Microwave Corn on the Cob

Microwave Corn on the Cob is ready in just 3 minutes start to finish. Farm fresh doesn't get any easier than this! | themillennialmenu.com

We're right in the middle of summer produce season and that means corn on the cob is calling my name. I can remember summers sitting in our backyard husking corn for dinner and waiting for it to boil just so we could slather it in butter and salt to enjoy. This summer, my mom started raving about this new hack for cooking corn on the cob that I wanted so share with you all because it literally gets you a vegetable side dish in 3 minutes and you press approximately 3 buttons to do so.

Did you know you can cook corn on the cob, un-husked, in the microwave? Yep, that's right. Just put it in the microwave unhusked for about 3 minutes (add about 1 minute if you have more than 3 or 4 ears in there, or do 2 batches). Let it cool when it comes out for about a minute so you don't burn yourself on the steam. Carefully husk the corn, letting steam escape as you go. Add butter and salt (or whatever else you like) and enjoy! We've been having it multiple times a week thanks to our farm share. 

This trick is great because I know that side dishes can be annoying. I think for the first 6 months of this past school year we only ate asparagus because I could put it in the oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil and it tasted good 7 minutes later. This trick makes it easy to mix things up a bit. Side dishes are an important way to make meals more interesting and enjoyable but also to get your full range of vitamins and nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle. So, this 3 minute microwave corn trick leaves you with no excuse not to enjoy the farm fresh corn that is all over the place. Confession: I still cut my corn off the cob as a tribute to the days when I had braces, so please forgive me. This hack leads to delicious corn on or off the cob.


Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

This beautiful, fresh chicken pot pie is a simple recipe that is freezer-friendly and great for lunches at work! | themillennialmenu.com

I've been on a puff pastry kick since posting my 3-Ingredient Baked Brie last week, indulging in this comforting Chicken Pot Pie recipe. Chicken Pot Pie is my ultimate comfort food, right after Kraft Mac & Cheese (I know, I know...every foodie has their vice.) I had chicken pot pie all week for lunch this past week with a nice salad and felt so satisfied. I've definitely found a new Sunday meal prep lunch to add into my work lunch rotation. This recipe just tastes like comfort food should taste, with the buttery, flaky puff-pastry crust, the creamy, veggie-stuffed filling, and the hint of thyme. 

Chicken pot pie sounds like an impressive dish to me, but it's actually much easier than I would have thought to make. Part of the secret comes from the puff-pastry crust, which is buttery and delicious and definitely not the 3-hour chore that making your own crust from scratch would be. Once you do the prep of simmering all of the veggies and chicken together to make your filling, it's really a set it and forget it dish once it's in the oven. About 30 minutes later, you're opening the oven door to a beautiful, golden-brown crust and bubbling chicken and veggie goodness.

Another huge perk of this recipe is it's freezer-friendly. Last week, I made a double batch and froze a few portions for my shortened work week this week (hello, vacation!) and have been enjoying chicken pot pie again this week for lunch. Personally, I followed the recipe below through the end and then froze the fully cooked pot pie so when it defrosted, it was ready to take with me for lunch. You could also stop after step 12 and wait to finish of baking your pot pie until you defrost it later. In this case, add at least 20 minutes for cooking time. Either way, I highly recommend you make a double batch, because this recipe is going to leave you wanting more.



Chicken Pot Pie

Makes ~5 lunch servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Puff pastry: 3-ingredient baked brie or mini apple pies //  Frozen peas: Quinoa Fried Rice
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (see Grocery Guide for more info)
  • 1-2 chicken breasts (depending on how much meat you want in your pot pie/how deep you want your pie filling to be)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium-sized Russet potato, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled & diced
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth, depending on how soupy you want your filling to be
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, or olive all work well)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted (Optional)




Dietary Substitutions:
Not gluten-free friendly
Dairy-free: Substitute dairy-free milk or omit the milk.
Vegetarian Friendly: Leave out the chicken for a hearty vegetable pot pie. You can also try substituting firm tofu in for the chicken, added at the same time of the cooking process.
Vegan-Friendly Follow dairy-free and vegetarian recommendations, plus leave off the butter or use a vegan margarine to brush over the top of the pie.

