8 Easy and Delicious Meals Registered Dietitians Make When They Lack Motivation to Cook

8 Meals RDs Cook When They Don’t Feel Like Cooking

We all have those days when the thought of cooking a meal from scratch feels overwhelming. Whether we’re busy with work, feeling exhausted, or simply lacking inspiration, it’s easy to fall into the habit of ordering takeout or relying on processed convenience foods. But as registered dietitians (RDs), we know that cooking at home is the key to eating well and nourishing our bodies.

So, what do RDs cook when they don’t feel like cooking? We turned to the experts themselves to find out. These meals are quick, simple, and packed with nutrition, proving that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to eat a healthy and satisfying meal. From simple salads to hearty one-pot wonders, here are eight meals that RDs rely on when they need a break from cooking.

1. Veggie Stir-Fry with Tofu: A quick and easy stir-fry is a go-to meal for many RDs. Simply sauté your favorite veggies with cubed tofu in a flavorful sauce, and serve it over brown rice or whole-wheat noodles. You’ll get a delicious and nourishing meal in just minutes.

2. Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken: When in doubt, a salad can be a lifesaver. Toss together some fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese, then add grilled chicken for a protein boost. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and you have a refreshing and satisfying meal.

3. Black Bean Quesadilla: Quesadillas are a quick and versatile meal option. Simply fill a whole-wheat tortilla with black beans, shredded cheese, and your favorite veggies, then toast it in a pan until golden and crispy. Serve with salsa or guacamole for a tasty and filling meal.

4. Cauliflower Fried Rice: If you’re craving takeout but want a healthier option, try making cauliflower fried rice. Simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice grains, then sauté with veggies, scrambled eggs, and a splash of soy sauce. It’s a low-carb way to satisfy your cravings.

5. Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies: For a simple and nutritious meal, RDs often turn to sheet pan dinners. Place salmon fillets on a sheet pan alongside your favorite veggies, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs and spices, and roast until cooked through. It’s a no-fuss way to enjoy a protein-packed meal.

6. Mediterranean Bowl: RDs love a good bowl meal, and a Mediterranean-inspired version is always a hit. Start with a base of quinoa or brown rice, then add roasted veggies, chickpeas, olives, and feta cheese. Top with a dollop of tzatziki sauce for a burst of flavor.

7. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos: Tacos are a crowd-pleasing option that can be customized to suit your preferences. Simply fill corn tortillas with mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, sliced avocado, and a sprinkle of cheese. Add salsa or hot sauce for an extra kick.

8. Easy Pasta with Tomato Sauce: When all else fails, a classic pasta dinner is always a reliable choice. Cook your favorite whole-wheat pasta and top it with a homemade tomato sauce made from canned tomatoes, garlic, and Italian herbs. Serve with a side salad for a complete meal.

Remember, even on days when you don’t feel like cooking, these simple and nutritious meals can help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals. It’s all about finding quick and easy options that work for you and your lifestyle. So the next time you’re not in the mood to cook, give one of these RD-approved meals a try!

There’s no need to sacrifice flavor or nutrition with these speedy make-at-home meals.

When you’re not in the mood to cook, it’s tempting to reach for takeout or order in. However, with a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can whip up delicious and nutritious meals right in your own kitchen. These speedy make-at-home meals are perfect for those days when cooking feels like a chore.

1. Spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast: Simply slice open a chicken breast, stuff it with a mixture of sautéed spinach and feta cheese, then bake until juicy and tender. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.

2. Shrimp stir-fry: Toss shrimp with your favorite vegetables and stir-fry in a hot pan with some garlic and soy sauce. This flavorful and colorful meal comes together in minutes and is packed with protein and veggies.

3. Quinoa salad: Cook quinoa according to package instructions and toss with chopped vegetables, herbs, and a simple vinaigrette dressing. This refreshing salad is a great option for a light and nutritious meal.

4. Veggie wrap: Spread hummus onto a whole wheat wrap and layer with your favorite veggies, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado. Roll it up and enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal on the go.

