In the door at 4:45. Want dinner by 6. Hmm . . .
My go to protein is IQF (individually quick frozen) boneless, skinless chicken breasts - always in my freezer, no thawing required, and bake up in about an hour.
No time to Google a recipe? Check the bag or packaging for ideas. This bag has something like "Chicken Broccoli Au Gratin". I scan the ingredient list. Frozen broccoli cuts? Check. Cheesy boxed rice mix? No way, too high in sodium. Shredded cheese? Check.
So I generally follow the instructions, subbing 1 cup of rice, cream of chicken soup, chopped garlic from a jar, dried onions, Herbs de Provence seasoning, and Parmesan cheese for the boxed rice mix. The recipe calls for 2 cups of boiling water and I go with that as my general rule of thumb is "twice the water to the rice" for good rice.
Cover with foil and in the oven it goes, with my protein, grain, and veggie all set for dinner. Thinking of My Plate and wanting half my plate to be fruits and veggies, I need to add a side veggie - what's in the garden? Since it is pouring rain, I think I'll go with what's in the fridge or freezer? Baby carrots? Perfect, boiled with a little tarragon.
No time, no recipe, no problem. A well stocked freezer or pantry and a little creative substituting can yield a healthy, balanced meal.