We’ve all been there: you’re getting home from work, and as you walk from the front door to the kitchen you realize that even though you have a fully stocked fridge and pantry, you just can’t seem to make yourself put more than two ingredients together. You start to wish that you could just make something that was as easy as peanut butter and jelly—without it actually being peanut butter and jelly. There’s nothing wrong with a little simplicity. Just keep the following combos in mind for those times when you want delicious food without having to think too hard.
Avocado + Store Bought Salsa = Instant Guacamole
There’s something cathartic about the thunk of avocado as you scoop it into a bowl after a long day. Mash it up and stir in as much or as little salsa as you please. The chunkier and spicier the salsa, the better. I usually stir in a pinch of garlic powder and a dash of lime juice, but if you want to stick with the two-ingredient route, you still can’t go wrong.
Sliced Strawberries + Chocolate Ice Cream = Chocolate Covered Strawberries in a Bowl
If you want a great dessert that only requires two culinary techniques—scooping and slicing—then this is your kind of treat. Plus, strawberries are filled with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which means that you can feel (just a little bit) better about curling up on your living room couch with this bowl of goodness in your hands.
Miniature Sweet Peppers + Cream Cheese = The Perfect Side for Burgers and Brats
The coming of fall brings with it the start of tailgate season—but planning the pre-game meal shouldn’t have to give you a headache. For this simple side, chop off the tops of the little peppers, remove any stray seeds, and use a spoon to fill their hollow insides with cream cheese. Then grill them until the cheese is melty and the outsides are slightly charred. Some good friends served these at their wedding reception (the bride’s aunt was the grill master) and they were a definite crowd pleaser. Mini sweet peppers can be found in the produce section next to the full-size peppers (and they usually come in their own plastic bag).
Buttered Popcorn + M&M’s = The Best Part of Movie Night
I first encountered this combo when I was just a kid, and I marveled then—as I do now—at how genius it is. All you have to do is throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave while you discuss which movie to watch on Netflix and then toss the popped kernels with the chocolate candies in a big bowl. The salty puffs of popcorn coupled with the crunchy and sweet M&M’s are a combination that is so much more delicious than the sum of its parts.
So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by the thought of culinary creativity, just give one of these combos a try. You’ll love how surprisingly tasty two-ingredient recipes can be, and you’ll especially love that you can make them in just about as much time as it takes to breathe a sigh of relief.