By Virginie Degryse

Dinner inspiration doesn’t always come easy, especially when you have busy days at home and little opportunity to get groceries. We’re all trying to stretch our food as long as we can (and avoid repeat trips to the store), which is why I’ve recently fallen back on my “Making It Easier” series. It’s ideal for those hectic weeknights, or when you’re running low on supplies and fresh ingredients.

Chances are good you already have most of these ingredients on-hand, but I’ve included a short grocery list that will stock you up for any of the three recipes I’ve included below. Bon appetit!

The Grocery List:

Pantry staples:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Pasta
  • Chicken or veggie stock
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil

Frozen:

  • Frozen vegetables (I have peas, mixed veggies, broccoli, corn, and spinach)

Fresh:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Eggs
  • Crepe toppings like ham, cheese, or whatever you like
  • Italian turkey sausage

Fried Eggs with Vegetables

This is a life saver whenever things get crazy around here, and we literally have no time to get groceries or prepare dinner.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

4 cups of frozen veggies, thawed

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Sauté the onion and garlic with 2–3 tbsp of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the veggies with salt and pepper to taste. Put it on plates and use the same pan to fry the eggs (it will give it a nice flavor). Top the veggies with an egg, et voila. Delicious!

Salty Crepe with Ham and Cheese (and maybe an egg)

Ingredients:

1 cup of flour

1 ½ cup of milk

2 large eggs

1 pinch of salt

Toppings: ham, cheese, eggs, tomatoes… get creative!

Put everything in a blender and process until the batter is smooth. Pour ¼ cup of the batter in a 9-inch hot, greased pan and distribute the batter evenly in the pan.

Cook for a few minutes and flip over.

After 1 minute, add a slice of ham and sprinkle with cheese, salt, and pepper.

Serve when cheese has started to melt a bit. I also sometimes add a fried egg. You can cook it separately or on top of (or in!) the crepe. Serve it with chopped tomatoes (canned work too).

Once again, this is a recipe where improvising toppings is fun. Whatever you like to eat, and have in your fridge or pantry, makes the meal.

Tomato, Spinach, and Sausage Pasta

This can also be adapted by using frozen spinach or kale instead. Meat or no meat is fine. Use canned tomatoes if there are no fresh tomatoes available.

  • 2–3 mild Italian turkey sausages
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2–3 bunches of spinach or kale (frozen works in a pinch!)
  • 1 lb. of pasta
  • Grated parmesan for serving

Cook the pasta according to package instruction, and reserve ¼–½ cup of pasta water.  

Sauté the garlic with the olive oil and chili flakes. Keep an eye on it, as garlic burns fast. Add the chopped sausages, and cook until golden brown. Toss in the tomatoes, and simmer for 5–7 minutes until they start to get soft.

Mix in the greens, and cook for another minute or two. Add some salt and pepper according to taste.

Combine with the pasta, some of the reserved pasta water, and grated parmesan cheese on top. Yum!

Three meals a day, seven days a week — all at home — is no easy feat. All go great with some fresh air.


Got some go-to recipes that have been keeping you and your family full and happy? Share them in the comments!