January 6, 2017

quick easy recipes

Studying abroad throws you into a whole new culture. One of the biggest struggles I faced when studying abroad in Malta was figuring out what to cook. This led me to create my own recipes while there. Here are all of my original, quick, easy recipes that I used while abroad. Please note: I don’t do much measuring when I cook, so don’t be too concerned if you’re lacking one ingredient or don’t have enough of another– the recipe will still work great unless stated otherwise!

Here is an overview of all of the quick, easy recipes included here:
1.) Cajun Shrimp Etoufee
2.) Homeade Rice Krispy Treats
3.) Sweet and Spicy Honey Baked (or Fried) Chicken Poppers
4.) Baked Chicken Parmesan (less than 500 calories)
5.) Delicious, Baked Zucchini
6.) Authentic Beef or Chicken Curry (this recipe I got from a guy whose family has owned an Indian restaurant for decades!)
7.) Simple, Baked Sweet Potato Fries
8.) Nutella Crepes (the authentic, French way)
9.) Baked Potato Wedges
10.) Rosemary Garlic Chicken With Garlic Mashed Potatoes
11.) Cajun Chicken Pasta
12.) Moroccan Chicken

Cajun Shrimp Etoufee


-1TSP of Vegetable/Olive oil (optional, can replace with water)

-Basmati or white rice (brown if you’re counting cals)


-2TBS Cajun Seasoning

-2TSP Lemon Juice

-2TSP Lime Juice

-One can of diced tomatoes or tomato puree

-2TSP of butter (leave out or replace with water if counting cals…still tastes fantastic without it!)

-1/2 Chopped onion

-1TSP Turmeric

-3 cloves chopped garlic

-A dash of salt

-1TSP Pepper

-1/2 TSP cumin (DO NOT OVERDO IT!)

-Cilantro to taste (optional)


Cook rice. Do not add salt to water, as it may make the dish salty if you plan on combining the rice with etoufee. After cooking add a dash of cumin and lemon juice (optional). Set aside.

Chop onions. Chop garlic. Heat oil  on stovetop on medium-high heat and add onions and garlic for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Do not drain additional oil. Pour in all other ingredients (besides shrimp) and stir. Turn heat to low after about 4-5 minutes. If shrimps are not precooked, heat them on the stovetop on medium-high heat for 5 minutes MAX or in the oven on 400 degrees farenheit for 5 minutes MAX. Mix in with sauce and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

Put shrimp and sauce over the rice and grub!

Homeade Rice Krispy Treats

This recipe is so simple!


-Rice Krispy cereal

-Butter (1/2 stick for a whole bag of rice krispies)


-A dash of vanilla flavoring (optional but tastes better with it..don’t put too much though!)


The amount of each ingredient you use doesn’t really matter, as long as you use enough butter. Melt butter in a pan on medium heat (it should look like a lot). Add on marshmallows and stir continually until marshmallows are melted (if at first it seems like you put waaaay too much butter than you’re doing it right! If not, you may want to add some more). Add in a dash of vanilla flavoring– trust me, a dash is enough. After melted, take pan off burner, pour in Rice Krispies bit by bit, and stir until there are no dry rice krispy treats left and the marshmallow mix is evenly assorted!

Sweet & Spicy Honey Baked (or fried) Sriracha Chicken Poppers:


-1-2 Chicken breasts (however much you want to eat)

-1/4 cup honey (or less if counting cals)

-1 TBS Sriracha Sauce

-1 TSP Cayenne pepper (leave out if you’re not a spicy person)

-2 TSP Ginger

-1 TBS Soy Sauce

-2 TSP Black pepper

-1TBS Lime juice

-Bread crumbs (if baking)

-1TBS Milk (if baking)

-Flour (if frying)

-Veggie oil (if frying)

-Green onions and/or cilantro (optional)


Cut up chicken breasts into pieces.

If baking: soak in 1-2TBS of milk for a few minutes. Add in bread crumbs and salt. Place on cookie sheet and bake until done.

If frying: Toss in flour and salt. Fry til done.

Both: On stove top heat all ingredients besides chicken, stirring frequently. Let simmer. When chicken is done, toss it in the sauce. Add green onions and/or cilantro to top it off (optional). All done!

Homeade Baked (or fried) Mozzarella Sticks

This is so simple yet so good!


