That feeling when you look in the fridge and there’s so much food, but you have no idea what to make for dinner — everyone’s been there. You open the pantry and nothing looks good, or as it turns out, you have no interest in actually making the super-complex recipe you found when scrolling through Pinterest on Sunday morning. Weekends and caffeine can really inflate a person’s ambition.
Even if you’ve been in a good cooking routine lately (that is to say, actually cooking), sometimes you’re just tired of the same old same old. So, if you’re feeling a dinner rut fast approaching, here are some ideas that won’t have you slaving over the stove or starving because you just couldn’t decide what to eat.
Always have noodles on standby. When you don’t want to cook but also don’t want to leave the house, it’s easy to boil some noodles and toss them with olive oil and Parmesan. For extra nutrients, make a side salad — and don’t try to get fancy (some romaine, balsamic and a little salt go a long way). If you have a veggie, sauté that and toss it in.
Pizza night doesn’t have to mean a delivery driver with a box of pizza grease at your door. In fact, if you’ve been avoiding the frozen aisle, you may be surprised how the selection has changed. Sonoma Woodfired pizzas are a prime example. The oven-ready pizzas are first baked in a woodfired oven to create a crispy, tender crust. They come in creative flavors — such as Tofumami (tofu, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, provolone and asiago), Kickin’ Chicken (chicken, zucchini, butternut squash, portobello, red peppers, provolone and asiago), and Trill Pepp (three types of pepperoni topped with provolone, Romano and oregano) — and each comes with a unique drizzle in a complementary flavor, elevating the pizza to restaurant-level quality.
Another easy dinner move is to take inventory of your leftovers and decide what could be combined into a taco or burrito — even if it’s just some leftover chicken cut up and combined with cheese and a sauce of choice. Get creative if you can, but don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Sometimes simple dinners are the best ones.
This can really crack open your dinner options. It could be as easy as cereal or toast, or you could go all out and make pancakes or take the savory route with some scrambled eggs and toast. Either way, I always try to make a smoothie to pack some more nutrients into the meal.
Not everything has to be 100 percent homemade. Pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work. Eat it alone with some rice, cut up some pieces and add it to a simple salad or break out the black beans and make a burrito.