Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick Fix

I’ve always worked in what most people would consider atypical industries for a petite young woman. Material Testing Technician, Oilfield Operator, Construction Engineer… Unusual, but quite enjoyable for the most part. They pay reasonably well, but they do have their downsides too. For example, I worked on a large interchange project in Edmonton a couple years ago. The drive to work was super short (7 minutes, mostly waiting at red lights), but the hours were long. I’d find myself joining the other guys on site for fast food at lunch, and ordering in for dinner, because it didn’t feel like there was much time for anything else. I was tired, I was lethargic, I was crabby, my clothes weren’t really fitting anymore, and most importantly: I was sick of take out.

One week later in the construction season, I got a day and a half off for a weekend (rare!) I went home, flopped on the couch, and started listing all of the things I could make in 15 minutes or less. I posted it on my fridge, with the heading “No Excuses!” That way when I came home I could look at the list, pick something to eat, and make it in the same amount of time as it would take to drive somewhere and wait in line. Not only that, but I could control what was actually going into my food. The amount of oil, sugar and salt that was poured unnecessarily into my food at fast food restaurants was churning my stomach.

I no longer work for that company, and my work hours have gotten a lot more reasonable, but the appeal of having a list of quick meals I could make is still there. I have a busy couple of months coming up, as I’m going to be taking 2 university courses while maintaining a full time work load. Unfortunately I forgot the original list on the fridge when I moved out of the townhouse, so I figured it was time to make a new list! Here are some of the meals I can throw together quickly:

Fusili with Pesto and Ricotta Cheese
Super quick and tasty! Longest part of the who process is boiling the water!

Homemade Egg Drop Soup with Spring Rolls
I keep spring rolls from the Asian market stashed in freezer

Omelet or Frittata with assorted fillings
Mushroom & cheese, chicken & salsa, ham & bell pepper, go nuts!

Green Salad with Nuts, Fruit and Cheese
For those days I really wanted to forget about working on site

Penne with Bolognese Sauce and Garlic Toast
If the meat is thawed, this really takes no time at all, even from scratch

Soba Noodles with peanut sauce
Cook noodles, mix with peanut butter/soy sauce/ sesame oil. Add chicken, carrot & green onion or eat plain

Pita Pizzas
Throw a little sauce and cheese on a pita with whatever’s in the fridge

Breakfast for Dinner
Scrambled eggs, pan fried ham, fruit salad, heck even cereal works

Again, use whatever is on hand, grill and press it until it’s toasty

Miso Goup and Green Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing
Either grab miso paste from the health food/Asian store, or try it dried

Leftover scramble
Potatoes scrambled with eggs and whatever meat/veggie is leftover in the fridge

Apricot Chicken with Couscous and Yogurt
Pan fry cubed chicken breast, glaze with apricot jam/water/chili pepper

Quinoa Salad
Toss quinoa w/ nuts, chopped peppers, onion, seasonings, sesame oil, whatever…

That’s just a quick list. There’s lots of resources on the internet for this one too. Check out the recipe generator from Real Simple that churns out recipes for quick dinners. They all have pictures, and look really tasty!

Shape magazine has a whole section on their website dedicated to quick healthy meals too:

Eating well also has an article with a bunch of quick healthy meals:

What are your quick go to meals when you’re in a hurry? I’d love to hear and add to my list before I start getting busy in January!


FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com said...

You can also try cooking once for the whole week :) BF and I do that every Sunday.

Mmm soba.

Cassie said...

Weekly cooking is what I'm doing currently :)

Actually, I'm just enjoying some beef stew for lunch from one of my last big cooks Mmmm....