I’m not here to give you specific recipes, but I am an idea gal. Sometimes we just need a little brain jolt to help us think of different meals we can fix for ourselves or our families. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but if you’re going to be in a rut, I highly recommend this list of easy dinner ideas I have. They are all tried, true, and delicious. Healthy eating is very important to me, and so is making things simple. A lot of these recipes, you’ll notice, have some of the same ingredients. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and I don’t need to be worried if I have bok choy on hand. Neither do you. Most of my meals have been cooked for 1-4 people, so if you have a large group, make sure you double or triple up on what you need. Let’s dig in to see what yummy meals I have in store for you.
Farmers Market - Where the Fish & Shrimp Come From!
Typically Taco Tuesday, but really we dig into tacos all week long. We’re not super picky on which day we allow ourselves to indulge on a delicious taco. Sometimes it’s just fun to alliterate and do Taco Tuesday, though. What do our tacos consist of? Easy. We do farmers market fish or shrimp
only. I’m more pescatarian (I do eat chicken sometimes) so I love a fish or shrimp taco. We get our large skillet out, put a little olive oil in the pan, and place the seafood in there. Season it with salt and some Micropharms chili oil
(whichever flavor suits us that night) and we are set with one of our easy dinner ideas. I make guacamole from scratch, and we add a little sour cream. Assemble on a corn tortilla and you have yourself an entire dinner that rocks your mouth’s world.
Easy dinner ideas? I've got you with pizza. The dough comes from Whole Foods
. I’m not claiming it to be a perfect nutritious 10/10 dough - I honestly have no idea. But it’s good and it’s thin, the way I like it. I’m not into kneading out dough and all of that nonsense. Go to a pizza shop for that. At home, I make it simple and easy. The toppings are where it get fun because you can customize it. Most of my ingredients are organic and/or from the farmers market. I like pesto base
, tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapeños, spinach, artichoke, zucchini, squash, onion. Any combination of those is delicious and nutritious. The cheese is shredded and sometimes I add fresh mozzarella on top to get really fancy. We love pizza night, and it is quick and simple.
Carrots - A Healthy Ingredient in the Lentils
One of my favorite, favorite meals that I could eat every single day until I die is lentils. I make them two ways: crock pot or on the stove in my Staub pot. Typically I like the stove, but if I’m not home to monitor the gas fire, into the crock pot they go. What I typically add to my vegan lentils are simple and healthy ingredients. Onions, carrots, tomatoes, jalapeños, celery. The stock is vegetable stock, not water. I typically season it with a local spice from Sassy Cajun Spices
, where I get from our farmers market. Shocking! Our neighbor’s kid is obsessed with my beans, something her parents don’t typically cook. Whenever I make a batch, I call her 4 year old butt over to indulge in some lentils. Start ‘em early, friends. This kid might live to be 100 if she keeps eating my beans. Another of my easy dinner ideas!
I’m ruined on store-bought pasta since getting fresh pasta at our farmers market
. Making my own pasta has never been a desire, but I also wasn’t a fan of the ones I’d buy in stores. That being said, I almost never made pasta as a main dish in my house. Since discovering Costantini’s pasta, it’s a weekly staple, and we usually do his pesto along with the actual pasta. It’s typically a medley of veggies, like zucchini, onion, artichoke, and tomatoes, and it’s one of my easy dinner ideas. We sauté all the veggies in the pan, boil the pasta, and combine them when they are both done. Soup to nuts it’s probably 20 minutes of prep and cook time. If I’m feeling really fancy I’ll add some shrimp to the dish, really adding some jazz to it. From pasta hater to pasta lover, trust me when I say…this dinner can be easy, delicious, and good for you.
Simple and easy dinner ideas: salmon. Even typing this makes me want it. How do I make this easy? I go to Whole Foods and I buy the pre-packaged salmon
in the frozen area by the seafood. I eat so much of it that I would have to go back constantly. This is one of the dishes I enjoy eating by myself because I can take one out of the pack, and they are perfect portioned for one. To prep it, I lay it on a pan, salt it a bit, drizzle olive oil, and add something to it. The toppings for me vary from rosemary to dill to curry. It’s all in your taste; you don’t have to overthink it. The fish only takes about 12 minutes to cook, and overcooking it results in a tough meat. It’s small enough for me to stick in my toaster oven that is also a convection oven. Salmon is so incredibly good for you. Do add this to the weekly rotation.
Our rendition of hibachi rice involves a lot less butter, and is a whole lot less expensive than going to a restaurant to get it. Some of the same ingredients still remain, such as garlic, butter, sriracha, and veggies, but it’s ours. We cook the rice separate, and we add all those yummy things to a skillet/pan. At the very end, an egg or two goes into it - you have to have an egg! All of this is going to be to your particular taste, so add as much salt (not too much) and garlic and hot sauce as your heart desires. It lasts for quite a few meals, making it a perfect way to feed yourself throughout the week. For a healthier version, use brown rice instead of the jasmine rice that we like. Easy dinner ideas galore!
Delicious and Nutritious Chicken Noodle Soup
One of my all-time favorite things to cook is chicken noodle soup. My chicken comes from - you guessed it - the farmers market
. There is a massive difference in how it tastes, and once you taste it, you can’t go back. It’s like flying business class abroad once and then trying to go back to main cabin. No can do. The noodles also typically comes from the farmers market, although occasionally I’ll buy some from Whole Foods if I don’t have the right type. It’s the simplest of ingredients, and so very delicious, especially on a chilly day. My soup contains onion, carrots, celery, and my Sassy Cajun seasoning
. I cook the chicken in the oven on super low (around 200) for a couple of hours. When it comes out, I slice it into small chunks, and I add it to the soup. Voila! A huge crowd pleaser, and part of my easy dinner recipes list.
Eating with Purpose and Ease
Each meal idea has come from years of me doing trial and error during my weeks. While I love trying new recipes, some weeks simply call for ease and goodness, and let’s not forget health. I’m hoping a few, if not all, of these easy dinner ideas help you put something new into your rotation. All of these are quicker than going through the fast food line, with a little preparation of things to have on hand. Do your body right and cook yourself and your family a healthy, delicious meal from my list. I can’t wait to hear how you like them.
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