Author Topic: Quick Meal Ideas  (Read 1965 times)

ixtap

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Quick Meal Ideas
« on: March 26, 2019, 02:41:02 PM »
At a recent meet up, we got to the topic of the time it takes to prepare meals. My quick meals that came to mind were omni, but everyone else was vegetarian, so let's be specific up front.

Omni:
seared lamb, tuna or scallops with roasted asparagus or microwaved brocoli

Roasted salmon with veg

Sausage or ground meat with onions and veg of choice (often cabbage in our house)

Most things that are single serving on the grill with the rest of the grill filled with quick cooking veg



Vegetarian:
Quesadillas: sautee veg or use left over roasted veg. Serve with avocado (I use wholly guacamole myself)

Black bean tacos: warm up canned black beans with onions and sweet peppers. Season with salt, cumin and red pepper. Leave out the cheese for vegan.

Omelette or fried egg with veg on the side

Falafel: I use a mix, which is what makes it quick. Add dill and garlic to yogurt, or for vegan, use avocado.

Three bean salad: not sure it comes out as a complete protein, but kidney beans, garbanzo beans and green beans tossed together with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasoning is quick and travels well. I take it to potlucks under the category of "salad"

DH's fav: pasta with or without sauce with a ton of Kraft "parmesan" on top


I also like hard boiled eggs, either as a quick breakfast, devilled eggs or egg salad, unless you eat them warm.




calimom

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 08:05:20 PM »
Some good ideas above! My all time go-to meal is: baked sweet potatoes, veggie burgers heated up during the final 10 minutes, either with or without whatever cheese is on hand. And (generally) steamed broccoli during that time. It does take an hour, but there is so little prep and you can't argue that it's not healthy.

accolay

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 08:45:29 PM »
How long is "quick?

I've been making burrito bowls. I'll cook a pound of black beans, make some brown rice. Add in half an avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and hot sauce.


I really recommend grating your own real parmesan or pecorino romano from Costco as a cheaper substitute vs. the Kraft stuff. that stuff has wood in it i.e. cellulose.

APowers

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 09:25:22 PM »
My general rule of thumb is that unless I'm cooking for a holiday or special event, it should take me less than an hour for every meal. Ideally, 30 minutes or less.

~20 min | Bean+cheese burritos (with rice/salsa/sour cream/shredded lettuce)

~20 min | Spaghetti, of course

~30 min | Pizza (have to start the dough earlier in the day)

~50 min | Roast chicken breast-- this one takes longer (usually I serve with fresh rolls-- again, requires dough to be started earlier)

~15 min | Meat sandwiches (cold cuts, cheese, lettuce/condiments)

ixtap

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 11:27:03 PM »
How long is "quick?

I've been making burrito bowls. I'll cook a pound of black beans, make some brown rice. Add in half an avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and hot sauce.


I really recommend grating your own real parmesan or pecorino romano from Costco as a cheaper substitute vs. the Kraft stuff. that stuff has wood in it i.e. cellulose.

We were initially talking about 15 minutes or less, but I purposely left out a time limit here.

We had real parmesan cheese, turns out he likes the cellulose better. Even when I did the grating for him. He is a creature of habit.

APowers

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 12:43:59 AM »
Does it count if I've made it in the slow-cooker in a giant batch and all I have to do is pull it out of the freezer and reheat it? If so, then I'd count chili or lentil stew as a quick meal. Or better yet, chili or lentil stew in a tortilla as a burrito....mmmmm.

ixtap

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2019, 01:09:58 AM »
Does it count if I've made it in the slow-cooker in a giant batch and all I have to do is pull it out of the freezer and reheat it? If so, then I'd count chili or lentil stew as a quick meal. Or better yet, chili or lentil stew in a tortilla as a burrito....mmmmm.

As a group, we were ambivalent about batch cooking, but for those for whom it works, it counts. For some, it just adds another chore.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 01:47:55 AM »
Lettuce, a burger (meat or fish) and roasted bread with oil/vinegar.