Directions

DEFROST THE PHYLLO DOUGH & PREP THE BRIE
1. Take out one sheet of puff pastry and defrost for approximately 15 minutes on the counter.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and turn a sauté pan on medium heat.
3. Add 3-4 tablespoons oil to the pan.
4. Dice 1 small yellow onion, 1 medium red potato, 2-3 peeled carrots, and cut 1-2 chicken breasts into bite sized-pieces.
5. Add the vegetables to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. 
6. Add the chicken to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken becomes opaque. 
7. Add 5 tablespoons flour to the pan and stir to coat the chicken and onions, cooking for 2-3 minutes more.
8. Add 1-2 cups chicken broth and 1/4 cup milk to the pan and stir, cooking 2-3 minutes.
9. Add 1 cup frozen peas and leaves of 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme.
10. Add salt & pepper, to taste.
11. Simmer all of the ingredients for 5 minutes.
12. Transfer to a baking dish. A rectangular dish works best because the puff pastry sheets are rectangular and will cover your pie better. Layer the puff pastry sheet on top of the filling and brush with butter, if desired, to help the pie get a golden-brown look. Poke the middle of the pastry twice with a fork to let steam escape.
13. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350°F. You'll know when the pie is done when the filling is bubbling, the crust has fluffed up and expanded and is a golden brown color.

Yum.

This beautiful, fresh chicken pot pie is a simple recipe that is freezer-friendly and great for lunches at work! | themillennialmenu.com

Storing & Extra Ingredients

STORING - Store in the fridge for 3-4 days per FDA recommendations (confession: I eat this for a whole week so it's more like 6 and I have yet to die.) You can also freeze either wrapped in plastic wrap or in a ziplock bag with the air squeezed out.

LUNCH TOMORROW - This is my new favorite weekday lunch and/or freezer meal. I'll make a batch on Sunday and enjoy it every day for lunch throughout the week. You can also freeze portions (or an entire pie) and reheat later either in the oven (either already defrosted or still frozen) or in the microwave (already defrosted). 

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - Unless you make a double batch, you'll have one extra sheet of puff pastry left. Use it to make my 3-ingredient baked brie or mini apple pies, or check out Buzzfeed's 18 Easy and Inexpensive Desserts You Can Make with Puff Pastry. I made the brie for a Saturday night app and then used the leftover puff pastry for this recipe for lunch for the week and it worked out perfectly. I keep my frozen peas in the freezer for another batch of chicken pot pie or Quinoa Fried Rice


3-Ingredient Baked Brie

Phyllo-Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam Recipe is so easy and only 3 ingredients | themillennialmenu.com

This 3-Ingredient Baked Brie recipe is my first ever 3-ingredient recipe on the blog - and possibly my favorite. Not only is it so simple - it looks impressive, like you spent hours preparing it instead of just 5 minutes. If you're looking something to bring to a friend's house for dinner or to make for your parents, this appetizer is sure to impress.

The three ingredients are simple: start with brie cheese, top it with a delicious fruit jam (I used raspberry here), and wrap it up in store bought puff pastry. Pop it in the oven and in about a half hour, ooey gooey melted goodness is bubbling away underneath a buttery, flaky crust. So yeah, you should probably make this. 

Full disclosure: I ate this plain, with no serving or scooping mechanism other than a fork and knife. It's really unnecessary to even pretend you're not just trying to eat melted cheese straight. BUT if you're into that, serve this with your favorite cracker like Ritz. Make it a full on meal by adding it to a cheese and meat platter, maybe with some grapes - but know the baked brie will be the star of the show.



