Five speedy, healthy-ish? maybe? dinners

Friday, January 17, 2014

Some nights, you just don't want to make dinner, holler if you're feelin' me. Maybe you were late getting out of work, or you had a bunch of errands to do on the way home, or you're just not feeling it for whatever reason. You have a slow cooker, but you forgot to turn it on in the morning. Coming home to half-thawed chicken swimming in a pool of cold salsa? Mmm.

Long story short: Sometimes you want to pull together a dinner that's fast, healthy-ish, tastes good, and doesn't come in a grease-soaked drive-thru bag. Here are five meals we eat on the regular at home that come together quickly and don't involve neon-orange powder or noodles shaped like cartoon characters.

DISCLAIMER: These are in no way, shape, or form fancy meals. These are only meant to be alternatives to eating a bowl of cold cereal or a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

1. Breakfast for dinner. We end up doing this every couple of weeks and I always look forward to it. I LOVE breakfast foods. One of my favourite quick dinners is to throw some home fries in the oven, grill some mushrooms, onions, and peppers in a frying pan, then add eggs and cheese (egg whites if you're into that sort of thing). You can add sides of toast, yogurt, or fruit. This takes 20 minutes, tops. You can do pancakes and bacon, or waffles with berries, or eggs benny - there are so many options and none of them take a long time to cook.

2. Quesadillas. We almost always have tortillas on hand, and we ALWAYS have cheese, so that's half the battle right there. Quesadillas are so easy. Just throw in whatever you have in the fridge: peppers and onions, other veggies, even fruit is awesome in them (I recommend pineapple or peaches). If you have chicken or beef or pulled pork on hand to add, great; if not, they're good as a veggie dish too!

3. Paninis. Again, I love these because you can use different ingredients for different results every time. For me, toasting a sandwich makes it feel more like a meal and less like cobbled-together sustenance. Serve with a salad or bowl of soup if you're feeling fancy.

4. This Southwest Sweet Potato Hash takes no time (well, eight minutes, according to the recipe) and is basically foolproof. Last time I made it, we added some chopped avocado and a little shredded cheese.

5. Asian Edamame Fried Rice is another quick meal that takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Cook your rice while you scramble your eggs, and then everything comes together in a pretty speedy fashion. Again, this is flexible enough to add whatever protein you happen to have on hand: shrimp, chicken, tofu, or as is.

Your turn! What do you do make you want a meal that's fast and healthy-ish?

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  1. Breakfast supper ROCKS! And that Southwest Sweet Potato Hash, I will be trying SOON. I am on the Whole Life Challenge and it's compliant! Woot!

  2. Tonight was one if those nights for us... Long (exhausting) day, didn't take anything out of the freezer this morning, and neither of us felt like spending more than 10 minutes standing in the kitchen. Grilled Cheese with Tomato soup did the trick! We like "Imagine" boxed Creamy Tomato Soup made with organic veggies for the odd time we need this quick fix. So the soup is healthy-ish and we kick up the sammy with garlic butter and real cheese! No regrets!