General Question

jca's avatar

What healthy foods do you keep in the house for a quick dinner that requires basic cooking or no cooking at all?

Asked by jca (36062points) January 26th, 2011

What foods do you keep on-hand at home for nights when you want to throw something together fast. Foods that are (hopefully) somewhat healthy, and require basic cooking, or no cooking at all?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

36 Answers

xMissMorganx's avatar

I usually always make lasagna :) It’s quick, easy, healthy, filling and delicious :). I also usually have homemade mac n cheese in my refridgerator to eat too :)

mrlaconic's avatar

If you buy a salmon and cut it into portions and then freeze individually, you can steam it frozen to cooked in 20 minutes. If you have a costco in your area they actually sell individually sealed salmon.

Vunessuh's avatar

Salmon and veggies. They really don’t take long to pan fry at all.
I also keep salad-makings handy.
I also just recently started a raw food detox and have been preparing platters of fruits and veggies for each meal. For breakfast I chopped up a banana and an apple and had some blackberries and pomegranate seeds. For lunch I cut up an avocado, cucumber, squash, a bell pepper and made an avocado-cucumber wrap out of seaweed sheets. Very healthy and quick preparation time. :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

I always have whole wheat pasta around, and my homemade marina in the freezer if I need insta-food. Whenever i make anything I make a huge amount and freeze it in single serving portions.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Pasta, rice, fish, pheasant, salad fixings, nuts and fruit are almost always available in my house. It usually doesn’t take long to mix up a hot pasta dish or a salad of some kind.

AmWiser's avatar

I keep individually frozen salmon and chicken burgers that I throw on the George Forman Foreman grill. For the side dish, I toss whatever veggies I have in the fridge with some olive oil and seasoning and bake or broil them.

crisw's avatar

Whole-grain pasta, rice, and I always have a selection of fresh vegetables.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Fruit and oatmeal. ;)
Salad veggies too

jaytkay's avatar

Pasta and rice as mentioned by everybody above.

Broccoli or your preferred veggie are good with just a little steaming. And the microwave works as well as the stove top. The “Fresh Vegetable” button on my microwave was a revelation.

Making vinaigrette dressing is super easy and cheap. 3 parts oil to 1 vinegar, add salt and pepper. Optional – garlic, mustard, basil, whatever looks good.

Kardamom's avatar

Canned beans

Frozen vegetables (corn, broccoli, edamame, spinach, peas)

Whole wheat bread, buns and tortillas in the freezer (just pull out what I need and thaw in a ziplock bag over night or put into the microwave for 20 seconds)

Frozen veggie burgers and veggie meatballs

Pre-cooked (frozen) rice in individual servings

Vegetable and mushroom broth in cartons kept in the pantry

Canned tomatoes, green chilies and jarred sundried tomatoes

Pasta and marinara sauce

Blocks of cheddar, jack and mozzarella cheese bought in bulk at Costco, cut down into smaller sizes and stored in the freezer in freezer bags (pull one out the night before and thaw in the fridge, or grate while frozen, but watch your knuckles!)

Frozen home made soup that I’ve frozen flat in ziplock freezer bags (right now I have mushroom, wheatberry and kale soup and spicy butternut squash soup).

Canned chili (vegetarian for me)

Frozen pizza cheese pizza (I like Target’s whole wheat crust “Market Pantry” cheese pizza, Frescheta, DiGorno, Tony’s, Amy’s and CPK)

Trader Joe’s frozen cheese enchiladas

Olive oil and assorted vinegars in the pantry

Peanut butter

All kinds of nuts

Ltryptophan's avatar

Organic Almond Butter, Raspberry preserves, Bread, Milk

Brian1946's avatar

Organic: almonds, cashews, pine nuts, raisins, celery, onion, multigrain bread, sprouted tofu patties, sesame-tamari rice cakes, chicken with wild rice soup, rice vinegar, ketchup, mustard, eggless mayo, and lentils.

I also have some conventionally (I think) grown brown rice that my wife gave to me.

wundayatta's avatar

I always want to throw something together fast and it never seems like it happens. I generally keep a drawer full of fresh veggies, plus staples like rice. I’ve also got potatoes and sweet potatoes on hand.

Lately I’ve been using my pressure cooker more. That means I can make a stew in about an hour. Tonight there was leftover potato/celeriac/parsnip mash, which I fried like pancakes. I also had some roasted beets and broccoli on hand. Broccoli, for some reason, has suddenly started to taste awful to me. It is enormously sulfurous. I used to love it. Now the smell of it almost made me nauseous. But the family seemed to enjoy it (I sauteed it with garlic and soy sauce). I had the roast beets.

I also thawed some chicken cutlets, breaded them and fried them. I don’t know. It seemed simple to start out with, but it always ends up taking longer than I think.

If I want something truly quick… it’s leftovers. Something I can warm up quickly and serve. That requires a little planning ahead. I’m afraid I’m not much help. I wish I were good at the good food instantly gig, but as far as I can tell good food always takes time.

Kardamom's avatar

@wundayatta Your potato/celeriac/parsnip mash pancakes sound fabulous! I’ve been on a vegetable roasting kick lately (hence the butternut squash soup in the freezer) I absolutely love broccoli and hope I don’t ever lose my taste for it. My newest favorite veggie is kale and I’ve been doing all sorts of things with it.

rooeytoo's avatar

I love fritattas, or omelets with spring onions, black olives, some red peppers, asparagus, whatever, topped with some cheese, again whatever is in the fridge.