A can of beans, a can of tomatoes, a can of corn, mexican (taco) spices. If with meat: fry minced meat first and then add the rest. Optional: fry diced red pepper as well. Optional: grated cheese.

Tomato soup. Canned tomatoes, a box of tomato puree. Water and stock. Use the blender. Add some small chopped fresh or frozen vegetables and cook for a while. Add flavours after taste. Serve with bread.

Asian soup. A box of coconut milk, curry paste, a box of bamboo shoots, a box of water chestnuts, other frozen or fresh vegetables. Water if necessary. Add frozen scallops, shrimps of pieces of fish.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 01:57:01 AM by Linea_Norway »

soccerluvof4

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 10:25:31 AM »
Hot ham n cheese sandwiches and a couple cans of chicken noodle soup!

Build your own burritos. Cook up a l lbs of ground beef with taco seasoning. Put out lettuce, black olives, diced lettuce, tomatos , onions etc.. buy some soft shell burrito shells and let people build there burritos. I usually will whip up some rice and refried beans and serve with tortillas chips and peeps will make nachos with all the leftovers. 20 minutes to cut stuff up

Slow cooker, One yellow onion sliced, grab a pork roast, rub pepper and coarse salt over it and 1 package of onion soup mix. Add about 16 oz of low sodium chicken broth or beef and I usually by a cheap vs of store brand barbecue sauce and squeeze half over top in beginning and half hour before done. 3lb roats usually 8 hours on low and walk away. Literally 5 mins to .

I personally love crock pot cooking vs insta  pot because i would rather cook things longer and not have to keep checking on it for 8 hours plus.

Another good one thats easy is taking frozen checking drumsticks. Fit as many as you can in a Crockpot. Put half a bottle of Barbeque sauce on and about 3 hours later the other half. Cook on high usually 3.5 hours. Thats it.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 10:58:59 AM »
As a group, we were ambivalent about batch cooking, but for those for whom it works, it counts. For some, it just adds another chore.

A chore now to save me 5 chores later is awesome. I think it's how you look at it. I love to have several ziplocs of previously cooked meat or beans in the freezer. (I have never regretted having a bunch of homemade frozen meatballs in a bag!)

I cook an entire pork shoulder, for example, "pull" it using the stand mixer, and portion it into quart bags. They stack flat and thaw quickly. I can have numerous "instant" meals because I spent less than an hour on a previous day prepping pulled pork. To me, that's just smart - and lazy!

What I don't like as much is taking up freezer space with prepared meals - I'd rather have components I can mix and match. Right now, I have raw ground pork, raw Italian sausage, cooked pulled pork, cooked chickpeas, cooked diced turkey breast.

A few nights ago, I made pork and sausage meatballs, which baked in the oven while the water for pasta boiled. I poured a can of crushed tomatoes into a pot with some roasted red bell peppers (from a jar) and frozen spinach and simmered that while the pasta cooked. The whole thing definitely took under an hour, might have been under 45, but I wasn't timing. And I have leftovers. I simultaneously made a pot of rice and pressure cooked a bag of chickpeas. When I got home the next night and didn't feel like cooking, I had several options to mix and match and have dinner in <30 minutes.

Prior to that, I made a couscous salad with pantry items: couscous, dried apricots, sliced almonds. I added some feta cheese and green onion. The first night, this was a side dish with some fish. A few days later, I added the thawed diced turkey for a pretty much instant dinner.

We often have rice bowls: rice, whatever cooked bean is in the fridge, whatever meat is available (pulled pork, ground pork, ground beef), topped with green or red salsa or BBQ sauce. Or change it up with frozen peas, meatballs/ground meat and oyster sauce.

I'm also a big fan of roasting a couple of pans of vegetables and keeping those around to add to meals through the week. Basically, if I'm doing 1 thing in the kitchen, I try to add a 2nd one that won't keep me there any longer, but will make something easier some future night. Chop 2 carrots or onions instead of one. Bake 6 potatoes instead of 2. Make rice while making pasta.

