Meatless Monday: Go-To Meals

Two weeks ago, the microwave broke. This is a downer, not because of how much we use the microwave, but for what I use the microwave. Since I do cook, especially on the weekends, we usually have plenty of leftovers, and the girls and I pretty much use those leftovers to get through the week. But it’s hard to warm up certain leftovers on the stovetop — that’s what the microwave is for.

So instead, I’m faced with getting dinner to the table quickly without the appliance I most depend on for the “quickly” part.

I’ve been trying to think ahead to figure out what I can make when we get in the door. I try to get the girls fed within about half an hour of getting home. It makes the evening much, much smoother.

I usually have some homemade soup or sauce to hand; I confess, I did just buy sauce in a jar (don’t tell DearDR!). It’s Muir Organic, so good ingredients with no HFCS. Pasta (including tortellini) usually comes together very quickly, and with some cubed tofu or Morning Star tenders, and peas, that’s a good meal. With soup I love to make grilled cheese sandwiches; for some reason, this is a very rainy day comfort meal to me.

There is the ever popular “brinner” — breakfast for dinner: eggs with cheese, toast & jelly, vegetarian sausage patties, and fruit. We are also fans of Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese with “notdogs”, or veggie baked beans and “notdogs”.

The other thing I try to do is make part of the next day’s meal. Tonight, for example, I may make some rice for the week, and I’ll do simple seasoned black beans tomorrow to put on top.

What are your go-to meals? What do you have to hand so you can get a meal on the table in no time — or about half an hour? What go-to meals do your kids really love? (Meals with meat are welcome too — I do have one meat-eater in the house!)


Due to a weekend of walking, I am nearly a cripple today. It’s pathetic. Between the zoo on Friday, cleaning and running up & down stairs (laundry) on Saturday, and shopping on Sunday, I am aching from the small of my back down to my toes. I am out of shape, yo. I may have to cook dinner sitting down tonight.