ThePrep: Dinner Ideas So Simple You Don't Even Need a Recipe

These dinner ideas are so simple you don't even need a recipe to get them on the table.

Fruit, Veggie & Cheese Plate

Pictured Recipe: Fruit, Veggie & Cheese Plate

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This marks the start of the 3rd week of self-isolating for me and, just like you all, I’m figuring things out as I go. I think we’re all experiencing similar emotions and are facing many of the same challenges. I know I’ve been really leaning on my support system (and vice versa) of family, friends and colleagues to get through each day, and I wanted to take this moment to let you all know that I’m here for you, too!

I want each week’s newsletter to be as helpful as possible, so please (please!) let me know what you need to help make life, and especially mealtimes, a little less stressful. (Email me at!) With that being said, something I’ve gathered is that recipes aren’t all that helpful right now, given that we’re all just trying to use what we have on hand. So, this week I’m giving you recipitos—the term we here at EatingWell lovingly use for recipe ideas that are so simple you don’t actually need to follow a recipe to make them. (You won’t need to go shopping for extra ingredients either, so there’s no shopping list this week.)

Your Meal Plan


Pictured Recipe: Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Recipitos are dishes like pasta with jarred sauce and broccoli; scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese and so on. And interestingly enough, the translation of the Latin word recipito is “to take back [or] regain possession of something,” which is fitting as these easy dinner ideas will help us all reclaim control over dinner. Here are a few ideas I’ll be making this week. Feel free to add in whatever you have on hand to make these meals your own!

Sunday: Spaghetti + pesto + white beans + sliced red peppers

Monday: Brown rice + black beans + frozen or canned corn + sliced cabbage + salsa

Tuesday: Chickpeas + canned tuna + red onion + cucumber + Italian seasoning + cheese (like feta or Parmesan)

Wednesday: Grilled cheese + soup (canned or from your freezer) and/or veggie sticks

Thursday: Macaroni + ground beef or turkey + tomato sauce + heavy cream or milk + spinach + crushed red pepper flakes

Friday: Cheese + crackers + hummus + veggie sticks + wine!

If you’re still needing actual recipes, see here: 30 Easy Pantry Dinners

Snack Time!


If I’m being honest, I haven’t done any meal prep for the past two weeks and I don’t foresee myself doing it this week either. So, fast snacks are what I’m relying on, and popcorn has been a favorite for me. Whether you keep it simple with a little butter and salt or mix it up with different things from your cupboard—like lemon-pepper & Parmesan—it’s a healthy filling snack you can’t really go wrong with.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Parm Popcorn

Treat Yourself

peanut butter energy balls

This is a repeat from a past newsletter, but I don’t think you’ll be mad about making these Peanut Butter Energy Balls again.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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