Do you ever find yourself in a “what’s for dinner” rut? Bored by the same dishes week after week, it sometimes becomes hard to break out of the monotony. Gone are nightly meals of meat, starch, and vegetables. Many people are grateful to have such a dinner once a week!
Because many decisions about what to eat are driven by convenience, taste, familial preferences, time, and budget, thinking outside of the box can feel like it will take too much time, energy, or work. However, sometimes meal planning is possible and easy by using just what you have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Try these suggestions.
Breakfast night
Consider having eggs, cereal, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches. Serve with fresh fruit.

Leftovers frittata
Use up those leftovers:

  • Take any meat or vegetables that are left over from the night before (e.g., chicken, beef, pork, vegetables, potatoes, and rice)
  • Heat them up in a pan with a little olive oil
  • Crack 1–1½ eggs/person and scramble them up with some milk, Dijon mustard, and a bit of shredded cheese if desired
  • Pour the egg mixture over the leftovers
  • Bake in a 350° F oven for 20–30 minutes
  • Serve with toast and a salad

Calzones and Stromboli
Keep pre-made pizza dough, cheese, and tomato sauce in the house for a quick meal. If you want something other than pizza, make calzones or stromboli. Here is an easy-to-make recipe:

  • Spread out the pizza dough
  • Layer cold cuts, vegetables, and cheese
  • Roll it up into a calzone or stromboli
  • Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes
  • Warm up some marinara or pizza sauce to serve with the calzone or stromboli for dipping

Peanut butter and jelly fixings bar
Put out ingredients for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Serve with Greek yogurt and:

  • Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Bananas or thin-sliced apples or ripe pears
  • Granola
  • Honey
  • Whole wheat bread

Salad night
Make a big salad with a bag of pre-washed lettuce and any fresh vegetables you have in the house. Serve with bread, a roll, or crackers. Look in the cupboard and refrigerator for anything you can include on the salad, such as:

  • Tuna fish or canned salmon
  • Olives
  • Canned beans
  • Roasted peppers
  • Artichokes
  • Sliced or shredded cheese
  • Sliced or chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced cold cuts


  • Put your leftover meat to good use:
  • Buy extra chicken, meat, fish, tofu, or shrimp so you have extra for another night
  • Use the leftovers to make a quesadilla
  • Load leftovers and vegetables on a tortilla and put cheese on another tortilla
  • Toast it in the oven or toaster oven
  • Put two sides together
  • Serve with sour cream and salsa

Freezer combos
Make your own combinations or try this suggestion:

  • Bring a carton of chicken or vegetable stock to a boil. Add frozen vegetables and frozen tortellini or ravioli. Reduce heat &     simmer for a few minutes until the pasta is cooked. Serve as soup.
  • Boil up those noodles with some frozen peas, drain, and then toss with olive oil and a little Parmesan cheese
  • Add some extra fresh vegetables for a satisfying meal

Precooked meats
Precooked chicken strips, rotisserie chicken, and ham saves time. You can add these precooked meats to salad, soups, and sandwiches.
Use the carcass of a rotisserie chicken to make soup for the next day:

  • Boil the carcass in water with fresh carrots, onion, celery, parsley, and salt
  • Add some pasta or rice before serving for a heartier meal

Broth and soup
See note under Precooked meats for how to use the carcass of a rotisserie chicken to make a homemade chicken soup.
Also keep boxes of broth and soup on hand:

  • Add vegetables, cheese, noodles, or whatever you have to brighten the flavor of the broth or soup, which also makes it more satisfying
  • Serve with crackers and cheese

Grilled or toasted cheese sandwiches
It only takes a few minutes to make this quick and satisfying meal. Serve with some fruit or vegetables.
Items to keep on hand
The following items are easy to incorporate into meals. Many also have a long shelf life or can last a while in the refrigerator:

  • Baby carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Beans
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Vacuum-sealed precooked chicken
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Hummus
  • Frozen shrimp, meats, pastas, vegetables, breads, and soups
  • Leftovers, such as chili, stews, and casseroles
  • Canned fruit, vegetables, tuna fish, salmon, salsa
  • Peanut or almond butter
  • Dried pasta, or grains such as quinoa, farro, barley
  • Whole wheat flour tortillas
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds
  • Dried fruits

Want more recipe ideas?
Download my FREE Intuitive Eating Guide and Meal Suggestions
free book get off diet roller coaster
Download my FREE Eating for Recovery Plan with Meal & Recipe Guide:

Are you ready to move forward on your Recovery Journey with more food freedom?

Recipes for Recovery CookbookClick here to purchase your Recipes for Recovery Cookbook now!
Following the Recipes for Recovery Cookbook will help you:

  • Reconnect with positive eating experiences you had before the eating disorder
  • Explore new flavors, colors, textures and aromas that connect your senses
  • Experiment with previously forbidden foods that bring awareness to the present moment
  • Challenge and let go of food restrictions and rigid rules to rekindle a healthy and fulfilling pattern of eating
  • See success as you continue to discover food freedom