A simple meal?

What, for you, constitutes a simple meal?
You’re in the kitchen after a day of whatever your endeavours were, you’re hungry, maybe a little tired, you just want to eat something tasty with little to no effort, and you’re all out of leftover holiday goose.

For me it would be some buttered bread, a couple Mezzetta brand chili peppers, if I have a tomato or onion, a piece or two of those, maybe some canned corn and some browned hamburger with maybe a bit of salt pepper and basil and or oregano thrown in.
Simple, minimal effort, filling, and tasty.

Home-made bread, butter, long-aged cheddar, a crisp tart apple, and a glass of good wine. No cooking!


Leftovers I can nuke.

My go-to is a bowl of fresh salsa with toasted pittas cut into strips for dipping.
(perhaps a small amount of melted cheese on them if I’m feeling fancy).
Some greek yogurt on the side as well to cool the burn.

Cereal with milk.

Cheese and pickle sandwich. I have practically lived on them before. My coworker calls it a prison sandwich. But I like it! Dill pickles, extra sharp cheddar, mustard and mayo.

That or rice with a can of rotel tomatoes and an egg on top.

For something cold, a basic sandwich. For something warm, a grilled ham and cheese. If I feel ambitious, a grilled tuna and cheese. A little more ambitious, a grilled fried egg, ham and cheese.

Cereal or if I feel like meat and bread, a corndog, only 45 seconds in the microwave.

Back in 1982, while attending training at the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls, my housemates and I would often arrive home at about 11 pm, and be required to be on the bus at six the following morning. On those nights, we’d cook up a couple of cups of Minute Rice and top it with a can of Campbell’s Chunky soup, then turn in.

Today, when I get home to an empty apartment at 11 pm, it’s two hot dogs, a serving of store-brand potato salad, and a couple of cans of beer.

Ramen with natural peanut butter, chili oil/crisp, soy sauce, and scallions has been my go-to recently for when I want a quick lunch. If I have any leftover protein I might toss it in there, too.

Hummus and tomato sandwich

Similar to @pulykamell (and how often have I typed this in a food thread?), Ramen (generally Shin), with an egg poached in the broth, generally livened up with a touch of cheap powdered Hondashi / Homemade Stock / Left over shrimp shells simmered in the water first / bonito flakes.

Topped with either freeze dried chives or scallions (depending what I have left), and a dash of sesame oil or chili oil (or sesame chili oil!).

A flour tortilla filled with some veggies, beans, and cheese will do nicely.

Pasta with stuff added is good too (unless I’m so hungry I don’t want to take the time for the pasta to cook). Depending on what I have on hand, the pasta might actually end up being served with all kinds of tasty bits. But at a minimum, I generally have cheese, olive oil, and vegetables around that I can stir in.

Four precooked Johnsonville Vermont maple breakfast sausage links, microwaved for 1 minute, on a Martin’s potato sandwich roll with a slice of individually wrapped American cheese.

Failing that, sliced salami, cheese, and Triscuits, or whichever 1 to 3 of those things, or equivalent substitutes, that I happen to own simultaneously.

Since pre-prep counts, my newest go-to is bean salad I make from TJs shopping list.
Black-eyed peas
(Tomato-less) corn chili

Mix them together and chill. Eat from the bowl.

No cooking, no heating. Protein. Fiber. Gluten free. And no animals were hurt in the process.

Absolutely delish.

Ramen with frozen veggies and a little grated cotija/Parmesan cheese.

Full disclosure, tho: this is one of my favorite meals.

Cheese and salami gets it done.


Bread, cheese, pickles, an apple.
(Add a pint of ale and that’s called a Ploughman’s Lunch - someone will be along shortly to say it’s not as traditional as people think)

Typically something from the following list of meals:

  • Carbonara (although I usually use bacon instead of guanciale due to availability)
  • Pizza from the freezer (not frozen, of course, but prepared in the oven)
  • Baked beans on toast, maybe with bacon and/or fried egg
  • Potatoes, cooked unpeeled, eaten either with or without peel with butter and salt (Pellkartoffeln)
  • Fried egg on sour dough bread with cured ham or salami (Strammer Max)
  • Cereal and milk
  • Instant Ramen
  • Rice pudding

I do that, too. Although usually I leave out the cheese. Though if I have milk on hand I might have a glass of that.