24 Fast, Easy (Real Food) Dinner Ideas

24 Fast, Easy (Real Food) Dinner Ideas

This is my prized collection of fast easy meals for busy days & lives.

If you are feeling puffy or bloated or off your game I want to encourage you that you can feel better by the weekend.

Really, you can.  It’s amazing what 5 days of eating only real foods will do for your energy level and your waistline.  If you haven’t jumped off the edge and gone whole – I encourage you to start this week.  You’ll be happy you did.


This was intended for the Premium Section of the blog – but I wanted to share it with y’all…

You’ll notice that some of the recipes I share here are Premium Recipes.

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If you’re already a member – the links will take you right to the recipes.


 23 Fast, Easy (Real Food) Meal Solutions

 

Why You Should Eat Only Real Foods –

  • You’ll learn how to spot them.. I don’t think I truly knew how many delicious real foods there were to enjoy until I decided to get serous about my diet.  The day I gave up all processed foods was the day I began to see all the incredible foods God gave us to eat.
  • You’ll learn how to cook from scratch.
  • You’ll enjoy real flavors (from herbs, natural fats, and fresh, clean veggies) instead of chemically enhanced flavors.
  • You’ll detox, reset and health benefits!

I wanted to give you list packed with tons of REAL FOOD meals you can put together quickly.

Here are my favorite dinners for nights when I don’t have time to cook.


Fast & Furious, Real-food Dinner Ideas For Busy Days

Category #ONE:  Breakfast for Dinner


This is a no-brainer.  I can make breakfast in less than 10 minutes, so having it for dinner is a time-saver.  It is also one of my favorite meals, so it makes me happy and satisfied.

Breakfast for dinner ideas:

#1 OMELETTES – Fill with your favorite toppings or whatever you have fresh from the garden.

#2 BREAKFAST SCRAMBLES – This is faster and easier than omelettes.  First, beat your eggs with a splash of whole cream.  I add a tablespoon of bacon grease to a large pan.  Slice up 2 strips of bacon & dice up 1/2 an onion.  Toss the bacon & onion into the fat.  After the bacon is cooked, add the uncooked eggs.  Add salt & pepper.  Last, stir in a cup of fresh spinach.  Top with diced tomatoes and chives.

Soft Homemade Biscuits

#3 BISCUITS – A batch of homemade biscuits takes less than 15 minutes.  5 minutes to make & 10 minutes to cook.  If you fry some bacon, ham or sausage you can have biscuit sandwiches.  We also enjoy biscuits topped with butter & honey.

Old Fashioned Biscuits & Gravy

Another favorite around here is biscuits and sausage gravy.  Oh, baby.  Biscuits & sausage gravy recipe here (part of the Premium section).

#4 BACON & EGGS or HAM & EGGS –  I usually have some ham and bacon (from our pigs) thawed in the refrigerator and ready to fry.

#5 PANCAKES-  I have a fantastic pancake recipe that comes together in a couple minutes.  Fry them in the skillet & serve with plenty of butter & douse in syrup.


FAST & FURIOUS DINNERS

Category #TWO:  Bread for Dinner


If you have a grain mill and make your own bread, you can always make a fabulous meal with your homemade bread as the center.

  • Basic Whole Wheat Bread Recipe here.
  • How to make Bread instructional video here (Premium).
  • Soft, Oat Bread Recipe here (Premium).

#6 FRENCH TOAST – There is no french toast in the world that compares to the french toast that comes from homemade bread.  Sensational.  It couldn’t be easier.  Scramble eggs, dip the sliced bread into the eggs and fry in butter until lightly browned on both sides.  Serve with more butter and maple syrup.

#7 BIRD IN A NEST – This is a classic throwback from my childhood.  Use a small biscuit cutter to cut a circle in a slice of bread.  Place the piece of bread into a hot pan with plenty of butter in it.  Break an egg into the hole.  Fry bread (with the egg in the center) on both sides until brown.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

#8 SANDWICHES:  Sandwiches make a well-balanced fast dinner on homemade bread.  My favorite sandwiches:  BLT’s, benedictine sandwiches, ham and grilled cheese.

#9 CHICKEN MELTS:  Chicken melts are so good.  In order to make this in a hurry you will need some leftover chicken.  First make the chicken salad:  cube the chicken, stir in mayo, diced celery, salt & pepper.  Next toast some homemade bread.  Place the toast on a baker’s sheet, top with chicken salad, garden fresh tomato and a slice of cheese (optional).  Broil until cheese melts.

#10 HOMEMADE PIZZA:  Whenever I make homemade pizza crusts, I freeze any leftover pizza rounds.  These make for a fun, fast dinner.  All I need to do is grab a can of sauce from the basement & chop up some veggies to go on top.  Dinner in minutes. 

#11 AVOCADO TOAST:  Goodness.  I know that this is all the rage but I love guacamole and I love fried eggs so this is one of my favorites.  Recipe here.


