It’s the week before finals. The pressure is on. Papers are due and exams are scheduled. But holiday events call out like siren’s songs. So much to do. So little time. And still, we have to eat.
This time of year can find us looking for holiday recipes for classroom parties, Christmas events and dinners. Parents of minor children balance school-related responsibilities and events. College kids are cramming for finals. Empty nesters with vibrant lives and those who have slowed their pace a bit have full dance cards for the season. Serving balanced meals can be challenging during December.
Make it easy to eat well without missing out on decking the halls, caroling, studying, and gathering with friends and loved ones to share the holiday spirit. Use one-dish meals like chili, stroganoff, goulash, pastas, and stir fries that are quick to make and fill all of your nutritional needs. And be sure to make double portions to reheat later in the week. If you take time to make some spaghetti and meatballs, tweak the leftover noodles into a frittata and the meatballs into taco meat later in the week.
When you’re short on recipes and time, find the answer in the palm of your hands. Whether you’re a college student, young adult or responsible for family meals, you can access an entire finals week of 5-minute meals or a month full of quick and easy meals for busy times in Easy Weekly Meals cookbooks. And our Christmas book covers all Christmas holiday occasions.
Check out these two companion recipes from Easy Weekly Meals for College Students Finals week. It’s just two of the seven 5-minute meals featured in that week’s menu plan.
Quick Burger with Avocado
· 1.5 lbs Ground Chuck
· Salt* and Ground Black Pepper to taste
· 4 tsp Garlic Powder
· 2 tsp Onion Powder
· 1 tsp Ground Thyme
· 2 tsp Ground Oregano
· 1 tsp Ground Rosemary
· 4 Hamburger Buns
· ½ small Sweet Onion, sliced into thin rings
· Condiments you like (ketchup, mustard, mayo)
· 2 Avocados, peeled, seeded, and sliced into crescent-shaped wedges
· Divide meat into 6 equal parts. Form each of these into a very flat patty, no more than ½” thick.
· Sprinkle all 6 patties with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.
· Heat pan over medium heat. Add patties when hot.
· Cook for about 5 minutes, until the browning of the meat creeps up the sides and only the tops are red.
· Flip burgers, and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. When blood breaks on the top and the juices run clear, burgers are done.
· Remove final 2 patties with chili powder and cumin to storage in the refrigerator for use later in the week.
· Place 4 of the burgers onto buns and top with onion slices and condiments.
· Serve with avocado slices.
· Refrigerate remaining 2 burgers for use in Study Group Spaghetti later in the week.
Study Group Spaghetti with Simple Salad
· 1 lb Thin Spaghetti Noodles
· 8 C Water
· 16 oz store-bought jar Spaghetti Sauce of your choice
· 2 leftover Hamburgers, crumbled
· 1 head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
· 1 vine-ripened Tomato, cored and cut into 8 wedges
· 2 Scallions, chopped
· Salad Dressing of choice
· 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
· 4 oz Parmesan Cheese, shredded
· 4 Ciabatta Rolls (optional)
· Fill Dutch oven with water. Place it over high heat and bring water to a boil.
· Break spaghetti noodles in half and stir into boiling water with pasta rake. Reduce heat to medium and cook noodles 8-10 minutes, until al dente.
· While noodles cook, pour spaghetti sauce into mixing bowl. Stir in crumbled meat and heat in microwave until warmed through.
· Combine lettuce, tomato and scallion in salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss with tongs to coat.
· Strain cooked noodles into colander. Pour them into large serving bowl. Pour oil over pasta and work through noodles with pasta rake.
· Pour meat sauce over pasta and work through noodles with pasta rake.
· Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over pasta and serve hot with salad (and rolls).
If you like these recipes, and would like to have an entire year full of them in the palm of your hand, download the Easy Weekly Meals touchscreen cookbook that best fits your lifestyle. You’ll have your weekly grocery lists, menu plans and recipes in your phone or tablet for easy access anywhere you go.
Good luck on your finals to all of the students out there, and eat well the easy way all through the Christmas season.
Photo Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals