Cheery Observations

Celebrating the Unique, Sustainable, and Creative

Real Simple Recipes December 16, 2008

Filed under: food and recipes — meaghin @ 11:34 pm

I have been subscribing to Real Simple for a long time now and while occasionally the magazine is not exactly pertinent to me (I’m not a mother in my 30s!), the recipes rarely disappoint. I organize all my recipes in a program called ‘Yummy Soup’ and about 50% of the recipes are Real Simple creations. The recipes are true to their name (real simple) for several reasons:a) they are organized in a way that makes it easy to quickly scan the recipe and b) they are usually no longer than 5 steps and so the entire hands on time is quite minimal.

I wanted to post a few of my ‘go-to’s’, either for weeknights or when I’m cooking for others:these always reliable!

Chicken Curry in a Hurry:
It packs a slight amount of heat: the moist chicken combined with the curry powder is a great way to spice up a basic chicken and rice meal.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the yogurt and cream and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and tomatoes (if using). Remove from heat.

Slice or shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Divide the rice (if using) and chicken among individual bowls, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Makes 4 to 8 servings

Parmesan Pasta with Chicken and Rosemary:
The first time my fiancee had this he went ‘mmm’ after every bite! (Sometimes without even being aware he was doing this!)It’s one of the simplest meals I’ve ever made, but the combination of the broth and rosemary with some delicious fresh pasta is unbeatable.

  • 12 ounces (3 cups) orecchiette pasta
  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound rotisserie chicken
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Shred the chicken, using a fork or your fingers, while the pasta cooks. Discard the skin and bones.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the water. Return the pasta to the pot.

Add the reserved pasta water, chicken, rosemary, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pot. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.

Divide among individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Tip: Using water reserved from the pasta pot is a classic cook’s trick. Starchy and salted, it makes a light, flavorful sauce when tossed with cheese and herbs. It’s also great for thinning pestos and marinaras.

Makes 4 servings

Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes:

This is hearty, meatless meal. Crisp green beans and fresh potatoes and parmesan make this meal healthy and delicious. Whole Foods sells wonderful fresh pesto (of course you can make your own!): good pesto is the key ingredient in making this into a satisfying dinner.


  • 1 1-pound box linguine or spaghetti
  • 8 ounces Yukon gold potatoes (peeled if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup store-bought pesto
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes and salt in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost but not quite tender, about 15 minutes. Add the beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and green beans in a colander. Let cool slightly. Cut the potatoes into a 1/2-inch dice and cut the green beans into 1-inch pieces.

Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the potatoes, green beans, pesto, Parmesan, and pine nuts (if using). Toss to combine.

Tip: There’s no need to peel thin-skinned potatoes like Yukon golds. But be sure to scrub them.

Makes 4 servings


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