OK, you’ve just worked all day and squeezed in a quick workout, or gotten caught in traffic, or finished running errands. It’s getting late, but you’re hungry and want something to eat that doesn’t take forever and won’t make you feel gross. Where do you look for inspiration?
Here are five of my go-tos for quick, reasonably healthy dinners:
1. Pinterest. I’m not a huge Pinterest girl in general (I find an inspiration board for the brownstone I don’t own a little depressing, frankly!), but I love it for saving, organizing, and reviewing recipes. I keep a board of tried-and-true dinner favorites and another of recipes I’d like to try, and will go browse them when I need ideas for dinner.
2. The Best Simple Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen. The recipes in this cookbook all take less than an hour to make, but have interesting flavor combinations I would not have thought of myself. One recipe I made recently, mostly because it sounded so weird, had an anchovy-based sauce over chicken. It was delicious.
3. Foodler. This is for super-lazy nights. Foodler is a take-out and delivery aggregator that lets you place orders at your favorite restaurants online (other examples of this type of service include GrubHub and Eat24). Thai food is never more than a click away.
4. Plated. I plan to do a full post on this service sometime soon, but in the meantime, know that it exists (along with a similar service, Blue Apron). A week or so in advance, you log into the Plated website and pick the dishes you’re interested in; they cost roughly $14 per serving, which seems like a lot until you realize you no longer have to grocery shop. Plated ships you all of the ingredients and the recipe in a chilled box. Cooking time is less than an hour for every recipe I’ve tried. The recipes are creative and tasty, and rarely something I would have tried otherwise.
5. Sandwiches. Like Joey Tribbiani on Friends, I love a good sandwich. If time is at a premium, there is no faster dinner than a sandwich. I like to pick up a fresh baguette (my grocery has a good bakery) and some sliced deli meat for mine. A grilled cheese can also feel indulgent (pro tip: Use mayonnaise instead of butter on the outside of your bread for a buttery brown crisp). If you want to get really fancy, either heat up a can of soup to go alongside or buy hot ready-made soup when you pick up your other ingredients.
There you have it: Five resources for fast, reasonably healthy, easy meals on those days when getting everything done is a challenge. What are your best fast dinner tips?