phaseolus (phaseolus) wrote in lose_the_weight,

the ordinary, quick meal

I'm looking for suggestions for a sort of a 'default' dinner.

Even when I was single & only feeding myself, my usual dinner when I didn't feel like spending a lot of time planning my meal or cooking it was a big plate of spaghetti. Boil some noodles, dump on some sauce from a jar, pour on a small heap of grated cheese. It's quick and palatable, but nutritionally I think there might be a healthier choice out there. (I'm not an Atkins type - I've never counted a single carb in my life - but I have a sneaking suspicion that all that refined white starch might not be the ideal thing for me.)

So -- what do you all eat in situations like this? A brief description is what I'm after, I can always look around for recipes myself. I'm thinking some sort of rice/beans/seasoned meat burrito thingie might be good for me, but the more suggestions I can get, the better. Already, whenever I remember to go to Trader Joe's I stock up on their Indian foods in pouches which I eat with their Basmati rice, it's a nice change from spaghetti.

Thanks in advance...

Background: Although I'm aware of all of the benefits, we really don't have a family meal. My wife doesn't like to cook. I love cooking - and eating - with a special interest in ethnic foods, and would love to be the main meal planner, but I get yelled at if my choice is something my wife won't like... which is almost all the time. So as a result my wife, my three kids, and I behave as if we're all single people. We grab what we can.
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Honestly, my default easy meal is pasta, too. Except I use the whole wheat pasta for more fiber and stick to the serving size. I also measure the amount of sauce I use carefully (especially if it's a white sauce), and I totally veg it up by cooking up some broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, squash or whatever else I have on hand to toss with it.

Going by the serving size of the pasta doesn't seem like there's much too it, but when you add all the veggies to it (I typically have a bit more veggies in mine that noodles), you still get full, and it's a lot healthier that way! :D
i love pasta. i've never been big on the whole wheat business because i loathe the texture, but the other night i came to the conclusion that if i boiled the hell out of whole wheat rotini, it wasn't quite as chewy and more palatable for my snobby white pasta lovin' self.

as for sauce, i've replaced spaghetti sauce with a can of diced italian tomatoes added to a pan of sauteed onions, green peppers and garlic. top that with a little fresh basil...yummy!
stir frys are always easy, have some rice ready, throw some veggies in a skillet and sautee.

enchiladas are one of my favorites. attack (chop up really small) some chicken, poursauce over it, let it cook, put in a corn tortilla, make some rice and beans.

fajitas! little bell pepper, some onion, chicken, seasoning packet, throw in some warm tortillas with sour cream and cheese optional.

the fajita chicken is also WONDERFUL in quesadillas.

with left over rice and beans, have a nacho night. let everyone put whatever they want on there. rice, beans, left over chicken (rotisseries from the market are GREAT on nachos), cheese, a little sour cream, even a little warm enchilada sauce makes it wonderful.

i just like everything wrapped up in a tortilla.
my easy meal is anything that can be wrapped in a foil pouch (lightly spritzed with nonstick cooking spray) and popped on the grill (or in the oven) for 15-20 minutes. i usually start with a veggie (green pepper, cauliflower, brocoli, tomato, etc.) and a starch (brown rice or thinly sliced or cubed potato) with some sort of meat on top(fish, scallops, shrimp, thin strips of chicken or beef) and top the meat with something that'll bring some flavor to the party (garlic, onion, pepper, basil, oregano, cilantro or...whatever seasoning/herb you like) then a few splashes of liquid for added flavor and to make sure nothing sticks to the foil or burns (lime juice, lemon juice, chicken stock, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, etc.)

so easy/fast to prepare and pretty much fool proof.