Cooking is the last thing many of us want to do after spending a long day in the office. However, I know if I don’t throw something together my husband will order us take out every night- which isn’t good for our waistlines or our budget.
So, I’ve come up with a rotation of nutritious, affordable dinners that I can whip up in a flash. I keep my fridge and pantry stocked with staples, and chop up veggies on the weekends to save even more time on weeknights. Try these meal ideas this week (bonus: all of these options can be made vegetarian):
- Bean burritos: Heat low-fat re-fried beans, shredded rotisserie chicken, a can of chopped green chilies, and a packet of chili seasoning on the stove top. Place the bean mixture into whole wheat tortillas, and top with light sour cream and a reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend. Serve along with a green salad.
- Stir-fry: Sauté frozen stir-fry veggies (broccoli, snow peas, and carrots), peanuts, and a can of rinsed kidney beans in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add low-sodium soy or teriyaki sauce and serve over instant brown rice.
- Omelets: Fry eggs and add your favorite omelet toppings, like bell pepper strips, mushrooms, tomatoes, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
- Taco soup: On the stove top, heat a can of rinsed pinto beans, 2 cups of water, frozen corn, diced tomatoes, canned chopped green chilies, and a chili seasoning packet. Top the soup with low-fat, shredded cheddar cheese and plain Greek yogurt.
- Salad bar: Let each person in your family throw together their favorite salads. Build entrée size salads out of leafy greens, chopped vegetables, fruits, a source of protein (like shredded rotisserie chicken, black beans, or a hard-boiled egg), and a handful of nuts or seeds.
- Pizza: Bake a wheat tortilla in the oven for a few minutes at 400F. Remove the tortilla and top it with pizza sauce, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and your favorite veggies. Return the pizza to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted.
- Veggie spaghetti: Sauté zucchini, yellow squash, and onions with a bit of olive oil. Then top prepared, whole wheat spaghetti with heated marinara sauce and the veggies.
- Pasta salad: Take cooked whole grain pasta and mix it with a can of rinsed black beans and your favorite raw veggies. Top with a small amount of low-fat salad dressing and shredded parmesan cheese.
What’s your favorite easy meal? Share below!