I also always have a couple of cans of diced roma tomatoes, saute some garlic, onions, chili in some oil, throw in the tomatoes and some beans, borlotti, butter, canelli, whichever you prefer, add salt pepper, a little sugar, balsamic vinegar, black olives, capers, there are no set rules, whatever strikes your fancy. Simmer that while you make some pasta or just serve the tomatoes with crusty bread. @seazen poaches eggs on top of the tomatoe mixture and that is delicious.

Last, I always have frozen chicken breasts, nuke them to thaw, then cut up and sautee with ketjap manis, throw in some broccoli or whatever and serve over rice or crusty bread. Or I nuke vegs while I am sauteeing the chicken in oil then mix all together and throw into the over for 20 minutes or so, it is a quick roast dinner.

There are so many, I hardly ever cook anything that takes more than 30 minutes start to finish.

Fred931's avatar

Do those Healthy-Choice steamer TV dinners count? I like ‘em. The instructions seem a little complicated for those who would regularly eat them, however. ~

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Fred931 I haven’t looked at them in a while, but when I did they seemed to have a lot of salt in them.

Fred931's avatar

@WestRiverrat That’s what I saw too, something like just a little over a 25–30% DV for most.

anartist's avatar

Middle eastern mezzo [an appetizer that offers a little bit of everything] I usually have several parts of it available in the fridge:
hummus, baba ganouj, feta cheese, yogurt cheese, tabouli, tomato basil salad,kalamata olives, pita or something to serve as pita, fresh celery, carrots, peppers to scoop up hummus.

whichever elements I have, I eat

rooeytoo's avatar

@anartist – love that too!!! Always have hummus and eat it on everything.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I keep a giant bag of pierogis in the freezer. Three or four in a pan with a little oil for ten to fifteen minutes and you’ll have yourself a filling, delicious meal that isn’t all that bad for you. :)

Judi's avatar

Canned beans, frozen vegies, brown rice and plenty of spices and salsa.

anartist's avatar

@rooeytoo and it is so healthy…

woodcutter's avatar

a Marie Callender’s big pot pie, Parmesan chicken. 14 minutes in the wave = dinner….yum. That’s as basic and quick as you really want to get. lot of food groups in there, somewhere.

faye's avatar

Always have beens, or canned tuna, or frozen something.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I always have pasta or rice in my house and some kind of tomato sauce.

Earthgirl's avatar

I am always having to make quick meals but I like hot food even in the summer. Sure an occasional salad is ok, but even that can’t be boring. The foods I like to have always around are:
Seasonings that make anything taste good!
Onions, garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, tomato sauce
Frozen Vegetables-I microwave them and then serve on the side or add to the meat to make a dish.
Add ons such as toasted walnuts, pignoli nuts, freshly grated parmesan, crumbled goat cheese, roasted peppers etc. keep things from tasting boring. I like a flavor punch!
Brown rice and whole grain mixes in 2 serving microwave bags. They sell these at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. You just peel open the corner of the bag and microwave it for 90 seconds or whatever it says. Perfect rice, everytime. Very fast, relatively healthy. I know it’s not good to microwave too much, but it’s better than having pizza all the time. Often I will mix in some of the veggie mixes and sprinkle some low salt seasoning of choice on. I try to limit carbs so I avoid any pasta that isn’t whole grain and I don’t eat potatoes much at all. That said, I think a baked potato is relatively healthy if you don’t gob it up with sour cream or butter and it is easy to cook fast in the microwave…there she goes with the goddamn microwave again
My favorite legumes are chick peas (good for falafel and as a salad add on) and lentils.
For quick meats, the obvious ground beef and chicken cutlet, plus tuna fish. I make these tuna melts with refrigerator biscuits and chedder cheese inside! I love this seasoning called Jake’s Grillin’-They sell it in Whole Foods. It comes in a chicken mix, pork mix and beef mix. The beef mix has coffee in it. These mixes make any meat taste good, fast! I swear I don’t work for Jake’s!!
I am not averse to the occasional bowl of canned soup, possibly with a crusty bread.
Hope this is helpful or inspiring to you.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

Microwaveable grilled chicken (already cooked but frozen when bought and its already cut into long strips…I buy it at Cosco or Stater Bros.)
Microwave a couple strips of chicken
Get a big bowl of and fill to the top with your favorite type of salad.
Low fat ranch or any other kind of dressing.
Cut the strips into smaller pieces and sprinkle on top.
Only takes me like 5 mins to do and only about 300–400calories (depending on how much chicken and dressing you use)....Not so bad if your on a diet. :)

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

Blueroses's avatar

Yogurt, canned oranges or grapefruit and sliced bananas topped with granola.

jca's avatar

for me, it’s scrambled eggs with sourdough toast (Trader Joe’s makes the best) or Italian bread (seeded) and butter.

Another idea, saute some hamburger meat, chop meat, whatever you call it in your neck of the woods. Saute with onions, peppers, spices, Worcestershire sauce or other sauce you may like, throw in some veggies like cooked string beans or broccoli, and mix it up with cooked rice or put it over cooked rice. Recipe is totally to your taste – as flavorful or bland as you like, veggies you like. Easy, hot, quick.

Kardamom's avatar

@jca They should called that dish The Britney Spears- Easy, Hot, Quick!

klutzaroo's avatar

@woodcutter Ever looked at the nutritional information on those things? Yikes! Fat, calories, cholesterol, sodium… One pot pie had more weight watchers points than I was allowed in a day when I calculated it. And I didn’t have a low points limit either.

woodcutter's avatar

@klutzaroo yeah, but they’re wicked good. You will just need to to walk it off after.

klutzaroo's avatar

@woodcutter Walk for… 6 hours?

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther