Easy Supper Ideas

Night after night people ask the age-old question, “What is for supper?” Often times the answer is found in a boxed meal, frozen dinner, can of soup or pasta, or at a fast-food restaurant. These solutions are certainly quick, but they are also generally high in calories, fat and sodium. Because home chefs generally know only a limited number of recipes that can be fixed with little effort, many prepare the same dishes over and over from week to week, which soon becomes boring. The following easy supper ideas provide healthy supper alternatives that can be made with ease.

Chicken is one of the most versatile sources of proteins on the market. Many grocery stores sell hot or cold roasted chickens, or whole chickens can be bought and roasted at home. The chicken can be sliced and eaten with a side of vegetables, applesauce and a medium baked potato, or the meat can be removed from the bone and served in a variety of ways. One of these methods starts with heating a bag of frozen mixed vegetables in a pan. Drain the vegetables and add a can or jar of low-sodium chicken gravy and cubed chicken. The mixture can be placed in a pie plate and topped with either a pre-made pie crust or dollops of mashed potatoes, or increase the gravy to two cans or jars and add white long-grain rice to the pan and simmer on the stove for 20-30 minutes, until the rice becomes soft.

Beef lovers can make a quick and easy supper on the grill. While the meat is grilling to perfection, make a tinfoil pocket full of delicious vegetables. Spray the shiny side of tinfoil with vegetable spray, then top with thinly sliced carrots, green peppers, mushrooms and onion. Place a pat of butter on top of the vegetables, seal the foil, and cook on the grill. Using frozen mixed vegetables is also acceptable and saves the time it takes to cut the fresh veggies.

Among the easy supper ideas that start with beef are hamburgers and beef stroganoff. Hamburgers can be made on the grill outdoors or indoors, or in a skillet. The addition of cut vegetables, potato salad or cole slaw rounds out the meal. Indoor cooks can make a quick and easy beef stroganoff. To make the stroganoff, cook diced onions and sliced mushrooms in butter in a skillet until the vegetables are soft. Remove the onions and mushrooms to a bowl, add more butter to the skillet, and brown hamburg or cubed beef in the skillet. Toss with flour, add beef broth and heat, stirring, until the mixture becomes thick. Add the vegetables and sour cream, cook until heated through, and serve over egg noodles. This delicious stroganoff freezes well and stands up when reheated.

The key to providing easy and delicious suppers throughout the week is careful planning. Prepare a menu and a shopping list to ensure all ingredients are on hand, eliminating the possibility of excuses that can get in the way of meal preparation. Singles and couples can create larger dishes and freeze a portion which provides quick and healthy home-cooked meals that will come in handy for late-night dinners. Using these easy supper ideas can add variation to the menu and turn suppertime from tiresome to tasty.

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