I don’t know if you are anything like me, but lately I have been so caught up in homeschooling the kids, projects around the house and work that there are more days than not I am looking at the clock and thinking: “It’s already time to eat and I am starving, but cooking is going to take FOREVER!!!” (So sorry if you were hoping this was the blog of a fit, homeschool mom who always has meals perfectly planned out and a crock pot schedule that would make your grandma proud..not so much).
I have practically ZERO patience when I am hungry, but ordering out or going to a restaurant always seems to take much longer than it did in my head and the food is never super healthy (plus, it gets pricy) – so here are some of my EASIEST, quickest meals to literally THROW together, when you are starving and time has gotten away from you.
Taco Salad – or my lazy version. I almost always have some ground turkey meat in my freezer, defrost that bad boy, cook it up with some cumin, salt, garlic powder, chili powder and throw over some greens and tomatoes. If I’m going to be fancy I’ll throw salsa, shredded cheese and maybe even open a can of black beans and add those too.
If you have some time on the weekend – not a bad idea to cook up some of this “taco turkey” and have it on hand for busy nights.
Mediterranean Chicken – wow, that name sounds a lot fancier than this dish actually is. For this meal I just chopped up some rotisserie chicken – or left over chicken breast and topped it with tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese. I like to season with fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper. Of course if you REALLY want to get fancy, some fresh mint would be divine, but it’s pretty delicious just as is.
Again – if you have time on the weekends, pick up a rotisserie chicken, or cook a bunch of chicken breasts ahead of time – honestly, protein is the hardest thing to cook quickly, so if you can do it ahead of time and have some pre-cooked options on hand it will save you big time!!
Bun-less Burger – this may look fancy, but it was one of those, what do I have on hand that is quick and easy and will fill me up because I am HANGRY, meals. I just cooked up a hamburger, we had no buns, so I just topped it with some cheddar cheese and a tomato slice and put a side of lettuce (can’t really call it a true salad because it is literally JUST lettuce, but the crunch was nice and I drizzled it with some Italian dressing and I thought it was tasty!)
The sweet potato fries was just me using up our last sweet potato, I cut it into thin strips, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and roasted in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Shakeology – This is not my clever way to do a little pitch on Shakeology, I HAD to add it to the list, because more often than not, when I am flat out exhausted, hungry and have no time, this is what I have for lunch or dinner (or breakfast). I get a lot of questions about Shakeology – you can read more here if you like. This recipe is one of my VERY favorites: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk + Chocolate Shakeology + 1/2 banana + handful of ice. Fill the blender in THAT order, blend and add 1 tsp of peanut butter. SO. FREAKING.GOOD.
Fresh Cabbage Salad – Cabbage is one of my all time favorite veggies. This salad comes together super fast, simply slice the cabbage into thin strips and drizzle with a dressing made from mixing: 2 Tbs. Rice Vinegar, 3 Tbs. Olive Oil, 2 Tbs. Honey, salt, pepper, ginger. (If you don’t have Rice Vinegar in your kitchen I am not even going to give you a substitute because it just WON’T be the same, buy some – now! It’s amazing!! You’ll find it with the oriental foods in your grocery store and once you have it you’ll use it ALL the time!) I add chopped almonds and cubed chicken (again, having that protein already cooked is a life-saver) and it’s a pretty incredible little meal.
Broccoli & Cheese Pasta – This is pretty much a leftover throw together. Whenever I make pasta I always have just a little leftover, not sure how or why but it’s true. On this lovely day I threw some cubed chicken and then heated up one of those vegetable steamer bags (are those not the greatest invention of all time?) of broccoli. I tossed a ton of broccoli on top of the pasta and chicken and a generous sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and had a super quick delicious meal.
I suppose, if there is one reccuring theme in all my meals it’s: cook your protein ahead of time!! It really is probably the biggest obstacle to health eating. Veggies can be eaten raw, carbs are quick to cook but protein is it’s own little beast. I don’t have many fish dishes here, but fish is another great protein to have on hand because it does cook super fast, and also eggs – mmmmm I could do an entire post on eggs!
Hope these meals inspired you and that you continue to make your health a priority – no matter how crazy or busy life is – don’t get caught up in culinary perfection and let that keep you from doing what you need to to fuel your body right!!