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4 meals in under 12 minutes and under four ingredients

By Esther Yang


The challenge: 4 meals, under 4 ingredients – 12 minutes. Zucchini pasta with Garlic, Fresh Mozzarella cheese with Garden Tomatoes, Salsa with Stacey’s chips, Cantaloupe with Prosciutto.


Yup, I’m cooking 4 different types of food because I feel like eating them all in one night. I also made extra for my senior that I am going to visit. She is 87 years old, the best and the crankiest. I love her. I visit her once a week, cook, chat, and laugh with her. Yes, she is opinionated and judgmental but then who isn’t? Never a burden. If anything, she brings me more joy in my life. 

Photos by Esther Yang


Enough Chit Chat because you have 12 minutes to make 4 meals. Can you make it in less than 12 minutes? Can you videotape it and send it to AsAm News? Would love to see all your masterpieces. Can you do it better? I love it!!! Share the love and sprinkle that love like confetti. 


Too chicken? Life is more fun with brave souls. Hey if I can make a fool of myself cooking, I trust all of you are way better than me. 


If you use the recipes below – you must share the photos and tag me, email me, snail mail me, use pigeon mail – whatever it is, just share…

The recipe:
1. (Two ingredients – 3 minutes)- Zucchini pasta with Garlic. Bought the veggettis at Bed Bath and Beyond on sale for $10. Made my zucchinis into pasta. Excellent investment. Boil the zucchini for 1 minute, then drained. On a separate skillet, slightly browned the garlic (1 minute). Mix the drained zucchini with garlic and oil. Remember that overcooked garlic is bitter, so easy, does it. Unless of course, you like Zucchini with Bitter Garlic. Add whatever cheese or eat it plain. Your kitchen – Your Domain!!!


FYI – I don’t eat rice or pasta every day. Those carbs do not have that much nutritional value. It is bad enough that I have to work out every day, why add unnecessary calories. Haagen Daaz coffee ice cream is another story. I would work out for Haagen Daaz coffee ice cream and Insomnia chocolate chip cookies. Never had them? Warning – It is very addictive. Never, ever listen to me. Check with your doctor first.

Photo by Esther Yang


2. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese with Garden Tomatoes. You can add pesto, olive oil, or balsamic vinegar. (2 ingredients – 2minutes). Do not eat other mozzarella cheese but FRESH mozzarella unless it is Burrata cheese, then it is a game-changer. Burrata is fresh Mozzarella cheese with creamier cheese inside. Think chocolate with Truffle.


3. Salsa (4 ingredients – 5 minutes – lemon, cilantro, onions, and garlic + salt). Stacey’s Chips original is my fave.  

Photo by Esther Yang


My Chelsea neighbor from Mexico taught me the right way of making salsa. She uses lime, which I don’t have, and she also adds sugar, which I don’t have either. And yes, I used to live in Chelsea NYC. My daughter Grace was born in St. Vincent’s hospital. I love 2 boots pizza across the street from the hospital. My everyday hang out. I was 60 pounds overweight. OMG food never tasted so good. 


The best pregnancy. Never got morning sickness. Did yoga and karate till 2 days before Grace was born. I believe Grace is a tough girl because her mama did those high kicks and bent like Gumby. Well, maybe more like Pillsbury dough girl + my 60 pounds doing karate and yoga. My daughter is worth every pound of fat and those sleepless nights. She is taller than me, and yes – talks back. If that was me with my mom, she would ground me for life and also the next life. My mom is a Tiger mom times a million. 
3. Cantaloupe with prosciutto – 2 ingredients (2 minutes). Cut up the cantaloupe, then wrap the prosciutto – it’s Italian ham – saltier and better than regular ham).


There it is folks, 4 meals – 12 minutes. Now do your thing and cook away.
Life is grand every day. I am grateful every day. Love to you all ❤❤❤ #zucchinipasta #salsa #gratefuleveryday #dinnerrecipes #Quarantinecookingchallenge

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