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Illustration Credit: Jaime Redford 

Sailor’s Pasta (Macaroni-po-Flotski)

Enjoy this easy-to-make pasta dish that is originally from the USSR. It’s cheap and delicious! 

Ingredients

Pasta
Lean ground beef
Tomato sauce
Fried onions (cut about 2 large ones)
Optional: Spices, salt, pepper, herbs, cheese

Method

1. I didn’t provide proportions because it’s not that important! Make as much as you want. Open up your package of ground beef. Place it into the saucepan, stirring on medium heat. Do that until the meat gives off juice and begins to boil. This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the temperature to low heat and continue to stir. You will do this for  around 45 minutes.

2. In a different saucepan, fry the sliced onions. Then, add the onions to the meat.

3. Pour your desired quantity of tomato paste onto the meat. Always stir.

4. Add your spices—salt, pepper, preferably coriander and oregano.

5. In a separate bowl, cook the pasta.

6. When the 45 minutes are up, turn off the temperature. You’re done! Place your desired amount of pasta onto a plate and mix the meat with the pasta. Add herbs and cheese. Delicious!   

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This delicious recipe is courtesy of some website I can’t remember. It serves four—leftovers are everything.

Ingredients

Half of an 8 oz can of pineapple chunks (save the juice)
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp water, divided
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
4 boneless chicken breasts (cut into one-inch cubes)
1 cup and 2 tbsp self-rising flour (or all-purpose flour mixed with 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Half of an egg (just beat it and use half of the mixture)
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Rice and any vegetables of your choice
Optional: A drop of orange food coloring

Method

1. In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of water, sugar, vinegar, the pineapple juice and the food colouring. Heat until it boils then turn off the heat. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water together. Then, stir the mixture into the saucepan until the sauce thickens. 

2. For the batter, combine the flour, 1 tbsp of oil, 1 tbsp of cornstarch, salt, pepper and egg. Gradually add in 3/4 cup of water and mix. Coat the chicken in the batter.

3. Heat up the vegetable oil for frying in a wok or deep saucepan. Fill it with oil enough to submerge the chicken completely. Fry the batter-coated chicken for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.

4. Serve chicken, pineapple chunks and your choice of veggies over rice and pour the sweet & sour sauce over top. Enjoy.


Vegetarian Quesadillas

I won’t claim that these are authentic, but they’re definitely cheap, hella tasty and make plenty of servings depending on how much you stuff your ‘dillas.

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil
1 pack of large tortillas
1 large red onion, diced
2 green and/or red peppers, chopped
3 cups of spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
Shredded or cream cheese (or any dairy-free substitute, if you swing that way) 
Salt and pepper
Optional: Avocado(s), cilantro, salsa, lime juice

Method

1. Add oil, onion and peppers with a pinch of salt in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté for 15 minutes until softened and translucent. 

2. Mix in black beans, cumin and oregano. Continue cooking for five minutes.

3. Add spinach and continue cooking for a few minutes until spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

4. Place one tortilla in a large, shallow pan that has been lightly oiled over medium heat. 

5. Spread out about one-fourth of a cup of cheese on top of the tortilla (or if you’re using cream cheese, spread it on the tortilla before placing it in the pan).

6. On half of the tortilla, place some of the bean/veggie filling and any of the extras (avocado, cilantro, salsa, lime juice).

7. Using a spatula, flip the empty side of the tortilla over the side with filling. Cook for about five minutes, then flip and repeat.

8. Slide it out of the pan and onto a plate. Cut it in half. Devour it.

9. If you’re eating alone (like I always am), put any leftover filling or quesadillas in a tupperware container to save for later. ¡Buen provecho!

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