Insurance Meals: The Easiest Dinner Ever
For those days when you really don’t want to cook dinner, we’re sharing some of the absolute easiest meals to make at home. We’re dividing them into meals that take no effort at all, meals that take 10 minutes, and meals that take 20 minutes to cook. If you don’t feel like cooking but still want to eat, you’ve come to the right place!
Some days are meant for elaborate meals, for spending hours in the kitchen preparing dish after dish of perfectly cooked veggies in a well-balanced sauce, beautifully marinated meats or tofu, bright vinaigrettes for colorful salads, and bowls of delicately spiced grains.
Other days? They’re JUST. NOT.
We’ve all had those evenings where cooking is the last thing we’re prepared to do: Maybe we forgot to plan. Maybe a key dinner ingredient has gone bad. Maybe we’re just too exhausted from the day to follow through on the dinner we expected to make.
And we’re stuck wondering . . . what’s for dinner?
Don’t despair. It’s for exactly days like this that we prepared this handy list of “insurance meals.” Whether you’re trying to navigate a pandemic with kids, have limited resources following a natural disaster, or just have a day when nothing goes to plan, you still have to eat.
Here’s how to do it — with minimal effort, minimal prep, and minimal cooking.
Plan for things not going to plan
Cook Smarts Founder Jess Dang recently shared that every week when she writes out her meal plan on Post-It Notes for the fridge, she also writes down a few insurance meals. These might be meals she already has in her freezer, semi-home-cooked meals (such as microwaved hot dogs and frozen broccoli), or something that requires no power and very little human energy, like a PB&J or cereal with soy milk.
The meals are often the same week to week, unless a new freezer meal has been added. Jess said that she usually ends up having to rely on one of these insurance meals 1 out of every 3 weeks, but she’s always glad when she has a Plan B.
“Life will remain chaotic and unpredictable for a while,” she said. “Even after this pandemic ends, I will still have 3 kids who disrupt my routine like it’s their job (luckily, they also give the sweetest hugs), so I will keep on writing out these insurance meals because planning for things not going as planned is now my expected mode of operating.”
She continued, “I hope that one day that won’t be the case, but learning to plan for lots of uncertainty certainly has made me less anxious . . . I hope it has for you too.”
Whether you’re planning for the unexpected or looking for last-minute meals you can make tonight, we’ve collected some of our favorite ideas, broken down by the amount of time and effort they require.
Easiest meals to make at home
Start planning your Plan B insurance meals with our list of ideas below. We’ve got meals that take no effort at all, meals that take 10 minutes, and meals that take 20 minutes to cook.
Choose whichever meals work best for you and your schedule below, and then let us know in the comments which of these simple meal ideas you’ll be adding to your backup plan. Or share your own favorite insurance meals, so we can all have more ideas!
Check out our no-cooking, no-chopping recipes. These meals that don’t need to be cooked make for the easiest dinner ever! Read more.
These 20 minute meals are perfect for when you need healthy pantry meals, recipes using frozen ingredients, and other shortcut… Read more.
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