The Match Day Recipe Contest

QOn Saturday, I took the train to NY to see the Downton Abbey movie with my daughter. (Yes, I’m a nerd. We already knew that.)

Here’s what I ate during my day in one of the great food capitals of the world:

  • A banana
  • A Dunkin’ Donuts “Beyond Sausage” breakfast sandwich (insufficiently greasy)
  • A bag of movie popcorn (cold and stale)
  • A TGI Friday’s house salad (almost 100% pale lettuce)
  • A TGI Friday’s brownie sundae (very awesome)

From this food log, we can infer two things. One, I’m an unhealthy eater. And two, I’m not a foodie.

Although I wish I were a healthier eater, I’m okay with my low-brow food preferences. Judge me if you will, but a bowl of cereal for dinner suits me just fine. I’d rather make super-quick Minute Rice than spend half an hour on basmati. And for my money, one of the world’s greatest cheeses shoots out of a spray can.

But Raisin Bran and Cheez Wiz won’t cut it when my team hosts a tennis match. On those days, our tennis league expects us to provide refreshments. I usually bring a fruit salad, a store-bought dessert, or some other dish that requires no skill. I leave it to my more sophisticated teammates to handle the “main course” items.

Unfortunately, I lost some of my foodie teammates this year. In the past, I could count on them for hearty quinoa salads and delicate quiches. Without those ladies on the team, I may not be able to skate by with my zero-effort contributions anymore.

So, once again, I’m turning to you for help. Do you have a “main course” recipe you can share? Ideally, it would

  1. be easy to make,
  2. be reasonably nutritious,
  3. not require reheating or refrigeration, and
  4. consist of widely available ingredients.

Hey, why don’t we turn this into a contest?

Use the comment section to submit your match-day main course recipe that meets the above four requirements.

The winning entry will be the one I like best…and, fyi, I don’t like artichokes or olives. Or beets, really. Or Brussels sprouts. And I don’t eat meat, chicken or fish. Come to think of it, I’m not fond of avocado, either…

New plan: My husband will choose the winner. He’ll eat anything. (No joke. I saw him eat a dog biscuit once.) (Watch, now all the recipe entries will list dog food as an ingredient: “3 medium-sized Milk-Bones, coarsely chopped…”)

The deadline for submission will be Tuesday, October 1, just in time for the fall league. Winner gets a can of tennis balls! Woo-hoo!

9 thoughts on “The Match Day Recipe Contest

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  1. So fun! And although I do consider myself something of a foodie, I also appreciate a spray can of cheese! I plan to win this. I will be back before 10/1.

  2. My favorite recipe is the quiche. In France I used to buy it all pre-made, but here I have to make it and actually it is super easy.
    I make the crust, but you can just buy it. After you put the crust in a pie-pan, pre-cook it in the oven at 350 for 10 min, otherwise it will stay very wet at the end (use a fork to make a few small holes so the crust doesn’t bubble).
    For the mix, you can do whatever you want. As Deb doesn’t eat meat or fish, let’s do vegetarian. You need (it’s a French recipe so it’s all in centiliters and not cups):
    – 200g of shredded cheese (swiss is the best)
    – 20 cl of heavy cream
    – 20 cl of milk
    – 2 eggs
    – vegetables you like (I usually do bacon or salmon, not vegetables). Don’t know how much, just enough so the quiche tastes the way you like it… Best are eggplant, zucchini, spinach and tomatoes. Pick what you like.
    Mix the vegetables (pre-cooked and cut in small cubes), milk, heavy cream and eggs together. Add a 1/3 of the cheese and mix.
    Poor the mix in the pre-cooked crust and spread the rest of the cheese on top.
    Cook for 50 min at 350.

  3. My favorite recipe (based on teammates’ reviews) was a Rainbow Quinoa Salad with mixed nuts, herbs and dried fruit. It’s vegetarian, needs no refrigeration or re-heating and is very nutritious but feels satisfying after a match. It’s not super simple because of all the ingredients, but they’re all commonly available (even the pomegranate molasses, which you could substitute with balsamic vinegar). Here’s the link:

  4. I vote for home made hummus with veggies (carrots, celery sticks, peppers) and crackers.

    I can chic peas, drained
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup tahini
    2 garlic cloves,
    Salt, pepper, and juice of a lemon (not more than 1/2 of lemon)

    Mix it all in a food processor. Season to taste. If you want a bit of kick to the hummus, add Trader Joe’s “every day spice.” I usually have to taste, add spice, taste again, add more of something and when it is all done, hopefully there is still some left in the food processor.

    Place in serving bowl, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, and sprinkle paprika to give color.

  5. This one is easier!
    Slice a baguette lengthwise, slather both sides with pesto you bought at the store, between them put slices of decent quality mozzarella and tomato slices, cut into several individual sandwiches and voila! Caprese sandwiches! (Slice them on the diagonal and they look a little bit fancier.)

  6. So, there are lots of versions of Ramen Noodle Salad out there. I have adapted several to create my own version, and even put in measurements here, which is a big step for me, since I usually don’t measure anything when cooking, but just go by taste! But this ticks all Deb’s boxes: easy; readily available ingredients; vegetarian; reasonably nutritious (if one can say that about anything containing ramen noodles!) and is served at room temp.

    This works best if you keep the noodles and almonds together separate from the veggies until ready to serve, or at least don’t combine them until a couple hours before serving, since the noodles lose their crunch after a while. Be sure to add dressing right before serving. All of the ingredients are fine sitting at room temperature for several hours.

    Ramen Noodle Salad
    (makes about 8 servings)

    Salad Ingredients
    o 4 packages ramen noodles, seasoning packet removed
    o 1/2 cup slivered almonds
    o 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
    o About 8 cups shredded/grated raw veggies—I use coleslaw, broccoli slaw, or rainbow slaw mix for some or all of the veggies to save time, or use a mix of grated carrots, shredded Napa cabbage, fresh or thawed frozen pea pods/sugar snap peas, sliced radish, and/or mung bean sprouts
    o 1 bunch green onions, sliced thin, about 1/2 cup

    Dressing Ingredients
    o 1/3 cup light flavored olive, canola, or peanut oil
    o 4 Tbs sesame oil
    o 1/4 cup rice vinegar (can substitute plain white vinegar)
    o 1/4 cup white sugar
    o 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    o Optional: a few dashes Sriracha sauce or Chinese Chili paste to taste

    o Combine the oils, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha or Chinese Chili sauce (if using) in a blender or jar/container with a lid. Shake or blend until dissolved and well-mixed. Set aside to let flavors meld while preparing salad.
    o Toast almonds in a toaster oven or skillet, stirring frequently, until lightly brown. (Watch carefully to avoid burning!) Remove to a plate and let cool.
    o Crush the ramen noodles while still inside the package (I use a big spoon to mash them). Remove the seasoning packet and throw away or set aside for a different use.
    o Combine whatever shredded vegetables you’re using with the sliced green onions in a large mixing bowl. Add the noodles and almonds and toss to combine.
    o When ready to serve, shake the dressing again, then pour over the salad and toss well to combine.
    o Sprinkle sesame seeds on top & serve immediately.


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