Do you work? Go to school? Have kids? Live? There are bound to be times in any schedule when a quick meal for one, or a crowd, is required. Here are 10 meal ideas that can be prepared in about 10 minutes and can be scaled to meet your needs.
- Cucumber, avocado, and tomato salad– Just slice everything up and add your favorite salad dressing or a splash of olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper.
- Warm tomato and cheese sandwich– Spread a bit of butter on two slices of bread. Top one side with sliced tomato and then your favorite cheese. Bake, open-faced, on cookie sheet in 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Take out of oven (carefully), and put two halves together while still warm.
(this time I added basil and vinegar)
- Couscous salad– Make the couscous according to package directions (almost always less than 10 minutes). While the couscous is cooking, chop up some tomatoes and/or cucumbers. Add veggies to cooked couscous along with a bit of your favorite Italian-style salad dressing (or, alternately, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper). This salad is delicious warm or cold!
- Eggs on avocado toast– Top slices of toast with mashed avocado and an over-easy egg. Spice with salt, pepper, and a dash of lime juice.
- BTC– Just like a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato), but the lettuce is replaced by, you guessed it, cucumber! Simply spread mayo on two slices of bread and stack your cooked bacon, tomato, and cucumber. A dash of dried dill or Italian seasoning wouldn’t go amiss here, either!
- Chicken burritos– Shred some rotisserie chicken and warm up a can of drained black beans in the microwave. To tortillas, add chicken and black beans, and top with tomatoes, shredded cabbage or lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Yum!
- Chili potato– “Bake” a potato in the microwave and top with your favorite pre-made chili, a smattering of cheese, and a bit of sour cream.
- “Green” Breakfast for dinner– In a warm, buttered pan, add several handfuls of spinach and/or salad greens. When greens are wilted, add beaten eggs and cook to desired (scrambled egg) consistency. Add a favorite cheese, if you like. Serve with whole wheat toast and A1 Steak Sauce.
“greens and feta scramble”
- Pasta– Ever the perennial simple meal, boiling up some pasta and adding a can of premade sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, or just some olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper is about as easy as it gets. Include a bagged of steamed veggies or (better yet) some cut up peppers or cucumbers on the side to round out the meal.
- Lamb Burgers– Like the traditional hamburger, but using ground lamb. Top with feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce and serve with sliced cucumber. (We like cucumbers around here.)
Hope you enjoyed this quick post about fast and simple food. More easy and delicious recipes coming soon.
Thanks for stopping by! What does your family eat on a busy night?
I love Italian food. Bursting with flavor and robustness, and mingled with a rustic quality that invites us to think about a different time and place. There are few food experiences more comforting for me than a great Italian meal spent with those I love.
That said, I also love simple food and easy recipes that are famiglia-friendly and can be cooked up in a flash!
This is a dish that I’ve just starting making in the last few months, but so far it has been a big hit at the family dinner table.
Here’s my “cheater” version of a hearty, yummy, spaghetti Bolognese.
1 box dry spaghetti (I only use Barilla) or 1 pound fresh pasta (if you’re feeling fancy)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pound ground beef (you could also substitute ground pork or lamb)
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Cook and drain pasta, set aside. In a large pot (I use the same pot I used to cook the pasta, while the pasta stays in the colander for a moment) add olive oil and ground meat. Flavor the meat with salt and pepper and brown completely. Add diced tomatoes and garlic, and simmer for a few minutes. Sauce should be very thick and chunky. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir. Allow the pasta to soak up some of the sauce for just a few more minutes. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
I think this dish would also be great with some fresh basil or oregano thrown in, if you happen to have those handy!
Enjoy! And stay cozy.
Over the course of a decade I have developed a few VERY simple dinner plans that are both a breeze to prepare and mostly nutritious.
This meal includes a protein, a carbohydrate (our household nutrition needs demand one), and a green vegetable (yes, I insist it must be green).
Tonight I cooked some boneless pork chops in a skillet with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I steamed some simple white rice (though I usually prefer jasmine or brown) and used a steamer bag of mukimame. This meal, especially with the help of the steamer bag, took 20 minutes to prepare, tops!
I added my favorite Hoisin sauce tonight as well- Soy Vay Garlic Hoisin, yum! There are countless ways to modify this meal plan, below are our favorites.
Simplest Dinner Plan(s)
Protein– pork, chicken, beef, or veggie patty sautéed in frying pan with your choice of oil and salt and pepper.
Carbohydrate (optional)- rice (traditional or steamer bag), sweet potato done in the microwave, couscous, or quinoa.
GREEN vegetable– I don’t care what it is as long as it’s a vegetable and it’s green (I often let my son choose for us).
I find this to be an easy formula on nights when I just don’t know what to make for dinner or if I have very little time. I adore the simplicity of it in preparation as well as flavors; although, I do sometimes add any sauces we happen to have on hand when I need to jazz it up a bit.
Hope this is helpful! Stay cozy.
What do you do with a few items from two seemingly very different cuisines? Put them together of course!
My family has had Taco Tuesdays installed in the meal plan for awhile now. Although we always stick with a few regulars, like shells and tomatoes, we try to jazz it up a bit now and then. This week it was simply a matter of what was left in the fridge, I’m ashamed to say.
For reasons that will have to be hashed out in another post, I happened to have ground lamb and feta cheese in the fridge. As experiments go, I was pretty happy with this one!
1 pound ground lamb
1 packet mild taco seasoning (I prefer McCormick’s)
1 diced tomato
feta chunks or crumbles
Simply brown the meat and stir in the taco seasoning mix per the package directions. Then assemble, or let your hungry family create their own Greek-ish Tacos.
We tried a few of the usual suspects, like salsa and sour cream, and they did add some nice flavor. A few sliced cucumbers or some Tzatziki sauce would go nicely too. A quick, simple meal with a twist to keep those taste buds guessing!