Tag Archives: less than 5 ingredient dinner

Simple soy sauce chicken

This is a super simple recipe that I’ve used time and time again. It is great on its own, or as the base of a more complex sauce. Feel free to experiment with adding new ingredients as you become more sure of your own tastes and what flavors go well together. Ideas include: slices of lemon or orange, zest from citrus, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, thyme, parsley, oregano, tomato paste, pureed anchovies, olives, crushed nuts…
Chicken is also a great meat for those on a budget. Especially if you buy dark meat like drumsticks or thighs, these are often on sale for 0.99/pound or less. You can also use chicken leg quarters, which includes both drumsticks & thigh meat. My sister, who is in college now, also loves this quick, easy, always-delicious chicken. Pair with a veggie or two & a carb for a filling, frugal meal in under 20 minutes.
  • 2-4 pieces of chicken (thighs, drumsticks, or breasts all work)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp diced garlic (or 3-4 cloves, chopped)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • Sprinkle of garlic salt or S&P
Step 1: In a frying pan, lay the chicken in a single layer. If using breasts, spray the pan or spread around 1 tbsp oil first. If using drumsticks or thighs, the chicken should release some of its own fat while it cooks so it won’t stick.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix well, and pour over the chicken.
Step 3: Bring the heat to medium, and cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes. Flip, and cook the other side for 5-7 minutes.
Step 4: Poke with a fork or cut a small slice in the thickest part. Once you’re sure there is no pink inside, your chicken is ready!
This chicken is especially good when paired with fried rice, but it works well with any grain (white/brown rice, quinoa, barley, couscous) or potato (mashed, baked, boiled). I love fresh asparagus & boil-in-bag edamame was on sale, which rounded out this meal nicely.

Chicken Ranch Burgers


Spring and summer means it’s time for picnics and backyard BBQs. While the usual suspects, hot dogs and burgers, are tasty they are kind of old. (Hopefully not literally, you threw out the half-used pack from last summer right??)

I don’t know about you, but I like to experiment with “standard” foods to see if there is a way I can improve it and make it my own. With burgers there are so many options. You really just need a few fillers, spices, and something to bind it all together.

For the vegetarians and vegans, vegetable burgers are crazy easy to make and have so many customization options! My favorite way is to simply take about 1 cup of mashed beans and 1 cup of a whole grain (like couscous, quinoa, or oats) and some cooked vegetables, then bind it all with some oil and maybe flour. Kidney bean and quinoa burgers are my favorite so far.

For meat-eaters, try ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken for something other than beef. Or get really adventurous and try some ground elk, bison, or lamb. This recipe is one I tried for a picnic with friends, and everyone said it was an absolute winner, a great new, interesting flavor. With only four ingredients, you’ve got to try this out.


*Note: You can substitute 2-3 tbsp of a Ranch seasoning mix instead of the dressing and other seasoning, then use 1 large egg to bind


Step 1: In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients. By hand is best.


Step 2: Fire up the grill! You can also use a George Foreman style press, broil in the oven, or fry on the stove top.


Step 3: Top how you like it and enjoy!

You can see we put american cheese slices on ours, but the topping possibilities are endless. Try coleslaw, fries, avocado, hummus, salsa, hot sauce, tomatoes, grilled onions, peppers, and/or mushrooms, arugula, spinach…

This is chicken, so you need to be a little more careful about ensuring it is completely cooked. The only way to be totally sure is to use a meat thermometer, and for chicken it should read 165 F. Worst case, poke it and make sure the juice is clear, or cut a piece off to make sure it isn’t pink still. If not, then it’s chow time!



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