You’ve been there too. Driving home with no plan for dinner and you know
there’s a Taco Bell (or other fast food) on your way home. It’s so easy
to just drive up in line and order a few things off the $1 menu.
It seems like a good deal, $5 for dinner. But when you factor in the lack
of good, cancer fighting nutrients and the overabundance of unhealthy
fat, salt and calories, it’s not that great of a deal!
What should I eat when I don’t have time to cook?
Today’s post is inspired by my brother. He was on his way home last night when I called. He asked me, should he stop for dinner at Taco Bell?
THANK GOODNESS I called at the right time! DON’T DO IT, BRO!! We can talk through this!
Don’t get me wrong – he’s a smart guy. In fact, he’s a nuclear
engineer! It just goes to show that everyone struggles with the same “dinner problem“.
While we were on the phone – (and I did manage to convince him to skip Taco Bell!) –
we were able to find some things in the pantry that were just as fast. Here’s what we came up with:
Chili in a Jiffy!
Chili in a Jiffy
Chili in a Jiffy
- 1 can of chili (Amy's brand is healthy – lower in sodium and fat)
- Diced tomatoes (he already had them diced in the fridge)
- Diced onions (already diced)
- Frozen corn
- Frozen green chilis
- Cheddar cheese
- Place all ingredients, except cheese, in a pan.
- Heat until frozen veggies are cooked
- Pour into a bowl, add cheese and EAT!
You can alter this recipe with whatever you happen to have in your house. I have some frozen jalapenos that I cut up from the summer. I might also add a can of another type of bean (black or kidney) to add to it, or pour it on top of rice.
The toppings could also be varied – add some lettuce, fat free sour cream (or plain yogurt), some crunchy chips or torn up corn tortillas, a side of toast or whatever else you might have in the fridge.
While the chili is warming, cut up some fruit for dessert and munch on baby carrots. All of this would probably take a total of 20 minutes.
It might be slightly longer than going through the drive through – but waiting in line and taking a detour on your way home would probably add 15 to 20 minutes anyway. And if you’ve added some things to the chili, or cooked 2 cans you might even have leftovers you can eat for lunch the next day!
Tips for Last Minute Dinner in a Hurry
There are a few things that are key to make the last minute dinners work for you.
- Keep healthy, easy to prepare foods at home. Canned, or bottled chili (or better yet – make a big batch of your own that you can or freeze) and frozen veggies are a must!
- Have ready to eat veggies. Must haves are baby carrots, tomatoes, peppers and onions. When you have a few minutes, chop them up so they are ready to use in an instant. Also, if you don’ t have time to chop – spend the extra money to purchase them already diced. I’ve been able to find pico de gallo in the grocery store which is great in eggs or chili!
- Keep a list of Last Minute Dinners on the fridge so when you’re stressed and can’t think – you just read the list and make it. Zonya’s cookbook has an entire section for 1 minute meals and 5 minute meals. A great place to start!!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!
Wouldn’t it be great if all of us had a pantry analyzer as a sister 🙂
Anyway, I prefer to run into a store for a few items than stop at a fast food place (although I can’t do drive thru that way). This is one of my favorite quick and easy meals:
I actually skip the chicken (I like chicken but if I don’t have it I don’t sweat it) and get a can of black beans, a can of sweet potatoes, a pack of cheese and tortillas. Easy to remember and super fast to cook.