Food Fast Without Fast Food
I have to think about dinner the night before. I look at my menu and soak beans, soak wheat, lay out meat to defrost in the fridge, confirm fresh vegetable supplies – whatever I need to do for the next day’s meals, I prep the night before.
When you eat the way my family eats, and when you cook the way I cook, you will occasionally face the same dilemma I have faced: Something has interrupted my schedule/planning/coordinating or I’m sick. I haven’t prepped a thing, nothing is defrosted, soaked, steamed — what in the world can I cook for dinner?
In too many households across America, that answer will be, “Call Dominoes.”
I try VERY hard not to have that be my answer. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t order pizza, but I don’t like to. I prefer to feed my family food I’ve prepared. So – what is there that I can do for dinner that doesn’t require a fast-food answer?
I’ve been paying attention to myself for the last several months so that I can answer this question honestly. This is what I’ve discovered about what I will do and have recently done in that situation:
- Make breakfast. I have done this twice in my kids’ lifetime, so it’s an extra-special treat. Turkey bacon defrosts very quickly. Beef sausage links can start off frozen in the pan. Blueberry pancakes and cheese grits hit the spot on a day when everything else seems haywire.
- Have a freezer stash. In my freezer, I have the base for turkey soup — all that needs to be added is rice or noodles. I also have two pizza’s worth of dough and sauce frozen, ready to be thawed out in warm water. You just need about an hour of notice time. I have a freezer bag full of spaghetti sauce – ready for noodles.
- Make a chef’s salad. It takes 10 minutes to hard boil eggs. Add some cheese with your veggies, some homemade ranch dressing, and you’ll never notice the lack of meat.
- I have one can each of organic black beans, garbanzo beans, and pinto beans. I can make a quick soup, salad, hummus, or make some rice and open a can of beans.
- Utilize canned fish. Salmon patties or tuna casserole are quick, healthy meals.
What are some quick, low-prep fixes that you use on those nights when your plans just go out the window?
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