-Mozzarella cheese  (either the kind you bought as a kid in a cylindrical shape or buy whole pieces of mozzarella cheese and cut into strips)

-2 Eggs

-1 cup of Bread crumbs


-3 TBS Italian Seasoning (or oregano, parsley, and garlic powder)

-Marinara or pizza sauce

-Vegatable oil (if frying)


Get mozzarella cheese into slices. Mix in a bowl eggs with Italian seasoning and salt. Dip Mozzarella sticks in egg mixture then cover them with bread crumbs. If frying, fry until cheese begins to pop out of the sides. If baking, baked until cheese pops out of the sides (use non-stick spray). Let cool, eat with marinara sauce!

Baked Chicken Parmesan (less than 500 calories)


-1/4 cup of pasta (add more if ya don’t care about the cals)

-Chicken breast

-Fresh, grated parmesan cheese (just enough to sprinkle on top)

-Your favorite spaghetti sauce




-Garlic powder

Cook pasta. Add some salt to water. Put some salt, pepper, parsley and garlic powder on chicken. Don’t be skimpy! Place on baking sheet and cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. After that, add sauce and sprinkle cheese on top. Let bake for another 10-15 minutes. Combine with noodles and you’re good!

Baked, delicious zucchini



-Soy Sauce

-Salt– seasoned, regular or both


-Garlic Powder

-Cajun seasoning

-Cayenne pepper

-Olive oil


Pretty simple: Mix all ingredients besides zucchini in a bowl. Chop up the zucchini into slices. Pour over zucchini and bake until done to your liking. Flip halfway through I like to dip mine in some extra soy sauce!

Authentic Beef (or chicken) Curry

This is my flat mate, Abeed’s recipe (his family owned an Indidan restaurant for YEARS and he is the curry master!). You MUST follow all steps exactly in order for it to turn out good and you MUST keep the heat on high and cook longer than you think! Also, in this recipe tablespoons and teaspoons should be heaped. There are a lot of ingredients but its easy to make:


-Chicken or beef

-2 regular sized onions (or you can use a combination of onions and tomatoes, or just tomatoes)

-Basmati rice

-1-2 cups Veggie or canola oil (or any cooking oil besides olive oil)


-Cilantro (as a topping)

– 3/4 bulb of fresh, chopped garlic

-1/3 piece of fresh, chopped ginger (there should be 3 times more garlic than ginger)

-1TSP Turmeric

-2TSP Red Chili Powder (add more if you like spice!)

-2TSP Coriander powder– should be an equal amount as red chili powder (also called Dhayha powder)

-2TSP Garam Masala powder (or about 2/3 amount of red chili powder)

-1TSP Salt (to taste)

-2TSP cumin (this is PLENTY)

-1TSP Mango powder

-1TSP Hing powder

-2 TSP Fennel powder

-2TSP Curry powder

-2TSP Hot madras curry powder


Cut beef/chicken into pieces. Grate or blend (in a blender) onions/tomatoes.  Grate or blend garlic.

Cook basmati rice. Add a bit of salt to the water.

Mix all seasonings in a bowl and try it to make sure the taste is good. Adjust to taste. Once you’re a pro or if you’re brave you can add it directly to the meat instead of mixing before hand.

Add lots of oil (1-2 cups) to pan and heat on high– it must be really hot. Slowly put in cut chicken pieces for 7-10 minutes until chicken is cooked and bubbles begin to come up from the oil. It will seem like you are overcooking the chicken but you are not– keep the heat on high/medium high. Stir occasionally. Add onions and let cook on high for about 5 minutes, stirring occassionally. Halfway through add garlic. Now, add in all seasonings (BE CAREFUL NOT TO ADD TOO MUCH CUMIN…IT WILL MESS IT ALL UP.). Continue stirring for about 10-15 minutes. When the mixture begins to stick to the pan, add some water. Do that 2-3 times. Heat must stay on high. Turn heat down when done.

Put curry chicken on top of the rice. Top it off with cilantro and enjoy!

IF IT TURNS OUT BAD: Don’t fret, try again. You probably added too much cumin.

Simple Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato(es)

1 tablespoon Olive oil




Thoroughly rinse sweet potatoes. Cut into pieces, so that they look like potato wedges. Place in a bag or on a plate. Pour olive oil, oregano and salt onto sweet potatoes and stir or mix together until all sweet potatoes are coated. Lay potato pieces flat on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.


Nutella Crepes


2 cups Flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 table spoon vegetable or canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder

3 cups milk

2 Eggs

3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Butter or margarine for the cooking

A dash of rum (optional)


Whip Cream

Fruit (optional)


This recipe is enough to make at least 15 crepes.