5. Baked salmon with roasted potatoes: Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet and season with your favorite herbs and spices. Roast alongside some cubed potatoes tossed in olive oil for a flavorful and filling meal.

6. Chickpea curry: Sauté onions, garlic, and spices in a pan, then add canned chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and coconut milk. Simmer until heated through and serve over steamed rice or with naan bread.

7. Greek yogurt and fruit parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and granola in a glass or bowl for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack option. Customize with your favorite fruits and toppings.

8. Turkey and vegetable stir-fry: Brown ground turkey in a pan, then add a variety of chopped vegetables and stir-fry until tender. Season with soy sauce and serve over brown rice for a protein-packed meal.

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich

When you’re in need of a quick and easy meal that still packs a nutritional punch, a smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich is a great go-to option. Not only is this sandwich incredibly simple to make, but it’s also filled with protein and healthy fats.

To make this sandwich, start by smashing a can of chickpeas in a bowl. Add in mashed avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you prefer, such as garlic powder or paprika. Mix everything together until well combined.

Spread the mixture onto toasted whole grain bread, and top with your favorite sandwich fixings. Some great options include sliced tomatoes, cucumber, sprouts, and lettuce. You can also add some sliced cheese or a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

This smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich is not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can easily customize it to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover avocado or canned chickpeas you may have on hand.

So the next time you don’t feel like cooking, give this smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich a try. With its simple preparation and nutrient-packed ingredients, it’s sure to satisfy your hunger and your taste buds.

Tandoori Cauliflower Tacos With Cashew

Tandoori Cauliflower Tacos With Cashew

When you’re craving something flavorful and satisfying but don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen, these Tandoori Cauliflower Tacos With Cashew are the perfect solution. With just a few ingredients and minimal prep, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy meal in no time.

Start by roasting cauliflower florets in a tandoori spice blend until they’re golden and slightly crispy. Meanwhile, blend cashews with lime juice, garlic, and water to create a creamy cashew sauce.

Warm up some corn tortillas and assemble your tacos with the roasted tandoori cauliflower, cashew sauce, and your favorite toppings. Add some sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime for extra flavor.

These Tandoori Cauliflower Tacos With Cashew are not only quick and easy to make, but they’re also full of flavor and packed with nutrients. The cauliflower provides a hearty and satisfying texture, while the cashew sauce adds a creamy and tangy element.

Whether you’re tired after a long day or just not in the mood to cook, these tacos are a delicious and healthy option that will satisfy your cravings without much effort. Give them a try and enjoy a flavorful meal without the hassle of cooking.

Italian Flatbread Breakfast Panini

A simple and delicious breakfast option that requires minimal effort, the Italian Flatbread Breakfast Panini is a great go-to meal when you don’t feel like cooking. Made with Italian flatbread, eggs, cheese, and your choice of breakfast meats such as bacon or sausage, this panini is sure to satisfy your morning cravings.

To make the Italian Flatbread Breakfast Panini, start by preheating a panini press or a grill pan. While the panini press is heating up, whisk together some eggs and season them with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and scramble the eggs until they are cooked to your liking.

Next, place a piece of Italian flatbread on a clean surface and layer it with the scrambled eggs, some shredded cheese, and your choice of breakfast meats. Top the filling with another piece of flatbread and gently press it together.

Once the panini press or grill pan is hot, carefully transfer the assembled panini onto it. Close the press or place a heavy weight on top of the panini to flatten it. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted.

Remove the panini from the press or grill pan, and let it cool for a minute or two before slicing it in half. Enjoy it hot and fresh as a quick and satisfying breakfast option.

This Italian Flatbread Breakfast Panini is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can add vegetables like tomatoes or spinach for an extra nutritional boost, or try different types of cheese for added flavor. The possibilities are endless!

So, the next time you don’t feel like cooking but still want a delicious and satisfying breakfast, give this Italian Flatbread Breakfast Panini a try. It’s a simple and tasty option that will surely hit the spot.