BTW, the complete protein thing was long ago debunked - actually, rescinded would be the better word. https://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-protein-myth-thats-taken-years-to-debunk.html

ixtap

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 11:06:12 AM »
As a group, we were ambivalent about batch cooking, but for those for whom it works, it counts. For some, it just adds another chore.


What I don't like as much is taking up freezer space with prepared meals - I'd rather have components I can mix and match. Right now, I have raw ground pork, raw Italian sausage, cooked pulled pork, cooked chickpeas, cooked diced turkey breast.


That might have something to do with it: those of us who didn't appreciate batch cooking have roommates. This means limited freezer space, which may mean eating the same thing over and over. My husband likes eating the same thing over and over, but it usually has to be just the right kind of bland for him to do so (see above regarding plain pasta and cheapo parmesan with fillers).




APowers

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 11:34:04 AM »
As a group, we were ambivalent about batch cooking, but for those for whom it works, it counts. For some, it just adds another chore.

A chore now to save me 5 chores later is awesome. I think it's how you look at it. I love to have several ziplocs of previously cooked meat or beans in the freezer. (I have never regretted having a bunch of homemade frozen meatballs in a bag!)

I cook an entire pork shoulder, for example, "pull" it using the stand mixer, and portion it into quart bags. They stack flat and thaw quickly. I can have numerous "instant" meals because I spent less than an hour on a previous day prepping pulled pork. To me, that's just smart - and lazy!

*snip*

BTW, the complete protein thing was long ago debunked - actually, rescinded would be the better word. https://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-protein-myth-thats-taken-years-to-debunk.html

Smart & Lazy. That's our slogan. LOL!

About the complete protein topic-- The article you linked didn't seem to "debunk" anything, other than having to eat them at the same time. My understanding is still that some plants have some amino acids and other plants have others, and you need both, which means you DO need to combine foods from both of those plant groups-- you just don't have to do it within a time constraint of hours or minutes. I.e., you actually WOULD be protein deficient if you only ate grains, or only ate legumes. Nothing in the article seemed to contradict this. Besides, they just taste so good together-- there's a reason why these foods (beans/rice, pb&j, rice/soy, chili/cornbread, etc.) are classics.

Firehazard

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 09:09:04 PM »
I'll buy a 2lb bag of carrots and a large bunch of celery, slice it up in the food processor and then parse out to 2-cup containers and freeze.  Then use them as needed to make a bunch of different kinds of soups and stews on the fly in the pressure cooker.   I also dice up boneless chicken breast and freeze the same way.

Tonight I grabbed a container of the veggies, a container of the chicken (no need for thawing either), a cup of frozen green beans, a chopped onion, a cup of dry pearled barley and a 32 oz carton of chicken broth.  Threw it all in the pressure cooker with salt and pepper and had a delicious hearty stew in about 30 minutes.

Serendip

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2019, 09:30:29 PM »
We ate beans, rice, salsa & avocado for dinner tonight

I'll often make a salad and just toss chickpeas or roasted veg or whatever I have around

In the summer we often do easy taster plates..olives, garden tomatoes, cukes, radishes, cheese, baguette, homemade hummus (which I try frequently have a version of in the fridge), maybe a touch of salami for the meat-eaters

Just made this the other week--you can marinade the tofu overnight and the meal comes together easily. Soba noodles or rice are both good. I love a good noodle dish every now and then..
https://www.veganricha.com/2014/09/tofu-broccoli-bok-choy-stir-fry-soba.html/comment-page-1#comment-473698

Quesadillas with fresh lime :)

Falafel salad
https://www.budgetbytes.com/falafel-salad/

nancy33

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2019, 10:40:05 PM »
I just cooked 2 frozen costco hamburger patties in a frying pan and costco frozen mixed vegies in another small pot on the stove. It took about 10 minutes at the most? I topped the vegies with crumbled queso fresco. This is easier than spaghetti

