You’ve likely heard the benefits of home-cooked meals. From less sodium and saturated fat to increased fiber and lower cost, there’s no doubt that cooking at home is better for your family’s health and budget. When dinner times comes around though, and you haven’t made it to the grocery store, the take-out menus may be calling your name.  But, by keeping the below basics on hand, you’ll be able to put together a variety of easy meals that your family will think you spent hours planning for!



Whole wheat or legume pasta

Brown rice

Canned beans and/or chickpeas

Chicken or vegetable broth

Tomato Sauce

Olive or Avocado oil

Soy sauce






Frozen vegetables

Precooked turkey/chicken meatballs



Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat tortillas



  • Spaghetti and Meatballs: Mix whole grain pasta with tomato sauce and turkey/chicken meatballs. Serve with frozen mixed veggies on the side.
  • Quick Shakshuka: Sautee garlic and onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add tomato sauce to the pan and cook about 5 minutes. Make small wells in the tomato sauce with the back of a large spoon. Gently crack 1 egg into each well. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the eggs are set. Serve with toasted bread.
  • Quesadillas: Mash black beans with a fork and spread onto a whole wheat tortilla. Top with cheese, and defrosted frozen spinach. Place second tortilla on top and grill until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve with salsa on the side.
  • Greens and Beans Soup: In a large soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat. Stir in 1 can of drained chickpeas, 2 cups of broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 bag of defrosted greens (kale, spinach, etc.) and serve topped with toasted tortilla chips on the side.
  • Personal Pizzas: Top whole wheat tortillas with tomato sauce, cheese and any other toppings you have on hand (scraps of leftover fresh veggies, defrosted frozen veggies, sliced turkey meatballs, etc.) Bake until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.
  • Pasta with Chickpea Sauce: Sauté onion and garlic in a medium saucepan about 5 minutes. Add to a blender along with 1 can of drained chickpeas, 1 cup of water, salt and pepper. Mix with cooked, hot whole wheat pasta and top with grated cheese. Serve with defrosted mixed veggies on the side.
  • Frittata: Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk well. Heat a large cast iron or oven-save skillet over medium heat. Add oil and cook defrosted veggies for a few minutes, just until very soft. Pour the eggs over the veggies. Stir once to combine. Sprinkle with cheese and let cook on the stovetop 1-2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a 350 degree oven and bake about 10-15 minutes until the eggs have puffed up and are frittata is cooked through. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving with toast on the side.
  • Fried Rice: Sauté cooked brown rice in oil. Add mixed frozen veggies and chopped onions and garlic. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add whisked eggs. Scramble the eggs into the rice until they’re cooked through and form small curds. Sprinkle with soy sauce and serve.
  • Black Bean Soup: In a medium saucepan, sauté chopped garlic and onion in oil until translucent. Stir in 1 can of black beans, 2 cups of broth and a sprinkle of ground cumin. Bring to a simmer, then take off heat. Transfer to a blender and mix well. Pour the mixture back into the pot, add a second can of beans and bring back to a simmer. Serve with toasted tortilla strips and salsa on the side.
  • Open Faced Meatball Sandwich: Toast bread and brush with small amount of olive oil. Cut a large garlic clove in half and rub the cut side over the bread. Meanwhile, heat meatballs in tomato sauce. Place toasted garlic bread on a sheet pan. Top each piece of toast with meatballs, sauce and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. Serve with any defrosted veggies on the side.



March is National Nutrition Month so there’s no better time to meet with a Registered Dietitian. Schedule an appointment with one of our Lara Metz Nutrition experts in March for a consult, grocery store tour, or pantry makeover, and you will receive 10% off any of our services

Contact Amanda Buthmann, our pediatric and family dietitian at, or visit to learn more and schedule an appointment.

To find out more about our customized in-home fitness programs, contact Bonita at, or call 212-879-1566.