Need an easy recipe for a last minute meal? Here is a great recipe using leftovers that you can put together in a flash.
Perfect for those”What am I going to have for dinner?!” moments. I’m not the only one who has them, right?
Well, one of the best kitchen time-savers is — flexibility. Making do with what you have and substituting where necessary.
This recipe gives you just that.
Mix and match ingredients, with no exact measurements needed. Just use what-cha got, throw it together, and you’ve got a great meal!
The inspiration for this dish came from my friend, Sarah. My boys and I were blessed to have lunch with her and her boys one afternoon, and she served up a wonderful gluten-free pasta dish for us.
My oldest even ate the broccoli :-). (Don’t you love it when they’ll eat something at someone else’s house that they won’t eat at yours?)
Anyhow, my kids kept begging me to make a similar dish, and so the next time we were in Chicago we went to Trader Joe’s and literally loaded up our cart (a little kiddie-sized one) with their unbelievably low-priced organic brown rice pasta (it tastes great too :-)!), and I was prepared!
But here’s the point. I didn’t need to call my friend for the recipe. I just took the basics from her meal, made some substitutions and made it work with what I had.
And now you can do the same thing.
First, I’ll share with you the basics for this dish.
Then, I’ll tell you what my friend, Sarah, and I used, and I’ll give you some other ideas, just to get your creative juices flowing.
Finally, come back later this week for more great eating inspiration when I’ll share my complete recipe for the pasta shown in the photo above :-)!
Super Fast “Your Way” Pasta
–Pasta (whatever kind you like. Sarah and I both used brown rice fusilli)
–Protein (sausage [ground or sliced links], beans, chicken, seafood). Both Sarah and I used seasoned chicken.
–Cheese (optional – crumbles, chunks or grated). Raw or toasted seeds or nuts would be great as well (see my tips for great-tasting crispy nuts).
Both Sarah and I used feta cheese (Are you dairy-free? Check out my recipe for Almond Feta!).
–Vegetable (broccoli, zucchini, green beans, tomatoes…one kind or a mix) Sarah used broccoli and I used green beans.
–Savory addition (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, artichoke hearts, hot peppers). I used sun-dried tomatoes.
–Dressing or Seasoning (optional). I used our family’s favorite, Moroccan Vinaigrette. Fresh or dried herbs would be great as well with a bit of olive oil.
1. Cook pasta according to directions — make sure you read my nifty tip on Save Time and Money Cooking Pasta. You’ll be glad you did!
2. While pasta is cooking, prepare protein source if necessary.
3. Add remaining ingredients and toss.
Time Saving Tips:
- Not to be redundant, but you have to read Save Time and Money Cooking Pasta.
- Have veggies chopped ahead of time in the freezer for easy access
- Prepare extra meat or beans ahead of time so you can have them ready at a moment’s notice. Read my post on How to Store Prepared Beans for more info.
- Kid-Friendly Indian Lentils (ready in as little as 9 minutes)
- Super Fast Meals Galore including GF Chili Mac
How about you? Do you have a simple dish like this to share?