The Busy Girl's Guide To Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

On any given day — heck, we’re not even talking about particularly long days — there are a whole host of obstacles that get in the way of cooking our own meals. Surely our intentions to save money, be aware of what goes into our food, and act on our creative impulses are good. But the sheer quantity of lists required is overwhelming. At minimum, there’s the recipes-to-try list, the grocery-shopping list, and the directions list.

Though we suggest you adhere to the directions below, the three recipes here work for multiple meals while breezing past the recipe-hunting and frenzied-grocery-shopping steps. Each is made with ingredients like eggs, canned tuna, and Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing — the stuff that most of us, no matter how un-epicurean, have in our small kitchens. And because many of the ingredients carry across the three meals, you’ll have a chance to use things up before they spoil. And you know what that means: no trips to the bodega in fuzzy slippers required.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNAH WHITAKER.

Shakshuka

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
4 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper or 4 to 5 mini peppers, chopped
Salt
Pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
4 eggs
1 oz feta or Parmesan cheese or 1 slice cheddar cheese, quartered (optional)

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. In a 10-inch skillet or ovenproof pan, sauté three-quarters of the scallions in a drizzle of olive oil. Cook over low heat until they start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Pour in tomato sauce. If you like things on the spicier side, add red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce. Raise the heat to medium, and bring the sauce to a simmer.

4. Once the sauce begins to bubble, crack eggs directly into the skillet. If you are using cheese, sprinkle it over the eggs or top each egg with 1/4 slice of cheese.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, 7 to 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining scallions, serve, and enjoy.

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNAH WHITAKER.

Tuna Melt

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
1 5-oz can of tuna, packed in water or oil and drained
1/2 small bell pepper or 2 to 3 mini peppers, diced
1 scallion, finely chopped
3 tbsp Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing
2 bagels
2 slices cheddar, colby, or Jack cheese

Instructions
1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to broil.

2. In a bowl, combine drained tuna, peppers, and scallions. Add ranch dressing.

3. Slice bagels in half and toast.

4. For a traditional tuna melt, spread tuna mixture on 1 side of each bagel and top each with a slice of cheese. Lay on a baking sheet and broil in an oven or toaster oven, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with the other halves of the bagels to make sandwiches. If you’re not a fan of hot tuna, try melting cheese onto the bagels, topping it with the tuna mixture, and assembling.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNAH WHITAKER.

Faux Thai

Serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1/4 lb long pasta such as spaghetti, angel hair, or linguini
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 1/2 tbsp creamy or smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
Salt
Pepper
5 or 6 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1/2 lb cleaned shrimp, frozen or fresh
Small handful of chopped peanuts
1/2 lime

Instructions
1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta, 4 to 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, and fish and/or hot sauce, if desired, until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large pan (any kind is fine as long as you have room to toss everything) over medium heat, cook three-quarters of your scallions in a drizzle of olive oil until they start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add egg and scramble it with the scallions, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pasta, shrimp (no need to defrost these if you use frozen ones), and the bowl of sauce. Toss to combine. Add pasta water a spoonful at a time until the dish is saucy. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Simmer until shrimp are cooked and everything is coated in sauce, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Top with remaining scallions, a sprinkling of chopped peanuts, and a wedge of lime for squeezing.

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