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What do I want for dinner?

Updated on April 20, 2014

Easy Ingredients

In planning ahead remember to keep it simple. Eating well does not have to be complex. Although we might enjoy watching Hells' Kitchen we are not on the show. We do not have to run a kitchen and put our plates out on plates that shimmer ready to be judged. We can eat on paper, plastic, melamine. Your sides can be technically correct for the main course or it could they could be something you or your family enjoys eating.

Pick something easy. Always have these ingredients in your home. Keeping these ingredients in your home will allow simple healthy eating. Have 'old standbys' for those nights when you have run out of main course dishes and just need something to serve. For some that is Morton's fish sticks, pasta and jarred sauce, tuna, grilled cheese, etc. These will help on those days when you are too tired to think of something, too tired to remake something because your menu for the week has been eaten already.

Quick dinner Ideas

When our day is done our biggest task awaits us. Dinner. We have to figure out what to do for dinner. At this point some go blank. No ideas for what to make or get for themselves or for the family. Many times we are tempted to pick up fast food which is unhealthy and makes us feel like a slug after eating it. Our evening then turns into, loss of energy, high fat intake as well as high calorie intake and not movement.

The food we eat for dinner can help us finish out the evening with a last burst of energy so that we can do home, or stay and do those chores that wait for us and we put them off for when we have more energy on the weekends, or it can help us usher in bedtime in a calm frame of mind, not anxious to just get the evening over so we can then head to bed.

Before you are ready to give in to the fast food temptation always have a list ready for what you can make quickly, or pick up from the grocery store. YES, the grocery store. Many stores have fresh good sections with olives, salad ingredients, soups and dips. All of these things can be a combination of dinner and or a side to a main dish you want to make at home.

Thinking ahead, whether is it on the weekend or just a little earlier in the day will help you create a good dinner that is healthy. Some people work with menus for the week, each day having its own food. These can be very creative and entertaining. Some people have the days of the week be a cuisine, Mexican, Italian, Diner, Greek, Football, Baseball, etc. You could make it Movie cuisine, soccer night could always have a certain kind of food.

Planning ahead takes out the guesswork out of the evening.

List of foods to keep in kitchen.

  • dried pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • tomato paste
  • tomato sauce
  • fish sticks
  • tuna
  • beans, dried and canned
  • humus
  • ice cream
  • hot dogs
  • mayo
  • mustard

Keeping things fresh is always important. We read more and more how we need to have fresh food daily in order to stay healthy and live long lives with good quality of like down the road. Although my list of staples to have in the house may be canned or frozen those are used as last minute ideas or as an addition to something fresh which is already in the house. For example, canned tuna. Yes, it is in a can but when you put some olive oil in the skillet, stir it up the tuna like a stir fry while making some aldente pasta. Combine the two when the pasta is ready and then add some cilantro. Have a fresh salad and now you have a nice tasty meal, even though part of it was in a can.

Being fresh as possible is good, sometimes you can only do your best. This article is not written for the purest of either kind. Neither the purest who only eats fresh food nor the purest who eats only prepared foods. This article can help both other those just trying to have as much fresh foods as possible but still lives where time dictates our lives.

Here are a few fresh things to have handy in the house

  • Lettuce- any kind you like
  • carrots-already peeled if you prefer or the kind you peel
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • asparagus
  • bell pepper-red/green/both
  • artichoke
  • apples
  • pears
  • bananas
  • peaches

All of these foods can add to your options for not only dinner but lunch and snacks as well.

Quick Dinner Ideas

Here are a few ideas, last minute or planned which can happen for dinner. Remember having a variety of food available allows you to thing ahead for dinner. It alleviates the pressure of trying to figure out every thing late in the day. Cute out having to come up with something to eat, then determine if you have the ingredients and if you do not how you are going to go and get them after a long day.

  • Tuna Pasta: I already mentioned this one but it is super quick & easy
  1. Begin to boil water for pasta, angel hair usual works best
  2. Heat a skillet and olive oil then add tuna
  3. begin lightly, I mean lightly brown tuna
  4. Pasta should only stay a few minutes in water, just enough to make soft
  5. Drain pasta
  6. Add pasta to skillet and mix with tuna
  7. At the end when the pasta and tuna appear mixed to your liking at the cilantro to the skillet
  8. Stir to mix and then serve
  • Meat and veggies
  1. Select your meat
  2. Grill on stove top or outside grill.
  3. While meat is cooking steam veggies
  • Bean and Cheese Taco
  1. Flour taco-fresh or from a bag- if from a bag I suggest putting in on a warmed skillet and warming both sides. That helps those taste better. They are always better fresh, but putting the mix together and making them does take time
  2. Take can of refried beans and warm them in pot
  3. Use packed shredded cheese or cheese you shredded yourself
  4. Smother the tortilla with the beans then put on the cheese
  5. Add some fruit of a small salad
  • Brenner-Breakfast for Dinner
  1. Scrambled eggs/Egg omlet-can be made with what ever veggies you might have in house-be creative!
  2. Pancakes- either by mix or scratch- here is an easy scratch recipe and they come out great- Mix all together in bowl, 1 Cup flour, 1 egg, two tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3/4 Cup milk, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. Bacon, or any other breakfast tradition you have
  4. Eggo waffles
  • Something Light
  1. Slice up cucumber,broccoli, celery and carrots
  2. Cut up small panini bread into triangle pieces
  3. Use Humus as dip for veggies and or make little pizzas of humus and veggies

Remember, when thinking of dinner do not wait until the last minute. Try to think the day before, if you are really able, make a weekly menu. Try to keep foods fresh for healthier choices. Have on hand fresh and prepared canned foods to help make quick and easy dinners.


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