How to Get a Respectable, Healthy Dinner on the Table Without Much Thought or Effort

When the day gets away from me and I don't have time to plan something specific, this is my go-to dinner routine.
  1. Find a vegetable you can roast in olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper.
    Broccoli, broccolini, kale, eggplant, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots--whatever you have (FYI I have totally roasted an aging bag of baby carrots). Chop it up, toss in olive oil, and spread it on a baking sheet with some whole cloves of garlic. Roast at 450 until the garlic is soft and the veggies are caramelized. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon if you've got it.
  2. If you're inclined, rustle up a starch.
    I usually skip this part or make cauliflower rice, but if you're a carb fan, make some rice, pasta, or quinoa, according to the package directions. Top with a little butter, salt, and pepper.
  3. Locate a protein, cook it in a frying pan in olive oil and season it with salt and pepper.
    This can be: any part of a chicken, steak, ground meat formed into patties, frozen veggie burgers, tofu strips, tempeh, canned, rinsed beans, or even (as we did tonight) eggs.
  4. Add a salad.
    Not required, but nice if you have the stuff around. Literally any greens will work. Slice them up if necessary and toss with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Extra points for additional vegetables, nuts, or seeds.
  5. Garnish.
    Have some random fresh herbs or lemons laying around? Chop 'em up and sprinkle them over the protein and vegetables. Not required at all, but a nice touch.
  6. Load up the plates, sit back, and enjoy.
    Make someone else do the dishes.