Chicken Sheet-Pan Dinner With Fennel and Orange

When you’re not in the mood for cooking a complicated meal but still want something flavorful and satisfying, this chicken sheet-pan dinner with fennel and orange is the perfect solution. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a delicious and nutritious meal on the table in no time.

To make this dish, start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine chicken thighs, sliced fennel, orange segments, and minced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Toss everything together until well-coated.

Next, transfer the chicken and fennel mixture onto a sheet pan, spreading it out in an even layer. Make sure to arrange the chicken thighs skin-side up for a crispy finish. Roast in the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the fennel is tender.

While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare a simple side dish to accompany the meal. Roasted potatoes or a green salad would pair perfectly with the flavors of the fennel and orange. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

The combination of the tangy orange and earthy fennel adds a burst of flavor to the succulent chicken thighs. This sheet-pan dinner is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, while fennel and orange provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

So, the next time you’re feeling too tired or uninspired to cook, give this chicken sheet-pan dinner with fennel and orange a try. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create a restaurant-worthy meal with just a few simple ingredients and a sheet pan.

Spaghetti With Tuna, Basil, and Lemon

When you’re not in the mood to cook, but still want a delicious and nutritious meal, this spaghetti with tuna, basil, and lemon is a great option. It’s quick and easy to make, requiring just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

To make this dish, start by cooking the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, drain a can of tuna and flake it into a bowl. Add some chopped fresh basil leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix everything together and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the tuna mixture. Toss everything well to combine and make sure the spaghetti is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with some extra basil leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

This spaghetti with tuna, basil, and lemon is not only a quick and easy meal, but it’s also packed with protein and flavor. The tuna provides a good source of lean protein, while the fresh basil and lemon add a refreshing taste. It’s a perfect dish for those days when you don’t feel like cooking but still want something delicious and satisfying.

Chickpea Edamame Salad

Chickpea Edamame Salad

When you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that requires minimal effort, try making a Chickpea Edamame Salad. This refreshing and nutritious dish is packed with protein and fiber, making it a satisfying option for those days when you don’t feel like cooking.

To make the salad, simply combine cooked chickpeas and edamame in a bowl. You can use canned chickpeas for convenience, or cook them from scratch if you have more time. Add in some diced red onion, chopped cucumber, and cherry tomatoes for extra flavor and crunch.

For the dressing, whisk together some olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss everything together to ensure all the ingredients are well-coated.

This Chickpea Edamame Salad can be enjoyed on its own as a light lunch or dinner, or you can serve it as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or fish. It’s versatile and can be customized to your liking, so feel free to add in any other vegetables or herbs that you have on hand.

Not only is this salad delicious and easy to make, but it’s also incredibly nutritious. Chickpeas and edamame are both excellent sources of plant-based protein, and they’re also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The addition of fresh vegetables adds even more nutrients, making this salad a well-rounded and satisfying meal option.

So the next time you’re feeling too tired or uninspired to cook, give this Chickpea Edamame Salad a try. It’s simple, healthy, and requires minimal effort, making it the perfect go-to meal for those hectic days.

Bonus: From the Author’s Kitchen: Avocado Smoothie With Grape Juice

When you’re not in the mood to cook but still want a nutritious and delicious meal, this avocado smoothie with grape juice is the perfect option. Packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, it’s a refreshing and satisfying treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup grape juice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

To make the smoothie, simply blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can add more grape juice or a splash of water. Taste the smoothie and adjust the sweetness by adding more honey if desired.

This avocado smoothie is not only delicious but also nutritious. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins, while grape juice provides antioxidants and natural sweetness. The Greek yogurt adds protein and creaminess, making it the perfect breakfast or snack option.

Next time you don’t feel like cooking, give this avocado smoothie with grape juice a try. It’s a simple and tasty way to fuel your body and satisfy your taste buds, all without spending hours in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Essential Diet & Nutrition Insights