My favorite kinds of meals are the ones that require the least amount of brain power.
They’re ones that I can make from things I have on hand or grab a couple of things from the store without consulting a recipe.
(Don’t get me wrong, you know I love good recipes, but some busy weeknights I just don’t have the headspace for following instructions. I know you know what I mean.)
Lately, with the unpredictable food shortages, it’s frustrating to go to the store with a list of ingredients for a recipe only to leave the store with your list partially checked off and your recipe missing key ingredients.
And if you’re not comfortable swapping out ingredients in a recipe it might freak you out a bit. I get it.
I’ve got three recipes (if you can call them that) that work well for this time of grocery store uncertainty. And the rest of your life as well.
There are THREE versatile meals that I make the most often — Cobb Salad Bar, Taco/Burrito Bowls, and Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner.
Why do I like these recipes?
- All of these meals can be tweaked and adapted to so many variations that the people you feed won’t even know they’re eating the same “recipe” over and over. And you don’t have to think that hard. Great, right?
- They’re all assembly meals. I find our dinnertimes to be the least dramatic when my kids can pick what goes on their plate.
- These meals can easily be made gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, vegetarian, Whole30, or whatever your current eating situation looks like.
Also, these meals are intended to be pretty quickly prepped. Take advantage of prepped vegetables at the grocery store when you can! And batch cooking protein on other days creates great protein leftovers for nights like these.
I’ll show you what this looks like…
Cobb Salad Bar
First, the salad bar. Salad bar nights are a great way to use bits of leftover produce and mostly empty packages of nuts and seeds and crunchy bits.
Even my kids who aren’t typically salad lovers enjoy salad bar night because they can customize their bowls. I make sure to include things I know they’ll eat, too.
Cobb Salad Bar Formula:
- 1 Base: Any kind of lettuce (Tip: if your kids are still warming up to eating lettuce, chop it up small so it’s easier to eat.)
- 2-3 Protein: Bacon, hard-cooked eggs, chopped deli ham, canned tuna/salmon, leftover shredded chicken
- 3-4 Toppings: chopped veggies, fresh/dried fruit, chopped nuts, seeds, crumbled/shredded cheese
- Dressing: Ranch, blue cheese, fruity vinaigrette, honey mustard, green goddess (any dressing you like, really)
Traditional cobb-style salads have bacon & eggs, but you don’t always have to do it like that.