During this long quarantine, I have done a lot cooking for my boyfriend and I. He has a kitchen on the smaller side and it doesn’t have an oven, so I have to cook stove top dinners only! It makes things a bit restrictive but we work with what we have, and I find that stove top dinners are really quick and easy.
My first time ever cooking for my boyfriend was a FAIL. I was making us beef stir fry. I cut the beef into small cubes (I don’t know why), added peppers, broccoli (it was definitely old because it smelt like TRASH, but I just got it that day), onions, garlic, and I added teriyaki sauce. The “beef cubes,” we call them, were so well done we couldn’t chew them. But, he was the best because he ate it all and pretended he liked it!
So my goal has been to redeem myself from that time, because I was so embarrassed…I know how to cook!!
Below I have listed a few of our favorite dinners I have made while during quarantine!
Beef and Broccoli
Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins
- 1 pound flank steak sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips
- 3 cups small broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- Toss sliced beef in a large bowl with corn starch.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Add sliced beef and cook until it browns, a few minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add broccoli and garlic to the pan, and stir. Add beef broth. Let simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While waiting for the broccoli to cook, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the reserved beef and sauce to the pan, and stir. Let simmer for 5 minutes so the sauce thickens a bit.
- Serve beef and broccoli over cooked white rice.
Chicken and Spinach Skillet
Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins
- 2 large boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- One – 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
- a 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup baby spinach, packed tight
- Place the olive oil in a saute pan over medium to high heat. Add the boneless chicken strips to the pan. Cook and stir the chicken strips until they are browned about 10 minutes. Add the diced onion to the pan and cook until the onions are soft.
- Add the undrained tomatoes and water to the pan. Stir the mixture around a little bit to mix everything together.
- Place all the spices and seasoning together in a bowl and mix them together. Add the spices to the skillet and mix to combine everything well. Bring the mixture up to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, remove the lid and add the fresh spinach to the pan. Next, cook and stir until the spinach begins to wilt. You want the spinach to retain its gorgeous green color and texture.
For a side I made brown rice which paired really well with this dish! We love Caprese salad, so I made that for an app!
Garlic Parm Chicken
Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hour
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 C. chicken stock
- 1 head broccoli florets
- 1 C. half and half
- 1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 C. spinach
- 1 Tbsp. rosemary
- Parsley for garnish
- Put 1 Tbsp. olive oil into pan over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs to heated skillet pan. Cook chicken thighs for about 10 minutes on each side, or until there is no pink on the inside.
- Once chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan. Add quartered potatoes to the same skillet and season with salt and pepper. On medium heat, leave them untouched for about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and tomato paste and stir for 2 minutes. Then, stir in chicken stock and broccoli, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in half and half, Parmesan, and spinach.
- Add in the chicken and sprinkle the rosemary on top. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce is creamy and the potatoes are done.
- Garish with parsley.
Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 minutes
- 6 Tortillas (soft or hard shell)
- 1 piece Flank steak (cut them into strips)
- 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 Packet taco seasoning
- 1/2 C. Mexican shredded cheese
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1 Avocado
- 1 C. Brown rice
- Cook brown rice on stove top.
- While rice is cooking, put 1. Tbsp. olive oil into a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add strips of flank steak. Add taco seasoning and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until desired color of meat.
- Cut jalapenos into small discs, mash up avocado (or slice into pieces).
- Set up tortilla shells, place white rice at the bottom, add flank steak, avocado, cheese, salsa, and jalapenos.
Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 minutes
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 lb. tri-colored baby potatoes, quartered
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ground pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 C water
- 5 C broccoli
- 1/2 C catalina sauce
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (I used liquid aminos)
- Combine seasonings in a small mixing bowl and rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning mixture.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook potatoes for about 4 minutes without touching them. Then remove them from the skillet and set aside.
- Saute garlic, about 2-3 minutes or until browned and add chicken breast to the skillet. Cook for about 7-8 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add water and broccoli to the skillet; cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove cover and add catalina sauce and soy sauce.
- Add prepared chicken and potatoes back to skillet and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until heated through and bubbling.
- Remove from heat.
- Plate chicken, broccoli, and potatoes.
Prosciutto Mozzarella Bruschetta
Prep: 5 mins Cook: 10 minutes
- 1 loaf French Bread
- Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil (if toasting bread on stovetop)
- Cut French bread into slices.
- Toast bread in toaster oven. However, he does not have a toaster either (small kitchen but I was able to toast the bread on the skillet).
3. Add sliced mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula.
4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar glaze
To toast bread on skillet:
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil on skillet, low heat.
- Place sliced bread onto skillet and cover for about 3-4 minutes each side. Or until crust is lightly browned.
If you decide to make any of these dishes, let me know how they come out!