I cannot even begin to count the number of times I’ve asked myself the ‘What shall I make for dinner?’ question. And my Mom brain immediately starts to scroll through my regular dinner options – desperately searching for dinner ideas that I can get on the table quickly.
Some days, I’m all for putting in a little extra effort to get dinner on the table, but most of time (as in 360 days of the year), I just want easy and FAST dinner ideas I can whip up and serve to the family without a fuss.
Gone are the days when I would have a processed oven ready meal in the freezer. In all honesty, it was a lot easier to open a box and pop the contents into the oven. But that’s not an option for me anymore.
Dinner Time Shortcuts
Over the years of being a Mom, I have developed a few shortcuts that have made dinner time a little easier, but the thing that has helped me the most is having an accessible shortlist or fast, easy and healthy meal ideas. Keeping a simple list of dinner ideas means that I am never really stuck when that 5pm panic hour hits.
As the kids have grown a little bigger and hungrier, I have added to my little dinner list and tweaked it so that it’s now one of my most valuable meal time resources. You can download a copy of my Mealtime Cheatsheet here.
10 Healthy Dinners you can make in 10 Minutes or LESS
1.PASTA SALAD (COLD)
Cook up some pasta and stir through a few of your favorite fillings. Here are a few variations that we enjoy in our home:
Italian: sliced olives, feta, red onion, celery, ham, Italian dressing
Seafood: shrimp, cucumber, red pepper, wholegrain mustard, mayonnaise, tablespoon ketchup, salt and pepper.
Tuna: canned tuna, mayonnaise, cucumber, celery, red onion, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper.
2.PASTA (HOT) WITH SAUCE
Serve your Pasta warm with one of these easy Pasta Sauce Ideas:
- Bolognaise (I make this recipe in bulk at least a couple times a month and freeze in portion size quantities)
- Pesto, Chicken & Fresh cream
- Chicken, mushroom, rocket & pesto
- Cheese Sauce (Mac n Cheese)
- Ham, mushroom & a jar of Organic Pasta Sauce
Heat up a pan on your stove top. Fold your quesadilla in half flip once it’s golden.
Quesadilla Filling Ideas
- Cheese and Ham
- Taco mince, sour cream & cheese
- Chicken, cheese and Avocado
- Spinach and feta
4. FRIED RICE
Fried Rice is always a hit in our home. And it’s a great way to use up leftovers too. Simply stir together Cooked rice, ham or chicken, mushrooms, peas, corn, carrots than stir though a eggy omelet (you can get the full fried rice recipe here).
5. ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
Pick up a good quality, free range Rottiserie Chicken from the Deli and throw together one of these meal ideas:
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Salad
- Chicken Sandwiches / wraps / pockets
- Chicken and Vege Stir Fry
6. STIR FRY
Stir Fry is one if the fastest and healthiest dinner ideas you can serve in a flash. Saute some slices of Chicken / beef or Seafood, sliced vegetables fried with 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Serve with bulgar wheat, cous cous, cooked rice or rice noodles.
7. BREAKFAST FOR DINNER
Egg is the most under-appreciated whole food ingredient. Give yourself a dinner holiday by cooking ‘breakfast’ for dinner and try one of these easy egg based meals:
- French Toast
- Scrambled Egg / Boiled Egg / Poached Egg on Toast
- Baked Beans on Toast
- Omelette topped with mushrooms, cheese & ham
8.FAST HOMEMADE PIZZA
Use my two-ingredient pizza base (recipe attached) and top with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings. No time to make up a dough? Use a whole wheat pita bread as your base.
PIZZA Topping Ideas:
Ham and Pineapple
Spinach and feta
Salami, mushroom and red pepper
BBQ Chicken and Mushroom
9. HOMEMADE BURGERS
Don’t feel guilty about this one. Burgers can be healthy. Lightly toast a wholegrain bun. Fill with a grilled beef pattie or chicken breast. Add salad and sauce of your choice.
RECIPE IDEA: Try a Deluxe Tropical Burger: Add a fried egg, pineapple ring, fried banana and bacon. Oh my oh my!
10. COUSCOUS SALAD
Cous cous is easy to make and takes two minutes from start to finish. Stir through your choice of vegetables and meat for a super quick family dinner.
TUNA COUSCOUS: Couscous with tuna, chopped cucumber, red pepper, beetroot, baby tomatoes and corn.
GREEK COUSCOUS: feta, black olives, baby tomatoes, cucumber, Greek dressing
GET ALL 18 FAST & HEALTHY MEAL IDEAS
I hope you get as much value out of this this little list as I do. I recommend you print it out and keep it safe in your Recipe Binder or stick it to the fridge. You can download a copy of my Mealtime Cheatsheet here.
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