I know at the end of a long day the last thing that most people want to do is come home and have to cook dinner. The idea of coming up with something to eat, preparing ingredients and then having to cook everything has people reaching for the delivery menus. The reality of delivery though comes down to this- you still have to decide what to eat, you then have to speak to someone else to order your meal, wait until it gets to you, pay the delivery guy and only then can you sit down to eat your food. Dinner is often way later than you hoped and the meal typically does not meet your expectations.
My best suggestion for the dinnertime challenge, is to always keep a few key ingredients readily available to be able to throw together a quick meal that will be delicious, healthy and ready in 30 minutes. If you make enough, it can also fill in a few meals for the coming days.
Some of my kitchen food staples are;
- Campbells (or a like brand) low sodium broths- I like to keep chicken at home but any broth works. Stick with low sodium or no added salt to avoid significantly increasing your sodium intake when using them
- Spices- always keep spices stocked. Salt and pepper are a given, but by at least having garlic powder, onion powder and chili flakes on hand you always have flavour to add to your meals
- Dry grains- Lentils, barley and quinoa are great to keep in the pantry for a quick go to. They all take about 20 minutes to make and can be the perfect filler with dinner in place of a rice or pasta.
- Eggs- Eggs last for a few weeks and can be used in so many different ways. Boil them to add to a salad, or take to work in the morning. Make an omelette for dinner. They are incredibly versatile and a great source of protein.
- Veggies- Try to pick up vegetables on the weekend that will last a few days into the week. That way you don’t have to worry about using them right away. Potatoes, carrots, onions and turnip are some good options that have a longer shelf life
Here’s a 30 minute easy soup recipe you can make with some of the ingredients above
- 1-2 containers of broth
- 1 pack of mushrooms
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Half an onion
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional- a1/3 cup barley or lentils
Chop up all your veggies into bite size pieces and put aside
In a medium pot, saute your onions in a bit of olive oil until translucent. Add in your mushrooms with some salt and pepper, cover and cook for for 5 minutes until soft.
Add in your cauliflower, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until soft.
Add in your broth until the vegetables are covered and then add in your zucchini.
**If you are using them, add in your barley or lentils at this stage
Bring to a low boil
Reduce your heat and let your soup cook until the vegetables are tender. Add more salt and pepper if needed. You can also add some chili flakes if you want a bit more heat to your soup.
Voila! A fast, easy and healthy meal! Enjoy!