Work  has run late. The kids are cranky…or you are cranky, even though you have no kids! You just want to go home and eat, but there is no energy left to fix a thing. So you hit the fast food trail and consume your Big Mac with a huge sense of guilt.

Well, there is another way. I have few items that are always on hand for me so that I can have food ready in a flash. (I also have an obsession with my Slow Cooker and Instant Pot, but that will have to be another post sometime).

Items to always have on hand:

  1. Canned Beans
  2. Rice or Quinoa
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Lettuce
  5. Crushed tomatoes
  6. Produce
  7. Eggs

I promise you that you can throw together a quick meal if you have these items on hand.  Here are a few of my favorite “fast food” alternatives.

Beans and Rice-can it get any simpler? There is even microwaveable rice ready in 90 seconds. I like to make a batch on the weekend to have on hand. I add in beans, salsa, any leftover meat, etc. Ready in a flash.

Eggs or Omelets-bear with me as it gets a bit odd, but I love having a scrambled egg on a bed of lettuce with other veggies thrown in. It sounds strange but try it and let me know what you think.

Food Bowl~food bowls are all the rage now. You throw in some protein, some complex carbohydrates, and some veggies and you have a quick, complete meal. I will steam broccoli, cook a white potato or sweet potato in the microwave (or throw vegetables in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, for about 20-30 minutes), and add in beans or any other leftover meat that is in my fridge. I sometimes top with a sauce(being a southern USA gal BBQ is a favorite, although I like tahini dressings, too) and sometimes just drizzle with a bit of lemon juice. So good.

Pasta-I don’t eat much pasta as I’m gluten free (mostly) due to a mild wheat reaction(I get a stuffy nose, go figure). But I love spiralizing zucchini and pouring a bit of pasta sauce over it! I also put pasta sauce on my baked potato or brown rice. The quickest pasta sauce in the world is opening a can of crushed tomatoes and adding some Italian seasoning and a bit of olive oil and heating it. My kids say it needs a bit of sugar as they are used to pasta sauces with added sugar, but I like it as is. Heck, they even sell crushed tomatoes with the Italian seasoning already in there.

Kitchen Sink Salad-pretty self-explanatory. You get some greens and clean out your fridge, adding in any protein, fruit, veggies, and a complex carb(yes, I add in rice or quinoa sometimes to my salads) and have a great, quick meal.

Those are a few of my go-to quick and easy recipes for nights when life gets in the way of cooking. What are some of your favorite meals, tips, and tricks for crazy evenings?  Let me know.




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