Skip the Take-Out: Quick Southern Comfort Recipes

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These days, it seems that my life never gets any less busy. Just when I think I'm on top of things, another project or opportunity comes along that puts me right back behind the eight ball. I imagine most of you can relate. Between work, relationships, significant others, kids, (insert your own craziness) — life never seems to slow down.

It's no wonder why so many of us choose to u201Coutsourceu201D our meals to the local restaurant or drive-through. After all, it's much faster and easier to pick up dinner than spend your valuable time working away in the kitchen, right?

Not always.

Of course, I'm a bit biased, but I believe making food at home doesn't have to be such an involved process. Besides, you are likely to save money, calories, and potentially even relationships by sharing and preparing meals around the family table.

I've put together some of my favorite Southern-inspired comfort food recipes that can all be prepared rather quickly — perfect for a weeknight meal when life gets too busy. Rest assured, just because we're saving some time doesn't mean we are sacrificing any flavor! So the next time you are dialing for delivery or hopping in the car for take-out, give these recipes a try. I guarantee you'll find a favorite amongst the bunch.

Cheers, MM

Sliced Vine Ripe Tomatoes

Yes, it's just that simple. Pick up tomatoes from your famers market whenever possible. Not only do they taste better, but they are typically much cheaper than those found in the supermarket. This makes for a great side dish or as a simple alternative to preparing a salad. (Prep: 1 minute, serves 4)

4 vine ripe tomatoes Kosher salt Fresh cracked pepper

Slice tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Quick Cook Grits

Nothing is more Southern and comforting than a bowl of creamy grits. To save calories, you can substitute olive oil for butter and omit the cream. (Prep: 1 minute, cook 10 minutes, serves 4)

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter 1 cup quick cook grits 3 cups water 1 teaspoon kosher salt teaspoon fresh cracked pepper cup heavy cream

Combine the first 5 ingredients into a stock pot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat — stirring to ensure no lumps are formed. When mixture reaches a boil, cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 7-8 minutes. Finish by adding cream, stir, and serve.

Roasted Broccolini

No Southern meal is complete without some greens. Instead of the traditional greens (collards, mustard, or turnips), I've chosen broccolini to help speed up the process and get dinner on the table. Substitute broccoli spears if you cannot find broccolini. (Prep: 1 minute, cook 15 minutes, serves 4)

1 bunch broccolini small red onion, sliced thin 2 cloves garlic, smashed 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt Fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a baking sheet, arrange broccolini and onion slices into a single layer. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes. Discard garlic prior to serving. Serve.

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