Five Stupid Easy Dinners
Last week I had a great conversation about meal planning with Dr. Colleen O’Grady on her podcast Power Your Parenting. I’ll share a link when it’s live! While chatting about meal planning strategy, I told her that I have an arsenal of “stupid easy dinners” to fall back on in a pinch. Dinners with 3-5 ingredients that come together fast with minimal cleanup.
Dr. O’Grady seemed excited about the idea of “stupid easy” dinners and I thought you all might be too. These are for nights when you’re exhausted, you just can’t clean a huge mess, you’re heading out to dinner but want to leave something for kids or, you know, just a regular Tuesday night.
I need to come up with a friendlier title for these types of dinners, so please share if you have any ideas. Really, we should be calling these super smart dinners! Because anything with minimal prep, great taste and easy clean up is genius in my book.
I’m teaching an online cooking class tonight with a simple roasted fish recipe. If you want to try one of my favorites, start here. Three ingredients, and you throw it in the oven and don’t look back! Add a big salad and you’re done.
My husband and I start five days of ProLon today. I’ll keep a journal while I count down the days and promise to share all my tips when its over. I meant to do this after my last Prolon, but didn’t write down my notes and you know how that goes! My kids get tortellini casserole (minus the Italian sausage) for dinner. Use cheese or spinach tortellini, or even your favorite gluten-free tube pasta. My freezer is always stocked with tortellini so I can make this in a pinch. Leftovers are great heated up for Zoom school lunches.
Throwing together salsa verde chicken in the Instant Pot for the kids, with all the taco fixings on the side. I’m counting guacamole and salsa as their vegetables tonight, please don’t judge me.
One of my favorite brainless dinners is pulled BBQ pork in the slow cooker. For the shortcut version, use a good quality BBQ sauce, such as Bone Suckin’ Sauce or Primal Kitchen. To make, in the base of your slow cooker add 1 cup BBQ sauce, a 3-4 pound pork shoulder, salt and pepper. Cook covered on high for 6 hours, or until internal temperature is 190. Shred and serve on Hawaiian king rolls with pickles or over steamed cauliflower rice with coleslaw on the side. Leftover pulled pork can be frozen in serving sizes that work for your family.
Ok, this is not 3 ingredients or less, but if you buy a rotisserie chicken to use in tortilla casserole it is SO EASY to put together. Use any type of tortilla (sometimes I use grain-free Siete cassava tortillas). Once you make this once, you’ll see how truly simple it is to make. Serve a green salad on the side. If you have any leftover rotisserie chicken, make a batch of tortilla-less soup the next day. You’ll have healthy lunches ready to go for the weekend!
You could really let this be a fend-for-yourself or leftovers night, but if you’re gunning for mom of the year, grab some frozen Italian pizza skins from Trader Joe’s (I like Monteli brand organic crusts), fresh store-bought pizza dough (sold near the cheeses) or frozen cauliflower crust and let everyone assemble their own pizza. I use Rao’s Marinara for the sauce (just don’t use too much or the dough will get soggy) and shredded mozzarella. I have one kiddo who likes to dot on some sundried tomato pesto on her pizza, but I’m not suggesting you make that tonight because, well, TGIF.