There are a few staples in our house that we love and i’ve been working on having a list of like 15 dinners that we are eating constantly and then sprinkling in 1 or 2 new ones every once in awhile. I still like to improvise and use what we’ve got in the fridge/what is on sale at the grocery store. So please take this list with a grain of salt (literally). I find it really helps to have a good basic understanding of cooking and baking sciences so that I can replace or sub things out depending on what i’ve got on hand. I highly recommend following the SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT guidelines (basically include each of these in every dish!). If you bake gluten free or prefer to use different grains then take the time to learn about their properties and identify when you might need more liquid with a certain type of flour, or which things will need extra eggs, or how to use flax eggs and aquafaba instead of eggs, or when to use baking soda vs baking powder, or how to make buttermilk with apple cider vinegar…those types of things.
Once you’ve got the basics down, create your own favourite list. I find it helps to keep these recipes all in one place. Either with photos of the recipes on your phone in a specific folder, a pinterest board or a legit paper recipe box (!!). Find the things that actually ARE easy for you and your family likes - just because it works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you and vice versa. Alright, here’s my list.
CARO’s GO-TO DINNER IDEAS:
roasted veggies + SAlad type things
Honestly. Roast anything tossed with a wee bit of oil and salt (spices too if you want to get crazy) at 425, tossing every 10 minutes until brown and crispy and you’ve got a bowl full of CANDY!! ++sausage and homemade pantry peanut sauce (this stuff is GOLD) and you’ve got dinner. Or get creative!!
Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower
Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash
Winter Nourish Bowls with Orange Miso Dressing
Thai Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing
Glory Bowl (a canmore classic!)
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa
+ another favourite = roasted veggies blended into soup. I like parsnip, carrot + yellow beet roasted until brown, then blended with coconut cream and water + some spices!…just throw it all in the vitamix after you roast the veggies and voila! soup!
sheet pan fajitas or tacos
I typically like to keep these corn tortillas in the freezer because my husband loves them - i prefer to just eat the goods on top of steamed greens in a bowl.
Chipotle Portobello Tacos
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Vegetarian Sheet Pan Tacos
Sheet Pan Squash Tacos
Sheet Pan Shrimp tacos
Vegan dahl or stew type things
There are literally so many more of these types of recipes I could share. I find this category one of the EASIEST and fastest dinner options for our family.
The no-recipe curry
Dal Stuffed Sweet Potatoes - I often make this and just eat it from a bowl!
Spicy Peanut Stew - this is a legit household favorite. you can also use (pre-cut) butternut squash, or sweet potato)
Ethiopian Berbere Lentils
Garlicky Kale and White Bean Stew
Slow cooker lentil soup with sweet potatoes, coconut, spinach and lime
Slow Cooker Taco Lentil Soup
Chili and STEWs with Meat in them
Easy Shredded Chicken Curry
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Meat and Veggie Chili (we love this with cornbread!)
Slow Cooker Turkey and White Bean Chili (or this Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili also looks delicious)
Weeknight Chicken Curry
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
Meal Prep Meat (Add these to saladS, Roasted veg, or eat as a snack)
Slow Cooker Sesame Ginger Chicken
Egg-free Meatballs (You can also use chicken or white turkey, I also like to add A LOT of fresh chopped herbs)
Basic Ground Beef
Seriously Basic Roast Chicken
stir fry with whatever is going bad in the fridge.
This legit doesn’t need a recipe. If you’re going to use meat (chicken, beef, fish), cook it first and set aside - veggie only is also great. Cook the veggies in a pan with some liquid - i like to use my cast iron pan with a lid. I usually cook carrots, celery, beans, bean sprouts, zucchini, brussel spouts, onions…these kinds of things. I often just use some water to soften the vegetables and then add some spices, ginger juice, liquid aminos/soy sauce and rice vinegar at the end. But you can also make a sauce like this go to paleo stir fry sauce or use a store bought one.
Baked Dishes and Casseroles
simple way to feed a crowd!!
Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole
Mediterranean Baked Chicken
Baked Rosemary Chicken with Pine Nuts and Butter Beans
Winter Lentil and Roast Vegetable Bake
Baked Butter Beans with Tomato and Feta (definitely a favourite!)
Pasta + other things Toddlers LOVE
Vegan Butternut Squash Mac + Cheese or White Bean Mac + Cheese
Creamy Vegan Mac + Cheese with other good stuff
Golden Millet and Quinoa Porridge I usually blend steamed sweet potato with the milk before cooking and sometimes eliminate the millet and double the quinoa to make this dish cook faster.
Quinoa Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
Tortilla Crust Pizza
Definitely my all time fave. We throw all the veggies on these brown rice tortillas which we first brown slightly in the oven, top with tahini + tons of salsa, then all the veggies and meat, topped with fresh kale so it gets crispy and a sprinkle of all the cheeses. Check out an old version of this recipe here.
Crazy fast dinner options
Roasted Root and Rye Waffle Sandwiches (these are literally amazing. who would have thought that your waffle maker could also be a sandwich press?)
Savoury Porridge Oats for Dinner
Tuna Sandwiches (try this recipe with greek yogurt or real mayo instead of “Grapeseed Vegenaise”…whatever that is)
Savoury French Toast - there are a lot of fancy recipes for this. My go to is actually just to whisk an egg with a tbsp of milk, add a handful of shredded raw carrot, zucchini or chopped spinach/kale, soak the bread in it, then cook like french toast. my toddler LOVES this.
Okay. That’s all i’ve got for now, but if you’re looking for more ideas I’ve got so many pinterest boards about food it’s crazy. You can also check out my go-to quick and easy dinner blogs for more of these types of recipes:
Green Kitchen Stories
Fit Foodie Finds
Dishing up the Dirt
Half Baked Harvest