BussoV6

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2019, 01:06:19 AM »
Lightly fry 2-3 diced onions in a little olive oil
When they start turning golden, add 250g of sliced mushroons
When mushrooms are cooked, add 125g of sliced or diced good quality ham
Add 175 ml of thick cream and some chopped origanum
When its all hot, serve over freshly cooked penne (or fetucine) pasta
Grate pecorino romano (or parmesan) cheese over the top
Add some freshly ground black pepper and enjoy with a glass of wine
Should serve 3-4 depending on how hungry you are.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 02:08:14 AM by BussoV6 »

conwy

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2019, 07:47:55 PM »
My 5 minute porridge recipe:

1. Put 5 days worth (for me, 500 grams) of oats in a plastic container with water.
2. Scoop out one serving and put it in a bowl with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
3. Stick bowl in microwave oven for 5 minutes.
4. Serve topped with cinnamon.
5. Use the remaining oats in the container over the following 4 days. The more they soak, the creamier and tastier the porridge gets.

Extremely cheap. Oats are 0.75 per 1KG, Peanut Butter is 0.75 per jar. Each meal costs about 0.11, and satisfies about a quarter of my daily caloric needs.

Alchemisst

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2019, 07:43:39 PM »
My 5 minute porridge recipe:

1. Put 5 days worth (for me, 500 grams) of oats in a plastic container with water.
2. Scoop out one serving and put it in a bowl with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
3. Stick bowl in microwave oven for 5 minutes.
4. Serve topped with cinnamon.
5. Use the remaining oats in the container over the following 4 days. The more they soak, the creamier and tastier the porridge gets.

Extremely cheap. Oats are 0.75 per 1KG, Peanut Butter is 0.75 per jar. Each meal costs about 0.11, and satisfies about a quarter of my daily caloric needs.

Recently got into oats, going to try this!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2019, 08:09:12 PM »
I buy cheese tortellini at Costco. For a quick meal, we cook that up (5 minutes), dice up fresh tomato, & serve with parmesan, olive oil, salt & pepper.

We also batch cook & freeze. For one meal prep (all less than 30 minutes of hands on prep), we get 3-4 dinners.
-Taco meat
-Bolognese sauce
-Fresh tomato sauce
-Crockpot carnitas
-Pizza
-Burritos

Unique User

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2019, 06:12:52 AM »
Sheet pan dinners and mexican/asian bowls or salads are our go to easy meals.  For the bowls, we do the same as others - make a big batch of meat, beans and freeze in meal portions.  We also make a batch of rice in the rice cooker and freeze it also.  Then all you need to prep are toppings.

For sheet pan dinners the possibilities are endless.  We usually do chicken as we always have chicken breasts or thighs in assorted marinades in the freezer.  I just recently bought 5 lb of turkey smoked sausage for $5, cut it up and froze it in meal size portions so we've been using that as well.  Poke a bunch of holes in it and marinate in balsamic or greek dressing to give it some flavor.  Cut up some veggies, bake at 450 until almost done, then add the sausage for the last few minutes to heat it up. 

Parizade

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2019, 09:33:22 AM »
I like loaded baked potatoes (white or sweet). I bake the potato in the microwave and top with whatever is handy. Favorite toppings include leftover pulled pork or chili, black beans and cheese, bacon bits, fried egg, etc

ketchup

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Re: Quick Meal Ideas
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2019, 10:10:10 AM »
Microwaved oatmeal with some cinnamon and peanut butter thrown in.  Use milk or cream as the liquid depending on preference and hunger level.

Baked bone-in chicken thighs with carrots and/or broccoli.  Dump on a baking sheet and throw on some seasonings and olive oil.  Bacon and broccoli is another good one like this (don't need to bother with oil).

Lazy "salad": half-assedly cooked ground meat seasoned with things within reach, with quickly hand-ripped greens and 30 second salad dressing.

None of these require more than 5 minutes of hands on time, usually a lot less.