One of the biggest problems when preparing food today is the tendency to overdo things. Instead of allowing a few simple ingredients and natural flavors to define the dish, aspiring chefs feel the need to introduce as many flavors as possible into a dish. With that in mind, we’ve found nine dishes (and one classic dessert) that are easy to make but will still impress your friends and family.
1. Homemade Margherita Pizza
This pizza recipe really breaks things down to their basics. Cheese? Yes, but not mountains of it. Ingredients? They are not necessary. All you need is dough made of flour, yeast and a pinch of salt; fresh tomato sauce, fresh basil and a few balls of fresh mozzarella. You’ll love this pizza because it’s authentic and back to basics.
2. Tagliatelle with garlic and oil
Anyone with an Italian grandmother is sure to have fond memories of eating this as a child. It only requires four ingredients: tagliatelle, garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes. You can make and serve this recipe in just 15 minutes.
3. Easy Chicken Stir-Fry
When making this Asian favorite, you can’t go wrong. It starts with a few pieces of chicken breast, a variety of vegetables, including broccoli, onions, peppers and carrots, a few tablespoons of soy sauce and a touch of cornstarch to thicken it. It’s a festival of colors that is super healthy, low in carbs and high in flavor.
4. Vegan Lentil Soup
You’ll love this healthy, flavorful, filling soup that requires very little effort to make but tastes like magic all the same. Along with red lentils, you’ll add some tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, curry powder, and ground red pepper. It’s perfect any time of year, especially when it’s cold!
5. Classic Beef Stew
This classic meat stew is a meal that is so delicious and comforting. It starts with slow cooked beef, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and beef broth. It is another nutritious dish full of proteins and vitamins.
6. Fluffy Pancakes
Fluffy pancakes are not only enjoyable to eat, they are also a lot of fun to make. Just ask any kid who’s learning to cook for the first time. Remember, the fluffiest pancakes consist of five things: an egg, baking soda, baking powder, all-purpose flour, and vanilla. What could be better on the weekend than a fluffy pancake breakfast?
7. Vegan Chickpea Curry
The reason vegan chickpea curry is a big favorite is because it has a robust and meaty flavor for something vegan. Boil some chickpeas until soft, add tomatoes, coconut milk, and some exotic spices, and you have a rich, creamy dish that can be enjoyed with flatbread.
8. Homemade Sour Dough Bread
It’s not the easiest thing to make, but it’s incredibly tasty. It takes time and must be kneaded by hand rather than with a mixer. But when done right, it has an honest, rustic quality.
9. Easy Baked Salmon
Nothing could be better than a baked salmon fillet. Start by marinating the salmon in a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs overnight. Bake in the oven at 450°F (230°C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 fats, baked salmon is perfectly complemented by a side of rice pilaf.
10. Chocolate Chip Cookies
There’s a secret to the perfect chocolate chip cookies: use brown sugar instead of white, and if you want a cookie that’s the perfect balance of chewy and crunchy, use butter and never margarine. Also, cut up a high-quality chocolate bar into pieces instead of buying chocolate chips.