Nothing thawed, nothing planned, what’s for dinner on spur of the moment?
Even with all my meal planning there are still times that I run into this problem. I have a few different solutions for this problem. It just depends on what’s in the pantry.
It also depends on what leftovers I have and also what is in the freezer. Oh, not to mention how much time I have to prepare the meal. If I have more than an hour then I might be able to thaw something from the freezer in warm water in the sink.
Soup and Sandwich
This is the easiest go to dinner. It was a staple for Sunday nights when we’d travel to our friends house 300 miles away for the weekend growing up. I’m old so I remember that Disney was on every Sunday night. We’d be unpacking our stuff and mom would be heating up soup and making grilled cheese sandwiches. Typically, tomato soup of course.
When we used to go up skiing frequently I wouldn’t always get a chance to put something in the crock pot at 5:30am. With packing breakfasts and lunches, it was just one more thing I didn’t want to get up even earlier and do. Again, we’d go with the tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. With me scrounging for something else to eat since I was already at the point I couldn’t have dairy.
One thing I do a lot is repurpose leftovers. When it’s the end of the month and the leftovers are slim I started to stress because my options get so low. Especially with two teens in the house. Leftovers mean that if the oldest needs to eat dinner at 4:30 before work she has options. And the youngest can eat real food instead of eating a whole box of crackers when he gets home from school.
I came up with an amazing Mexican lasagna that is made from leftovers. Mexican is pretty easy to repurpose into other dishes. Take the meat and turn it into quesadillas or nachos. If you can have cheese then the options for leftovers are limitless.
Defrost Ground Meat
Toss it into the microwave and hit defrost. Then turn it into hamburger gravy, spaghetti or taco meat. Since the meat will cook slightly as it defrosts, it’s not going to work very well for hamburger patties.
When all other options are coming up lame, then I send hubby down to the store for chicken breasts. I either grill them or bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes with some seasoning salt on them. I toss rice in the rice cooker and make whatever veggie is in the drawer, pantry or freezer or put together salads.
What’s your go to meal if you didn’t plan ahead and don’t have anything thawed?
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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