Stir all ingredients besides milk, whip cream, fruit and Nutella together in a bowl. Slowly begin to pour in milk while continuously stirring (you may need a whisk or automatic blender, otherwise it may take awhile to blend). As you pour, ensure that the batter is not too liquidy. You should easily be able to pour it, but it shouldn’t be as thin as water.

Heat the stove on Medium-high heat and wait until it’s all the way heated. Add 1 tsp of butter to the pan (it should immediately melt when it touches the pan) and swirl it around so the whole pan has butter on it. From there, take the pan in your hand, and pour some of the batter in the pan as you swirl the pan in a circle (as to ensure the batter reaches all sides of the pan). It should form a circle. Try to avoid doing multiple pours and avoid using too much batter for one crepe. Once the entire pan has batter on it, place the pan back on the stove. After 1-2 minutes, once the edges of the crepe are cooked and/or the middle of the crepe begins to bubble, flip to the other side. Leave on this side for another minute or so. Remove from pan.

Immediately spread the crepe with Nutella and then roll it like an enchilada. Add some whip cream and fruit to the top and eat!

Baked Potato Wedges



Cajun Seasoning

Seasoned Salt or Regular salt



Garlic Powder

Cayenne Pepper (if you like the spice


Simple. Cut up potatoes into small wedges. Mix the potatoes with a little of all the ingredients. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Rosemary Garlic Chicken w/ Garlic Mashed Potatoes


1 Chicken Breast
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon of oil

3 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic (use fine garlic powder if you don’t have it fresh….but fresh is better)



2 tsp of Rosemary (fresh or in the seasoning section)

2 Potatoes

2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine

1/2 cup milk

A Garlic sauce of your choice (from the store…sorry I don’t yet know how to make this!)


FOR CHICKEN: MARINADE (optional — you can choose not to marinade): Rinse chicken. Combine salt, lemon juice, HALF of the garlic, rosemary, and oil together in a bag or container and let marinade for at least 5 hours. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a cooking sheet. If you didn’t marinade, add all ingredients to the top of the chicken breast. Place in the oven and let cook for 30-40 minutes.

FOR MASHED POTATOES: Boil water on stove in a large spaghetti pan. Put salt in the water (don’t be skimpy!). Peel potatoes. Slice into circular pieces. Place in pot once the water is boiling and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes (test potatoes to see if they’re done by placing a fork in potatoes…they should be very easy to cut into, soft, and break when you do so). Drain water. Add milk, butter, salt and the rest of the garlic and mash and stir the potatoes (if you cooked the potatoes long enough, it should be easy to mash with a fork).


Cajun Chicken Pasta


-Chicken Breasts, no bone

-Regular pasta sauce of your choice

-2TSP Cajun Seasoning

-1TSP Seasoned Salt


-2TSP Pepper

-2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder or 3 cloves of grated garlic

-Cayenne Pepper or Red Chili Pepper for spice

-1/2 cup of flour

-2 cups milk

-1/2 stick butter


Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Cook pasta as normal.

In separate pan, combine milk, butter, garlic, pepper, seasoned salt and Cajun seasoning in a pan. Cook on medium until all ingredients are mixed together. Then add flour slowly and stir while doing so. Continue stirring until all flour is mixed into sauce. If there is too much flour, add more milk.

In separate pan, put diced chicken on the stove top with just a dab of butter or oil on the pan. Season with 1TSP of Salt and a little pepper. Cook until done then add to the sauce mixture and stir. Taste the sauce to ensure it has enough flavor. If not, add more Cajun seasoning!

Once noodles are done, drain and combine with the sauce and chicken mixture. Enjoy!

Moroccan Chicken


1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken tenderloins)

-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

-1 teaspoon salt

-1 teaspoon sugar

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-2 teaspoons paprika

-1 teaspoon cumin

-1/2 teaspoon coriander

-1/4 teaspoon ginger

-1/4 teaspoon turmeric

-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

This recipe is simple, but I can’t take credit for this one. Click here to see the original recipe!

In a plastic bag, put all ingredients and allow chicken to marinade for at least one hour. Put chicken on a pan and pour all remaining seasoning mix onto the chicken. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes on 400F.

If you don’t want to marinade them simply put the chicken on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil, stir all seasoning and oil together, then pour over chicken and cook for approximately 30-40 minutes on 400 degreesF.


These are all your quick, easy recipes that you can use while studying abroad or just at home for dinner!

Leave comments below of how your dish turned out for you and with any questions you have about measurements.

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