Last month I was tasked with putting together five-ingredient dinner recipes for SavvyMom. The planning and testing process offered up plenty of inspiration that I've been missing of late, and I love how each of the meals came together. My rule was that oils, salt and pepper, and seasonings from the spice rack weren't included in the list of five ingredients, but that everything else was to be considered. The result was four family-friendly meals we ate over course of the month, and based on the comments on my teaser pics on Instagram I can tell that there is as much outside interest in these quick-to-cook dinners as I have myself.
I can also happily report that Matthew ate each of these dinners with gusto, with the exception of the hoisin pork lettuce wraps. It's not surprising, of course, but when I swapped the lettuce wrap for some brown basmati rice and tossed it with the pork mixture, I landed on something he definitely approved of.
Here's a look at the meals I put together:
It's no secret that we're big fans of soup, and this simple, satisfying creation is the perfect dinner to bridge the gap between late winter and early spring. It’s comforting enough to warm you through but lighter than most seasonal soups making it ideal for eating when the temperature slowly begins to rise. You can find the recipe here.
The aforementioned lettuce wraps. Quick to prepare and fun to eat, it’s hard not to love a recipe that encourages your tablemates to make their own meal and eat with their hands. This one-pan, five-ingredient sticky-sweet meat mixture takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and can even be served over rice instead of lettuce cups if you prefer. Find the recipe here.
We loved this Spanish tortilla. It's one of those dishes that tastes good morning, noon and night, and makes a filling meal from humble ingredients. You can make this in advance, and store it in the fridge, reheating wedges on a baking sheet in the oven. Serve with a side salad or steamed veggies, and some reliable crusty bread, and you'll have a dinner the whole family can get on board with. Find the recipe here.
This Nigella Lawson recipe belongs in the repertoire of every home cook, especially one with small children underfoot. It hits all the hallmarks of a meal worth making – satisfying, simple, and cooked in one pot – and is sure to entice everyone in your family to the table. Find the recipe here.
After I handed in my work to my editor, I tested a few more five-ingredient creations, if only to stretch myself a little creatively in the kitchen. This chicken and chickpea curry is the result of such work and is a really easy way to get a good-for-you meal on the table. I saw a brief recipe of similar description on Instagram a while ago and tweaked it a little to make it into something even the most inexperienced of cooks can successfully make. My kids are crazy for this kind of food; hearty, comforting, and lightly laced with the flavours they love best. If you choose to serve it over rice, it's guaranteed to be a home run on the dinner table. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
What do you think? Should we make five-ingredient dinners a thing here? Maybe a monthly recipe? Let me know your thoughts.
Chicken and Chickpea Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- Optional: brown basmati rice, cilantro, and lime, for serving
1. Warm the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the chicken, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until the sides are lightly golden. Don't worry about crowding the pan. You aren't looking to get a brown crust here, just a bit of colour on the pieces of meat.
2. Add the chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and curry paste to the pot. Stir well, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for an hour or so, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has reduced by a third and thickened. Serve over brown basmati rice or quinoa, if desired and garnish with cilantro and/or a squeeze of lime.