Easy Work-Night Dinners

Single or living in a commune, without kids or fostering ten of them, we’ve all faced nights where the thought of having to figure out dinner seems almost as impossible as maintaining self-respect after ordering pizza from Little Caesar’s. We’re here to make things a little easier. You want dinner to be less stressful? Read on:

Planning ahead

Dinner is a lot easier to whip up if you have everything on hand, and have some idea of what you’re going to make ahead of time. Parenting Squad has a list of seven super useful apps that help you plan dinners, helpful for everything from recipe selection to grocery lists. Eating Well also offers a menu planner, which is more focused on health goals. Even if you don’t have a smartphone—coughcoughsomeofusstilldont’wanttoshelloutforthatcough—it’s worth planning meals several days in advance and make your grocery list accordingly, so that preparation is as easy as 10 minutes in the store on the way home.

Keep stocked

When I was growing up, my parents’ go-to lazy meal was tacos. They’d open cans of beans and salsa, shred some cheese, and pull other random ingredients that might taste alright with vaguely Mexican fare. Keep a list of these easy dinners on the refrigerator so that you have some ideas in a pinch. For example: quesadillas, veggie stir-fry, chili, bean and corn salad, lentil soup, baked fish, quiche. Then make sure your pantry is always stocked with the basics of whatever your favorites may be. Check out this list of pantry staples to get started.

Good ideas

Need some resources? There are a million ideas out there on the internet, but we’ll get you started. Bon Appétit has posted 10 quick and easy school night dinners. Eating Well offers their take on cheap, easy, and quick dinners, which are perfect for weeknights. Cooking Light has an entire page dedicated to dinners taking less than 45 minutes. Family maps out seven-day dinner menus, for multiple weeks. You can even follow quick and easy dinner ideas on Pinterest, ideal for people who want regular, updated information, and who need a way to procrastinate at work.

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