3-Ingredient Baked Brie

Makes ~4 appetizer servings, approximate
Other recipes with these ingredients: Phyllo doughchicken pot pie or mini apple pies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (see Grocery Guide for more info)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of raspberry jam Substitute: Any kind of jam or jelly you want! Orange marmalade is another one of my favorites.
  • 1 package brie cheese (either in a triangle or circle shape, depending on what your store has)




Dietary Substitutions:
Not dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan-friendly
Vegetarian-friendly


 

 

Directions

DEFROST THE PHYLLO DOUGH & PREP THE BRIE
1. Take out one sheet of puff pastry and defrost for approximately 15 minutes on the counter.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. [Optional Step:] Brie cheese is encased with a white rind that keeps it fresh and soft inside. Chewing it is a little tough and it has a unique taste that is unpleasant to some. If you'd like, you can cut off this rind. I used a small paring knife to cut off the top layer of the rind pretty easily. See how to do this here.

ASSEMBLE THE BRIE & BAKE
4. 
Lay out the puff pastry flat on the counter. Place your brie in the middle of the dough. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of your fruit jam or jelly over the top of the brie, adding more or less depending on your taste.
5. Wrap the pastry around the brie. You should bring the edges of the pastry together so the brie is wrapped tight like a present. Kind of like this. You can't really go wrong here - just make sure there is no where for the brie to leak out towards the base of the cheese, and you'll be fine. I had a bit of excess pastry that I trimmed off, so if you end up in this situation, you can trim off any extra. 
6. [Optional Step:] Brush the top of the brie with melted butter to get that beautiful golden brown look when it comes out of the oven.
7. Bake on 400°F for 30-35 minutes. Begin peeping at the brie after 25 minutes and see how it's holding up. It should be fully cooked (not raw and shiny), flaky, and slightly browned. It will likely take about 30 minutes to be fully cooked.

Yum.

A slice of phyllo-wrapped baked brie oozing with raspberry jam is the easiest appetizer you'll ever make - only 3 ingredients! | themillennialmenu.com

Storing & Extra Ingredients

STORING - This dish is best enjoyed warm in one sitting. I don't recommend you have any leftovers - chances are slim, anyways, because the melted goodness is irresistible.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - Unless you make a double batch, you'll have one extra sheet of puff pastry left. Use it to make mini apple pies or chicken pot pie, or check out Buzzfeed's 18 Easy and Inexpensive Desserts You Can Make with Puff Pastry. Or just more baked brie.


Instant Pot Risotto (in 5 Minutes!)

InStant Pot Risotto is ready in 5 minutes! Yep, that's right, just 5 minutes! | themillennialemenu.com

Yes, you read that right - risotto in 5 minutes. HOW? Perfect risotto can literally take up to an hour laboring over a hot stove, constantly stirring until your arm feels like it's about to fall off. Not with the Instant Pot...

About the Instant Pot

What is an Instant Pot, you ask? It's a kitchen appliance that does 7 things in one - slow cooking, pressure cooking, rice cooking, sautéing, yogurt making, steaming, and warming - all while cutting traditional cooking time to a fraction of traditional cooking methods. I go into these functions in depth on my first post on the Instant Pot, but it's likely the slow cooker, pressure cooker, and rice cooker are the most common functions you'll use. I use mine constantly for rice, soups, hard boiled eggs, risotto, steel cut oats, pulled pork, and so much more. Overall, the Instant Pot is a one stop shop for quick, no-mess, homemade meals. Also quick plug re: those utility bills you have to pay each month - the Instant Pot uses 70% less energy than your stove/oven.

Lucky for you, the Instant Pot is on sale for a serious discount TODAY!!! Amazon's Prime Day is happening today and as a loyal (lazy?) lover of free two-day shipping, it's the biggest shopping holiday of the year. What even is Prime Day, you ask? Amazon hosts a special sale just for Amazon Prime members. (Hint: If you're not yet a member, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial ahead of time and still get access to the deals.) The deals started at 9pm EST yesterday and end at 3am EST on Wednesday, July 12th. Last year, the NUMBER ONE SELLING PRODUCT on Amazon over all of Prime Day was an Instant Pot. Amazon sold 215,000 Instant Pots!

