You don’t wanna, but ya gotta. Making dinner isn’t always everyone’s favorite task (some might even call it a chore), but when you’re faced with either making it, buying it, or not having it, sometimes making it is the best choice for financial, convenience, or hunger reasons. (Let’s face it, not having it really isn’t an option, especially if you have hungry kids at home.)
You’ve meal planned, you’ve grocery shopped, and you’re standing in the kitchen with zero desire to make or eat what is on the plan. Maybe you’re missing some crucial ingredients. Maybe you know it might not go over and you’re not in the mood for the dinner time battle. Maybe you were supposed to thaw something or put dinner in the crockpot this morning, but you forgot because your 5 year old couldn’t find the right color socks, so your dinner-prep time was spent sock-searching. So, what, then, does one do when one is too tired, overwhelmed (or underwhelmed for that matter), unmotivated, unenthusiastic, or just plain wore out to want to cook, but dinner still has to make it to hungry bellies, and eating out is too expensive, too out of the way, or too unhealthy (or too all of the above)? Isn’t it obvious? Make your spouse cook! Duh. You guys did not need me to answer that!
But, in all seriousness, I like to keep some ingredients on hand for just such occasions, and have clean eating meals that are easy to throw together, that don’t require fresh produce (because let’s face it, on nights like this the fridge is pretty bare, and who is gonna go to the store? The three year old can’t drive yet.), that don’t take a lot of time to think about, no recipe to try to find, and no long cook times.
I call these “Back Pocket Recipes,” though I don’t recommend you keep the actual prepared recipes in your back pocket. It gets a little messy and, honestly, uncomfortable and awkward. (Don’t ask me how I know. No, really. Don’t ask me. Like I’ve ever put food in my back pocket. Really?) You can, however, keep a quick reference sheet inside your pantry door. I won’t tell anyone about your cheat sheet.
Ingredients You Need
Here are some things to always keep on hand for clean eating meals that are easy to throw together any time:
👉 100% whole grain pasta
👉 frozen vegetables (especially frozen bell peppers, frozen onions, and frozen mixed vegetables)
👉 brown rice (here’s how to make it)
👉 100% whole wheat flour
👉 clean eating jarred spaghetti sauce
👉 Bragg Liquid Aminos
👉 canned tomatoes
👉 homemade taco seasoning (here’s how to make it)
👉 frozen fish
Here are some other ingredients that are helpful as well:
👉 frozen pre-seasoned, pre-cooked taco meat
👉 frozen brown rice packets (here’s how to do it yourself)
👉 frozen pre-cooked pre-shredded chicken breast
👉 frozen pre-cooked, unseasoned ground beef
👉 frozen hamburger patties
👉 frozen hamburger buns