Cooking a healthy dinner feels good. If you’re like me, you get a sense of accomplishment when you pull a beautiful casserole you’ve never made before out of the oven and the house smells delicious. When you get home with a comfortable amount of time to chop, sauté, puree and simmer, cooking can be relaxing.
Then there are the nights you walk in the door and ordering a pizza is all you feel you have time for. I get it. I have at least one of those each week. And that’s the thing; I have one of those each week. Since this happens regularly, I adapted and found things I could cook with very few ingredients and little time.I adapted and found things I could cook with very few ingredients and little time. Click To Tweet
I have two methods when I’m home late, but refuse to give into the temptation to call for delivery; Slow cooker and halfway-homemade dinners.
The slow cooker, at first, seems counter intuitive – it takes 5-8 hours to cook, how does that save time?! – but if you’ve taken my simple approach to meal planning, you’ve identified the nights that will be tough that week. This means, you can either throw the ingredients together in the morning, plug it in and head out, or, you can prep the night before, put the pot in the fridge and plug it in when you get up. Pro-tip: Leave a note or put the base of the slow cooker by your keys so you don’t forget!
I use the slow cooker on my latest evenings so all I have to do is dish up when I walk in the door. Plus, it’s so nice to come home to the smell of a dinner you’ve already cooked! The slow cooker I use is this one by Cuisinart.
For nights I have just enough time to throw something together, I rely on ingredients that are ready to go; frozen chopped veggies, ready-made pizza crust, fully cooked chicken sausage, canned soups, steamable brown rice, canned diced tomatoes, etc. There are so many ways to put these items together that enable you to have a homemade meal, but not start from scratch. The key is keeping the number of ingredients low. When you find your favorites, always stock up at the grocery so they are on hand for impromptu quick, but healthy, dinners.
Here are two of my favorite ready-in-no-time recipes!
What’s your favorite busy night recipe? Comment below!