Quick Simple Dinner Recipes

What’s For Dinner?

Whether you are cooking for a family, for two or for one… by the end of the day, figuring out a healthy, tasty dinner meal is a challenge!

Multi-Task! That’s my secret.

For me this means make a meal tonight and cook extras for tomorrow’s dinner. If you are lucky, you might have enough for lunch!

1. Pasta, Rice, Couscous or Quinoa …  

       Pick one for the base of your “starter” meal.

       Cook up enough for tonight and 50% more for tomorrow.

       Tonight:  go simple with a ready made tomato sauce, or jazz it up with roasted vegetables (peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant), cheese, maybe some leftover cut up chicken.     Start with a salad and dinner is ready.

Remember to leave the extra 50% plain and refrigerate.

2. Tomorrow Night’s Dinner – A One Bowl Meal!

This can be fun – add your choice of chopped veggies, fruit and nuts to last night’s extra pasta, rice, couscous or quinoa. You will be pleasantly surprised at how tasty a mix of veggies and fruit can be!

Pick at least 3 of the following; use your imagination and add other items leftover in the refrigerator.

  • steamed cut up broccoli
  • steamed carrots and/or peas
  • shredded carrots
  • peppers
  • feta cheese
  • olives
  • cut up tomatoes
  • chopped up celery

If you or your family are adventurous; include one or more of the following in your “One Bowl Meal”

  • cucumbers
  • a cut up apple
  • a cut up orange
  • chopped nuts
  • grapes

Stir it all together and add some dressing. You can use a prepared dressing: Italian, Caesar, your choice. But if you feel adventurous, make your own dressing. It’s just a matter of experimenting. Start with a small amount of apple cider vinegar, then add in a small amount of mayonnaise (or olive oil) and a squeeze of mustard and a  tablespoon of honey. A pinch of salt, pepper and cut up basil or parsley. Remember: Always start with a little, it’s easier to add more then to try and remove too much. Combine the homemade dressing ingredients together in a jar. Shake well and taste. Pour into the base ingredient (pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa) and your  veggies/fruit/nuts. Stir well and enjoy!

If you are lucky, there just might be enough left from your One Bowl Dinner for tomorrow’s workplace lunch!

 

Your Just Desserts:

When the weather is too hot, too wet or too cold, baking up cookies for now and for later is part of my “Multi-Tasking”. These cookies are easy to make and freeze very well. Best of all, they include ingredients that are good for you!

oatmeal-cookies

Oatmeal Cookies*

2 cups flour (you can use all purpose flour or whole wheat flour; or a mix of both)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon (not recommended with chocolate chips)

5 tbsp butter or margarine at room temperature

one half cup unsweetened apple sauce

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

scant cup of white sugar

scant cup of brown sugar

3 cups of oats

1 cup of bran flakes

1 cup of raisins or 1 cup of chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease your baking sheets.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon)
  3. Cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs. Add applesauce and vanilla extract. Carefully add in the flour, oats and bran flakes. Add the raisins or chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoons onto the baking sheets. Bake 9-12 minutes. Cookies will be light brown at the edges; but not dark and golden like other cookies.

*Adapted from “Food Fit”

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