5 Super Easy Dinner Ideas

We all know cooking at home is usually healthier and cheaper. Here are my fast and easy home cooked dinners!

I cook dinner almost every night of the week. I eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, and cooking is a fun passion of mine. But I know a lot of people don’t have this kind of time, energy, or inspiration at the end of a long day to toil over a hot stove. I often try and keep this in mind when I post a recipe. Last night I got carried away and made brown basmati rice, crispy tofu, boiled potatoes, and three other kinds of vegetables to go with my curry, which took me forever. I was exhausted by the time I washed my dishes.

Caramelizing onions, cooking up shallots, toasting spices, making curry from scratch: these are all the secrets to making a dish a standout. But when you’re tired, you have to make it as simple as possible.

So here is my list of lazy, easy, simple and healthy dinners! (Bonus- they’re all vegan.)

(1) Pasta with eggplant and peas. All you need for this is a bag of whole wheat pasta, like penne or spaghetti, a jar of simple marinara sauce (I like the ones from Trader Joe’s and my all time favorite is Mezzetta brand- especially the new caramelized onion one), frozen peas, and frozen & breaded eggplant slices. The Dominex brand eggplant slices are great and last a while for the price, and you just have to microwave them for two minutes to defrost them. This whole dish is basically done in the time it takes pasta to boil.

(2) Jarred curry with broccoli and zucchini. This is a staple in my house because you can buy ALL of the ingredients at Target (which is open until 11 PM!). Target has a decent selection of jarred Indian and Thai curries with good ingredients, and if you add canned coconut milk (or half + half if you do dairy), they are pretty impressive for a $5 jar of curry. Chop up some zucchini and buy the pre-bagged cut up broccoli for a really hassle free wok full of veggies, add your curry sauce and coconut milk, and microwave Uncle Ben’s brown basmati rice. Easy peasy!

(3) Teriyaki tofu. This is my favorite on the list. Kikkoman brand teriyaki sauce is my obsession. I make microwaveable brown rice, cut up some veggies and cook them in a little water (when the water cooks out, they’re usually done), toss some extra firm tofu cubes in cornstarch, bake the tofu on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes, and then toss it all together in the teriyaki sauce. Searing tofu in a pan is tastier but takes more work. It is completely filling and healthy.

(4) Veggie burger salads. I eat this for lunch whenever I’m feeling super lazy. I am VERY picky about my veggie burgers, since I don’t want to eat texturized vegetable protein (TVP is the first ingredient in most veggie burgers and is hard for our bodies to break down). Trader Joe’s has some great vegetable and rice based veggie burgers, and so does Whole Foods. My TJ’s sweet chili Thai veggie burgers take one minute and thirty seconds to cook in the microwave, and they’re so good I can eat them with a fork. I cover the burger with spinach and dressing, and it’s a great meal.

(5) Crazy salad. This is the easiest of them all. A crazy salad is just a salad with a lot of ingredients- enough to fill you up. When I make a salad for Scott (who eats much more than I do), I get a huge bowl and fill it with red leaf lettuce, spinach, arugula, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, crumbled feta cheese, whole grain croutons, avocado, cherry tomatoes, quinoa, and dressing. You can also add crumbled veggie burgers, chickpeas, grains, sliced red onion, shredded carrots, edamame, pecans, black beans, corn, flax seeds– basically anything that suits your taste.

What are your easiest meals?

Happy cooking!

-Taylor

 

 

 

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