For most, fall is a time of transition. We’re getting little ones in routine for school, there’s more traffic in our daily commutes, and the days just get shorter.
Here are some of my super favorite easy recipes that I can throw together without giving much thought or effort.
Chili – Super easy to make, even for the amateur cook. Dump all the ingredients
in and let it simmers while you help your little ones with their homework and settle down. Not to mention, it’s super affordable. All you need is: 2 large cans of diced tomato (I prefer seasoned rather than plain), beans of your choice, and ground beef or turkey or tofu. For extra flavor add a Bud Light Lime, you’re welcome. I cook my protein separately while the beans and tomatoes cook down. Add chili seasoning (or make your own) with your protein, let simmer for another 20 minutes and voila! Top it with sour cream and/or cheese and you can eat it plain, scoop it with tortilla chips or serve with rice or even spaghetti noodles. **Portion this out for individual meals and store in freezer for easy meals or lunches in the future.**
Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup – Who doesn’t love this heaven sent combo? You can make the tomato soup from scratch. I promise it’s pretty easy – cut up tomatoes, cook them down with some chicken or veggie stock, basil + any other fresh herbs of your choosing. Once cooked down, toss in a mixer until smooth, and then reheat. Or you can grab a couple cans at the grocery store. If you want a little more to your sandwich you can add sliced ham, chicken, or bacon to give it a little more oomph.
Pot Roast – This is a staple in our house every fall and winter. We make it nearly once a month. It’s filling and decadent and a crowd pleaser. Even though I don’t eat much meat anymore, I still indulge in the potatoes and carrots with the gravy. We take a roast, salt + pepper it, drop it in the crock pot with one can of cream of mushroom soup and a can cream of onion soup, chop up potatoes, carrots, a few mushrooms, pour in a box of beef stock and you’re done. You can add fresh onion + garlic, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or bay leaves to add more flavor. Set it for 8 hours and dinner will be served as you arrive home.
Salmon – I love salmon and our family eats it at least once a week. You can flavor it however you’d like, fresh herbs, barbeque sauce, pesto, marinade, you name it and Salmon almost always tastes good. I like throwing fresh herbs on my salmon with some butter and tossing it in the oven for about 25 minutes while I throw a pot of rice on with a quick veggie like spinach. It’s mindless and healthy. When I want to be indulgent or the kids seem picky, I just add BBQ sauce to theirs, instant winner. The key with salmon is cooking it properly, be careful not to over cook your salmon. I typically seal mine with foil, add a few tablespoons of water and butter to the bottom of my pan to make sure it stays moist. The excess liquid also makes for gravy for your rice.
Sweet Potato Rice Bowl – This has become one of my favorite meals since I have cut meat out of my diet (I still eat meat, just very sparingly, maybe 1 or 2x a month). It’s super flavorful and takes no time. You can also add any leftover protein or grab a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store if you want to add meat. I cook a quick pot of rice, throw a sweet potato or two in the microwave (yes you can do it, it’s super convenient), steam some cauliflower or broccoli or just grab a frozen steam-able bag of veggies in your freezer section. I make a quick sauce with honey, soy sauce, ginger, lime, pinch of salt and drizzle it over top. If you don’t want to make your own sauce, you can substitute with one of your favorite salad dressings and thro an avocado on top. ** This meal also makes good for lunch meal prep**
Shrimp + Grits – A meal so quick to make, but so many people don’t touch it out of fear of it’s complexity. The key is not to over think it. It doesn’t have to be difficult, I promise. Make a pot of grits (old fashioned preferred, but instant is just as good in a pinch) using 1:1 ratio of water and chicken or veggie stock. When the grits are about ¾ of the way finished, I add about ¼ cup or so of milk or cream, (use your best judgment, if you like thicker grits, use less), tablespoon or two of butter with salt + pepper. A few minutes before taking the grits off, I add in my cheese of choice. While the grits are cooking, I throw a few shrimp in my skillet with salt, pepper, a little butter and stock. Depending on my cheese of choice I’ll spruce up the shrimp with smoked paprika salt pepper (pairs well with provolone or cheddar) or honey ginger and chopped red onion (pairs well with a gouda, muenster, or mozzarella). ** If you’ve never made grits before, I suggest start with instant + read the directions on the box. Adjust to taste, again it’s meant to be easy **
Let me know if you try any of the recipes or if you have any of your own you recommend down in the comments below.