The Instant Pot has absolutely exploded in popularity since I bought mine about a year and a half ago (literally: hello NPR and New York Times coverage) I just want to say - I was cool before it was cool to have an Instant Pot. Same thing with my jean short overalls back in 5th grade, because those are in now too. Plus, you always have the wisdom, support, and comedic relief of the Instant Pot Facebook group, made up of “potheads” – a term that most certainly means something different to the millennial crowd. 

About this Recipe

One of my favorite things to make in the Instant Pot is risotto simply because the cooking process is not only so much faster than on the stovetop, but so much simpler. Classic risotto recipes require you to stand at the stove and fuss for an hour while constantly stirring - I've made risotto like this many times and it's delicious. BUT, that being said, the Instant Pot method is a "set it and forget it" kind of recipe and that sounds much better to me than standing over a hot stove for an hour.

The only trick to this method is that since all the moisture is contained within the pressure cooker and no water escapes, you have to follow an ~*Instant Pot*~ risotto recipe like the one I've posted here, where the liquid has been cut down accordingly. The magic ratio is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of broth (whereas a stovetop method requires 4 cups of broth for every cup of rice). If you use a traditional stovetop risotto recipe, you will open your Instant Pot to crunchy arborio rice soup. I have done this. It is sad. Another important thing to note - risotto expands about 3x when cooked, so 1 cup of dry rice will give you 3 cups of cooked rice. That's the recipe I'm using here, but feel free to scale up or scale down as needed. 

Good risotto is perfect as is - finished with butter and parmesan cheese, it's nothing short of a luxurious meal. If you're interested in kicking it up a notch, though, there are countless possibilities. Risotto can be a blank slate for almost any variety, from mushroom risotto and shrimp & asparagus risotto (two of my go-to favorites), to butternut squash & sage risotto to lobster risotto.



Instant Pot Risotto

Makes approximately 2 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Risotto: There are so many varieties. Take a break (or don't) and try another recipe soon. // Chicken broth: soup! Like my Tortellini Soup or Tomato Soup // Wine: Are you for real?
Prep time: ~15 minutes (including time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure)
Cook time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, or olive oil all work)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice (Check out the grocery guide for more about arborio rice)
  • A splash of white wine (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup butter (or 1/2 stick)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Toppings/additions - check out some add in ideas here.




Dietary Substitutions Gluten Free (yay!)
Easily vegetarian-friendly:
Use vegetable broth and keep your add-ins vegetarian.
Easily vegan-friendly:
Skip the cheese & the butter. It's shocking to many people that risotto doesn't include any milk or cream product even though it's so creamy. You won't miss the cheese or butter if you perfectly season your risotto and use the Instant Pot to bring out the rice's natural starchy goodness.
Easily dairy-free friendly:
Butter and real, good, aged parmesan cheese should be fine for lactose-intolerant people. They contain trace amounts of lactose and are typically part of dairy-free diets.

Directions

1.  Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to turn the heat on normal. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil (canola, vegetable, or olive oil work fine. I use olive oil.)
2. While the pot is heating up, dice 1 medium yellow onion. Add it to the warm pot and sauté as the onion becomes translucent. 
4. Mince 2-3 garlic cloves and add them to the pot, stir.
5. Add 1 cup arborio rice to the pot and stir. This is to toast the rice and release and starch, and will help make sure your risotto comes out creamy.
6. Add 1/2 cup white wine to the pot and stir, 3-4 minutes, as the alcohol evaporates. 
7. Add 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth. Cook for 5 minutes high pressure.
8. When the Instant Pot finishes cooking and the beep goes off, wait another 3-4 minutes for some of the pressure in the pot to release naturally. Then, let out the steam (Quick Pressure Release) and open the pot. Stir the risotto if necessary to continue to absorb any liquid that's left.
9. At this point, add in the 1/2 stick butter and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir to incorporate into the risotto. Time to eat!

Yum.

instant-pot-risotto

Lunch tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - In the best restaurants, risotto is made to order because it is most delicious right when you make it. Do your best to enjoy the risotto as soon as possible to when you make it. If you do have leftovers, risotto cakes are a popular way to repurpose your risotto leftovers.

