Captain Obvious makes dinner

by mayberry on July 22, 2009

I haaaaaate cooking dinner. I also hate feeding my children too much take-out (or consuming it myself, or for that matter, paying for it). So I have found ways to cheat. Herewith, my favorite ways to slap together a meal that’s reasonably healthy. If you are a real cook (Maggie) you might want to look away. These all happen to be vegetarian, too.

  1. Pasta with jarred sauce and frozen vegetables. To boost the health quotient I get the pasta that has protein and omega-3s in it, or the kind with some vegetables cooked in. I buy sauce that doesn’t contain corn syrup. I throw frozen vegetables into the pasta water. Fifty percent of my children pick them out, but I continue to try. I give each child an individual portion of parmesan cheese (not from the green can) to control intake.
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  3. Amy‘s frozen spinach pizza. If I make pizza myself (which is another one of my fake dinners–with storebought shells) my vegetable-averse child will not eat it. But Amy’s, with spinach no less, she will gobble right down.
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  5. Breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast, fruit smoothies–with lots of diner participation on that last item. For my own portion of eggs I chop in some broccoli if I have it around.
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  7. Tofu and noodles. Cubed tofu, whatever leftover vegetables are available, and Thai Kitchen noodles with sauce. I used to have to set aside a sauce-free bowl of noodles for you-know-who, but we’ve managed to move beyond that now.
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  9. Egg rolls (frozen) and edamame. Little miss “no thank you” loves edamame. She would eat an entire bag if I let her. She also can’t really tell the difference between vegetable egg rolls and chicken ones.

So, two food posts in a row. A little exercise in compare-n-contrast. What do you eat when you can’t be bothered to cook for real?

Also, on that glass of water: Remove pitcher of cold, filtered water from refrigerator. Pour into clean, ice-free pint glass. Enjoy.

{ 7 comments }

C @ Kid Things July 22, 2009 at 9:52 am

We are very fond of the frozen food aisle at the grocery store. Particularly, the bags of chicken alfredo (we are not vegetarian, although I kind of wish I was) with included broccoli and peas and carrots.

Jennifer (ponderosa) July 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Macaroni and tomato juice. This is one of my husband’s favorite comfort meals. You cook elbow macaroni, then pour tomato juice over it. Viola! If you want to be fancy you can put worcestershire sauce on it. We usually have ours with those bags of pre-made pot stickers.

Scrambled eggs in a burrito. You scramble eggs, the wrap them in a burrito that’s been gently warmed. Viola! We eat that for lunch about once a week. My kids will eat theirs with carrots or peas or an orange or something on the side.

Lady M July 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Edamame! Thanks for the reminder. I have a whole bunch in the freezer and we haven’t had it in ages.

Kelly July 23, 2009 at 6:48 am

I enjoy the quesadilla as a last minute supper. You can always throw in whatever veggies are lying around. Some cheese and salsa and voila, cheap and easy.

i totally do breakfast for dinner as well.

Summer July 23, 2009 at 6:55 am

Making dinner at dinnertime is a real drag, isn’t it? Since I work from home, I try to use the crock pot as much as possible, as it allows me to do the actual food prep at lunchtime. When I make certain dishes in the crock pot, I’ll try to make extra and freeze it — I really don’t like much commercial frozen food, so it’s nice to have a stash of my own food in the freezer. Best thing to have in the freezer, IMO, is a container of my “taco meat” (slow cooked, shredded chicken with beans and veggies), which can easily be turned into taco salad.

I’m also deeply in love with my rice cooker. We eat rice at least three times a week, and it’s so easy to dump in the rice and water, turn it on and walk away. When I don’t know what to make for dinner, I’ll start some rice and work from there — add some beans or fried eggs or some pan-grilled fish, and that’s a meal.

magpie July 28, 2009 at 6:24 am

Summer pasta. Cook a pot of pasta. Meanwhile, chop up some tomatoes, some fresh mozzarella, some basil. Toss that stuff with salt, pepper, olive oil and either balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit until pasta is done. Toss with hot pasta. It’s hard to call it cooking.

farmerswife August 2, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Breakfast for dinner… love it! My kids drink alot of water, I should be drinking more…

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