What’s for dinner?

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Do you ever have those days, weeks or possibly months where you don’t have time to cook?  I have found myself in that situation for about the last month.  I haven’t even had time to go to the grocery store!

Fridays are when I usually like to post a recipe.  However, that requires time in the kitchen and groceries.   So today’s food discussion is going to be about what to serve when you   are short on time and food.

Let me start by saying that I am not a big fan of drive through food.  I tend to over eat and healthy choices are not always available.  I do eat Dairy Queen tacos from time to time.  Every now and then I run through Panda Express.  But that is pretty much it for me and fast food.

Many times when I have no time to cook, I also am having a stressful week at work, and I just don’t want to eat out.

Here are my quick and simple meals:

Milk and cereal.  These are always available in our house.  Although this is not an exciting meal option, it does satisfy our hunger, keeps us from over eating, and isn’t taxing on time or clean up.

Cheese and crackers.  Another of our go-to fast meals is cheese, summer sausage and crackers.  We keep a variety of cheeses onhand just for such a night.  We also stock several types of crackers in our pantry.  Served with the cheese and crackers is whatever we have onhand:  nuts, sliced apple or pear, summer sausage, grapes, tapenade, olives or hummus.  Generally, we have two or three of these available.

Fruit salad.  I always keep lemons, apples, bananas and a can of mandarin oranges onhand.  In five minutes, fruit salad is on the table to be served.

Frozen leftovers.  I often freeze individual servings of leftover soup, casseroles, etc.  What could have become penicillin if left in the fridge, might be a wholesome dinner a few weeks later.

Frozen shrimp.  A seem to always have a few packages of frozen shrimp in the freezer.  Defrost them under running water, make some cocktail sauce and you have a light supper.

Knorr rice packets.  Literally it takes 7 minutes and you have  the start of a dinner.  I like to add a some veggies or chicken to the pot.  With the taco rice, I might add black olives, cheese and leftover chicken.  To the fried rice, I add green peas and shrimp.

Tuna packets.  There are some pretty tasty flavored tuna packets available, like lemon pepper, Thai spice, etc.  Keep some in your pantry.  A packet and crackers can step in for a quick dinner.

Frozen homemade bread.  When I bake bread, I make three loaves.  We keep one out to eat fresh and freeze the other two loaves.  If you set a loaf out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you need it, it will be ready to eat.  It can also be reheated in the oven.  I serve it with butter, preserves, sandwich meat, and/or cheese.

Veggie spaghetti.  Pasta, pasta sauce and whatever canned and fresh veggies are onhand combine to make a tasty dinner.  For an actual recipe, check out Veggie Spaghetti and  Red Chicken Spaghetti.

Let’s share our ideas and maybe we can inspire another busy, working person.  What are your go-to fast meals?

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