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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Favorite Easy Meals

I like cooking for my family most of the time.  We use very little processed foods--I prefer to buy basic ingredients and do it myself.  No preservatives, no weird sounding chemicals, no artificial colors or flavors.  Its healthier and tastes better (although there were complaints from the husband when we first got married.  His palate was so deadened by the years of chemicals that everything was bland to him and he craved salt and salt and more salt on his food.  After his years with me, though, his taste for processed food has been ruined.  Now if he gets something store bought instead of homemade, he can't stand it LOL).  The few items I do buy pre-made (such as pasta), I read labels and go for the ones where I can pronounce every ingredient and has a list that looks like I would make it.  Some things take some effort but the end result is tasty and we all enjoy it.  But sometimes, I just don't feel like all the effort.  So what to do?  Order pizza?  Pick up a frozen meal?  Go out to eat?  All of those means more money and more chemicals (yes, we do occasionally do these things but not too often).  Instead, I go for one of my easy meals and enjoy the fact that while I went to very little effort, the family loves it and enjoys it as much as always :)  Our most recent easy dish was pasta salad--cook some whole wheat rotini, drain and put in a mixing bowl.  Refill the pan with water and put back on to boil.  Toss warm pasta with a little salad dressing (homemade is great or go for a good vinagrette).  When water is boiling, drop in some veggies (fresh or frozen, whatever is on hand).  When tender, drain and mix with pasta.  Add in some beans (kidney are a favorite with the boys) and some cheese cubes and you're done.  If I have some leftover chicken, I'll cube it up and throw it in as well but the beans and cheese provide plenty of protein without chicken.  Simple, quick, only one pan to wash and its usually enough to have leftovers in the fridge for snacks and lunch the next day.  The five year old loves this and thinks its a super special treat to have it :)  He'd have me make it every day if he could :)

What's your favorite easy meal?