I recently read an article about at-home meal kits, like Blue Apron and Plate. The idea behind these kits is to provide families and individuals with the ingredients necessary to try new meals. Why? Because the average American family eats out about 18 times a month and otherwise, they cycle through about 10 meals that they cook consistently over and over again.
That fact--that the average family cycles through about 10 meals that they always cook--made me think about what my meal staples are. When the going gets rough and I don't feel like cooking, what do I make?
- Spaghetti. I would say that some form of spaghetti or pasta is on everyone's list of "go-to meals." It might be spaghetti with red sauce (like me) or alfredo or lasagna or something like that, but pasta is on nearly everyone's list in one form of another.
- Salmon with rice & sweet potatoes. This is a pretty standard protein+carb+veggie dish that I make all the time... and I'm sure others do.
- Barbecue chicken sandwiches with coleslaw. This is one of Danny and I's absolute favorite summer meals that we can make a variation of throughout the year thanks to my crockpot. However, after getting pregnant, I couldn't handle shredded chicken so we hadn't enjoyed it for a while.
- Tacos or burritos. Another very standard staple. I use fat free refried beans and ground beef to make a filling that's great for tacos, burritos, salads, etc.
- Pizza/calzone. I make a pretty awesome pizza dough (it's very easy), so I make pizza or calzone at least once a week or so. It's a great way to get the pizza fix without buying a pizza. This way, I can make it a little healthier.
- Hamburgers with box mac & cheese. This is probably the unhealthiest thing in my rotation, but I just love that orange box mac & cheese.
- Grilled cheese & soup. Soups are usually stew; chili; veggie; or potato. Usually homemade, but occasionally I buy potato soup.
- Breakfast for dinner. Pancakes or waffles, eggs, and bacon is my usual go-to for a quick and easy dinner. But if I feel like getting crazy, I will sometimes make biscuits and sausage gravy or some kind of fancy omelette.
That's it. I can't even think of 10! I have 8 meals I usually make for Danny and I. I can think of some I make a few times a year, like rouladen and colcannon or flautas, but aren't "staples" quite the way these ones are.
Writing these down made me realize how much I need to add variety to our dinners. (Full disclosure: from February to May, I think I cooked a real dinner twice. And that was because other people were coming over.) I have so many cookbooks that I never use. Maybe it's time to put them to use...
What are your go-to meals? Can you think of 10?