If that title made you worry that I’m going to bore you to death with more off-topic running/marathon nonsense, relax. This week’s speed isn’t happening at the track but in the kitchen, with a trial of seven recipes from Cooking Light’s Superfast collection.
I tried this before and found it was a fun way to explore new dishes and learn some quick-prep tips. So when Cooking Light (via Facebook and Twitter) put out the call for Superfast fans to potentially be featured in the magazine, I grabbed my pretend stopwatch (iPhone app) and got cooking.
In the spirit of Superfast, no rambling musing over each dish this week – just seven quick reports on time spent, changes made, and tastiness achieved.
Omelet with summer vegetables (recipe here):
- Time spent: 19 minutes
- Changes: none. I made two (recipe is for one), but the time for the first was 19 minutes
- Tastiness score: 6/10 (Not bad, but a little bland. More cheese and/or tangier veggies would help)
Melon and prosciutto salad (recipe here):
- Time spent: 11 minutes
- Changes: added watermelon; bigger servings; extra prosciutto.
- Tastiness score: 8/10 (my rating), 6/10 (Tim’s rating; he doesn’t like melon), 9/10 (my mom’s rating)
Pineapple chicken salad pitas (recipe here):
- Time spent: 24 minutes
- Changes: chickpeas instead of chicken; no pre-cut fruits or veggies; no mayo; added rice vinegar
- Tastiness score: 3/10 (not gross, but not good. Tim didn’t eat his second pita; mom thought chicken, as in the original recipe, would have been better)
Lemon chicken pita burgers with spiced yogurt sauce (recipe here):
- Time spent: 32 minutes
- Changes: Chopped chicken breast instead of buying ground; panko breadcrumbs + oregano, parsley & garlic salt instead of Italian breadcrumbs; two patties in pita instead of one.
- Tastiness score: 7/10 (much improved over that prior pita disaster)
Shrimp soba noodle salad with citrus vinaigrette (recipe here):
- Time spent: 21 minutes
- Changes: Halved the soba; doubled the edamame, carrots; used adobo sauce instead of chilies
- Tastiness score: 9/10 (Anytime there’s sesame oil, soy sauce and chilies, I’m THERE)
Pan-seared pork chops with dried fruits (recipe here):
- Time spent: 26 minutes
- Changes: lamb chops instead of pork; chopped dried fruit instead of packaged bits; cooked chops longer than recipe
- Tastiness score: 8/10
Sauteed escarole corn white bean salad (recipe here):
- Time spent: 21 minutes
- Changes: used more zucchini & beans than in original; sweet Italian sausage instead of pancetta
- Tastiness score: 9/10 (I’m a huge fan of tart/bitter wilted greens. The other ingredients in this recipe compliment the escarole perfectly)
There you have it: seven recipes, 154 minutes, and several tasty new discoveries. Granted, not everything was a success time-wise (the lemon chicken pitas took more than a half hour) or taste-wise (the chickpea substitution in the chicken-pineapple pitas was a complete bork). But I will definitely be making the escarole salad, fruit-topped chops, melon-prosciutto salad and citrus shrimp soba again.
If you try any of these recipes, I’d love to hear how your experience was similar or different. And if you have other favorite Superfast recipes, please share in the comments!
If you’d like to see even more Superfast recipes, head over here.