We've all been there. You get home from work, you are tired and hungry, and the last thing you want to do is cook an elaborate meal. Save money, improve your health, and avoid seamless or postmates by stocking your kitchen with these staples for simple and streamlined nutritious meals. Having these staples on hand makes throwing together a tasty and healthy meal easy and accessible. These are my "go-to" staples and the meals that I create with them - week after week.
- Quinoa or Brown Rice
- Cooked chickpeas or black beans
- Olive Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Brown rice vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- White wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Hot sauce
- Spices (red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, za'atar, sea salt, black pepper)
- Brown rice pasta
- Leafy greens - kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula
- Broccoli and/or Cauliflower
Quick and Simple Meals to Make
- Kimchi Fried Rice - One of my favorite quick and easy meals. It's best and quicker with leftover brown rice. Sauté 1 clove minced garlic and 2 teaspoons minced ginger with oil in a wok or dutch oven. Add 4 beaten eggs and chili paste or hot sauce and soft scramble. Remove from pan and set aside. Add more oil to pan along with more minced garlic, chopped onion or shallot, and minced ginger and sauté. Add broccoli, carrots, or whichever leftover vegetables you have on hand, and cook until al dente. Add 2 cups cooked brown rice, 1/4 cup kimchi, and the cooked egg and mix together. Season with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon tamari, and fresh lime juice. Top with avocado, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
- Quinoa Bowl - Roast cooked chickpeas with olive oil, turmeric, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper until crispy. Lightly sauté kale, spinach, or broccoli with garlic and olive oil. Serve greens and chickpeas with cooked quinoa, avocado, sauerkraut, and an optional egg.
- Frittata/Baked Eggs - Whisk together 8 to 9 eggs. Pour into an 8 X 8 baking dish. Add cooked leftover vegetables, salt and pepper, and cheese, if you wish. Mix together to evenly distribute. Cook at 375 for 35 to 40 or until cooked through. Serve with greens, avocado, and hot sauce. Enjoy leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner the following day.
- Tacos - Warm cooked black beans over medium heat with cumin and paprika. Heat up a few of your favorite tortillas. Top tortillas with beans, raw or cooked greens, avocado, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, and cheese, if you wish. You can also purchase a roast chicken and add that to your taco as well for a semi-homemade meal.
- Broccoli/Cauliflower Pasta - Roast cauliflower or broccoli florets with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, capers, salt, and pepper. Once crispy, toss with cooked quinoa pasta, quinoa, or your favorite spiralized vegetables, lemon juice, spinach, and parm.
- For a Side Salad - Whisk together dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and white wine vinegar, and toss with whichever greens you have on hand. Add some cooked chickpeas, a hard boiled egg, and fresh herbs for a more complete meal.