I make menu plans a month at a time and I stick to them quite closely. But deviations creep in, and they are predictable! At the very end of the month, after weeks of “compliance,” I just get lazy. Usually this extends to not making the next month’s meal plan until a couple days into the new month. Oh well, no meal planning equals no grocery shopping either, so it’s an opportunity to use up food that’s on hand!
September’s meal plan was typical. It started on September 3, which was just after a 3-day weekend. This month we made 6 different meals, each in big quantities, that lasted for a total of 15 evenings.
- Barley and mushroom stew (2 nights) – from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
- Lentil stuffed peppers (2 nights)
- Orzo salad, Greek style (3 nights) – from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
- Vegetable moussaka (3 nights)
- Carrot cashew burgers (2 nights) – from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook
- Curried rice salad with cheddar (3 nights)
One night we had French toast and another night we had canned baked beans! We had dinners out twice, and dinner at my parents’ place weekly. I work one evening a week now, so on those nights, Rom and I fend for ourselves and have simple things.
In an ideal world, we would make extra meals and freeze them so that we could eat well no matter how lazy we felt. In the real world, the go-to easy foods are:
Level 1 – Easiest
- Toast with peanut butter
- Cheese toast made in the toaster oven
- Soup or beans from a can
- Prepared hummus with pita bread and carrot sticks
- A big baked potato cooked in the microwave
I don’t have cold cereal for dinner – I have too much of an appetite – but I’ve been known to make oatmeal!
Level 2 – Easy
Note that all of these require “cooking”
- Kraft Dinner (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese) from a box – or Annie’s brand, if you are more wholesome!
- Pasta with bottled tomato sauce
- Grilled cheese sandwiches made in the frying pan
- Apple and cheddar paninis (I won’t mention the banana and Nutella ones…)
- Rice with chick peas
- Scrambled eggs or an omelette
- Falafel Sloppy Joes (using a falafel mix)
- Salad (included here because of the effort of washing lettuce and chopping vegetables)
Level 3 – Simple
- Pizza made with fresh ingredients on a pre-made crust
- Stir fry
I believe that’s my complete list of quick and easy veggie meals right now. Everything else we make takes at least an hour!
What are your go-to quick meals? (Do you have packaged foods you can’t do without? Do you order in? Or keep something in the freezer?)