Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quick Dinner Formula

I want to post something of substance since my past 3 entries are so link-tastic. So in the vein of being busy and tired, yet still craving substance, I thought I’d post my quick, nourishing dinner formula.

It’s really easy. Basically, I opt for a fast protein like beans or eggs, a quick cooking whole grain (generally whole wheat spaghetti or quinoa), veggies (Like sauteed fresh spinach, or frozen broccoli that can be quickly cooked), and extras (any combination of olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, garlic and onions, spices, herbs, and hot sauce spring to mind).

So, for example: last night I stumbled into the kitchen, started a pot of water for some frozen Brussels sprouts, and another for some quinoa. Both cook in about 10 minutes. When they were done, I put them together in a bowl, drizzled in some olive oil and lemon juice, then sprinkled on Parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper. Finally, I topped the whole thing with 2 sunny-side up eggs, which take about 2 minutes to cook. My meal went from the freezer to the table in about 15 minutes.
The platonic ideal of this meal would have involved roasting the sprouts and adding some sautéed garlic and onions to the mix, but those steps are certainly optional. I opted out and still really enjoyed my dinner.

Tonight, I’m planning to cook some frozen broccoli, and combine it with some canned white beans, garlic (thrown in the pot when I heat the beans), lemon juice and goat cheese. This will be eaten on top of whole wheat spaghetti.

What’s your go-to formula for a quick, satisfying meal?


  1. If I cooked more maybe I could throw together a meal. As it is, I make spaghetti or nachos if I'm in a bind, but that's not exactly my husband's idea of healthy eating :)

  2. Spaghetti with meat sauce is pretty balanced if you use lean beef or turkey and whole wheat spaghetti. Tomato sauce is totally a veggie in my book. (And you can always add a side salad if you want to get more green.)
    If you want to healthify nachos, use blue corn chips (they're actually decent for you)and pile on lots of black beans and salsa along with your cheese. :)
    My other in a bind food is Amy's mac and cheese (or the Kraft whole grain) with brocolli and peas (previously frozen, then nuked) and either pre-cooked chopped chicken or a fried egg.

  3. Well, thanks for the tips! I'd actually forgotten about Amy's, but I am the QUEEN of dressing up mac and cheese. I'm sure you don't mind the micro, but if you wanted to, adding your frozen peas or whatever to the top of your cooked pasta actually thaws them nicely. I don't have a micro, so I'm always fiddling with the re-heat process.