5 Quick Real Food Dinners

he following post is from Kate of Modern Alternative Mama:

source: Modern Alternative Mama

It’s a busy season.  And that means maybe you don’t have a lot of time to cook some nights…or even if you do, you don’t really want to spend all that time in the kitchen! There are parties, Christmas plays, outings with friends, and so on.  Even if you’re in the kitchen it’s probably better to be baking something yummy than making a normal meal.

Of course, you don’t want to serve junk, processed food, or run through the drive-through either…right?  (Sometimes I honestly wish I could, but with my family’s food sensitivities, it’s just not worth it.)

Luckily, there are some simple meals you can make at home quickly and easily!


If you can, prepare the rice ahead of time so that you just have to heat it up — this is a great thing to do on a weekend afternoon, to have for meals later in the week.  Grab your favorite veggies, like broccoli, snap peas, carrots, onions, water chestnuts, etc. and some meat (I like this marinated beef a lot, and you can freeze it in the marinade to make it super simple).  Saute it quickly with some ginger, garlic, sea salt, and any sort of sauce that you like.  I often don’t even use a sauce since this is pretty flavorful with the marinated meat and spices already in the veggie mix.  If the rice is cooked, you can get this on the table in 20 – 30 minutes!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

We think of soup as something that needs to simmer all day long, but that’s not always the case.  If you’re making soup with some sort of tough cut of meat then yes, it will need to simmer quite awhile (of course, you can always throw that in a crock pot and still call it an easy meal!).  But broccoli cheddar soup can be on the table in 20 – 30 minutes easy because broccoli doesn’t take long to cook.  If you have leftover baked potatoes, use those instead of broccoli and top with crumbled bacon.  I like this broccoli cheese soup recipe (I make it a lot.  One week I made it 4x!).

Quick Beef and Potatoes

If we don’t know what else to eat, it’s pretty much this.  Cut the potatoes in cubes or slices, fry some ground beef, add the potatoes, and cook it all together. Here’s my recipe.  Serve it with some steamed veggies or garlic green beans. It’s so quick and easy and can really be served for any meal of the day.

Pasta with Sauce

Make up a big batch of sauce all at once if you like — my favorite way is to do a meat sauce and add zucchini, beef stock, mushrooms, peppers, and other veggies I have on hand.  Then it only takes 10 – 15 minutes to boil up some pasta and top it with this delicious, super healthy sauce.  You can leave out the veggies or the meat depending on your preferences.  We like to use brown rice pasta, which is reasonably healthy and gluten-free.  Sometimes I mix it up by using the sauce and brown rice noodles to make a big pan of gluten-free lasagna, which I keep in the fridge to reheat as needed.

Pizza Balls

We love pizza in all forms.  This one takes a little bit of time up front but is incredibly easy to reheat.  It’s just pizza dough, cheese, and pepperoni (or your other favorite toppings — sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, etc. — just cut them up small) mashed together and baked in a muffin tray.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.  Here’s my soaked pizza ball recipe.  Anything along these lines is great — we also do sausage balls (grain free) and other freeze-and-reheat options.

What’s your go-to quick meal option?

Kate is a wife and mommy to 3 and is passionate about God, health and food. She has written 7 cookbooks and is planning to release more in 2012. When she’s not blogging, she’s in the kitchen, sewing, or home schooling her children. You can find her at Modern Alternative Mama or contributing to Keeper of the Home.