endless loop of "I don't cares" and "It's whatever you wants." Well, these are some the recipes I turn to when that happens to me.
The Best Go-To Meals
- Korean Beef and Rice
- Big Beef Burritos
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Cubed Steak and Garlic Parmesan Noodles
1. Korean Beef and Rice
This is one of my favorite recipes of all time for many reasons: it's quick, easy, delicious, and most importantly it's very cheap. All you need is beef, rice, and some other spices that you probably already have lying around your kitchen. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is completely customizable. Like hot and spicy foods? Use more red pepper and less brown sugar. Like sweet and savory? Use more brown sugar and ginger. Personally, I use less red pepper than the recipe calls for and more brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. I also skip the green onions. Want to try it?
2. Big Beef Burritos
This is a fun dinner my mother would make for me and my siblings when we were kids. I absolutely love it and have continued to make it well into my adult life. Here's what you'll need:
- 1 pound of skirt steak (flank steak will work too, or pretty much any kind of steak)
- Cooked rice
- Warmed white queso
- Cooked black beans
- Sour Cream
Slice the steak up into thin pieces and pan fry it in a fajita or taco seasoning of your choice. Then lay out a tortilla and start layering ingredients. First, put a few slices of steak in the center, then put some rice on top of that. Spoon some queso over the rice and then add some beans. Next comes a little bit of salsa. Finally, top it off with a dollop of sour cream. Fold up the tortilla and enjoy.
3. Chicken Fried Rice
The great thing about this recipe is that once you learn the basic recipe for the rice, you can pretty much add anything you want to it. Try chicken, steak, shrimp, or even tofu if you're vegetarian. You can also add vegetables like peas, broccoli, and peppers. Just cook it and then stir it in while you're frying your rice. It's a super delicious recipe and tastes way better than Chinese take out. There are a few things I do differently for this recipe though. I use sesame oil instead of vegetable oil. I saute the onion and some garlic in the sesame oil and then cook my chicken in that delicious concoction. Then I simply add my rice, egg and soy sauce to that pan and fry it up! Below is a video that I've included that shows a slightly different recipe that you may want to try.
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*Note: you'll probably need a pretty big pan for this, one with high "walls".
4. Cubed Steak and Garlic Parmesan Noodles
My family eats this meal at least once a week. It's very affordable and everyone loves it! All you'll need to do is fry up some cubed steak and make some noodles.
For the cubed steak:
Run to your nearest grocery store and pick up some cubed steak. Before you cook it, you'll probably need to tenderize the meat a little bit (a lot) since it's a pretty cheap cut of meat. Then, toss the meat in a flour mixture. I keep my mixture pretty simple with just self-rising flour, salt, pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder. Then throw those bad boys in a hot frying pan to cook.
For the Noodles:
The noodles are definitely the highlight of the meal. This recipe is absolutely to die for. You can use pretty much any kind of noodles you want, but my favorite is rotini noodles. Also, I like to add way more garlic than the recipe calls for, but that's just because I love garlic.
Everyone knows and loves this recipe. Luckily, it is a quick recipe that only costs around five dollars to make. Just boil up some noodles and fry up some ground beef. You can make your own tomato sauce or you can use a store bought one. Personally, I buy Ragu brand tomato sauce and then add spices to it, such as garlic and onion powder along with salt and pepper. Then pour your tomato sauce on top of the ground beef and let those simmer together while your noodles are cooking. Once the noodles are done, stir them in with the tomato sauce and beef, then serve hot! You can also use meatballs instead of ground beef, or leave out the meat entirely if you're looking for something vegetarian.
Looking for a delicious dessert to go with your quick and easy meal? Try The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Pound Cake!