These recipes are perfect to flex for whatever the grocery store has in stock! Read on for a mix and match meal roundup.
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I don’t know about you, but the longer the quarantine goes on, the harder meal planning has become.
I’m tired of the usual standbys and feeling the sheer decision fatigue in these weird times. It’s getting harder to come up with good meals, especially ones that involve an appropriate amount of vegetables.
I went through a few weeks there where I just grabbed five proteins and eight veggies and hoped meals would materialize. Needless to say, that would work for the first few meals but didn’t end well. Particularly when we’re trying to limit supermarket trips to once a week.
Surprise outages at the store mean pivoting a recipe feels too complicated to manage. Here in Italy, they’re more related to what the farmers have ready for harvest rather than panic buying, but it has the same effect on the meal plan either way.
So today I put together a bunch of meal options that are simple to make, easy to flex ingredients, and taste good. I’ve already shared a collection of simple all-in-one meals, meaning dinners that are one-pot or need a minimum of tools and dirty dishes. This time I’m sharing simple main dishes and sides that can be mixed and matched endlessly. These are helpful when you find yourself with wayyyy too many chicken breasts and don’t know what pair them with all week long!
My favorite marinated chicken: perfect to throw a bunch of chicken breasts in and eat all week long!
Summer penne: great as a side dish or vegetarian main. You can find this in my fridge all summer long!
Perfect pork tenderloin: you can also make this with a normal pork loin if that’s easier to find.
Lemon herb chicken: the name says it all. You’ll like it.
Mozzarella-stuffed meatballs: so good! When you’re craving deep italian flavors, make this. You can totally use store-bought sauce to make this even easier.
Zesty chicken: slow cookers are the best for right now. Make this and it’ll feed you forever.
Sweet & sour scallops: if you need a fancy meal that’s not hard to make, this is the best!
Bourbon chicken: doesn’t actually have bourbon in it. Save that for the cocktails.
Carnitas: not hard, but takes a bit of time to cook. But we’re already working from home, right? Perfect for taco Tuesday. Or tacos today!
Balsamic chicken strips: sounds fancy, but it’s easy and zingy.
Tomato soup: in the slow cooker. Better than the can, I promise.
Greek chicken: makes a great topping to a salad!
Roasted vegetables: we make these twice a week! So good. And if you check the timing, you can sub in absolutely any veggie for this!
Crockpot mac and cheese: this is a crowd favorite, for adults as well as kids. I cannot get enough of this stuff!
Greek vegetable salad: for when you have a couple random veggies and no inspiration. It’s easy and it’s delicious!
Balsamic brussels sprouts: this my the number one most requested Thanksgiving dish. I bring it to every family thanksgiving!
Lemon garlic green beans: fresh and airy, with that zing of lemon! The perfect spring side.
Parmesan roasted butternut squash: another crowd favorite! Plus butternut squash is so cheap and can keep a bit longer than some other options.
Creamed kale: surprisingly light! Rich without being heavy. My new favorite way to use kale.
Potato roasties: this might trump mashed potatoes as my husband’s favorite form of potatoes. I dare you to not eat half the pan straight out of the oven!
Sautéed green beans: its a great “what to do with these green beans” at a moment’s notice.
Quick-glazed carrots: when you want a touch of sweet. They’re so good! Carrots are always in my fridge and this is a good option to set up while cooking the main dish without a ton of multitasking.
If you want full meals in one dish (like shepherd’s pie or easy spring rolls), head over to my simple meals roundup!