Wednesday, October 7, 2009

quickest back-up dinner

IMG_4963Usually in my meal planning I like to include an easy prep meal that I can fall back on if something comes up during the week, or if I get home later and just don’t feel like putting something together. 

Well, it was one of those days yesterday and I love having something for plan B that is simple, healthy and filling! 

It has finally started to cool down somewhat here, well, it’s still in the 70s during the day which is like summer for many of you.  I am enjoying being able to open the windows and having a considerably lower power bill.  Another great thing about the cool down that I absolutely adore is starting to make more soups and casseroles again!!!!  Yay!  I think those are my favorites to make because they are so easy and can be adjusted based on what ingredients are on hand. 

On to the easiest recipe in the world. . .

  • TJ’s Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup (I get the low-sodium version)
  • 1/2 box low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups frozen veggies and big handfuls of torn spinach
  • 1 cup grilled balsamic-marinated chicken or you could sub chickpeas/beans
  • Various spices, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cinnamon (gives it some warmth)
  • 2 cups cooked pasta, or some rice, quinoa, etc.

In a pot place all the ingredients and warm to your liking.


These are also great if you don’t have fresh basil on hand.  It’s not as flavorful as fresh, but it works.  I used about 8 cubes for the soup.


That’s it!  I like to serve it with a nice grilled cheese or cheesy naan for dipping (fontina with oregano).  I am addicted to naan with pretty much anything at the moment. 



What’s the easiest back up meal you like to make?


*Naomi* said...

om that cheesy bread looks incred!

easiest back up meal would have to be oatmeal OR omelette!!

Kelly said...

That soup looks so good!
Like Naomi, I tend to go for breakfast foods when I am trying to have an easy dinner- either that or a tuna sandwich made with just tuna and greek yogurt, yum.

The Candid RD said...

Wonderful creation! Your easy back up meal is much better than mine. For me it's egg beaters with veggies and cheese, or tacos, or some type of veggie stir-fry!

Anonymous said...

the other day I just asked about what's the bake up meal when the fridge is empty! Mine was freezed won ton that my mom made me. But i found that most people just don't let their fridge to get empty.

Devan Geselle. N said...

this got my menu wheels turning

i reaaally should be making myself a meal plan :( Its just so hard for me..

your food looks awesome!

Emily said...

Looks like a great and healthy go-to meal. I didn't know you could buy frozen basil!

I like eating frozen veggies with pasta sauce when I'm in a hurry. Or else there's always my standard zukes and hummus on a tortilla. :-)

MelindaRD said...

Looks good. Isn't it funny how in Vegas temperatures have such different meanings than elsewhere. At night in the summers I would wear sweats to walk the dog and is was 90 degrees, but there was no sun and the temps drop 20-30 degrees from the day time.

I think my quick meal is just doing a veggie burger with some melted cheese on a whole wheat bun. I like to do them in the pan, not microwaved.

Shannon said...

So many people think it takes too long to put together a healthy meal. But dishes like that prove otherwise. That looks wonderful!

I fall back on frozen veggies a lot. I also make paninis a lot and dip them in tomato sauce. muchi

Astra Libris said...

Mmmmm, so perfect for fall... I love how unfussy the recipe is, yet the end result looks delicious and beautiful enough to serve to company! Especially with the glorious cheesy bread alongside... Oh my... *dreamy sigh* :-)

When I'm in a rush I usually make homemade baked beans - fiber, protein, and yumminess all in one pot! :-)

Jessica said...

This looks delish. I always buy the TJs soup but eat it plain. I never thought to throw this in there...your creation looks great.

Courtney F said...

Our backup meal is Taco soup. It is so easy and with crockpot magic it is done when you get home.
Your soup does look tasty!!!

Nicole M., MS, RD, LD said...

I no longer live close to a TJ's and I miss the TJ’s Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup more than anything else from there!!! Looks fantastic!


Thinspired said...

Your Plan B meal looks so sophisticated but I love how simple it is! Unfortunately my last-minute meals usually are not that pretty (or healthy!). I guess I need to work on that!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Soups and stews are so easy, they're great for a quick meal! My other go-to dinner is eggs with sauteed veggies. Kind of breakfast and dinner combined :-)

Anonymous said...

wow that sure does not look like a back up meal - looks gourmet and yummy :)

Janice said...

I love TJs! The soup is great and I admit to using the frozen cubes of garlic, basil, and cilantro on a regular basis. Yum!