At a community event tonight, I had the chance to catch up with my good friend Jennifer, who is glowingly, gorgeously pregnant. Jen volunteered tonight and stayed late, missing her chance to make her weekly Sunday grocery run, so we discussed quick and simple dinner ideas. Here, a few of my favorite, super-easy dinners for when I haven’t had time to go to the store and it seems we have nothing in the house.
1. Tortillas!: I’ve always had whole wheat tortillas in the house, but until recently, I limited myself to the obvious options: quesadillas and enchiladas, and the occasional wrap. But now that I’ve discovered Jessica Harlan’s Tortillas to the Rescue Cookbook, I have tons of options for transforming tortillas and other staples into amazing dinners, breakfasts, even desserts. Along with some tempting, creative options for tacos and enchiladas, Jessica offers several unexpected options, including Burger Pouches and Tortilla Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breasts. I especially love the recipes I can pull together with things I have on hand, like the Black Bean Soup in a Tortilla Bowl.
2. Pasta Night: I’ve said this before, but I am blessed that my family adores pasta with sauce from a jar. If I am feeling more ambitious, I will make an alfredo sauce or my own tomato sauce, since both use staples that I almost always have (flour, butter, canned tomatoes).
3. Easy Indian: I open up a jar of one of Patak’s amazing Indian sauces, pour them over chicken breasts, and pop them in the oven. Next comes a foil packet of TastyBite Indian Entrees, and another of rice, both microwaveable, as sides. It’s not going to win me awards, but it’s dinner. I get extra credit if I have some naan…
4. Rotisserie Chicken: I don’t do this often, since I typically only buy organic meat, but every once in a while, it’s a lifesaver. Serve it with Alexia’s frozen Sweet Potato Fries and a salad. And freeze leftover shredded chicken for enchiladas, chicken salad, etc.
5. Simple Salmon: I always have frozen wild-caught salmon fillets on hand. They go from freezer to table in 30 minutes. I put the salmon fillets in foil or parchment pouches, top each one with a little butter, lemon slices, salt, pepper, and fresh (or dried) herbs. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Voila. Serve with salad so you don’t have to make anything else.
cheat at dinnertime