Alas, we have arrived in November, a time when we are plagued by grey skies, the end of daylight savings, and store shelves prematurely filled with holiday decorations.
Although the days are supposed to get shorter, they feel much longer as midterm season comes to an end and exam prep begins. Whether it’s too many late nights at the library, working on assignments up until 11:59 p.m., or just overall exhaustion from trying to save your GPA at the last minute, allocating time to cooking meals becomes more and more of a challenge. I can’t blame you—when you walk out of class at 5 p.m., and it’s already dark outside, all you want to do is get home, be warm, and relax with some hot cocoa.
However, as we all know (but never actually stick to), the better we eat, the better we feel, and the more energized we will be to get through those assignments. But don’t fret—The McGill Tribune is here to share some easy home-cooked meals and snacks to help get you through those long, exhausting days.
Easy cream of mushroom chicken
- 4-5 chicken breasts or 5-6 chicken thighs
- 1 box of white mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- A few pinches of cracked pepper
- Optional: spinach, pasta
1. Add oil and garlic to a large pan over medium heat.
2. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add chicken, salt, and pepper if desired.
3. Cook the chicken on each side for five minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
4. Remove chicken from the pan, then add butter, more garlic, and sliced mushrooms.
5. Sauté mushrooms, then remove from the pan.
6. Add chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan and simmer until about one-third reduces.
7. Add in cream, cooked mushrooms, and cooked chicken.
8. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, then serve!
Baked salmon with sweet tomato sauce
Pairs well with quinoa
For 1 large filet of salmon
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp melted butter
- Chopped garlic (as much as you desire)
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 pinches of cracked pepper
- 2 pinches of thyme
- 2 pinches of basil
- Parmesan cheese (enough to create a thin layer over the fish)
- Optional: Cherry tomatoes, sliced white onion
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (or 200° C).
2. Mix tomato paste, honey, butter, garlic, lemon juice, basil, and thyme in a small bowl.
3. Oil a sheet pan and place the salmon on it.
4. Poke the salmon with a fork and season lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Spread the topping (from step 2) over the salmon and season with more herbs if desired.
6. Optional: Place halved cherry tomatoes and onions on the salmon.
7. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over fish (you can be very generous––if you add more parmesan, it will create a crunchy texture).
8. Place in the oven for 10-14 minutes.
9. Optional: Add more parmesan and broil for one minute for a crisp topping.
Sweet and savoury quinoa bowl:
- ½ cup of quinoa
- ½ of a red or orange pepper (sliced)
- ½ white onions (sliced)
- 2 inches cucumber (diced)
- ½ tomato (diced)
- Handful of mixed greens
- Feta cheese (as much as desired)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp of honey
- Handful of dried cranberries
- Handful of sliced almonds
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, after rinsing thoroughly.
2. Sauté onions and peppers.
3. Once onions and peppers brown, add quinoa to the bowl and season to taste.
4. Mix in tomato sauce and honey, then mixed greens.
5. Optional: Add in tofu, legumes, or other proteins.
6. Add feta, cranberries, and almonds on top, then serve!
Easy shrimp mac and cheese
- 1 bag of frozen shrimp
- 1 clove of chopped garlic
- 2 tsp of butter
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- A pinch of salt & pepper
- Boxed mac and cheese (suggested: Annie’s white cheddar)
1. Make mac and cheese according to the package instructions.
2. On medium heat, melt butter in pan.
3. Add garlic and lemon juice.
4. After garlic begins to sauté, add in shrimp, cooking each side for three minutes.
5. Season with salt and pepper, add to macaroni and serve!