20 February 2012

Less Cooking, More Meals

What do you cook when you can't cook?  Or when you don't want to cook?  I used to try various packaged and convenience foods, because I figured I needed to have something on hand in case I don't have time to spend in the kitchen.

They all tasted gross to me, though, so then I would buy a different convenience food and start the cycle over again.

Yeah, that didn't work so well.

Finally, I got smart. Or maybe just not so stupid. I created a list of some simple meals that can be made quickly but still use whole foods and fresh ingredients.

Simple, fast meals using nothing but whole foods:
1. Eggs - you can never go wrong with eggs.  They are so versatile and pack a nutritional punch.

2. Cheese and homemade bread - put some veggies and fruit out with it, and you have a well rounded but easy meal. Obviously, you need to make the bread, but you all have homemade bread every day, right? If not, grab a loaf from a corner bakery.

3.Soup - a classic make ahead dish that freezes well. When you have time, make extra so you always have something in the freezer for a quick meal.

4.Beans/lentils - frugal and nutritious, beans and lentils can be soaked and cooked when you have time and frozen the same as soup. Add them to rice, soups, or eat them plain with a little cheese on top.

5.Quinoa - in broth, with ground beef, or mixed with sauteed veggies, quinoa cooks quickly and is a complete protein, so no need to worry about what to serve with it if you are truly pressed for time.


  1. Replies
    1. well, thanks. With a husband who travels, I'm often looking for something that doesn't require much effort.

  2. Great ideas! It is always smart to have a few fast, cheap and easy "go-to" meals to make life easier.

  3. Good ideas! We're rapidly approaching baseball and spring soccer season. I still don't have a good set of quick meals for nights when we have practice. Definitely something I need to work on!

  4. These are great ideas! I use the first three at least once a week! LOL!! In the last month, I've been cooking a big batch of beans once a week and using them throughout the week (a different bean each week of the month), for quick meals (last night was "split pea night"). I am trying to incorporate the quinoa more. I made this earlier in the month and it was really good and everyone liked it, so I need to incorporate it more often when I'm in a pinch! My goal this year is to eat 20 of 21 meals a week at home or homemade.

    1. Wow - lofty goal! However, we don't eat out often either. My biggest issue is that we've recently started eating primal friendly foods, so breads and lentils and beans don't really fit. But they are still quite healthy foods, so I make them for the kids still. Especially when I need something easy and nutritious.

  5. I have a few favourite go-to meals too - I try to keep some of the following in my freezer, already cooked: soups, chili, taco meat already cooked, sloppy joe filling already cooked, cubed meat for pizza topping or omlette filler, meatballs in sauce, just to name a few. I freeze them in baggies, lie them flat and they stack up great in the freezer and only take minutes to thaw in a sink of water or the microwave.

    1. excellent - you sound much more on the ball than me. My preparedness waxes and wanes quite a bit as I have time on the weekends. I might take some of your ideas and use them for myself!