When I was (very) pregnant, my friend Asha bestowed on me the most wonderful gift. It wasn’t baby shoes or swaddle blankets, or the latest calming belly balm, highly unlikely to calm/balm anything at all. Instead, it was this: Asha taught me how to feed my family.
When the schedule balance tips toward too full, I immediately scale down my dinnertime meal plans. I fall back to 3-4 quick meals I can prepare without a recipe and with ingredients I have on hand. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in ease and comfort. A few examples:-Spaghetti + jarred sauce + grated parmesan + steamed peas
-Vegetable/chicken or tofu stir fry + rice + whatever veg is in the crisper and/or freezer
-Scrambled eggs + fruit slices + whole grain toast
Thus, the Dinner Formula began.
It’s simple enough: this + that = dinner in a flash, and for us, it’s generally of the meat and veggie variety. In case your own schedule is tipping toward too-full, here are eight of our go-to dinner formulas we rely on heavily in these parts:
- Salmon + broccoli + lemon garlic dressing, OR
- Salmon + asparagus + lemon garlic dressing.
For prep, I simply throw the salmon (plus dill and mint, totally optional) in the middle of a large skillet on medium heat. Once I turn the salmon once, I add broccoli or asparagus around the salmon to lightly cook/sautee in the lemon garlic dressing. Dinner in ten, fifteen max!
- Buffalo chicken + cauliflower + avocado, OR
- Buffalo chicken + cabbage + avocado.
For prep, I stick a few chicken breasts and half a bottle of buffalo sauce in a crock pot on low heat for 4 hours. I like my vegetables charred, so I’ll spend 10-15 minutes roasting the cabbage or cauliflower on a hot skillet prior to serving. Top with avocado, and that’s it!
- Short ribs + purple potatoes + arugula, OR
- Short ribs + basked potato + arugula.
For prep, I add ribs and a full bottle of marinade in a crock pot on high for 8 hours. Prior to serving, I’ll either fry sliced a purple potato medley with garlic powder and cracked pepper, or I’ll stick a baked potato in the oven to top with rib meat. Either way, I throw in a pile of arugula to sneak in a few greens.
- Filet + green beans + red onions, OR
- Filet + mashed yucca + red onions.
For prep, I grill a small filet (or cook on skillet), while sauteeing red onions and balsamic together. For a green beans side, I add them to the same pan as the onions just before serving (I like them crispy!). For mashed yucca, I simply peel and dice a yucca to throw in a saucepot with a small can of coconut milk, plus salt/pepper to taste. Mash away and cook for 10-15 minutes before serving with red onions.
Tell me, what’s your super simple dinner-in-a-flash formula? Growing up, ours was cereal (#CapnCrunchForAlways)!