What’s for dinner tonight? My family used to make fun of me when I asked “What does everyone want for dinner tonight?” while we are still at the table after finishing a hearty breakfast. So I let it go and of course, later in the day when everyone starts to get hungry, I have nothing planned. At that point, there are really only two options – order out or make something quick at home. That’s when I feel like I am in a Food Network Chopped Kitchen, only without all that great stuff they have in their pantry.
When ordering out is not a good option and you really didn’t plan dinner, here are a few last minute ideas with ingredients you most likely have in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. Depending on the amount of mouths you need to feed, your slow cooker can be your best friend. I like to “clean out my freezer” into my slow cooker. Take all those half used bags of veggies and toss them into the slow cooker. Now it’s time to hit the refrigerator. Be adventurous and toss in remains from open jars of salsa (red and green, mild and hot). Canned beans are great to throw in there too. There is one last thing to add -a container of beef, chicken or vegetable broth. If you don’t keep one of those boxes of broth in your pantry, now is a good time to start. I use them to make sauces and soups all the time. They don’t take up much room and I promise you that you won’t regret having them around.
Now it’s time for the spices. We are to make this into a hearty vegetable soup or stew. I have a few go-to spice blends for these dishes but I love to use Perfect Steak to make soup or a veggie stew. I know the name says steak and we didn’t put any steak in the slow cooker, but trust me on this one. This spice blend is as good on potatoes and vegetables as it is on steak. If you have leftover plain pasta or potatoes, toss that in just before serving to heat it up. You can throw in uncooked pasta about 30 minutes before serving and let it cook in the broth. You may end up with more of a stew consistency this way, but that works too.
So here’s what we’ve got.
Veggies from your freezer and refrigerator (leftovers are good too)
1 container of beef, chicken or vegetable broth or stock
1 packet Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Perfect Steak
Toss it all in a slow cooker. Set it to high if you only have a few hours, low if you have all day. Enjoy the wonderful smell throughout your house. Pick up a warm French or Italian bread. Have dinner!