FAST & FURIOUS DINNERS

Category #THREE:  Raid the Freezer


There is a reason I double almost every dinner I cook.  It is for days when I can’t cook or don’t feel like it.  I keep a stockpile of frozen soups, stews, sauces, broths, breads, casseroles and random cooked meats in the outside freezer.  They are a gem to have.

What I may have in my freezer at any given time:

#12 CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP – or beef vegetable soup is easy to reheat on the stove-top.

#13 CHILI – great for cooler days.  Serve with homemade sour cream, chives & cheese.  My chili recipe here.

#14 SPAGHETTI – I always freeze leftover spaghetti sauce.  To finish dinner all I must do is boil some noodles & warm the sauce.

Homegrown, homemade spaghetti sauce here.

#15 LASAGNA – When I make lasagna, I cut the casserole into individual serving’s for the freezer.  I can get out as many ‘servings’ as I would like to reheat.  This also makes great lunches.

#16 MANACOTTI – I wrap my manacotti in plastic and freeze it in individual servings like my lasagna.  You can also make a second pan of this and freeze the entire pan.

#17 Spanish Sausage  This dish is amazing.  If you’ve never made it – you should make it tonight.  Double the recipe & you can have some for the freezer too.  It’s a Cuban dish with a bit of spice and a bit of sweet.

I like to eat mine on top of spaghetti squash or all alone with a salad…  I serve it on pasta for the kiddos.

Here’s the Spanish Sausage recipe.

#18 PULLED PORK – Anytime I smoke a pork butt I freeze the leftovers.  I love having this in my freezer – it is never hibernates for long.  I can quickly put together BBQ pork sandwiches on busy nights.

#19 VENISON IN BROTH – Deer legs are a treasure in this house.  How to cook a deer leg here.  A deer leg produces an astonishing amount of roasted venison.  I like to freeze the meat in its own broth.  With this I can make BBQ venison sandwiches (first drain off the broth) or I can use this venison & broth to make a quick soup.  Just thaw the venison/broth mixture and add some veggies & home-canned tomatoes for a meat & vegetable soup.

#20 VENISON SLIDERS – So, I’ve mentioned that I’m obsessed with deer legs.  This one more meal I can quickly pull together with some frozen venison.

All I need to do is cook the onions, season the meat and toast some buns.  These sliders are amazing.

Here’s the recipe (it is part of the Premium Members section).


FAST & FURIOUS DINNER

Category #FOUR:  Fast Meals

#21 Ham steaks & Mashed Potatoes 

This is a great, soul-warming dinner.

Mashed potatoes, fried ham steaks with a savory pan sauce.  The potatoes boil while you fry the ham steaks & it all comes together in a few minutes.   It’s delicious and crazy fast to make.

#22 Fried Pork Cutlets & Buttered Potatoes with Parsley

This recipe can be used for pork cutlets or round steak.  First get your tiny potatoes boiling on the stove top.  While they are bubbling, fry the cutlets.  Simply season the meat with salt & pepper and saute in a cast-iron skillet on the stove top in a little bacon fat.

When the potatoes are tender, drizzle with melted butter, salt to taste & douse with parsley.

Recipe & instructions here (This is in the Premium section).

#23 Smothered Breakfast Chops 

Shut the front door.

Breakfast chops are just like pork chops except super thin and super tender.  Mine are ‘bone in’ which gives you more nutrition and a fabulous handle for easy eating.  These babies are cooked in a giant, cast-iron skillet & the pan drippings (fond) are the base for the country, onion gravy.

Here’s the recipe:  Smothered Breakfast Chops (Premium).

FAST & FURIOUS DINNER

Category #FIVE:  Parisian Picnic 


#24 Parisian Picnic

A Parisian Picnic is a great dinner option.  It is quick and fun.  The set up is a cinch and there is no right or wrong way to pull this off.  I grab a stack of plates & start piling on the foods.

Great food to set out for your Parisian Picnic:

  • Homemade flatbread (Premium) – This flat bread is the perfect accompany for a picnic.  It is wonderful alone, wrapped up as a sandwich, dipped in hummus, smothered in cheese, spreads or oils.  Since this is a fast and furious dinner I won’t be making any fresh bread – but I always make extra flat bread & freeze it so I have some on hand.
  • fruits – grapes, berries, pears, apple slices, any fruit you have.
  • veggies- sliced cucumbers, celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes etc.
  • olives.
  • a variety of cheeses (of course).
  • any meat you have in the refrigerator from past meals (ham, chicken, etc.).
  • Add some homemade crackers if you have some.

We usually have our picnics on the back porch.  We all sit around the big coffee table with the spread before us.

Dinner doesn’t have to be a fail.  You don’t have to order takeout.  You got this!

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Stay Healthy guys!

XO,

Candi

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