STORING - Risotto is best enjoyed ASAP after making it. If you're going to reheat it, or make risotto cakes, enjoy within 2-3 days of cooking.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - Unless you're buying from a bulk section of your grocery store, you'll likely have a huge plastic container of arborio rice left.  Since there are so many varieties of risotto, take a break (or don't) and try another recipe soon. If you have extra chicken broth, make soup! My favorites are my Tortellini Soup or Tomato Soup. And extra wine? Drink it, please.



Note: This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend. That means if you click on a product link in this post and choose to purchase the product on Amazon, I earn a commission. I only recommend products I use and love organically. This means that if you are going to purchase a product that I recommend, I encourage you to do it through the direct link from the blog so that I (and the blog) benefit. Read the full affiliate disclosure.


Coconut Lime Shrimp Recipe

This Coconut Lime Shrimp Recipe is simple but flavorful - and ready in 30 minutes or less! | themillennialmenu.com

I love this Coconut Lime Shrimp recipe because even though it is simple, it is so, so delicious. A can of coconut milk + a few magic ingredients really creates a depth of flavor in this dish. Scoop it over a pile of fluffy basmati rice for a dinner ready in 30 minutes or less.

My new favorite thing to do at restaurants is flip through the menu and say "I could make that, I could make that..." I got this from my mom. It makes it rather annoying to eat out with me. But for real, why would I order something I can make at home? This dish tastes restaurant quality but is easy and straightforward for anyone to make at home. You're chopping things, you're heating things together in a pan, and you're tossing shrimp in and flipping them over once. You got it.

Even though you add a dash of brown sugar to the coconut milk, the ginger, garlic, and shallots keep this dish from becoming overly sweet. Finished with a burst of fresh lime juice and cilantro, it's like you ordered it on Friday night at the hottest restaurant in town. Next time you go out to eat, you'll be saying, "I did make this!"



Coconut Lime Shrimp

Makes 2 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Shrimp: Easy Shrimp Scampi or Coconut Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce // Coconut milk: Chickpea Chicken Curry or Coconut Lemongrass Salmon // Cilantro: Easy Chicken Enchiladas or Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 servings of shrimp (10-15 depending on your appetite, defrosted if previously frozen)
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for sautéing 
  • Rice (for serving, optional)




Dietary Substitutions Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Not vegetarian- or vegan-friendly

Directions

PREP YOUR SHRIMP
1. Peel & devein your defrosted shrimp (if necessary - it's always better to buy peeled and deveined shrimp in your frozen fish section, just to save yourself the time & hassle!)

MAKE THE SAUCE
2. Dice 1/2 shallot and 2 cloves minced garlic.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan and let it heat up.
4. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add 1 teaspoon ginger to the pan and stir.
6. Add the can of coconut milk and whisk if necessary.
7. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar to the coconut milk mixture.

ADD THE SHRIMP & FINISH
8. Add the shrimp to the bubbling sauce mixture. Cook for about 4 minutes, and then flip over to the other side.
9. Cook shrimp for another 4 minutes or so. Check for doneness (shrimp should be pinkish white and opaque when cut in half)
10. Add juice of 1 lime to the pan.
11. Serve over rice with a generous scoop of sauce and garnish of cilantro.

Yum.


Lunch tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - There are some recipes that I look forward to more on the second day, and this is one of them. The sauce soaks into the rice and everything just tastes SO GOOD and yummy. 

STORING - Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Enjoy as soon as possible given that you have seafood, which is always the best closest to the day you cooked it!

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - If you have extra shrimp my absolute favorite (and easiest) shrimp recipe is Easy Shrimp Scampi. You can also store shrimp in single serving freezer packs (Read how at Why Every Millennial Needs a FoodSaver) if you're not ready to use them right away.



This recipe was adapted from Salt & Lavender's Coconut Lime Shrimp recipe. I have adapted and simplified it for the millennial cook.