I use a basic white sauce recipe as a basis for many other recipes. It's a great alternative to buying cream soups, with a lot less sodium and fillers and a lot more flavor. Depending on what you're using it for, you can add different cheeses, herbs and spices. It's very adaptable and extremely easy to adjust the amount you make. all you have to is use a ratio1-1-1 or 2-2-2, etc. Because it uses pantry and fridge staples, I can whip some up in no time at all.
I'll walk you through making a typical lunch for me. I eat this probably once a week because it's so easy and adaptable.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
(dash of cream) -- if I don't have cream, I use half broth and half milk.
salt and pepper to taste
In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, continuing to whisk, until the flour/butter mixture is golden. Whisk in broth/milk. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
That's the basic recipe! At this point, I usually add in about a teaspoon or so of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary and a 1/4 cup or so of Parmesan or Havarti, or whatever cheese I have available. While I'm cooking the sauce I have water boiling for angel hair pasta, which takes only 2-4 minutes to cook. Once the pasta is done, I drain it and toss it with the sauce. From start to finish, I can have lunch in less than 15 minutes!